Rover Tandem Gearing...

Living in the rolling hills (mountains) of Tennessee, Our Rover Tandem really lacks in gearing with the Shimano internal shift 8-speed hub. Fun to ride, but really takes a lot of effort on the climbs. I also find it virtually impossible to keep the shift trimmed to be able to keep all the gears from "skipping"...My Best settings ends up with 8th, and 6th through 1st, with 7th impossible to use because of jumping out of gear...seems to be a "built in quirk". Someday, maybe figure a way to go to a rear derailleur and different gearing. Ours also has the IPS on it also, and I'm not sure a Triple Chain Wheel Crank could be added...We really enjoy the Tandem though, it's a change from when we ride Our individual Catrike 700 and Expedition Trikes...The Tandem is a Great Leisurely Way to enjoy a day of Riding...!!!!!... :)


  • edited June 2017
    I had the same problem. Go to the rear axle where the chain attaches to the rear cog. There is a window with two lines. Adjust the cable at the shifter to make those lines match up. All your gears will work with this adjustment.

    I also have Patterson crank on the front which really helps with hills. Now that I live in an area with more hills, I occasionally have to use the lower gear on the Patterson crank. I never went lower than 3rd gear in SW Florida.
  • as is, the tandem has a range of 20-65 gear-inches. if you were to increase the drive sprocket on your hub from current 16 to 24 teeth you would probably exhibit recumbent laughter on the hill climbs. couple the new sprocket [$8] with a patterson crankset [$300] for a 16-speed 12-56 g.i. range.

    that combo would close-enough preserve your current top end while reducing climbing effort some 40%! quite likely so doing would raise the esteem of the stoker for the captain.

    ways back, put a triple chainring on a rover tandem frame [non-ips] with 7-speed derailleur to check out potential of rover as a longtail cargo trike. not one of my better ideas.
  • Thanks for the suggestions Folks....GREATLY appreciated... :)
  • I finally installed a Shimano Altus 8-speed derailleur system on Our Rover Tandem in place of the Shimano internal shift hub......j7h6rlsgalt1.jpg
  • Perfect, smooth, quiet shifts now....!!!!!!!...... :)
  • Just requires more cleaning and maintenance. I guess there is a trade-off with nearly anything and everything.
  • The one thing with a derailleur on a Trike, especially a tandem, is if you have to stop suddenly, make sure you are in a low gear. Can't shift down when stopped.
  • Any inventors out there - we need a rear derailleur that will also change the gear when pedaling backwards (not going anywhere). That would make gear changes while stopped a non-issue!
  • That doesn't happen with a Patterson crank. Glad I went with it.
  • That doesn't happen with a Patterson crank. Glad I went with it.

    How does the patterson crank get the rear derailleur in a low gear?
  • I think she's got an IGH in back and Patterson in front, so she's got no issues. But everyone who has external gears would kiss the inventor who made one of these "back-pedal derailleurs"!
  • How does the patterson crank get the rear derailleur in a low gear?

    - it doesnt. the patterson is an equivalent double chainring with 28 tooth underdrive, 45 tooth overdrive. a lower-cost upgrade than the venerable schlumpf.

    new addition to that family is the efneo which, like the others, has a single chainring but gives the equivalent of a 28-40-50 triple.

    in order of cost: patterson, efneo, schlumpf.

    upgrade of rover gearing range for better climb and higher speed can also be done with a bolt-on derailleur post and strapping on a triple chainring.

    a patterson with an i8 hub gives you a 16-speed hill climber. couple patterson with a sturmey and you have a speedster.
  • Drop front gear down to low gear and go. Even if rear derailleur is in a higher gear, a lower gear in front would get you going again.

    ¬ ITL
  • doesnt work that way - stopped and stuck in too high a gear with a derailleur is to be stuck in high gear. you have to be moving to shift either front or rear derailleurs.

    not moving, takes a patterson, efneo or schlumpf to change the front tooth-count. at the rear, sturmey or nexus hubs to drop to first when standing still.
  • edited August 2017
    Ahh, assumed the Patterson could be shifted into low at a stand-still. So the Schlumpf is still superior. Not read up on the Efneo, too expensive and is too new - probably still has bugs.

    ¬ ITL
  • Drop front gear down to low gear and go. Even if rear derailleur is in a higher gear, a lower gear in front would get you going again.

    Depends what gear you are in on the rear, and weight on the trike and any grade you are on. Gear inches again, is the key to understanding this stuff.
  • patterson shifts at a standstill.

    agree on the efneo - let others be the ones to discover any problems before buying. if it holds up, would make for a very speedy rover.

    was tempted to get a patterson when they first came out as a solution to rover gearing range. waited for posted user results. the pawl spring problem was corrected, maybe a year later did the buying, worked out nicely.
  • Trade-offs and imperfections with every system, but it now feels good to be able to shift the Tandem when needed, and no gear "skipping/lost momentum"" as with the internal shift hub....Still slow, as no Rover Tandem is ever going to be a "speed machine"..... :)
  • Yeah, I don't get that. You've got 2 engines, but only about 150% - 180% of the weight. Shouldn't it be faster than just a trike?
  • skuuter wrote: »
    Trade-offs and imperfections with every system, but it now feels good to be able to shift the Tandem when needed, and no gear "skipping/lost momentum"" as with the internal shift hub....Still slow, as no Rover Tandem is ever going to be a "speed machine"..... :)

    If you IGH was skipping, it was way out of adjustment or broken.
  • Jrobiso, sounds good in "theory", but then there's the "real world"...the Tandem is no where near as fast as Our two "regular Trikes"...never will be... :) ...Captainbob, One of my Daughters, and some Friends have regular Rovers with the same hub...I can adjust Theirs, and a year later, still working perfectly. I even swapped wheels...the Tandem hub never got out of adjustment on the Rover, the Other wouldn't last 60 miles before bad shifts/skipping, etc. happened on the Tandem. So, I just switched them back. I "think" it has something to do with the really long shift cable on the Tandem. While switching them back, I used Shimano Dura Ace really rigid shift housing...made it better, but still the same issue(s) eventually.....anyway, with the Altus derailleur Rear, and efneo Front, we now have 24 useable, perfect shifting gears, and a much more fun Tandem...Finished Product.......n3m34th5tg5w.jpg
  • Has anyone seen or tried a NuVinci N380 or N360 on a tandem? Seems like it would be a really nice way to go, especially on the Rover tandem. Add a Bafang BBSHD electric assist, and it might me the best thing since sliced bread, for tandems.
  • I have read this thread. Very interesting. I am going to install the tandem kit on my Rover 8, very soon. Also plan on the IPS.
    Was wondering if using the IPS, and the Patterson together. Does the IPS still work?
    I am a newbie at this stuff, am reading all I can to learn.
    Love to ride.
  • edited February 20
    I would also verify that any IGH you intend to use is rated for the forces that tandems and electric assists put on them. For example, does TT sell the Rover tandem with an IGH, or only with external gears? If external only, there's possibly a good reason for that.
  • Thank you Irobiso2. This is the kind of info I am looking for. I will check this out.
  • The Rover Tandem I bought last year from a dealer's rental pool (think it's a 2014) has Shimano Nexus rear.
    I'm still tinkering with front chain wheel ... not happy with 30T, will move up to mid 30's when my fenders arrive.
    Could I put a two speed external cassette on with the Nexus or is that just crazy talk?
  • I am also looking to improve the gearing on a rover tandem.

    My fiance and I are thinking of doing a cross-country trikepacking trip with a tandem recumbent next summer. We need a tandem recumbent trike that can handle the hills but can have a great top speed for the flat parts. We don't have a tandem recumbent yet, but are seriously considering the rover tandem. We like the rover tandem because of its versatility (adjustable stoker/captain sizes and breaks down to a single), has a smaller turn radius, and its got a great price.

    Would it be possible on the rover tandem (w/IPS) to change the hub to maybe a SRAM dual drive system and have this system be controlled by the stoker with the stoker's crankset? In addition, add a patterson drive or something similar for the captain to control? Or perhaps a vice versa configuration or other configuration?
    What I am trying to go for (in order of preference) is that the gear range is increased (bottom end for hills and the top for the flats), maintaining IPS, and maybe allowing for both riders to sort of adjust their gearing for personal preference.

    I'm interested in getting everyone's input.

    Thank you!
  • i find nexus preferable to derailleur both for getting the chainline out of the mud along and having a no-think simple shifting pattern (although i admit to running an 11-34 7-speed derailleur with an electric wheel at the moment).

    with a nexus 20-tooth hub and a $300 patterson up front, 14-68 gear-inches, good for a heavy load up hills, 12 mph@60 rpm, 16 speeds. no hills, 16-teeth on the hub, 17-85 g.i., 15 mph@60 rpm.

    with a $500 efneo up front, you would have 24 speeds, increased shifting points for reasonable gearing progression (maybe 20% of the gears not used). same as a 28-40-50 triple crankset, clean chainline, and with a 20-tooth nexus 14-75 g.i., 13.5 mph@60 rpm, 16-tooth nexus 17-94 g.i., 16.8 mph@60 rpm.

    note on the speed thing - high-seater rover is top heavy, tandem even more so. on a curve, if i were in a low-seater like the tour-ii, wouldnt be too cocerned about leaning into a turn at 20 mph while rover would get my attention at 15 mph - no point rolling the steed with stoker on board.

    who controls the shift points is a matter of where the shifter(s) are mounted.
    smoother partnership, would think, if the captain controlled the front shifting, stoker the rear, more of a joint operation than stoker simply relegated to churning along.

    whether ips is a good thing depends on stoker perspective. in terms of efficiency, having coupled cranks 180 degrees out of phase would make better use of pedal inputs than both riders hitting top dead center of the pedal position at the same time. ips makes for a variable drive input but allows the stoker respite from the captain's cadence when feeling weary.

    think the highest stoker satisfaction would be having control of the throttle for an electric wheel, whether 8, 16, or 24 gear configuration.

    whatever, main thing is to be geared low enough to climb the local hills without harboring ill thoughts about the alleged pleasure of trike riding. tuning for speed should follow, my humble.
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