The Gear, the goods and the bulky: Review of the Circe Cycles Morpheus Tandem Bike

A couple of weeks ago, i did a tour of Pengerang, Malaysia but instead of using my Brompton, i was invited to try out the Circe Cycles Morpheus Tandem bike. I have seen a couple of tandem bikes before but this one has the distinction of being both a tandem and recumbent bike allowing one rider- the one in front -sit in a more reclined, comfortable position. Based on the Green Basikal website

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(http://www.greenbasikal.com/index.php/online-store/touring-bikes/circe-cycle-morpheus-tandem-bike-omnis-8sp-detail),  here are the specs:

Specification:
Frame
Aluminium

Fork
Cro-Mo with disc mounts

Crankset stoker
Freewheel 30T, 170mm cranks

Crankset captain
Shimano 50/30T, 170mm crank

Brake (Front & Rear)
Disc Brakes

Shift lever
Microshift Bar End

Brake lever
Alivio

Chain
KMC

Front hub
Shimano Deore 32h

Rear hub
Shimano Alfine 8 speed 32h

Rim
20″/406 32h

Tyre
Schwalbe Marathon 1.75″ x 20″ (47-406)

Handlebar captain
Dedicated Morpheus bar

Handlebar stoker
Dedicated Morpheus bar

Saddle-Captain
Sportif

Seatpost captain
Oversize one piece

Seat-Stoker
Re-Curve

Cassette
18T

Gear range in inches
27 – 84

Admittedly, it was an unusual bike for me as I’ve never tried one! But here’s my take:

In terms of steering and handling, the bike requires coordination between the two riders (much like any traditional tandem) as steering may need careful attention especially on turns or climbs. A nice thing about the bike though is that once coordination is achieved, pedalling effort becomes less difficult. The small wheels and IGH drivetrain is quite adequate in climbs and flats. This is the first time, ive used an IGH drivetrain beyond 3 speeds and i feel this may be a good option for future builds.

In terms of comfort, i’d say this is one nice comfortable bike as it keeps the riders seated in a relaxed position. Moreover, the provision of racks at the rear and middle of bike assures the riders that their cargo is quite secure.

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As a touring rig, i felt that this is a durable ride fit for multiday tours. But the only caveat i see is how it deals with heavy traffic.

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Overall, i think the bike is an interesting addition to the touring arsenal especially for riders with mixed abilities in cycling.

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