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Transitioning back to upright riding

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Transitioning back to upright riding

Old 07-11-21, 11:53 PM
  #1  
mbauman
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Transitioning back to upright riding

My wife and I have been tandeming together for 44 years - approximately 22 years on uprights and the remaining time on our Rans Screamer recumbent tandem. Most of our long tours in the 1500-2000 mile range were ridden on upright tandems, but we still manage to put in quite a few weekly miles on our screamer despite turning 70 soon. Anyway, our current Screamer is 20 years old and we'd like to build up a new bike. Good luck with that. Rans has stopped building screamers with the caveat that they may resume production some time in the future, but I'm not holding my breath. And the Hostel Shoppe has also ceased production of their recumbent tandems. We could buy from a European company like Azub, but that seems too complicated, and we're not really interested in a tandem trike,

And that brings me to the title of my post; has anyone transitioned back to uprights after years of recumbent riding? It's so much easier to buy a high quality conventional tandem, but I'm not sure how that would work out. Any advice, comments or caveats will be appreciated.

Note: we have searched for fairly current used Screamers without much success.
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Old 07-13-21, 01:54 PM
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Or you could try an upright/bent hybrid which puts the stoker in front and shortens the wheel base: https://rbr.info/index.php/product/family-bike-tandem/.

If you scroll through the pictures you will see a pretty nice looking one set up for touring.
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Old 07-13-21, 07:50 PM
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Thanks, we actually met a couple from Germany who crossed the U.S, on one of those hybrids, but it's just not for us. If we can't find a new recumbent solution we'll just maintain our current screamer and perhaps spec out a new upright. Currently looking at a Co-Motion Mocha kitted out with a gates belt and a rolhoff speed hub. Mark....
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Old 07-13-21, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mbauman View Post
Note: we have searched for fairly current used Screamers without much success.
Here is a site selling a new Screamer: https://www.thebikebarn.com/recumbent.html

New Recumbent Tandems

  • RANS Screamer, orange, $6300
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Old 07-14-21, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mbauman View Post
My wife and I have been tandeming together for 44 years - approximately 22 years on uprights and the remaining time on our Rans Screamer recumbent tandem. Most of our long tours in the 1500-2000 mile range were ridden on upright tandems, but we still manage to put in quite a few weekly miles on our screamer despite turning 70 soon. Anyway, our current Screamer is 20 years old and we'd like to build up a new bike. Good luck with that. Rans has stopped building screamers with the caveat that they may resume production some time in the future, but I'm not holding my breath. And the Hostel Shoppe has also ceased production of their recumbent tandems. We could buy from a European company like Azub, but that seems too complicated, and we're not really interested in a tandem trike,

And that brings me to the title of my post; has anyone transitioned back to uprights after years of recumbent riding? It's so much easier to buy a high quality conventional tandem, but I'm not sure how that would work out. Any advice, comments or caveats will be appreciated.

Note: we have searched for fairly current used Screamers without much success.
With as many years on DF tandems as you two have put in, there could never be any issue with "transitioning back"! It would be more the case that after only a short time (relatively short) on DF tandems you might find double recumbent tandems difficult, maybe impossible, to pick up again at 70 y.o. That said, I have never found American recumbent bikes appealing. To a one they seem clunky and awkward. European tandems are not any cheaper than domestic but are much less 'plain' and they usually are quite innovative mechanically. I don't think buying a European tandem would be anymore difficult than a domestic one.

Alternatively, the same company that makes the hybrid tandem another poster linked, also made this one. I haven't seen it on their website since we bought ours in 2017. I 'think' they might still make one up on request. Brand new it would cost about what is asked for 20 year old Screamers on Tandem Classifieds dot com. Being Taiwanese, Performer combines the design aesthetics of the European models they copy, with outlier value for money, and I don't ask them how they do it. I am just happy that they can!

I should note that Performer also can innovate and create original models. Several of their current model run are not copies of anything. Our tandem is not a copy of anything. Their Delta trike is an obvious Greenspeed Anura copy but not a slavish one. There are several improvements on the original design. I don't feel bad buying Performer products because they aren't some American concern using Taiwan as a low wage labor exploitation. Performer is owned and operated by native citizens of the country. FWIW.
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Old 07-14-21, 11:47 AM
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Thanks for the link! Will check it out today.
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Old 07-14-21, 12:10 PM
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Leisestrum, thanks for the helpful reply - very nice looking tandem. Agree with you regarding U.S. made recumbent tandems, European builds seem to incorporate newer technology as well as a sense of panache. Anyway, I'm going to check out Performer.
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Old 07-14-21, 02:03 PM
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Performer Custom Trikes and Bikes Factory Tour

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0TzFp2QXqo
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Old 08-12-21, 10:39 PM
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If your Rans Screamer is starting to show its age replacing parts for a specialized bicycle like yours makes economical sense. Hubs, bottom brackets, headset, seat cushions, pedals are all part of the parts that wear. Generally all can be replaced relatively cheaply. I bought a Ryan Vanguard that had been ridden to total wear out. The hubs were shot as was the seat back. I was able to replace the hubs and seat back, had a cushion made for the seat. Along the way I upgraded the original 9 speed hub to a 10speed hub with index shifting. New 10 speed rear derailleur. All new wires and cables. Bike runs great and I'm diligently trying to wear all the new stuff out. The bike cost $350 and all the new parts added about $400 more to the cost. I've had the bike for 6 years and it rides great. However I do all my own mechanical work including building wheels. This really cuts costs. If you don't want to do that then costs will be higher for a mechanic to do upgrades and replacements on your bike. I also ride upright bikes and switch back and forth almost on a daily basis from recumbent to diamond frame and back. I use my recumbent on longer rides because of comfort. My diamond frames on shorter rides because of gravel rides and because I love diamond frame bikes too. My wife and I gave up on both recumbent and upright tandems years ago. I'm too tall for any but a custom tandem to fit me. However recently my wife bought a RAD e-bike. Hers is a City step through frame. This has been a revelation to both of us. She is again able to keep up with me for quite long rides and we have been enjoying riding together once again. Good luck in finding the solution to your tandem issue.
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Old 08-13-21, 12:39 PM
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Wife & I have been riding a semi-recumbent tandem since 2010,
Performer Family Tandem,
https://www.performercycles.com/recu...ecumbent-bike/
similar to the HASE PINO design, but just much less expensive from Taiwan.
We don't do any hardcore cycling or self-supported touring on the semi-recumbent tandem, mostly for charity events or just relaxed pace for enjoying the time spent together.
We have approx. 2000 miles on the semi-recumbent tandem since 2010.

Advantage for semi-recumbent tandems are their compact size, easier to transport ad store when not ridden.
Full view of vision for both captain & stoker, easy communication between riders without having to turn heads.
My wife & I can sometimes switch position for a short ride, just for recovery if one of us get tired of sitting upright.

I've been thinking about putting a motorized rear wheel to extend on time on the tandem, but haven't really focus on it for years.

Much upgrades since I bought mine back in 2010, I think there are shops that still can import these semi-recumbent tandems.



Last edited by cat0020; 08-14-21 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 08-13-21, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mbauman View Post
And that brings me to the title of my post; has anyone transitioned back to uprights after years of recumbent riding? It's so much easier to buy a high quality conventional tandem, but I'm not sure how that would work out. Any advice, comments or caveats will be appreciated.
I rode 'bents exclusively for about 7 years. This was due to some neck issues that physical therapy has since corrected.
There was a brief period of getting the old reflexes and habits back, but hasn't been a problem.
I do still ride my 'bents a couple of days a week, just to maintain the skills. The leg strength isn't quite the same anymore, and I can't get the bikes to go as fast as they used to. Not sure if that is specific to the 'bents or if I'm just getting old.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 08-15-21, 10:24 PM
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In my case I'm just getting old.
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Old 08-16-21, 08:54 AM
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This is not an argument for or against switching. The Chromoly frame doesn't wear out; so you can replace worn parts and even have the frame re-painted and have a like-new bike. The other day I talked with a V-Rex owner who lamented that he was replacing his 15-year-old V-Rex because the tilt stem was sloppy. I showed him my replacement, a high-quality part that will out-live me. His other problem was that he never developed the leg strength to power up steep hills in his 30/32 gear, and couldn't go lower due to balance issues. I didn't have an answer to that.
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Old 08-19-21, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mbauman View Post
Note: we have searched for fairly current used Screamers without much success.
If you are still looking for Screamers here is one in SoCal for sale:

https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/...368062623.html
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Old 08-22-21, 09:09 PM
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Thanks for the link unikid, I've already chatted with the owner.
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Old 08-22-21, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
This is not an argument for or against switching. The Chromoly frame doesn't wear out; so you can replace worn parts and even have the frame re-painted and have a like-new bike. The other day I talked with a V-Rex owner who lamented that he was replacing his 15-year-old V-Rex because the tilt stem was sloppy. I showed him my replacement, a high-quality part that will out-live me. His other problem was that he never developed the leg strength to power up steep hills in his 30/32 gear, and couldn't go lower due to balance issues. I didn't have an answer to that.
Thanks for the post BlazingPedals. I built my screamer from a framekit so I understand these issues. My older model has the 1st gen seat attachment rail that I've never been all that fond of, and the rear wheel cannot accommodate a disk brake.
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Old 08-24-21, 06:20 AM
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1997 V-Rex with a rear disc brake. The welding part was a minor expense, only $15-20. New wheel and powdercoat was a bit more.


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Old 08-29-21, 10:46 PM
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Nice V-Rex - mine is a blue 1999. I've got countless miles on it but the original alex rims are still going strong. Also, over the years the seat back developed some rips so I kept taking it to a shoe repair guy who stitched some thin leather patches over the tears. Anyway, I don't ride it much anymore since my wife and I are always out on the screamer.
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Old 09-05-21, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
This is not an argument for or against switching. The Chromoly frame doesn't wear out; so you can replace worn parts and even have the frame re-painted and have a like-new bike. The other day I talked with a V-Rex owner who lamented that he was replacing his 15-year-old V-Rex because the tilt stem was sloppy. I showed him my replacement, a high-quality part that will out-live me. His other problem was that he never developed the leg strength to power up steep hills in his 30/32 gear, and couldn't go lower due to balance issues. I didn't have an answer to that.
The low gears are so important to recumbents. Balance issues would lead me to recumbent trikes.
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