Introduction: Parent-Child Tandem - Non-Standard Connection

This instructable is relevant only if you have a FollowMe-Tandem (or Family-Cycling) parent-child bicycle connector and the two standard options for connecting the system to your bicycle don't work.

This weekend project has been documented in two Instructables. The twin Instructable can be found in the Non-Standard Child Bicycle Fit to Tandem with Adult Bike.

In Step 1 of this Instructable the FollowMe Parent-Child-Tandem is being introduced. Steps 2 and 3 explain how I managed to fix the FollowMe-Tandem to a towing bicycle in a non-standard manner (the standard ways didn't work). Finally, in Step 4 some words are being spent on the license of this Instructable.

Step 1: FollowMe Parent-Child-Tandem

The FollowMe parent-child tandem is a device for attaching a child's bicycle to an adult's bicycle. It allows to take a child with you on its own bike on busier roads in a safer way. Once you're in a more quiet area (parks, separate bicycle lanes, etc.) the bike can be decoupled easily and the child can continue on its own bike. It is a well-designed system by a Swiss manufacturer, which has two other innovative products available: a single-wheel kids carrier and single-wheel cargo carrier.

The next step elaborates on the standard and non-standard ways of connecting the tandem device to the towing bike.

Step 2: Fixing the FollowMe-Tandem to the Towing Bicycle in a Non-Standard Manner

The two standard options for fixing the system to the towing bike are:

1. Adding a special nut on the rear axle. This is the easiest way, it works with quick-release skewers and with wheel nuts. This didn't work in my case because the axle of the rear wheel (with integrated electrical motor) was too thick for the nuts available (M10x1 [spare part 121011] and 3/8”x26G [spare part 121012]). 

2. Adding an adapter [spare part 121050]. This option didn't work in my case because it interfered with the luggage carrier: it simply didn't fit. Crucial in this was the U-shaped connector, with a centre-to-centre distance of 16.4 cm (6.5 in).

As I didn't have an appropriate thread-cutting tool and also didn't want to change the luggage carrier I used an alternative approach, which is being documented in this instructable for the few people that might run into a similar situation:

3. Using a spindle to connect the special nut through the manufactured holes near the axle in the bicycle frame. If you're lucky these holes simply are available in your frame. If not, you might be able to drill them (I didn't try this so I'm not sure what problems you run into).

In the next step this third option is being explained in more detail.

Step 3: Attach the Special Nut in the Frame Hole

The axle I used was left from my earlier Instructable on a Bike Rim Chandelier. It fitted into the special nut and also in the frame opening.

The next step elaborates on the CC-BY license applying to this Instructable.

Step 4: License

This Instructable is being made available through a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license.

Republishing this Instructable is allowed, provided it is being attributed properly (cite the name openproducts, link to www.openproducts.org, www.instructables.com/member/openproducts, or the original Instructable. For other arrangements send a Private Message through the instructables member page (www.instructables.com/member/openproducts).

If this design infringes any rights then refer to Article 28 in the Terms of Service (www.instructables.com/tos.html).

Comments

author
josh made it!(author)2013-07-25

interesting. how about an instructable on how to build one of the tandem aparatus thingies next? i'm interested to see how it works.

author
openproducts made it!(author)2013-07-26

The basic principle of the connecting system is that the degrees of freedom of the following child bicycle are being limited. Of the three possible rotations two are allowed: tilting forward and backward (important for crossing a speed bump but also in curves, made possible through the front spindle connector) and turning left and right (important in curves, comparable to the principle of an articulated bus, made possible through the center hinge). The only rotation being suppressed is tilting side to side: the child bicycle will keep the same position as the towing bike (i.e. upright).

author
SJU87 made it!(author)2013-07-29

Additionally, if the towing bike assumes a prone position, the child bicycle will take that position as well. Perhaps some type of gimbal mechanism would be better. The current design allows for detaching the child bike so the child could ride on their own. So, if a child can already ride on their own and speed is part of the equation of remaining upright, the added speed of the parent bike should add to the upright stability of the child bike. Any tendency off vertical of either bike would not impart that tendency to the other bike.

author
openproducts made it!(author)2013-07-26

I see the challenge of building one yourself, but also the risks involved: there are some safety issues to be addressed. I think that one of the strong points of the device shown here is that it is universal and capable of dealing with different types of bicycles (note however that the purpose of this Instructable has been to show that the standard solution for fixing the tandem to the towing bike does not always work, for which a solution has been documented). By releasing that constraint of universal application a DIY construction could be made slightly simpler. But the two free rotations need to be guaranteed in any design I think.

author
Edgar made it!(author)2013-07-28

A great way to wait for a friend at a Bus or Train station, so that both can then go cycling, each on his own Bike.

author
jde+bruijn made it!(author)2013-07-25

Www.followme-tandem.nl see how it works.

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Bio: Openproducts' focus is on design of new products and on innovative approaches towards improving existing products. Also, quick fixes and on-the-fly repairs are documented here ... More »
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