Hot answers tagged

45

I have a 1990 steel racing tandem, and sadly it gets more miles solo than with a stoker. The main differences between tandems and solo bikes apply when riding a tandem on your own (rear wheel cuts corners more, you can't bunny hop) but points to note: Cars may not see the rear of your bike, and may not anticipate the extra space required when pulling up ...


35

Sheldon goes into some detail on this. Having the pedals 180° out of sync would lead to a couple of problems: Starting off, as most people have one foot on the pedal and lean towards the other foot on the ground, including both people on a tandem. Foot overlap. There's often not enough room for the captain's foot to be at the back of the stroke and ...


25

Everyone climbs at their own best rate and cadence. On a tandem, both riders have to ride at the same rate and cadence, which will be closest to those of the strongest rider. So neither of them are climbing at their best rate and cadence. On a tandem with very well matched riders, they are in fact quicker, largely due to the draughting effect of the two ...


17

Sheldon Brown (of course) has a good page on riding tandem. He doesn't get into details, but since the stoker's main job is to keep upright it doesn't demand a lot of bike handling skill. Riding as stoker for the first time is similar to being passenger on a motorbike for the first time; the main thing to learn is not to lean or shift your weight. All the ...


15

Doesn't seem like too big a deal. It should be similar to having someone on the back who's not pedaling, only lighter and faster.


13

The Timing chain helps keep the front and back riders pedals rotating at the same time. Depending on your preferences you can set them as "in phase" where both the front and back cranks are at the same point in the rotation, or as "out of phase" where the front and back cranks are offset by 90 degrees. This is advantageous as when one of the riders reaches ...


13

Tandem cranks are special. The pedal thread directions on each arm are oriented correctly to prevent loosening from precession, as on any other bike. You just need two sets of normal pedals. If somehow non-tandem cranks have been installed such that either of the left cranks are right-threaded or the right captain crank is left-threaded, that situation is ...


12

I have a tandem and I have ridden it solo. It's not hard from a handling point of view, and at least with mine it's easier than riding tandem – it's just riding a bike with an exceptionally long rear end. Sure, more friction and a lot more weight, but overall something any cyclist with a tiny amount of experience can handle.


11

There are bicycles with a crankshaft that runs through the rear axle. The "Tur Meccanica Bi Bici" is such a bicycle: I can't tell from your picture if it's the same bike or not, but it certainly could be.


10

It's hard to tell from your picture because they're out of focus, but they look a bit like grease nipples: i.e. like the ones in the top left of the picture. Do they have the little ball bearing in the middle?


10

The follow-me tandem lifts the front wheel of the child's cycle off the ground because that's the only way to have stable handling on corners. I made some primitive drawings to explain. Note that in these simplified drawings, the radius of the curve is exaggerated. When the two bicycles are going in a straight line, it would be fine if there were four ...


10

It's not the weight of knobblies that's the issue, but how much effort you have to put into deforming them with every rotation - the rolling resistance. The tyres you've got are certainly going to be slower than a wide semi-slick, like many touring tyres, but they'll be a lot faster than tyres designed for muddy trails. The ones you've got don't actually ...


9

If it sticks out from the width of the car DO NOT carry the bike in the bumper carrier. If necessary, take both wheels out but take no chances, anything wider than the car is a danger to yourself and others, think about motorbikes.


9

If you want to have a real cargo bike, e.g. an "inverse Bullit-style" the challenge will be structural integrity of your frame: you can't easily cut the 2nd diamond of your frame without risking to break the frame. However, I don't see a problem with removing your back saddle, cutting/removing the back cranks and building a sturdy plywood/mdf cargo hold ...


8

When climbing a hill on single it is normal to rock the bike side-to-side as you climb. This rarely matches exactly for both riders. It's similar to the way people run slower in a three legged race.


8

It's a Schwinn Twinn. The serial number will be located on one of the rear dropouts, if it's not on either side of the head tube. There are a couple websites that will help you determine the date of manufacture. Judging from the type of tires fitted to the rim, and the shape of the rim, I surmise that the bike has had both wheels replaced at some point, as ...


7

Yes, yes it is possible... If the tandem is loaded onto the carrier at an angle, it won't extend much beyond the width of the car or minivan (maybe not at all for a larger vehicle). It's not totally clear in the following picture, but the horizontal bars are tilted up a bit to make it more secure. It's necessary to bungee-cord the bike or otherwise secure ...


7

Riding a tandem solo isn't a big deal. It's just a big long heavy bike; as others have said easier than riding a tandem with a stoker if they're not putting much power in. Apart from the "funny" comments you get, the only actual issue I've noticed is that you don't get so much grip on the back wheel without the weight over it. I tried standing on the pedals ...


7

I've ridden stoker, and its probably easier for a non-rider than for someone who rides. The instinctive thought for the experienced rider is to move their body weight around to balance. That would work if the stoker and captain were completely in tune and had the same riding style. However, cyclists have different styles and move the bike differently. ...


6

Coordination: When riding in a group of singles, it can be hard to stay together on a hill climb, because everyone climbs at different paces. It depends on so many factors, weight, gear ratios, preferred cadence, getting out of the saddle when it feels comfortable and so on. Being forced to climb faster or even slower than you'd like to can upset a rider's ...


6

I think this should be possible, as long as your wife is happy in the navigator position and you are OK with being the bug-shield. Having the larger person on the back is difficult, but may be possible with unusual designs. I'm always banging on about how important bike fit is and a tandem is no different. Do make sure you try as many as possible before ...


6

Disabled cyclists are cyclists and so they would like some control over steering, braking, or pedaling. It's tough to design a strong singlewheeled adult-sized pedaled trailer because of the weight involved (50-200kg; 100-400lb) with adult riders. That's a lot of stress on the hinge-joint that connects the trailer as well as the front rider if the rear ...


6

I don't know of a child seat which replaces the seat-post and I think it's unlikely that it exists as a product as this would be such an unusual case. The normal Hamax seats which attach to the seat tube will work fine and the design shown here provides some suspension. I've ridden the bike like this, without a stoker and it does take some extra care due ...


6

In short, no: One doesn't have to be an experienced cyclist to be a stoker but... I would strongly suggest an aspiring stoker (and captain for that matter) to do some spin classes or workouts on stationary bikes. The reason being that it is VERY difficult to stand and throw a tandem side-to-side as one often does on a single bike. The spin bike teaches one ...


6

The short answer is no, the stoker does not need to know how to ride a bike. I've taken out an inexperienced stoker in her 70s who has been blind since birth. However perhaps blind people make better stokers as they are used to trusting people to guide them. Note that riding as a stoker will not necessarily give someone the skills needed to ride a solo bike....


6

I think in this situation, to avoid an "upgrade spiral", you will be better off changing your chainrings. Chainrings are not overly expensive and probably won't require new derailleurs or shifters. I have been known to take apart freewheels and change the cogs. I've even re-spaced them or changed the numbers of speeds. But if you want an overall ...


5

Kool stop R9 Magura HS33 Pads are made to work with Rigida CSS rims. Also V-Brake inserts by kool stop for Rigida CSS rims.


5

You will need a specialty tool referred to as a crank remover or crank extractor. A Park Tool CCP22 or something similar. I would suggest considering the Park Tool CWP7 or equivalent as it offers increased flexibility. While the CCP22 is suggested for square shaft interface the CWP7 will do square, splined and octolink. While you only need the square type ...


5

As an experienced cyclist with a lot of tandem experience: you are way over thinking this whole thing. Assuming both of you are adults and not complete klutzes, you'll have it figured out well enough in a few minutes of trial and error. If you're not both adults, you'll still figure out within a few extra minutes. Getting to be real slick starting and ...


5

It will certainly be more difficult than riding a standard bicycle. Although I don't feel like it would be impossible by any means. The factors to consider are: Weight - the Tandem weighs a lot more than a standard bicycle Wind - larger surface area means more effect from crosswinds Length - This will play very little with the transport as far as riding ...


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