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Thudbuster

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One of the great joys of cycling is riding out with family and friends, about sharing experience. Tandems can facilitate this by allowing people of different strengths to ride together, both riders putting as much, or as little, effort into the pedals as they prefer. The single drawback of this is that the rear rider can usually only see the front rider's back when they look forward. The Morpheus addresses this, with both riders able to look ahead at the same view. It also puts the two riders' heads closer together so conversation becomes relaxed and natural.

To further facilitate the ease of use, the Morpheus uses an independent pedalling system that allows the front rider to choose when or even whether they want to pedal. Such a system works well for couples, but is especially useful for riding with children or for special needs applications. The recumbent front seat is also particularly comfortable. No more saddle or shoulder soreness and with a simple and extensive range of adjustment, it is easy to optimize comfort and swap riders around.

As well as enabling people to ride together comfortably, the Morpheus is an excellent load carrier and utility bike. In its base configuration it will take a conventional rear rack and and a large underseat rack that will also accept a set of large panniers. Kitted out like this, the Morpheus is ideal for a long, leisurely tour. But that is not all, removing the front seat and installing the Titan 2 platform rack transforms the Morpheus from a tandem into an heavy duty load carrier.

Day ride, long tour, ride into town, child transporter, weekly shop, trip to the tip or moving domestic paraphelia, the Morpheus, true to its name, changes form to suit its function!

General

The Morpheus tandem is very adaptable and fits a wide range of stoker and captain sizes. Use the table below as guide to the range of fit.

Upright Recumbent
Height 142-196cm / 4’ 10” to 6’ 5" T.B.C.
Inseam Range 65-95cm / 26” to 37” T.B.C.
Stand-over Height 63cm / 24" T.B.C.
Rider Weight 100kg / 220lb 90kg / 198lb (max combined weight 170kg / 374lb)

Why have a mix of recumbent and upright seating?
With its mix of seating, the Morpheus is the perfect sociable tandem. Unlike conventional configurations, both riders can look forward at the same view and, because the riders' heads are very close, conversation is relaxed. The recumbent seat also offers much greater comfort for the passenger, very often the stumbling block for potential tandem owners.

Can I carry children, luggage or cargo on the Morpheus?
The Morpheus is not only a versatile tandem, but also, in its own right, a superb cargo bike. In standard configuration, it can take a conventional rear rack to which can be fitted panniers and/or a child seat, and an underseat racking system that will take a second pair of panniers. However, the front seat can be quickly replaced by a very large platform rack, the Titan 2, that transforms the bike from tandem to dedicated cargo bike. In this configuration, the Morpheus can take very large items of cargo or a car baby seat.

The Morpheus does look ideal for that long tour. How would I carry sufficient luggage for a couple on a self contained trip? Carrying sufficient luggage for a couple is one problem of self contained tandem touring. The Morpheus gets around this with, in addition to a conventional rear rack that can take a large pair of panniers and rack pack, an underseat rack that can also take a second pair of large panniers. In addition, there is plenty of room behind the recumbent seat for a variety of large bags. If this is still insufficient, we recommend our Altas trailer.

Will the Morpheus fit me?
The Morpheus is designed to accommodate an unusually wide range of rider heights. Back rider 142-196cm / 4'10" to 6'5" - front rider 107-188cm / T.B.C.. The probability is that it will fit you, but if you are approaching the recommended extremes, it is strongly advised to get a test ride.

What are the rider weight limitations?
Back rider 100kg / 220lbs - front rider 90kg / 190lbs - Overall 170kg / 374lbs

Other than the seating arrangement, what distinguishes the Morpheus from the Helios?
The primary advantages of the Morpheus are in passenger comfort and enhanced sociability. With the Titan 2 rack instead of the front seat, it also makes a fully functional cargo bike. The Helios is more of a sporty, light bike that is remarkably compact for transportation and storage.

And how are these differences reflected in usage?
The Morpheus and Helios both function as tandems for adults and children, or as load carrying bikes, and, as such, their usage overlaps, however, there are differences in emphasis. The Helios is more compact and lighter and is ideally suited to city and sporting use. It works particularly well for commuting, the school run and sporty day rides. It also works well for utility use, like shopping, or load carrying and for any type of touring. The Morpheus is more of a sociable bike. It is very manoeuvrable for city use, but is ideal for leisurely day rides or long tours where comfort and enjoying the scenery are more important than speed. In its own right, it is also a fully fledged cargo bike, capable of taking large or awkward size packages.

Why small wheels?
We use 20" (ISO 406) wheels. Tandems need strong wheels and smaller wheels offer an unbeatable combination of strength and light weight. In the ISO 406 size, there is a vast range of tyres from the super light, fast 1" Schwalbe Stelvio, through a variety of 1.5 - 1.75" general use or touring tyres, to the 2" Schwalbe Big Apple. Using the smaller wheel size also allowed us to make the tandem more compact and, consequently, manageable.

How do I transport the Morpheus?
With its large comfortable seat and high handlebar, the Morpheus does not easily fit into the average car. However, the seat or front rack can be quickly removed, and the handlebar rotated flat to significantly compact it down. It will fit into larger estates or people carriers without adjustment.

How does the front pedal freewheel system work?
The freewheel system fitted to the Morpheus is not a truly independent pedalling system, rather, unlike most conventional tandems where the riders' pedals are linked, it means that the front rider can choose whether, and how much, or little, they want to pedal, independent of what the rear rider is doing.

How about special needs use?
In its primary function of sociable tandem, the Morpheus can work very well in some special needs situations, particularly where a degree of mobilization or exercise can be beneficial. We're had great success riding with people affected by dementia, muscular and coordination issues and blindness,

Reviews

Cycling Active, January 2014 Read review

Velovision, January 2014 Read review

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