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Old 02-24-10, 12:28 PM   #1
1-track-mind
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Tandem touring

I bought a used Cignal Melbourne Express (Jamis) yesterday. It has 26" wheels and looks like a good rig for touring with a few mods. I'm thinking about trying to get my wife out for a short camping tour this summer, but I'm not sure we can get all our gear in 4 panniers. I have a suspension Bob trailer, but I'm uncertain about pulling it behind a tandem. Any thoughts ?
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Old 02-24-10, 01:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 1-track-mind View Post
I bought a used Cignal Melbourne Express (Jamis) yesterday. It has 26" wheels and looks like a good rig for touring with a few mods. I'm thinking about trying to get my wife out for a short camping tour this summer, but I'm not sure we can get all our gear in 4 panniers. I have a suspension Bob trailer, but I'm uncertain about pulling it behind a tandem. Any thoughts ?
For extra capacity beyond four panniers on our tandem we use a dry bag roll top stuffer on top of the rear rack. Mostly sleeping bags,pads,clothes and tent.

No experience with a BOB but did pull the kids in a 2 wheel trailer behind the tandem and that worked well for years. I just had to learn how really long this vehicle was to not cut turns too short. Practice under load is important as the handling changes a bit particularly at slow speeds.
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Old 02-25-10, 06:49 AM   #3
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Kris and Eric, a couple of tourers from San Francisco, stayed with us last year -- they were travelling the world on a Tandem and were very well organised. Check out their web site: www.vent5.com
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Old 02-25-10, 08:53 AM   #4
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I'm looking for a used tandem myself. My gal has decided that she might enjoy bike touring with me and wants to do the tandem thing. From what I've read, I think I'm going to stay with panniers. I use Lone Peak P-99' and P-100's—their two smallest panniers. For tandeming I'm going to go with a new set of P-500's to accommodate the missus's extra gear (I'm pretty sure it'll be more than I carry) and drop the P-99's. As mentioned above, I use a dry bag on top of the back rack for the sleeping gear and put the tent on top as well. Works out pretty well. Guess I'll see how it goes on a tandem.

I decided against a trailer. There's the extra weight of the thing itself and the necessary spare parts to carry. Also, I have to get used to the extra length of a tandem and a trailer would make the whole rig longer still. You never know, I could change my mind, but I think we'll be pretty happy with a four pannier/dry bag set-up. Good luck to you folks. Let us know how things go for you.
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Old 02-25-10, 02:06 PM   #5
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Lots of good info about light touring on this forum. We are planning a tandem tour for this summer and think we can do fine with 2 rear panniers and a rack pack, about 25 lbs. Also look at ultralight backpacking websites. No need to be uncomfortable, either. It's just gear choices, in every tiny detail, especially clothing weights.
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