New Tandem for us, need help with a stoker post
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  1. #1
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    New Tandem for us, need help with a stoker post

    I recently did some home repair work for a divorcing couple (not the tandem's fault- blame the former captain). He's a Trek employee who left the tandem behind when he left his wife. She offered the tandem to us instead of child sitting our 9 year old after the work got fairly in depth.

    It's so close to fitting the both of us after I change the stems and bars. The front half is easily dialed for me. It's the back half I'm having difficulty with. The seat post is an Answer Bodyshock. The mechanism is too large to allow it to be set low enough for her seat height by 5 cm.

    Is there a suspension post out there that has a measured hight (from bottom of seat rail to top of seat tube of 7 cm or less? I will use a standard post in the interim, but I'd like to have her tush protected for the bumps I can't steer around.

    As for the tandem, it's a Trek T200 that was made to their spec. I'd have to take a tape measure to it to see if it is significantly different, but I think the tubeset is stock. It has Dura Ace cranks front and rear, XTR brakes and rear deraileur. The wheels are Hugi hubs with Velocity Dyads. It has 9 speed bar end shifters on mountain bike riser bars, but I'll change those to Bontrager Race bars and the 9 sp 105 sifters from my 'cross bike.

    There's no rush to get this bike on the road. It would be nice to have it ready in April when the roads are nearly clear here in Wisconsin.

    Sorry for the bad picture, it's parked in the garage where it can get used to being harassed by all the monopostos.
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  2. #2
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    Thudbuster ST is 10 cm. FWIW.
    Life is better in the big ring.

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  3. #3
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    I can't specifically recommend, but a Tamer is 83mm minimum insertion. Considering preload, that might work.

    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    You might also be able to squeak out a little more by changing to shorter cranks. The only inexpensive option for short stoker cranks I know of is SJS Cycles in London- they`re heavy, but otherwise nothing wrong with them and they go all the way down to 150 IIRC. Orderinig is easy and shipping is reasonable.

  5. #5
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    I have explored this one and the Tamer is the shortest. Here are the other options:

    The shorter cranks are a good option (and also help with different cadence tolerances).
    If the stoker's rear can handle it, you could find a lower profile seat.
    If you get really desperate, you could have a frame builder cut down the top of that seat tube.
    If you get really, really desperate, you could shim out the cleats on the stoker's shoes.
    If you get really, really, really desperate, you could find a taller stoker.
    If you get really, really, really, really desperate you could sell the T200 frame and get a new one.

  6. #6
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    We had the same issue on our tandem so I replaced the telescoping seatpost with a Thudbuster ST. That solved the height problem and the parallelogram style posts offer a much better ride than the telescoping ones. The Tamer had a shorter "stack height" by about 20mm but I thought the Thudbuster had a longer track record.

  7. #7
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    Maybe you don't need a suspension seatpost?

    There are quite a few folks over on bikeforums.net tandem forum that do not use them. With that big cushy seat she has now, and maybe some large 30mm+ wide tires with moderate pressure, you may be able to get away without it.

    My wife uses a short travel Thud-Buster, but the only place it really comes in handy is at bridge transitions. I usually call out to have her stand on sharp transitions anyways, so I bet we could ride without it.

    Just a thought....
    Weaklink
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  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=Weaklink]There are quite a few folks over on bikeforums.net tandem forum that do not use them. With that big cushy seat she has now, and maybe some large 30mm+ wide tires with moderate pressure, you may be able to get away without it. ..QUOTE]

    This might be true for some but not for my wife and I. And we're on a steel hardtail mountain tandem with either 2" slicks or 2.2" knobbies.

    Granted we only have about 600 miles of tandemming under our belts but we agree that on longer rides (30+ miles) we start to feel a lot more beat up on our tandem than we do on our "half-bikes". I think it's because we tend to suffer through minor discomforts rather than break our cadence or make the subtle changes in body position etc that we would if we were riding any of our other bikes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by strathconaman
    Here are the other options:

    The shorter cranks are a good option (and also help with different cadence tolerances).
    If the stoker's rear can handle it, you could find a lower profile seat.
    If you get really desperate, you could have a frame builder cut down the top of that seat tube.
    If you get really, really desperate, you could shim out the cleats on the stoker's shoes.
    If you get really, really, really desperate, you could find a taller stoker.
    If you get really, really, really, really desperate you could sell the T200 frame and get a new one.

    Shouldn't selling the frame be at least one option closer to the top of the list?

    Thanks for the help so far gents.

  10. #10
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    (1) Not cheap, but a titanium seatpost really smoothes things out. Proper riding techniques (unweighting, etc) is always important. When I rode a hardtail with a suspension post, I never really noticed much difference and darn those Thudbuster-type posts sure are ugly in my op.

    (2) Consider proper bike fitting with regards to handlebar height, top tube reach, etc just like you would any other bike.

    (3) On long (>100 miles) endurance rides, I've heard riders doubling-up on bike shorts for a little extra cush...this might also work for her.

  11. #11
    your text here
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    don't forget, you rarely stand up, so your tookis is gonna get a bit sleepy.

    Quote Originally Posted by dir-t

    Granted we only have about 600 miles of tandemming under our belts but we agree that on longer rides (30+ miles) we start to feel a lot more beat up on our tandem than we do on our "half-bikes". I think it's because we tend to suffer through minor discomforts rather than break our cadence or make the subtle changes in body position etc that we would if we were riding any of our other bikes.
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

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