Tandem Diversity News
February 13, 2023: Happy (almost) Valentine's Day! I want to recommend to you an article in the Mar/Apr 2023 issue of Adventure Cyclist. If you are not a member of Adventure Cycling and subscriber to Adventure Cyclist, I suggest you give it a think: Adventure Cyclist. Anyway, the article referred to begins on page 48, is titled Albania Flat and is written by Alex Crevar, with photos by Orion Bregu. The article describes a cycle tour route in Southern Albania, visiting four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and showcasing much of the beauty and cultural experiences Albania has on offer. The route was designed by Kleard Rexhepaj, owner of the Bike Doctor bike shop in Tirana, Albania, the country's capital city.
Kleard and his shop have a very special place in our hearts. We've ridden two tours in Southern Albania with Tour AL, guided by Kleard, and we had the opportunity to donate a tandem to his shop last Fall. When last we visited his shop he gave us a preview of the details of this UNESCO tour; it appears to us it features the good parts of the tours we rode and adds much, much more.
And I point out that, in addition to our tours with Kleard and Tour AL, we also have hiked with Outdoor Albania in the northern part of the country.
A cycle tour route is being developed in the North as well, for hardy souls, I can assure you.
For information about Kleard's route in the South, as well as the basics of the Northern route, check out this link for Outdoor Active.
Having experienced this very special country for ourselves, two times, both under Kleard's capable guidance, I can assure you that should you decide to tour in Albania with Kleard, you will not regret it; it will be a highlight (hopefully among many) of your tandem touring life!
As always, and especially with regard to cycling in Albania, please do not hesitate to email us with any questions you might have. See you on the road!
February 2, 2023: This is to confirm what I mentioned in the previous news posting - we will plan to attend the Midwest Tandem Rally September 1-4, 2023 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We will have a booth in the vendor fair, and we will sponsor the Friday SAG stop. In our vendor booth we will plan to have 3 tandems on display, and at the moment we are thinking we will bring a Co-Motion Java with Rohloff drivetrain, a Co-Motion Speedster with Di2 shifting, and something from the world of gravel tandems. Hope to see you there and to ride with you!
January 30, 2023: This is a brief update on our plans for tandem rallies in 2023. The Northwest Tandem Rally will be held over the Memorial Day Holiday in Sequim, Washington. We will not be in attendance. We will plan to participate in the Myeloma Ride Canada; the two events conflict and for us, the myeloma ride takes precedence.
The Midwest Tandem Rally will be over the Labor Day Holiday and will be held in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We may attend that rally and if we do, our plan will be to have a vendor booth to display some great Co-Motion tandems. Keep an eye on our news and we will let you know as plans unfold.
And be sure to take a look at the new tandems we have in stock. Shoot me an email to ask about special, winter pricing on these bikes.
December 26, 2022: We have almost reached the end of the tandem year. It has been a quiet but gratifying tandem year here at Tandem Diversity. I've posted a brief, year end summary.
As always, please get in touch to let us know of any way we can help you on your tandem journey.
We wish for you and your family a very happy and healthy 2023!
November 2, 2022: It's been a long time coming (almost 6 years), but I've finally put together some electronic memories of our wonderful time spent in Vietnam back in 2017. This only encompasses the sights and experiences while on the bikes, so much of the Vietnam experience is not represented here and hopefully some day will appear in the form of another video slide show. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the compilation of ride Relives from our trip to Vietnam. We went to Vietnam with Pedaltours and we can highly recommend them. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email me. Enjoy! And do consider Vietnam as a travel destination with your tandem.
October 28, 2022: If you would like to know what it was like riding in Albania, you are welcome to take a look at this compilation of ride Relives I put together. If you are considering cycling in Albania, I would suggest you take a look at Outdoor Albania. Feel free to email me for information. Enjoy the video!
September 22, 2022: We have now returned from a late summer tour in Albania, notable for heat, hills, contracting and recovering from COVID, donating our tandem to a small shop in Albania, hiking in the northern Albanian Alps (Accursed Mountains), and much more. A brief overview is included on our 2022 tours page.
July 17, 2022: For a few months now we have been experimenting with using 650b wheels on a Co-Motion Carrera Rohloff Co-Pilot tandem. For a reasonably detailed look at that experiment, visit this page....
July 6, 2022: The Northwest Tandem Rally in Eugene, Oregon is now in the books. We attended, sponsored, rode, and displayed at the vendor expo both Saturday and Sunday, July 2 and 3. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who stopped in to chat, whether you bought something or not! There are a few photos on our 2022 tours page.
May 25, 2022: Turns out we will not, in fact, be attending the Midwest Tandem Rally this year. Our decision to not attend has nothing to do with the rally itself, rather we have the opportunity to return to Albania for touring this fall and we are looking forward to that experience rather than the rally. If you'd like to know more about our Albania tour (would you like to go with?), let us know.
May 25, 2022: We've just returned home from our latest tour, a self-contained and self-supported tour from Cincinnati to Sandusky, Ohio, via Cleveland. This was mostly on the Ohio to Erie Trail, with focus on the history of the Underground Railroad in Ohio. We learned tons, especially about how many trails there are in Ohio. We can very highly recommend this route for a relaxed and educational tour. See more on our 2022 tours page.
March 26, 2022: We are feeling very optimistic at the moment about hopefully being able to attend two tandem rallies this year, the Northwest and the Midwest. We already offered a link to the website for the NWTR, below. Here is the link for the Midwest Tandem Rally, to be held over the Labor Day Holiday in Decatur, Illinois. Will we see you there? Hope so! We will have our vendor booth with great deals on stunning Co-Motion tandems. Are you ready to upgrade? Hope so!
February 25, 2022: The Northwest Tandem Rally will be held in Eugene, Oregon this year. Tandem Diversity is a sponsor and we will be at the rally to ride and to show off the new Co-Motion tandems we have in stock. Be sure to get yourselves signed up at the rally website. We hope to see you there!
February 14, 2022: First of all, we wish everyone a very Happy Valentine Day!
Next, we want to tell you about a really sweet ride we stumbled onto in Northern California. We took a driving trip along the coast, with our tandem for day rides, and visited the Redwoods in Northern California. These majestic giants are in State Parks and a National Park. In the Prairie Creek State Park, the Newton Drury Scenic Drive (10 miles) is closed to motor vehicles the first Saturday of every month; we took advantage and rode the 20 miles out and back on a sunny but cool February 5, reveling in the peace and quiet of a beautifully scenic road with no car noise. We recommend it highly. Check out a few photos on our 2022 Tour Page.
Also, Valentine Day reminds us Spring is coming and the tandem riding season is approaching. If you order a new Co-Motion tandem from the factory right now, it won't be ready to ride this season. It is taking about 6 months to fill orders. But never fear! We have a great variety of new tandems in stock and ready to come home with you right now. Don't miss out on riding this season on the perfect new tandem. Have a look at our stock of new tandems.
As always, if you have any questions or if we can help in any way with your tandem life journey, be sure to get in touch.
January 11, 2022: Pretty much the hottest seller in our shop in the last year has been the Co-Motion Klatch. Is it a gravel bike? Is it a road bike? Is it an all-rounder? Is it the most comfortable bike you will ever ride? To have our customers tell it, the answer to all the above questions is a resounding yes! One thing is certain - when one lands on our showroom floor, it doesn't stay there very long. We just listed a really sweet 2021 Klatch with paint and decal upgrades and with Di-2 shifting. This bike won't last so email us to arrange a peek and a test ride!
And while we are on the subject of acting now so as to not lose out, keep in mind that to order a new bike, either single or tandem, from Co-Motion takes in the neighborhood of 6 months or longer for order fulfillment. That means if you want to enjoy the 2022 riding season astride a new Co-Motion, it's almost too late.
However, it's certainly not too late to take advantage of the excellent inventory of new tandems and single bikes in stock here at Tandem Diversity.
Send an email to let us know you'd like to see these beautiful machines in person. And ask about any discounted pricing.
January 1, 2022: Although significantly impacted by the COVID pandemic, 2021 was another great year for us at Tandem Diversity. I've posted my traditional Year in Review. To all our friends and customers who shared adventures with us in 2021, we offer our sincere gratitude. We wish for all of you a very happy, safe, and healthy 2022, with lots of tandem adventures. As always, please email us to let us know how we might help you on your tandem journey together.
November 10, 2011: As you probably already know, we specialize in the Rohloff hub/Gates Carbon Drive drive train. We prefer to equip the bikes with the Rohloff Twist Shifter Light, mounted on VanNicholas split handle bars. This makes for a very comfortable, efficient, easy to use shifting system. Now that we are beginning to carry Pinion drive bikes, we wanted to offer a similar set up for shifting. Enter the Pinion twist shifter, mounted on VanNicholas bars. What a sweet, sweet bike this makes. So far the only Pinion drive bike we have on the showroom floor is a Cascadia Pinion single bike, though we did write a Pinion tandem review for RTR Magazine. Anyway, the Cascadia Pinion single is now set up with the Pinion twist shifter and what a difference it makes in the cockpit! Have a look at the Cascadia, and if you're interested, our Pinion tandem review.
October 25, 2021: If you are interested, I've just put together a video of memories from our tandem tour in France in 2018. We toured Burgundy and Normandy. It was excellent in all regards, including the lodgings, the food, and the routes. Our tour was organized with the help of Detours in France. They were excellent. Enjoy the video!
September 12, 2021: We're back home now from the Midwest Tandem Rally in Racine, Wisconsin. It was great in all respects. Have a look at a few photos on our 2021 Tours page. Good job COWS!
September 5, 2021: Reporting from the Midwest Tandem Rally 2021 in Racine, Wisconsin...The rally has been a great success so far. Kudos to all the organizers and volunteers, as well as to sponsors and vendors (that includes us). The rides have been excellent, the support top notch, and it's been fun to reconnect with Midwest friends and fellow tandem enthusiasts. Can't wait until next year in Decatur, Illinois! Look for more detailed reporting and some photos to follow after the rally conclusion (I'm writing this on Sunday morning, prior to the ride out to the lake and lighthouse).
August 17, 2021: We have great fun when couples come to the shop for tandem test rides (well, we like single bike test rides too!). Almost always there's lots of conversation about tandem models, technology, tandem travel, etc, etc. Last week was no exception - we were visited by Peter and Tracy Flucke from the Green Bay area in Wisconsin. After their visit (and new tandem purchase), Peter wrote a blog entry on their website. A fun write up to read and for us fun to reflect back on the hectic visit with Peter and Tracy. Thank you Peter and Tracy, for your kind words and for trusting us with your business. We look forward to reading more books and many more blog entries. And we also look forward to seeing the two of you at the Midwest Tandem Rally in Racine, Wisconsin!
June 23, 2021: We are very happy to announce that we will be attending the Midwest Tandem Rally in Racine, Wisconsin September 2-6. We will plan to ride the rides, meet lots of new and old friends in the Midwest and demo some Co-Motion tandems. Our plan at the moment is to have a Steelhead, a Speedster Rohloff, and a Carrera Rohloff for folks to test ride. Please check out the rally website, and be sure to let us know if there is any way we can help you on your tandem journey. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, and I almost forgot. When you look at the rally website, be sure to note that we are rally sponsors. We hope to see you there!
February 28, 2021: It takes a long time to get a new bike from Co-Motion. At the moment, from the time of placement of a new order, to delivery is running 5 months, plus. With the advent of the riding season upon us, if you are thinking of a new Co-Motion, either starting out in tandeming or upgrading, if your order hasn't been in for a while now, you can pretty much forget about riding a new tandem until mid-summer. That is, unless , you come to us. We have a great selection of new and used tandem and single bicycles in stock, ride-away ready. You can enjoy the entire cycling season astride your beautiful new Co-Motion tandem or single bicycle. And you simply will not find better prices or support than right here at Tandem Diversity. Take a look at bicycles in stock. And be sure to check back often, as in the next several days we'll be adding to the inventory listed.
Remember, prices are at their best right now as we clear out inventory to make room for new stock. This could be your lucky time. Let us know how we can help you on your tandem (or single bike) journey.
January 1, 2021: For several years now I've welcomed each new year by summarizing the highlights of our tandem year with a "Year in Review" posting. You can see the review of our 2020 tandem year on our Knowledge Transfer Page.
December 31, 2020: Over the years we have occasionally produced videos that document our tandem travels. I've included links to these in the appropriate years and also on our Tips and Trips/Knowledge Transfer page. Enjoy riding along with us!
December 31, 2020: Finishing off 2020 calls to mind a few news items I've been meaning to share. First of these is my impressions of Bike Flights. We use Bike Flights for all of our shipping of large items: bikes and large accessories such as travel cases. We also have used them for our own travel. Last Fall we sent our bike and bike clothing home from Vermont via Bike Flights. They did a stellar job; the nice thing is that you don't have to box your travel cases - just put a tag on and hand them over. Next thing you know, they are on your front porch back home. Bike Flights uses UPS and is very much hassle-free. I highly recommend them.
We've also used DHL, for international travel in instances where Bike Flights had no service. Like Bike Flights, DHL does not require travel cases to be boxed - just put on a tag and again, next thing you know your bike is on your front porch back home. They are a bit more expensive than Bike Flights, but dependable and reliable.
Locally in Europe we have used more local transport services, again with excellent results. A quick Google search can inform you as to what is available in the area you are visiting.
December 20, 2020: Links to travel videos
Over the years we have on several occasions made videos (mostly slide shows, really) of our travels, including tandem travels. To start these were made using Pinnacle software and produced on DVD's. Of late we've taken to producing them on iMovie, from which they can be enjoyed by a number of means, including on Youtube. I am learning more about iMovie and Youtube as I practice. Also, I have been converting the older DVD's to Youtube. The upshot is that we are amassing a nice library of Youtube videos documenting our travels. So, finally it's time to share some of these. Our reasons for sharing are: you might enjoy the scenery; you might learn about an area you are interested in experiencing yourselves; and we are rightfully proud of our travel experiences. We'll start off with a couple of videos from our Lands End To John O' Groats ride in 2016. This we feel may be the defining tandem experience of our lives and we still look back on it very fondly. Our LEJOG experience was organized and implemented by Chris Ellison as a part of CTC Cycling Tours. Chris did a fabulous job and is perhaps the best tour organizer we've encountered.
Anyway, shortly after completing LEJOG in 2016 we made a video about the experience. It was transferred to Youtube from a DVD and is in SD. You can click to watch that original LEJOG video.
More recently we have been incorporating Relive videos into our ride documentaries. Since this is a recent discovery, we did not use it in the original LEJOG video referenced above, so I made another, using Relive videos, stitched together. You can click to watch that newer LEJOG video, in HD.
We hope you enjoy these. We are busy working on more.
We wish everyone a very Happy, Healthy, and Safe Holiday Season!
September 10, 2020: Astral Rim Update
After many conversations with Astral, it became apparent to me that their rims are engineered for tubeless tire use and may not be able to stand up to the stresses of clincher tires, especially with wider tires in common use today. These wider tires tend to be run at lower pressures than their narrower cousins, but still potentially significantly higher than for tubeless, and higher than recommended by Astral. We are not interested in trying to impose use of lower tire pressures on our customers, nor are we interested in any risk of rim failure for our clincher-riding customers. Therefore, after careful consideration, we have decided we will not carry Astral products or any Astral-equipped bicycles in our shop. Currently there are 5 tandems on our showroom floor that came with Astral rims: a Co-Motion Periscope, two Co-Motion Carrera Rohloffs, one Co-Motion Mocha Rohloff, and one Co-Motion Speedster Rohloff. The rims on the Periscope have already been swapped for Velocity Dyads and conversion of the other 4 tandems is underway, as parts become available. The photos of these bikes on our website have not yet changed, but be advised, the tandems will not be sold with the Astral rims. We appreciate your patience.
September 6, 2020: Astral Tandem Rim Service Notice
It appears there is potential trouble with the Astral Leviathan rims that have been marketed as tandem/touring rims. Seems they may not be able to tolerate wider tires at higher pressures, with failure potential. Although Astral is not apparently issuing a formal recall, they are offering free replacement of Leviathan rims with Wanderlust rims.
We have not sold a tandem with Leviathan rims, though we have 4 new ones on the showroom floor that do have them. We are in the process of replacing the Leviathan rims on all 4 of those tandems and will complete that trade out soon.
Please see the below service notice, taken from the Astral website; even so, they still list Leviathan as the only tandem rim offering they have. Curious. Even more curious: Co-Motion still lists Leviathan rims as stock on some tandem models.
Astral and Co-Motion may be slow to react to this news, but we urge you to not be slow. If you have Leviathan rims on your tandem, please get in touch with Astral ASAP.
LEVIATHAN SERVICE NOTICE
The Leviathan rim was designed as a road rim, when road was understood to mean “pavement,” and typical tires sizes were smaller. Cycling has since evolved to commonly include mixed-surface terrain for many applications. For this reason we’d like to upgrade all owners of Leviathan Tandem rims with Astral Wanderlust so as to future proof you and ensure your bike is prepared for the broadest range of riding.
Astral Cycling has found that under certain conditions tandem's higher weights and the use of wider tires at high pressure can reduce the durability and potentially the lifespan of the Leviathan Tandem rims.
No other Astral models are affected. This applies only to Leviathan rims used on tandems.
This upgrade will be free of charge including shipping to and from our Oregon production facility.
Please contact us at 888.308.7700 or email@example.com to set up the return of your wheels to be rebuilt and to get a shipping label sent to you. If possible, please remove tires, cassette and rotors so there is less chance for shipping damage. Please box the wheels. If you do not have a box your local bicycle shop should be able to supply one for you. Please apply the shipping label and include the RA number on the box and drop off at a UPS shipping station or call for pick-up.
We know it is riding season and this is an unwanted hassle. We will turn the rebuilds around quickly.
Thanks for your patience
The Astral team
August 14, 2020: No longer on Facebook:
Evidently Facebook made some changes to business pages; changes they referred to as "upgrades." Since that time our page on Facebook has not worked. We could not even get access to the page ourselves without an extensive work around. Many people, including us, merely got an error message when trying to go to our page. We waited patiently for the problem to be fixed, and asked Facebook for help several times, all to no avail. So today we deleted our business Facebook account. We very much appreciate those who followed us on Facebook for years.
May 16, 2020: Calling all grandparents (well, and parents too!):
One thing we hear often is the impact that staying at home and staying out of school during this COVID pandemic is having on children. We think one great way for parents and grandparents to enrich life for themselves as well as their children/grandchildren is bicycling together. And what better and safer way than together on a tandem?!
We believe the Co-Motion Periscope tandem is just about the perfect family machine. It is super adjustable and can accommodate stokers all the way from little children up to full-size adults.
We happen to have one in stock! And are you ready for this....it's fire engine red!
This bike is priced at 15% below retail. It's a hand made (in the USA) bike, ready and able to join the ranks of your family's fitness and memory-making equipment. Let us know you'd like to arrange a test ride!
May 16, 2020: An update on how we are dealing with COVID-19:
Hi everyone. Really nice Spring weather is here in most places and we want to help all of you realize your tandeming goals for the season. Does this include an upgrade? A service for your machine? Or are you new to tandeming, just starting out, and in need of assistance and/or advice? Whatever your needs, we hope to be able to help.
When the Washington State stay at home order first came down, we elected to shut down our shop for onsite customer access. During the subsequent weeks we've continued to offer tandem service, online assistance/advice, Atoc/Draftmaster sales, and specialty wheel building. However, now we are ready to go to the next level in helping all of you to find answers to your questions, or to meet your needs, or to select the proper new tandem to welcome into your home.
Pursuant to that, beginning today we are once again available for consultation and for tandem test rides. Conditions will be very carefully monitored and controlled in the shop - no more than 2 customers at a time in the shop, everyone wears masks, hand washing facilities along with hand sanitizer and tissues are readily available, and all surfaces will be disinfected after each customer visit.
Furthermore, if you would be more comfortable not coming into the shop, no problem! We have several spacious parks nearby; we will be happy to meet you at a local park, with a variety of tandems to test ride, and we can make the test ride experience there just as fruitful and enjoyable as at the shop.
And finally, be aware that to help our customers deal with the impact of the COVID crisis, we are offering special pricing on all the new tandems in stock. Most are priced at 15% below retail, and some even lower than that.
Please let us know if you would like to get together to talk and to ride tandems. We will endeavor to make everyone safe and will do our best to see that your experience with us is a good one. We want this year to be your best tandem year yet!
April 7, 2020: Overview of tandem gearing
I've written an overview of tandem gearing for your interest and perhaps education. Enjoy! As always, any correspondence or input is welcome. Or, how can we help with the gearing on your tandem?
March 23, 2020: Stay at home order
This afternoon Governor Inslee issued a stay at home order for the State of Washington. Since we are not, in the usual sense a full service bike shop (mostly online) and therefore not really an essential business, our shop will close for onsite customer visits on Wednesday afternoon, for at least 2 weeks. During that time, online sales of items that can be shipped will proceed as normal, at least for now. Stay well everyone. Thank you for your understanding!
March 19, 2020: The tandem life in the times of COVID-19:
One of the advantages we have as a "By Appointment Only" shop is that we can tightly control who and what comes into the shop. We are still open for business, but in order to keep our customers and ourselves safe, we are limiting the number of customers that may enter the shop to 2 at a time, we are requiring customers to be well, we are providing hand washing facilities in the shop, and we are disinfecting all surfaces as needed.
We are still open for business and for now we are well and presumably virus-free. However, given the general slowdown of retail and tightening of money, and given that we have had 2020 models arrive in the shop (photos coming soon, by the way), we are hurting for showroom space! We need to move tandems out and in order to jump start that, we are pricing all new single and tandem bikes on the floor at 15% below MSRP, starting now. Well, not all of them; some are priced at 25% below MSRP. This might be the perfect opportunity for you to take advantage of things and begin/add to/upgrade your own tandem collection.
Please get in touch and find out about this Spring/COVID pricing and see what we can do to arrange a visit/test ride.
Stay healthy, ride your bike (yes, that's still allowed!), and don't stop dreaming about the adventures that will come your way on your tandem.
February 20, 2020: Seattle Bike Expo
The Seattle Bike and Outdoor Show is coming up March 7 and 8 at the CenturyLink Field Event Center in Seattle. Tandem Diversity will be in the Co-Motion booth both days. Would you like to take a look at some show bikes? Discuss new technology and the changes in the Co-Motion lineup for 2020? Share travel dreams? Or just stop in for a chat? I hope to see you there! Oh, and be sure to send an email to check with us about special show pricing on all new tandems in stock!
February 10, 2020: Central America
We've just returned from tandem touring in Central America (also Panama Canal transit and Cartegena visit), riding in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Read all about it on our 2020 Tours Page and our Facebook page.
December 31, 2019: Year in review!
I've just closed out the year by compiling a few memories of 2019, a very good year. Happy New Year!
December 15, 2019: Great news from Rohloff - brake rotor redesign!
For those of you riding bikes equipped with Rohloff hub and rear disc brake, up to now, to pack the bike for travel, you've had to remove the axle plate in order to slip the rotor off (see service notices below - December 6). Well, it appears Rohloff has redesigned the rotor, precluding the need for the axle plate removal step. So, in the future if you replace your rotor or buy a new Rohloff bike, you'll find packing much quicker and easier! To see what the new, redesigned rotor looks like, go to the Rohloff rotor removal procedure.
December 6, 2019: Holiday pricing!
Everything in the shop (new bikes, accessories, everything) is priced 15% off retail for the Holidays. Just get your order in by the end of the year to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.
December 6, 2019: Important service notices!!
For those of you with Rohloff-equipped bicycles, there are 2 issues to be aware of, both of possibly critical importance to the safe and proper functioning of your bicycle.
First of all, if you have a Rohloff hub with the new threaded carrier/lock ring for cog retention, be aware that during the first several miles of riding, while the carrier threads become seated against the hub, the lock ring may loosen. This can result in drive train noises, variability in belt tension, and possibly cog damage. If you suspect your lock ring has come loose, take the bike immediately to your Rohloff service shop to have it checked. During the first few hundred miles of riding on the hub with this new system, it is advised that you take the bike to your shop to have the lock ring checked and tightened, if needed. It might not be a bad idea to have the ring checked once in a while anyway.
The second has to do with the procedure for removing the rear disc brake rotor for travel. I have posted an important update to this procedure. Please read carefully so you can avoid any potential problems with your hub resulting from improper technique.
October 29, 2019: Used Travel Cases
Demand for Co-Motion travel cases has remained high. They are a safe and convenient means of traveling with your S&S tandem. A bit pricey at $395 apiece, the cost can be ameliorated by finding used ones. We've been doing that for several years now, finding used cases and passing the savings on to customers who are first time travelers, or those upgrading from hard-side cases. Anyway, we now have a pair of the newer model, used, blue Co-Motion travel cases in the shop, priced at $250 each. These have been on a couple of trips and have a few minor scuffs as well as one missing pocket zipper pull, but otherwise are in great shape and have no outer or structural damage. Let us know if you would like to start your tandem travels with these very reasonably priced, used cases. firstname.lastname@example.org
August 16, 2019: They're Back!!
Racktime products are back in stock, including rear racks and Talis Plus rack trunk bags. We're excited to be able to continue to offer these excellent products to our customers - racks and bags that are especially well suited to travel.
August 5, 2019: Racktime products sold out
We are temporarily sold out of all racktime products, including rear racks and Talis Plus bags. We'll get them back in stock just as soon as possible!
July 10, 2019: Northwest Tandem Rally
We've just returned from the NW Tandem Rally in Boise, Idaho. It was super fun to reconnect with old friends and to make many new ones. We spent quite a lot of time in our vendor display but still managed a couple of rides. The vendor area was outside in Julia Davis Park - very pleasant. Our favorite ride was along the Boise River Greenway. Thanks Boise! We look forward to NWTR 2020 in Spokane, Washington!
March 28, 2019: More on the Rohloff Hub and Gates Carbon Drive Lowdown
Our article on advice about the Rohloff and belt drive has been published in the Spring 2019 issue of Recumbent and Tandem Rider Magazine. We have a scan of the article in our Knowledge Transfer Section, but also encourage you to subscribe to RTR Magazine, a great source of information on tandems and recumbents.
March 23, 2019: Spring Sale!
Everything in the shop (except Racktime products) is 15% off during our Spring Sale Event. This includes all new bikes! Don't miss out. Take a look at the stunning tandems we have on offer and take advantage of this amazing offer. New tandems are listed on our Co-Motion tandems page. And you can get in touch to arrange test riding. Contact us at email@example.com.
March 23, 2019: They're here!!
Our new 2019 model tandems are finally here and ready for riding How exciting! In our view, this is the best selection of new tandems we've ever offered. Please take a look on our Co-Motion tandems page!
February 25, 2019: The Low Down on Rohloff Hubs and Belt Drives
I've added an illustrated article to the website, summarizing some important things to know about Rohloff hubs and Gates Carbon Drive belts, especially as relates to use on tandems. Too often we encounter tandem riders/customers who get their information about these systems from others who haven't used them and only know what they've read or what someone told them. Sometimes their information is correct, but sadly often not. We figure you should 1) get your info from people who actually are experienced at using and selling these systems (that's us), and 2) you should ride them yourselves and make decisions about them for yourselves (it's the test riding of Rohloff-equipped tandems that you can do here at Tandem Diversity). At any rate, we're happy to share our take on the Rohloff and belts. And as always, we're happy to help you in any way we can with your research, your riding, your traveling, your maintaining your tandem, or anything else you need to further your tandem journey together. Be sure to let us know how we can help. firstname.lastname@example.org
January 1, 2019: Articles in Recumbent and Tandem Rider Magazine
From time to time we write for RTR Magazine. With the permission of the publisher and whenever possible, we'll make copies of these publications available for you to read here on our website. You can see what's currently available on our Knowledge Transfer Page (Tips and Trips).
January 1, 2019: 2018, The Year In Review
Please take a look at the highlights of our 2018. And be sure to get in touch and let us know how we can help you realize your tandem dreams and desires in 2019 and beyond. email@example.com
December 31, 2018: We offer our first gravel bike
We have in stock our first gravel bike offering. This stunningly beautiful Co-Motion Klatch Di2 Hydro is ready to take home for the New Year! Take a look on our Single Bikes Page.
September 26, 2018: Tandem touring around Lake Michigan
We've just completed a 10-day, 570 mile tour around the northern half of Lake Michigan. Check it out on our Facebook page and on our 2018 tour page.
August 23, 2018: We get to meet a tandem touring couple in person!
We love tandem touring. We love knowing and talking to tandem touring couples. For about 10 years we've been following the adventures of Mike and Bern Miller on their Crazyguyonabike journals. Well, finally a tour brought them to Bellingham so we jumped at the chance to host them for dinner. What a delightful evening we had! You can follow Mike and Bern on the Crazy Guy website:
Mike and Bern Miller tandem touring journal
July 12, 2018: Racktime products almost sold out again
Demand has been high for the excellent rack and bag from Racktime. We are down to just one set remaining. For more information on this excellent product (especially good for traveling), check them out in our accessories:
June 30, 2018: Bike Expo and Tandem Rally special pricing expires in July
We extended the special pricing (15% off) on in-stock bikes through the NW Tandem Rally. That special pricing expires July 31, at which time new tandem prices go back to MSRP. Don't miss your chance to ride away on a brand new Co-Motion at the lowest price we've had this year!
April 28, 2018: Bike Expo special pricing extended
Seattle Bike Expo special pricing (15% off) on in-stock bikes will be extended through the month of May. Take a look at the tandems we have in stock. Now is the time to pick out your new tandem for the riding season!!
Co-Motion single bikes in stock
April 28, 2018: Racktime products sold out
We are currently all sold out of Racktime products (racks and rack trunk bags) If you would like to be notified when these are back in stock, let me know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 24, 2018: Special Bike Show Pricing On Tandems and Accessories!
To celebrate the 2018 Seattle Bike Show (be sure to come see us in the Co-Motion booth at the show March 3 and 4), we're having a beginning of the season sale with unbelievable prices on tandems and accessories! For the month of March, 2018, all new, in stock tandems are priced at 15% off MSRP. All accessories (except Racktime products) are priced at 10% off retail. Don't miss out on this incredible sale!
Browse the stock of new tandems on our New Tandems Page.
Take a look at our Accessories Page.
February 24, 2018: 2018 New Tandems Are Here!!
For 2018 we have the most new tandems in the best variety ever. There is sure to be a tandem for every team in this great selection of new bikes, ready for immediate delivery. Have a look on our New Tandems Page!
February 22, 2018: Used tandem for sale
The list of used tandems for sale has changed (one has sold and another one has come in). Take a look at what's available on the Used Bike Page.
February 22, 2018: Upgraded tandem rental fleet
The Tandem Diversity fleet of rental tandems has undergone a significant upgrade for 2018. Check out the fleet at our Tandem Rental Page.
January 18, 2018:Expanding selection of accessories
In addition to starting the 2018 tandeming season with an excellent selection of new tandems to choose from (keep watching this news page for notification of new arrivals), we are also expanding our offerings of tandem accessories/gifts. The latest to be added is a really cool Tandem X-ing Sign. Make sure to check it out on our Accessories Page, along with all the other excellent accessories and gifts we offer. And keep checking back as we add more cool items!
January 7, 2018: The Tandem Year in Review, 2017
2017 was quite a year for us, with lots of tandem touring and other tandem activities. We had four international tandem tours and sponsored the NW Tandem Rally in Seattle. Read all about our 2017 on the Year in Review page.
December 19, 2017: Racktime products almost sold out!
The Racktime rear racks and rack trunk bags have proven very popular and are selling fast. Only one is left. Get yours now in time for a Holiday gift. Don't miss out! Go to the online shop and look at the Accessories Page.
December 1, 2017: Holiday Special Pricing on Bikes and Accessories!!!!
We're so excited about having the Racktime products and the Co-Motion Stoker bags back in stock that we want to do something special to mark the occasion. How about special sale pricing on everything for the Holidays? Sounds like a good idea to us. Between now and the end of 2017 all currently in stock bikes and accessories are 20% off. Take a look around our Online Shop and let me know what interests you. Email me at email@example.com.
December 1, 2017: Co-Motion Stoker Bags Are Back!
Even more great news - Co-Motion stoker stem bags are also back in stock, in time for the Holidays. We think these are the best in stoker bags: large, light, sturdy, and securely attached to the bike so they can be operated with one hand - very convenient for the busy stoker! Check them out at the Stoker Bag Page.
November 20, 2017: Racktime Racks And Bags Are Back!
Great news - we now have rear racks and rack trunk bags from Racktime back in stock. The folding racks are a breeze for travel and the bags are large and versatile. Check them out in our online shop on the Racktime page.
September 30, 2017: Tandem Tour of Albania Completed.
Just yesterday we arrived back home from Albania after riding a tour there with TourCO, to evaluate the country as to its suitability as a tandem touring destination. Our findings isn short summary: By all means consider going, but be advised you will face challenges not seen in some other international destinations. Email me for further info. Also, take a look at our 2017 tours page for a summary.
July 22, 2017: Pinion Drive Arrives at Tandem Diversity!
We now have our first Pinion drive bike in stock and ready for test rides (it's a single, as this technology has not yet arrived in the tandem world). The ride is so smooth and supple, you won't believe it! You can have a look at this new arrival on our Co-Motion Single Bikes Page.
June 19, 2017: Co-Motion Single Bikes in Stock
Although our main focus is on tandems and tandem cycling, there are some single bikes from Co-Motion that we consider to be worthy of our attention, and we want to have select examples of these available for our customers to see and test ride. Check out single bikes in stock on our Co-Motion Single Bikes Page.
June 11, 2017: More from The Group Ride Podcast
Wes and his wife came up to visit our shop in Bellingham and to try out tandeming. They did a podcast episode on the experience (Episode 12) and plan to do more on tandems this summer, including a visit to the NW Tandem Rally in Seattle.
April 23, 2017: Seattle Bike Show Podcast
As noted below, I helped to staff the Co-Motion booth at the Seattle Bike Show back in March. While there I was interviewed for a podcast by Wes Salmon of The Group Ride. Wes and his wife are going to visit us here at Tandem Diversity to catch our spiel on tandeming and to try out tandem riding; they plan to have more segments about tandems in future podcasts, including about the NW Tandem Rally, coming up in Seattle over the July 4th Holiday. You can catch the Bike Show interview. Go to 18:03 in this podcast to hear it. Thanks. Can't wait to have more fun with The Group Ride!
April 17, 2017: Tandem Diversity service menu
We now offer a limited service menu for your tandem. We are providing hub oil change service for your Rohloff hub, and we also offer upgrade from the stock Rohloff shifting system to the new Gebla Rohbox shifting system. For information about hub oil change, or to schedule an oil change, go to our oil change page. For information about the new Gebla system, or to schedule an upgrade, click on the link to our Gebla page.
March 6, 2017: Racktime racks and rack trunk bags
We now stock for retail sale the rack and rack trunk bag system from Racktime, a German company. This is an excellent, sturdy, and practical rack and bag system. Check it out in our Online Shop!
February 28, 2017: Seattle Bike Show
I will be at the Seattle Bike Show this coming weekend, March 4 and 5, 2017, working in the Co-Motion booth. If you attend the show, please stop by the booth. Hope to see you there!
February 20, 2017: Revised summary of our tandem tours
I received some excellent suggestions from my stoker and a friend to revise the descriptions of our tandem tours over the years, to make them easier to navigate and more user friendly. Thanks for these suggestions! I've implemented them and I really like the result. Please check them out at the Our Tours page.
February 7, 2017: Tandem Touring in Vietnam
We spent the better part of January touring and tandeming in Vietnam. We found this to be a beautiful country with warm and welcoming people, perfect for tandeming. NZ Pedaltours, the tour company we used to organize and conduct our tour, was excellent. For a thorough evaluation and photos, check out our Facebook page. For questions about tandem touring in Vietnam, send us an email.
January 4, 2017: 2016 - The Year in Review
To enjoy a brief visual review of the highlights of the tandeming year here at Tandem Diversity, visit our 2016 - Year in Review page.
December 10, 2016: Gates belt coil and uncoil
I've put together a short video illustrating how to safely coil and uncoil a Gates belt. This is a useful skill for traveling with and/or storing a belt. The link to the video is:
October 2, 2016: Rohloff hub disc brake rotor removal
We recommend that, for disc brake-equipped bikes, the disc rotors be removed to pack the bike for travel. Removal of the rear rotor on a Rohloff-equipped bike, may be slightly more complicated than for an ordinary wheel, but still straightforward. See our clear and simple directions for Rohloff rotor removal and reinstallation.
September 25, 2016: Lands End to John o' Groats
A couple of days ago we returned home from riding the LEJOG (Lands End to John o' Groats, also known as End To End) ride in the UK. This had been a dream for us for some time. We rode it on a Co-Motion Primera tandem, with performance enhancement features. I will put a summary of the ride and of the tandem's performance on our Facebook page soon.
August 7, 2016: Lycra and the washing machine - an update
A couple of years ago I wrote a short piece on my progress with trying to figure out how to best launder lycra, and sport clothing in general. This is an ongoing quest, but I am pretty happy with the laudering procedure I've worked out so far, so have put up a brief update on lycra and the washing machine.
June 27, 2016: San Juan Islands Tour
Registration is closed for the San Juan Islands Tour. We can arrange a custom tour in the San Juan Islands almost anytime. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about your custom tour.
May 3, 2016: Tour de Lopez and more!
The link below is to a Youtube video Chris put together from our weekend adventure to Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. We journeyed there for the Tour de Lopez with a small group of friends/clients. Enjoy the video.
Now that you've watched and have seen a sample of this cycling utopia, wouldn't you like to experience the San Juans also? These islands are a place to step back in time a bit, slow down, relax, ride some of the best cycling (tandem cycling) routes in the world, and, if you tour with us, take it all in while being pampered on a luxurious, personalized tour.
We travel all over the world. We lead and facilitate tandem tours all over the world. But where we are specialists is in treating tandem cyclists to the best in tandem cycling and relationship enhancement right here in our own back yard - the San Juan Islands. Come join us! There's still room on our 2016 tour.
And while I'm at it, I might mention we have among the best selection of new and used tandems on the West Coast. And also the most extensive rental fleet of top quality road tandems. Check 'em out. Better yet, make an appointment for a test ride and tandem lessons.
We have the travel experience necessary to help you with tandem travel needs. And we are especially experienced at traveling with and servicing the Gates belt/Rohloff hub drive train. This is an excellent drive train for worry free and hassle free travel. Gone are the days of greasy hands and tricky derailleur adjustments!
Get in touch to find out how we can help you to realize your tandem dreams!
April 12, 2016:100 Facebook likes!
Great news - we've hit 100 Facebook likes. I have to admit I'm not really sure what that means, but thank you to all of you who have "liked" our page! If you haven't already done so, you can go to our Facebook page to have a look around.
March 9, 2016: 2016 San Juan Islands Tour donated to Interfaith Coalition of Whatcom County
2016 Interfaith Benefit Tandem Bicycle Tour to the San Juan Islands
We (Mark and Chris Owings, owners of Tandem Diversity) have made the decision to donate the proceeds from the sale of spots in our 2016 San Juan Islands Tour to Interfaith Coalition here in Whatcom County.
We are very pleased to support Interfaith Coalition and their programs. This is a coalition of local member congregations working together to eliminate homelessness and poverty in Whatcom County. To learn more about Interfaith Coalition, go to the Interfaith Coalition website. To learn more about the tour, or to register, visit our 2016 San Juan Islands Tour page.
Thank you for joining us in supporting Interfaith Coalition. We hope you will choose to be one of the pampered couples on our tour!
And for those couples who want to join us on the tour but do not (yet) own a tandem bicycle, a rental tandem and tandem riding lessons will be included free of charge!
March 7, 2016: Bicycles in stock for the 2016 season
What kind of riding interests you for the new riding year? For your new or continuing journey together through your tandem life? Do you want to travel? Race? Ride local centuries? Tour? Ride together for fitness? All of these at various times? No matter the riding style, Tandem Diversity has the right machine for you in stock, or can help you order what's just right for you. For the 2016 riding season we have a wide variety of tandems and single bikes for test riding, chosen carefully to help you decide, in one test riding visit, what is best for you as a starter bike, or upgrade. Take a look at the Co-Motion bicycles we have in stock. Check back often. Let us know how we can help.
March 1, 2016: 2016 NW Tandem Rally
Scheduling conflict with another tour means we will not be able to attend the Northwest Tandem Rally in Klamath Falls, Oregon this year. We are definitely looking forward to NWTR 2017 in Seattle!
January 25, 2016: 2016 Tandem Tour in the San Juan Islands
Final preparations have been completed for our 2016 Tandem Diversity tandem tour in the beautiful San Juan Islands of Washington State, set for August, 2016. Registration is now open. For further details click on the 2016 San Juans Tour page. To register or to get additional info, click on the Contact Us page.
January 9, 2016: Tandem Rentals and Test Rides - A Clarification
Please see the latest news on the home page for a clarification about our test ride/rental policy. In short, we believe you should be able to do a comprehensive test ride of a tandem without paying a rental fee, and it is also our policy that if you rent from us and then decide to buy a new tandem from us, the rental fee likely will be credited toward the purchase price of the new bike. We want you to be able to determine if a bike is really for you before committing to purchase. To see the bikes we have for rent, click on our rental page.
January 5, 2016: Rolf Prima Tandem Wheel Upgrade
Considering an upgrade to your tandem for 2016? Chances are the wheels are where you could get the biggest improvement in performance. We are proud to carry Rolf Prima tandem wheels. With the permission of the publisher, we have reprinted for your interest a review of Rolf Prima Tandem Wheels published in the Summer, 2015 issue of Recumbent and Tandem Rider Magazine. See the review here.
January 4, 2016: 2015 The Year in Review
To see a brief, visual summary of our tandeming year in 2015, click on Year in Review.
January 2, 2016: Update on our tandems and our tours
I've updated information about our personal tandems, including new additions to the family and latest mileage totals. That information can be viewed by clicking on the link to our tandems.
Also, I've updated the page about our past multi-day tours, including mileage updates and a brief summary of tours since the last update earlier this year. That information can be viewed by clicking on the link to our tours.
July 15, 2015: Tandem Diversity San Juan Islands Post-Rally Tandem Tour
At the conclusion of the Bellingham Tandem Rally (see below), Tandem Diversity departed for a 5-day, 4-night tandem tour in the spectacular San Juan Islands of Washington State. This was a very small tour for 2 couples, focusing on San Juan and Lopez Islands, basking in the beauty and tranquility of this remote archipelago. The tour was so successful we will likely repeat it next summer. To see photos from the tour, take a look at our Facebook Page. To see the itinerary from the tour, check out our Tours Page. If you want us to let you know when dates and itinerary are set for next year, drop us a note on our Contact Us Page.
July 15, 2015: Northwest Tandem Rally 2015 in Bellingham
Beautiful Bellingham, Washington, home of Tandem Diversity, hosted the Northwest Tandem Rally 2015 over the July 4th Holiday. We were the title sponsor of the rally, which was put on by Mt. Baker Bicycle Club, an organizing committee, a dynamite director, and an incredible staff of volunteers. The city showed its best to the more than 800 riders who came on more than 400 bikes, from 28 states and 3 Canadian provinces. Participants stayed in area hotels (the venue was the Best Western Lakeway Inn) or in WWU dorms, or camped at Civic Field. Four days of riding complimented all kinds of activities including a dinner cruise on Bellingham Bay, brewery visits, Tour de France viewing, and fireworks viewing from the top deck of the Bellingham Parkade! Find out all about the rally from the NWTR 2015 website and from the Northwest Tandem Rally Facebook Page.
March 29, 2015: Our Tours, Rallies, and Multi-day rides
I've written up a brief summary of our tours over the years, not to brag (well, maybe a little) but to let you know we have the experience and background necessary to serve as advisors as you look to bring your own tandem travel and touring plans and dreams to life. Read the summary on the page of Our Tours.
February 11, 2015: Seattle Bike Show
Be sure to look for our Tandem Diversity booth at the Seattle Bike Show February 28/March 1, 2015. We will be in Booth 1225. We will have some great items for sale, a raffle for a couple of pairs of Sock Guy Tandem Diversity socks, a show special on tandems, and a little surprise for you that you just have to come by the booth to see! See you in Seattle!
January 8, 2015: Year in Review
Tandem Diversity's 2014 Year in Review.
January 8, 2015: Post-rally Tandem Tour of the San Juan Islands
We certainly hope you are planning to attend the Northwest Tandem Rally in Bellingham over the July 4th Holiday in 2015. Why not extend your time and go on our small, personalized, B&B based tandem tour to the nearby San Juan Islands? The magic of these islands will light your memories for all your life. Let us take care of all the details while you just relax, enjoy being pampered, and ride your bike! Tandem Diversity's San Juan Islands tour, 2015. (As of February 10, 2015 this tour is sold out. Let us know if you want to be placed on a wait list).
December 3, 2014:Year End Inventory Clearance
Take a look at our remaining inventory of new 2014 tandems here. Our 2015 pre-season order has arrived so we need to make room in the shop and on the display floor for these new, incoming bikes. This is good news for you, our next potential tandem customers; we are ready to offer great deals to clear out this remaining inventory. Let me know by email that you are ready to find out the great deal awaiting you. It's not the best time of year to be thinking about riding your new tandem maybe, but I can assure you there will not be a better time to buy. Let me know:
October 9, 2014: Travel Pump and Mini Pump Follow-up
We previously reviewed travel pump and mini pump entries from Lezyne and Topeak (see Feb 3, 2014 and Sep 9, 2014 news entries below). We found all four pumps tested to be of good quality and we recommended all of them. We recently completed our tandems-only tour in Western Turkey (see tours page) and can now report follow-up on hands-on experience with both of the Lezyne pumps.
Lezyne travel pump: This pump packed easily in with the tandem in one of the Co-Motion travel cases. In our review we had commented on the universal head wanting to pop off the valve stem during inflation; on this trip we just threaded the pump hose directly onto the valve stems and this worked quite well. The pump worked flawlessly and during the trip quickly became the pump travelers sought out to initially inflate their tires, and for later top offs. No problems whatever with the pump.
Lezyne mini pump: This little guy was selected to go with us because it fit into the bottom of our rack trunk. We had one on-the-road flat, so had occasion to use it just that once. It also performed flawlessly. I had not checked the number of strokes needed to inflate a 26 x 1.25 " tire prior to the trip, so on the road I guessed at 275 strokes. This actually over-inflated the tire by about 15 psi, so 250 woud have been fine. One of the things I really like about this pump is that, as you approach final inflation, it does not get more difficult to push the handle down. The pump is very smooth and consistent throughout inflation.
Final analysis: The Lezyne pumps performed flawlessly. They are light, sturdy, and well designed. Based on real use, we can confirm our original recommendations of both pumps.
The travel pump MSRP is $99.99. It can be purchased on Amazon right now for $79.92. The MSRP for the Micro Floor Drive (without gauge) is $44.99. On Amazon it now lists for $39.98.
September 9, 2014: Mini Pump Review
Mini pumps serve a very useful purpose for on-the-bike inflation devices in instances where alternatives such as CO2 inflators are not practical (international travel, for instance). We took a look at two of these. Both are great pumps. See our evaluation here.
September 9, 2014: Tandem travel and climate change:
We wanted to work out if our desire for and advocacy of tandem travel could be squared with our desire to also be good global citizens. Short answer: Yes, we think so. Long answer; Read the article we wrote summarizing our findings here.
August 22, 2014: First ride on the Cascadia Alfine:
Granted, this is a single bike, but we do singles as well as tandems, and also I am quite interested in the performance of this drivetrain, and how it compares to the Rohloff drivetrain. So, we ordered up one of these, assembled it, and I just took it for my first ride this morning. My first impressions are quite positive. In fact, this may very well be the ultimate bike of the future. Let me start off my saying that, even though Co-Motion touts this as a touring bike, there is no doubt it also is a capable recreational/club/century ride bike. The frame is a Cascadia frame, 58 cm for me. I put Panaracer Pasela Tour Guard 700 x 28c tires on, and I'm running those at 110 psi. Also, Co-Motion specs the bike with a 110 mm stem, and I dialed that back to 100 mm, partly because I wanted to accommodate my age-related neck and back issues by sitting more upright. The ride is quite comfortable.
I am a bit at a loss for words to describe the ride. It was so very nice. I can't remember ever before getting on a bike and having such a pleasant first ride. Not only is the Cascadia itself a sweet ride, but the drive train just makes it even better. It is smooth, quiet, clean, and trouble free. Shifts are delicate and without any grinding or hesitation, though it is better to let off just a teeny bit on down shifts. Of course, the hub can be shifted while stopped. Performance was flawless at all speeds and under all conditions, including aggressive climbing and sprinting.
This most certainly must be the future of bicycling, once costs can come down to a more conservative level (this bike retails for about $4795.00). Here at Tandem Diversity the belted Rohloff drivetrain has become somewhat our signature product; it is very possible the Shimano Alfine Di2 will supplant the Rohloff for us - we'll see.
Things I like about the Alfine:
It is quiet and smooth, shifting is flawless, the gear range is pretty good, and the shifter is superb. I love the brifter mounted shifter and the electronic shifting.
Things I would like to see in the Alfine:
I wouldn't change much - maybe a little lower low gear. Also quick release would be nice, for fixing flats.
What about comparison to Rohloff?
Things I like about the Rohloff:
Excellent gear range, durability, evenly spaced gears, quick release wheel super easy to remove and re-install.
Things I would like to see in the Rohloff:
Quieter operation, brifter mounted shifters, electronic shifting.
I'm also wondering if the Alfine with belts and Di2 is a tandem rated drivetrain. This is something I plan to review with Co-Motion right away - if this can be installed on a tandem, it becomes a dynamite tool, in my opinion, for the general tandem population. Not necessarily for weight weenies and testosterone laden go fast teams, but for most of us the smooth, quiet, clean, essentially maintenance and adjustment free operation will be of far more significance than minor weight issues.
We still feel the belted Rohloff hub drivetrain is the best all round on the market now, but this system will give Rohloff some very stiff competition.
Details of this machine can be found on the Co-Motion website here.
Gear ratios can be seen at that link as well.
Photos of our Cascadia Alfine, in Light Toreador Red, are here.
We will keep you posted on any progress bringing the Alfine hub, belt drive, and electronic shifting to tandems. In the meantime, let us know when you want us to build your Cascadia Alfine!
August 19, 2014: 1000 mile review of our Co-Motion Passport Tandem:
Well, ok she has 1142.8 miles on her as of this morning, to be exact. We took a bit of a flyer last year in ordering up a new Co-Motion Mocha, with Rohloff hub and fully belted drive train. Our thought was this would be an ideal travel bike: smaller wheels easier to pack; belts and enclosed hub easier to maintain and keep clean. We had some experience traveling with a belted Rohloff tandem (a Speedster AKA Equator), but had not ridden a bike with 26" wheels. So, this was a project based a bit on faith: faith in Co-Motion's quality and faith in our adaptability. Turns out Co-Motion's quality is spot on, but we needn't have worried about adapting.
We are now about a year out and about 1000 miles. I just changed the oil in the Rohloff hub for the first time yesterday. The old oil that came out was pretty dark, so I'm glad I did that. Otherwise, in terms of maintenance, I had to tighten up the rear wheel just a bit but there hasn't been anything else over the year.
Here's what she's done in that year: she's served off and on as our daily morning ride machine; she's ridden local club and century rides; she's been borrowed by friends for a tour in the San Juan Islans (that mileage not included in the above total); she's gone to the San Juans on tour with us, pulling a Bob trailer; she's flown to Hawaii and pulled the prototype Co-Motion trailer around on the Big Island. She's performed admirably in all these endeavors. I was a little concerned about the handling of the small wheels, but I have to tell you that I like the handling - with the 26 x 1.25 Panaracer Pasela tires I put on in place of the stock tires.
Some other captains have tried her out and said they don't like her handling, and some have tried her and like her. I guess it's a matter of personal choice. I like the ride and I like my position on the bike. In terms of fit and feel, she's my favorite of our bikes right now.
I also like the lower center of gravity; mounting and dismounting is a breeze and I can put a whole foot down at stops, not just a toe. We have to be a little careful to not drag a pedal in corners, partly due to the tires I use having a fairly low profile.
She's been as easy to travel with as I thought. So I really feel it would be a good idea for Co-Motion to accept our proposal for this model to have its own name designation, and we feel the Co-Motion Passport is the right name. The name Passport tells much about the strengths of this bike, though I must point out, it's a great machine for everyday use, at least for us.
Finally, it probably is worth commenting on our sense of efficiency and speed of the bike. Specifically, do we think the belts, Rohloff, and small wheels mean the bike has a speed and efficiency penalty relative to comparable machines equipped in a more conventional way. Completely devoid of any data or science, here is our reply: yes, a little, probably noticeable, but not enough to change our overall impression of the bike. We've done lots of group and club rides now, and we hold our own just fine in groups of tandems and singles. Anytime we find ourselves drifting off the back, it's due to us, not the bike.
In summary, a year and about 1000 miles have definitely validated our initial hypothesis that this bike, the Co-Motion Passport, is an excellent all round tandem for couples who envision diverse experiences with their tandem.
Let us know when we can build one for you!!
August 12, 2014: Tandem bicycle rentals, that is good quality road tandems, not beach cruisers or beaters, are hard to find and expensive. But there are many situations in which you might find yourself needing a rental. For example, you might be wanting an extended test of a particular machine, for example a Gates belted/Rohloff hub drivetrain. Or you might want to travel and don't want to spend the money for a coupled bike until you've tried it. Or maybe you need to ride recumbent for a while due to an injury or surgery, or perhaps you would like to test out recumbent riding before you lay out the big bucks for a recumbent machine. No matter your needs, the new Tandem Diversity tandem rental program can help you. Check out details of the program here.
July 19, 2014: One of the questions we get asked most often about the Gates carbon fiber belt/Rohloff hub drive train is about the gear ratios and range. People are curious to know if the system offers an adequate range and sufficient low and high gears. Briefly, yes, the gear selection is good and considering our aging bodies, for us is better than the gear selection on most of our derailleur equipped bikes - the Rohloff gear range is shifted to slightly lower gears, giving us good low climbing gears, but still offers for us plenty of high gears for knee mashing on flats and for descending. But, judge for yourself. Take a look at charts of gears here.
July 9, 2014: There is really big news about Tandem Diversity and the NW Tandem Rally 2015 in Bellingham - we are the title sponsor! Read all about that here.
July 9, 2014: Tandem Diversity had a thoroughly enjoyable and very productive time at the NW Tandem Rally in Pendleton. Read about it here.
June 2, 2014: Look for Tandem Diversity at the Northwest Tandem Rally in Pendleton, Oregon over the July 4th Holiday. We will be there as riders, but also will be spending time at the vendor displays. Our friend Charlie Buchalter, owner of Atoc and Draftmaster racks, will not be able to attend the rally and he has asked us to staff his display at the vendor fair. We're honored and pleased to do so. Not sure yet what the display will look like; we probably will have Atoc and Draftmaster racks on display on our van, in addition to whatever Charlie has for an indoor display. Anyway, we hope you have plans to attend the rally, and we hope you will stop by the Atoc/Draftmaster display to have a chat with Tandem Diversity!
May 19, 2014: Brand new 2014 Co-Motion tandems are now in stock and ready for test riding/immediate delivery. Check them out here.
April 5, 2014: Our bike order from Co-Motion is set to arrive in May. Watch this News page for information on the new arrivals. Also, tour offerings for 2015 are beginning to take shape, although only in the formative stages just now. We are in talks with the organizers of Tour TK, who have opened up a new area of touring focus - Colombia. Initial reports are of challenging yet beautiful rides with stunning scenery, and friendly, welcoming people. Again, watch this News page for updates. Also, the owners of Bike & Barge Holland have agreed to work with us to make one of their Spring tours in 2015 a tandems-only trip. This would begin and end in Amsterdam, starting in early April, 2015, date to be determined. We need to have at least 14 couples commit by early May, 2014 (about a month away) to make this trip viable. We encourage you to contact us soon to put your names in for this trip, that promises to be memorable. To learn more about these experiences, check here, or let us know of your interest by contacting us here.
March 3, 2014: We are continuing as a dealer for Co-Motion Cycles in 2014. Our 2014 bike order will go in soon. This is exciting news for us here at Tandem Diversity, as we really enjoy working with the folks at Co-Motion and we very much enjoy putting our customers on these excellent machines. Look for more details soon. In the meantime, check out the Co-Motion Cycles website here.
March 3, 2014: I've posted a listing of the tandems we've owned over the years, including those that remain in our current fleet. We feel our credibility as advisors and problem solvers for tandems and tandeming rests heavily on our experience. Our experience as tandem owners and riders can be reviewed here.
February 3, 2014: Our travel floor pump gave up after a long and productive life. In searching for a replacement, we compared two travel floor pumps. A review and comparison of those two pumps is here.
February 2, 2014: We at Tandem Diversity have been fans of professional bicycle racing for many years and have had the very good fortune to experience and share very intimate, inside looks at the sport over the years. I've summarized our years spent as racing fans, including close looks on the inside, in an article written to reflect on what the most recent revelations about drug use in the sport mean to us. Read it here.
January 23, 2014: Check out Issue #45 of Recumbent and Tandem Rider Magazine, Winter 2013/2014. It hit mailboxes just a couple of days ago. Our report on Interbike 2013 is in this issue. Visit the RTR Magazine website to sign up for a subscription or pick up a free copy at your favorite local bike shop and read all about our time at Interbike. RTR Magazine website is here.
January 20, 2014: Check out our year end close outs on tandems! These are Co-Motion tandems, hand built in Eugene, Oregon. Co-Motion has been building tandems for more than 25 years. We have ridden their tandems for 20 years. The Belted Rohloff Mocha listed in the year end clearance sale is a machine specially built up for travel, to specifications of Tandem Diversity. You are not likely to find better tandems or better prices. See them here.
January 18, 2014: Whew! We finally have something to offer in our online shop. Today we have a selection of ATOC racks listed. You can see the Online Shop here.
December 15, 2013: See a presentation on Tandem Cycling and Travel here.
October 24, 2013: The tandems-only tour of Turkey in the Fall of 2014 (see Turkey tour page) is now full! We will start a wait list. If there is enough interest, Tour TK may add another tour immediately following ours, but that second tour would not be guaranteed to be tandems-only. For any questions or to be placed on the wait list, contact email@example.com or contact Tour TK directly at www.tourtk.com.
October 24, 2013: See an update on changes and future plans for Tandem Diversity here.
September, 2013: See an article about our Counterpoint triplet here.
September, 2013: See an article about starting and stopping a tandem, and about on-bike relationships here.