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  1. #1
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    5'10" stoker with long arms and Burley tandems

    Hi all,

    My husband and I are looking into getting our first tandem; I have essentially no cycling experience; he has years and years on a single bike. We were thinking of getting a Burley Rumba...but I think my husband has talked me up to the Duet.

    My question: is there anybody out there who has a relatively tall stoker (5'10"), with long arms and torso (I always have to buy tall sizes or the sleezes are just too short), who ends up being comfortable on a non-custom frame? The captain is 5'10" as well; we're planning on a medium, 22x19. We test-rode several bikes that are available locally--but they were all either small or large, so we couldn't get a good sense of fit, and besides, I don't know what it should feel like since I don't have experience!

    Also, can anybody rave about the Duet to make me feel better about the extra money beyond the Rumba?

    Thanks!

    Jean

  2. #2
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    The top tube for the stoker on all Burley tandems are the same length. However, you will have an adjustable stoker stem; when test riding, adjust the stoker stem all the way forward to give your max room, set stoker's saddle all the way back. That could give you sufficien 'stretch' room. Remember, riding a tandem, most stoker's sit more upright than they do on their single bike.
    If this is not enough room, there are 'laid back' seatposts available (Thompson among others) that'll give you about another inch of room.
    Both Rumba and Duet are fine tandems; SOME of the componentry on the Duet is more upscale (nice, but NOT a necessity) as the difference in price indicates.
    If your budget allows it, opt for the Duet; if not the Rumba will also serve you just as well.
    Duet has the the better/upscale/lighter tubing and weighs a bit less too.
    The $700+ difference between Rumba and Duet can buy you some nice matching tandem jerseys, shorts, helmets, computer, rack, bags, etc.
    You know what's in in your wallet . . .
    Good luck and welcome to tandeming!

    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/Zona tandem

  3. #3
    Senior Member wsurfn's Avatar
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    We have a Tosa and are very happy so far. I highly recommend a test ride 1st. The only complaint my wife/stoker has had, is she wished it was a little roomier back there. She is 5'7". The stoker stem is all the way in. This is our first tandem and we were unable to test ride an assortment. We think she is fine (long rides have yet to be a problem), but a test ride is the way to go to know for sure.

  4. #4
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimandjean
    ...can anybody rave about the Duet to make me feel better about the extra money beyond the Rumba?
    Do you like Red-Orange or Blue? I'm kidding. But, how about someone raving that a previously owned Duet (or Santana, or Co-Motion) would be money well spent? Seriously, I would definitely consider looking for a second-hand tandem that you could use (or, ideally borrow) for a few hundred miles of riding to decide how much you enjoy tandeming. If you find you can adjust to the fit, enjoy the ride, and don't feel you're cramped you can either continue to enjoy it and perhaps upgrade components as they wear out. Then again, you could then go out and buy a brand-spanking new one and sell the interim model for just a little less than you paid to defray a good portion of the new bike's cost: a self-managed installment plan, if you will. If you find that you love tandeming but would really like more room, find a builder and/or a dealer & builder to work with -- one of the production houses like Co-Motion or an independent like Bushnell -- to get a tandem built that is properly proportioned to give you a more comfortable and efficient riding position. Again, you should be able to re-sell your interim tandem at just about what you paid, +/- a few hundred depending on what you paid for it, how much you use it, and if you afford it better care than it received before you purchased it. Finally, if you discover that tandeming isn't all it was cracked up to be -- perhaps you hubby has an affinity for bean burritos on Friday nights -- you can also dis the tandem without taking a hit on depreciation.

    Co-Motion charges something like $350 for custom sizing but, if you need it, it's money well-spent (at @ 5'10", you just might). The difference in ride efficiency and comfort is what could really make your tandem something to rave about... and will also make the riding experience far more pleasurable.

    Just something to consider. Again, as the first respondent suggested, test rides are a good thing and some of the other brands are sized a bit differently and/or use different geometry which can make for a different "fit and feel".
    Last edited by livngood; 08-03-04 at 09:21 PM.

  5. #5
    SDS
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    I'm going to have to answer this with a few posts, because I don't enough time right now sufficient to do the whole job at once.

    I predict you will never be comfortable on a non-custom frame. You might not know, but the moment you get onto a custom-sized tandem frameset, you'll know what you didn't have.

    Tandems are supposed to fit like the captain's and stoker's single bike fits, with sufficient space in between (there is some debate about this, but not among long-stoker-compartment tandem owners) . Your problem is that you don't know what your single bike fit is, and you don't know what sufficient space in between is.

    First thing to do is to grab one of your husband's bikes, preferably one with an adjustable stem, and set it up on a trainer, and start pedaling, and keep adjusting things (saddle setback and tilt and height, stem length and height) until it feels right. Then take it outside and do some twenty milers. This will help, but as a beginner you are going to have some pains (back between shoulder blades and neck, among other places) and some lack of flexibility. The flexibility that you will acquire will change your fit a little later, mostly in the matter of maybe lowering the handlebars and putting them a little farther away. In other words, as you get fitter your fit will actually get a little longer. Given that you have long arms for a woman, and slightly longer legs than your husband, you might or might not end up with the saddle slightly higher, and the handlebars horizontally slightly farther away. Or not. Fit is not entirely skeletal, but a matter in part of flexibility and pedaling style. Note that a single bike fits like the front of a tandem, but not like the back. On the back there is something in the way in front (the captain).

    There is an optimal relationship between the saddle location and the crankset. Lower body and upper torso fit are set separately. You can't add saddle setback to get a longer upper torso fit without degrading the lower body fit.

    "...most stoker's sit more upright than they do on their single bike.", because the back of a tandem is so short that they don't have any choice. The proper fit is what they would do in the absence of obstructions, like the captain's butt and back, which also present a significant hazard if he moves backward or up suddenly.

    One of the things you ought to try is to put one of those test-ride tandems up on a trainer in the shop and put your husband on the back, with the seatpost and stem set for his single bike fit, and move around on the tandem. Both in a static seated position, and particularly standing and moving forward, as is typical for standing pedaling, you will find that you do not have enough space. Your husband will not be able to get his upper body as low as he would on a single bike while seated, any movement by you places his face at hazard, and there's just no room to stand up. This should help him understand the problems you will have.

    I specialize in tall stokers, all the way up to 6'4" and 240 lbs, but most of my stokers are women of 5'10-5'11", though with two tandems set up with different parts, I can completely cover the range all the way down to 5'2". Along the way I have learned a lot about tandem fit.

    Given that you start with single bike fits, you need to be able to transfer them to a tandem. So you need transferable measurements.

    Across: the horizontal distance between the center of the seatpost, and the center of the handlebars.

    Down: the distance, parallel to the seat tube, between the center of the bottom bracket spindle and the top of the saddle.

    You can get the "drop" of the handlebars by measuring the saddle and handlebar heights off the ground, and subtracting. The only exception to this system is if the bottom bracket heights are different from the single bikes, to my knowledge only found on Santana tandems.

    I had Kalleen Whitford (she's 5'10") out on Moby at Goat Neck (Cleburne, TX) last weekend, so I have only to walk over to the tandem with my tape measure, to be able to report that she had set the saddle top 29.75 inches away from the center of the bottom bracket spindle, using the "Down" method, and the handlebars 23" away, using the "Across" method, with the saddle in the middle of the rails. This left her with 15" of horizontal stoker stem dimension. Dee Ann (5'11") uses 30" Down, of which a little bit is lost to shock-absorbing seatpost, and 24" across, with the saddle all the way back on the rails, leaving her with 14" of horizontal stoker stem dimension.

    With a 34" inseam, common on women of your size, I like to use 180mm crankarms, and that's what is on the back of Moby. On a custom tandem that might be a small upgrade charge.

    I'd recommend that you start shopping and thinking about custom tandems now. You'll do a better job of it if you take longer, even if you are not yet sure you are going to go that way. Just be honest and tell them you are "shopping" and not "buying." They've heard that before. I'd recommend Co-Motion and Bushnell. My favorite material for large teams is aluminum, though I have not tried titanium (pricy). Steel in the available common dimensions is too flexible. Moby is a Meridian, but I hear they are out of business, though the website is still up. The extra money spent to avoid being miserable and suffering in silence is money very well spent.

  6. #6
    SDS
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    Below is a reply I posted to the "First Tandem" thread. If the link works, you will be able to see a picture of Moby.

    A 22" center-to-top seat tube will fit up to 6'4" and down to 5'7.5" with the shock-absorbing seatpost, and down to 5'2" with a solid seatpost. If you do not feel a need to fit to 6'4", a shorter seat tube will allow the shock-absorbing seatpost to be used with stokers smaller than 5'7.5".

    If I had it to do again, I might go just a little bit longer than 38" between the seatpost centers at handlebar height. Somewhere between 40 and 42 inches, I think.

    On the remote chance that you are in NTex, you should try Moby. To get an idea of the scale, keep in mind that those are indeed full-size 700C wheels.

    The reply is below:

    With luck this will work....below is a link to a picture of my long-stoker-compartment tandem, stored on Mark's server:

    http://home.att.net/~thetandemlink/...allery/moby.jpg

    This started because I wanted a tandem that would fit stokers between a small-fit 5'10" and a large-fit (relative to size) 6'3" with no parts changes and generous spacing between captain and stoker. So the saddle and the handlebars had to adjust to the appropriate positions, which meant that the handlebars had to go forward five inches and also up the appropriate amount. This might have been an unreasonable request, but with a blank sheet of paper and preconceptions thrown out the window, many things are possible. The minimum fit so far with a shock-absorbing seatpost has been a stoker of 5'7.5".

    Initially I was told I could not put aerobars on the back because they would look "dorky." I decided I was going to have a memory problem with that instruction, and I ordered them and bolted them on. She could always decide she didn't like them after she had tried them and then tell me to take them off. A few minutes into the first ride the final authority on this matter had determined that aerobars are highly desirable on the back of a tandem. You can put your head down and take a nap and the sweat will not run into your eyes. It is reported that the clearance between the stoker's head and the captain's butt with the stoker laid out flat and low is about a foot. The captain never has to worry that standing or scooching back on the seat will "butt" the stoker in the face or helmet.

    This has proven to be an awesomely relaxing, mile-gobbling tandem. When the stoker drops onto the aerobars the drag drops noticeably, and the tandem gathers speed going downhill quickly. The stoker stem arrangement is highly adaptable and keeps the stem short and the leverage low, and of course separating the stem from the captain's seatpost keeps the stoker from having any chance of twisting the captain's saddle at all, which might otherwise be a problem with a 14" stem.... I've since switched the Dura-Ace double right stoker crank for a T.A. triple with 130/74 bolt circles and 28/39/53 chainrings. There are no hills to speak of in North Texas close to DFW (really....), so the 11-21 rear end stays on the bike. Occasionally the stoker complains that the 53 X 11 is not high enough with a tailwind, and we need a bigger gear....

    It could be that with a front quartering wind we have a little bit more drag because of the greater captain-stoker gap. We have not noticed this, and anyway the greater performance and improved ergonomics under all other circumstances completely outweighs any consideration of that. Stokers who have tried this tandem would rather have the exceptional fit on the back and go slower (but it is actually faster than the average tandem) than be pressed up against the captain and go faster. Fit is more important than performance.

    I have heard of one smart guy who used a 4" X 4" X 8' (?) to simulate a tandem top tube, propped up to the appropriate height, with a bunch of holes drilled in it at the proper angle, into which he inserted handlebar stems and seatposts, to simulate various captain-stoker spacings. When he and his partner were happy with the spacings, he ordered a custom tandem. Wood is a lot cheaper than the wrong-sized tandem.

    There seem to be a lot of people satisfied with off-the-rack tandems with 28-29" bottom bracket spacing. At least, I see few tandems with longer spacing. Few people, it seems, have considered that there is anything wrong with production tandems. But putting a 5'2" stoker on my Cannondale J/L with it's 30" BB spacing is an eye-opener for them. Just the extra inch or two really helps. They like the J/L a LOT. My question, boiled down to essence, would be, should stoker fit on a tandem be like the same person fit on a single, to the degree that all positions possible on the single are possible on the back of the tandem with a comfortable margin of space remaining to the captain? My answer is yes. So far, with a few exceptions, the answer from the industry is that production tandems will not be built like that, but custom dimension upgrade tandems may be.

    It could be that you will purchase an off-the-rack tandem. But if you find yourself paying the custom dimension upgrade fee for just a few inches more, my advice is that from the moment you find yourself deciding to pay the fee (very possibly the best-spent money you will ever spend), that at that moment you throw out all preconceptions about how tandems are "supposed" to fit. Hardly anything, it turns out, is as liberating as a blank sheet of paper.

    Single bike fit has been understood for perhaps a hundred years. The difference between single bike fit and tandem fit is that you not only have two sets of single bike dimensions to consider, but also the space between the riders. In the past weak tubesets kept tandems short, and currently making competitive weight is probably an issue for manufacturers (can't sell it if your tandem isn't as light as the other maker's, and less tubing weighs less, so make it short...), but modern tubesets and frame designs are stiff enough to open up the possibilities for tandem fit.

    So what is the right amount of space? It seems to me that you have to decide how you are going to use the back of the tandem. Depending on what the stoker wants to do, you need room to go parallel to the ground with margin between the stoker's helmet and the captain's butt, room for the stoker to stand up and move forward without the captain standing with space left between, and maybe room for aerobars. The average American woman is 5'4" (?), and the average man is 5'10" (?). A production tandem with a 28" rear top tube allows 22" single bike fit and the minimum (my opinion) 6" of stoker stem. A stoker over 5'2" is not fit well. A longer tandem opens up your options for guest stokers.

    How about looking-around space? Are stokers supposed to be able to see more than the fine detail of the weave of the captain's jersey, or the center of a Camelbak, a bare inch past their nose? Are they supposed to worry all the time about small motions of the captain that place portions of their face at risk? Should the captain feel frozen in place because he fears small motions up or back may injure the stoker? Look at photographs of tandems in perpendicular profile, and see what kind of spacing looks reasonable to you (if you can find anything like that). The farther away the captain is, the better the view of the stoker to the front quarters. A little bit of space helps a lot.

  7. #7
    SDS
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    Okay, if this works, I promise, no posts for a while:

    http://home.att.net/~thetandemlink/p...llery/moby.jpg[URL=http://]

  8. #8
    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    ...set stoker's saddle all the way back...
    If this is not enough room, there are 'laid back' seatposts available (Thompson among others) that'll give you about another inch of room.
    This is terrible advice! Would you recommend someone shoving their saddle back to adjust for a short top tube on a single bike?!? Proper fit should start at the peddles/cranks, then the saddle, then the handle bars, not the reverse!

    I agree with SDS that a custom tandem would be advisable. You will probably never be comfortable (read: happy) on an ill fitting bike.


    Quote Originally Posted by SDS
    With a 34" inseam, common on women of your size, I like to use 180mm crankarms, and that's what is on the back of Moby. On a custom tandem that might be a small upgrade charge.
    I’d be careful with this. The more experienced captain is likely to be comfortable with a higher cadence than the inexperienced stoker. Having longer cranks slows down the cadence since your feet are traveling further with each revolution. I would check what your comfortable cadence is relative to your husband and (if you are slower) go with shorter cranks than he has.

    Also, 180’s are quite long. It was stated during the Tour coverage that Lance Armstrong had 175mm cranks on his TT bike and Jan Ullrich had 177.5mm (longest in the peloton).

    -murray
    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

  9. #9
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Perfection can be difficult to achieve. Sometimes compromises are necessary.

  10. #10
    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Perfection can be difficult to achieve. Sometimes compromises are necessary.
    Of course, but your advice is akin to telling a runner with ill fitting shoes to cut the toes out or stuffing a sock in front. Riding an ill fitting bike can lead to major discomfort and debilitating pain (just ask my wife).

    -murray
    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

  11. #11
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Perfection can be difficult to achieve. Sometimes compromises are necessary.
    I hear you and know what you're saying Rudy, but I'm sure like me you've seen way too many teams where the degree of compromise that a stoker had to deal with was just painful to even look at. Moreover, it's more often that not that the stoker is the one who ends up making the compromise, and often times without even knowing it. Interestingly enough, this year's Santana catalog included a cover shot of a team riding a Clark-Kent tandem at one of Santana's rallies that illustrates how much compromising a stoker will often times make: http://home.comcast.net/~luv2tandem/...gCover2004.jpg

    Oh yea, that looks like fun....

    Now, I won't go so far as to suggest that even a large percent of tandem teams need custom sized tandems; I think perhaps 5%, of all tandem buyers (maybe 10% at the most) will even care or notice. However, that 5 - 10% of the market are probably included in the also very small number of tandem buyers who are the most active riders logging 3k miles a year or more on their tandems.

    For anyone who read my response to this thread shortly after it was posted, you may notice that part of it is now gone. I had included a couple paragraphs on stoker compartments based on our personal experience and some links to photos of our tandems. However, shortly after posting, I decided it didn't really do much to help Jean with her situation and edited it out. The long and short of it was (no pun intended), even someone like my wife Debbie, who is 5'2", was cramped on the back our our '96 Santana and didn't even realize it. However, I did and it bothered me how even many of the experts (legitimate ones) accepted the notion that stoker's didn't need as much room on the back of a tandem as they would on a properly fitted personal bike. I ultimately ordered a custom-sized tandem -- for several reasons, including an inclination to over-improve our Santana with upgrades -- from one of the few tandem builders who placed stoker comfort on the top of his list of design priorities. Once Debbie was fitted to her 31" rear stoker compartment she quickly realized that even as short as she was, the Santana was not long enough to allow her to enjoy both a proper fit (saddle set-back and reach) and some breathing room.

    So, the moral of the story is, compromise is most readily agreed to by the ones who end up compromising the least. To that end, I have yet to see a captain buy a tandem that is too large for them in order to provide their stoker with a better fit. Moreover, I remain amused that while production tandems are available in several sizes, most (Cannondale being the exception) only offer a single size stoker compartment across the entire size range -- one that is arguably biased towards stokers who are expected to prefer an upright riding position. Thankfully, at least Co-Motion has lengthend it's standard one-size fits all size stoker compartment to 28.5" -- longer than Burley or Santana. Speaking of Santana, as much as I like and respect Bill McCready, the suggestion in their catalog that you can make a 28" stoker compartment 30" long by moving the stoker's saddle all the way back and their handlebars all the way forward is poppycock... but yet, the myth and practice lives on.

    Jean's comments suggest she felt cramped on the Burley; that's not a good thing.

    In closing, to Jim & Jean, if at all possible, see if you can get your hands on a Co-Motion for a test ride just to see how that extra 1" of top tube "feels". It may help you decide if the Burley was as cramped as you seemed to feel it was and it will also help you understand if that extra 1" will be enough or if perhaps an even longer rear top tube might be required.
    Last edited by livngood; 08-04-04 at 12:37 PM.

  12. #12
    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by livngood
    The long and short of it was (no pun intended), even someone like my wife Debbie, who is 5'2", was cramped on the back our our '96 Santana and didn't even realize it.
    I'm curious, does your wife have a single bike and, if so, what is the top tube length on her bike? My wife is 5'4" and was professionally fit to a Waterford with a shortened top tube (48-49cm I believe). She couldn’t be happier. By my untrained eye, most women appear stretched out on their road bikes.

    -murray
    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

  13. #13
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murrays
    I'm curious, does your wife have a single bike and, if so, what is the top tube length on her bike? My wife is 5'4" and was professionally fit to a Waterford with a shortened top tube (48-49cm I believe). She couldn’t be happier. By my untrained eye, most women appear stretched out on their road bikes.
    Yes, she has a custom Ritchey RoadLogic. It is a 48cm frame with a 49cm top tube; however, it also has an extended headtube and that yields an effective top tube of 48cm which, coupled with a short stem with 73 degree rise, provides a perfect fit. http://home.att.net/~mark.livingood/ritchey.html

    I should note, the personal road bike came a few years after we took up riding a tandem... she suggested that riding with a slower cadence would be preferrable and I suggested that I could get her her own bike so that she could put that theory to practice. She took me up on the offer and we ultimately got her on the custom Ritchey. Oh yeah, we now are in agreement that 90 - 95rpm is the proper cadence.
    Last edited by livngood; 08-04-04 at 02:52 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    We agree that compromise is most often made by the stoker or in the stoker's behalf. The need for custom tandems is a necessary niche in an already small tandem market share in the bicycle world. It is great that now we have some fine custom builders to fill that need, whether that need is real or sometimes just perceived.
    A first time tandem is usually a learning experience; you as a duo, find out what you like/dislike on that first 2-seater and are more knowledgeable/experienced to make a better choice for the next twicer. We learn from personal experience.
    Kay, being a bit bit height impaired, has an effective stoker toptube length of 24 1/2 inches. She likes riding on the stoker pegs but is not adverse to getting into the drops.
    Our present tandem has a 63 1/2 wheelbase (long for us) compared to our go-fast custom Assenmacher in the mid-70s of 60 1/4 inches (toeclip overlap, bent rear seattube, deflate rear tire to remove wheel); now we are more laid back/slower but still riding.
    On the shoe comment: Do have real life experience with that, as in WWII when living in Europe did cut the toes off my shoes so I had something to wear. However, ingenuity/necessity won out and we finally resorted to wooden shoes. Fortunately that only lasted for 4 years. Been there, done that!
    While the optimum would be for everyone to have a perfect fitting bike/tandem, that is not reality.
    With all the miles Kay has under her pedals, she knows exactly what she wants. It may not always be what cycling gurus recommend, but these are here preferences.
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay

  15. #15
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    Sorry to come in late, but if I look at Co-Motion sizing schemes (which are fairly similar to Burley's), I would suggest you try the medium and large sizes.

    Which one would suit you better? It depends on a lot of things, including morphology and user preferences. My daughter and I have a large/small (23"/18" tandem) and there is plenty of seatpost exposed in the cockpit, but even though I measure only 5' 11", I have 34.5-inch legs, so unless your captain has extra short legs, the large frame might suit you better. But anyway, with the current crop of long seatposts, the medium could fit you back there -- even if you have extra long legs -- by installing a longer seatpost.

    The point which may be at issue is the length of the rear top tube, i.e. the lenght of the rear compartment. Whether it suits you depends on quite a few factors:

    - What position you want to have?
    Even on a road bike, the typical configuration assumes the stoker is a bit more upright than the pilot, which makes sense from the aerodynamic point of view (some people prefer to have two bent riders, as shown above, but that's a different story). And since you are not a frequent cyclist, the slightly more upright position might suit you better anyway.

    - At what level you want the bars?
    Using a short stem -- maybe even shorter than standard -- you might even install the stoker bars "under" the captain's seat.
    At the other extreme, there is a L-shaped stem that allows you to place the bars higher than the captain's seat, and behind him obviously.
    Or you might use stoker bars (as shown on the Burley Duet page) to place your hands further ahead. And I am aware that there are some with a rise.
    Or for a funky look (and a decent trial), install road bars upside down!

    - Another model to try: The Da Vinci. As far as I can remember, their models with independent coasting have a longer rear compartment than Co-Motion, Santana, Cannondale et al. I didn't like the price, though, especially in Canada, and the paint wasn't superb, especially for the price.


    I would also suggest that you do other test rides, including even the same tandem you tried. Apart from size issues, tandem behaviour is NOT the same as single bike behaviour, and your husband might have been bothered as much by the fact there was a stoker on the bike, than by the bike geometry per se. Even though my stoker is an 8-year old, I know that it is quite disconcerting to have someone behind you who "shakes" your saddle and spins the pedals not exactly the way you would do it. I would suggest that your husband also tries the tandem by himself or with an experienced stoker, and that you try the stoker compartment with an experienced pilot, even if that means the shop owner.
    Read the tech tips at http://gtgtandems.com/techtips.html, and especially the first points.


    As someone suggested, getting a custom-sized Co-Motion or Santana isn't that much more expensive than getting one of their default sizes, but I wouldn't recomment it at the moment:
    - You said you are relatively new to cycling. Are you sure you will enjoy it? Or that your husband will like it? I would first make sure you are both committed to tandeming before going custom.
    - As far as I see it, there are no sizing issues for the captain, but there might be for the stoker. Going custom right now, you don't really know what are the sizing issues that need to be addressed. Once you have ridden 1000-1500 km, you'll know exactly how you want your cockpit and you will both be able to order a custom bike that suits you much better.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  16. #16
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    Wow! Quite a response--thanks to everyone for the input.

    We've ended up ordering a Burley Rumba. Actually, we found a new 2003 21x19 for a great price, and it's in stock, so we don't have to wait, which was also a big factor. (I fibbed a bit when I referred to Jim as my husband--we are actually getting married in two weeks, and this way we will have the bike for our honeymoon on the coast!) The bike should be shipping to us today!

    We decided that since I don't know what I want in terms of fit yet, it would be premature to go with a custom. With the Rumba, we've got solid (though clearly not top-of-the-line) componentry and frame...we'll give it some time to figure out what we like (and that we like it in general--though the test rides, even on a way-too-small bike were fantastic, so I'm not too worried about that), and then consider an upgrade if necessary.

    Thanks for all the input. I'm finding these forums quite useful for choosing computers, racks, etc, too.

  17. #17
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimandjean
    We've ended up ordering a Burley Rumba. Actually, we found a new 2003 21x19 for a great price, and it's in stock, so we don't have to wait, which was also a big factor.

    An excellent move! New Old Stock (NOS) is the best kind of deal you can stumble into when you're starting out! In fact, our '96 Santana was a NOS model. Loved it... and sold it about a year later with 4,500 miles for about 82% of what we paid for it and put that $$ back in the bank to cover some of what we spent to acquire our first Erickson.

    Congrats on the pending nuptuals and have a great time on your maiden trip. Keep us posted on your progress -- cycling that is.

  18. #18
    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
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    I agree, saving money on the Rumba is a great idea and you never know, you may be perfectly happy with it

    Enjoy your honeymoon and have fun on your tandem. Be sure to let us know how it goes! Our tandem should arrive any day. I'm a little worried since I've heard tandem riding can be more intimate than sex

    -murray
    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

  19. #19
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    To J 'n J, the Texas Duo:

    Good choice, good deal, good luck!

    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay

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