Rear Captain Tandem Details
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Converted Kid Bike to Tandem Adult/Kid Recumbent
Frame Materials: 20" steel kid bike (six speed w/ rear shock) and a donor bike's BB and a steel backbone. The seat is plywood and rope with a fake leather cover.
Weight as pictured:
What was I thinking?:
How to make a kid bike into a mixed recumbent/regular tandem. Also I wanted to explore variations on Mikael Pederson's (Classic Dursley) hammock seating design.
How Does it ride?:
It is stable and well behaved from 2-20 mph. It has the factory angles but with redistributed weight (lots of it over the front wheel). The steep seat back leaves all rider weight is on the seat. But the seat is comfy. The bike has a good feel. But the steering takes strength because I mounted the seat ropes to the stem in a way that has you hoist yourself in turns.
What Changed before the photos?:
I first built it without the brace behind the seatback. In that configuration, the seat back pressure held the seat ropes. It was dynamic but tiring as I would eventually slumped down and forward. Later I added the seat back brace and now I am not compressed forward by my weight. I added fake leather seat cover for more seat comfort.
What may change later on this bike?:
Could rebuild the seatback at a more laid back angle (for butt comfort) and rebuild the stem for shorter tiller. I may build in more luggage storage.
What would I do differently on another attempt?:
I might move the head tube a few inches forward for a longer Wheel base, different weight distribution, and better ergonmics. Mount the seat ropes on a post, not the stem.
What lessons were learned?:
It worked surprisingly well.
Bike design and execution are actually very forgiving if your expectations are low enough. It was an easy conversion. I needed a spacer to keep the 2 chains from colliding.
What are the keeper developments?:
Hammock seating is comfy.
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