Towing options for 8 year old on great vic?

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aland
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Towing options for 8 year old on great vic?

Postby aland » Mon 20 Jul 2015, 5:51 pm

Hi,

Just Hoping to get a little advice/suggestions regarding equipment for towing an eight year old. We have done the last 2 GVBRs with myself towing our soon to be 8 year old on a WeeHoo iGo, and my wife towing our soon to be 5 year old in a Chariot Trailer. We have signed up again for this year but our soon to be 5 year old is now long overdue for an upgrade. He is now off his training wheels and can ride 15km on his own and has made it clear his trailer days are over. This is fine, the WeeHoo is perfect for him. I could get another so that the soon to be eight year old stays in the same type of tag along... However,and here's the problem, my wife's bike has too short a seat tube to fit a conventional tag along (at least the ones I've seen) without it clashing with the back wheel! Has anyone used the Burley Piccolo? This at least would be a one way around the problem. There are also 20 inch wheeled tandems, but this is very expensive. Any advice or other suggestions would be appreciated.

cheers

Alan

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barefoot
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Re: Towing options for 8 year old on great vic?

Postby barefoot » Tue 21 Jul 2015, 10:35 am

My 7yo is now _just_ big enough to ride the Rear Admiral's seat of our 26" tandem (a '90s vintage KHS Tandemania Elite, FWIW). She's not particularly tall.

She swears the cranks are okay, but really they're much too long. If I were to source some shorter cranks, she'd be fine on it - it would reduce the effective saddle height too, by virtue of the pedal being closer to the saddle at bottom stroke.

"Normal" sized wheeled tandems are easier to come by than 20"ers - don't rule them out until you've tried it. Still not super cheap, but manageable... and once you've got a tandem, you've got a tandem. Everybody should have a tandem.

tim
who will consider GVBR-ing with her in a couple of years

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Niggle
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Re: Towing options for 8 year old on great vic?

Postby Niggle » Tue 21 Jul 2015, 10:55 am

You're in the situation I found myself in several years ago - Kids are getting too big to be towed and they're not yet ready for riding serious distance.
I didn't end up taking them on a GVBR when they outgrew the trailer. My wife and I had a little holiday by ourselves while the kids visited their Grandparents for the week.
Been a while since I towed my kids. Now they're big enough to ride themselves but they don't seem keen on a GVBR.

Things I considered:
Tag alongs - you seem to have a handle on these - There's a tandem Weehoo, but I'd think your boys are too big.
I tried a tandem Tag along, but the weight is prohibitive as the kids get bigger and the dual load moving around makes control challenging.

I looked at a Burley Piccolo and thought the design was a good idea.
You might be able to adapt a regular tag along from a seat tube to a rack mount.

Tandem upgrade.
There's a few options around from finding one with a really small stoker rear,to fitting crank shorteners or a kid back arrangement.
Lot more expensive though but far more controllable.
Tandems are quite niche and there's not a lot of LGS support around.
There's a Yahoo group that may offer some resource - there's always people moving equipment on and upgrading.
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/sydneytandems/info

More esoteric options might be to look at a triplet or a quartet - Expensive and rare consigns that into the too hard basket.

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slaw
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Re: Towing options for 8 year old on great vic?

Postby slaw » Tue 21 Jul 2015, 12:10 pm

I think I've got some crank shorteners lying around if anyone is interested. I used them for a couple of years on a KHS tandem from when the kids were about 7yo. Before that we had kiddy cranks on a Trek tandem, but I sold them.

Now, both teenagers could captain our tandems.

aland
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Re: Towing options for 8 year old on great vic?

Postby aland » Wed 22 Jul 2015, 2:11 pm

Thanks for the replies. The tandem idea sounds appealing and particularly the 20" type (bike Friday or the like) as they seem a bit more versatile for a family. One thing that worries me though (and I may have this wrong), but does that mean that the child has to pedal at the same cadence and all the time the parent is pedalling? That might be a bit tough on the great vic. (though I did see a lady with a child on one of these on last year's great vic,).

I checked my wife's bike with the weeHoo and I reckon it would need a spacer on the seat post to ensure the arm would not clash with the rear wheel. Doing something like that would mean we could use most tag-alongs I guess, though the Burley Piccolo does appear (from what I've heard) to give less lateral movement when the child moves than a weeHoo or other conventional tag-along. That lateral movement was more noticeable on climbs but still manageable for me. Probably should get some kind of spacer and get her to test using it to see if that option in feasible.

What are crank shorteners?

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slaw
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Re: Towing options for 8 year old on great vic?

Postby slaw » Thu 23 Jul 2015, 10:26 am

I got my crank shorteners from Tandems East.
Instead of replacing cranks on a tandem to suit a shorter person's legs, these are a another option and means that they can be adjusted or removed as the kid grows.

Yes for most tandems, the rear pedals are connected. It was never an issue for our kids. They could soft pedal (most of the time), or even take their feet off and rest them on the top tube.

Best to use toe straps on the pedals, so that their feet wouldn't slip off, otherwise they could get a whack in the shin from the pedal.

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Niggle
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Re: Towing options for 8 year old on great vic?

Postby Niggle » Thu 23 Jul 2015, 10:58 am

aland wrote:Thanks for the replies. The tandem idea sounds appealing and particularly the 20" type (bike Friday or the like) as they seem a bit more versatile for a family. One thing that worries me though (and I may have this wrong), but does that mean that the child has to pedal at the same cadence and all the time the parent is pedalling? That might be a bit tough on the great vic. (though I did see a lady with a child on one of these on last year's great vic,).

What are crank shorteners?


On the majority of tandems the pedals are connected via the synch chain.
It means both riders have to agree on the same cadence. However it does give the captain control of pedal position for cornering and balance.
Kids will adapt quickly to your desired cadence as they don't have any set habits or style.
By contrast I put one of my mates on the back of mine for a long ride - he always wanted to slow down rather than spin.

You can get a tandem with an intermediate freewheel (http://www.davincitandems.com/) that permits independant coasting. Not sure how it affects the phase of the pedals though.
I have seen one here in Australia, but anything like that is usually a special or self import. Again an expensive option.


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