Author Topic: Tandems for 2 small children  (Read 1199 times)

Tandems for 2 small children
« on: August 16, 2016, 09:35:14 am »
Hello all,

I have had a lovely read of all the threads on here regarding children on tandems (mainly the Circe Helios) and was wondering if anyone has any experience of two children on the Helios?  The childerbeast are 3 and nearly 2, and I mainly use the double trailer, but they are getting quite heavy and there are quite a few local routes where a double trailer is a bit of an inconveinence (pinch points, gates etc).  So naturally my thoughts turned to n+1  ;D

The elder is a very confident stabiliser free cyclist but I'm not sure whether she'd fit on a Helios even with kiddy cranks - she's still under 1m. So my main questions are:
0) Will a 1m high 3 year old be able to stoke?
1) Will riding a Helios with a 3 year old adding some power, and a 2 year old in a child seat be potentially easier than hauling a double trailer?
2) If the 3 year old gets bored/tired, can she just stop pedalling?
3) Do Helioses ever come up for sale 2nd hand?
4) Does anyone have experience of the Titan triplet package allowing for 2 child stokers?

Many thanks in advance :)

We're not a million miles away from Longstanton, so we could sort out a test ride but my main concern is that whilst they look like absolutely lovely machines, they aren't cheap. 
"Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world."

Re: Tandems for 2 small children
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2016, 11:51:26 am »
My 3 year old  is under 1m and stokes the Helios and I used to ride it with a 3 year-old stoker and a 2 year-old in a child seat (I'm a nanny).

For mine, I changed the rear seat post for a non telescopic post to get it lower and put their crank shorteners on. I use cheap eBay foot straps (there is a picture on the 'i love my circe' facebook page. If she is still too short, I have a rack that has a second child seat and replaces the rear seatpost. If you can get to south London, you are welcome to come and try them.

If the stoker gets tired, they can put their feet off the pedals, but usually they just stop putting any effort in and their feet still go round. My boy does actually go to sleep like that!

They do occasionally show up on eBay.

Joan
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Re: Tandems for 2 small children
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2016, 03:19:10 pm »
Great, thank you very much for the reply (I was rather hoping you would see this thread...)

Sounds like a visit to Circe may be in order - thanks for your kind offer though, but we're just the other side of Cambridge from Longstanton.

A tandem would also solve the problem of the 3 year old sulking because she can't rider her bike with me!
"Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world."

Re: Tandems for 2 small children
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2016, 10:18:47 pm »
Great, thank you very much for the reply (I was rather hoping you would see this thread...)

Sounds like a visit to Circe may be in order - thanks for your kind offer though, but we're just the other side of Cambridge from Longstanton.

A tandem would also solve the problem of the 3 year old sulking because she can't rider her bike with me!

Definitely worth a visit to Circe. They are amazingly helpful. If you do think you need the extra rack and seat for a bit, you are welcome to borrow mine with it's bike seat until she grows enough to reach the pedals. We are going to be at Wing campsite with the 'YACF not the Mildenhall rally' over the bank holiday weekend if you can get there for a look.  :)
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Re: Tandems for 2 small children
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2016, 12:29:03 pm »
Sadly we can't make NotTheMildenhallRally - we should be pedalling down the Rhone valley and eating ice cream, fingers crossed!

Is the Tandem club worth joining for info etc?
"Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world."

Re: Tandems for 2 small children
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2016, 11:01:06 pm »
The Rhone valley and ice cream sounds fun! I don't know about the Tandem club, I'm not currently a member, I've just rejoined, thank you for the reminder! I think there is a lot of useful information on their website, as well as family friendly rides.
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Re: Tandems for 2 small children
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2016, 07:08:39 pm »
The Rhone could go either way :D First go with the kids.

And we've sorted out a Helios test ride.....
"Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world."

Re: Tandems for 2 small children
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2016, 08:29:30 pm »
Woo! We've sorted out a car that I think it will fit inside, more or less intact so it will be travelling everywhere with us!
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

Re: Tandems for 2 small children
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2016, 05:09:51 pm »
(edit: a couple of weeks after your post but the comments may still be useful).
We've had an adult-sized Thorn Voyager for several years - I fitted Kiddicranks to it, and also towed a trailerbike behind it for a while. This was when the kids were slightly older than yours are now (5 and 3), and only for relatively short journeys, such as school and swimming lessons. The advantage of the kiddicranks was that as they have grown older and taller (both are teens and 'adult-sized), we had a couple of years where it didn't really get used but it was always there in reserve and the financial good news is that we haven't had to replace the tandem as it still a good fit -albeit we have had to move one of the stokers onto a solo :-)
It was still a pain on the odd 'cyclepath' where lifting was needed, but being relatively narrow compared with a trailer meant not such a high lift.
Flexibility is key, as the little ones surprise with growth spurts, so that what worked perfectly last month now needs a bit of tweeking.
"Only the cyclist knows why the dog rides with its head out the window"