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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 03-05-09, 07:08 AM   #1
dickepa
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Computer for stoker?

Does anyone have a good idea for a computer for the stoker? I thought this would be a rather easy add-on, but as I got into it, I found it more difficult. The standard wired computers that I have looked at don't have the wire length, even to get to the rear wheel (which would be sufficient). Most of the reviews I have read on wireless computers, aren't that high on their performance. I guess I could go with a cadence computer - which would give me the wire length - but I would be interested in others' solutions. Thanks.
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Old 03-05-09, 07:31 AM   #2
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If you have an old computer and can cannibalize the wire harness, you could splice and add length. Done right for the splice locations, it may not even be noticed.

If you don't have an old computer, maybe the shop could find an old one they may have removed as inop and kept for small parts. Another alternative would be some small paired wire maybe from Radio Shack or an electronics store, even a 4 pin phone wire would work.

Just a thought.

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Last edited by PMK; 03-05-09 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 03-05-09, 07:43 AM   #3
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Does anyone have a good idea for a computer for the stoker?
Garmin 305 or 705?
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Old 03-05-09, 08:10 AM   #4
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I spliced the wires

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If you have an old computer and can cannibalize the wire harness, you could splice and add length. Done right for the splice locations, it may not even be noticed.
That's what I did. In order to make it waterproof, I soldered the splices and covered them with heat-shrink wire wraps. It works well.

Ken
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Old 03-05-09, 08:18 AM   #5
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That's what I did. In order to make it waterproof, I soldered the splices and covered them with heat-shrink wire wraps. It works well.

Ken
+1 Ken and I must think alike. We've even had the stoker's computer continue working after the captain's gave out in the rain one day.
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Old 03-05-09, 08:26 AM   #6
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My LBS stocks long wire lead bases for Cateye.
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Old 03-05-09, 09:08 AM   #7
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I already had a Ciclo 4.3A model wireless computer that I wanted to use for the front (similar model here), so I though that the best thing to do would be to buy a compatible model that could pick up the same signal from the fork sensor, so I got a Ciclo 4.2. I was very happy with myself when they both picked up the same signal simultaneously, but was a bit disappointed when I discovered that if you move one of them more than 50cm (20 inches) away from the fork sensor then it no longer registered the signal. A new battery in the fork sensor didn't boost the signal, and no matter what position I placed the sensor and the computer, I needed 70-80cm between the two to have the computer mounted somewhere on the stoker's bars.

I eventually had to give up on my attempts, and instead put a different wireless computer on for the stoker (which I fortunately already had, it just needed new batteries) and that one transmits more than 1 metre (3 ft), it's a VDO C3 DS, and it's working fine. Now we have two sensors on the front fork, which is not ideal aesthetically, but I'll live with it. At least I could make them both use the same wheel magnet.

EDIT: The VDO unit also wasn't able to reliably transmit to the stoker, so I gave up on that too, especially since my stoker didn't seem to mind whether she had one or not. Now my stoker has said that she'd really like a computer, so I'm going to try the Cateye Double Wireless next.

Last edited by Chris_W; 04-20-09 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 03-05-09, 09:13 AM   #8
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I mounted a computer on the top bar because of the short wire, and that worked fine on the old tandem. On the new tandem, because it has couplers, we mounted a GPS on the stokers bar. If the stoker needs to know cadence, she asks. It's just a basic GPS, and allows the stoker to navigate.
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Old 03-05-09, 09:18 AM   #9
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I mounted a computer on the top bar because of the short wire, and that worked fine on the old tandem. On the new tandem, because it has couplers, we mounted a GPS on the stokers bar. If the stoker needs to know cadence, she asks. It's just a basic GPS, and allows the stoker to navigate.
Clever! What GPS? Any photos? If it wasn't a cycling specific unit, what mount did you utilize?

PK
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Old 03-05-09, 09:50 AM   #10
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Garmin 305 or 705?
We have the Garmin 705. It has actual maps for navigation. If you need cadence, the sensor connects to the rear and has a 30 ft. range so it works for either pilot or stoker.

The 305 uses the same cadence sensor and is fairly reasonable in price now. However, it does not have maps.
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Old 03-05-09, 10:00 AM   #11
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My wife uses her Garmin Forerunner 100 mounted on the Stoker Bar. I had to get the Garmin Bike Sensor separately since that does not come with it. This is the non GPS cheapo model. It was on Woot for $55 one time. Retails for around $100 I think.

A couple of bad things... 1. Only one data item is displayed at a time. You got to press the view button to scroll through speed, distance, cadence, etc. 2. Annoying clicking noise when the magnet sensor on the Stoker crank arm passes the timing chain. I took it off since my wife does not care about cadence. Other than that it works great and you can upload your events to Garmin Connect.

Last edited by rishardh; 03-05-09 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 03-05-09, 10:48 AM   #12
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The Cateye double wireless has worked well for us in the stoker position.
Sheldon
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Old 03-05-09, 11:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmac View Post
We have the Garmin 705. It has actual maps for navigation. If you need cadence, the sensor connects to the rear and has a 30 ft. range so it works for either pilot or stoker.

The 305 uses the same cadence sensor and is fairly reasonable in price now. However, it does not have maps.
We already have an Edge 305 and 705 and I've put mounts on both bars. Has anybody tried adding a wheel/cadence sensor and then learning it to both units? I'm going to try it this weekend and will report back if nobody has done it before.
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Old 03-05-09, 11:31 AM   #14
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i mounted a computer on the top tube for the stoker. i don't remember the brand, but i bought it at REI, and it had an interchangeable mount for attachment to a horizontal handlebar or vertical tube.
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Old 03-05-09, 12:14 PM   #15
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VDO C3 DS is what we use. One cadence sensor and one wheel sensor. Both mounted at the rear and both headunits work perfectly. Rarely is there a mileage difference or a drop out [unless the batteries are low]. No GPS, HRM, or any other fancy new options but it works with us. Cheap on eBay. We paid no more than $90 for two. The other sensors are on my half bike and I just move the headunit from one bike to the other.
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Old 03-05-09, 01:51 PM   #16
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We use Polar 720's. I have separate sensors for her for both cadence and speed. We use them on the Tandem, our Roadbikes and our Mtb's.
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Old 03-05-09, 02:03 PM   #17
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My LBS stocks long wire lead bases for Cateye.
I think you can buy these direct from Cateye as well. And I'm pretty sure you can buy them from Vetta, too. Splicing in a wire isn't really a big deal, either.
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Old 03-05-09, 02:51 PM   #18
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My LBS stocks long wire lead bases for Cateye.
We have two Cateye Enduro 8 computers on our tandem. They each have their own sensor on the front fork and the stoker's position uses the long wire lead base. Pretty simple.
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Old 03-05-09, 05:58 PM   #19
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We already have an Edge 305 and 705 and I've put mounts on both bars. Has anybody tried adding a wheel/cadence sensor and then learning it to both units? I'm going to try it this weekend and will report back if nobody has done it before.
We both have our Edge 305 units mounted on our respective handle bars. They both run using the same set of sensors. They both work just fine.
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Old 03-05-09, 09:14 PM   #20
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This is how I mounted the GPS.
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Old 03-05-09, 11:00 PM   #21
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34 years of tandeming and stoker has not asked for her own computer . . .
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Old 03-06-09, 08:10 AM   #22
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+1 for the Cateye Double Wireless, CD300DW. Great multi-function computer w/cadence. The sending unit is designed as a chainstay mount, (to also pick up cadence), so it's a natural for the stoker position or for a bike on the trainer.

Downside: Both head and sending unit use two 2032 batteries each, and you need to replace them every 6 months. Not a hard job, but you had better make the acquaintance of Battery Bob!
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Old 03-06-09, 09:08 AM   #23
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34 years of tandeming and stoker has not asked for her own computer . . .
Zona, that's because there weren't any computers until ... hmmm ... the early 80`s as I recall, and it was a number of years after that before the first one that could be used on the rear of a tandem without any modification. So ... if you grew up riding without one, you don't miss it!
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Old 03-06-09, 10:45 AM   #24
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I need to find one of the magnets that comes with the Edge and put that on the crank arm to make the cadence sensor work correctly.
I used the one that came with the Garmin Cadence unit and they are still strong enough to attract the chain to it while the crank arm passes the chain. The gap between the magnet and the chain is about 2mm and I dont think it deflects the chain line that much but it makes an annoying clicking noise. I took it off after a couple of rides.

Since the 305 and 705 are GPS units maybe you can install the sensor on the boom tube and the magent on the captain's right crank just to get the cadence reading. I could not do this as the Forerunner 100 is a non GPS unit and needs the wheel magnet for speed & distance.
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Old 03-06-09, 10:55 AM   #25
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. 2. Annoying clicking noise when the magnet sensor on the Stoker crank arm passes the timing chain. I took it off since my wife does not care about cadence. Other than that it works great and you can upload your events to Garmin Connect.
I cannot imagine that the tiny magnet on the crank arm could possibly exert enough influence to deflect the timing chain, which would be under load.

2 possibilities on the clicking noise. 1) the magnet is actually striking the chain, or 2) and more likely, you're hearing a reed switch click.
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