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Shawn Raymond's Tandem Bike is Shorter Than Yours (Video)

Roblimo posted about 7 months ago | from the get-on-your-mechanical-pony-and-ride dept.

Transportation 85

This isn't a "both peddlers are equal" bike. The person sitting in the rear seat is in the "control" position. Because of the wide handlebars, he or she can reach around the person in the front seat to steer. The person in the front seat can't really do much except enjoy the ride, or maybe lean back and whisper a sweet nothing or two if the person in the back seat is someone the front-seater loves. The bike is called the UnaTandem (turn music off in the lower left corner of the page), and Shawn Raymond tried to get Kickstarter funding for it back in 2012 but only raised $1651, which was quite a ways short of his $70,000 goal. So, with Kickstarter in the rear view mirror, Shawn is trying to do his own crowdfunding. Will this work? Can he get enough people to buy into his idea of a tandem bike that gives you the old "riding on the handlebars" feeling to get his company off the ground? Can he use his own money (assuming he has enough) to build and sell his tandem bikes without bringing in outside investors at all? And then there's the price problem. Shawn says he's looking at a retail price in the $850 range. That may not seem like a lot to some, but you can buy 10 Walmart bikes for that much. Or four or five bikes from specialty bicycle or sporting goods stores. Despite the high price, some will undoubtedly buy these short tandem bikes and like them. But will enough people buy enough of them to make this a viable business? Shawn obviously thinks so. (Alternate Video Link)

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Slowwwww (1)

krautcanman (609042) | about 7 months ago | (#47249021)

Slow "news" day?

Re:Slowwwww (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47252137)

I have a feeling that either the editors have a hard-on for this, or the maker was to chickenshit to ask the /. crowd! I guess if I was in a jam and had an idea I would ask /. to throw this story out there in hopes of getting more crowd-funding!

Its a dumb bike, I seriously doubt he will get rich off of this, but it wouldn't surprise me if the people in this (US) country pathetically buy them up.

Buddies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249025)

So, pretty safe to assume Roblimo and Shawn Raymond are buds?

Re:Buddies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249267)

Tim Lord shot the video. Rob only edited & posted it.

Too expensive for the goofiness (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#47249029)

It's too expensive for how goofy you're going to feel riding it. Also, small wheels may be strong, but they're going to need to be. Stuff that is a relatively minor obstacle for a larger wheel is going to outright stop this bicycle.

Re:Too expensive for the goofiness (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 7 months ago | (#47249181)

It's a small cost for the person in front enjoying the ride or the reacharound, though.

Re:Too expensive for the goofiness (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#47249441)

...small wheels may be strong, but they're going to need to be. Stuff that is a relatively minor obstacle for a larger wheel is going to outright stop this bicycle.

"Aw crap, someone spit out a sunflower seed shell! EVASIVE MANEUVERS!!!"

Re:Too expensive for the goofiness (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 7 months ago | (#47251319)

"Stuff that is a relatively minor obstacle for a larger wheel is going to outright stop this bicycle."

Larger wheels do not make obstacles "easier", at least when it comes to anything you'll encounter while riding on paved or hardpack surfaces like this tandem is intended for.

What matters is tire load, thickness, and inflation pressure.

Re:Too expensive for the goofiness (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#47251391)

Larger wheels do not make obstacles "easier", at least when it comes to anything you'll encounter while riding on paved or hardpack surfaces like this tandem is intended for.

Balderdash. I've ridden a folding bike with slightly bigger wheels than this and found that to be false. And that's why we have 29ers now.

Re:Too expensive for the goofiness (1)

mellon (7048) | about 7 months ago | (#47253179)

29ers are great for clearing obstacles in the woods, but not so great on tight single track rides because the steering is slower. I have a Fuji Outland with 26" wheels and I've taken it over 18" logs without any trouble. You aren't going to take this offroad, so the fact that it can't clear a log isn't really a practical issue. Team riding on rough terrain would be an interesting exhibition sport, but the coordination required is way out of the league of the typical couple or parent/child combo this bike is being marketed toward. If nothing else, this bike simply isn't geared for offroad riding.

Re:Too expensive for the goofiness (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#47260543)

If nothing else, this bike simply isn't geared for offroad riding.

To me, it's an issue of comfort. Minor perturbations in the pavement that are a minor obstacle to a normally-sized wheel are a major one to a smaller wheel, because of the size of the contact patch that crosses it. You can notice this effect with anything wheeled. It's easier to push my utility cart with wheelchair wheels over obstacles than my wheelbarrow. My F250 4x4 barely notices washboarding that makes even my 300SD vibrate like a bastard, because it's on 35s.

er, I should say (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#47260557)

I should say, in part because of the size of the contact patch. There's also something there to do with the angle of the wheel where it meets the obstacle. The old school wheelchair wheels on my utility cart have solid tires, the contact patch isn't just narrow but short as well.

Re:Too expensive for the goofiness (1)

Stolpskott (2422670) | about 7 months ago | (#47252789)

Larger wheels do not make obstacles "easier", at least when it comes to anything you'll encounter while riding on paved or hardpack surfaces like this tandem is intended for.

The most obvious thing I can think of that you will encounter is a road-side kerb.
The physics of the situation means that, if the impact point of your wheel on the obstacle you are trying to get over is greater than or equal to the radius of the front tyre, then you will need to take action (lifting the front end of the bike) to get over the obstacle. In practice, you will have to take action for objects that are smaller than the radius, because the force required to mount the obstacle increases dramatically, increasing beyond the tyre and rim's ability to maintain structural integrity as the height of the obstacle-tyre impact point approaches the tyre radius.
As someone who has riden city bikes with small radius wheels and also mountain bikes with 29" rims, I definitely appreciate the ride quality differences that come with tyre properties beyond the wheel radius, but the ride is much smoother anyway with the larger rims, simply because the impact height of the obstacle is so much less than the diameter of the wheel.

Re:Too expensive for the goofiness (1)

mellon (7048) | about 7 months ago | (#47253191)

If you ride a racing bike up a curb without hopping it, you'll wind up with a snakebite flat, and possibly a bent rim. I suspect this bike would do better on a curb, although I still wouldn't do it. You can't hop a tandem unless you and your partner are a stunt team, regardless of wheel size.

16" wheels are surprisingly useful (1)

mcrbids (148650) | about 7 months ago | (#47252077)

I'm a fan of foldable bikes. Think: Dahon and/or Bike Friday. They solve one of the biggest problems with bikes in conjunction with an automotive culture: getting "stuck" with a bike that you rode to work but won't be driving home with.

So, I've spent a lot of time on a 16" wheel on a Dahon Stowaway [ebay.com] with performance tires, and a finely tuned internal 3-speed hub that made it into a surprisingly fast speed demon. I loved it - it was fast, casual, and convenient. Sadly, it was stolen.

The small, 16" wheels are surprisingly effective on commuter bike! No, you don't go off road on 16" wheels - but ask yourself: do you really do that much anyway?

Re:16" wheels are surprisingly useful (1)

Neil Hodges (960909) | about 7 months ago | (#47253203)

And people tour on Bromptons [pathlesspedaled.com] . I can load a lot more than expected on mine and it still handles pretty well with more than 40 pounds on its racks, including on slow hill climbs. I don't own a car, but a Brompton is really nice for air travel: I can fold it up, put it in its back, and put it into checked baggage with no extra fees. Once at the destination airport, I can unfold it and ride away without having to deal with trains, buses, or taxis. It does fit quite well in those, too.

Re:Too expensive for the goofiness (1)

mellon (7048) | about 7 months ago | (#47253147)

I have a Bike Friday Tikit [bikefriday.com] , which has 16" wheels. It does just fine on potholed dirt roads. You wouldn't want to ride it over a log, but you're not going to do that with a street bike either. One really interesting thing about the smaller wheels is that it's easier to recover if you lock them up—I've had two occasions where I did something on my tikit that would have resulted in a crash on a road bike, but I was able to save it on the tikit: once I locked up my front wheel on a patch of ice coming down a steep hill, and my reflexive releasing of the brakes was enough to avoid going down. Another time I got the front wheel caught in Muni tracks (it's a travel bike!) and had to wrestle it back up, but the small size of the wheels made it easy to wrestle them out of the track and recover. I had a bad crash doing the same thing on the Muni tracks back when I was living in San Francisco and had a road bike. I was down on the ground before I had time to react. So I would not discount the small wheels from a safety perspective.

On the other hand, riding two-up so close together changes the physics of the bike pretty significantly. I wonder if he's done the math on center of gravity. I would expect the steering to be pretty twitchy, and I'd be curious to see how it handles with two riders on a descent, and also whether it's possible for the stoker to stand on an ascent. That said, I suspect in the right circumstances, this would be a blast to ride, and the price seems pretty reasonable to me.

Yes, smaller wheels are tougher, (2)

pecosdave (536896) | about 7 months ago | (#47249031)

they also don't go over small obstacles as easily, maintain momentum less well (for the same reason), and are decidedly much more dorky on a tandem than full sized wheels.

Re:Yes, smaller wheels are tougher, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249163)

absolutely, this looks like the Sinclair A-bike of tandems, hard enough to stay steady on individually, with 2 people this must be horrible.

Re:Yes, smaller wheels are tougher, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249479)

and have smaller angular momentum at the same bike velocity, which makes balancing on the bike harder (and that before taking into account the extra person to balance)

Re:Yes, smaller wheels are tougher, (1)

dr2chase (653338) | about 7 months ago | (#47250115)

Bike balance hasn't got diddly to do with angular momentum of the wheels.

"On the other hand, if the gyroscopic effect of rotating bike wheels is cancelled by adding counter-rotating wheels, it is still easy to balance while riding."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]
(And they got it from _Bicycling Science_, which is where I remember it from.)

Re:Yes, smaller wheels are tougher, (1)

mellon (7048) | about 7 months ago | (#47253215)

My Bike Friday tikit (16" wheels) does really well on long rides. I haven't noticed any issues with momentum. Your body mass is most of the mass of the vehicle; changing the size of the wheels has very little effect on your momentum. And as I mentioned on another comment thread, it does fine on bumpy dirt roads, but yes, you definitely don't want to go single-tracking with it. Hardly a significant problem for the target audience.

They Don't Want My Business (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249037)

What a terrible excuse for a website.

I go there without javascript and they don't even show me a picture of the bike. I guess it is more important to them to have a pretty website than it is to maximize the number of customers. Not like they couldn't do both.

Re:They Don't Want My Business (1)

CryptDemon (1772622) | about 7 months ago | (#47252989)

Yeah I'm sure they care about the exceptionally small number of people with noscript installed. Websites looking pretty will bring in a lot more customers than they will turn away by rejecting anti-javascript holy rollers.

Re:They Don't Want My Business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47256307)

Here's the problem with your ideas.

Javascript is super fragile. All it takes is one error to blow it up because all the javascript interpreters simply halt on error. So if you include javascript that is not under your control from an ad-network or an analytics network or your customer is using an old browser or you just screw up and put a typo in an untested if-else branch in your own code then the website dies.

Smart web devs build their sites according to the principles of progressive enhancement [wikipedia.org] because not only does it include "holy rollers" but it also makes them robust instead of fragile.

In this particular case, even with javascript turned on the website isn't very "pretty" there is nothing about it that requires javascript. Their javascript dependency isn't the result of a conscious decision to chose form over function because the form is really pedestrian (pun intended) anyway.

Text too LIGHT - did not read... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249059)

What a bunch of idiots. Why not make the text exactly the same colour as the background and have done with it? After all, all the other sites are doing it - it must be right!

Bad design (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 7 months ago | (#47249063)

The super-long rear seatpost will put incredible torque on the top tube joint and eventually break the frame.

Re:Bad design (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about 7 months ago | (#47249127)

I've seen this happen before. If it's a good enough weld with Chromoly it may not ever happen under 400 lbs of rider, but you're right, welds have been a reoccurring issue with low production run bikes in the past, not just Chinese, but even really high end names. There's just too many issues with this design. I could see it being fun for kids in a neighborhood, but I have trouble taking it seriously otherwise.

Re:Bad design (3, Insightful)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 7 months ago | (#47249149)

I could see it being fun for kids in a neighborhood, but I have trouble taking it seriously otherwise.

True. But I'll bet those kids could find a much more fun way to spend $850.

Re:Bad design (1)

nadaou (535365) | about 7 months ago | (#47252693)

True. But I'll bet those kids could find a much more fun way to spend $850.

Especially if they have been introduced to the teachings of Bender.

Re:Bad design (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249185)

I could see it being fun for kids in a neighborhood, but I have trouble taking it seriously otherwise.

Close to my assessment. This looks like the perfect bike for an overprotective parent. Stick the kid on the front seat, steer from the back seat (ok, also for habitual back seat drivers), and never let the kid out of your reach.

Re: Bad design (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47250069)

An overprotective parent will just drive an SUV.

Re:Bad design (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 7 months ago | (#47251309)

Bike Friday has been using essentially the same configuration on their foldables for quite some time without notable issues.

pedallers* (1)

toby (759) | about 7 months ago | (#47249069)

Blame autocorrect?

Re:pedallers* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47251137)

Petal to the medal!

New patent idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249071)

Put booster seats in the front of the car, and move all the driving mechanisms to the back seat. I'm SURE it will sell. ... I wouldn't buy one though.


Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249105)

Plus, the inventor says 'UUUUUHHHH' before almost every single word... as if his brain isn't working, and is very slow... uhhhh.... and he uuuhhhhhh, doesn't uuuuhhhh, know uuuuuhhhh, what the hell he is talking about.

Re:UUUUHHHHH.... (1)

jcochran (309950) | about 7 months ago | (#47249617)

Not everyone is comfortable with public speaking. What you're complaining about is what is called "verbalized pauses" and almost all untrained speakers suffer from it to a degree or two when speaking publicly. Training, and practice with public speaking tends to eliminate that.

A Page with Music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249123)

No Thanks.

Re:A Page with Music? (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 7 months ago | (#47249187)

too late.. I'm listening to the track to the end, because I'm too used to the notion that cutting a track is rude. Ah, it just ended lol.

Re:A Page with Music? (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 7 months ago | (#47249253)

(completely off topic) Why o why would ANYBODY put auto-play music on ANY website. It just means I will leave your website immediately no matter what. I am (always) already listening to music (loudly).

Re:A Page with Music? (1)

tsa (15680) | about 7 months ago | (#47252149)


No, turn music off at the switch on the speakers (2)

jfengel (409917) | about 7 months ago | (#47249165)

Irritatingly, laptops have speakers built in; worse, phones have to have speakers on. But I still like my desktop and the certainty I get from having a physical switch. I don't care what games you play to try to subvert my settings: I am not going to have to hunt down your noisy tab.

Re:No, turn music off at the switch on the speaker (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 7 months ago | (#47249235)

Here linux is superior thanks to having the volume control as a separate panel applet, not a tiny icon hidden in the tray like Windows does. And the volume can be changed with the scroll wheel whether you open the slider or not.
I have an amp at near 100% volume and never touch it.

Re:No, turn music off at the switch on the speaker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249379)

Hasn't Linux catch up with the 20th century? I can control app sound volume singularly since window vista. Browser is almost always on mute.

or do you still have to install a couple packages here and there and pray it was implemented in your specific desktop environment tray applet?

Re:No, turn music off at the switch on the speaker (2)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 7 months ago | (#47249603)

Pulseaudio solved that, but was broken or misconfigured by distros early on, still can use too much CPU sometimes. But it works. What hasn't changed is half the nerds bitch about it when given the occasion.
You will miss GUI environment support in most cases if you go to a competing audio stack (OSSv4) but only a subset of nerds know about that one.

For the particular page I wasn't bothered because clicking on an easy to locate and big enough "pause" button was enough. I think that long term we'll need using a html5 audio/video blocker browser extension.

Re:No, turn music off at the switch on the speaker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249309)

+1 Clicked link, got annoying loud music, instantly closed. F&#@ off with that, and take your funding request with you.

Re: No, turn music off at the switch on the speake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47250087)

Phones have to have speakers on? No. They have vibrate and silent modes for a reason. And what phone are you using that doesn't have independent volume controls for ring tone and media?

Re:No, turn music off at the switch on the speaker (1)

CaptQuark (2706165) | about 7 months ago | (#47252709)

My wireless keyboard has a audio mute button and a rocker switch for volume control. Most laptops have dedicated function key-pairs for mute and volume control.

Even the video footage of the bike demo had me reaching for my keyboard volume button.


Ergonomic Nightmare (2)

robstout (2873439) | about 7 months ago | (#47249213)

Wow, that bike looks really horrible to ride. My knees hurt just from watching the video. It looks like a collapsable commuter bike stretched out a bit.I really don't see the appeal.

Re:Ergonomic Nightmare (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 7 months ago | (#47250715)

The only advantage I can see to it is that it's small enough to work as a one-person bicycle. Various transit systems won't let you bring tandem bikes on trains, the racks on busses are too small for them, and tandem racks can be a nuisance.

That said, I agree. I wouldn't want to ride one for any kind of distance...

Wow! I'm impressed... (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | about 7 months ago | (#47249247)

I never thought I'd ever see a guy being pleased because his was smaller!

Re:Wow! I'm impressed... (1)

hurfy (735314) | about 7 months ago | (#47249483)

At least until one hits a pothole with those little wheels and he discovers that extended handlebar post :O

Cute idea. Him saying 1st utility patent on a bike in 100 years or however he phrased sounded cheeky and turned me off.
$850 makes it very uncute tho, no wonder no one was interested in 'investing' last time.

Best ever handling tandem ? (3, Insightful)

nukenerd (172703) | about 7 months ago | (#47249283)

That's some claim - probably refers to it's small turning circle (why would I care?). But that incredible fork angle (looks about 45 deg) means that the front end will be falling as you steer from straight-ahead (assuming he has given the front wheel some caster) which means a gravitational tendency to steer away from the straight ahead, made worse by the relatively low gyroscopic stability of small wheels. Conventional fork geometry evolved the way it is for good reason, but I guess he had to compromise to get the rider's positions to where they are.

Still, as I guess these things will never get further than the seaside promenade or the pavement (US sidewalk) I suppose it does not matter

similiar already exist - dutch bikes and Hase Pino (2)

pereric (528017) | about 7 months ago | (#47249291)

There are already quite many bikes of the concept tandem-with-captain in the rear. Several quite successfull ones, too.

There are several home-built tandems with individual handlebars, like this one I saw in Amsterdam : https://rosnix.net/~per/album/... [rosnix.net]

Also this child seat for the Brompton folding bike works quite like the original post : http://documentally.com/2011/0... [documentally.com]

Last but not least, the german Hase Pino semi-recumbent bike. The captain sit in the rear in an upright position, the stoker is seated in a comfy recumbent seat in the front. The bike is selling quite well in Germany. It's used like normal tandem bikes for couples going on vacation and errands together, but also for transportation of kids and people with various disabilities - the bike is very adaptable to various capabilities of the riders. http://hasebikes.com/84-1-Tand... [hasebikes.com]

Price? About 3000 Euro for the Pino. Probably out of range for people considering bikes a toy or something to hang on the rear of your RV / SUV. But quite OK for a vehicle that can meet a lot of your mobility needs. Bicycles can pretty successfully do much of the same city transportation done by cars (40-50% of all trips in Copenhagen and Netherlands are made by bike), and if you save on gas (or even more - many people don't bother getting a motor vehicle at all, actually) you can afford much better bikes than the walmart bike-like objects (yes, we have that in Europe too).

Re:similiar already exist - dutch bikes and Hase P (1)

dr2chase (653338) | about 7 months ago | (#47250167)

That tandem is not home-built. Do your favorite image search for "onderwater tandem", you'll see a bunch of them.

Re:similiar already exist - dutch bikes and Hase P (1)

pereric (528017) | about 7 months ago | (#47260865)

Ah, nice to learn :-)

You don't know anything about me! (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#47249319)

Shawn Raymond's Tandem Bike is Shorter Than Yours

How do you know? I could have an even shorter tandem. You don't know me. You don't know what I've got in my garage. Get off my lawn!

Like to see bigger wheels (1)

jpellino (202698) | about 7 months ago | (#47249381)

as smaller wheels may be stronger but you kinda need rotating mass to help stabilize, and move the pedal strike out of the picture. $850 is a great price for a well made tandem. It's overall a step above simply brazing together most of two standard diamond frames.

Wrong audience (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 7 months ago | (#47249395)

No /. commenter will ever have the ability to use a tandem, regardless of whether they want to.
For multiple reasons.

Re:Wrong audience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249989)

The great thing about this bike is that you can ride it perfectly well solo.

Pricing of other bikes is off (2)

Joe Tennies (564856) | about 7 months ago | (#47249433)

Yes, you can get a cheap as crap bike at Walmart for that price, but that's the bottom of the barrel bike from them. A sporting goods store is barely any better than a department store. I don't know what you consider a specialty bike store, but I'd expect that they carry Trek, Giant, and Raleigh. $850 is a mid level fitness Trek (FX 7.4 to be exact). Trek's only tandem is 1$200. Raleigh's is $930. Giant doesn't even have one. Heck, look here: http://www.mtbtandems.com/ [mtbtandems.com]

Re:Pricing of other bikes is off (1)

confused one (671304) | about 7 months ago | (#47249955)

You're absolutely right; but, people who buy Wal-mart bikes either aren't bike people; or, know they're getting a throw-away and live with it. A $79 bike will be heavy, poorly built, uncomfortable (because one size fits all, right?), the cheap derailleurs will not work reliably, the free hub and cassette will fail fairly early on. To add another price-point, you can pick up a low end bike from a local bike shop for about $450.

The initial description sold me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249443)

The initial description of the bike intrigued me as I thought it was a better engineered more compact and efficient tandem bicycle, maybe something like the luge sled of bicycles. Instead after seeing the picture and being subjected to an awful website that autoplays music, I see it is nothing more than an expensive horrible Frankenstein's monsters of a bmx bike.

coffee is for closers (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 7 months ago | (#47249471)

This isn't a "both peddlers are equal" bike.

Peddlers are never equal. Whoever makes the most sales is best.

Turn it down (1)

AndyKron (937105) | about 7 months ago | (#47249497)

God ya, start it up at FULL FUCKING VOLUME!

Stupid idea... (4, Insightful)

kiphat (809902) | about 7 months ago | (#47249511)

I really dig bikes! Road, Mountain, CC, tandem, whatever.. I will never buy this bike. In all honesty there's a reason he didn't make his goal because it's a stupid idea. This _might make it as a boardwalk exclusive as a rental for $5/hour. But that's about it.

Re:Stupid idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47252033)

I could actually see this being a good rental opportunity for touristy things like a boardwalk

Short riders with junk in the trunk need not apply (1)

517714 (762276) | about 7 months ago | (#47249667)

So is it better to pedal with your knees way out to the side, or have someone's knees constantly hitting your butt?

a bike for faggots I guess.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47249891)


Lose your front teeth... (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 7 months ago | (#47250007)

So with the two riders so close to each other, if you hit a bump or have to stop suddenly, the rear rider's head may hit the back of the front rider's helmet.

If you're in the back, you might want to wear a mouth guard...

I wish him luck, but... (3, Interesting)

Slugster (635830) | about 7 months ago | (#47250101)

It is very presumptuous to claim one has invented a "new" bicycle just by rehashing normal parts. Millions of amateur inventors in every country in the world have been doing the same thing for 100+ years. Fans of vintage bicycles will tend to say that 'Everything ride-able--and a lot more things not--has already been done; I just can't find the picture'.

Vintage tandem bicycles that allowed a smaller rider in front were typically called "kangaroo" tandems.
I don't remember anything *exactly* like this, but I know I've seen a few that were very similar except for the handlebar arrangement.... -and I don't consider myself to be that great of a fan of vintage cycling. The vintage examples I recall vaguely had a more-complicated arrangement, which leads me to suspect that simpler ones were probably tried.

Why? (1)

BenJeremy (181303) | about 7 months ago | (#47250187)

Like EVERYBODY else, I'm not sure why this was posted in Slashdot... but maybe you'll give my three-person unicycle Kickstarter a mention? At the moment it is simply a concept drawing... I'm hoping to raise $5 million and would probably deliver a working production bike after I've exhausted the funds at my design facility in the Caribbean.

Much better version (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47250207)

If U wanted a tandem with both riders watching the road, I'd rather go for a Pino from Hase bikes (http://hasebikes.com/95-1-Tandem-Pino-Allround.html). More expensive, but so much nicer and confortable!

Wheels, and price (2)

dr2chase (653338) | about 7 months ago | (#47250243)

There's way too many people who think that big wheels have a stabilizing effect. They don't. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org] .
They do suck more at potholes, but they are also much stronger (as wheels) though the load carrying capacity of the tire is reduced (i.e, a 29x2.35 *tire* can carry more weight than a 20x2.35 tire).

$850 would be an aggressive price for a small run bike. I know what I am talking about here, I own a small run bike (a cargo bike), it's larger, but the frame alone was $1000 retail, and they're pretty much all like that. Most niche market bikes cost more than $1000, and while this one has not so much tubing, it has just as many welds, and it pays the tandem tax (more drive train, second seat, and lots of parts are extra beefy for the increased power and load -- I also own a tandem.)

I share the concerns about the fork angle, but you'd really want to ride one to figure out if it works or not.

The stoker not able to see the road is a problem for some stokers, so I think this is an interesting thing. I wouldn't buy it without riding it first.

Re:Wheels, and price (1)

Triklyn (2455072) | about 7 months ago | (#47250843)

i'd say i'm not entirely sure what you're trying to link to. I'd also say that big wheels have a bigger moment arm or whatever than small wheels and wheels contain angular momentum when up to speed. All wheels in motion make use of that gyroscopic effect, so if it starts upright it's going to want to stay upright. what you're suggesting is that gyroscopes with more momentum aren't better resisting changing orientation than gyroscopes with less momentum.

now, is your argument that it contributes nothing, or that it contributes a negligible amount? to stability?

rolling wheels stay upright a lot longer than ones that don't roll.

Re:Wheels, and price (1)

dr2chase (653338) | about 7 months ago | (#47250997)

Click through, read the link. They've done experiments with counter-rotating wheels to cancel any gyro effects, and people ride the bikes just fine. So, negligible. As good as nothing, compared to all the other noise in the system.

And if you have ever captained a tandem, you'll know damn well it is all about "noise in the system".

Re:Wheels, and price (1)

Triklyn (2455072) | about 7 months ago | (#47254799)

in that case, yay. but that's not actually what you said. you actually leave the point you're trying to make rather ambiguous.

next time, if it's negligible, say something like what you just said to me. that they did experiments and found that the stabilizing effect of increasing wheel radius is negligible in maintaining balance.

what you actually said was basically. "no, you're wrong, linky linky"

a little explanation goes a long way.

Would you buy a $75 PC from Walmart? (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 7 months ago | (#47251591)

TLDR version: "Big Box Store" bikes are not a metric for what a bicycle "costs", and cheap bicycles have high operating expenditures. Why not spend more on capital expenditures (the purchase), take less trips to the bike store for repairs, and have a nicer bicycle to boot?

BBSBs are the bane of every bike mechanic, because 1)their owners have extremely unrealistic expectations in terms of cost of labor and parts (ie: "I paid $75 for this thing, you want $50 to replace this whosamahwhasis?") 2)the components are almost never standard (so parts are not normally stocked, or may not even be available) 3)Everything, and I mean everything, is as cheap as can be, and falls apart, so they're 'frequent fliers.' The cables and housings are weak and made of poor, incompatible metals so they stretch making proper adjustment difficult, and corrode the second water even comes near them. The bearings are poorly sealed (ditto on water) and substandard (so they fail quickly.)

I know shops that pretty much point-blank refuse to even work on such bikes. Just the overhead of all the extra time explaining to the customer why they have to pay "so much" sometimes puts a shop into the red on that particular transaction.

The bicycle industry is full of competition. There are three major component manufacturers, dozens of frame builders, and more than three major distributors of parts and bikes in the US. In my city I can name about twelve bicycle shops within a 4 mile radius of me, and each one of them stocks at least half a dozen brands. If you think the bike industry is a "ripoff", then by all means, start your own component, framebuilding, distributor, or retail business and "do everyone else in."

  The problem is that bicycles are considered toys, and as such: people pump $60 of gas into the tank of their car that they're paying $400/month for a loan plus at least $100/month to insure....and then go to the local bike store and whine and bitch and moan about the price tag on a $400 bicycle that will last them years of commuting...

Re:Would you buy a $75 PC from Walmart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47251675)

where i live, a $400 bike would last you maybe 3 weeks of commuting. On the plus side, the lawsuit might help your family pay for your casket. With a bit left over if the driver was well insured.

Re:Would you buy a $75 PC from Walmart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#47252509)

The usual term for such bikes is 'bicycle-shaped object' [duckduckgo.com]

I'm surprised it received that much... (1)

Rick in China (2934527) | about 7 months ago | (#47251595)

It's a terribly ugly bike - and seems it would be awkward to ride. I have no idea how this made it to Slashdot (seems to be a recurring theme). Please stop using this to drum up funds for some dudes crappy ideas who already failed horribly on kickstarter, years ago..because their product sucks.

Basically a toy (1)

GlobalEcho (26240) | about 7 months ago | (#47251607)

As a "real" tandem person (see here [davincitandems.com] ), I must say this thing looks like a toy to me. Of course, it is also far less expensive than the bikes made by serious [co-motion.com] tandem [santanatandem.com] bike [calfeedesign.com] companies, who often make bikes with derailer and brake systems that alone cost as much as this monstrosity.

We've had our tandem going 60-70mph (down mountain roads). There's no way I would trust this thing for such riding. Maybe it is OK for some gentle cruises, but that's it. And furthermore, there's a far better design [bilenky.com] for front-stoker visibility.

/snob mode [blogspot.com] off

Um. Why is this even here? (1)

azav (469988) | about 7 months ago | (#47253631)

This is terrible and stupid.

Why the hell is this on Slashdot?

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