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Tandem Bikes ?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Anybody familiar with pros/cons of tandem riding and various models offered in this category, costs, maintenance, ease of use? I'm a novice biker using a low cost bike to commute to work 10 miles each way this summer. Have marginally athletic wife. Both of us over age 50. Possibly interested in acquiring an inexpensive used tandem for an experiment to see if she and I could mix gabbing and exertion for 60 minutes several times a week. But only have about $500 budget for this experiment. Probably should rent one from a bike shop for a couple rides? I live one mile from a 45 mile bike trail. I understand the pickin's are slim to none in the used less than $500 range, maybe some cheap Taiwan tandems or possibly Trek tandems. Then the price tag goes up to $3-8K for good equipment that is beyond my range for this experiment. Found some good info here:
http://www.thetandemlink.com/tandems.html

Thanks.
post #2 of 15
a) Don't do it.
b) Don't get fancy.
c) It's all about -her- comfort. That goes ten times over if she's the stoker.
d) Call Larry Black at Mt. Airy bikes for a silly-ridiculous but cheap 50lb tank of a Schwinn Twinn and make sure you keep all excursions silly and light hearted even if you can't get the pedals in sync or someone flubs a dismount.
e) Hit Tandemo or whatever Mt. Airy calls their tandem weekend and demo,demo,demo.
f) Join the WABIT support group at http://www.dctandems.org/
g) The W&OD is good (flattish) but not perfect for tandems, braking distance is longer you see. Vienna to Herndon : C&O towpath is gold with fattish tires.
h) bikes@vienna rents I think, including 'bents.
post #3 of 15
Got a stoker you want to keep happy? Deep pockets?

http://www.davincitandems.com/
post #4 of 15
Those have some sweet gearing options.

If cost was no object, tho, I'd go to Bilenky for a custom.

Purely an esthetics thing.
post #5 of 15
I thought you might notice the DaVinci has independent stoker cranks and each person can freewheel at will!
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips. They're right on. If mama ain't happy, nobody's happy. I think my first step will be to rent one for a few hours sometime soon, and bikes@vienna has them.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
I thought you might notice the DaVinci has independent stoker cranks and each person can freewheel at will!
Noticed and demoed. The freewheel was great once we got going but she had mixed feelings about it when mounting. I thought it let her cheat too much.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Noticed and demoed. The freewheel was great once we got going but she had mixed feelings about it when mounting. I thought it let her cheat too much.

How does the drivetrain behave when you're mounting up?
post #9 of 15
Just a psychological motion cue strangeness; unless we hit the pedal at the same time, the bike would start moving before the other foot was off the ground. On one without dual freewheels, you can sort of see the pedal moving ahead of time and compensate, no such thing with the DaVinci.
post #10 of 15
Perhaps one (the lighter rider) should mount first while the captain (heavier) holds the brake levers down. Then while the stoker freewheels, the captain releases, mounts and goes...the stoker joning in at will?
post #11 of 15
I can see that working. Didn't get a chance to practice.
post #12 of 15
We built a tandem beach cruiser bike a few months ago and attempted to ride it afterwards. It was quite entertaining, but I really don't know why anyone would want to ride it farther than the length of a parking lot. (That same statement goes for any cruiser bike, IMNSHO)
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223 View Post
We built a tandem beach cruiser bike a few months ago and attempted to ride it afterwards. It was quite entertaining, but I really don't know why anyone would want to ride it farther than the length of a parking lot. (That same statement goes for any cruiser bike, IMNSHO)
I sense that the captain forgot the frosty beer backpack. :
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
I sense that the captain forgot the frosty beer backpack. :
We built it out of a box, not as a joke. Sadly, it is an actual trek model.



http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike...d=1370000&f=46
post #15 of 15
Bump because Westminster is only 2 weeks away:

http://www.stopswapandsave.com/

Jamesj, did you get something and do we get a ride report?
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