Our ride was mostly [say 80%] of the non-stop road variety. We stopped a few times for food/drinks and washroom breaks. Our first tandem ride was 3hrs in downtown traffic getting stuff done. Most of our riding is transportational in nature so traffic and stop lights are something we are used to. I'm pretty good at riding the tandem slowly so I tend to do rolling stops a lot.
I don't try and tell people what's comfortable. I try and show them that being comfortable without special bike gear is possible and give them a plan they can follow to find what works for them.
When my GF got a new commuter bike I suggested she might want to consider a leather saddle rather than another plastic one. She gave a Brooks a try and didn't like it. I told her it might take a while to break in, but I also offered to replace it with a plastic saddle right away. She decided to try commuting on the Brooks for another week or two. I got called away for work for a month unexpectedly and frankly forgot about the Brooks on her commuter bike. When I got home I asked if she wanted the Brooks taken off? She replied that she loved it and that she wasn't wearing bike shorts any longer because her bike was so comfortable.
When we ordered our tandem I got 2 Brooks B17s installed on it. She hated the B17 on the back so I didn't argue and replaced it with a plastic saddle. Recently she came to me to ask that we move the broken in Brooks from her commuter bike to the tandem and put the hard B17 that was originally on the back of the tandem on to her commuter bike. I'm glad she is starting to put the pieces together that will allow her to be comfy on all her bikes.
We are following a similar process with handlebars. She's trying some different options and seeing what works. We are making changes and homing in on a great setup for her. It takes time and it's a bit of a hassle, but it's well worth it. Being able to ride your bike all day without special clothes and without any discomfort is priceless!...