We had the chance to do an organized road ride today. We hitched up the trail-a-bike so our 5 y.o. daughter could come along. We had a really good ride. Our daughter can't contribute much on rolling terrain because the trail-a-bike isn't geared high enough, but she was like a turbo charger back there on the climbs! Ohhhh it saved my wife and I from certain slow and agonizing death.
Now that our daughter is not a baby, the weight is starting to become noticeable. The entire rig I am estimating conservatively at 463#. Weight w/o the t-a-b is ~380#. I didn't mention it to the wife, but there were places were I could tell that we could not have stopped if we'd wanted to.
Err - before you all go and roast me alive , allow me to clarify. Stop, yes. Stop in the expected manner and distance, with emergency braking capacity leftover like usual? No. At anything above 25mph I had to mash those levers hard to haul it down. I'm pretty sure I couldn't even skid the rear tire (not that I tried, but I can feel it in the brakes).
That being with a 203mm BB7 up front and still the old V-brake out back.
So, if you're used to mild terrain (we usually just do path with the t-a-b and run barely over a 20mph top speed), or less weight, you may have to think ahead a bit when using the brakes in unusual conditions. I realize this sounds simple and common sense-ical [sic] now, but apparently there is a threshold between 380# and 463# at which our particular brakes lose their effectiveness. Now I know.
This might be an issue (anywhere from annoying to dangerous) for you if you're planning a mountain trip away from Flatland, USA on your flat-land bike. Especially if, as a team, you have become capable of more speed on tougher terrain.
OR, bump up your brakes to account for any possible eventuality
(whatever your crystal ball might tell you ).
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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Thread: Tandem Brake Check