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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 01-19-09, 09:26 PM   #1
rbtandem
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Stoker Handlebar Options

Looking for ideas for stoker handlebars. Currently using stock bars on a Burley 2004 Rumba. Questioning width of bar for stoker comfort. Any advise or recommendations?
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Old 01-19-09, 10:43 PM   #2
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Width of stoker handlebars can become an issue.
They need to be narrow enough for stoker's shoulder width; however, the captain's thighs must also clear the handlebars when he's pedaling.
So quite often a petite stoker's bars are wider than optimal to give room for the captain's thighs.
Likely your Rumba came with cowhorn bars, or optional drop bars.
A pair of dummy stoker levers on drop bars can alleviate the width problem a bit + offer stoker an extra hand position. Flat bars are another option.
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 01-20-09, 05:40 AM   #3
sch
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Ditto zona's comments. First criteria is not stoker shoulders but pilot's derriere:
is width a potential problem and where the bars will be relative to the pilot's
rear. On a setup where the stoker bars are below the pilot's saddle and fairly
close to the saddle, you may find dummy brakes on a drop bar too close to the
pilot bottom, or not. Pilots with hip sizes in the 36" waist range will be potentially
problematic. If this is not a hurdle then you can fit what ever bar the stoker
finds comfortable. The drop position on drop bars may or may not be available
depending on how much proximity and flexibility are present.
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Old 01-20-09, 06:24 AM   #4
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For shorter stokers (e.g. children) you may wish to consider high rise bars so that their reach allows a more upright sitting position. Too low and the top of their helmets may be positioned around the middle of the pilot's back and then they can't even see the sides as well.

Also for kids, if you can jury-rig up a DVD player or GPS device on the stoker handlebars it could help out on long trips...

Last edited by Stray8; 01-21-09 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 01-21-09, 02:35 AM   #5
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We changed the stoker handle bars to the early 70's banana style, high riser bar. This allows my stoker to sit much more upright, which is easier on her back and she can see more than just the middle of my back. This configuration also allows her to observe immediate traffic situations as well as various flower gardens passing by.
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Old 01-21-09, 08:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rbtandem View Post
Looking for ideas for stoker handlebars. Currently using stock bars on a Burley 2004 Rumba. Questioning width of bar for stoker comfort. Any advise or recommendations?
You already have some good feedback here.

If captain clearance an issue, Profile stoker bar is available in a 47cm width. If you want a more upright position for the stoker, this same bar is available in narrower widths, and you also have the option of chopping and inverting drop bars, if you want something in carbon fiber this is really your only option (max would be 46cm). For a more traditional stoker position, you are looking at regular drop bars, lots of options there, just need to make sure captain clearance is OK.
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Old 01-22-09, 12:20 PM   #7
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Had the occasion to ride a Roland tandem years ago with cowhorn stoker bars that measured 52 inches! No brand name on them and were probably of Taiwanese/Chinese manufacture.
If stoker wants to sit a bit more upright, the cowhorns can also be faced toward the stoker.
Barend extensions (straight or curved) on flat bars can also give a bit more choice in hand positioning facing toward or away from stoker.
Lotsa options!.
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Old 01-22-09, 02:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
Had the occasion to ride a Roland tandem years ago with cowhorn stoker bars that measured 52 inches! ...
52 inches! That's over four feet! Sounds like an actual pair of mounted Texas longhorns! Unless you meant 52 cm.

Anyway...it made me smile and brought back some memories of thinking how cool such a pair of horns was when I was little and our family took a trip out west for the first time.

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Old 01-22-09, 05:38 PM   #9
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52 inches! That's over four feet! Sounds like an actual pair of mounted Texas longhorns! Unless you meant 52 cm.

Anyway...it made me smile and brought back some memories of thinking how cool such a pair of horns was when I was little and our family took a trip out west for the first time.

Bloomington, IN
Trying to picture the stoker trying to hold onto the ends of 52" bars, or the captain's butt being that wide to need them.
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Old 01-22-09, 07:12 PM   #10
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My wife likes the profile cowhorns much better than the regular bars we had on at first. She never used the drops and now feels like she has more hand positions/locations with the cowhorns. Plus they are wide enough to clear my backside.
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Old 01-22-09, 10:55 PM   #11
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Got my tongue caught in front of my eyetooth?!
Misstyped!!! Sorry bout that! Got metrics and inches mixed up . . . quite a bit of difference!
Meant 52 cm (20 1/2 inches) . . . NOT 52 Inches on those wide stoker bars!
Pedal on!
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Old 01-23-09, 08:15 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
Barend extensions (straight or curved) on flat bars can also give a bit more choice in hand positioning facing toward or away from stoker.
We swapped the stoker's drops that came on our used Burley Duet for riser bars--probably take-offs from a hybrid bike--with bar ends. My wife loves the setup--to me, it looks ridiculously wide and upright, but that's the way she'd rather ride, so...
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