Tuesday, 30 April 2013

On a bicyle made for two

Firstly apologies for the slackness of this blog - I am easily distracted and it's all gone a bit bike crazy in our house!

February saw the arrival of Ethan's tandem (only two months after his birthday)! After much deliberation and dawdling, we opted for a Viking Salerno Mountain tandem. They rrp for about £500, but we managed to get one for £329 from an independent Bike shop.

Viking Salerno Tandem
We chose the Viking mainly because of the frame size. The frame lower at the back and the seat height can be adjusted to suit leg length. Ethan is reasonably tall for his age so can easily reach the pedals. This bike should last us years in terms of size as it is designed so an adult can be on the back - the bike will grow with Ethan.

Ethan was very excited about the arrival of his bike and was keen to jump aboard and start "training"!

Technical details:
  • Frame: Lightweight alloy tubing, tandem design frame rear disc brake mount. Fork: Cro-moly rigid.
  • Frame Size :17'' front and 15'' rear. Front stand over height 30" ,rear stand over height 23". Wheel Size : Viking BX-20 alloy double wall 36 hole tandem rims with Quando alloy disc hubs with Kenda 26'' x 2.30'' tyres.
  • Gear System : Shimano Acera 24 speed Shimano S.T.I. button shifters, with a Shimano Acera front & rear derailleurs. Drivetrain Specification: Pioneer 42-32-24 alloy chainset. Shimano 11-30 8 speed cassette. Brakes: Alloy V brakes with Shimano STI levers.
  • Handlebar and Stem: Alloy riser handlebars, with an alloy ahead front and rear adjustable stoker stems. Saddle: Viking comfort trekking saddles with 300mm micro adjust seat posts. Additional Information : Velo dual density grips, alloy pedals toe clips and toe straps, replaceable rear drop out.
  • Frame Colour: Metallic Blue. Weight: 19 kg.

Ethan zooming along with in Wales

The bike was easy to put together and is easy to adjust, depending on who is 'piloting' at the front. Our first ride out on it was locally in Essex, it was great to be able to take Ethan out on the roads safely for the first time. Ethan was a bit worried about balance to begin with, but with a bit of reassurance he was very happy on the bike. We took the bike on a bridleway and the tyres coped well with the uneven farm track. Ethan loved going fast and soon he and Neil were zooming off ahead. We will be changing the pedals to ones with straps for Ethan, as a few times his feet came of the ones that came with the bike and he found it a little tricky to get his feet back on them whilst the bike was in motion.

Over Easter we went to Wales for a week and took the tandem - the only place the tandem could go was on the roof of the car, so some nervous driving from us. Needn't have worried, thie bike carrier did it's job and the bike arrived in one piece!

We enjoyed several family rides whilst on holiday - something we've never done before. Neil and I both took turns on the front of the tandem and on another bike with Jasper attached by a Tail-Gator. I enjoyed riding the tandem, although I found hills really difficult (I think this was more to do with my fitness though!).

In the future we plan to invest in a road bike tandem for Ethan as he has plans to be in the 2024 paralympic games! Perhaps Jasper will be his pilot - watch out for the Peacock brothers representing GB in the future!
Ethan and Jasper at the top of a VERY steep hill in Wales