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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 03-01-11, 01:16 AM   #1
CyciumX
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Suggestions for running a tandem without input from the stoker (details in thread)

I'm getting a tandem so that I can help a friend that won't be able to ride on her own for quite some time enjoy some social ride outings.

I will not be buying an expensive tandem so that the stoker can coast and in lieu need suggestions from very 'out of the box' thinkers and tinkerers. What can I do to allow her to prop her feet up while I do all the work?

I'm thinking of removing the pedals to allow for room for stationary foot pegs, but can't seem to find a solution for foot pegs that will clamp on to a frame.... Any other suggestions?

....These rides will be roughly 15-30 miles at a time and I'm used to hauling 100+ pounds using a trailer so I'm expecting this to be doable...any thoughts? THANKS!
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Old 03-01-11, 05:30 AM   #2
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Maybe look into some of those "easy rider" pegs you see on some motorcycles. You know, the pegs that keep their feet up and out in front of them. You might be able to rig something from there.

If you have the bike, submit a picture. That will help the thinkers and tinkers.

Good luck! Rick
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Old 03-01-11, 08:26 AM   #3
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tag-along

I wonder if someone makes a large enough tag-a-long trailer to tow behind your single. You could take off the chain and just let her rest her feet on the pedals. I'm sure that you could even lock the crank in a horizontal position with some well place bungees.
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Old 03-01-11, 08:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyciumX View Post
I'm thinking of removing the pedals to allow for room for stationary foot pegs, but can't seem to find a solution for foot pegs that will clamp on to a frame.... Any other suggestions?
If you are going to do this, you may want to consider getting a cheaper crankset and cutting the arms off as well. This will make sure that the arms won't whip around and catch your stoker. Shame to ruin a perfectly good crankset, but may help.
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Old 03-01-11, 08:47 AM   #5
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I'm thinking you could use a child stoker kit, or actually just parts of it. Get the BB shell from a child stoker kit, and mount it on the lateral tube, put a cheap crank on it, so the stoke can rest their legs on this second crank when not pedaling. Put it far enough forward to let the stoker stretch their legs out, and not get in the way of the actual crank.

You probably could just bolt some sort of peg to the bb shell, or have them welded, and avoid the cost and weight of another crank.

Here's a source on Ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Problem-Solvers-...53304527350008

or the manufacturer: http://problemsolversbike.com/produc..._bracket_shell

Weld a short bar in the BB shell, and put some rubber caps on the end, and you'd be good to go.

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Old 03-01-11, 08:48 AM   #6
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Perhaps mount something like a stokid unit on the captain's seat tube. It's made to be mounted on a seat tube. It takes two crank arms (which could be set in phase with each other, rather than the normal 180 degrees out of phase). Just ignore the fact that it comes with a chain ring. So long as that wouldn't interfere with your legs...
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Old 03-01-11, 08:59 AM   #7
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If she is not going to pedal you can add an Xtracycle to most bikes for a more comfy seating arrangement than a tandem and it can also be used as a cargo bike when you are not hauling her. I padded the seat and have foot boards for my GF's feet. You can also add stoker bars from the front seatpost if your passenger wants a bit more security. I haven't bothered.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vikappr...th/3454297512/

Now that I have a tandem I'm surprised how similar it feels to have her on the back of the tandem or the cargo bike...except she can pedal on the tandem.
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Old 03-01-11, 09:23 AM   #8
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I would just think of getting a MTB handlebar and short DH-style stem and clamping that to the seat tube... Might want to shorten the MTB bar a bit, or not.
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Old 03-01-11, 09:31 AM   #9
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I think you should get a big dummy utility bike not a tandem. Those can be set up with a rear platform seat and rear pegs. Just add footsies. http://www.xtracycle.com/videos/

Last edited by pathdoc; 03-01-11 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 03-01-11, 11:50 AM   #10
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You could run a long chain from the front crank to the rear wheel & remove the stoker cranks. For foot pegs, how about some u bolts and a 1x3 attached to whatever tube seems appropriate?
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Old 03-01-11, 11:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantoj View Post
I would just think of getting a MTB handlebar and short DH-style stem and clamping that to the seat tube... Might want to shorten the MTB bar a bit, or not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vik View Post

If she is not going to pedal you can add an Xtracycle to most bikes for a more comfy seating arrangement than a tandem and it can also be used as a cargo bike when you are not hauling her. I padded the seat and have foot boards for my GF's feet. You can also add stoker bars from the front seatpost if your passenger wants a bit more security. I haven't bothered.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vikappr...th/3454297512/

Now that I have a tandem I'm surprised how similar it feels to have her on the back of the tandem or the cargo bike...except she can pedal on the tandem.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WebsterBikeMan View Post
Perhaps mount something like a stokid unit on the captain's seat tube. It's made to be mounted on a seat tube. It takes two crank arms (which could be set in phase with each other, rather than the normal 180 degrees out of phase). Just ignore the fact that it comes with a chain ring. So long as that wouldn't interfere with your legs...
Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I'm thinking you could use a child stoker kit, or actually just parts of it. Get the BB shell from a child stoker kit, and mount it on the lateral tube, put a cheap crank on it, so the stoke can rest their legs on this second crank when not pedaling. Put it far enough forward to let the stoker stretch their legs out, and not get in the way of the actual crank.

You probably could just bolt some sort of peg to the bb shell, or have them welded, and avoid the cost and weight of another crank.

Here's a source on Ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Problem-Solvers-...53304527350008

or the manufacturer: http://problemsolversbike.com/produc..._bracket_shell

Weld a short bar in the BB shell, and put some rubber caps on the end, and you'd be good to go.
Quote:
Originally Posted by adclark View Post
If you are going to do this, you may want to consider getting a cheaper crankset and cutting the arms off as well. This will make sure that the arms won't whip around and catch your stoker. Shame to ruin a perfectly good crankset, but may help.
You all suck.... Now I have a ass-load of ideas that are all feasible! Time to outweigh the pros and cons and see whats expected of short term -turnaround. The absolute cheapest seems to be a 275 dollar Kent tandem that has been mentioned in older threads here and use u-bolts to boards that I already own from a previous bike trailer project... but that xtracycle is mighty appealing for the pure utilitarian aspect that could be much more of a long term investment....

I did like the idea of the attachable BB, but its pricey when lumped with the cost of a new bike....

THANK YOU ALL! I'll return and update with the happy news or a bitter end
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Old 03-02-11, 05:23 AM   #12
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See if you can find a tandem with a front stoker, so you are on the back and steering and so there is no need for a timing chain. Substitute the front chainset with BMX pegs.

Maybe build one... or if you have a friend familiar with welding, gt a couple of stout steel frames together, consult the late Sheldon Brown's website and go to town on a front-stoker project. It'll be cheap, but effective and disposable at the end.
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Old 03-02-11, 08:45 AM   #13
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See if you can find a tandem with a front stoker, so you are on the back and steering and so there is no need for a timing chain. Substitute the front chainset with BMX pegs.

Maybe build one... or if you have a friend familiar with welding, gt a couple of stout steel frames together, consult the late Sheldon Brown's website and go to town on a front-stoker project. It'll be cheap, but effective and disposable at the end.
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Old 03-02-11, 11:08 AM   #14
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There are a lot of good ideas here, but I want to take a different approach. It's good to hear that you are putting together something so your friend can enjoy the fun and excitement of bicycling, even though they can't pedal. I hope you and your friend have a great time!
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Old 03-03-11, 12:26 PM   #15
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check out www.buddybike.com as well. cheers.
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Old 03-03-11, 07:49 PM   #16
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I don't know if this will apply, but it works great for my now 8 y/o grandson. He's not quite tall enough to stoke, but he loves riding with "Papa"

You can see the small plank attached with U bolts covered with some plastic tubing and held on with 4 wing nuts. It takes 2 min to take off and put on. Works great.





Unfortunately a really cheap tandem probably has a crank that won't allow you to remove the crank arms. If you can, then a similar set up on the bottom tube would work.

Here is the tandem in "normal" use.
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Old 03-03-11, 09:36 PM   #17
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I'm going to check out the Tandem on Saturday... I'll know then about the cranks, but a guy on Craigslist is selling a complete Xtracycle for $500 right now... Just waiting to hear back from him on age and size.
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Old 03-04-11, 12:21 AM   #18
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The Xtracycle solution sounds like it's a good one. I don't think you have mentioned whether this is a disability issue or not, but it seems to me the Xtracycle really allows you to set up for comfort as well as footpegs, such as a supporting seat (ie, something like the plastic seats used in sports stadia).

Good luck with the inspection at the weekend.
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Old 03-04-11, 09:30 AM   #19
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Shah, thanks for the Buddy Bike mention. CyciumX I see that you want a less expensive solution and at the moment there aren't any used Buddy Bikes that I know of for sale in your area. We sell fold-out foot pegs but NOTE: If you are ordering foot pegs for a bike other than a Buddy Bike, check your measurements prior to placing your order. These foot pegs fit a 31.8 mm (1.25") tube w/3.93" circumference. They can fit a smaller tube with a shim but not a larger one as the connection pieces are not flexible. I wonder why you don't want your stoker to pedal though? If she has physical limitations, cycling could be the best thing for her. Many riders take their kids on the Buddy Bike and use toe clips or cages to keep their feet on the pedals which even though they aren't contributing to moving the bike forward it is stimulating blood circulation and helping them get the feel of the coordination needed to ride a bike. If it's not physical but you are worried that she won't keep up with you, be careful. Riding any tandem without proper communication can lead to disaster. Another solution may be found at DaVinci Designs. http://www.davincitandems.com/index.html It won't be cheap but I thought they developed a drive train that could allow the stoker to free wheel. Hope you find a good solution!
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Old 03-06-11, 02:05 AM   #20
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We found a good solution: Buy a used Raleigh tandem and HTFU



We also towed my 80+ lb. Music trailer, FTW




I'm still gonna take these suggestions to heart though for a real final solution.

The reason why I originally wanted a work-around to the stoker pedaling was she had an ACL injury from falling on her bike a month back and is waiting to get cadaver surgery. She'll then need to go through physical therapy and wanted to help her gently get back into the motions. With the backup being if she hurt too much or was too tired, I could do all the work.
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