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Where to Start? links appreciated

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!

Where to Start? links appreciated

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Old 01-25-15, 06:47 AM
  #26  
waynesulak
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Originally Posted by SimplySycles1 View Post
Let me tell you about two strong riders / racers getting a tandem. We are both tall so it was a long CL search that netted us a 450.00, 19 year old Trek. We figured nothing to lose at that price. The experience and feel was so different we could not tell if it was DA or 20 year old XT. We went through the same learning curve as a 4500 bike. My wife's a stomper and I am a spinner. It all of a sudden you could not do either. Everything was hard, experienced riders make the worse teams. We each have our own way of riding. Look over your shoulder, nope, grab a bottle, not withou a public anouncement, stretch your back no handed, reach in your pocket, banged on the helmet from behind for hitting a bump. Few thousand miles later we love it. So if you are looking for advise, rider with other tandems from day one. They know all the tricks, how ever they learned them. It is a very different experience. Why do you think there are so many unused tandems for sale, don't foloow my path and learn everything the hard way.also put away the Cat 2/3 mindset unless you are trying to burn some singletons off your wheel as my wife encourages, there is no hurry on a tandem. I can't pm but if you wanna contact me [email protected]
Interesting to read that skilled riders have the same frustrations learning to ride as a team. I would have thought the smooth pedaling of a good rider would have helped more than you mention. We are the opposite of cat 2 racers and after many miles we both have learned to:

Look over our shoulders unannounced,
grab bottles with public announcement,
and reach in our pockets all the time, and
I stretch my back no handed - well until my stoker says to stop that.

For new riders reading this thread we are not special. Experienced teams have to talk much less. There is a learning curve but it is a rewarding trip and in addition to the above it is neat to both act without a word exchanged. Every once in a while the bike is like a Ouji Board and we both believe that we feel the other accelerating through the sync chain so we each work harder so as to hold up our end only to laugh about it later.

Last edited by waynesulak; 01-25-15 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 08-20-15, 02:38 PM
  #27  
TrekNL2
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thx!
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Old 09-12-15, 09:03 AM
  #28  
mtseymour
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Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
Interesting to read that skilled riders have the same frustrations learning to ride as a team. I would have thought the smooth pedaling of a good rider would have helped more than you mention. We are the opposite of cat 2 racers and after many miles we both have learned to:

Look over our shoulders unannounced,
grab bottles with public announcement,
and reach in our pockets all the time, and
I stretch my back no handed - well until my stoker says to stop that.

For new riders reading this thread we are not special. Experienced teams have to talk much less. There is a learning curve but it is a rewarding trip and in addition to the above it is neat to both act without a word exchanged. Every once in a while the bike is like a Ouji Board and we both believe that we feel the other accelerating through the sync chain so we each work harder so as to hold up our end only to laugh about it later.
I strongly agree.

Although my wife and I are experience riders, we still had a lot to learn as a tandem team. For our first ride, we were glad that the LBS owner took us out individually for basic tips (starting & stopping, communicating, etc) and try riding riding as the stoker and the captain. As a captain, it's quite the eye-opener to ride as a stoker. Since then we have learned more from other teams.

Even for a strong team, there is no downside to buying a good entry-level tandem. These kind of tandems are easy to buy and sell with minimal financial penalty. It will also be easier to make informed upgrade choices after putting on suitable miles. We bought an used Co-Motion Periscope because it fit us and was in good shape. After one season, we knew why we should upgrade to a custom carbon fiber frame, go 2x11 instead of a triple, get a good suspension seatpost, remove the front disk brake, etc. Although these equipment choices work for us, they may not work for another team. The point is that we could experiment and learn without making an expensive mistake. Nothing is sadder than buyer regret after buying an expensive ride that is not quite right.
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Old 11-24-15, 12:42 PM
  #29  
Binky
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Originally Posted by Smallguy View Post
Can someone help me out with getting started in the tandem world?

My gf soon to be wife and I are both avid cyclists and both race as well

She has expressed interest in getting a tandem and more time on bikes is great by me.

We both have higher end road and mountain bikes and enjoy the performance of quality components.

I saw some prices on a khs tandem for under 2k and it looks decent and possibility entry level ?

We met a couple with a cannondale that looked very nice and I believe they are about double.

Before you buy anything, even used......

Borrow one to try out.

There are places that rent them.

Seriously: I picked up a nice used tandem bike a few winters ago and got it all ready to ride for the warm weather.
Although it was a good fit for both of us in terms of frame size my wife rode on it with me one time and said that she preferred the feeling of being in control of her own bike better.

She has some great bikes and simply preferred riding solo on any one of them to riding with me on the tandem.

I continued to ride it by myself from time to time over the balance of the summer because it fit me so well and I liked it so much, but she never got onto it again. I also have no end of alternatives so now it just hangs in the garage.

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Old 06-07-17, 12:21 AM
  #30  
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A cautionary note about buying a used tandem: I read ads for about two years looking for a used tandem for my wife and myself and never found one that accommodates our respective sizes. It is amazing how few tandems (especially high end ones!) are in the market that accommodate people of less than average height.

My wife is 5 ft tall, I am 5 ft 11 and there just were't any used tandems available in our size. We ended up buying the Trek T900 which is a good bike for beginners, very sturdy and stable though certainly not high end, rather a bit like an SUV. Later we added a KHS T20 ("sausage dog", their folding tandem) to the "fleet", also a good bike though not high end, hardly lighter than the Trek because of its steel frame but much smaller (more than a foot shorter), somewhat twitchy (like most folding bikes), the other extreme from the Trek. We prefer it for climbs.

Another note (some hints have already been given): The more experienced a solo rider the stoker is the more difficulty you will likely have to get together as a team (the captain almost has to be experienced since (one of) his job(s) is to operate in traffic). In our case I was a life long rider (though never a high end component type, more an errand running biker than a tourer or racer), my wife learned to ride a solo bike at 50 and never completely got the hang of it (hard to understand but there it is) which made it hard for us to ride solo together. We got used to riding the tandem together within a few miles. She is very happy on her stoker seat and the only things she objects to is a very high cadence and too few rests because of her butt (for those who don't yet know: The stoker gets the brunt of pot holes etc., sitting right above the rear wheel and being unprepared for them unless warned by the captain. For the captain on the other hand it is more comfortable than a solo bike).

One more thing: You need good brakes. Our Trek came from the factory with brake pads that were unable to stop the bike on a moderately steep downhill. This can get dangerous. We bought higher end pads and it is fine now but pay attention to this when you buy a tandem.

Last edited by dblA; 06-07-17 at 12:38 AM. Reason: Clarity
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