Tandem Randoms...

rirover (I noticed your Rover picture is a tandem) and any others with experience or knowlwdge on the topic, I would be grateful for any part of your tandem experience you are willing to share. I assume most (all?) of you have the IPS on your tandem? I am wondering how many miles you have put on the tandem, as I would like to end up with a tandem extension for my Rover at some point. Anything you can share about your experience would be helpful... 

I have noticed many tandem designs involve an "A" type support frame before the stoker seat that typically supports the stoker's crank-set. This is true for the TerraTrike Tandem Pro (http://www.terratrike.com/tandem.php) and Utah Trikes has modified a Rover with just such an A frame here: http://www.utahtrikes.com/RECENTTRIKE-%20This%20is%20how%20Utah%20trikes%20dose%20tandems.html. Yet the TerraTrike Rover stock from TT set up with tandem section doesn't utilize such arrangement. image
Anyone know the advantages & disadvantages of the two different approachers? Is there any sort of structual advantage one way or the other?


  • The main advantage to the A frame area is it lets you lift the bottom bracket and crankset up higher. If you look closely at the photos, you'll see UT also added some height to the boom's bottom bracket as well.

    Stiff square steel tubing doesn't really need any additional support, so it's wasted weight and cost for TT to have it on their Rover Tandems. Frames made with more flexible chromoly or aluminum on the other hand will bend significantly over the long distance of a tandem frame. 

    - PaulNM
  • I like the tandem it keeps us both going together instead of having to slow down for my riding partner. My stoker felt she was not contributing at all so I put a smaller ring on my crank to make me peddle with a slightly faster cadence than her boosting her contribution to powering the trike. I also re-laced all 3 wheels with 25" rims. That in turn made me change the stokers drive sprocket to a smaller one to get the gearing back where it was out of the factory. And I have IPS and like it.
  • rirover, you wrote "I also re-laced all 3 wheels with 25" rims." Do you by chance mean 24" rims, or 26" rims, or maybe even 700cc rims? I ask only because I have never heard of 25" wheel rims. But my education continues.
  • Typo, they are 26 MTB rims. Although if available 25's would be nice, not much room in the rear frame for the 26's
  • I've been contemplating going to a 24" rear wheel with new hub (see my Discussion on 11 Speed 409% of gear range hub vs N380). Figured if I did this I would need to put on a 160 or 165mm crank arms? WDYT?  
  • I'm not much of a believer in the difference 5mm would make. In theory yes but in practice I'm not sure it would be noticeable to the casual trike rider. I also have no experience changing crank lengths, so no real world knowledge, just opinion. What you would need to do is the calculations to get the gear inches you want. I had to go from 32:25 to 24:25 when I went from 20 to 26" wheels. But I think the nuvinci tells you a recommended sprocket ratio.
  • edited January 2017
    Now I wish I could lay my hands on a few different sizes for my wife and I to try. Although I'm not uncomfortable now maybe it would feel better with a different crank. 
    The crank length will only change how much your leg bends on the back side of the rotation. The full extension of your leg is based on the seat position. (Of course this only applies to those with same length legs) 
    I certainly believe anyone who has a preference, but maybe it's a range of motion thing that makes one feel better over another. 
    Crank length should have its own thread, I'd like to hear from more people with real life crank length experience like elrique.
  • You can get a 155 mm set at Utah Trikes for $55.  

    Or, if you wait until my knees are fully functional again, i will probably switch from my 155 mm to the 170 mm cranks I have in storage.
  • Rover Tandems, especially with IPS, require some getting used to, and some pedal discussion between the Two Riders. They will "climb", but require some technique to master it...My Wife and I love Ours "now", but it took some communication to arrive at the "LOVE"..... :D .....3uarcznznqpi.jpg
  • The first few times climbing, I would actually call cadence for my stoker. :D
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