Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Grand Prairie, TX
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Consider a large-tube, aluminum custom dimension tandem, perhaps something from Bushnell or Co-Motion.
Reasons: 1) mean height for an American male is 5'11" (and your weights put you somewhere around six feet), and for an American female it is 5'4". Guessing that your single bike horizontal seatpost to handlebar measurement is 27", and that you will want 8" of stoker stem, you will desire a rear top tube (and therefore the same bottom bracket shell ctc spacing) of 35". This cannot be had on a production tandem because they are built to fit smaller females. 2) The larger diameter aluminum tubes are much stiffer, which in the case of two large, powerful riders, is a good thing.
More discussion of this can be found in a number of threads. Look, for example, at "Cowhorn Bars & Stoker Fitting--Some Thoughts," a thread that currently can be found near the bottom of the first page.
A while back, the custom dimension surcharge for a Co-Motion was $350, and for Bushnell, it was N/C.
Stapfam's gearing advice is good. For ten percent grades in Colorado at altitude, I use 24(chainring) X 27(cog). I find that both the RX100 and Ultegra FD's will shift across 50-36-24 and 12-27. There might be a FD that will do better.