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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 02-27-12, 11:21 AM   #1
rec3036
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info wanted?!?!

My wife and I are considering trying it out, she loves to spend time with me and I love to ride, so she wants to start riding but does not want to ride her own bike so we can spend time together. I am very excited she wants to start riding, I think it will be good for us. I am looking into possibly renting a tandem for a while to see how she likes it before dropping a wad of cash.

I am 6'4" and over 300 lbs, she is 5'4" and just over 200 lbs. I am used to riding with extra weight on the back as I have ridden an EMS bike with an extra 50 lbs of gear on the back for 4 years.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks in advance! any and all info is greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-27-12, 01:19 PM   #2
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First, welcome to the world of tandems. There are many differences between solos and tandems right down to their rallies which are geared to couples as a lot of teams are couples.

The first choice you have to make is the same kind of choice you have to make with any bike. Like solos, tandems come in road, street, mountain, beach, hybrid, comfort …. This boils down to where you want to ride, how up right you want to ride and how hard do you want to work? Each has its own style of bike.

Next, anyone even thinking about a tandem should go to a website called thetandemlink.com where you will find a lot of good information.

Next (and you have lucked out here) go to the site tandemseast.com which is a site for a tandem dealer in NJ. While there note the Tandem Expo which is the last weekend in March. There will be something like 80 tandems there and you can try what you want. Also I believe they still rent tandems, you need to ask. The bad news is they will not have all the different types of tandems there but it will get you started.

Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 02-27-12, 06:22 PM   #3
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Our first tandem rental was at Cycle Corner in Frenchtown, NJ. The canal path there is a great introductory tandem ride and has places for lunch, touristy areas of the canal locks that you can use for a break, nice bridges, etc. My wife was sold on tandems after that ride, so be warned. (I took her on that ride for something fun to do once, never planning to have to buy our own tandem later!)
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Old 02-27-12, 07:12 PM   #4
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First, welcome to the world of tandems. There are many differences between solos and tandems right down to their rallies which are geared to couples as a lot of teams are couples.

Thanks!

The first choice you have to make is the same kind of choice you have to make with any bike. Like solos, tandems come in road, street, mountain, beach, hybrid, comfort . This boils down to where you want to ride, how up right you want to ride and how hard do you want to work? Each has its own style of bike.

Street riding for the most part, I already ride the local BIKE MS events, maybe some canal paths or rail trails. as I think she would enjoy them. These are going to be gentle rides and we want to get where we are going as easy as possible.

Next, anyone even thinking about a tandem should go to a website called thetandemlink.com where you will find a lot of good information.

going there now...

Next (and you have lucked out here) go to the site tandemseast.com which is a site for a tandem dealer in NJ. While there note the Tandem Expo which is the last weekend in March. There will be something like 80 tandems there and you can try what you want. Also I believe they still rent tandems, you need to ask. The bad news is they will not have all the different types of tandems there but it will get you started.

was cruising the site earlier, already put the dates in my calendar!
Good luck and enjoy.
Thank you! You have been very helpful!
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Old 02-27-12, 07:14 PM   #5
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Our first tandem rental was at Cycle Corner in Frenchtown, NJ. The canal path there is a great introductory tandem ride and has places for lunch, touristy areas of the canal locks that you can use for a break, nice bridges, etc. My wife was sold on tandems after that ride, so be warned. (I took her on that ride for something fun to do once, never planning to have to buy our own tandem later!)
I am feeling a road trip coming on.... Thanks!
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Old 02-28-12, 02:53 PM   #6
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You are very lucky to live near TandemsEast. Mel is probably anybody's best bet for a first tandem experiance. I was lucky in that I had a local shop, and the manager had his own Burley Duet about 22 years ago when we were looking. He was the only local guy that would allow us, at the time, to take the bike out with the two of us on it. We jumped right on and rode several miles. We got comfortable right away; and this was a pretty hilly town! In all fairness, my wife was already a very competent single biker. Start off nice and easy, and have empathy for your wife. Being on the back, with no steering, no brakes and no forward vision, can be pretty scarey. Watch the speed on the downhills...even on short hills builds very rapidly, especially since you are going to be a relatively heavy team. Nothing will spoil your wife's experiance faster than an out of control descent! Also, since So Jersey is nice and flat, you won't have to deal with much tandem climbing; as fast as they can be on downhills and flat or rolling terrain, that is how slow they can be going uphill! It sounds like you ae getting into tandemming for all of the right reasons; you will have alot of fun!
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Old 02-29-12, 07:28 AM   #7
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I am feeling a road trip coming on.... Thanks!
Rec3036,

+1 for Mel at Tandems East. Try to go to the expo at the end of March, its a great way to ride a whole bunch of different tandems and talk with other tandem people with no obligation. Be warned however that you just might buy one, we did I see you're listed as NJ shore, Ocean, is that Ocean county? We hail from the shore in Monmouth county.
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Old 02-29-12, 07:59 AM   #8
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Rec3036,

+1 for Mel at Tandems East. Try to go to the expo at the end of March, its a great way to ride a whole bunch of different tandems and talk with other tandem people with no obligation. Be warned however that you just might buy one, we did I see you're listed as NJ shore, Ocean, is that Ocean county? We hail from the shore in Monmouth county.
Yes, I actually live in Toms River, and am trying to plan out a trip to the Tandem Expo.

We are going to go to Brielle Cyclery they have one there that we want to try out first, since they are closer too.
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Old 03-03-12, 10:19 AM   #9
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Yes, I actually live in Toms River, and am trying to plan out a trip to the Tandem Expo.

We are going to go to Brielle Cyclery they have one there that we want to try out first, since they are closer too.
Sounds like a good plan. I re-read your first post, and noticed you're 6'-4". Cycle Corner only had two tandems when I went, and they fit me at 5'-11" so would be small for you.

Have fun shopping and testing!
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Old 03-04-12, 02:37 AM   #10
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You win the award for least-informative thread title of the month. Next time, try something a bit more specific than "Info wanted" - that applies to 99% of all threads on all forums.
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Old 03-04-12, 06:10 PM   #11
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Info wanted . . . seeking info on Tandem Forums; that's a clue ain't it?
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Old 03-04-12, 06:32 PM   #12
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But do take a ride by yourself before you try riding with a stocker. Also, Sheldon Brown has some helpful instructions for starting and stopping a tandem (without falling over).
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Old 03-05-12, 02:11 PM   #13
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another good place to pick up some tips is the Santana website: http://www.santanatandem.com/
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Old 03-05-12, 08:46 PM   #14
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But do take a ride by yourself before you try riding with a stocker. Also, Sheldon Brown has some helpful instructions for starting and stopping a tandem (without falling over).
thanks!
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Old 03-06-12, 05:19 PM   #15
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Rec3036:
Used tandem for sale . . . could fit you!
Listed in TandemTalk (Tandem Club of America newsletter):

1981 Jim Redcay (a well known/respected custom frame builder) for $1,000.
Designed for 6'5" pilot and 5'7" stoker. Sloping top tube, all sorts of top of line components including 48-spoke wheels (to handle your 500+ lb weight).
Upgraded in 1996 by Rodney Moseman (another great custom builder).
Located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Call Jay Brosnan 704.999.8291 or e-mail jbrosnan@earthlink.net. for info/photos/details.
Delivery options/pickup negotiable.
Pedalon TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 03-18-12, 10:41 PM   #16
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CL is a great source for tandems. All I can recommend is that you really really really work on the communication part, it's the make or break for teams.
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