First Tandem?

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pickerd
Posts: 104
Joined: 22 Mar 2015, 7:01pm

First Tandem?

Postby pickerd » 2 May 2019, 12:10pm

Hi all,
We are thinking of getting our first tandem! Actually, more like, I have convinced my wife it would be a good idea. We have tried an old Claud Butler before, but just up and down the road.
I could buy new, but as I have access to parts at cost and I am able to do all the jobs necessary to build a tandem myself, I am thinking of investing in a good frame, or 2nd hand tandem that is sound but needs work.
Any suggestions for good frames that I should look out for, and where to look?
Thanks

reohn2
Posts: 35581
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: First Tandem?

Postby reohn2 » 2 May 2019, 1:21pm

Youll be lucky to find a s/hand tandem frame that suits you both,a complete bike would be a better proposition.Depending on budget there are a few s/hand on Ebay and this forum in the for sale section.
It's best to understand what the tandem will be used for which will give a better idea of what you need.
A couple of points:- make sure the gearing low enough as tandems climb slower than solos especially if the stoker isn't as strong as asthe captain 20in lowest gear is a must for most tandemists.
If the stoker is tall make sure there's enough room in the rear cockpit,older tandems are lacking in this regard.
Try to get one with as many standard and dureable parts as possible,ie;48hole rims and hubs are like hens teeth,40 hole rims less so.

EDIT:- Just to add,
A decent suspension seatpost is a good investment for stoker comfort.
You definitely don't want toe overlap on a tandem
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I cycle therefore I am.

Mr.Benton
Posts: 95
Joined: 13 Jul 2009, 1:38pm
Location: North Yorkshire and soon to be Worcestershire

Re: First Tandem?

Postby Mr.Benton » 2 May 2019, 3:57pm

I suggest trying one for a day or so before taking the plunge. Tandem riding is great but very different than riding solo bikes.
When we were looking into buying a tandem we went to https://www.tandeming.co.uk/ for the tandem experience day. They provided us with loads of advice on stopping, starting and riding a tandem which was good as neither of us had been on one before. Then we went out for the day on a ride.

Tandems don't suit everyone as it requires a lot of trust by the stoker, I would try first before buying.
There are other providers out there that offer similar tandem trial experiences in addition to my link.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28648
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: First Tandem?

Postby thirdcrank » 2 May 2019, 4:17pm

- I have convinced my wife it would be a good idea -


You know your wife better than we do, but I'd still sound a note of caution. I gradually took over our family tandem in my teens and rode all over with stokers of both sexes. When we had only been going out together (do people still say that? :oops: ) a couple of weeks we went for our one and only tandem ride. Our next anniversary will be no 52. It was only male stokers after that.

In short, make sure that she is really as keen as you are. Then, there's good advice above and I'm sure there'll be more. Our tandem was a Saxon with a split rear seat tube to shorten the wheelbase. The stoker was directly over the rear hub and suspension seatpins had not been invented. (Or if they had, I'd never heard of them in those pre-internet days.)

pickerd
Posts: 104
Joined: 22 Mar 2015, 7:01pm

Re: First Tandem?

Postby pickerd » 7 May 2019, 12:43pm

Thanks everyone for your very useful info and advice. We hired a tandem yesterday at Rutland Water and went for ride. My wife enjoyed it, and so did I once she realized she had push down on the pedals. She thought it was dead easy until that point!!!! :D
We have chatted since and think that although a tandem is a big investment it does offer benefits over 2x solos. With solos it is easy to get away fromt each other accidentally or on purpose (e.g. because of traffic), where as with a tandem you are stuck with each other for good and bad. My wife realized that this is pretty good as she can jab me in the ribs when we need a power boost!!!
Anyway I am now looking for a tandem shop in the Midlands to have a look at more tandems. Has anyone got any suggestions?
I take the point that 2nd hand frames are rare and think we will try to find a complete bike.
Is the Ridgeback Panarama any good? They seem to sell at reasonable prices!

thirdcrank
Posts: 28648
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: First Tandem?

Postby thirdcrank » 7 May 2019, 2:56pm

Not in the Midlands * as such but certainly worth a visit:-
https://www.tandems.co.uk/

* Decades ago, when I spent a year as the English language assistant at a school in the Rhône Valley, the geog teacher assured me that Leeds was in the Midlands and proved it by showing me a map of the UK and measuring it from top to bottom. Fummy the things that stick in the memory: his surname was Dailly.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 5566
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: First Tandem?

Postby Tangled Metal » 7 May 2019, 3:15pm

https://www.thetandemshop.com/contact-us/

Is Telford in the midlands? All South to me!

I think it's supposed to be like the Gargrave shop in quality but without the own brand.

reohn2
Posts: 35581
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: First Tandem?

Postby reohn2 » 7 May 2019, 7:14pm

I've looked at the Ridgeback tandems before and they're pretty well specced for the money the framset looks well built too :)
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I cycle therefore I am.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28648
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: First Tandem?

Postby thirdcrank » 7 May 2019, 8:00pm

I don't think anybody has mentioned the Tandem Club.

https://tandem-club.org.uk/

reohn2
Posts: 35581
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: First Tandem?

Postby reohn2 » 7 May 2019, 8:04pm

thirdcrank wrote:I don't think anybody has mentioned the Tandem Club.

https://tandem-club.org.uk/

Good call TC :)
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I cycle therefore I am.