Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Just outside Kitchener, Ontario
Bikes: Nishiki Continental, Bilenky custom travel tinker, home built winter bike based on Nashbar cross frrame
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Originally Posted by uspspro
I only outweigh my stoker by about 35 lb. He will probably do fine.
As far as fitting.... there is only one way to really
But if he currently fits his single, comparing frames of the single to the captain's portion of the tandem will be a very good start. The captain needs more standover on a tandem, so as to be able to spread legs while holding bike and not get hit by pedals. So the two things to compare are the pedal to saddle top distance and saddle to bars distance. If they're close, should not be a problem. Thing is, that inseam is only correlated to height - not a perfect predictor for any individual. If he has unusually short legs for his height, no chance. If he has unusually long legs for his height, almost for sure. But then there's the question of leg length to height ratio for the prior captain.
The weight thing is mostly about technique, although leg length comes in here as well. My son can
captain with me on the back (but the stoker compartment of any tandem I've ridden is very, very small for someone my size), but it is much
harder than with my wife or daughter, who weigh about 2/3 my weight. (My son is probably 10-20 lb heavier than I, and at 6 1/2 feet probably still has a lower BMI). The times weight matters most are starting/stopping and slow, tight turns. The latter is a matter of experience, possibly lots of it; the former is technique. With legs properly spread (here the standover height comes into play), and the bike ever so slightly tilted so the top tube is pressed against one leg, a lot of weight on the back is not a problem: I can captain with my son without too much trouble (and boy can we fly), and don't find it substantially harder than with one of the women. He finds putting me on back much harder than one of them - perhaps I'm not as well behaved as a stoker, but I suspect it's more a matter of experience.