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Computer suggestions for a Tandem

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Computer suggestions for a Tandem

Old 03-07-16, 02:56 PM
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kinetic energy
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Computer suggestions for a Tandem

I'm looking for a computer that will work for the stroker of a tandem. We have a burley zydeco, and I would like computers for the captain and stroker. We picked up a pair of Sigma My Speedy's at a swap meet for cheap, and this wireless sensor will work fine for the captain, but no luck with the stroker's handlebars. The handlebars are about 80-85cm from the front and rear wheel, so I don't know if there is any benefit of choosing one over the other. Has anyone had any luck with a particular brand or model?
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Old 03-07-16, 05:41 PM
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We use the Garmin 500's, they are fairly reasonable and can be found for around $150.
They are GPS so no need for a wheel speed pickup, the Mrs. has a heart rate monitor paired to hers, and we both are paired to a cadence sensor.
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Old 03-07-16, 05:43 PM
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I found it simpler to put a Garmin GPS on the back for my wife with no wires or sensors just gets speed and distance from the sats.
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Old 03-07-16, 06:17 PM
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We used to use Cateye Mity8 because they're inexpensive and you could buy the tandem length pickup/mount units from Cateye.

We switched to the Garmin 500. Now the only issue is making sure the stoker brought her reading glasses. I need to get her some stick-on bifocal lens for her sunglasses.
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Old 03-07-16, 06:26 PM
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I use a Cateye Padrone for me up front because of large screen.

The only Cateye wireless that will cover the distance from rear wheel to stoker bars is the Strada. We just rode Saturday and every time I asked her speed she was spot on compared to mine. The Strada also does cadence for us as the Padrone does not.

Last edited by moonwalker; 03-07-16 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 03-07-16, 06:38 PM
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Stoker has a Garmin 800 and navigates for us. We use a Garmin GSC 10 Speed and Cadence Sensor on the left chainstay. Captain uses a Cateye Stealth 50 unit. Both units receive signals from the GSC 10. Captain's heart rate is displayed on both the Garmin and Cateye units. Stoker uses an inexpensive Polar unit for her heart rate, which she matches to Captain's HR. This has worked very well for us for several years.
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Old 03-07-16, 07:00 PM
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The Cateye Strada Digital should work. It uses the 2.4 GHz sensor with 5 meter range not the same sensor as the Strada wireless. I have Cateye V2c (no longer made but uses the same sensor as the Stada Digital) computers on one of my tandems and on my triplet. One sensor on the rear wheel/crank has the range for all computers on the bike including the captain's computer on the triplet.
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Old 03-07-16, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by fxsvelo View Post
We used to use Cateye Mity8 because they're inexpensive and you could buy the tandem length pickup/mount units from Cateye.

We switched to the Garmin 500. Now the only issue is making sure the stoker brought her reading glasses. I need to get her some stick-on bifocal lens for her sunglasses.
I only use Dual Eyewear sunglasses now. Built-in bifocal reading lens, lenses in several colors including clear. Good quality.
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Old 03-07-16, 09:15 PM
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Stoker on our tandem has a Cateye Padrone wireless mounted on the top tube. The big display can easily be seen from there and it works perfect with the magnet on the rear wheel. It did not work when mounted on the stoker bars.
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Old 03-08-16, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by dvs cycles View Post
I found it simpler to put a Garmin GPS on the back for my wife with no wires or sensors just gets speed and distance from the sats.
The same here. We found a Garmin 200 on clearance that has all the functionality she wants.
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Old 03-08-16, 01:11 PM
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Garmin 500 here also, only on the front stoker doesn't care.
I use it on my single too.
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Old 03-08-16, 02:33 PM
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I use an 810 on my single and my wife uses a 500 on hers. On the tandem, my wife uses my 810 for mapping and directing us and I use her 500. The HR belts record on our own computers regardless of position on the bike so downloading is fine and I don't have to re-sync when we switch computers back on our singles.

Also, both units pick up cadence from the captain's crank.
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Old 03-08-16, 03:57 PM
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I use to use a Garmin 500 but it died and now I upgraded to a 520, the 520 does a lot more mapping but is still smaller than the 820 or 1000. I have not used the mapping on the 520 yet but the two nice features are that it shows text alerts when paired to your phone (Bluetooth) and it has a simple user replaceable battery. Technically the 500s battery needs to be replace at the factory, you can replace it yourself but it takes fairly major surgery. The wife (stoker) uses a 810 and runs the maps since she is the navigator.

Cheaper options might be to use your phone with a phone mount on the bars or something like the Wahoo RFKT that mirrors the ap running on the phone. I elected not to go in this direction over concerns that the phone battery would be an issue on longer 6+ hour days.
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Old 03-09-16, 09:57 AM
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My wife uses a Sigma Sport BC 1009 STS wireless on her stoker bars. It was a fairly inexpensive wireless unit that I bought after consulting with a support rep at Sigma (1-630-761-1106). He told me that all of the STS units (such as the current BC 12.12 STS) and all of the ROX units should have enough range to cover the distance from the chain stay to the stoker bars, and we haven't had any trouble.
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Old 03-12-16, 10:31 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions folks! I'll do some investigation on your recommendations.
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Old 03-30-16, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mje View Post
The same here. We found a Garmin 200 on clearance that has all the functionality she wants.
Me three -- I am the stoker and have an Edge 520 with the wireless sensor bundle that I am very happy with. Captain doesn't get distracted by the screen, and I have all the data I want. Now I just need to get him to wear the heart monitor so I can see how much he is slacking off.

Last edited by Kiramarch; 04-09-16 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 03-30-16, 11:29 AM
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We use Polar Mi450's on all the bikes with Heart rate monitors. We run separate sensors front and rear - but you don't really need them since it's GPS based.
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Old 04-04-16, 07:08 AM
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Perhaps this would be better for the relationship that an intercom system....?
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Old 04-04-16, 04:58 PM
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I use a cheap Cateye for the stoker with long wire sensor so she can see the MPH and basic stats. I use strava on my iphone with a "Proper" Iphone bicycle mount as my dashboard. also use a Buckshot bluetooth speaker and pandora as the sound system.
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Old 04-28-16, 03:39 PM
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Ran a pair of Sigma for a while... upgraded to a pair of Garmin 510's and could not be happier. Both units share a single speed/cadence sensor in the rear. Each rider has their own heart rate monitor and readout. And the second speed/cadence sensor found a home on my half bike. The Garmins are very configurable and using different profiles on mine allows seamless operation on either bike. IMHO this is just the way to go with a tandem.
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Old 05-02-16, 05:07 PM
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I'm also looking for a solution, but hoping for one with less cost than the Garmin route. I want speed, cadence and heart rate for me on my handlebar, and same for my wife on her handlebar. I thought that we could go the Cateye route, with their wireless unit that we could sync both my and her head unit with one speed/cadence sensor on the bike. But according to Cateye tech support, can't sync two head units to one set of sensors. Any other suggestions?
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Old 05-02-16, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Scraper View Post
I'm also looking for a solution, but hoping for one with less cost than the Garmin route. I want speed, cadence and heart rate for me on my handlebar, and same for my wife on her handlebar. I thought that we could go the Cateye route, with their wireless unit that we could sync both my and her head unit with one speed/cadence sensor on the bike. But according to Cateye tech support, can't sync two head units to one set of sensors. Any other suggestions?
I use Cateye computers and have no problem with 2 (3 on my triplet) synced to 1 speed and cadence sensor.

If you go with Cateye make sure to get a model that has "Digital 2.4G" sensors. The Cateye computers that use the standard "wireless" sensor doesn't have the range for a tandem.
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Old 05-02-16, 08:11 PM
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That's exactly what I'm after! My wife has the cc-RD430DW on her single bike. I'm thinking get another for me, put it on the tandem. Then we both wear and sync to our own individual heart rate monitors. We both would sync to the new speed/cadence sensor. We would mount our head units to our own bars. And the wife could move her head unit between her single bike and the tandem.

But, Cateye said it won't work (one cadence sensor won't sync to the two head units on the tandem). I don't want to buy it if it won't. Sorry to question you, but are you sure?
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Old 05-03-16, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Scraper View Post
That's exactly what I'm after! My wife has the cc-RD430DW on her single bike. I'm thinking get another for me, put it on the tandem. Then we both wear and sync to our own individual heart rate monitors. We both would sync to the new speed/cadence sensor. We would mount our head units to our own bars. And the wife could move her head unit between her single bike and the tandem.

But, Cateye said it won't work (one cadence sensor won't sync to the two head units on the tandem). I don't want to buy it if it won't. Sorry to question you, but are you sure?
That computer uses the 2.4G sensor so it should work. I have 2 computers on several bikes and 3 on 1 bike. I also know others using 2 Cateyes with 1 sensor.

The only problem I've ever seen is that the sensor has a long range. I think Cateye says 5 meters but I've found it to be farther. When you sync the sensor make sure all other sensors are a long ways away and or have the battery removed. That way it won't sync to A different sensor then the one you want.

You have 1 computer now. Do you have a LBS that would let you try syncing it and one of their computers?
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Old 05-04-16, 12:59 AM
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I don't see why a pair of Cateye Stealth 50s and a single Garmin Cadence Sensor (on the captain's crank) wouldn't work together. Since the head unit includes GPS, a speed sensor isn't strictly needed and the cadence sensor is actually closer to the stoker than it would be in a typical single.
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