User experience three-wheel tandem Twinny Plus - Madelon Boots
Since April 2018 we are in possession of a Twinny Plus three-wheel tandem with divisable frame. We bought this bike so that we are able to cycle with our son Lucas. Lucas is a mentally and physically limited teenager of 15 years old. He lives at home and visits a children's service center during the day.
First adaptive bicycle
This is our first adaptive bike. Before we bought the Twinny Plus three-wheel tandem, we used an adaptive bicycle trailer behind my bike. Luke could only sit in there, so he was not moving so much anymore. Because he was too big and too heavy for the bike trailer we had to look for another alternative.
Online orientation phase for our three-wheel tandem
I then went to look at the internet and found Van Raam. The website featured a lot of useful information that allowed us to orient ourselves well. For example, we had a lot of the dimensions, because they were important to us for proper storage of the bicycle. But also, the videos and the many technical information were very useful.
The big advantage of the Twinny Plus three-wheel tandem is that Lucas can now move in a save way and get the right support.Madelon Boots
Visit Van Raam in Varsseveld
After the orientation phase we made an appointment via the internet for a consult and test ride at Van Raam. This was certainly worth the long journey! We were received nicely and could take a break after the long car trip. At Van Raam, they listened well to us and our son was also involved in the consultation. During our visit at Van Raam we also got a tour of the factory. This was very nice for our son! After the visit in Varsseveld we finally had a good story, and an offer, so we could apply to the municipality.
Getting used to cycling on a tandem
The bike instructions for me as main driver were meaningful and provided me with sufficient confidence to use the bicycle safely. The test ride in Varsseveld was a short moment and we tried to get an impression, but especially to experience what it is like to use the tandem. This has succeeded.
After a period of getting used to the tandem, we now like the bike and it meets the expectations. However, it does require some steering skills and experience to be safe with the bike. Sloping roads, thresholds and winding roads, especially in the beginning, is something to get used to. Also, the bike is longer that you are used to, because you cycle with two people on it and the bike has three wheels. Adjusting speed, anticipating well or taking a different route requires a lot of focus and concentration of the driver.
Advantages Twinny Plus three-wheel tandem
The big advantage of the Twinny Plus three-wheel tandem is that Lucas can now move in a save way and get the right support. Lucas is very interested in cycling and now he can do this with the Van Raam tandem. For extra support, our three-wheel tandem has feet fixations on the pedals and a backrest with fixation. These ensure that I do not have to look behind me all the time because I know that Lucas will be safe.
We enjoy the cooperation during cycling. If we cycle a bit further, we regularly use the freewheel switch. This extra option ensures that Lucas does not have to cycle and can rest. The pleasant and powerful support and ease of use are definitely plus points. The reverse function is also ideal. Without this function, we would get away much more difficult at some places. In addition, the freedom and opportunity to come (almost) everywhere is wonderful!
Tandem with divisible frame
Because the tandem is longer than a normal bike, and we want to put the bike indoors and want to be able to transport it easily, we chose a divisible frame as an option on our tandem. Unfortunately, we had a problem quite quickly because of the use of this divisible frame. After contact with Van Raam's service department and some personal insight, we now use contact spray to ensure that the contact between the cable parts runs smoothly. The problem has now been solved.
Nowadays, when we park our tandem, we put the cables together and only fold the front part and secure it with a cable to the main frame. As a result, the connection with the cables remains optimal and no malfunction can occur.
Our search for the 'cabling problem' took a lot of time afterwards. It would have been nice if we had received more information about the divisible frame. After this malfunction, I have had less confidence in our three-wheel tandem for a while, but now we have cycled over 700 kilometers and I have enough confidence in our Twinny Plus again. After all, it remains a beautiful piece of Dutch craftsmanship! But the spray can with contact spray is always in our basket.
Our tips for future tandem users
We use our spray can with contact spray a lot. In addition, it is useful to have a set of hex keys on the go. With us it has already happened that a bolt has been loosened and we have lost it along the way. This problem can be prevented by regularly tightening these bolts.
Van Raam e-bike app
During cycling we use the Van Raam e-bike app. The app is easy to operate and provides useful information during cycling. We have purchased a mobile phone holder for this which is next to the display. Luckily, we have not yet had to use the emergency call button, but it is good to have it.
We have purchased the three-wheel tandem to cycle together and to make our son move actively. Because Lucas has no awareness of road safety and traffic rules, it is not an option to let him cycle alone, we can fix this problem with the tandem. We mainly use the bicycle for recreational use. In the summer and holiday periods, we use the bicycle daily and cycle quickly between 10 and 25 kilometers per day. With a daily record of 43 km, then the battery was empty.
The bike works best on a flat road, but the three-wheel tandem also works well when we cycle on forest paths, shells, gravel and occasionally on sandy paths. This we found out at our holiday address on the Veluwe. The chain also stays nice and clean during these bike rides. We have visited some places on the Veluwe with the bike which we thought was not possible. It would be nice to share these bike routes with other bike users!
Backwards cycling and pedal support
Regularly people talk to us about the bicycle. Just spontaneously or by people who are looking for such a bicycle themselves. Especially the moments in a parking lot when we cycle backwards with our pedal support gets a lot of attention! We make the sound of a truck that drives backwards (beep, beep, beep) and have a lot of fun!
Bicycle routes in the Netherlands with Twinny Plus
Tip: if you are nearby the Veluwe places Putten and Garderen, then go cycling in the Speulder and Sprielderbos area. There is a network of cycle paths, alternating asphalt, concrete and sand / shells through a beautiful forest and heathland. Almost all paths are reasonably or very easily accessible with the Twinny Plus. However, some paths are too narrow or sloping and too many tree roots, which you can better avoid. The well-known crown domains at Het Loo in Apeldoorn are also easily accessible with the Twinny and are very beautiful.
Do you also know beautiful bicycles routes in your country that are easily accessible with a modified bicycle? And would you like to share it with us and other bicycle users? Mail us and we will make sure that your bicycle routes will be visible on our site, so that more bicycle users can enjoy these. You can send an email here.
Madelon Boots - De Hoef, Utrecht (the Netherlands)
Model: Twinny Plus