RIDE IMPRESSIONS (continued)
It was a real trudge going up the steeper hills, I figure with my daughters weight, and the heavier tandem frame I was pushing an extra 90 lbs. uphill. Ugh, my thighs felt it, but I figured it was good training! This is a traditional tandem with a timing chain, which means your child must pedal at the same rate as you. My daughter liked pedaling, but her input was only mildly effective on the steep sections of the trail. It was also easy for her to lose the rhythm of the pedaling, and her feet would slip off, and she would have to re-sync them back on. I had swapped out the default flat pedals for my clipless ones, which did aid on those steep hills.
It’s a bit odd sitting way behind the front wheel doing steering, and it’s doubly tough with the Copilot partially blocking the trail view, but you get used to it. It does not turn on a time like my normal bike, as it has a very long turning radius and wheelbase, so it’s sort of like trying to maneuver a big truck in a parking lot. It occasionally gave me problems negotiating turns and sharp corners, but with time you learn to compensate and give yourself more time and space to maneuver. Due to the way the steering system works combined with the rear seating, the steering input is a bit vague and not very neutral feeling. The simple and innovative steering system worked fine, and I didn’t notice any binding nor loss of control with the long bar and socket system . In deeper gravel and sand the front end tended to wash out just a bit, but it was not overwhelming and was easy to control. The additional weight and the rearward weight positioning keeps the bike very stable, and the bike did carve well, which was a pleasant surprise.
The bike did pretty well on the bumpy terrain, and the small suspension fork did decently through the roots and rocks. I wouldn’t be taking this bike into any serious technical terrain, but it does just fine in the mild terrain that you would be riding with your child in anyway. This is a big long and heavy bike, so it does not stop on a dime, and it takes some good hand strength and distance to slow it down. Again, it was much like driving my pickup truck, which was also handy to have to haul around a very long bike like the KidzTandem.