Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Tandem Cycling
Reload this Page >

Hi! We're new to tandems!

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!

Hi! We're new to tandems!

Reply

Old 05-02-18, 03:57 PM
  #1  
124Spider
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 188

Bikes: 2016 Cervelo R3 2018 Rodriguez Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Hi! We're new to tandems!

In another thread, someone suggested that I post a photo of our bike. Here it is, along with a bit of an introduction.




After some years of struggling with the fact that I'm a lot stronger (merely because I'm just a lot longer) than my wife, so that cycling together is a bit frustrating for both of us, we decided last year to buy a tandem, on the theory that we each could pedal at a force that was comfortable, and have no trouble staying together.

We watched used ads for months, finally realizing in March that we weren't going to find a decent bike that fit us. I ride a 61cm bike, and my wife rides a 47 cm bike.

Fortunately, one of the (apparently) premier tandem bike makers is located in Seattle--Rodriguez, so we went to their shop, and ordered a bike.

It came last Friday. Our first time getting going brought with it a significant pucker-factor, as did the next many time of starting, stopping, turning, and anything else other than maintaining a steady speed. But we've gotten better in three rides, and have fewer moments of terror than of suboptimal communication.

We realize that we still have much to learn, but we're enjoying it immensely. Most particularly, we enjoy noticing the "tandem smiles" we see in practically everyone who sees us!

Mark
124Spider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-18, 07:14 PM
  #2  
WPH
Senior Member
 
WPH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 231

Bikes: 2015 Apollo Syncro tandem, 2006 Scott CR1 SL (still a beastie race bike), 1993 Trek T200, 2006 Fuji Absolute Le, 2000 Thorn Club Tour

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Awesome
congratulations
WPH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-18, 08:48 PM
  #3  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 13,982

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 67 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1363 Post(s)
Riding through town, a common comment from the man on the sidewalk is a shout of "Lucky!" You betcha. Just being together is a lot of fun.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-18, 12:41 AM
  #4  
B. Carfree
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 7,010
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 465 Post(s)
Earlier this evening I saw a couple out on what appeared to be one of their first tandem rides. Their bike wasn't as nice as your Rodriguez, but they had that double smile thing going, and all of us on the sidewalk reinforced their smiles. Tandems really are a joy. Here's to many happy miles for you two.
B. Carfree is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-18, 09:44 AM
  #5  
Paul J
Senior Member
 
Paul J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Lancaster County PA
Posts: 718

Bikes: 1982 Eddy Merckx Campy Super Record, 1995 Eddy Merckx 10 sp Campy Centaur, Bushnell Tandem, Co-Motion Speedster

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Thanks so much for sharing and that is a beauty!!

Your story mirror several of us, my wife and I were not at all matched-up on our riding and riding our tandem has balanced that. One of our tandems is a Bushnell which was made in that shop when Dennis was on staff there.
Paul J is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-18, 10:12 AM
  #6  
joelcool
Senior Member
 
joelcool's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 137

Bikes: Look 566, Specialized Stump Jumper, Canondale Tandem

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Awesome, enjoy your new ride with your wife.
joelcool is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-18, 12:06 PM
  #7  
JanMM
rebmeM roineS
 
JanMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Metro Indy, IN
Posts: 15,020

Bikes: RANS V3 ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 391 Post(s)
Yellow! Very nice. Have fun.
Having a standard routine for taking off from a stop, coming to a complete stop, etc. and sticking to the routine is good practice for most teams. And the more communication between captain and stoker the better.
__________________
RANS V3 Ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
JanMM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-18, 05:46 PM
  #8  
124Spider
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 188

Bikes: 2016 Cervelo R3 2018 Rodriguez Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Thanks for the warm response!

My wife and i just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary--we wouldn't have lasted this long if learning to communicate effectively was a problem!

Last edited by 124Spider; 05-03-18 at 05:53 PM.
124Spider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-18, 08:02 AM
  #9  
Paul J
Senior Member
 
Paul J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Lancaster County PA
Posts: 718

Bikes: 1982 Eddy Merckx Campy Super Record, 1995 Eddy Merckx 10 sp Campy Centaur, Bushnell Tandem, Co-Motion Speedster

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Originally Posted by 124Spider View Post
I


Mark
So Mark, on your build, it looks like you opted for the ovalized tubes rather then the standard round and it looks like you have the DaVinci cranks which are really nice. What are you using for rear derailleur and what is your gearing? Did R&E do your complete build? We don't see many Rodriguez Tandems out here on the East Coast which is a shame.. Really a nice bike for your first tandem! We celebrate 44 years this June and you are right on the communication. We do have our moments still thought. :-)
Paul J is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-18, 10:18 AM
  #10  
124Spider
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 188

Bikes: 2016 Cervelo R3 2018 Rodriguez Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Paul J View Post
So Mark, on your build, it looks like you opted for the ovalized tubes rather then the standard round and it looks like you have the DaVinci cranks which are really nice. What are you using for rear derailleur and what is your gearing? Did R&E do your complete build? We don't see many Rodriguez Tandems out here on the East Coast which is a shame.. Really a nice bike for your first tandem! We celebrate 44 years this June and you are right on the communication. We do have our moments still thought. :-)
Wow, I'm impressed! You have sharp eyes and much knowledge!

Our bike is a Rodriguez "Classic Custom Sport," completely made for us by Rodriguez. It is the base build, except we added (i) da Vinci cranks, (ii) disc brakes (meaning we couldn't get a drag brake, alas), (iii) body float shock absorber to save wear-and-tear on the stoker's rear end, (iv) fenders (it rains a lot in Seattle), (v) custom ovalized tubing (supposed to make it stronger, more forgiving up-and-down--for comfort--and laterally stiffer) and (vi) a double-leg kickstand. Also, the paint was "custom level 1," adding $100 to the tab, but this is supposed to be fun!

The rear derailleur is a Shimano Deore 9-speed, with a Shimano 11-32 cassette. The front derailleur is a Microshift triple, with 53/42/30 rings.

And, yes, we "still have our moments," on the tandem and in day-to-day life (if you never disagree, someone doesn't care enough to engage), but we're really good at not sniping, instead suggesting better communication in a kind, productive manner.

And we are having an absolute blast!

Mark

Last edited by 124Spider; 05-04-18 at 10:23 AM.
124Spider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-18, 08:17 PM
  #11  
Paul J
Senior Member
 
Paul J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Lancaster County PA
Posts: 718

Bikes: 1982 Eddy Merckx Campy Super Record, 1995 Eddy Merckx 10 sp Campy Centaur, Bushnell Tandem, Co-Motion Speedster

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Mark, I see R&E Cycles posted pictures of your new bike on their Facebook. Great pictures.

Last edited by Paul J; 05-08-18 at 06:46 PM.
Paul J is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-18, 10:05 AM
  #12  
124Spider
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 188

Bikes: 2016 Cervelo R3 2018 Rodriguez Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Paul J View Post
MarMark, I see R&E Cycles posted pictures of your new bike on their Facebook. Great pictures.
That's ours!
124Spider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-18, 01:38 PM
  #13  
seajaye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: philadelphia, pa
Posts: 215

Bikes: 650b traditional rando, 700c SS rando, 700c fast rando..... plus a mountain, folder, and retired urban track in the basement

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Looks awesome! My partner and I are enjoying our '92 Rodriguez, but we're already talking about our "next" tandem. This is inspiring a lot of envy.

Our first ride on it was commuting through Philly during rush-hour. Then, a super hilly ride with lots of pucker-worthy descents. In a few short weeks (and extremely long rides) we've grown much more comfortable on it. Best of luck with breaking it in!
seajaye is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-18, 09:29 AM
  #14  
Leisesturm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,533
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 950 Post(s)
Originally Posted by 124Spider View Post
Wow, I'm impressed! You have sharp eyes and much knowledge!

Our bike is a Rodriguez "Classic Custom Sport," completely made for us by Rodriguez. It is the base build, except we added (i) da Vinci cranks, (ii) disc brakes (meaning we couldn't get a drag brake, alas), (iii) body float shock absorber to save wear-and-tear on the stoker's rear end, (iv) fenders (it rains a lot in Seattle), (v) custom ovalized tubing (supposed to make it stronger, more forgiving up-and-down--for comfort--and laterally stiffer) and (vi) a double-leg kickstand. Also, the paint was "custom level 1," adding $100 to the tab, but this is supposed to be fun!

The rear derailleur is a Shimano Deore 9-speed, with a Shimano 11-32 cassette. The front derailleur is a Microshift triple, with 53/42/30 rings.

And, yes, we "still have our moments," on the tandem and in day-to-day life (if you never disagree, someone doesn't care enough to engage), but we're really good at not sniping, instead suggesting better communication in a kind, productive manner.

And we are having an absolute blast!

Mark
Super nice build. Kudos. Our road ride is an off the shelf Raleigh and we opted for a matte black bike and Hi-Viz clothing rather than the other way around but it's all good. FWIW one of the first things I did 10 years ago when we moved to the PNW and saw all the hills (and Seattle is hillier!) was to change out the 30T granny for a 24T. Our cassette is a 12-27 9sp which was common when the bike was new (2005). We haven't ridden that particular tandem in several years but plan to do so this summer and I am in the process of changing the cassette to at least an 11 - 32 if not an 11 - 34 along WITH the 24T granny. IMO that kind of low end gearing should come stock on any tandem sold to a team over ~100 years old (combined). Were I you I would inquire of Rodriguez how you might do likewise. When I changed the granny to 24T I changed the 42T middle ring to a 39 because I worried about the 24 to 42 shift. I shouldn't have. The 24 to 52 shift is effortless!! We like the 39T cruising ring though, FWIW. I have a 50T big ring in the parts drawer not doing much (not anything actually) so that will tame the high end and give the RD a bit of a break, but don't worry about rear derailleur capacity when you work out your gearing. Go crazy, do your gearing the way you want and then see if its a problem. Probably it won't be. There is wiggle in the specifications. Enjoy.
Leisesturm is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-18, 01:39 PM
  #15  
124Spider
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 188

Bikes: 2016 Cervelo R3 2018 Rodriguez Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Thanks!

We'll test out this gearing, which is lower even than my wife's road bike, and much lower than on my road bike. if we need to have a lower granny gear, we'll certainly do that.

Mark
124Spider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-18, 12:31 AM
  #16  
B. Carfree
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 7,010
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 465 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Super nice build. Kudos. Our road ride is an off the shelf Raleigh and we opted for a matte black bike and Hi-Viz clothing rather than the other way around but it's all good. FWIW one of the first things I did 10 years ago when we moved to the PNW and saw all the hills (and Seattle is hillier!) was to change out the 30T granny for a 24T. Our cassette is a 12-27 9sp which was common when the bike was new (2005). We haven't ridden that particular tandem in several years but plan to do so this summer and I am in the process of changing the cassette to at least an 11 - 32 if not an 11 - 34 along WITH the 24T granny. IMO that kind of low end gearing should come stock on any tandem sold to a team over ~100 years old (combined). Were I you I would inquire of Rodriguez how you might do likewise. When I changed the granny to 24T I changed the 42T middle ring to a 39 because I worried about the 24 to 42 shift. I shouldn't have. The 24 to 52 shift is effortless!! We like the 39T cruising ring though, FWIW. I have a 50T big ring in the parts drawer not doing much (not anything actually) so that will tame the high end and give the RD a bit of a break, but don't worry about rear derailleur capacity when you work out your gearing. Go crazy, do your gearing the way you want and then see if its a problem. Probably it won't be. There is wiggle in the specifications. Enjoy.
One of the first changes we made to our Rodriguez after we rode it home from Seattle to Eugene was also to change the chain rings from the 53-42-30 they put on to 53-39-26. One rarely laments having a lower gear one didn't use, but not having one that was needed is a problem.
B. Carfree is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-18, 10:58 AM
  #17  
124Spider
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 188

Bikes: 2016 Cervelo R3 2018 Rodriguez Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
One of the first changes we made to our Rodriguez after we rode it home from Seattle to Eugene was also to change the chain rings from the 53-42-30 they put on to 53-39-26. One rarely laments having a lower gear one didn't use, but not having one that was needed is a problem.
Is that as simple as changing the two rings, or is some surgery to the shifter necessary (to accommodate the smaller rings)?

Thanks.

Mark
124Spider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-18, 11:08 AM
  #18  
stacysaul
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What a great way to spend time together.
stacysaul is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-18, 05:54 PM
  #19  
zonatandem
Senior Member
 
zonatandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 11,021

Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 70 Post(s)
Congrats on the tandem!
Been riding as a duo fro over 42 years and are now on tandem #5 !
Covered over a quarter million miles together since 1978 and still riding at ages 85 and 83.
Oh, and we've also been happily married for 63 years.
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
zonatandem is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-18, 05:48 PM
  #20  
Leisesturm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,533
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 950 Post(s)
Originally Posted by 124Spider View Post
Is that as simple as changing the two rings
It should be as simple as that.
Leisesturm is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-18, 07:33 PM
  #21  
dalenjune
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: NE PA
Posts: 13

Bikes: Dale; 2017 Breezer Radar Expert, 1987 Schwinn Cimmaron and a bunch of projects. June; 2017 Marin Fairfax SC3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
OP, nice ride!

zonatandem, you two are inspring. June and I just started riding together in our 40's on our individual bikes for now but a tandem is in our future for sure. We have only covered 6 miles together so far but I hope we have thousands of happy miles ahead of us.
Dale
dalenjune is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service