Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A New Back to Back

I can't think of adding another bike to my stable without thinking of my friend David who has so many bikes he has to warehouse them. Right now I have two tandems, the Seavo and the Flevo, and I ride them almost exclusively. For me, the Seavo is probably the perfect conventional recumbent tandem. It's sturdy, relatively easy to transport, comfortable, stable and fast. The Flevo introduced me to the world of back to back tandeming and I haven't looked back (pun intended). It's a speed machine compared to the Seavo and certainly draws smiles and comments wherever we ride it. It does have some things characteristics I'd like to improve on, however.

First, it's heavy. At almost 70 pounds, it can be tricky to start uphill. A lighter bike would be a better climber and easier to start. Second, it's long. At 13 feet, it won't fit on any rack. My transport choices are either to break it down every time I ride it or trailer it as I have been doing the last few months, thanks to David. Part of that 13 feet is due to the sliding cranks that can move to fit the size of the captain and stoker. That's a convenient feature, but beyond the cranks there usually a good 2-3 feet of unused boom. So, I like to have back to back that's shorter. That means a design that adjusts for the rider by moving the seats, not the cranks. Here's an example:

I'm working on closing a deal on a new back to back that will solve these problems. If I find the right bike, I might put the Flevo on the market to pay for it. More this week when the deal is done.