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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 03-12-14, 02:18 AM   #1
GreenmanBelg
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Tandem Trike revisited.

Hi folks,
I'm a trike rider and have been for many years.

I also own a George Longstaff tandem trike, now that the kiddies are getting older I decided to take the dust sheet off.

Went for a little spin with my daughter and son.

The plan for this year is daughter 6 and petite up front and son nearly 10 stoker.

I ordered crank shorteners from St John Street Cycles in the UK.

So this time next week we shall be up and mobile and I can intice the kiddies away from multimedia for a few hours

I enclose a pic so you get the idea.

Regards from JD in Belgium.


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Old 03-21-14, 10:11 PM   #2
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Belg:
Tandem trikes are a bit of a rarity here in the US; but have seen a couple recumbent trikes.
Where are you located in Belgium? Vlaanderen area?
Pedal on!
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Old 03-22-14, 01:26 PM   #3
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I've often thought if I were to lose my balance, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase a tandem trike.
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Old 03-24-14, 08:38 AM   #4
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I've often thought if I were to lose my balance, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase a tandem trike.
I think you actually need more balance to ride a trike like that. The newer trike designs with the riders down very low are the ones you can use if your balance sense goes away. Let's both hope that never happens, however. <shudder>.

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Old 03-24-14, 08:48 AM   #5
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I think you actually need more balance to ride a trike like that.
3 wheeled vehicles, particularly with one front wheel are inherently tippy. At low speeds, the intial stability of an upright trike is great. It won't tip over at all at 5mph, unlike a bicycle.

Cornering at 25mph downhill is a different story.
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Old 03-24-14, 08:56 AM   #6
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3 wheeled vehicles, particularly with one front wheel are inherently tippy. At low speeds, the intial stability of an upright trike is great. It won't tip over at all at 5mph, unlike a bicycle.

Cornering at 25mph downhill is a different story.
I don't think you meant your first sentence to sound the way it does. And your post in its entirety actually makes my point. Cornering at any speed above a walking pace is more interesting on an upright trike design. You need more balance sense to know where the limits are. I get that its more stable than a bicycle but that wasn't my comparison point. Upright trikes are far less stable than a recumbent trike would be.

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Old 03-24-14, 09:04 AM   #7
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No, I meant what I said; they are inherently tippy. Because you only have one wheel in the front, it tends to tip over in the direction of centrifigul force.

As to whether they're more or less stable than a bike, the distinction I'm making is between initial stability and ultimate stability. A trike at low speed has very high initial stability and won't tip or lean, but once its starts to lean, it is much less stable than a bicycle.

A bicycle has low initial stability, in that it will lean over very easily, but it has greater ultimate stability because you manage the forces on the bike by leaning, and you can control the lean.

It's similar to the difference between a flat bottom kayak, and a rounded bottom kayak. The flat bottom kayak has great initial stability, and feels more stable, but when it goes over it goes over quickly with less control. Whereas with the rounded bottom kayak, you can control the lean, and while it feels quick to lean its ultimately more stable.
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Old 03-30-14, 01:11 PM   #8
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Happy to see a bit of banter re trikes in general.

Rule 1 of trike riding "Never take your trike for granted"

On to the business in hand. The crank shorteners from St John Street Cycles arrived. They are very well engineered and finished.

I enclose a pic.



Managed to get senior junior away from his tab and went went for a spin. He really enjoyed himself and said he'd like to come out again.

Junior junior is too small so I plan on getting a trailer bike so the tandem trike will become a quad.

Enclosed a pic of senior senior and senior junior.

Regards from Belgium.

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Old 03-30-14, 05:32 PM   #9
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Tipping in the corners would be even easier when ridden with a light rider at the back, moving the cg forward closer to the single front wheel.
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Old 04-06-14, 02:06 PM   #10
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All sorted now. Really going great. Its me and the kids out everyday and they really look forward to it. I like tandems because as a serious cyclist of nearly 43 years on the saddle its great to get the kids out and cover some kms.

Tandems are great but tandem trikes are trice the fun.

Enclosed a pic.

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Old 04-06-14, 04:15 PM   #11
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In the UK, they, to some extent, have lightweight racing trikes. Those are pretty well unknown in the US. The only upright trikes in the US are primarily intended seen as an old-person's ride, with the stability issues noted above. One of those trike manufacturers, Worksman, does in fact make a tandem trike. But it is a tandem version of a heavy upright trike, and not a 3-wheel version of a tandem road bike.

The arrangement above looks like lots of fun.
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