Is it possible to "test drive" a tandem?
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  1. #1
    Bring the pain
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    Is it possible to "test drive" a tandem?

    I hope this isn't a dumb question.
    I am an avid cyclist. I have been riding for about ten years now and have logged thousands of miles. The bad part is that I have done this mostly solo. I have a daughter that is 13. She likes to ride some but I don't think she has the desire to ride long distances. I would be afraid of her getting burned out if she had to produce all the effort.

    Would a tandem be something that could foster her love of the road and provide some "Father/Daughter time"?

    Is there organizations that put on rides that let newbies try out a tandem to see if they like it?

    I live in Central Illinois.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Google tandem rentals in your area.
    A few years back....I wanted to get a tandem with my girlfriend....but didn't want to drop the cash and have her hate it. We rented 1 from a near by shop. She was hooked, we bought one and we did a lot of miles together.
    She's gone now...but I still have the tandem
    As far as your daughter.....she's at THAT age. As a father who went through it....good friggin luck! You're gonna need it!

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I agree with trying a rental place, then you can ride it for a couple of hours if she's up to that long, otherwise you could test ride a tandem from a dealer for about 15 minutes. I hope your daughter likes it, but make real sure she does and not just saying she does to please you, if she does that you'll buy a tandem and not have a rider to go with you then your stuck with a tandem! Keep in mind too that most teenagers hit about 15 years of age and suddenly hanging with dad is no longer cool. I would buy used so the cash outlay is a lot less, then if she gets too cool for you and no longer wants to ride then your not out as much money.

  4. #4
    Bring the pain
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    Froze, you are correct about making sure that she is not "liking" the tandem just to please me. She has done that before with the saxophone I used to play. She kept playing for a couple years just because she just didn't know how to tell me she wanted to give it up.

    I will definitely be looking at used in case it is just gathering dust. Then I'll be able to get my money back out of it.

  5. #5
    Cheese is my copilot
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    Tow tandem clubs in IL: Tandem Bike Clubs Directory

    Tandem people are good folks. Give them a call.
    Life is better in the big ring.

    http://theclemencyblog.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    My LBS owner has loaned me his personal tandem for the next 10 day, I've purchase a total of five bikes from him in the last 4 years ... I guess he trusts me. My wife and I went on a 20 mile shakedown ride this morning and plan on riding a century next weekend on it. It's a sweet ride.

  7. #7
    Trekkie
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    tandem

    I've sort of wondered about this myself. My wife has to ride an adult tricycle because she had eye issues as a kid, and never developed the balance to ride a regular bicycle. For a time I considered getting a tandem bike, but wasn't sure if it would work, since she does not have good balance. Anyone know if it would work with a person in back who can't ride a regular bike, but the person in front who can?

  8. #8
    Steaming piles of opinion
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhioCruiser View Post
    I've sort of wondered about this myself. My wife has to ride an adult tricycle because she had eye issues as a kid, and never developed the balance to ride a regular bicycle. For a time I considered getting a tandem bike, but wasn't sure if it would work, since she does not have good balance. Anyone know if it would work with a person in back who can't ride a regular bike, but the person in front who can?
    It might be challenging for the captain, but it can work. In a sense, it might just work better, if you can get to the right trusting spot.

    Ideally, the stoker doesn't do anything about balance, and just stays in line with and attached to the bike. It's when they start moving around, trying to balance (or worse, look around the captain in a corner) that it gets hairy. So if 'no balance' means flopping around, bad news. If 'no balance' means trusting you and holding still, a real possibility of success.

    BTW, there are several organizations that pair captains with stokers that are blind, and others for Parkinson's patients. While the reasons for these vary, the point is that the "normal" attributes for a rider aren't needed for a stoker. They only need to provide power when it's needed and stay relatively on top of the saddle.

    Oh, and give back rubs.
    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

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