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Our first tandem on its way!

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Our first tandem on its way!

Old 04-30-18, 10:15 AM
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MountainCruiser
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Our first tandem on its way!

A KHS Cross. After several months of searching online for a used tandem with no luck I decided to give the Cross a try. We have rented a tandem a couple of times and enjoyed it so we decided to take the plunge. I have been cycling for several years but my wife is new to cycling. We've tried riding single for a while but she get frustrated since she can't keep up and feels like she is holding me up. We considered an E-assist bike but she kept going back to the idea of the tandem so we're going to give it a try.

Are there any must-have Tandem specific accessories that I should consider? The Cross comes with a very basic suspension seatpost, so I felt that is definitely one thing that needs to be addressed. After looking at what is available the Kinekt seems to be the best choice. Are there any others out there worth considering?
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Old 04-30-18, 11:45 AM
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Our first tandem was a 2000 KHS Tandemania Comp, which we rode for ten years and got our money's worth out of.
A team in our local club started out on a Cross and have since added a Milano. They have put lots of miles on both bikes.
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Old 04-30-18, 02:01 PM
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I would suggest you keep it simple and focus your efforts on bike fit and on your communication method. If your wife is comfortable on her single bike, translate the measurements over to the tandem (we went so far as to move the saddle and handlebars over when first setting up my wife as stoker). Then make sure your brakes and derailleurs are adjusted properly.

Make sure you carry a toolkit somewhere with a tube, etc., we had seat bags on our half bikes and I did not want one on the tandem, so we bought a tool/storage carrier shaped like a bottle and strapped it to the seat tube.

My wife likes her Bluetooth speaker and computer on her bars, honestly you can do whatever you want, just keep things within easy reach.

No suspension seat yet, we are doing fine so far with almost 600 miles on ours. You will find that you talk a lot on the tandem, mostly "shifting front," "coast," and BUMP!"

Last edited by Yamato72; 04-30-18 at 02:03 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 04-30-18, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Yamato72 View Post
You will find that you talk a lot on the tandem, mostly "shifting front," "coast," and BUMP!"
...where "BUMP!!!!!" turns into "bump." with the addition of a good suspension seat post for some teams. Some teams profit from a suspension seat post (or equipment XYZ), some don't. Try out your bike and tweak it as you get to know the bike and yourself as a team over time. There are plenty of threads in this forum regarding specific issues. Enjoy!
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Old 04-30-18, 10:06 PM
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The only accessory that isn't already mentioned that I can think of is lip balm. When you spend the whole day riding along with a silly smile, you risk sun-damaged lips.

Oh, bear in mind that your ability to hear and see what's coming up behind you and your maneuverability is a little impaired on a tandem compared to a half-bike. Consider using a mirror, or even two (one for the stoker).
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Old 05-01-18, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
The only accessory that isn't already mentioned that I can think of is lip balm. When you spend the whole day riding along with a silly smile, you risk sun-damaged lips.

Oh, bear in mind that your ability to hear and see what's coming up behind you and your maneuverability is a little impaired on a tandem compared to a half-bike. Consider using a mirror, or even two (one for the stoker).
I second B Carfree on the mirror. My wife/stoker was not a rider so was a little uncomfortable about traffic so we got a helmet mounted mirror for her and she calls out anything coming from behind. We also have the Garmin GPS on her bars so she keeps track of things, that is something down the road. The little toolkit is a must with a spare tube and we use CO2 cartridges for the periodic flat tire. the one other thing to consider for your toolkit, especially when you start riding further from home is a "quick link" chain link and chain tool. We've broken a chain or two over the years and you have to remember, your ride home is sitting behind you :-) We had to walk a couple of miles one time.

Last edited by Paul J; 05-01-18 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 05-01-18, 12:07 PM
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Thanks for the responses!!! Really looking forward to the bike getting here later this week!!! Body Float seat post is on it's way. Stoker has some back issues so I want to keep her as comfortable as possible, we'll be riding lot of backroads so I think she get a considerable benefit from it. Already have a pretty complete toolkit ready as well since I have always done a lot of long solo rides and cell service can be spotty in a lot of the areas that I ride. I definitely agree with the mirrors. I already use one because my hearing is not great.
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Old 05-01-18, 07:33 PM
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Old 05-01-18, 11:31 PM
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We are two real rides into our first tandem. So I'm not an old hand, but my wife (our stoker) loves her suspension seat post (a Body Float 2.0). Because I'm almost a foot taller than she is, we had ours made by a local company that makes a lot of bikes, and I couldn't be happier (after only two rides, of course) over the fit.

Tandem cycling, at least initially, is harder than single cycling. Getting started is non-trivial at first; dealing with sudden stops (e.g., entering a traffic circle and someone enters going very fast from the left) is hard; and communication is a constant must.

But it's so nice for both of us not to have any fitment issues!

Mark
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Old 05-02-18, 09:16 AM
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Thanks! Great reading!

Our first tandem experience was on a junky cruiser tandem with coaster brakes. I wish I had a video of our first couple of attempts as I am sure it was quite comical!!!! I am sure our first couple of rides will be at our local High School so we can have a traffic free and relatively flat area to work on the basics before heading out onto the roads.
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Old 05-02-18, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by 124Spider View Post
We are two real rides into our first tandem. So I'm not an old hand, but my wife (our stoker) loves her suspension seat post (a Body Float 2.0). Because I'm almost a foot taller than she is, we had ours made by a local company that makes a lot of bikes, and I couldn't be happier (after only two rides, of course) over the fit.

Tandem cycling, at least initially, is harder than single cycling. Getting started is non-trivial at first; dealing with sudden stops (e.g., entering a traffic circle and someone enters going very fast from the left) is hard; and communication is a constant must.

But it's so nice for both of us not to have any fitment issues!

Mark
124Spider, you will have to post a picture of your new bike on a new thread. We all love seeing new bikes and what everyone is riding.
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Old 05-02-18, 05:34 PM
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Nice things to have on a tandem: 1). Tire boot; A six inch section of an old tire that can be fitted into your tire if in the case where you get a big cut on one of your tires. Weighs almost nothing, keeps you from being stranded. 2). Chain fall tool. Mounts under the front derailleur. Keeps the chain from dropping onto the bottom bracket when shifting down to the small ring. Captains rear view mirror???
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Old 05-02-18, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 124Spider View Post
We are two real rides into our first tandem. So I'm not an old hand, but my wife (our stoker) loves her suspension seat post (a Body Float 2.0). Because I'm almost a foot taller than she is, we had ours made by a local company that makes a lot of bikes, and I couldn't be happier (after only two rides, of course) over the fit.

Tandem cycling, at least initially, is harder than single cycling. Getting started is non-trivial at first; dealing with sudden stops (e.g., entering a traffic circle and someone enters going very fast from the left) is hard; and communication is a constant must.

But it's so nice for both of us not to have any fitment issues!

Mark
Mark

All true. But it all gets a lot easier after a few hundred kms. My regular stoker and I are regularly first away from the lights when riding with the local bunch for example. And as your coordination/rhythm improves you may find tandems are just as quick on some climbs than single bikes. We did.

It is a great project to develop the teamwork, and something to be proud of as improvement becomes evident.

Plus, post pictures!


Will
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Old 05-08-18, 07:32 PM
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New tandem has finally arrived!!!!!

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