What's a good family tandem?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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John1054
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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby John1054 » 22 Aug 2018, 7:55am

JD Tandems usually have a Pino to try - very helpful and customer focused business; Circe from near Cambridge are also very helpful and leant us a Helios to try. Why not visit both before deciding?

RJS
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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby RJS » 22 Aug 2018, 8:49am

How about a TandemTwoesday/Traveller from Bike Friday, lots of scope for adjustability, much roomier on the back than the Circe Helios, not cheap though.
Cheers. Rob.

Tangled Metal
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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 Aug 2018, 9:28am

Went to JD Tandems a year or so ago. The lady there was very customer focused and I think her husband was out back doing technical things to bikes. Passionate about selling and promoting tandems I thought and not just about their business. Could be wrong but that was the impression given to me.

They had a pino or two or three back then. Wasn't interested but it's gone from me and other half to me and child.

Tandems for us are all about evening out the cycling strengths of family members to get the most out of trips for all. It used to be about speeding up my partner but now the child is the limiting factor. It sounds harsh and bad but simply put that's the reason if you are honest. We've never had issues being social on our individual bikes so that's not a reason.

pwa
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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby pwa » 22 Aug 2018, 9:43am

Don't spend too much. We got two very expensive but nice Thorns with Rohloff gears for me and the Missus to pilot our two sprogs and it worked well for a while. We took them to France a couple of times. But as soon as my son got to about eight he wanted to do his own steering and braking, and he was actually getting fast and strong on his own. My daughter carried on with the tandem until about the same age, but looking back I'd say the four grand (more nowadays) that we spent could have been better spent. And when we sold the smaller tandem we struggled to get rid of it for half what we paid, and still nearly mint.

Tangled Metal
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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 Aug 2018, 10:02am

Looking at up to £3k personally and would be ok with dropping half that in 4 or 5 years time. It's about experiences with the family. A good start for our son. Cheap at that price IMHO.

Pino or more likely morpheus work basic gearing but full racks and stand. It can cope with variety of ages and sizes on the front recumbent seat and has a freewheel for the front occupant.

As my partner says, "it's only money don't worry about it!" she then goes on to say it's about the time we have and making the most of it. Can't disagree!

What spec for the pino/morpheus? Normal (cheap) gearing like a 3x mtb kit setup on the gearing should be good. Low 20s" to say 90" should more than suit initially. However there was one spec I saw had 26" to 110" with aline or other hub gear for less than £3k. A semi recumbent too. One reasonable spec with basic gearing was £2000-2500.

Of course I've seen them at edging £4500-5000 too. A nice couple of fully recumbent tandems I've seen too. Out of my range though.

reohn2
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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby reohn2 » 22 Aug 2018, 10:16am

One thing I'd be wary of with a child riding in the recumbent position would be their feet coming off the pedals,it happens occasionally with an upwrong tandem even with toeclips and straps with 8 to 11 year olds IME,with the feet facing forward with heels facing down ther'd be a lot more chance of that happening and the foot being caught on the road surface or going into the front wheel with the Morpheous/Pino style bike.
Last edited by reohn2 on 22 Aug 2018, 11:28am, edited 1 time in total.
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pwa
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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby pwa » 22 Aug 2018, 10:22am

If you can get the gearing down to about 20" do that, and don't worry about the top end. Even at 20" you will find hills you can't get up. Nobody ever gets off on a downhill just because they don't have a high enough gear to pedal. 90" is fine for the top end.

reohn2
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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby reohn2 » 22 Aug 2018, 11:30am

pwa wrote:If you can get the gearing down to about 20" do that, and don't worry about the top end. Even at 20" you will find hills you can't get up. Nobody ever gets off on a downhill just because they don't have a high enough gear to pedal. 90" is fine for the top end.

I agree and I'd go even lower with a child stoker especially if touring with a load.
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eileithyia
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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby eileithyia » 22 Aug 2018, 11:48am

pwa wrote:If you can get the gearing down to about 20" do that, and don't worry about the top end. Even at 20" you will find hills you can't get up. Nobody ever gets off on a downhill just because they don't have a high enough gear to pedal. 90" is fine for the top end.


Mam Rattagan... could not hold the tandem with the brakes.. could feel it gathering pace each time I set off..... ended up walking down it... but was only one. Walked up a few esp in the Dolomites and in Tarn / Ardeche gorge area.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

Tangled Metal
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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 Aug 2018, 12:12pm

Brigsteer Hill, Cumbria. I so wish I'd walked down that hill with my road bike. Rims burnt me when I brushed against them at the bottom. Not good to accelerate towards a hairpin with brakes full on. Still, old rim brakes on only but still good rims so my own fault for not checking the pads. All's well that ends well and I didn't launch into the air off a hairpin bend.

Still I can appreciate the need to walk down hills on rare occasions.

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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby Vorpal » 22 Aug 2018, 12:44pm

One thing I will say about a standard or childback tandem.... I'm not sure about something like a Circe or the Hase Pino... If you have any more kids, you can add a trailer bike on the back of the tandem. We rode ours with an older Isla Bikes trailer bike, so we had three on the tandem. A standard tandem with kiddie cranks can also potentially be ridden with your partner as stoker (kiddie cranks off, of course) and your youngster on a trailer bike on the back.
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Tangled Metal
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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 Aug 2018, 1:41pm

The rear of a pino is practically the same as the rear of a standard tandem so no reason a trailer bike can't fit them too. Same with two wheeled tandem recumbents. We were planning on attaching our followme-tandem onto my recumbent. It's all possible. You'll see pictures of semi recumbent tandems towing single wheel trailers too.

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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby Vorpal » 22 Aug 2018, 2:06pm

I've walked up up a few hills in Norway with tandem & trailer. Of course the trailer was loaded with camping gear!
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Tangled Metal
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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 Aug 2018, 2:26pm

http://travellingtwo.com/15693

I think this shows what a morpheus can do if the adult rider can do it too!

Can't post image only link to image online. It's from a website about cycling with children

Tangled Metal
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Re: What's a good family tandem?

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 Aug 2018, 3:17pm

Do you know any good Norwegian ski resorts? Off topic but it's one of the places we're thinking about for a post xmas/Pre-new year ski/winter fun holiday for the family. IIRC you live it lived in Norway for a while. 5 year old and two adults. One skis the child and I never have.