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Tandem with kid?

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Tandem with kid?

Old 08-19-22, 03:39 PM
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Tandem with kid?

So we have spent the last 3 years riding with an Adams Trail-a-Bike for my kid and we like going on rides they simply cannot keep up with on their own. So I was wondering about adding a tandem for them to ride since they are hitting a height limit with the trailer.

Does this make sense to do?
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Old 08-19-22, 09:43 PM
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We did it with a kid crank when our oldest hit about 6. Pulled the Trail-A-Bike behind the tandem with the younger kid after she graduated from the Burley. Once we hitched the Burley to the Trail-A-Bike behind the tandem - which gets a lot of attention!
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Old 08-19-22, 10:06 PM
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I've talked with a few people who started small children as a stoker around the age of 2, and maintained that until the teenage years when either having their own single became a lot more fun, or other interests in life got in the way.

My kiddo isn't old enough yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

Use toe clips so they don't catch a pedal in the back of the ankle.
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Old 08-20-22, 07:40 AM
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Tandems East is located across the river from you in South Jersey. Mel and Barbara, who own the business have been riding for decades and raised their kids on the back of tandems. Mel designed a kid-back ket for raising cranks to fit kids. You might want to take a short drive down to see them and check out their used tandem stock. https://tandemseast.com
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Old 08-21-22, 08:30 AM
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I posted a few pics of my kids on our tandem here: As Time Goes By

Bike was an old Santana Sovereign with the Santana kiddie stoker kit. It all worked well.

I second the suggestion of checking with Tandems East.
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Old 12-17-22, 05:17 PM
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That what I did. I started my son ona wee-ride co-pilot; when he got frustrated with that (anything over 12mph he was just spinning instead of helping to pedal) I go a tandem.
I joined a tandem group on Facebook and put out my request with this nice picture of my boys and set up at the time.
I soon had a couple of people trying to sell me their old tandems; I found a guy who really wanted my family to have his tandem; so I bought it. I got a child stoker kit added to it and last summer my boys and I really enjoyed our bike!

Summer 2023 my youngest will be old enough to go some miles in the trailer. He's a little too young to be in it much this summer.
So this summer both pictures get combined! Tandem, trail-a-bike, trailer set up will be in full swing! 7 year old on tandem, 4 year old on trail-a bike, and two year old in trailer!
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Old 12-17-22, 07:05 PM
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We had our kids on a tandem with a child crank at about 2 1/2. If you don’t think they’re totally ready to stay on the seat, you can get a Adams trail-a-bike backrest.


The backrest is made to lean backwards, so we bent it forward some to match the back angle for our kids. We used our backrest for a couple rides before deciding we didn’t need it. But every kid is different.

So you could have all of them on the bike with you if you had a quad. That’s what we finally did.
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Old 12-17-22, 09:39 PM
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We tried a kidback and it wasn't popular. I think a newer M/S MTB like a Fandango, or a Periscope style tandem, with some really short stoker cranks (or 2-hole cranks or crank shorteners) would be a lot better.

4-5 is a really awkward age/size for bringing your kids. They are too big for kid seats but not really big enough for 20" size bikes or trail-a-bikes, much less a slammed adult size.
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Old 12-18-22, 11:06 AM
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My 3 year old with a kid crank.

She was technically 3 but by only about a month. That was 33 years ago. A kid crank on a tandem is way better than a trail-a-bike.
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Old 03-03-23, 01:36 PM
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I would take a hard look at the Burley Piccolo. I have used every kid trailing device known to man. It is miles better than the Adams. It attaches to the rear rack like a fifth-wheel trailer, so it both moves more freely and is more stable. Also, my eight-year-old loved being able to shift on his own. Suitable for up to 10 year-olds. (Not my photo).

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Old 03-16-23, 07:07 PM
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Several options. A Bike Friday tandem will accommodate a child as they grow. Also a Co-motion Persicope.

Another option as shown in the pic above is a child stoker kit on a conventional tandem
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Old 03-16-23, 10:56 PM
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Taking my son along as he grew, we first used a Taiwanese Piccolo knockoff, only with the pin at the back of the rack. The price was great and it seemed much more stable than a seatpost-clamp setup, but that vertical load behind the rear wheel did affect handling a teensy bit.

About the time he outgrew the trailercycle, he could reach the pedals on the tandem without a kidback, so we switched to that.

These days, he's taller than me - but not all that interested in riding anymore. He's welcome to ride anytime he changes his mind.

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Old 03-17-23, 03:24 PM
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This thread really peaked my interest as it brought forth so many memories, that will be cherished forever. And to share some of that, our unparalleled experience (AFAIK) includes riding with the kids on 2 seat tandems, triplets, quads, quints and finally on their own tandem. It all spans ages 18 months through their early 20s and encompasses 18 consecutive MTR tandem rallies, from 2000 through 2017, two NWTRs, 28 state crossing tours, 3 Hotter'n Hell Hundred ride, local metric and full centuries, other local smaller events, and two self supported tours. College and lack of time eventually got in the way. That is the short version.

Growing up on tandems! Here is a warning though as there are consquences which I live through each day.

More than you will ever want to know here, from those in the trenches, written by others and well worth the read as perspectives vary yet there is a common denominator in making it all work.

This link
summarizes just a few of the many lifetime memories starting with 18 months and into adulthood. Teaser photos below were both taken at MTR rallies. The first photo is when Natalie was only 18 months in Duluth 2001, touring the parking lot as she so desperately wanted to ride like her older sister who had yet to turn 4! The second one is in Dayton 2013, ages 15 and 13!
Here is 15 year old's perspective of being a captain during two MTR rallies while on their own tandem.
I gotta admit, it was incredibly fun to see them hanging with the lead group to the first rest stop and to listen to the comment from those that watched them grow up on tandems at all the MTRs.

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Old 03-31-23, 01:03 AM
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I have 5 kids ages 8, 6, almost 5, 3, and 1.

Kids have been exposed and riding since they could sit in an ibert. As each has grown, Iíve added to the stable. The 8 and 6 year olds are very capable of riding their own bikes but only until about the 45 minute limit.

To get 4 rolling, we run a train consisting of a tandem with kiddie cranks with a burley kazoo trailer bike, followed by a burley double trailer as the caboose.

pleasant to ride flat and downhill. Uphill, not so fun! But itís fun for the kids.

if itís just one kid, the tandem and kiddie cranks are so wonderful allowing them to be part of the process and great conversations are had with them that we donít get any other time.
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Old 03-31-23, 12:57 PM
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Well said and fully agree. The alone time without any distractions and non face to face verbal interaction is a real eye opener as what comes out really reveals what is going on in their young minds. And being an equal participant on the longer bike, directly with a parent, is very meaningful to them.
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