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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 07-13-04, 11:41 PM   #1
lmkbubba33
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Tandems for the wee people

Just want to ask everyone out there what their recommendation would be for a tandem for a 5'4" Captain and a 5'2" stoker? We're not buying just yet, but I want to begin the researching process for a purchase in the upcoming year. Santana? Co-motion? Burley? We ride asphalt and pulverized limestone trails and on the road as well, though I can't imagine us racing.

Thanks in advance
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Old 07-14-04, 06:44 AM   #2
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The Co-Motion Periscope is designed to be adjustable for riders from 3 to 6 feet tall. Bike Friday also offers a highly adjustable tandem.

Mark Stoughton

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Just want to ask everyone out there what their recommendation would be for a tandem for a 5'4" Captain and a 5'2" stoker? We're not buying just yet, but I want to begin the researching process for a purchase in the upcoming year. Santana? Co-motion? Burley? We ride asphalt and pulverized limestone trails and on the road as well, though I can't imagine us racing.

Thanks in advance
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Old 07-14-04, 02:38 PM   #3
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Bubba,

There's a Cannondale "comfort" tandem for rent at Revolution Cycles. I'm sure if the two of you went in, they'd be obliging about seeing how/if it'd fit you. For purchasing, there are some road tandems at Yellow Jersey, but the place to check out is Budget; their tandem/"exotic" store is at 1201 Regent St. (across the street from the parts/service store). There are a few used Tandems down at the used store (by Regent Liquor). I think there's a nearly-new (or new-old-stock) cheapo (I wanna say KHS?) hanging in there, that's on a pretty small frame. Just keep your paws off that NOS blue 'Dale; I've been itchin' to come in with the missuz and test ride it one o' these days. If I find out you bought it......
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Old 07-14-04, 02:57 PM   #4
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The Co-Motion Periscope would be a very good choice as it comes with 26' wheels that would allow you to run a wider tire for the limestone trails. Frame size 18x11 with loads of seatpost adjustability; around $3,000.
Also look into the Burley mountain tandems that come in a 19x15 size, at about $1500. Or the Burley Zydeco Mixte model at about $1150. Both of course run 26" wheels.
If traveling by plane is in the future, a collapsable Bike Tuesday (by Greengear) is another option. They run 20" wheels. Don't know the price offhand.
All 3 companies mentioned are located in Eugene, OR.
Good luck!
Rudy & Kay/Zona tandem
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Old 07-14-04, 09:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmkbubba33
Just want to ask everyone out there what their recommendation would be for a tandem for a 5'4" Captain and a 5'2" stoker? We're not buying just yet, but I want to begin the researching process for a purchase in the upcoming year. Santana? Co-motion? Burley? We ride asphalt and pulverized limestone trails and on the road as well, though I can't imagine us racing.

Thanks in advance
My wife and I recently bought a Raleigh Companion. She is only 5-1 and also has some physical disability, We have found this to be a great bike. Especially for beginners. Not near as expensive as burley or co-motion We paid $600 for it (new) Have had no problems at all. Changed Stoker Handlebars to ones witth more rise so she didn.t have to lean over as much. We have put about 400 miles on it in a month and have gotten rides up to 44 miles in a day. Not bad considreing My wife hasn't been able to ride a bike at all by herself for about 10 years. We also ride asphalt and lime type trails and a lot of country roads that are oil and chip. We are planning on katy trail sometime this fall. Good luck
Doublefun
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Old 07-17-04, 07:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmkbubba33
Just want to ask everyone out there what their recommendation would be for a tandem for a 5'4" Captain and a 5'2" stoker? We're not buying just yet, but I want to begin the researching process for a purchase in the upcoming year. Santana? Co-motion? Burley? We ride asphalt and pulverized limestone trails and on the road as well, though I can't imagine us racing.

Thanks in advance
We have a Burley Rumba with an extra small frame. This is an excellent bike, though not a trail bike. They also have a Samba that is for trails also. We just purchased the Rumba after riding a Nashbar tandem for a year or so that we had purchased used. The tandem was a little too big and became pretty uncomfortable after a few miles.
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Old 07-17-04, 08:45 PM   #7
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Your "best value" in a conventional 28" or 700c tandem would probably be a used or even a new Cannondale. The Medium/Small Cannondale MT and RT models have a standover height (inseam) of ~28.2" and top tube lengths of 22" (MT) and 21.5" (RT).

The smallest frame size in a conventional 26" or 700c tandem would be a small Co-Motion Mocha. The Co-Motion Mocha (26" enduro) in the Small size has a standover height of 27.4" and a top tube length of 21.25". Their road tandem Small size has a standover of 29.8" and a top tube of 21.75" which is a a pretty big jump up in size. However, Co-Motion offers custom sizing for about $300 which if you are a non-standard size team can be money well spent. Moreover, the upcharge for custom sizing can sometimes be negotiated.

Burley's small Mountain and extra small Road tandems have a standover height of 29" with 21.5" and 22" top tubes. I believe, but am not certain, that Santana's small size frames are similarly sized. Santana has some funky fees for custom sizing (admin + sizing) but have been known to offer up either custom sizing or custom paint jobs in the past.

Finally, there is a full-on custom. While many buyers automatically assume custom = expensive, the truth often times is quite different. In this regard, if you're used to premium quality bicycles a Bushnell custom would be worth looking into. Every Bushnell is a custom and the pricing is comparable to stock production tandems. Tandems East (www.tandemseast.com) in New Jersey and Tandems Limited (www.tandemsltd.com) in Alabama are both Bushnell dealers and if there is not anyone in your local area who is a dealer for Bushnell you can most certainly contact Dennis Bushnell directly (BushCycles@aol.com).

So, I think that's your playing field for conventional tandems. As others have already noted, Bike Friday's 20" wheeled "family" and travel tandems and Co-Motion's new Periscope offer a wide range of size adjustability and would be worth consideration if you don't mind a somewhat "different" looking frame style.
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Old 08-03-04, 03:17 PM   #8
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Proper fit on a tandem is of prime importance. You would not think of buying shoes that are too large or too small.
Having a tandem that 'looks different' has never bothered us. But then as tandemfolks, we are rather non-conformist, according to the rest of the world.
And at 5'2" your stoker is 3 1/4" taller than Kay. Stoker sez: 'Good things come in small packages!'
All these posts have some really good points. Good luck!

Pedal n TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay
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