Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Tandem Cycling
Reload this Page >

Tandem eBike conversion - Lessons learned

Notices
Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

Tandem eBike conversion - Lessons learned

Old 02-21-21, 03:01 PM
  #1  
Alcanbrad
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Alcanbrad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 365

Bikes: '14 CoMo Carrera, '11 CoMo Primera co-pilot, '98 Santana Visa, a Plethora of road bikes, A commuter/Gravel beast (and 1 MTB)

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 90 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 28 Posts
Tandem eBike conversion - Lessons learned

I am in the process of putting together and kicking off a conversion project to electrify our tandem. I have been doing a lot of research and have spent a fair amount of time running simulations on the ebikes.ca website and have narrowed down to a specific motor, battery plant, and controller.

This is not a "what do I need" or "how do I choose" thread. I am interested in others experiences and lessons learned either electrifying and/or owning and riding an electric tandem. I realize the population is small here, but this is one aspect that really isn't covered elsewhere on the interwebs (that I have been able to find) and this is where folks in the know hang out.

I would be interested in some details of your setup (voltage, battery plant, etc.). How you ride (electric assist all the time, hills only, etc), what kind of range do you get from your setup, and finally, what you learned and what you would do again or differently if doing it again?
Alcanbrad is offline  
Old 02-22-21, 05:54 PM
  #2  
Pridedog
Gone Biking!
 
Pridedog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Indiana
Posts: 131

Bikes: Orbea Gain, Lynskey, Redline Conquest Disc, Bike Friday, Cannnondale T2 Tandem.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked 31 Times in 18 Posts
I converted my Cannondale T2 with a Dillenger front hub motor kit. My experience may not be applicable for you since I ride with my 6 year old grandson. Due to some recent physical issues I now only ride ebikes.

The conversion was pretty straightforward. I have this same unit on a single bike and feel it is excellent into the wind and up hills. We get by in the lowest assist levels, but if road goes or wind picks up we can increase assist.

The hub motor is 350 watts. Battery life depends on a number of issues, but it is as good or better than any hub unit.

Good luck.
Pridedog is offline  
Old 02-23-21, 08:05 AM
  #3  
Artmo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 1,592

Bikes: '06 Bianchi Pista; '57 Maclean; '10 Scott CR1 Pro; 2005 Trek 2000 Tandem; '09 Comotion Macchiato Tandem; 199? Novara Road; '17 Circe Helios e-tandem:1994 Trek 2300

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 115 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 30 Posts
As I’ve described elsewhere on the tandem forum, I converted our tandem with a Cytronex C1 and have also added one to a solo bike. The battery/controller, which fits into a special “bottle cage,” is interchangeable, so I only had to buy part of a kit to accommodate both bikes. Fitting the kit from unpacking takes about 30 minutes. Weighs only 3.6kg or about 8lb in real money!
Artmo is offline  
Old 02-23-21, 11:15 AM
  #4  
DubT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 1,164

Bikes: Trek Speed Concept 9.9, 2011 Calfee Tetra Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 8 Posts
I installed a Bafang BBSHD mid drive kit on our Calfee tandem a little over 3 1/2 years ago. The tech at Calfee gave me technical support and told me exactly what to purchase in order to make the installation. We have over 20,000 miles on the kit and are extremely happy with the results.

I installed this kit: https://lunacycle.com/bafang-bbshd-1000w-middrive-kit/

I am using this battery: https://lunacycle.com/52v-luna-direwolf-ebike-battery/

We always ride with the PAS engaged, we have 9 levels of assist and I normally run in level 1 or 2. Mileage is dependent on the level of boost selected but we can easily ride 60 miles on level 2. Probably 100 miles on level 1.

I have a throttle which I use every time we start and if we need an additional boost on a hill etc. I also have a motor kill button that I use when I shift gears.

There is no way we would go back to non electric assist!

If I were to build another bike I would do it just like this one.

If you want additional details/pictures etc. send me a private message with your email address.

Wayne
DubT is offline  
Likes For DubT:
Old 02-24-21, 06:59 PM
  #5  
merlinextraligh
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 30,778

Bikes: Willier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Calfee Dragonfly tandem, Calfee Adventure tandem; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Motebecanne Phantom Cross; Schwinn Paramount Track bike

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1135 Post(s)
Liked 264 Times in 143 Posts
At the risk of setting off a sh*t storm, why electrify a tandem. A major reason to ride a tandem is its ability to allow riders of unequal strength to ride together.

E bike singles accomplish the same purpose. While I’m beginning to see som place for Ebikes, not sure an Ebike tandem makes a lot of sense
__________________
You could fall off a cliff and die.
You could get lost and die.
You could hit a tree and die.
OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.
merlinextraligh is offline  
Old 02-24-21, 07:58 PM
  #6  
Alcanbrad
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Alcanbrad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 365

Bikes: '14 CoMo Carrera, '11 CoMo Primera co-pilot, '98 Santana Visa, a Plethora of road bikes, A commuter/Gravel beast (and 1 MTB)

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 90 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 28 Posts
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
At the risk of setting off a sh*t storm, why electrify a tandem. A major reason to ride a tandem is its ability to allow riders of unequal strength to ride together.

E bike singles accomplish the same purpose. While Iím beginning to see som place for Ebikes, not sure an Ebike tandem makes a lot of sense
It's not an unfair position to take. It really comes down to each individual situation. For us, we're not lucky enough to live a relatively flat flat area (we are actually blessed to live in some of the best scenic hilly terrain with 100's of miles of almost no traffic rural back roads connected to our driveway (though we've been buried under a few feet of snow for a good part of this year)). However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for my stoker to handle the bigger climbs and longer rides. We enjoy riding together on our tandems rather than separately and want to continue. I am engineering the electrification to only provide us assistance on the climbs and we'll continue to ride old school for the remainder, and majority, of each ride.

It becomes a trade-off between weight, range, speed, thermal performance, and cost.(Pick any 4). Personally, I am not ready for an ebike, but I am not opposed to one if it enhances our shared experience on the tandem. In all the research I've done, I have never come across anyone who has said "I have ridden an ebike and they are not worth it" or "It was not fun". Once folks have ridden an ebike, their position on the subject is usually changed in favor.

I'm just trying to round out my data sets to learn if there is anything inherent with riding an electric tandem that only first hand experience would offer. So far, the responses suggest positive experiences and no signficant lessons learned.
Alcanbrad is offline  
Likes For Alcanbrad:
Old 02-24-21, 09:22 PM
  #7  
fooferdoggie 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 1,042
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 284 Post(s)
Liked 300 Times in 183 Posts
we have a gepedia e tandem with a bosch motor. between my wacky body and my wife who has not ridden in 45 years we we need the help. it lets us climb 16% grades with work crows around 18.5 pretty much under our own power. we love to ride now and we rode every day during the summer till winter hit. if we are tired we crank up the assist of not we work harder. we bought the bike in June and got 3000 miles on it by late fall. so far up to 52 miles at a time. we ride everywhere we don't own car and my wife is blind.
fooferdoggie is offline  
Likes For fooferdoggie:
Old 02-25-21, 06:24 AM
  #8  
merlinextraligh
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 30,778

Bikes: Willier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Calfee Dragonfly tandem, Calfee Adventure tandem; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Motebecanne Phantom Cross; Schwinn Paramount Track bike

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1135 Post(s)
Liked 264 Times in 143 Posts
Your point is totally valid that people should ride what they like and works for them. And I understand that there are more reasons to ride a tandem than just the equalizer effect.

However, given that you say you donít really want an electric bike, but your wife needs it for the hills in your area and the distance you want to ride, and assuming you already have a single, isnít the easier answer just to buy an electric bike for her that she rides with you and you on a non assisted bike.
__________________
You could fall off a cliff and die.
You could get lost and die.
You could hit a tree and die.
OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.
merlinextraligh is offline  
Old 02-25-21, 12:20 PM
  #9  
DubT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 1,164

Bikes: Trek Speed Concept 9.9, 2011 Calfee Tetra Tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
At the risk of setting off a sh*t storm, why electrify a tandem. A major reason to ride a tandem is its ability to allow riders of unequal strength to ride together.

E bike singles accomplish the same purpose. While Iím beginning to see som place for Ebikes, not sure an Ebike tandem makes a lot of sense
Maybe it does not make a lot of sense to you , it does make a lot of sense to some of us.

It appears that you are what might be described as a ďpuristĒ, high end bikes designed for maximum performance. I would say that in my racing days that I would have described myself the same way. My last racing back which I built in the mid 90ís weighed 15 pounds ready to race.

when I first built our Calfee Tetra back in 2001 I built is as light as possible with a moderate budget. I had it down to right at 27 pounds.

I installed the motor to increase our range and help battle the almost constant wind we have on the Prairie here in Illinois.

here are the benefits for us: 1. Extended range, my stoker used to only want to ride around 30 miles on a ride, we have extended that to 50.
2. Windy days were non riding days, now winds of over 25 mph keep us off the bike. 3. Taking off from a stop on an incline is no longer an issue, I just use a little throttle to get us going. 4. We can ride with any group and will often set the pace. 5. Hills which we donít have many of are are a non issue. 5. Having the motor along with the throttle gives us the ability to ride more defensively or accelerate out of a dangerous situation.

We enjoy riding more now than we did prior to the motor and I believe that is what tandem riding is all about, having fun riding with your stoker.

wayne
DubT is offline  
Likes For DubT:
Old 02-25-21, 01:39 PM
  #10  
Ludkeh
alpine cross trainer
 
Ludkeh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Central New York
Posts: 277

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix, Quintara Roo Sendoza, DaVici In-2-Ition Tandem,

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 16 Times in 5 Posts
My wife and I are both 72 years old with health issues. We have a da Vinci design In-2-ition road tandem which we love riding. I added a MAC 500 watt, high winding. ( extra torque) front hub motor and a 48 volt battery to our bike. It has three speed settings, cruise control and a throttle. The installation was very simple and easy. Our drive train is not altered in any way and it rides like a regular tandem. Most of the time we use the lowest power setting which can get us to 10-12 mph. We use the throttle, motor to even out or effort. Small hills and loop de loo's get a quick touch of the throttle and over the top we go. Steep hills get sustained throttle letting us go up some very steep hills as 7-8 mph. Some of our rides that we previously had difficulties with at the tail end of the ride, we now enjoy. I don't know what our range is since we've never used up more than 50 % of our battery capacity. Our longest ride has been around 30 miles. We never rely on the battery alone. On all our rides we peddle and shift as needed. The motor only comes into play when needed.


PS: With a hub motor it's much easier to get going from a stop or riding in stop a go traffic. Quick stab of the throttle and we're up and away! With power assist level three, we can cruise at 20 mph while peddling. Battery won't last long though at that level of assist.
Ludkeh is offline  
Likes For Ludkeh:
Old 02-25-21, 07:19 PM
  #11  
fooferdoggie 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 1,042
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 284 Post(s)
Liked 300 Times in 183 Posts
Originally Posted by DubT View Post
Maybe it does not make a lot of sense to you , it does make a lot of sense to some of us.

It appears that you are what might be described as a ďpuristĒ, high end bikes designed for maximum performance. I would say that in my racing days that I would have described myself the same way. My last racing back which I built in the mid 90ís weighed 15 pounds ready to race.

when I first built our Calfee Tetra back in 2001 I built is as light as possible with a moderate budget. I had it down to right at 27 pounds.

I installed the motor to increase our range and help battle the almost constant wind we have on the Prairie here in Illinois.

here are the benefits for us: 1. Extended range, my stoker used to only want to ride around 30 miles on a ride, we have extended that to 50.
2. Windy days were non riding days, now winds of over 25 mph keep us off the bike. 3. Taking off from a stop on an incline is no longer an issue, I just use a little throttle to get us going. 4. We can ride with any group and will often set the pace. 5. Hills which we donít have many of are are a non issue. 5. Having the motor along with the throttle gives us the ability to ride more defensively or accelerate out of a dangerous situation.

We enjoy riding more now than we did prior to the motor and I believe that is what tandem riding is all about, having fun riding with your stoker.

wayne
yep same with us. I am lucky if I can put out 200 watts for more then a few miles usually 160 or so is my best. my wife may noe be able to do better then me even though I ride about 3 times as many mikes as her. it makes it fun and thats all that matters I get exercise and have fun doing it. going slow is not as much fun. we live in portland or and there are a lot of hills some only block or two but some 20% grades a lot 16% or so.
fooferdoggie is offline  
Likes For fooferdoggie:
Old 02-26-21, 06:49 AM
  #12  
Artmo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 1,592

Bikes: '06 Bianchi Pista; '57 Maclean; '10 Scott CR1 Pro; 2005 Trek 2000 Tandem; '09 Comotion Macchiato Tandem; 199? Novara Road; '17 Circe Helios e-tandem:1994 Trek 2300

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 115 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 30 Posts
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
At the risk of setting off a sh*t storm, why electrify a tandem. A major reason to ride a tandem is its ability to allow riders of unequal strength to ride together.

E bike singles accomplish the same purpose. While I’m beginning to see som place for Ebikes, not sure an Ebike tandem makes a lot of sense
Well, Merlin, when your combined ages reach 161, like ours have and you want to ride in a group whose ages are 7-20 years less at 16-19 mph on the flat, you will understand. When we pootle along on our own at 12-13 mph, we don’t need assist. There are no throttles on our etandems; they max out at 250W, and assist cuts out at 20 mph. We rarely use other than the lowest setting of about 50W, but we have always to pedal!

Last edited by Artmo; 02-26-21 at 09:39 AM. Reason: Typo
Artmo is offline  
Likes For Artmo:
Old 02-26-21, 03:51 PM
  #13  
kayakindude
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: New England
Posts: 355

Bikes: 1987 Cannondale SR600/BioPace, 1991 Cannondale Road Tandem,1994 Giant Iguana MB, 2009 Airnimal Chameleon, 2016 Dahon Vybe C7A

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 61 Times in 38 Posts
My 1st conversion is on our Cannondale tandem. I went with a Swytch kit which I detailed at length in the ebike sub-forum under Swytch.

Swytch

Still in the early riding stages post conversion, but the 250w front motor has been great on the few winter days we can get outside. We also pull a trailer with a dog and it helps with the hills.
kayakindude is offline  
Old 02-26-21, 08:59 PM
  #14  
fooferdoggie 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 1,042
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 284 Post(s)
Liked 300 Times in 183 Posts
There are not a lot of e tandems commercially made yet. we lucked out and got ours about 800 off right before the pandemic wiped out the stock. but it has been the best investment we have made.
fooferdoggie is offline  
Likes For fooferdoggie:
Old 03-01-21, 08:06 AM
  #15  
longpete
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
An E-tandem makes a lot of sense but not for everyone. And riding a E-tandem is a completly different experience than riding two Ebikes.
My partner and me each on a E-mountainbike? That would be a long walk not a long ride. On a E-tandem by the end of the summer we will ride everything I Used to ride alone
except for the singletracks with hairpins where u have to turn by lifting the rear wheel.
End of 2020 our fullsuspension foldable custom sized E-tandem frame was finally delivered. It had to be a fullsuspension because the extra comfort and safety for the stoker.
It had to be a mountainbike while I prefer offroad. It had to be a 27.5 inch because a 29 rim wit 1.5 trekking tyres has about the same diameter as a 27.5 rim wit 2.6 tyres.
I chose 148 and 110 mm boost because the extra comfort, grip, brake traction that comes with that comes with 2.6 tires and 35 mm rims.
27.5 wheels are also stronger than 29 wheels.
Because of the difficulty to find tandem cranksets and the exagerated price of tandem cranks I wanted all chainwheels on the right side so normal Shimano cranksets and BSA brackets could be used.
No pressfit bracket.
The bike had to be foldable for easier transport. The old tandem I could transport in our car without disassembling anything, the new one was going to be longer and would not fit.
The tandem had to be custom sized because I'm 198 cm tall and my partner only 153cm. The old tandem frame fitted her ok, but was too small for me.
With the old tandem the fun for her ended with rides over three hours (where I live there's a lot of strong wind) or with over 1000 altimeters. Ofroad even with a suspended seatpost was for her not very pleasant because of the narrow tyre 1.6 tyres.
This meant reduced speed and mostly gravel roads. The geometry of the old tandem was not suited for front suspension.
I have over 45 years of bike experience she never rode a bicycle before we met.
I wanted to start riding more again(the last 10 years I did not do a lot of cycling(too much work), before at least 10 hours a week) If I want to ride that much again this means that
in the weekend we would not be doing much together. I like long rides because it frees my mind.
The solution for all these things was an E-bike. Speed pedelec or normal restricted Ebike? Speed pedelec choice meant a lot of paper work for me and the frame builder who lives in
another country. So it was resttricted to 25km/an hour. Normally we do an average of 19 tot 23 km/h.
Beacause of the reliability of Shimano and the fact that the frame builder had very goods contacts with the shimano importer
I chose Shimano. Came along corona. The waiting had one advantage I got the now EP 8 motor and 2 630 watt batteries for the same price.
Intended use was on the flat eco support mode in a low level, uphil trail in a low level. That way the batteries would last longer. No need for boost i thought.
A tandem brings extra weight and a lot more rolling resistance especially on the front wheel. So it takes more power out of the battery.
The weight distrubution with a reach of 50 and a stem of 9cm with 17 degree rise surprised me : 53% on the rearwheel and 47% on the frontwheel.
Uphilll the total weight of riders+bike+clothes+gear is 185. With two batteries the bike weighs a bit less then32 kilos.(one batterie+holder +- 3.5 kg).
One batterie with a combination of eco and trail modus offroad is good for about 75km, when flat country around 100km.(temperature between 0 and 13įCelsius).
Charging one batterie takes over 4 hours. So until now we did not need the second batterie. When we ride with luggage and in the mountains we will need the
batterie.
Narrow offroad curvy singletrack : low level trail modus is the best choice, when trail modus level 4 the bike goes too fast and u have to use the brakes a lot instead of ging with the flow
and freewheeling. Really steep not too long uphill we manage easily in low trail level.
Our weight distribution with 47% on the frontwheel makes a hard to find a fork without exceeding the maximal allowed pressure.
A solution is to ride a fork with more travel than 120mm with 40% sag. The fork rolls very easily over everything lower than 22 cm without to much change in weight distribution.
The rear RS Monarch RT (165*38) shock performs very well with 140 PSI and the rebound a bit over the middle probably also because only 53% of the weight is in the back.
In steep uphill the traction is fantastic even with continental mountain king. When muddy and flat the 2.6 tyre has it difficult to find traction in the mud, he spins easily.
Uphill this is less. I keep the tyre because the rolling resistance is very good. Probably because of the 49cm long rear stays and the bit of motor help the tandem can can easily climb real steep slopes without body -English.
Just stay seated and push.
The rear tyre needs 1.8 bar the front tyre 1.9 or more to be stable in tubeless set up .
One more advantage of the motor : I don't have switch the wheels, most of the time I ride 27.5 with 2.6. Switching tandem discbrake wheels is because of the weight of
the tandem and the big rotors not so easy as on a single mountainbike. What surprised me is that a 22 cm rotor on the rear wheel(18 up front) on long singletrack downhills where u're using the brakes
almost the whole time really works a lot better in avoiding overheating and fading.
The motor also solved another problem : the 11/12 speed off today. With a long tandem rear derailleur cable the rear derailleur with 11 and 12 speed is very sensible to cable stretching.
DI2 solved this. For the moment DI2 mountainbikparts are cheap.
The biggest added value was the rear suspension (we keep on using codes for the obstacles that are coming) but for her it's like she's on a flying carpet.
The motor makes it possible to ride longer and in more difficult terrain.
Simplified the motor makes us 10% to 15% faster and we can ride much longer wirthout feeling overtired. So the next day we can do the same etc......
If u're both young, very fit, have the same level and low weight u don't need the motor.
The motor 2.7, the batteries 3.2 each the holders and the cables weigh +10kg. But when I did competition my weight was 78 k for 1m98. Now it is 98 but lowering.
That weight difference is the same as the weight of my first tandem.
One more advantage of the new tandem : very stiff . This makes it easy to accelerate and climb me not seated, my wife seated.
I cut her handlebar down to 58cm, when the bar was 66 her bar touched to much trese and other things in sharp singletrack turns.
I think that smaller than 58cm would even be bettter offroad.
We're spinners never lower 85 rpm, I think this has a big influence on batterie reach. The gaps on standard 11 speed cassettes 11-40/42/46 are too big.
So I made my own cassette combining Ultegra+105+slx sprockets +a hg 1700: 13-15-16-17-18-19-21-24-27-30-34. On longer climbs in the mountains we will need 11-46.
II use wipperman chains 9 speed for the timing chain, 11 speed for the the rear. Normally i use cheaper chains.(Deore : 3 chains changed when cleaned and oiled and one cassette wear out together
and shimano chain wheels good for at least one other set when changed around 0.75mm. I think with wipperman chains the combination of 2 chains with one cassette wil give the same results.
For the moment (after 2000k) with our riding style I see not much difference in chain and cassette wear Etandem compaired with non Ebike.
The chain was never covered with mud.
The timing chain fell of the rearchainwheel three times because of branches who got stuck between the chain and the chainwheel.
Chainwheels timing chain have 34 teeth, reardrive chainwheel 38. For the Alps that's too much. So in the alps Iwill have to switch: 38 timing chain, 34 reardrive chainwheel.

Last edited by longpete; 03-02-21 at 03:45 AM.
longpete is offline  
Old 03-04-21, 08:00 PM
  #16  
Magnum PI
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hilo Hawaii
Posts: 63

Bikes: Landshark, Trek USPS, Kestrel Ironman, Giant Defy, Redline 925er, Orbea team Euskatel, AMP B2, Landshark Tandem, and, well you get the idea.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked 30 Times in 13 Posts
Well merlinextraligh you didn't set off a Sh**storm, but in September of last year I would have agreed with you. Last summer I started looking for lighter wheels for our perfectly good Cannondale Tandem to try and keep up with everyone else who all seem to be younger and fitter than our 130 year old team. But except for a few routes, all our riding routes on the Big Island are either up or down, and being old roadies, we tend to want to ride hills and we are just so slow going up. So after looking in the mirror and seeing that that we will probably not be getting any fitter or faster in the next 10-15 years I decided to invest in an e-tandem with couplers (rather than lighter wheels), so we could enjoy our senior years traveling and riding the globe post-covid.

After talking with my old frame-building friend John Slawta at LandShark, he agreed with my prognosis. He built us what would normally be a sub-30 pound carbon tandem, but it has about 15 pounds of Shimano e-assist. It's 1 x 11 gravel geared for touring, with hydraulic discs, and although we-re running 28mm road tires, it is convertible to gravel tires. We couldn't be happier, as now we can keep up on the climbs. It isn't easy as we still have to put in monster efforts, but it allows us to maintain contact and not hold up everyone else. Before, it was always questionable whether anyone would regroup for us oldies on the tandem. Now it is a non-issue. Our purist souls are still there to ride our ultralight single bikes, but we're loving every minute on the e-twinshark! Highly recommend it to anyone who used to race, but is now only racing father time.
Magnum PI is offline  
Likes For Magnum PI:
Old 03-04-21, 10:47 PM
  #17  
DangerousDanR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Fargo ND
Posts: 298

Bikes: Lynskey R350, Ritchey Breakaway, Ritchey Double Switchback, Lynskey Ridgeline, ICAN Fatbike

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 125 Post(s)
Liked 130 Times in 72 Posts
Our team age is now 132. So, despite the fact that we are both pledging to join a gym courtesy of our Medicare plans, we may be able to keep the hounds at bay for a while, but it will happen. And riding a tandem is very different from riding solo. My stoker finds amazing things to stop and see. Once it was a ram with big curly horns sitting in the heather. Once it was a pair of fox kittens having an evening stroll. Or the old John Deere tractor with a yellow rubber Wellie as the exhaust pipe cover. She sees things we would miss if we were both paying attention to the road.

My stoker brought up the idea of an e-bike after our last tour in the Hebrides. The one where we spent 2 hours pedaling hard riding into the wind. only to find ourselves 4.3 miles down the road! Funny thing was, the day before we had the wind at our backs and we did over 40 miles in 3 hours of riding. I am going to think of it as carrying the wind in my panniers.
DangerousDanR is offline  
Likes For DangerousDanR:
Old 03-05-21, 03:31 AM
  #18  
longpete
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by DangerousDanR View Post
My stoker finds amazing things to stop and see.
Same here. With the tandem I have to pay more attention to the track.
Difficult to correct mistakes. Offroad with a solo bike falling most of the time no problem, with a tandem it almost allways hurts, certainly for the stoker.
A big advantage is stoker can look backwards easily.
longpete is offline  
Old 06-19-21, 09:44 PM
  #19  
Peletandem
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Your point is totally valid that people should ride what they like and works for them. And I understand that there are more reasons to ride a tandem than just the equalizer effect.

However, given that you say you donít really want an electric bike, but your wife needs it for the hills in your area and the distance you want to ride, and assuming you already have a single, isnít the easier answer just to buy an electric bike for her that she rides with you and you on a non assisted bike.
In our case, my wife and I have put in pounds over the years and our tandem was getting harder to climb. My wife is not a good rider and much more enjoys to leave the driving to me!
Peletandem is offline  
Old 06-21-21, 05:24 AM
  #20  
stewclark
St Louis Tandem Team
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: saint louis
Posts: 18

Bikes: comotion supremo

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Did you move the synchro belt to the drive side?
stewclark is offline  
Old 06-28-21, 08:49 PM
  #21  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 17,665

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3030 Post(s)
Liked 942 Times in 714 Posts
We just got back from a hub-and-spoke bike tour. We've been doing weekly rides for many years with this group. At 148, we definitely don't climb like we used to, but our 24 X 40 gets us up the hills. That said, we can hold our own with 1 decade younger single riders in rolling terrain as long as the rollers aren't too huge and the single riders aren't in top shape.

After this tour out of Salem, OR, the group has pretty much decided that no one wants to climb big passes anymore. So far, so good, but we can see that an e-tandem will be in our future. Hard to say when, but certainly by 180, more likely 160. And no, never separate bikes, ever again. We enjoy each other's close company too much. We touch each other through our pedals all day long. It's nice.

We have a couple who ride single e-bikes in the group. They're a PITA because they don't ride a steady effort. If the paceline is accordioning, there's probably an e-bike on the front. We go up and take over. So that's a possible downside to it, though regular tandems have the same issue in rollers. We have to hit 35-40 dropping to be able to get over the following climb without getting into the granny. Most single riders are too cautious to hold our wheel while we do that.

We happen to enjoy group rides much more than solo, though of course we have to do a lot of solo work to be able to ride with the group. It's sort of like riders who race just so they have to train. We are very thankful that gyms are back in normal operation.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Likes For Carbonfiberboy:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.