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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 07-11-16, 09:39 AM   #1
briwasson 
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Triplet/Quad riders: cranks out of phase?

We've had a Santana Cabrio triplet for 5-6 years now, and have lots of good miles under our tires on it. As our son has gotten older (he's 11 now), it's begun to feel like he is not "pedaling his own weight" since he's also gotten heavier. He's a pretty strong biker on his single bike, and definitely contributes great "turbo boosts" to the triplet when needed. But I feel like maybe he's not getting enough feedback through the pedals on the triplet to be able to gauge his effort. (We've talked with him, and he swears he is pedaling hard.) Or maybe I'm just perceiving his input to be not up to par.

So... I'm interested in hearing from any triplet owners who have tried out-of-phase cranks. I know on a triplet that it would definitely help smooth out the power flow, but I'm also worried about the potential for hitting pedals around curves, etc. If you've tried OOP on a triplet, quad (or longer) bike, how did it work for you? How much OOP did you go? Just a few teeth on each position (like captain leading by 10 teeth, middle position by 5 teeth, etc.)?

I am NOT looking to start a general crank phase discussion, but specifically looking for input on 3+ seater bikes.
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Old 07-11-16, 02:51 PM   #2
Paul J
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I have no experience with triples but wonder if you put his crank a tooth or two ahead if he would feel more of the pressure of pedaling as the first in on the down-stroke and give you a little bit more effort?

Last edited by Paul J; 07-12-16 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 07-12-16, 05:55 AM   #3
Tony Marley
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I have kept the pedals in-phase on our triplet due to the concern about a pedal hitting the ground in a turn. But I, too, sometimes feel like the older one is not contributing as much power, despite the increased weight.
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Old 07-19-16, 11:37 AM   #4
briwasson 
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I did move the cranks a few teeth OOP and on a 10-mile test ride it felt a little bit better. Not sure if I was imagining it or not, though! I may try a few more teeth OOP on the next ride. I am still reticent to go too far OOP, due to the potential for hitting a pedal on a turn. For those who haven't ridden triples (or longer), the longer wheelbase puts the center cranks lower to the ground in some situations, increasing the possibility of "grounding."
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