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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 03-24-11, 10:44 AM   #1
mycoatl
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Any Tandem Commuters?

My wife and I are shopping for our first tandem. In addition to weekend rides and touring, we're considering using it to commute together (easy 5 miles each way, dedicated bike lanes w/ moderate traffic). Bad idea? Anyone else commuting by tandem?
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Old 03-24-11, 10:52 AM   #2
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There are folks commuting by tandem. I'm not sure any are on this forum. Try the Tandem@Hobbes mailing list as well.

We live close to my workplace which is close to a bus stop; I've come in by tandem with my daughter a few times and then she got on the bus. My wife works too far away - if she commutes by bike she rides the whole distance.
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Old 03-25-11, 02:45 PM   #3
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My wife and I often commute by tandem. We're lucky in that her workplace is barely off my normal commute route. It's 7 miles to her work, then I ride by myself 3 miles to my work. We have an early 90's Santana Sovereign that I bought off Craig's List for $600. I've since put another $1000 into it replacing the wheels, drive train, shifters, and saddles. We have a rear rack and a set of Ortlieb panniers. I'd recommend it if it works for you logistically.
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Old 03-26-11, 09:01 AM   #4
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Just be careful when riding a tandem short-handed. Very easy to skid the rear wheel when braking since there is so little weight over it. A good case for setting up the right lever to operate the front brake.
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Old 03-26-11, 10:37 AM   #5
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My 7 y/o and I bike to school then I go on to the office and once or twice a week we take the tandem (otherwise he rides his own bike). We ride a DaVinci Joint Venture 700 L/S. As noted above, handling of a half-loaded bike is a little different. I have Ortlieb Office Bags on a Surly Rear rack. If the bags are loaded (computer, papers, books... it adds up) the back end gets really loose in the corners (the weight sits just behind the axel and with only one rider between the axels, the tail wants to swing out around corners). I've thought about ways to hang the bags off unused stoker bars to alleviate the problem, but it isn't all that serious on our relatively short, flat and straight commute.
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Old 03-26-11, 08:30 PM   #6
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Nice that folks can commute TWOgether!
Used to commute by single to work, but now been retired for 16 years (nice~!).

Have ridden our tandem(s) solo quite a few times (as far as 40 miles).
Never had an issue after the first 100 feet of getting going; while the bike may feel a bit 'light' at the very start, I'd soon settle in.
However our custom tandems have always been very short wheelbased, which may have elminated some of the issues described by others.
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Old 03-29-11, 03:42 PM   #7
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Never had an issue stopping when riding solo on a tandem. The rear wheel does want to slide a bit on corners when it's wet, though. The biggest problem I had the first few times was after the stoker was dropped off, I was over steering due to the sudden weight change.
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