Tandem Cycling - Tandem versus two singles
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My wife and I (both in early-mid forties) are considering cycling as a form of exercise and as a fun activity we can share together. We are trying to decide if two single cycles or a tandem would be the best way to go. Pro and cons would be appreciated. Thanks.
07-18-03, 10:47 AM
My wife and I are trying a tandem after years of trying to ride singles together. Main problem was we were never at the same fitness level and couldn't stick with it. I'll let you know how the latest experiment works out. So far she's very excited about building the bike, hope her enthusiasm remains when the riding begins.
My wife and I have been riding bikes together for over 20 years. About 12 years ago we tried a tandem. I was really good for us because it removes all of the pressure for the slower rider to keep up. This issue was becoming a reason not to ride. Also my wife (the stoker) really doesn't enjoy the technical aspects of biking. She is quite content to enjoy the ride and let the captain worry about little details like steering, shifting, traffic, potholes etc. It also allows you to have conversations while you ride. I really enjoy it when my wife tells me what's going on in her life and what she's thinking about. It makes the ride all that more enjoyable. If we did not have a tandem we likely would not be riding together at all. So, it works for us.
It sounds like you are not riding now and are considering buying bikes or a tandem to get started in an exercise program. I would highly recommend that you try and find a shop that will rent you a tandem before you buy. We rented one for a week and took it on vacation with us to try it out. Tandeming is not for everyone and you don't want to spend the money unless you really enjoy it. We ended up buying the rental from the shop at a discount.
07-18-03, 12:31 PM
You might want to visit these Web sites and / or read these articles:
This one is a must: http://hobbes.ucsd.edu/tandem/Tandem.Pair
Santana's web site has a lot of product marketing imbedded in it but the basic messages are spot-on; you'll note there are six additional links on the left-hand side of the page.
You can peruse additional learning information here:
I hope I can be of help. We are both in our early fifties. We both started on steel framed Nishiki Mtb's. I became faster and fitter more quickly than my stoker. It became a frustration to train as I always had to wait for her. We came to a point where she started to seriously thinking about stopping. We then borrowed a tandem and the bug hit hard and fast.!!!!!!! WE since bought the Tandem. Visit our website and see how we enjoy our sport. Click on the link at the bottom of my posting. The photos are old but the enjoyment certainly NOT!!!!!! My ave speed dropped initially but quicly improved. Our ave speed now hovers between 28 km/h and 33 km/h for 100 km races. We can now both enjoy cycling AND do it together. One thing though ........ with a tandem there are no compromises...... You either ride straight into a new honeymoon ..... or straight into the divorce court !!!!!!! So beware.... this can test your relationship... we were lucky and are still enjoying our honeymoon after a year and a half. We are currently completing at least two 100 km races a month and have done various of the great classic fun rides in South Africa and have done almost 5000km during this time. Our first ARGUS in March2002 ( www.cycletour.co.za ) was the 25th running of this event with 32 000 competitors. We intend doing the 50th ARGUS !!!!!! (God willing)
Keep those wheels spinning!!!!!!
07-18-03, 05:44 PM
My wife and I are in our mid-40s and just started tandeming about six weeks ago. We absolutely love it! I ride quite frequently on my road bike as I commute to work about three days a week. My wife will occasionally ride her hybrid at the beach. Consequently, we were very mismatched in terms of ability and stamina--I found myself waiting for her to catch up if we rode separate bikes. So I decided to buy a tandem (Canondale RT3000). Now I can work as hard as I want and my wife is always right behind me and basically quite happy (she tells me when I go too fast).
Every weekend we ride about 45 miles on a beach bike path, stopping at a little cafe for breakfast in Venice. Believe it or not, the bike has kind of brought new romance into our lives!
Anyway, I highly recommend it!
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