I am a returning 50 + biker, 40+ years off of bikes.
Currently riding a Schwinn Jaguar, 7 speed. I'm still wobbly when passing or being passed, but that is getting better. I've gone about 15 plus miles total on my bike.
My wife now rides a 20" single speed 3 wheeler because of balance problems. Last fall we bought a 24 "regular type" 21 speed bicycle for her, only to sadly discover she just couldn't balance. She was quite ill a few years back, and that created the balance problems, though I suspect nervousness also plays a part in this.
We've been out for a few rides, learned we enjoy it, and do like the bikes we own.
My wife's 3 wheeler bike is, after all, only a single speed. Slopes and hills are a lot of work. I'm not a fast rider, but I find myself quite a ways ahead of her most of the time on the trail.
The three wheeler feels a little unstable at speeds over 8 mph. Cornering on the 3 wheeler requires sort of slow speeds.
Why we think a tandem would be better for us...
We would be together on the trail, instead of myself being quite a ways ahead.
My wife, as co-pilot, would now be able to share in a multi-speed bike, hills should be a lot easier for her.
Stability, riding as a co-pilot, we believe my wife would have a fairly stable ride at higher speeds than she currently does on her three wheeler.
Longer rides should more quickly become a reality on a multi speed tandem versus her single speed three wheeler.
Concerns and questions...
I significantly outweigh my wife. She's petite, and I am almost double her weight. Will my excess pounds assure me pretty much complete control over the bikes balance? I'd like my wife to be able to enjoy bike riding without worrying about her balance.
Transporting a tandem on our car? At the moment, we use a trunk rack to get our two bikes to the trails. It sort of seems like we should be able to do the same with one tandem bicycle, though perhaps a roof rack may be a better idea.
My wife's size. She is 4 foot ten. Too short for most tandems?
Money. I know there are remarkable tandem bikes out there, but their cost exceeds our budget. The Trek Cruiseliner Tandem looks nice to us, as does the Trek T 900 . Based on looks, the Cruiseliner Tandem appeals to us more, based on rear frame size, the T 900 sounds better.
Any comments on either of these? Any short co-pilots (4'10" or shorter) ride the Trek Cruiseliner Tandem? Any alternate suggestions? (Note: We like the looks of a beach type cruiser, and comfort is important)
There is a Trek store in town, so that is why I was looking at Trek.
Not sure if this matters, but at times, especially when bike riding, my wife's left leg temporarily refuses to do what it should. This is a leftover problem from her sickness. It is annoying to her, and causes a bit of trouble when her left leg is supposed to be pushing the pedal down. On a tandem bike, can the co-pilot temporarily relax with their feet on the pedals, and not having to pedal, as the pilot pedals?