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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!

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Old 05-16-10, 11:17 AM   #1
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ride on Short WheelBase tandems?

After yesterdays century my partner and I are considering an aggressive sport tandem.
We usually hang out in the C&V section so naturally we were hoping for something with some miles already on it for a lower price.

The question:
How does the ride on a SWB tandem compare to a standard frame tandem?
Is it even worth considering or should we just look for a good "modern equipment" tandem and build it up to be more aggressive?

Also are modern SWB tandems even shorter older ones?

I have a family friend with a bike similar to this

and he doesnt ride it but is reluctant to sell it.
Should I make an offer or just forget this specific bike?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-16-10, 05:36 PM   #2
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Make an offer . . .should be well under $500 for a Peugeot that old (and very heavy). Also without a lateral tube on an old Peugeot the ride could be a bit whippy.
Yes, have owned and ridden a very short wheelbased tandem (1977 custom Assenmacher) for 64,000 miles (correct amount of zeroes).
It also featured a bent rear seatube as the Peugeot but had twin lateral tubes and weighed 34 lbs. The short wheelbase made for quicker handling/maneuvering than our older French Follis tandem (which was similar to Peugeots).
The wheelbase was 60 and1!/4 inches. However pilot is 5'7" and stoker was under 5' . . . a perfect fit for us.
So if the owner wants to sell at a reasonable price and it fits properly then go for it.
That will let you learn what you like/don't like about tandeming without breaking the bank before buying what you really want in a tandem: a fast, more modern and lighter sport bike.
Just our input.
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 05-16-10, 08:39 PM   #3
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Many people put a lot of emphasis on bicycle fit.

The effective top tube for the stoker on that bike is going to be short, short, short.
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Old 05-17-10, 11:41 AM   #4
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+1 on both the above.

Short chainstays and bendy seat tube make very little difference to tandem wheelbase and ride. Wheelbase is mainly driven by stoker compartment length and captain frame size / top tube length and doesn't make much difference to anything unless you're planning to do track sprinting, while comfort is mainly driven by tyres, contact points, seat posts and wheels.

Bendy seat tubes are a marketing gimmick and are generally unnecessary since once chainstays are long enough to allow good shifting across a triple and some heel clearance across 140mm rear spacing, there is also plenty of room behind the seat tube for mudguards etc.

The thinking used to be that shortening the stays and bringing in the rear wheel helped rigidity. However modern tandem designs and oversize tubes now mean that this compromise is no longer needed. On the Peugeot above, the tube size meant it needed all the help it could get as rigidity is a real issue.

So in summary - buy the Peugeot if you want a cheap intro to sedate tandeming that performs like a $250 single bike.

The Peugeot can actually be made to do most things. Friends of ours have toured round Europe on theirs and completed sportif rides more quickly than I can go on my Parlee. They ended up spending a small amount of money to improve its limited braking, gear changing and rear wheel reliability, but then they were really hammering the bike and are used to modern single bikes. After a few years they ended up buying a mid-range modern tandem.

As long as you don't expect it to ride and shift and brake the same way as your $10,000 Pinarello you will be fine. If you do want something that rides like the Pinarello, you need to spend more like $10,000.

Last edited by mrfish; 05-17-10 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 05-17-10, 02:54 PM   #5
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"Aggressive Sport Tandem?" You live in Oregon? You need a Co-Motion.
You could fall off a cliff and die.
You could get lost and die.
You could hit a tree and die.
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Old 05-18-10, 09:55 AM   #6
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Get a real short wheelbase tandem

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