Rover tandem climbing upgrade

What gear, wheel combination will make this trike climb well? I hate the Sturney Archer 8 speed and having to stop pedaling to change gears! Can I put an 8 or 9 speed setup on the rear with a 24" wheel for dérailleur clearance?
Any input will be helpful! Thanks


  • Check with the folks at Terra Trike. In the Rover product pages they have a pic of one with cassette and derailleur. Should be able to convert to this. If all you're looking for is a lower gear for climbing you probably don't want a larger wheel on the back. The larger diameter will take even more energy than a smaller wheel to turn. As for derailleur clearance a larger wheel isn't necessary as a short cage derailleur will allow usage on the smaller 20" wheel
    Again, check with the folks at TT. They'll be happy to help.
  • You saw a rover tandem with a cassette and dérailleur! Did not see that anywhere!!!
  • I'm looking at the Patterson Drive for ours. there was a TT forum post that came up on Google about installing it up front.

    I wonder if it will work with the tandem's IPS?
  • Didn't see a Rover Tandem with cassette. Wrote there's a Rover with cassette! If it'll work on a Rover, it should work on a Rover Tandem. They're the same damn mounting for the rear wheel. If you really don't want any suggestions, don't ask for them!
  • Hey folks, lets stay calm.  I read Tspoon2's comment as excitement, not a criticism.

    I also echo gern's comment about checking in with TT. While the Rover Tandem uses the same parts/style as the Rover (It's esentially a Rover with extra parts), it is much heavier and there are torque issues to take into account.  I know Nuvinci in particular has made noises about torque issues.

    I remember some threads about it on these forum, but can't remember what the final verdict was regarding whether the 360 could safely be used on the Rover Tandem. It'll definitely fit, though. :)

    To answer the original question, it depends on what you mean by better climbing.  If the issue is that stopping is killing your ability to climb, but the actual gearing ratio is fine, then an external setup will help with that. If the existing gearing doesn't go low enough for you, then you'll need to do a bit more.

    Let us know a little more about what's working for you and what isn't, and we can help you better. :)  I'm also curious how you feel about the high end of the gear range. Are you hitting 8th at all, how high do you normally go, and would you be willing to lose the current 8th (and 7th)?

    - PaulNM
  • Well, the tandem is even heavier when you account for the fact there's also a second rider. :)

    My understanding is that the IPS is what makes the Tandem a free wheel system.  In either configuration there are two chains. One from the captain's crankset to the stoker's, and one from the stoker's crankset to the rear wheel.

    In the standard setup: The stoker's crankset consists of two same-sized cogs, side-by-side and attached to each other. The assembly instructions are pretty clear that you need to offset the pedal positions of the stocker 90 degrees from the captain, as that will never change during riding.  Both sets of pedals spin whenever the other set is being used.

    The IPS changes the stokers crankset so the cogs rotate separately.  Now either person can pedal without the other person's pedals moving.  This also means that if one person pedals at a rate faster than the other, they're basically driving the tandem on their own.

    An IPS also slightly complicates gearing. Changes in/on the rear wheel help both riders equally. Shifting on the front only helps the captain.

    The tandem product page has a really good close up photo of the stock stoker crankset.

    - PaulNM

  • I would advise against the larger rear wheel on any tandem.

     As far as clearance is concerned, I understand where you are coming from. It is very clear that the rear derailleur with tension on it is pretty close to the ground. However, I have never heard of anyone damaging one due to ground clearance.
    Besides, keeping a smaller diameter wheel will give you more climbing ability. The SA 8 isn't a bad hub (in my opinion) although it does take some getting used to. 

    If you are interested in switching out your hub, I would consider the Nexus 8. It is one of my all around favorite hubs for your average daily purposes including hill climbing. Mainly because you can shift on the fly.

    It is very structurally sound, very rarely have I ever seen any issues with the hub (manufacture defect, or operator error).  

    The Nexus 8 also have a great gear ratio for climbing. It is a great combination with the Schlumpf mountain drive system. 

    So far I am seeing a lot of good feed back. There is definitely a lot to take into consideration here, but don't let it give you a headache. I like your excitement, and I think from the information given by my good friends here, you will end up on the right path... or hill ;) 
    TerraTrike - Customer Relations, Assembly, and Forum/ Facebook Administrator. 
  • I have converted to Sturmey-Archer dual Drive with 8 speed Shimano Mega range cassette which lowers the gear inch to 14. I used "Problem Solvers Derailleur hanger. I had the Dual drive from another bike so it was a natural. works great
  • Devoted Stoker and I are in our first season with a Rover Tandem (w/Shimano Nexus and IPS) after trying and more or less failing with several kinds of non-trike tandems.  We're finding that climbing is more a case of developing our coordination than gears, per se. 

    We're both...uh...somewhat drought and famine we're lugging a little more up the hill than we'd like, on top of the weight of the trike itself.  We're finding that if we let ourselves go too far with the gear too high, we're crapping out midway, even if we ultimately get it down into first.  Getting the downshift sooner and moving the cadence up might help, but again, it's a learning curve. 

    But the sum for us, in not exactly flat Wisconsin, is that we have plenty of low gear, and probably need more work on conditioning and coordination.  Your mileage may vary; objects in mirror are closer than they appear; see, because of me, there's a warning label there, now...
  • So there should be no problem with an SRAM Dual Drive with a 9 speed 11-34 cassette??? Waiting on answer from TerraTrike before I purchase!
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