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  1. #1
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    We are as slow as hell.

    Today an old guy and his young girlfriend or daughter exploded pass me on the bike path. They were dressed casually and on a tandem bike. So what do I do? I pop my D7 in the highest gear and pump as hard as I can to see if I can catch up to them. As hard as I was pedaling, that couple was still pulling away from me at a pretty fast rate and they weren't even pedaling hard, after about 30 seconds I give up because they are already over 150 yards in front of me. It seems like the only people who don't pass me are kids on cruisers and seniors and I am in pretty good shape too.

    Folding bikes are great bus as slow as hell.
    Last edited by yamcha; 12-18-07 at 11:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Explorer CaptainSpalding's Avatar
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    It's all about gear-inches, my friend.
    I came to say I must be folding . . .
    Dahon Jetstream XP
    Dahon Helios SL
    Strida 5.0
    Twenty project


    or not . . .
    Fisher Mt. Tam (c.1988)
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  3. #3
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    Tandem has a few advantages. As mokaimo mentioned, it's a dual-engine machine - but less weight, fewer mechanical losses, and less wind resistance than two bikes. You can also bet the two riders are well-practiced together.

    BUT - any bike's best speed is going to depend on the rider. As a commuter, I'm reasonably fast on my Strida -- because it's the bike I ride the most, and it's so "nimble" that it makes me a more confident and perhaps more aggressive rider.

    Wanna ride faster? Ride MORE.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jnb-rare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mokaimo View Post
    Realize a tandem bike is a vehicle with two engines compared to your one.
    Absolutely. A tandem has a definite advantage on the flats and downhill. Twin engine with little or no more "front" for wind resistance. In rolling hills the extra weight and downhill speed gives them a much further push up the next incline, too. The only place I could ever "best" my friends on their tandem was on a long incline.

    My advice? Tuck in behind the tandem and draft.

  5. #5
    Old enough to know better Spudmeister's Avatar
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    Who's Slow?

    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    Folding bikes are great bus as slow as hell.
    Maybe you're as slow as hell. Maybe?

    (is hell slow?)

  6. #6
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    Who you mean we white man? - Tonto

  7. #7
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Yamcha,

    Let's talk about numbers here: After a nice 10-15 mile ride, what is your average speed? What about max. speed?

    I might not be the bike...several other factors could be slowing you down. Maybe the tandem bike had olympic level riders on it...without numbers it's hard to think.

  8. #8
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudmeister View Post
    Maybe you're as slow as hell. Maybe?

    (is hell slow?)
    I thought it was okay to GET THERE slowly.

    You'll be done quickly when you get there anyway!
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

  9. #9
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    Today an old guy and his young girlfriend or daughter exploded pass me on the bike path. They were dressed casually and on a tandem bike. So what do I do? I pop my D7 in the highest gear and pimp as hard as I can to see if I can catch up to them. As hard as I was pedaling, that couple was still pulling away from me at a pretty fast rate and they weren't even pedaling hard, after about 30 seconds I give up because they are already over 150 yards in front of me. It seems like the only people who don't pass me are kids on cruisers and seniors and I am in pretty good shape too.

    Folding bikes are great bus as slow as hell.
    Either the old man was showing off or the young lady was in the lead and being chased, NO?

    Was she un haute femme skunk?
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

  10. #10
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    At least they didn't make fun of your wang.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cmd3 View Post
    At least they didn't make fun of your wang.

    GOOD MEMORY!!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14R View Post
    Yamcha,

    Let's talk about numbers here: After a nice 10-15 mile ride, what is your average speed? What about max. speed?

    I might not be the bike...several other factors could be slowing you down. Maybe the tandem bike had olympic level riders on it...without numbers it's hard to think.
    I don't know what my average or max speed is since I don't have a computer.
    Last edited by yamcha; 12-17-07 at 11:31 AM.

  13. #13
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    I don't put too much thought into speed anymore. Unless someone is chasing me, my only concern is getting there safe with no major mechanical trouble. I like to ride at my own pace, not someone else's.

  14. #14
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    I had the opportunity to blow past a few cyclists [on serious bikes] in Toronto on my Dahon. Riding past on small 20" wheels made it really funny. Sort of like over taking a roadie when your on a mtn bike with knobbies...
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  15. #15
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    I had the opportunity to blow past a few cyclists [on serious bikes] in Toronto on my Dahon. Riding past on small 20" wheels made it really funny. Sort of like over taking a roadie when your on a mtn bike with knobbies...
    Hah!! Sounds like the woman complaining that my passing her during the Reston Century was wrong since she was on a Serotta.

  16. #16
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    At times, I'm able to pass roadies that are going slow. I can usually hang with or pass someone riding a mountain bike on the street. No doubt about it, though, on my DT, I'm probably 20% slower than on a road bike. However, on my new (used) Air Friday, I'm very close to the same speed as my road bike. Tires are huge, gearing is huge, and your position on the bike is huge. Put them all together and they really add up.

    FWIW, On my Downtube, on flat pavement with no wind, I run 53/13 or 53/12 gearing. I have to have wind/downhill to get me into the 53/11. On the Friday, I can run in my 60/13 or 60/15 gear on my own. Pretty big difference.

  17. #17
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cmd3 View Post
    At least they didn't make fun of your wang.
    Well, you don't know what they were talking about on the tandem! But seriously, I admire a Yamcha's willingness to spread a little levity at the cost of his own dignity.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
    I don't put too much thought into speed anymore. Unless someone is chasing me, my only concern is getting there safe with no major mechanical trouble. I like to ride at my own pace, not someone else's.
    It's not about that. If you can use little energy to go fast that means your bike is designed well.

  19. #19
    Old enough to know better Spudmeister's Avatar
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    Not So!

    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    If you can use little energy to go fast that means your bike is designed well.



    Not so. Look at touring bikes - they are not designed to go fast, but to carry a bunch of stuff
    comfortably. You cannot suggest that touring bikes are not well designed. They are designed for a different purpose.

    Folding bikes can be designed to go fast or go long or go around town or about anything else.
    Look at Bike Friday's product line. They have a variety of bikes that'll do what ever you want.
    Look at jur's Swift. It looks fast sitting still. If you can't ride your bike as fast as you want,
    maybe you've purchased the wrong folder.

    Having said all that, its still the motor that matters most!
    Last edited by Spudmeister; 12-17-07 at 11:54 AM. Reason: mistake

  20. #20
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainSpalding View Post
    It's all about gear-inches, my friend.
    I agree, however you still need the GRUNT in the engine room to pull it off......and the Wasp has been known to be at the front of the bunch at full tilt...

  21. #21
    Senior Member Fear&Trembling's Avatar
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    Surely the thread title should read: "I am as slow as hell".

  22. #22
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    I had no idea how fast tandems could be until I read this thread. I always thought they were slow and corny bikes.
    Last edited by yamcha; 12-18-07 at 11:28 AM.

  23. #23
    Old enough to know better Spudmeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    I had no idea how fast tandems could be until I read this thread. I always thought they were slow and corny bikes.

    Yeah, just like folding bikes...

  24. #24
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    I had no idea how fast tandems could be until I read this thread. I always thought they were slow and corny bikes.
    Yamcha,

    If you have a good tandem team running a 54/11 set up, only a very few elite riders would be able to keep up, particularly downhill or on the flat with a tailwind. I've read a story about a husband and wife tandem team riding downhill in a long charity ride who caught and past a select group of very strong solo riders, only one rider was able to stay with them, his name?......Floyd Landis.

  25. #25
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Please dont say "We".
    Im fast as hell on my folder.

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