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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 05-01-04, 05:43 PM   #1
Eurastus
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My daughter and I have really been burning up the rubber with our new da Vinci. We're having a blast, but we've discovered that it's pretty hard to carry on a decent conversation; much harder than on our single bikes riding side-by-side. It seemed like miles went by with few words. I had dearly hoped we could spend better father-daughter time than this...

I heard about the Tandem Talk and thought I'd give it a try. While Googling for a good price, I ran into the Precision Tandems web page and noticed they offer their own smaller and more refined version called the Tandem-Com for virtually the same price (when you compare the units with same functions). After looking at the pictures, and with the idea that I'd be riding with my kids (the Tandem-Com comes with headsets that adapt themselves better to little heads; the Tandem Talk specifically mentions that it won't fit on smaller ears), I ordered the Tandem-Com earlier this week. It arrived yesterday and we gave it a try during a ride this afternoon.

Wow!! What a difference it makes!! Conversations are so easy. Even downhill at 30 mph, we didn't have the slightest problem hearing each other without having to yell, though there was slightly more wind-noise in the ear with the speaker than the un-covered ear. I expected it to be a little uncomfortable, but neither of us could tell that we had it on after the first few moments.

The amp unit is rather small; much smaller and lighter then the Tandem Talk unit. It clips easily to the top of my right rear pocket. My stoker runs the power and our independant volume controls, and so far has always remembered to unplug herself before she gets off the bike!

I've found three potential issues, however:
First, the head-pieces are designed to cover the left ears; I would rather they go on the right, as the left side is better for hearing traffic noises. It's not bad, though.
Second, though we were able to make the headsets fit my daughter fine, an optional smaller size would be better.
And lastly, that girl of mine is one little chatterbox!! Now I know who's doing most all of the work uphill!!

My daughter says, "It makes the rides more fun." That in itself is reason enough for me.

Any questions?? Just ask.

This has got to be the best piece of gear since we bought the tandem itself!!

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Old 05-31-04, 09:26 PM   #2
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Here's a shot of us wearing the Tandem-Com. The more we ride, the more we like it. We've discovered that the fact that it fits on the left really is a good idea; both of us prefer our Camelbak's on the right.

Also, another issue...when one of us raises our voice to talk to another cyclist, it's VERY loud over the intercom!!
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Old 06-01-04, 06:33 AM   #3
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You might want to double-check your daughter's seat height. Even taking into account her pointed foot (I refer to that particular technique as "twinkle-toes" -- something Debbie is prone to do every now and again), it appears as though her seat needs to be a little bit higher.
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Old 06-01-04, 11:23 AM   #4
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Yea, I thought that too, once I got a good look at this photo. I originally set the saddle height the same as her single bike (Fuji Roubaix Pro Women's), which we had spent some time getting correct, but that has been a few months--kids seem to grow like weeds. I suppose another check is warranted. With the tandem, I don't notice nearly as much as the single bike; I never see her pedaling since she's always behind me .

That perfectly horizontal thigh can't be good, right?. She does tend to point her toes too much, which adds to the problem. If you look at her right leg, which is at almost full extension, it's not that far off when you compensate for the pointy-toes. However, I think the real issue is the crank length. It's 170 in the rear and is really too long for her leg length, forcing the leg to horizontal at the top of the stroke. I've been toying with the idea of getting one of the da Vinci-modified XT kid cranks with the 125 and 145 length pedal holes. It's only $85 plus the cost of the chainring, but I'm afraid it'd be to short. What I'd really like is a pair of the da Vinci "Super Gucci" triple-hole cranks and use the 150 length, but they're $230.

I suppose I should just bite the bullet, considering what I paid for the tandem, and spend the $230 anyway--I do have two more, younger, children that will certainly take my daughter's place over the next few years anyway.
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Old 06-01-04, 12:28 PM   #5
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I find the different position of the pedals between captain and stoker to be interesting. Our tandem has them in EXACTLY the same position fore and aft.

Is there a particular reason for the difference?
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Old 06-01-04, 02:25 PM   #6
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This is a da Vinci tandem, with their patented Independant Coasting System (ICS). Check it out here. We are very pleased with it. My daughter can coast whenever she wants (which usually means right when I least want her to). The amount of power she adds is so much less than mine that I hardly ever notice we're not in sync, unless she's out of the saddle giving me her "Turbo-Boost."
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Old 06-02-04, 08:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livngood
You might want to double-check your daughter's seat height. Even taking into account her pointed foot (I refer to that particular technique as "twinkle-toes" -- something Debbie is prone to do every now and again), it appears as though her seat needs to be a little bit higher.

Mark, you are one eagle-eye. I've got to hand it to you, I didn't think I would need to, but I had to raise her saddle 2.5cm!! In fact, that weed-of-a-girl has grown two inches in the last four months!! Almost exactly half in her legs. We carefully re-sized the single bike as well, also 2 cm.

I'll keep a closer eye on her leg-length from now on...

Man...I feel old. Anytime now, she'll be as tall as her mother...
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