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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 04-24-12, 07:11 AM   #1
Sprout97 
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Best Option for Cadence & a Garmin GPS

As I'm going through our Speedster's (aka The Boat) computing options, what is everyone else doing? Not trying to be a lemming here, just trying to get some direction (no GPS pun intended). Should I decide to give up my Flight Deck and get a new a cycling computer (cadence & speed are minimums), what would you suggest? My stoker/wife currently has a Cateye Double wireless, but I'm leaning towards getting her a Garmin 705 or 800 w/ cadence. If I get a lower Garmin model, would a single Garmin cadence sensor be able send info to both Garmins, or should I just get another Cateye unit & perhaps buy a Garmin just as a stand alone? Inquiring Minds want to Know!
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Old 04-24-12, 07:41 AM   #2
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CatEye V3 gives you speed, cadence, and heart rate. One sending unit and two head units works great, the range of the sending unit is greater than some competitors. The heart rate straps are synced to your individual head units.
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Old 04-24-12, 07:55 AM   #3
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A single Garmin sensor on the chainstay will interface with both head units. We've had that config. for 4 years without problem. Of course on the daVinci when stoker coasts, my cadence goes to zero.
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Old 04-24-12, 08:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by apage4u View Post
CatEye V3 gives you speed, cadence, and heart rate. One sending unit and two head units works great, the range of the sending unit is greater than some competitors. The heart rate straps are synced to your individual head units.
If you don't care about heart rate the CatEye V2c is the same computer without it.You could do one of each if only one of you wants heart rate. It uses the same sending unit and has plenty of range for a triplet so no problem on a tandem.
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Old 04-24-12, 10:37 AM   #5
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We are running a Garmin 800 for the Captain and a 305 for the Stoker with no problems
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Old 04-24-12, 10:50 AM   #6
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My wife (stoker) and I are both running the Garmin Edge 500 with one sensor on the chainstay. We have been pleased with this setup. The battery life is good. I like the ability to download the ride data to Garmin Connect where you can monitor all of the information including elevation and map.
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Old 04-24-12, 11:41 PM   #7
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I'm leaning towards getting her a Garmin 705 or 800 w/ cadence. If I get a lower Garmin model...
First, steer clear of the Edge 705, regardless of any attractive discounts. It is discontinued, and essentially unsupported. There are no firmware updates, so all is bugs or problems will remain.

I think an Edge 800 is preferred for tandems in general and captains in particular, this because of the navigation. Navigation is not important if you are doing the same old routes repeatedly, but, if you are making the most out of your tandem by exploring new places and unfamiliar routes, the navigation is a big help. If you are on a half-bike, it's not such a big deal if you are momentarily confused about your direction or location. That's part of the adventure! But, a tandem team thrives to the extent a stoker has confidence in the captain, and the captain being 'lost' does not augment stoker confidence.

I've signed up for RidewithGPS, which has pretty slick route planning. With a paid subscription, you can download the route directly into the Garmin, as a Course. RidewithGPS will have calculated the mileage and elevation gained. You can then Do Course on the 800 and the route is plotted on the map. You make every turn, are never lost, can predict what's next, etc. The stoker appreciates knowing before the ride what she is in for, and that you deliver exactly what you promised, and that executed flawlessly.

For example, after much exploring on bike, and on Google Maps, Strava, etc, I came up with a really intricate route. It is breathtakingly pretty as it wends through very upscale and wooded residential neighborhoods (you can verify this on the Strava map, by dragging the Street View man over to any part of the route you select at random). An Edge 800 is just about indispensable to do this route with any confidence.

So, if you use the capabilities of an 800, you can be adding to the tandeming experience by boldly exploring promising new routes that you devise ahead of time, and by avoiding those situations in which you are momentarily confused as to your direction and whereabouts. If a computer can do these things, it is worth a lot to tandem team, IMO.
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Old 04-25-12, 05:18 AM   #8
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I agree with the navigation part of the 800 making our tandeming experience better. We use Garmin's application RoadTrip to plot our courses to upload. The application is very easy to use, but it doesn't offer elevation.
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Old 04-25-12, 10:22 AM   #9
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Stoker is very happy with her Garmin 800. I'm happy with my Garmin 705, but I have an extreme itch to upgrade to the 800 (sadly, the driving factor is the new mount...long and expensive story). Either one is a great unit, but I would certainly say "go 800". We had some struggles with the Garmin cadence sensor, but honestly it may have been old and tired. It's also very important to have the spoke magnet firmly positioned; at downhill speeds, it will want to fling out to the end of the spoke, causing your Garmin to think it's going 0mph (it'll ignore GPS if it's paired with a cadence/speed sensor, once it has auto-calculated wheel size or you've told it manually).
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