- How heavy is it?

- How long is it?

- Does everyone have to pedal?

- How does the little one pedal?

- Who sits where, and why?

- Is it hard to turn?

- How well does it stop?

- How well does it climb/descend?

- How do the couplers work?

- Is it a custom bike?

- How long is the chain?
How heavy is it?    We weighed the frame when we got it repainted, and the frame and fork weighs
33 lbs.  We were told the bike weighs 96 lbs, which seems about right.  The bike is constructed of
Meridian-exclusive oversize double-butted, chrome-moly tandem tubing.  The extras that are on the
bike (child stoker kit, long stems, crank arm shorteners, etc...) probably add a few pounds, but it's no
more than 110 all decked out.
How long is it?    The bike is 15 feet 4 inches long and has a wheel base of 13 feet 3 inches. Top
Does everyone have to pedal?   Yes, all the pedals are synced by the timing chains (about 25
feet of timing chain), and all pedals continue to turn as long as the captain is pedalling.  Whether or not
stokers are actually PEDALLING is a point of major contention among all tandem teams.
How does the little one pedal?    Ingenious people somewhere in the world created what is
referred to as a child stoker kit.  It basically runs another timing chain from the bottom bracket (where
the cranks are) to another bottom bracket that can be attached to the frame.  Shorter cranks are
attached to the bottom bracket to reduce the "circle" the little legs have to turn.  We also fashioned a
seat-back from PVC pipe and use a camelback as a seatbelt (in case of mid-ride snoozing).   Of
course, as she grew, first the seatback went away, and now the stoker kit is history, too.
Who sits where, and why?    Right now the order is based on height, but in a strange way.  Our
middle child is tall enough to reach the pedals only on the very back - because stems are attached to
every other seatpost, the other seats are about 2 inches higher.  She would need a child stoker kit in
any other seat.  The youngest is in the middle because Mom wants to keep an eye on her.  Our oldest
is just tall enough to fit in any other seat, so she's left with 1st or 2nd seat.  I wont ride if she's steering.
 As the kids grow, the seats will change:  our youngest will move to the back as soon as she's tall
enough.  That will get rid of the child stoker kit.  At that point we will probably sit tallest to shortest.
Is it hard to turn?    Yes and no.  It's 15 feet long, so yes, it's hard to turn - especially at slow speed.
 It is surprisingly agile though.  It tracks very straight, and if everyone sits still, can ride almost anything
we've found.  Everyone tends to give us a lot of space in group rides, but we do fine in tight areas.
How well does it stop?    Surprisingly well.  It has regular caliper brakes, but also has a disc on
the back wheel.  It is plumbed into the same cable so it's controlled by the same lever, and provides
ample stopping power.  We're very happy with this setup.  Contact
Precision Tandems for details. Top
How well does it climb/descend?    It all has to do with power to weight ratio.  Uphill, our power
to weight at this point is a little lacking.  The bike climbs great, though.  It has a very low gear ratio,
which allows us to climb anything.  We live in Colorado and haven't been stopped yet.  Of course,
climbing at 4 mph is taxing on the nerves....  Descending is not a problem - the bike will easily go faster
than at least 4 people on the bike are willing to go.  Feels stable up front though.
How do the couplers work?    The couplers are the most ingenious piece of engineering on the
bike.  You simply use the provided wrench to loosen the couplers like unscrewing a nut.  Any or all of
the middle 3 sections can be removed by simply unscrewing the 6 couplers on either side and
reattaching the sections you want.  Rumor has it the couplers are stronger at the joint than the bike
tubing would be alone.  Not an engineer - can't verify that.  Contact
S&S Machining for info.  The cables
are connected using little barrel nuts that also hold the end of the cables - they work flawlessly, and
only minor adjustments to the rear deraillieur are needed if the configuration is changed.
Is it a custom bike?    Yes - and no.  It is custom made by meridian cycles, but ours was made for
Mark Johnson at
 Precision Tandems who then sold it to us used.  It just happened to be exactly what
we were looking for.  If you are interested in getting one made, Mark is the guy to talk to.
How long is the chain?  After years of guessing at that one, we have an official measurement.  I
changed out chains and measured to get a good length.  Each timing chain is about 80 inches and the
drive chain is 56 inches for a grand total of 376 inches, or 31 feet 4 inches.