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multi seat tandem bikes what do i need to know ?

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multi seat tandem bikes what do i need to know ?

Old 04-24-19, 05:46 AM
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wsa30h
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multi seat tandem bikes what do i need to know ?

Questions about multi seat tandems.
tandems with 3 or more seats.
1. How do you start and stop The bike ?
2. How do you balance the bike is it any different to a conventional 2 seat tandem ?
3. Is it hard to turn the bike ?
4. how much do they cost ?
5. What frame material is the best but not too expensive ?
6. Is a steel triple or quad good ?
7. How heavy are they from each material for example how heavy is a steel triplet as apposed to a aluminium triplet ?
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Old 04-24-19, 07:28 AM
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good questions. i ride a tandem, but would like a 3 seater to ride the family. rarely see a 3 seater used, so prolly not gonna happen.

sounds fun and wish you the best. guess the best thing to do is start slowly and regular practice in a non car area. we self taught our selves on the tandem and repairing the thing was a bicycle mechanics education. books and internet got me through an almost total overhaul.

update us when you find your bike and how you found it.
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Old 04-24-19, 08:07 AM
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thanks i will i have a czech company in mind called tandemservis.cz they have a triplet.
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Old 04-24-19, 10:49 AM
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In Oregon we have Bike Friday a 20" wheel take apart to travel tandem (or triple )

Co Motion they also are a smaller company making tandems and if desired a triples,,




I always thought it was the captains job to steady the bike until all in the seats behind them were ready to go..





....
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Old 04-24-19, 11:41 AM
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Keep in mind that every tandem is a multi seat tandem!
I saw this steel Meridian 4 person tandem more than a decade ago. Can't remember the price when I looked on the company site, but it was expensive. ($10,000 maybe?) Company no longer exists.

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Old 04-24-19, 11:53 AM
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Jan, you should post that picture in any thread where the rider of a single bike insists that only a hydraulic disc brake is up to keeping them safe on the road ...
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Old 04-24-19, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Jan, you should post that picture in any thread where the rider of a single bike insists that only a hydraulic disc brake is up to keeping them safe on the road ...
Likely has a drum brake in the back so not a good example.
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Old 04-24-19, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Team Fab View Post
Likely has a drum brake in the back so not a good example.
I think it definitely has a drum brake in back. No matter, drum brake is never used for 'stopping'. Never. Drum brake is used for maintaining steady descent speed on long downhill grade to take heat load off the tires, not so much the main brakes. It is a perfect example. If a Wombat darts out in front of that quad it won't be the drag brake the Captain reaches for, it will be the caliper brakes. Sidepulls by the looks of them. They will probably be enough. Think of that.
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Old 04-24-19, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I think it definitely has a drum brake in back. No matter, drum brake is never used for 'stopping'. Never. Drum brake is used for maintaining steady descent speed on long downhill grade to take heat load off the tires, not so much the main brakes. It is a perfect example. If a Wombat darts out in front of that quad it won't be the drag brake the Captain reaches for, it will be the caliper brakes. Sidepulls by the looks of them. They will probably be enough. Think of that.
Likely wont be able to stop if a Wombat or a turtle runs out. Or Swerve for that matter.

Also likely that a rim brake could not get to the point of locking up the wheels therefore the brakes are not as strong as they could be. Stronger brakes would therefore be safer.

Going down long steep hills is a safety issue as well, so if a rim brake cant take it you just won my argument.

That being said would you go back to drum brakes on your car**********? Not likely. The future is disk brakes, for now may as well accept it
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Old 04-24-19, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Team Fab View Post
Likely wont be able to stop if a Wombat or a turtle runs out. Or Swerve for that matter.

Also likely that a rim brake could not get to the point of locking up the wheels therefore the brakes are not as strong as they could be. Stronger brakes would therefore be safer.

Going down long steep hills is a safety issue as well, so if a rim brake cant take it you just won my argument.

That being said would you go back to drum brakes on your car**********? Not likely. The future is disk brakes, for now may as well accept it
At the price point of the bikes I buy there is ZERO functional difference between discs and anything else. There are disc brakes on two of our three (active) tandems. The third has v-brakes. There are dual pivot sidepulls on my new road racer. V-brakes on anything else. Can you not see the shades of gray? I am not anti-disc just not fearful that discs are the only kind of brake that works! Before discs were invented people used (and lived) with other brake technologies. That seems to be forgotten. I am not saying for a minute that that quad couldn't make good use of some mechanical or even hydraulic discs, I am making an observation that many new customers shopping for commuter bikes or hybrids wring their hands in pain when their favorite brand does not offer hydraulic discs as an option. I also expect you to know better than to think that locking the wheels of a single track vehicle is a good thing. Locking of wheels is such a bad thing in fact that a lot of R&D has gone into the creation of anti-lock brakes for motorcycles and one day bicycles. Our last tandem in fact came equipped with a device that prevented the locking of the brakes (since removed!) because bike makers don't trust riders enough to be able to modulate brakes in panic situations but do not yet have a high tech solution. So, no, I don't agree that just because the brakes on that quad cannot lock the wheels that it isn't as safe as a bike that can. That's all I've got. You can have the last word if you really need to have it.
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Old 04-24-19, 02:27 PM
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what do you mean janMM that ever tandem is a multiseat tandem ?
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Old 04-24-19, 03:01 PM
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Tandems are the most fun when both riders agree they are fun. That's a 1 in 4 chance on a tandem and 1 in 8 on a triplet

I'd love to try one. The only one I've ever seen in person was a cruiser style and pretty beat up.
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Old 04-24-19, 03:10 PM
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well when you put it that way darth lefty it makes sense.
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Old 04-24-19, 04:41 PM
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Every tandem has more than one seat, making them all multi seat bikes. ‘Multi seat’ is not commonly used in reference to tandem bikes.
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Old 04-24-19, 04:47 PM
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gotcha makes sense.
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Old 04-24-19, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by wsa30h View Post
gotcha makes sense.
Good luck in your search!
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Old 04-24-19, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by wsa30h View Post
Questions about multi seat tandems.
tandems with 3 or more seats.
1. How do you start and stop The bike ?
2. How do you balance the bike is it any different to a conventional 2 seat tandem ?
3. Is it hard to turn the bike ?
4. how much do they cost ?
5. What frame material is the best but not too expensive ?
6. Is a steel triple or quad good ?
7. How heavy are they from each material for example how heavy is a steel triplet as apposed to a aluminium triplet ?
We have a Co-Motion steel quad. We like it a lot. Answers below:

1. We get all the stokers clipped and strapped in first. Captain (me) sits down on the top tube with legs spread wide to stabilize the bike. Stokers spin the pedals to “start” position, which has the right-side pedal at about the 2:00 position viewed from the right. Then I clip in my right foot without lifting my tail off the top tube, keeping the bike as upright as possible. I call “Ready?”, and then call “Go”. At “Go”, all the stokers push hard for a few strokes to get us moving, then I call “coast” to stop the pedals so I can clip in my left foot. Once clipped in, I call “go” again and we are underway. The only difference from how we start a 2-seat tandem is that I pay even more attention to keeping the bike upright while clipping in on the quad.

For stopping, I call “stopping” which means for the stokers not to push on the pedals but let me rotate them where I want to so I can unclip easily. I unclip my left foot. Then, as the bike is slowed to a slow walking pace, I unclip my right foot, slide forward off the saddle, and walk a couple steps with the bike still slowly moving before I finally brake to halt the bike. In this way, as soon as the bike is stopped, I am able to sit down on the top tube with my legs spread to stabilize the bike. Then the stokers unclip/unstrap and get off. On a 2-seat tandem I usually unclip one foot, and then halt the bike and unclip at the same time. I can do that on the quad as well, but it’s less stressful to have both feet out and be off the saddle before the bike stops and could begin to tip.

2. This is the only quad I have captained, so this may only apply to ours. But, the farther back a stoker sits, and the heavier they are, the more they affect the bike handling. Not a problem, but enough to be noticable.

3. Not hard, but does take room. You do have to get used to moving more sideways than forward when you turn sharply. No big deal, just something to get used to. Although I normally ride drop bars, the quad has flat bars. I just haven’t gotten around to changing them. But I will say that the extra leverage is nice for slow speed maneuvering. If I ever do the swap I will probably use a wider drop bar like a 46cm, not my usual 40cm.

4. We bought ours used off of ebay. We were blessed that one came up that was the right size for not too much (relatively). The only place I have seen prices is here: https://www.precisiontandems.com/catframetandem.htm. Triplets from Co-Motion and Santana are $6,000-$10,000 there. Used, they go for less: Tandem Bicycles For Sale, Tandem Bike Components For Sale there are a couple triplets there for less than $3,000.

5. Steel is the most inexpensive. Aluminum is probably a little stiffer and also lighter, but more expensive. If cost were no object, I’d probably have aluminum or even titanium/carbon! But steel is fine for us. We’re not racing anyone, and we don’t have the $$ for anything else.

6. We’re happy with ours.

7. Our steel quad weighs about 80 lbs. Maybe someone else can give you a reference for aluminum.

Final thought — Overall, the two big players in the market are Santana and Co-Motion. Santana has probably built more long bikes (longer than 2 seats) than the whole rest of the world combined, and Co-Motion is far and away the second-largest manufacturer. The two of them might have 90% of the long bike market. So I wanted a bike from one of them rather than a manufacturer that builds one triplet per year.


Hope the info helps.
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Old 04-24-19, 10:17 PM
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This is an older article, but there’s a lot of excellent info here: https://www.thetandemlink.com/Triplets.html
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Old 04-25-19, 03:26 AM
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thanks wheelsnt perfect reply that answered everything.
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Old 04-25-19, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by wsa30h View Post
Questions about multi seat tandems.
tandems with 3 or more seats.
1. How do you start and stop The bike ?
2. How do you balance the bike is it any different to a conventional 2 seat tandem ?
3. Is it hard to turn the bike ?
4. how much do they cost ?
5. What frame material is the best but not too expensive ?
6. Is a steel triple or quad good ?
7. How heavy are they from each material for example how heavy is a steel triplet as apposed to a aluminium triplet ?


1. VIDEO OF QUINT - LOAD UP AND ROLL! Starts and stops with triplets are the same as a 2 seat tandem with a light experienced kid on board.

2. No. Everyone learns to work together as a team, no matter the number of seats, with good communication, and common goals. Make the goals fun and entertaining!

3. No. Just different. The learning curve is short. Ride it by yourself. Add your most experienced stoker directly behind you next. Ride again with that person. Add the 3rd (or keep adding riders if the bike is really long!) and practice starting and stopping after each person gets a chance to learn the feel and develop the trust that creates this newly formed and forming team.

4. Don't go cheap as a quality well thought out designed and built triplet (or longer) will provide a much better experience, so that it will actually be used and not garage art. This is what it takes to keep going and creating memories of a lifetime!

5. Aluminum with continuous one piece tubes pierced by the seattubes. The larger diameter aluminum tubes add a bit to the nearly missing third dimension and that makes a world of difference as does the steering geometry that permits turns rather than a wrestling match. There are triplets that ride and handle better than some 2 seat tandems in my vast and likely unparalleled experience based on riding thousands of miles on nearly everything made when it comes to longer bikes over the past 24 years. And that is partly why we designed our own with the help and guidance of Dennis Bushnell. Aluminum also sheds maybe 7 pounds, certainly noticeable in all aspects from climbing, accelerating, lifting, and moving it around.

6. They are all good. Aluminum is better IMO.

7. Built a 39 pound triplet sans pedals..... examples below. But 47 pounds with a disc rear brake is where most land without the carbon bits need to shed more pounds.
104 miles Hotter'n Hell Hundred https://www.precisiontandems.com/pho...2011_start.jpg
550 miles Bike Across Kansas https://www.precisiontandems.com/bak2007/bak2007a.jpg
586 miles Biking Across Kansas https://www.precisiontandems.com/bak...2006%20078.jpg

Enjoy this awesome video of a quint we sent to Australia! And they continue to have fun to this day!
Great Victorian Bike Ride (GVBR) on a Quint down under

Here are many photos of family length bikes, in use.
https://www.precisiontandems.com/familypics.htm

And this, the most recently received of many shared, speaks for itself.
"The quint was really the best thing we ever bought. It holds 7 years of good memories."
(translates to all tandems ridden with kids no matter the length!)

That is the best part, heard so many times with that being the memories and bonding created that last a lifetime.

It is really an investment in your family, an inexpensive one at that compared to the cost of many other things families do that do not retain the memories tandems provide. And there is a recapture to factor in making the cost over the number of years rather small. What gets me are folks that spend mega thousands on a single bike but then want to go cheap on a tandem, not advisable.

The time is short and goes by quickly, said in retrospect with both girls now in college. There is only one chance to make those memories. I have no regrets and strongly echo the sentiment others have posted in that regard as well. Have fun and make the leap.
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Old 04-25-19, 04:47 PM
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wow thats amazing taking off just like that on a quint now that is a solid team.
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Old 04-25-19, 05:32 PM
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Thanks! They are all expert stokers aside from the lanky lad in the middle, the non cyclist boyfriend. He too was an expert by the end of the week!
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Old 04-30-19, 04:14 PM
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Does any of the big bike brands make triplets ?
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Old 05-02-19, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by wsa30h View Post
Does any of the big bike brands make triplets ?
Not sure who you are meaning by 'big bike brands"? If you are meaning Trek and Giant, then no. If you are meaning the two tandem bike brands, then yes. Both Co-Motion and Santana build triples.

Last edited by Paul J; 05-02-19 at 07:07 AM. Reason: word order
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Old 05-02-19, 07:41 AM
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I meant the likes of more common brands like trek also i found out that pedalpower in germany do a steel triplet for 2900 euro does anyone have experience with any of their triples ?
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