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  1. #1
    Senior Member Clarabelle's Avatar
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    Touring on a tandem

    My wife and I have done a lot of self contained touring on our singles. Last fall we purchased a Co-Motion Mocha (which we love), and plan on touring with it. I bought an Aosom two wheel trailer to replace my Bob trailer which doesn't work with disc brakes.

    I've noticed there is a thread for touring, and of course a thread for tandems, but I don't see many posts for the combination. Anybody touring on tandems? Just wondering.

  2. #2
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Yup. CoMo Speedster. Did a 2 week tour year before last in the Redwoods, touring for 3 weeks this year in the Czech Republic. We did it with only rear panniers, a saddle bag, and a frame bag. This year we're adding a small handlebar bag.
    tandem_tour_wts..jpg
    Our touring list for the Redwoods. Total luxury and self-contained. This year we'll change a few things: Kindle instead of paper book, adding a GPS and a few other changes.

    The bike handled fine. We were maybe 1/2 mph slower on the flat, and of course slower climbing, but we only had to walk a couple of short very steep pitches, one gravel.

  3. #3
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    My wife and I bought our Co-Motion Speedster last year and promptly set off to ride the perimeter of Lake Champlain with our BOB. I am not sure about the Mocha but our Speedster ,with the correct skewer, works fine. We also have rear panniers which we used last month when we did the Natchez Trace. Next month we are going to ride around Lake Erie with rear panniers and the BOB. And Later in the Summer we will ride the ACA North Lakes Route with rear and front panniers and the BOB.

  4. #4
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    To those of you that are experienced tourers, are you usually camping when touring? Where do you put and how do you secure the tandem overnight or if you want to leave your camping site without the bike for a short time?

  5. #5
    Rod & Judy gracehowler's Avatar
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    Clarabelle, check out the "tandems" section on crazyguyonabike, lots of great info there as well.
    R&J

  6. #6
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeFSQ View Post
    To those of you that are experienced tourers, are you usually camping when touring? Where do you put and how do you secure the tandem overnight or if you want to leave your camping site without the bike for a short time?
    We try to mostly camp. Accommodations maybe every 3rd or 4th night. We've never left the bike alone except locked in a room. We lock it to a tree when we're sleeping. We strip it bare and put everything in the tent. Good reason to use a 3 person tent for 2 people or a double for one.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Clarabelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
    My wife and I bought our Co-Motion Speedster last year and promptly set off to ride the perimeter of Lake Champlain with our BOB. I am not sure about the Mocha but our Speedster ,with the correct skewer, works fine. We also have rear panniers which we used last month when we did the Natchez Trace. Next month we are going to ride around Lake Erie with rear panniers and the BOB. And Later in the Summer we will ride the ACA North Lakes Route with rear and front panniers and the BOB.
    Was told by the LBS where we bought the Mocha that with the disc brake, the spacing would be too wide to attach the Bob. Perhaps they were wrong.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    As for the BOB. I spoke with the guys @ Co-Motion and with the guys @ http://www.biketrailershop.com/bob-c...ers-c-181.html

  9. #9
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    My stoker/wife and I rode around Lake Michigan a few years ago on a Mocha. The journal is here http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=1875&v=Cv

    We stayed in motels and used rear panniers. It is a fun way to travel.

    Sheldon

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarabelle View Post
    Was told by the LBS where we bought the Mocha that with the disc brake, the spacing would be too wide to attach the Bob. Perhaps they were wrong.
    Is your brake on the seat stay or the chain stay? The current Mocha is on the chain stay. If itís on the chain stay there is no problem with a BOB the brake is forward of the mount. I have no problem with my BOB on either of my speedsters. If the brake is on the seat stay then itís above the BOB mount. I think that might be a problem it would be worth checking.

  11. #11
    Senior Member dwmckee's Avatar
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    We family tour on our Capuccino. My 11 year old is stoker and my 7 year old on a trail a bike behind the tandem. Me of things we struggle with is having enough places to put stuff for three people. And fully tour loaded we are surprisingly heavy so have to anticipate braking situations early for extra safety margin.

  12. #12
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Have done credit card/motel touring since 1975 on our tandem(s). Less stuff to carry!
    Panniers work fine for us; add a trunk and/or handlebar bag if needed.
    Have always used rim brakes, even in mountain terrain (9,200 ft). Never any issues with overheating, never felt the need for disc/drum brakes.
    Just our input . . .
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  13. #13
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    We've done plenty of short hotel-based tours on our Speedster, and then we only need rear panniers, handlebar bag, and a small frame bag. We've done a couple of fully-loaded tours with camping equipment. We then add front panniers but space is still very tight. We're currently getting custom frame bags made that will completely fill most of the frame triangles, just leaving space for one large water bottle each (extra water will be strapped to the bags, or placed inside in collapsible bottles). The company we're using for the bags is called Porcelain Rocket, but I think there are one or two others out there. You just need to mail him a paper tracing of your frame and tell him exactly what you want and he'll take care of it, although he does currently have an order list about 8 weeks long.

    The tandem is long enough already and not so maneuverable, so I am really trying to avoid using a trailer. The trailer would also add weight and make plane travel even harder. I'm just hoping that our wheels are up to carrying all the weight on two wheels - we do carry several extra spokes and tools to change them when on tour, but so far haven't needed them.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    We've done probably 5-6 self-supported tours on our Santana Fusion S&S tandem, and one short (3 night) tour on our triplet, although they have not involved camping ("credit-card tours"). I've written two of them up at http://www.brianwasson.com/trips/czechtrip 9Czech Republic and Austria) and http://www.brianwasson.com/trips/tauern (Austria). Although we didn't take camping gear, we would have had room for it with our front/rear pannier setup. This summer we'll be heading to Austria again for our first longer tour with our seven-year-old son on our Santana triplet.

    I can't speak to the Co-Motion, but both our Santanas have ridden very nicely when fully loaded. Apart for the challenge of holding up additional weight at stops and starts (especially on the triplet), I never had any problems with steering, braking, etc. We have two sets of wheels for both bikes: 40-spoke and 48-spoke. We use the 48s for touring just for that extra margin of strength. We've never broken a spoke or had a wheel go out of true.

  15. #15
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    One of the reasons we bought our tandem way back when was to tour. It removes the problem of one person having to constantly slow down for the other rider. We always do self-contained tours. We've never really had any problem fitting everything we need into four panniers, maybe because we only have one sleeping bag. It's an old Marmot that opens flat and has a sheet bottom that holds two pads. Perhaps that's why we prefer to find campgrounds with shower facilities, or at least some means of cleaning up at day's end. We usually fit everything in the panniers and have an empty rack, but sometimes the pads or tent ride on the rack if we are touring where/when we need more clothing than usual.

    On our first longish tour (3500 miles), we weren't sure if we would be happier in road shoes with clipless or on large platform pedals, so we brought both. After a few days, we realized that we were spending enough time on dirt logging roads that we might as well just commit to the platforms; we shipped the Look pedals and our cycling shoes back home. Later in that trip, after we left the Rockies, we shipped about half our clothing back home as well. We must have been awfully tired when we did that because we found a rotten head of lettuce in the package when we got home. That was 24 years ago, and neither one of us has admitted to being the one responsible yet.

  16. #16
    Rod & Judy gracehowler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHen View Post
    because we only have one sleeping bag.
    Off topic, but you are the first couple we have heard of that uses that style of sleeping bag, we also use one, a Northface, also old! Sure does cut weight and bulk
    R&J

  17. #17
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gracehowler View Post
    Off topic, but you are the first couple we have heard of that uses that style of sleeping bag, we also use one, a Northface, also old! Sure does cut weight and bulk
    R&J
    Continuing the OT, we use a single rectangular Feathered Friends bag zipped to one of their flocked groundsheets, which contains pockets for our NeoAir pads. This is all available from Feathered Friends now. Since we use this same rig hiking, our bag is a little heavier that we would have bought just for cycling. Our whole sleeping package weighs about 5.5 lbs.

  18. #18
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    All interesting stuff. My wife and I are gathering gear and thoughts for our first exploratory tour, a 1-night trip to a campground not too far from the house (but through some pretty hilly country). We backpacked extensively when we were younger and we still camp from the car on vacations, so we have most of the gear. Space on the bike is our biggest concern. However it sounds like it is doable!
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
    jimmuller

  19. #19
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
    All interesting stuff. My wife and I are gathering gear and thoughts for our first exploratory tour, a 1-night trip to a campground not too far from the house (but through some pretty hilly country). We backpacked extensively when we were younger and we still camp from the car on vacations, so we have most of the gear. Space on the bike is our biggest concern. However it sounds like it is doable!
    Yes, space is at least as big an issue as weight. We put everything that's made of fabric in ultralight compression sacks. I think we have five extra small sacks, including a separate one for dirty clothes.

  20. #20
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Anyone have a recommendation for a credit card touring worthy rack/pannier for a Calfee Dragonfly?

  21. #21
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    Since getting the Calfee, we tossed some of the original parts (and kept some new parts) on our 1990 Santana Arriva to use for touring duties (and for lending out to other couples).

    Last ride we did on that bike was 128 miles one way to Pinnacles Nat'l Monument fully loaded with camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, clothes, stove, food, etc). Camped a couple nights and rode back home.

    Trip there: http://app.strava.com/rides/177377

    It was a lot of fun to travel to a remote area with no reliance on a motor vehicle of any kind, and then ride back. Though I did wish for a sturdier rack! I will keep the old Santana for these really loaded up rides (the front fork can take a rack too!!), and use the Calfee for the credit card touring with a setup similar to what Tandem Geek used on his Calfee.









  22. #22
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uspspro View Post
    Ah yes, atop Mt. Eden Road at the Mt. Eden trailhead!

  23. #23
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    Good eye! Had to stop for a breather after hauling that heavy gear up Mt. Eden in 90+ degree weather!

  24. #24
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    Also... The handlebar bag is totally worth it. We also use it for brevets if they are 300k or more. You can keep your phone, camera and food in there for easy access. It also has a neat "map flap" with a clear window for your route sheets.

  25. #25
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Another dedicated user of a handlebar bag here - keep all the valuables in there and it is easy to grab and take with you when popping into the grocery store, etc.

    As for racks, you won't find any better than those made by the German company Tubus, and they have several models to suit everyone's needs.

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