After 2+ long months, our tandem finally arrived on Thursday and was ready for delivery on Friday afternoon. Here it is, Sunday evening, and we already have 75 miles on it! Here are my impressions after 2 rides (I'll try to keep it short):
First, a little background: My wife and I are both strong cyclist. I had always thought about getting a tandem, but we really enjoyed riding our singles together and with friends. Having a daughter, now 4, required more horsepower than I had, so I started thinking more seriously about a tandem.
Our time for test riding was limited and I wanted something before the end of riding season. We took one test ride on a Co-Motion Primera and about all I could say is we didn't hate it I assumed if others enjoyed tandem riding, we would learn to like it as well. My wife wasn't as confident, but she went along knowing we would ride more as a family.
After consulting here (thanks for all the input), we went ahead and ordered a Co-Motion Speedster with a few upgrades (Sunrise/Passion pearl fade, DA shift levers, 36 spoke wheels, Wound-Up fork, matching pump and a suspension stoker seatpost). The guys at Budget worked hard to get it to us late on Friday.
Buyers remorse started to dampen my excitement. Initially, the colors didn't look as good under the shop lights, our LBS didn't have time to properly fit everything, the handle bars felt different than my single, etc.
On Saturday, we arranged for the neighbor girl to watch our daughter as we made final adjustments and took our first test ride. A crowd at the garage sale across the street watched as we attempted our first "launch". It was shaky at first, but we were moving. The crowd cheered. Thanks Mark for the links to articles on riding double!
We were both uneasy and tense for about 10 miles. We stopped, made a few more adjustments and were off again. It started to click after that We climbed a half mile long hill on our loop and my wife thought it was easier than doing it solo. Shortly after, she suggested taking the tandem on a 50 mile group ride we had planned for Sunday...she was starting to enjoy it We kept it in the big chainring for the rest of the way home, ending up with a ~17.7 average for 22 miles, slower than riding solo, but not bad! Rounding the corner to home, a felt a rush; my buyers remorse was gone and I knew our cycling together had changed forever!!
Sunday morning we loaded up the car for our 50 mile group ride. A new bike at our group rides usually draws more attention than a new baby and I soaked it up like a proud papa The pace wasn't too fast as we found ourselves at the front most of the time. I really started to appreciate the handling of the Speedster on some curves and corners. It was a windy day, but two engines really help break the wind.
Other than sore bottoms from new saddles, fit, etc., the first two rides were complete successes! Here a few more quick comments:
-The flight deck computer works great! A necessity for tandems AFAIC.
-I've got major toe overlap on the front wheel (21/18 size). This shouldn't be a problem, but do others have this?
-The water bottles are a bit difficult to reach. I used a camel back on the long ride so I wouldn't die of thirst.
-Why are these called "divorce machines"? I felt closer riding with my wife as a team rather than trying to coax her up a long hill!
-Our climbing isn't great, but we'll pass a lot of singles along the way.
-At speed, it feels more stable than my single.
Thanks again for all the comments and suggestions!
For more pictures, go to http://homepage.mac.com/mcmurman and click on Tandem Pics.