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Recent twts in reply to #duqvxja

On Saturday it was sunny and so we went on a short 19 km tandem ride in my area. The bike was designed in the hillless Netherlands, so that’s presumably why in areas like mine the battery is flattened in no time. They claim a maximum range of 40 km in the flat. We only engaged the motor on the way up to save on juice.

Mt. Hohenstaufen in the distance, side by side e-tandem

My town lends out the electronic tandem to all its inhabitants for free, which is awesome. The cool thing is you sit side by side and not behind each other like on a regular tandem. This makes it quite cool for conversations. But of course, narrow spots might get tricky, it’s over a meter wide. Posts on the footpaths to block off cars and other motorized vehicles can get a challenge to navigate around. Also avoiding oncoming or overtaking traffic is tricky on narrow paths or lanes.

The vehicle is designed for disabled passengers, but some of these features are in fact drawbacks for others. The driver can select from eight gears, but the passenger has always a fixed gear ratio. So at very low (going uphill) and at a bit higher speeds (basically regular cruising speeds on the flat) the passenger cannot help pedalling, it’s either too hard to tread or you’re like a hamster in a spinning wheel. Only the midrange (~5-15 km/h) is somewhat okay. Ideally, the passenger would have an own gearbox or at the very minimum share the same gear ratio as the driver. But the current solution is just terrible. There are three settings for the passenger the driver can control: 1) idle all the time 2) fixed gear with the option of ideling 3) fixed gear without the possibility of ideling, you always have to tread and cannot rest. So of course, setting 2 it is. But why not provide a fourth or fifth option with a passenger gear box?

I will talk about the tandem experience in more detail another time.

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