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Collin's Dad
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Just wondering what age some of the people here have started their kids stoking on the tandem. My son's only 8 weeks old, so I have some time to research options on kits and what-not. I've thought I've seen websites that show kids as young as 3yrs old, but those kits/setups had backrests and a little bar going from the back around the front so the kid couldn't fall off, anyone know what brand have setups like this or where you can buy something like that?

I'd like to hear any tips or stories you have to share.

Thanks,
Phil.
 

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Getting a little ahead of ourselves aren't we?

phil. said:
.... My son's only 8 weeks old .....
I've had a 3yo on the back of my tandem with a stoker kit. He was already riding without training wheels and mom was on a single right next to us. It was a lot of fun for us all but we didn't go more than 5 miles at the most.

I am sure it depends more on the kids development and attitude than anything else.
 

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Kid stokers

MB1 said:
Getting a little ahead of ourselves aren't we? .........

Not really, our son took his first tandem ride at 6 weeks (o.k. so he was snugged in his car seat which was secured in a trailer behind the tandem). His younger sister went through the same drill, difference being she had him as a passenger to keep her company.
They both started stoking around 4 years old, and did their first full week of RAGBRAI when they were 9 & 7!! We purchased another tandem for my wife to captain & my son to stoke and my daughter was my stoker. The combinations made for pretty equal power to weight ratios and allowed for a great week long family vacation pedaling across Iowa!
My son became an avid runner, so we traded in the wifes tandem for a triplet and rode RAGBRAI again with the wife & daughter age 13. Sold the triplet when the daughter turned 16, to busy to ride any longer with mom & dad.
As MB1 stated, it really depends on the kids, though getting them started young, they don't know any different, but as our kids grew older and their own interest developed, cycling fell to the curb side. Their mom & I can only hope that their interest in cycling will blossom again as they age. Best rides to you and your little stoker.:)
 

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My 4 year old rides on a tag-a-long attached to a tandem. This way he can rest if his legs get tired as his pedals are not linked to ours. He pedals about 90% of the time and is up to 34 mile rides.

As for types of tandems - we have a Co-Motion Periscope that can fit someone as small as 3ft 8" to someone as tall as 6ft 2" just by moving the seat up and down.

I hope you have as much fun as we are having!

Cheers
 

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My two oldest boys are 4 and 7 and both of them stoke on our tandems (1 road, 1 mtb).

Riding on the road, the 4 year old does great. I think 40 miles is the longest distance he's done but we had him out for 3+ hours on some mountainous routes.

I wouldn't want to go on any serious rides with a child under 4 years old unless you get one of the child stoker kits with an extra long stoker stem extension and a seat back that the kid straps into.

The kid needs to have enough focus and grip to not have their hands come off the bars or feet come out of the pedals. My 4 y.o. will have his feet slip out of the toe clips if we hit a big bump and he isn't expecting it.

Funny story, when my oldest son turned 4, we bought a trail-a-bike and I took him out on an evening ride. On the return trip, he got awful quiet, and about 3 miles from home (on a bumpy gravel road no less) I turned around to notice he was dead asleep with his head resting on the handlebar pad and his arms draped over the handlebars.

Try as I might, I couldn't wake him, so I rode the 3 miles home VERY CAREFULLY.
 
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