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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 02-27-12, 11:19 AM   #1
rec3036
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Tandem???

So has anyone ever done tandem riding? My wife and I are considering trying it out, she loves to spend time with me and I love to ride, so she wants to start riding but does not want to ride her own bike so we can spend time together. I am very excited she wants to start riding, i think it will be good for us. I am looking into possibly renting a tandem for a while to see how she likes it before dropping a wad of cash.

I am 6'4" and over 300 lbs, she is 5'4" and just over 200 lbs. I am used to riding with extra weight on the back as I have ridden an EMS bike with an extra 50 lbs of gear on the back for 4 years.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

I am also cross posting over into the tandem section, but seeing as though we fit the mold here as well I thought I would post here too.

can never get enough info...
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Old 02-27-12, 11:28 AM   #2
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rec3036, Tandems are great for couples. As a single father my 'partner' was always one of my daughters. I'm empty nesting now and regretted selling my tandem because of all of the great memories.

Brad
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Old 02-27-12, 11:37 AM   #3
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I think you and Iron Chef should do your tour on a tandem. You two would make a cute couple.
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Old 02-27-12, 12:21 PM   #4
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Tandems are awesome. We have one but can never seem to find time to ride anymore. Last time my wife and I were on it she mentioned something about riding in France or somewhere in Europe on a tandem. We have a trek T900 where the top tube in the back is low enough so that my 9 year old can ride as well.

The only thing is that I need to be the captain, I am a very unstable stoker as I keep trying to steer the bike from the back. It's a control thing on my part.
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Old 02-27-12, 04:01 PM   #5
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I ride tandems all that time. You'll have a wonderful time with your spouse as long as you both are patient and attentave of each others needs.
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Old 02-27-12, 04:15 PM   #6
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My wife and I (team weight 450ish lbs) started tandeming last summer. So far it has been a lot of fun. We just got an older bike that fits us better than last summers ride. It's in the shop being modernized at the moment. Looking forward to nice weather this weekend so we can break it in!

Just remember good communication is the key to having a good time.
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Old 02-27-12, 05:31 PM   #7
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Tandems are fun. When we got ours we rode it for nearly 2 years without touching the singles much. Did 4 centuries and a ride in Mexico. It takes time to get synchronized though. Especially since we have different styles, I'm a spinner and she's a masher.

If you get one, give it time cause you will more than likely not like it much if your wife is not concerned about speed. The good side is that the tandem rides pushed Gina into being a little more aggressive on the bike.

I will tell you though, when we first got the tandem, we took it for a 60 miler and I just about fainted ha ha! The 50 lbs of gear does not move and make you counter balance like another person on the back. We have this understanding that when we ride the tandem, she lets me know in advance of her movements. One quick movement can throw us off balance if I'm not expecting it. I can ride with one hand relaxed but if she catches me at that moment, major reaction.

I'm not quite your size but at 220-230 lbs, we thrashed some serious wheels. The Sun Rhyno rim lasted fairly well. But once that gave way, we had a Mavic tandem wheel hand built and it was toast within a year. Thrashed a third rim (can't member which model) but now riding a Deep V (48 spoke). All the other rims were hand built on this 48 spoke hub but didn't last very well. So with your weight, I'd be prepared to look into a new rear wheel after a year or two depending on how much you ride.

The rides improve with practice. When we first got our tandem, we couldn't hang on the back of a paceline doing 20 mph. A year later, we were dropping the same riders who couldn't hold our wheel at 24-26.



Gina did most of the camera work on this one so it's a little shaky.





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Old 02-27-12, 05:46 PM   #8
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+1 Mr. Beanz. My wife rode as a stoker once with a friend and we decided to go for it. She hasn't ridden her single since. The most important and useful lesson she learned was to keep her weight and balance over the center of the bike and let the captain do any leaning, like on a motorcycle. Now we're not particularly fast, but we're very smooth. Communication is the word.
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Old 02-27-12, 06:56 PM   #9
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Mr Beanz your videos are the best!!!!

I honestly think this will be very good for us, we already have really good lines of communications as we did EMS together for years. We are already in sync when it comes to our thinking...


Thank you all!
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Old 02-27-12, 07:01 PM   #10
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Mr Beanz your videos are the best!!!!
Thanks!
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Old 02-28-12, 01:06 AM   #11
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$hit neil that was funny. There goes my idea of cooking a hearty bean and beef chili.
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Old 02-28-12, 01:06 AM   #12
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Rec: You close to Tandems East in NJ?
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Old 02-28-12, 01:10 AM   #13
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mr b: not many videos these days.........

(slacker)

Show Gena how to use the cam so we can see more videos... of her and riding!
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Old 02-28-12, 09:02 AM   #14
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I get jokes like that all the time at my office. One game is that I'm going to ride a tandem with whatever fat person they are picking on. I can't determine if the joke is because I'm fat or because I advocate fat people exercise.....
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Old 02-28-12, 10:53 AM   #15
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mr b: not many videos these days.........

(slacker)

Show Gena how to use the cam so we can see more videos... of her and riding!
Hunh? I put up 2 videos over the weekend. Gina and the camera? I don't know why but she has a real hard time with cameras. On the tandem I'll ask her to get a view right over my shoulder showing the road. When I review the video, she has it directly on the back of my head. If I give it to her on the singles, she gets nuttin' but my back wheel. She's gotten some footage in maybe 2 videos out of 10 tries.

Let's just say I'll never give her a gun for self defense. If we get attacked, she's shooting me for sure!
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Old 02-28-12, 03:26 PM   #16
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yea only two videos in how long????????????????
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Old 02-28-12, 03:30 PM   #17
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yea only two videos in how long????????????????
4 videos in 10 days. That's more than some people post in a lifetime.

actually it was 4 in 8 days.

Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 02-28-12 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 02-28-12, 03:42 PM   #18
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Been riding TWOgether since 1975,
Agree that at your weight to go for the 48 spoke wheels
Go see Mel at Tandems East and tell him that Rudy and Kay in Tucson say 'hi!'.
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Old 02-29-12, 07:47 AM   #19
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Rec: You close to Tandems East in NJ?
according to google almost 2 hours away... but will make the trek
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Old 02-29-12, 09:40 AM   #20
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rec: when you going? there is a ride cue sheet for that area I would love to do if you want to.
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Old 02-29-12, 11:05 PM   #21
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I talked to a couple that ride a tandem. The stoker had a lot of problems with heat exhaustion, the captain blocked most of the airflow.

When I was slower, I thought a tandem would be a great solution to keeping up with faster friends. But between the TX summers and my pedal mashing, it wouldn't be a happening thing. I already ride like a tandem anyhow - creeping uphill and bombing downhill. So my friends need to get tandems, and let me ride my single.
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Old 03-01-12, 03:40 PM   #22
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nk: interesting. never thought about this.
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Old 03-01-12, 04:30 PM   #23
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nk: interesting. never thought about this.
Never been a problem for us, seems the stoker sits a bit more upright. But during the cold season, she say sit's warmer using me as a shield and as for bugs, I eat alot but she doesn't.
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Old 03-01-12, 04:33 PM   #24
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let me ask you M B, does she get bored? What is her job while being the stoker?
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Old 03-01-12, 05:02 PM   #25
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let me ask you M B, does she get bored? What is her job while being the stoker?
Nope, no boredom. She loves the tandem.

Her job? pedal the darn bike.. Really she loves riding it. When we ride it frequently, it's more like an art form rather than riding a bike. We've had friends ride with us that say, "wow, it's like you guys are dancing".

Plus when we ride, she is paying close attention. As mentioned before, if she is being a slacker or moving off balance, it really puts a damper on the captain. When we ride, we realy need to communicate by feel. It pust a whole new spin on riding. Some tandem riders use mic communication. Us, it's a feel and developing a natural feel of what the other is doing and will do. If I feel she is using a little too much effort, I downshift. If I paln to stop pedaling, I must stop the pedals slowly or I jam her knee. Same with starting. When we stop, she stay s clipped in and I balance the bike. She sets the pedals to a start position. It's funny but it's different than riding a single. Lots of communication betwen the two rather it be verbal or by feel.

It's just different and fun!
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