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“It's hard to believe that in a few seconds these pedals will turn your bicycle into the coolest tandem.”
Riding a bicycle with another person is not the same as doing it alone. It’s much more exciting. We absolutely agree that it’s fabulous to walk together, enjoying each other's thoughts and all the amazing things around you. Especially if one of you has a bicycle and you still need to get
to the cinema, for instance. What if you would like to explore a remote beach on the other side of town, but your friend can’t manage such a long trip with his or her own bicycle?
Or imagine you want to go for a picnic where buses or trains don’t go, and only one of you has
a bicycle. Or your pal can’t afford a taxi to reach the airport in time?
You can probably figure out even more situations...
That’s one side of being able to ride with your friends, but it is even more important that you take care of each other and do all these exciting trips safely. Here are some things that you
really must check carefully before you start thinking about sending your old pedals to the museum.
You are the one who makes all the decisions: where to turn, when to stop, how fast to go and your friend can only trust you. Deserve that trust! Do your best without taking any risks.
Also, at some point, if you want to swap places, so that your friend sits in the front, then you have to be sure, that he or she is familiar with all the instructions both in the SPECIFICATIONS
chapter and also knows how to use that knowledge. Same story when you lend your special bicycle to someone else. Also notice that although your passenger can do half of the pedaling, in normal conditions* the person behind the handlebars is ultimately in control. This means if there is a critical situation, where you need to brake or change gears urgently,
you are always able to stop pedaling, no matter how seriously your friend takes his or her job.
*Normal conditions means that your strength and ability and those of your passenger are more or less similar.
Both riders must wear proper helmets. Simple!
It’s a little secret. If you don’t have any special handles and a back rest for the passenger,
then kindly ask your friends to hold on to the front of the rack, so they can use their arms as diagonals which will straighten their back. This also works quite well with longer trips – it’s worth trying out. Of course, if you have slightly deeper feelings for your friend,
then you know what to do.
Sure these are almost irresistible, but in traffic you could actually lose your head.
Use a helmet! It’s fancy and safe at the same time.
Generally the bicycle is more stable and easier to steer if the person
with more weight takes the responsibility.
This is a very sensible solution for your picnic stuff or other equipment.
It balances the bicycle and makes steering easier up hills.
Must have! Read your local traffic code if you don’t believe me.
Be sure that it is not covered by the front rack, basket or the stuff inside the basket.
How tall does your friend have to be to ride with you?
This depends on the bicycle frame and the passenger’s legs, but 160cm is already fine.
The Vigurvänt solution is NOT suitable for children.
Avoid holes, high curbstones and other obstacles that might harm your rear wheel
and make your friend think twice about your relationship.
If it’s not specially requested, then it’s absolutely possible to ride without any physical contact with your co-rider. Well, except between your shoes of course.
Brakes are one of the most important things for a responsible cyclist. Riding with another person involves risks. The first thing you might notice is that your braking power will decrease and it will take longer to stop. Always make sure you have at least two well-adjusted brakes. Use both front and rear brakes in all braking situations.
Use proper stainless steel spokes, and still try to avoid HOLES in the road.
First make sure that the tires are properly inflated. Secondly, we advise you to use puncture resistant tires. Regular tires might also work well, but this is where Murphy’s law seems
to apply. The tire will go flat exactly when you have to pick up your girlfriend.
We recommend a double-walled rim, at least for your rear wheel.
Elementary! Also be sure that it is not connected to the seat post,
so that it would be covered by the passenger.
When you start to customize your existing rear rack or decided to build a new one, then think about passenger comfort. Sitting on a metal frame is almost impossible. A solid surface like plywood is already pretty good, but actually you should sacrifice your old leather trousers,
like we did, and make a proper comfortable seat. DIY instructions will be available in the near future as well as ongoing brainstorming about universal solutions.
Riding on the rear rack is little bit similar to traveling on a train. You can enjoy the scenery
at the side without worrying about the road and traffic ahead. Just relax and let the engine driver do all the rest. “But I have to do half the pedaling!” That’s another little secret.
You are already helping your friend behind the handlebars by just keeping your feet on
the pedal extensions. Do you know how to lift another person with one finger? Wikipedia:Light as a feather, stiff as a board.
Yes, it’s magic! Who is pedaling?
After receiving and installing your Vigurvänt pedals, take your friend and find a quiet place away from the traffic. Do a test ride so that you can get to know everything you need to start riding with your new pedals. Maneuver and brake with two of you on the same bicycle. All new things need practice. If you’re lucky then you will already find it to be easy the first time, but never over estimate your skills when you start to ride in the traffic. Always use common sense and good judgmen! Respect life!
When you have made sure that you and your bicycle are both up to giving your pal a lift, read your local traffic code once more to brush up on all the regulations that deal with that situation.
The Estonian code says in § 32.
“A cyclist is not allowed to give a ride to a passenger that is not sitting on a seat provided for that purpose, or is not wearing a proper helmet.”
It might be quite similar in your own country.
We have tested our special tandem with the police forces in Estonia and Finland, and have only received the same surprised smiles we get from ordinary people. So, wear helmets and don’t ride like idiots, then everything should be fine.
If you already have rear rack, then you have to make your own judgment – can it handle
another person. Generally, old school steel racks work, modern aluminum racks don’t.
Personal experience says that the easiest way to find what you are looking for is to ask someone who is familiar with bending and welding to make simple steel rack especially tailored
to your bicycle. Then there will be no adjustable parts and it will really last.
May sound complicated, but we believe in DIY spirit combined with professional skills.
There are also solutions that are ready made for carrying heavy loads and extra people.
The only thing that is missing is the right set of pedals.