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 ).
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Thread: Tandem Brake Check