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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 03-04-13, 10:25 AM   #1
delilo
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Tandem suggestions - looking for a something for longer rides with young kids

Getting the itch to pick up a tandem.
I am interested in going on longer rides with the young 'uns.
Any suggestions?
Ideally something that will be a little more upright, and maybe pannier friendly in case we want to do some overnight camping.
Never had a tandem before, but ridden a few road ones.
Appreciate the input.
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Old 03-04-13, 11:06 AM   #2
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Both Bike Friday's and Co-Motion Periscopes offer flexible sizing for growing kids, and would be worth looking into.

The Co-Motion has the advantage of standard sized wheels.
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Old 03-04-13, 12:33 PM   #3
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And just how many young 'uns at a time? It can get expensive if it's more than one!
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Old 03-04-13, 02:19 PM   #4
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We have two C'dale tandems, one for my wife and one for me to captain. Our stoker turned 3 this past August and he started stoking in June. Most of our rides were between 20-40 miles and we did a couple over 50. There are always stoker kits that can be bought for decent prices on ebay or craigslist. Used C'dales are relatively cheap compared to Periscopes and you can take that extra savings to buy your stoker kit, rack, panniers and whatever else you might consider.

If you find out it's something you really want to invest in you shouldn't have any problem selling the C'dale and stoker kit for about the same price you bought them used. Then buy yourselves a periscope and ride it forever, or until your stokers lose interest. If you're married the periscope can handle an adult stoker so just convince your wife to stoke for you if the kids are done riding with you.

FWIW, I measured the difference from center of BB to top of seat post clamps and a periscope is about 1.5" shorter than a small C'dale ('09-'12 model years).
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Old 03-08-13, 04:52 PM   #5
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Burley piccolo?

I've used a cheap weeride, and have felt safe. A piccolo is just that much more stable.

I've had Madsen Buckets, Xtracycles, Big Cruiser cheap-o tandems, a burley MTB, and a trailer and a topeak kiddie seat. All have worked, even the Madsen on some longer rides (and that thing's 80 lbs or so!)
The Piccolo is a solid way to go, and it's only about $360.

Since the piccolo is rack- based, you could add reasonably small rear panniers and have larger ones on the front.

Tell us more about ages, sizes, distances, terrain, road type, etc.
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Old 03-09-13, 08:32 AM   #6
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Triples are a great way to enjoy riding with your kids. It's much safer than cutting them loose on singles in a group, and you don't end up waiting when one gets tired. Also, they are so effiecient. You can average 15-17 mph (or more depending on the age of your kids!) and headwinds are no big deal--much nicer than a tandem with a tag-a-long IMO.

When my boys were 7 & 9 I bought one and we proceed to ride a 7-day cross-state ride in Oklahoma called Freewheel (a small version of RAGBRAI). Anyway, with a little bit of training we had no troubles--rode every inch and every hill. Total distance for the week was 500 miles and one day's ride was 84 miles! I was worried the boys would get restless and bored, but that was never an issue--they were the talk of the ride and had a blast! We did it again the next year and would have done it again but my job moved us off to Minnesota. We've also done a couple shorter tours like the Houston-Austin MS150, Southwest Tandem Rally and more... Now, they're both in high school and last summer was the first year where "big red" never left the garage! It's probably time to part ways with it, but it's hard to let go--some great memories tied up in that long red tandem.

Anyway, I highly recommend triples!

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Old 03-14-13, 08:47 PM   #7
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Old 03-22-13, 10:56 AM   #8
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And just how many young 'uns at a time? It can get expensive if it's more than one!
StephenH; Can do one as stoker and two side by side in a trailer or two kids in trailer and wife as stoker. Not that much of an add to cost (~$200-$300 or so for trailer and if stokering, about $200 for that kit). Did it quite often without issue except for all the weird looks and strange questions (expecially riding in the winter time in Alaska with snow tires).

/K
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Old 03-22-13, 11:09 AM   #9
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Take a good look a the daVinci with the ICS system, great for kids. Also they offer there tandems with both 26" & 700C wheelsets and can do custom frames and frame sizing if needed. They also have kits specific for little kids that can be mounted to there tandems depending on there age and or needs. Call and talk to Todd at daVinci he knows a lot about the subject.

Also the Co Motion Periscopes as mentioned are great but they don't have the ICS system like the daVinci witch can be a big advantage with young kids, or weaker riders on longer rides.

Ride Safe,
Bill G
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Old 03-22-13, 06:15 PM   #10
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Take a good look a the daVinci with the ICS system, great for kids. Also they offer there tandems with both 26" & 700C wheelsets and can do custom frames and frame sizing if needed. They also have kits specific for little kids that can be mounted to there tandems depending on there age and or needs. Call and talk to Todd at daVinci he knows a lot about the subject.

Also the Co Motion Periscopes as mentioned are great but they don't have the ICS system like the daVinci witch can be a big advantage with young kids, or weaker riders on longer rides.

Ride Safe,
Bill G
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