Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

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Tangled Metal
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Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby Tangled Metal » 1 May 2019, 3:40pm

A year and a bit I started looking at recumbents following a year of renting to get a tandem. Well I've got the 'bent thing lodged into my cycling soul but I'm still after the new, next thing. So tandems...what's that about?

I know a lot and have checked out the big Yorkshire tandem specialists. But are they good fun? What are they like? Can they help with nervous parent syndrome? This is when usually one parent is OK with cycling on the roads but try to suggest their 6 year old... Well you might as well have just suggested killing him the look I got back.

My thinking is whether I'm likely to entice my 6 year old son onto a tandem so we can ride the roads again like when he was on a FollowMe Tandem or bike seat. Whether nervous parent would become "slightly less nervous parent"? Also, if anyone knows of a decent try-it-out tandem secondhand, preferably in NW England?

Last question, 6ft5in (196cm} down to 128cm, is that even possible in a tandem without major customisation = coming up secondhand like never? Would I be stuck with a circe helios or one of those semi recumbent tandems from circe or Hase?

reohn2
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Re: Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby reohn2 » 1 May 2019, 4:20pm

I would look at a s/hand Thorn childback tandem or Circe.
Circe are great but at 6ft 5in you maybe a bit cramped as the captains cockpit is on the short side to accomodate the norm but with a long stem it should be OK,there's plenty of adjustment for tall people in seatpost deptand there's plenty scope for he stoker from very small to quite tall.
The plus with the Circe is the small 406 wheels make the overall length much shorter than a large wheel tandem,this is great for transporting in a car or on trains.The problem is if you are on a budget finding one s/hand,they're are like hens teeth.

Anyway you're very welcome to come and try our Circe out for size if you like,it's a bit of run out for you from Lancaster,we're 2miles fro J23 M6.
Last edited by reohn2 on 1 May 2019, 4:39pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 1 May 2019, 4:24pm

reohn2 wrote:Anyway you're very welcome to come and try our Circe out for size if you like,



Such a shame there aren't many nice kind people on here.... </sarcasm>

I'm a bit further away with a kiddiback, but I think that already has a next owner.
My younger one LOVED it, my eldest wasn't so sure (she didn't like feeling out of control).
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roubaixtuesday
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Re: Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby roubaixtuesday » 1 May 2019, 4:37pm

Experience of tandems and children…

We first got one before we had kids, over 20 years ago.

I’m 6’4, my stoker is 5’3

We had children on from the age of four, using kiddycranks and they all loved it. Even at that age, a little help up the hills makes a big difference. If you want one without fitting kiddycranks, childback tandems are available which accommodate a much greater height differential.

A (much) cheaper option is a tag-along; we also had one of those, and fitted it to the tandem to make a triplet. The rack fitted ones are far better and an adequate tandem substitute. Personally, I would absolutely avoid the seatpost fitted ones which IME are far too unstable to be safe.

Once our kids were much over 8, they wanted to be on their own bikes, but all kids are different. We have now reclaimed the tandem for ourselves.

On trying out, I’ve often seen tandems for hire on bike routes eg at both Parsley Hay and Ashbourne on the Tissington trail. Whether you can hire one to fit both you and your 6YO is another matter.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby Tangled Metal » 1 May 2019, 4:40pm

Is it a helios or morpheus? Our son was always climbing on my recumbent seat everytime we stopped last summer tour. I think the morpheus out pino might suit.

Pricey to just try out out as first bike. I guess you need time on a new steed to find out if it really suits.

I've been looking at the tandem club sales section to see if there's anything in the sub £500 mark. If unsure I think that's the price at which you'll probably lose very little to try with. It also might put you off when a better one wouldn't, but that's the risk with going cheap and secondhand.

I'd like to be able up take your up on your offer to try it out, but at don't often go that way. I just wonder, we're going past Gargrave this Saturday....Hmmmm!

Now how can I talk the other half into a visit. It's not like the shop is just off route. It's down a minor side road and round the back of a little industrial estate. Not somewhere you can just stumble upon in the car. Plus stumbling onto a few tandems perfectly set up for me and my son to try out would really stretch the coincidence meter and send it off the scale!

No! Up front honesty. My partner can tell a mile off when I'm planning a detour to a certain shop. It's like I give the game away hours before.

Just out of curiosity, how long are most tandems? The pino morpheus and helios ones are a little shorter I guess between large solo and standard tandem in size.

I.like the pino because it separates into two manageable sections very quickly. The helios can be supplied as a version able to split. Costly new and probably rare secondhand.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 1 May 2019, 4:43pm

Why the concern about length?
If you drop the wheels the end up similar in length to a solo, certainly possibly to put one across the back of a car.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby Tangled Metal » 1 May 2019, 4:46pm

This might be a non-starter hence the cheap secondhand idea. Our son has access to a FollowMe Tandem for his 20" wheeled frog bike. Last time we tried to use it on his 16" bike he refused. They're out hence I'm kind of hoping he'll see some fun in a tandem.

If that idea fails it's a long wait until nervous parent syndrome sees him as old enough to ride on the roads unattached in some way other than off road routes and away from motorised traffic. I reckon mid teens might be about the age! :D

reohn2
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Re: Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby reohn2 » 1 May 2019, 4:48pm

Ours is a Circe Helios
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby Tangled Metal » 1 May 2019, 4:57pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:Why the concern about length?
If you drop the wheels the end up similar in length to a solo, certainly possibly to put one across the back of a car.

There's always a reason to my madness! :wink:

Truth is soon it won't be an issue. We're being a van with the view to convert it eventually. This summer it'll be used as a runaround instead of our car as it comes. In the future the plan to convert will put a seat in so fitting will start to involve length issues. We're intending to do without kit outside the van for security reasons. Plus laziness. After a late Sunday return the van can be used the Monday commute with all the kit left in.

Right now our car is long enough for my bike to be put in with another adult bike and our son's 20" bike without losing his rear seat or any safety issues. A shorter wheelbase tandem with wheels off could possibly sell fit in with the other bikes (especially if the kids bike is left behind.

Still, getting a more compact bike for transporting is a good idea even when it's not absolutely needed IMHO.

KiwiKev
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Re: Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby KiwiKev » 1 May 2019, 8:53pm

From a Hase Pino owner. Are tandems (esp. the Hase Pino) fun? As regards the Hase Pino (I have 2, one of them is at present for sale in another forum here) . Where do I start. You don’t have to confine yourself to just transporting your 6 year old son. Fun stokers over the last few years (other than my Wife). The neighbours 5ft tall Wife, could not cycle more than 2 miles on a normal bike, much to her astonishment, comfortably did more than 20 miles in the recumbent seat before she knew it, had repeats on that, (Wife following on solo). The lovely 72 yr old French lady (another 5ft short) who took us on guided tours around her local area in the south of France last year, gamely, from the front of the Pino, Wife following on the solo. Very powerful Aussie cyclist friend on front of Pino, had to discretely put my feet up on cross bar as we were very fast leaving my Wife (on solo, do you see a pattern emerging?) behind. A local blind guy enjoys a spin on the front , have to tell him we are on a hill. (Wife in usual spot). Over the past few years various cousins, nephews, nieces, other non cycling visitors, friends have all enjoyed a spin, they all loved the experience, also, very easy to chat to your stoker on the Pino.

Not all were enticed onto the Pino, 1 or 2 said they wouldn’t be seen dead on it.

We have flown our Pino, dismantled into a standard soft bicycle bag, to Lanzarote, New Zealand, Fuerteventura in the past 3 years, 2 people, only pay for transporting 1 bicycle, always an ice breaking conversation item wherever you go. In NZ, fitted the Pino into a sub compact estate car (Nissan Wingroad) by taking off rear seat, folding down recumbent seat, 2 minute job, did not have to separate, stoker chainring at front windscreen, rear carrier at rear window, neat fit. I have a campervan, Pino sits on a rack, tucked in neatly on the back the van.
Another person local to us spotted ours, he has an autistic son, promptly purchased one. Dad loves his cycling, son loves bombing around the countryside, happy family.

And, best of all, you both arrive at the same place at the same time regardless of individual strength/confidence.

In case you are wondering, my Wife doesn’t miss out too much on pedalling her favourite bike, she probably occupies the deck chair on wheels around 95% of the time

Tangled Metal
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Re: Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby Tangled Metal » 1 May 2019, 9:37pm

I'm wondering if the investment in one with years of taking my son in the stoker seat will lead to repayment when I'm old and he's at his peak?

The issue is he'll probably love it for a few years then independence means it's ditched. My partner has already said she'll possibly consider a normal tandem but wouldn't be seen dead on the semi recumbent tandem. She accepts it's good for Jack but not for her.

She likes the helios but thinks it is too small for me at 6'5" tall. I'm also a drop bar cyclist due to needing different hand positions on anything longer than half an hour. I think helios only suits a flat bar.

KiwiKev
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Re: Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby KiwiKev » 1 May 2019, 10:28pm

The Hase Pino handlebar position is probably more variable than any other handlebars I know of, up down, forward or back, you can get long bars, or standard, quick to adjust. You can also get ‘Double Grips’ for varying your hand position. < http://www.rad-innovations.com/store/p3 ... -Pino.html >.

If you get to the Gargrave Hase dealer, they will have all the info. You will note that the main man at Gargrave is also around 6’ 5”, and a well practised Pino rider.

My Partner is a great fan of not having her forward vision and other senses obscured by and downwind of my rear end, not a fan of traditional tandems. Both riders have a great unobscured forward view. 2 sets of eyes to spot those pesky potholes and other obstructions.

My Wife and I get a lot of enjoyment out of our Pino, she doesn’t mind the attention, overall a great investment.

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RickH
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Re: Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby RickH » 1 May 2019, 11:33pm

reohn2 wrote:Ours is a Circe Helios

All the best people have one... :D

I can thoroughly recommend them. And if you want you can convert to a long tail cargo bike in minutes by replacing the stoker's seat with the custom rack that Circe do

I concur with R2 the front cockpit is a little short. Although I'm not anywhere near as tall, I like a stretched out position & I swapped the OEM stem for a 135mm one.

brynpoeth
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Re: Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby brynpoeth » 2 May 2019, 6:21am

Perhaps the Pino could be upgraded to a triplet :wink:
Did see a side-by-side tandem once, wheels in the middle, riders right and left, probably they need to be similar weights, wish I had a photo
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ONETAL
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Re: Is this the place to discuss Tandems as well?

Postby ONETAL » 2 May 2019, 11:57am

A pair of roller skates and a bungee cord will do the trick, and a lot cheaper.