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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 03-09-12, 11:00 PM   #1
Pine Cone
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Back Together on a Tandem

After a brief decade of non-tandemness, we moved to a more rural and tandem friendly area.

To celebrate, I found a 1998 Cannondale RT1000 and bought it. That now gives us 3 tandems, the others being a Nashbar/KHS steel Tandamania comp, and a BikeE recumbent tandem.

The new bike is being modified, swapped out the stoker bars for bullhorns, changed the seats and pedals, and will soon be adding racks and maybe fenders.

Here in the PNW (Jefferson County, west of Seattle) it rains sometimes, so I like fenders...

Here is a pix of the day I asked her to marry me (she said yes)


Here we are at the NW Tandem Rally in Corvallis in 1999


Riding the Kettle Valley Railway trail in Myra Canyon, 2001, before it burned


The new-to-us Cannondale before modifications...


Got in a ride between rain and snow... Hope to do some more parts upgrades tomorrow in time for another ride on Sunday.

Great to be back riding a tandem. We hope to get to NWTR in Salem, OR this summer!
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Old 03-10-12, 12:00 PM   #2
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The Kettle Valley trail has reopened and most is rebuilt since the fire.
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Old 03-10-12, 05:25 PM   #3
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The Kettle Valley trail has reopened and most is rebuilt since the fire.
I'm glad they were able to find the resources to rebuilt it, but it will be decades before the trees get anywhere near as large as they were before the fire. It's a great ride and we really enjoyed it. Our teenaged daughter rode her single. We only did short pieces of it at a time, with other vacationing in between.
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Old 03-11-12, 05:26 PM   #4
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Haha what a great thing! You look and sound very happy.

Thanks for sharing your history - and blessings for many many happy healthy and safe miles and years together.
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Old 03-11-12, 05:32 PM   #5
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Here's what the bike looks like after today's modifications. Bullhorn bars are now on along with a frame-mounted Road Morph pump, new seats (WTB Speed She & Forte Pro SL), Ortlieb QR handlebar bag with misc. tools and spare tube.

Got out for our 2nd shake-down cruise. We've both been off bikes for a while, so we're starting back slow. Next modification is new pedals since the ones currently on the bike were borrowed from other bikes. I'll be trying out the Shimano A530 touring pedal. My wife doesn't like SPDs so since the stoker is always right she will be getting non-cleat, no toe clip double-sided MTB pedals.

Looking forward to warmer weather, longer daylight, more tandem rides.

Great to be back out on a tandem together.
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Old 03-11-12, 05:53 PM   #6
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Welcome back to the tandem scene!
3 tandems? Looks like you have a good and varied collection!
Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 03-11-12, 06:08 PM   #7
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Hah! Jefferson County! Its a big place, so where in Jefferson Co? Grad of Chimacum High school here, class of '71. For those not in the know, this is a county with two halves not connected by roads. Have to traverse another county to get to the other half because the Olympic Mountains are in the way (the west half is rainforest). We try to get back for bike riding whenever possible, but from Michigan, it is basically a rare event. One of our favorite latter day rides when living in Seattle was to try to make it to Port Townsend for a "breakfast ride", and our rule was that we had to walk in the restaurant door by 10:00 to qualify, so it meant an early start and some precise timing on the Ferries. Fun just being reminded of all that. Recommend a loop out onto Marrowstone Island if you haven't tried it. Have a lot of fun with the nice new steed.
John
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Old 03-11-12, 06:11 PM   #8
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So, that is some serious OOP going in the rally pic. Going to set the new bike the same?
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Old 03-11-12, 06:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine Cone View Post
After a brief decade of non-tandemness, we moved to a more rural and tandem friendly area.

To celebrate, I found a 1998 Cannondale RT1000 and bought it. That now gives us 3 tandems, the others being a Nashbar/KHS steel Tandamania comp, and a BikeE recumbent tandem.

The new bike is being modified, swapped out the stoker bars for bullhorns, changed the seats and pedals, and will soon be adding racks and maybe fenders.

Here in the PNW (Jefferson County, west of Seattle) it rains sometimes, so I like fenders...

Riding the Kettle Valley Railway trail in Myra Canyon, 2001, before it burned



Great to be back riding a tandem. We hope to get to NWTR in Salem, OR this summer!
Having only just now heard of the Kettle Valley trail system, what was your experience with the ride? I'm guessing since you were riding on a recumbent it wasn't that hard (no offense intended). The reason I'm asking as I'm having to ease my wife/stoker into longer rides and would like one with easy climbs. Also, the drive up from Oregon/Washington, what was that like (I've been to Vancouver with my single so I know I-5 well enough)? Where did you stay while you were there?

Last edited by CaptainHaddock; 03-11-12 at 06:18 PM. Reason: edit for clarity
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Old 03-11-12, 09:28 PM   #10
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Hah! Jefferson County! Its a big place, so where in Jefferson Co? Grad of Chimacum High school here, class of '71. For those not in the know, this is a county with two halves not connected by roads. Have to traverse another county to get to the other half because the Olympic Mountains are in the way (the west half is rainforest). We try to get back for bike riding whenever possible, but from Michigan, it is basically a rare event. One of our favorite latter day rides when living in Seattle was to try to make it to Port Townsend for a "breakfast ride", and our rule was that we had to walk in the restaurant door by 10:00 to qualify, so it meant an early start and some precise timing on the Ferries. Fun just being reminded of all that. Recommend a loop out onto Marrowstone Island if you haven't tried it. Have a lot of fun with the nice new steed.
John
We're about 10-15 miles south of your Alma Mater. Haven't done the Marrowstone loop in almost a decade, but it is on the list for later this spring.

As for the OOP, we like some OOP, I think I set the new bike up at about 45 degrees which seemed to work today. I lead with my left foot. Looking at that NWTR photo I am wondering if my wife leads with her right foot. I might have been smarter then, since we were riding a lot back then. I'll have to experiment. As you can see from the photo, the timing chain is a bit loose right now making changing the amount of in or out of phase pretty easy.
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Old 03-11-12, 09:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CaptainHaddock View Post
Having only just now heard of the Kettle Valley trail system, what was your experience with the ride? I'm guessing since you were riding on a recumbent it wasn't that hard (no offense intended). The reason I'm asking as I'm having to ease my wife/stoker into longer rides and would like one with easy climbs. Also, the drive up from Oregon/Washington, what was that like (I've been to Vancouver with my single so I know I-5 well enough)? Where did you stay while you were there?
The best source of information on things related to traveling the KVRR can be found here http://www.kettlevalleyrailway.ca/ We also got the book ... Cycling the Kettle Valley Railway which is available here... http://www.rmbooks.com/book_details....=9780921102885

Since it is an old railroad grade, it is never steep on the rail trail portions. We cycled three sections, one near Hope, one near Princeton, and the from the McCulloch Lake Resort to the Myra canyon trestles and back. We had some difficulties with loose trail surfaces near Princeton since the BikeE has a 16" front wheel and a 20" rear. It only likes to be ridden on hard surfaces.

We also took the steam train that runs on a restored part of the KVRR out of Summerland. Lots of fun, but not a very long ride.

The web site mentioned above is the best source of current info on where to stay. We did not do a multi-day tour along/near the KVRR, but some do. We just did our portions as two short rides and on half-day plus ride though the Myra Canyon portion.

We mostly stayed in private or provincial campgrounds, mostly going along the trans-Canadian highway from Trail to Banff National Park. We rode the tandem most days, but didn't try any epic rides. Most days we tried to drive a max of 3-5 hours, with the occasional longer day. Lots of fun!
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Old 03-11-12, 11:21 PM   #12
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We've been longtime OOPers and are 90 degrees out with capt right foot leading.
Has worked great for us for 225,000+ miles.
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Old 03-12-12, 10:05 PM   #13
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We had some difficulties with loose trail surfaces near Princeton since the BikeE has a 16" front wheel and a 20" rear. It only likes to be ridden on hard surfaces.[/SIZE][/FONT]
So forgive me for further thread-jacking, but do you like your bike-e tandem? are you able to maintain it now that they are out of business? I inquire as my parents are getting on, and had sold their late 90's (maybe early 2k) Cdale MT because my father's wrists weren't up to it. I'd love to get them back on the road, and from time to time I see the bike-e tandems up for sale (I'd buy it for myself if my wife wouldn't beat me 'bout the ears). Thanks for the advice on the trail!
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Old 03-12-12, 11:35 PM   #14
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I generally like the BikeE, but like all recumbents, it doesn't climb well.

Back in my recumbent phase I was riding a lot on road, mtb, and fixed wheels. I got a Vision medium-wheelbase recumbent, road about 1,000 miles on it one season with a similar distance of riding on more conventional bikes. My best and average times on standard rides (like my commute and some area rides) were always worse on the recumbent. I liked the riding position, flats and downhills were fun, great for seeing stuff, but the recumbent was always more work on the hills, even after 1000 miles.

The BikeE tandem rides fairly well. I put a disk brake on the rear wheel as a drag brake and otherwise left it fairly stock. It uses mostly standard components. The frame isn't as stiff as our other tandem which bothered my stoker some, but it never worried me too much. You could notice it, but for me it wasn't scarey. We are on the larger size end of most tandem teams. Both my wife and I are a little over 6-feet tall, and at best our combined weights were about 325 pounds. Now we're older and heavier, but with luck we'll ride more and dance more and lose some of that excess baggage. We bought a few extra BikeE specific parts (like QR recumbent seat clamps). but I wouldn't be too worried about maintaining it. I put myself through college by working as a bicycle mechanic, so I do all my own repairs and wheel building.

Overall it is a very fun bike to ride when it's not too hilly. All depends on where you live. We stopped riding it because where we were living had minimal shoulders on the roads, lots of traffic, and a steep hill to go up before we got to or from our house.

The Jefferson county Marrowstone Island loop mentioned by 2frmMI earlier from the Chimacum Cafe to Marrowstone/Fort Flagler (AKA the Chimicum Cheeseburger Ride) would be a great ride for the BikeE, but we'll probably wait until it warms up a bit first. Snow, sleet and freezing rain today...
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Old 03-13-12, 03:22 PM   #15
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thanks for the thoughts on your bike-e. one last question, I've head that some of the box frames were prone to breaking, but nothing that seemed to be on the recall level. have you heard anything along those lines? I can see how the reclined position would be difficult for rain, in fact it was "wintery mixing" down here in Portland until around noon today.
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Old 03-13-12, 08:42 PM   #16
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thanks for the thoughts on your bike-e. one last question, I've head that some of the box frames were prone to breaking, but nothing that seemed to be on the recall level. have you heard anything along those lines? I can see how the reclined position would be difficult for rain, in fact it was "wintery mixing" down here in Portland until around noon today.
I couldn't find anything about frame problems, but your question prompted me to do a search which turned up a CPSC recall on the E2 Tandem forks. Mine was built before the recall, so I guess I have some checking to do. Some sort of problem with the steering tube separating from the fork. Sounds potentially life threatening, or at least the potential for a serious accident. I guess I'll have to take the fork off and give it a look.

Does anyone know of a magnaflux or other technique that I should use to check the safety of the fork. The CPSC warning is a bit vague, and since BikeE is long gone is seems unlikely I could find a replacement fork given that it is backwards and is for a 16" wheel.

Not sure I'm up for having someone make me a custom one, and don't know that I want to make one myself.

Any suggestions? Would it be possible to fix the old fork given that is has not failed? Anyone know what the 2001 fix was?
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Old 03-14-12, 08:58 AM   #17
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Does anyone know of a magnaflux or other technique that I should use to check the safety of the fork.
Would it be possible to fix the old fork given that is has not failed? Anyone know what the 2001 fix was?
I don't know anything about this specific issue but have a lot of exposure to metal fatigue, inspection, and welding repair from owning small planes for 30 years, so that's the basis for the following thoughts-
- inspections: a mechanic at a local airport will most certainly have the ability to do a dye penetrant inspection, which will reveal cracks not visible to the naked eye. He may also be able to do magnaflux, and/or other non-destructive inspections, and/or refer you to someone nearby who is able to do them.
- there is likely to be a specialist welder in the area who could possibly do the inspections as well; and who could also possibly either reinforce that specific joint/area, and/or possibly weld-repair any cracks or weakness you might find with an inspection. But, this will depend on many things- starting with
a) the specific alloy from which the part is fabricated, and how it might have been heat treated or otherwise treated/hardened both before and after joining,
b) how the joint was originally joined (weld, braze, solder, etc),
c) the welder's individual experience with these materials+ methods and the equipment he has available,
d) how he manages his liability risk ... that is, is he willing to work on a fork, which like you say, the failure of which could result in an accident.

Yellow pages and/or google should put you onto either of these guys. Anyway good luck - would be interested to hear what you might learn.

Last edited by chris ss; 03-14-12 at 08:59 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-14-12, 08:53 PM   #18
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Thanks very much for the advice. There are a couple of small airports nearby and I'll see if I can find a mechanic to talk to. My old boss used to have a plane at one of them so I'll see if he has any recommendations for a mechanic.

I'll let you know what I find out...
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