The short of it is that we (me, wife, twin girls who are 3.5 now) are considering buying tandems for our bike rides. Right now we carry them in a Co-Pilot seat on our racks but they will be heavy enough that we can't really use them next season and old enough at 4+ where they can help pedal (wishful thinking). Would love some thoughts from everyone on which direction to go.
Me: Used to ride citizen's class races 20 years ago, have taken 3 unsupported tours of 2+ weeks (one self-contained the other credit card), regularly ride my Cannondale T700 touring bike. Haven't had the road bike out for 10 years, it now sits on a trainer.
Wife: Not a regular rider, has been on two credit card tours, has to spin up hills otherwise there are knee problems. Doesn't like to sit rear seat as she wants the control. Rides a Trek mountain bike but wants to move to drops (more hand positions).
Kids: 3.5 years, love bikes, ride their own (with training wheels), happy when in their seats behind us. Currently 40" tall and weigh about 36 lbs.
- Bikes that can grow with the girls from stoker kits through using standard cranks.
- Capable of credit card touring for 2-3 weeks and some light self-contained for <1 week.
- We've toured Europe and would like to do so again (once the girls get a little older) so S&S couplers might be required.
- Good components but don't need to be top of the line.
- While we are not over the top when it comes to keeping the total bike weight down, less is better than more.
- Don't let budget hold you back but let's not consider $10k+ custom bikes.
Biggest is that my wife won't be able to pedal the weight of a girl on back plus touring equipment. Is it reasonably possible to tour with a triplet and will I be able to manage 80-100 lbs. of kids plus bike weight plus touring equipment when they don't pedal much (especially on the hills)? Also, should we consider DaVincis for the ICS with the kids on the back?
Thanks for taking the time to provide feedback.