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m5nardi 09-19-07 03:02 PM

Small team, first tandem
I'm looking for a first, entry level touring tandem for a 5'6" captain/4'8" stoker. My stoker is my youngest daughter, and this looks like the only way she'll keep up with us on tour and local loaded shopping runs. She has a maximum standover of about 24", and yes she's all legs. Fuji Absolute LE, looks like a 2005

That's what my LBS has, and we'll be test riding the 19"/15" this weekend. We only had time to do a quick sit on in the shop last week, and the stoker fits just fine but I was a little cramped (also all limbs, and the cockpit seemed a little short.) I know next to nothing about sizes and geometry, my method of singles purchasing has always been to sit on things and buy what felt best.

I have a few questions. I haven't ridden clips in years, and she's never ridden them, and this will be our first ride on a tandem. Is this "how not to fall over in front of the nice salesman"? Hold the bike up while my daughter clips in, clip in my lead foot, let her launch us, pedal hard enough to get us balanced and figure out how to clip in my other foot at the same time?

If this bike doesn't seem right, who should I be looking at for a hybrid that small? I can't spend more than $1000, the LBS has offered me this one at a deep discount.

Is there anything else I should know so as not to crash?

moleman76 09-19-07 05:50 PM

Starting sequence is pretty close. Some of the experienced contributors to this topic will probably come up with exactly the words to search for, but recently there was a video clip mentioned that shows most everything, so they say.

While you are standing over the bike, and she is clipping in, you want to have the brakes on. It will help to keep the bike from moving under her. Obviously, release them just as she starts to propel you forward.

thebearnz 09-20-07 07:17 PM

Hehe made the mistake of buying a tandem and putting clipless pedals on for the first ride. 10 mins later (after some words between the captain and stoker), some basic pedals were on and we had some start/stop practice runs in a quiet stretch of road.

It took us 3 rides before I put the clipless on for the stoker (so she would be less inclined to try and help stop). and then another 4 before I felt comfortable with my clipless

zonatandem 09-20-07 09:35 PM

Starting sequence is pretty close. Communication from pilot to stoker is an 'absolute' (a little play on words here).
Stoker can't see around captain and can't read captain's mind.
Let stoker know (out loud) when you are shifting, braking, coasting, resume pedaling, slowing, stopping, turning and do call out all the bumps/potholes. Stoker makes all the turning/stopping/slowing signals at captain's request/command.
Other new entry-level tandems in that price range/size by Trek, Schwinn, Raleigh . . . or find something used and bit better quality at about the same price.
First test ride the tandem 'solo' before getting a stoker on board so you get the feel of the long bike. You can temporarily remove toeclips 'til you become more sure of yourselves on the tandem, then re-install them. Clips or clipless pedals do help keep foot in correct position without accidentally having foot slip off and gouging the legs.
Good luck and wlecome to riding TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

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