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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 09-05-05, 07:20 AM   #1
mccannr
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stoker comfort

My wife and I ride a 2005 Cannondale RT. My fit looks and feels exactly like my road bike, but my wife decided that she wants to ride upright. She had me rotate the cow horn bars back 180 degress so probably 75% of her weight is on her butt. I want a happy stoker but inevitably she developes serious sit bone pain at 30 miles, and I think she is getting less enthusiastic about long rides.
I tried to talk her into putting more weight on her arms and feet but she really hates that aero position. My challenge is to allow her to ride in her regal postion in comfort. I like the idea of regular stand ups every 15 minutes and we'll try that. Maybe in this unusual situation a fat seat or gel cover? Some thing tells me that there others in my demographic (the empy nest one) who are dealing with the same issue.
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Old 09-05-05, 07:45 AM   #2
DocF
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Our solution to this issue is Brooks saddles. They do have a break-in period which can be minimized by careful fitting to the rider. I also tweaked the tension on my wife's B67S to account for her sub-90 pound weight. She has been happy with the saddle, practically from day one.

Now the retro look saddles are not what one would expect on a fat, fat tubed Canondale, but several folks have told us they like the look.

I got ours from Wallingford Bicycle Parts. They will work with you and allow exchanges if the saddle you've chosen just does not work out. Link below

Wall Bike

Doc

PS: I just went to their web site and find that they are, indeed, closed account of hurricane Katrina. These are very good people and let us all keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

Last edited by DocF; 09-05-05 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 09-05-05, 09:12 AM   #3
Lisa Schamback
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Have you considered buying a recumbent tandem with those wonderful comfy seats? That's what my captain and I are looking for. We are empty nesters, early 50's. Not spring chickens. We women need comfort!!! Lisa
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Old 09-05-05, 10:22 AM   #4
Old Hammer Boy
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Has your stoker had a professional fitting? This can make all the difference. Even one cm up or down can make a world of difference. We also have a new C'Dale road tandem, and my LBS helped me configure a better handle bar arrangement for my stoker, getting the bars up as much as 3" or so, but maintaining total adjustability. In an earlier thread, woodcycl shows a photo of what we've done. Go here to see what I mean... tandem photos
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Old 09-05-05, 01:05 PM   #5
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My wife uses a Tamer Pivot plus suspension seat post (which she absolutely loves), stands frequently, and loves the challenge of long rides and steep hills. Hers and my sit bone hurt after 4 or 5 hours, no matter what. Still we do some rides that take us more than 12 hours to finish. From the tone in your post I will guess that your wife does not find challenge... no pain, no gain... etc attractive. I would try to increase the mileage/difficulty very very gradually if at all... maybe all you can do with her are 30 miles rides... maybe with lunch in the middle you could do 40 miles... enjoy her company and do not ruin it by triying to make her enjoy somethig she does not. You can always get on your single and hammer at it for several hours if you so choose.
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Old 09-05-05, 10:11 PM   #6
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Suspension seatpost or Brooks sprung saddles are an option, as noted.
Another is to buy a sheepskin (real not 'genuine imitation'!) and when her sitbones start complaining, put the sheepskin cover on her saddle. That should increase the comfort a bit for a while.
However, at the end of the ride *remove* the sheepskin! Next ride, carry the sheepskin along and use as needed; but at end of end of each ride remove it!
Or . . . replace cowhorns with drop bars; there she will have a choice of more hand positions. Keep that stoker happy!

Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 09-06-05, 05:03 AM   #7
mccannr
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I think it's possible to be comfortable on a long Tandem ride. All the great advice we got on this thread is going to help. We did get a custom fit when we test rode and bought the bike, but my wife decided to alter her settings, on our last ride she let me put the bars back forward and she felt much better. There are a couple of things that she thinks are intuitively comfortable that she'll learn are not (sitting back, squishy wide seats, very slow cadence.) We will get more comfortable with each ride and with each kernal of forum advice.
We got hooked into this because we went shopping for a Tandem at a Tandem ralley in Elmira NY. I didn't see any recumbants there and the dealer who sponsored the rally didn't have any on display. I did see a lot of young families that reminded us of our first tandem years ago, and then the clincher; friendly grey haired semi-fit couples. The connection was so satisfying that we wiped out our checking account and drove home with a tandem on our roof.
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Old 09-06-05, 06:43 AM   #8
ElRey
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A bike is not am armchair. Riding takes some getting used to.
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Old 09-06-05, 07:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ElRey
A bike is not am armchair. Riding takes some getting used to.
Truer words were never spoken.....

Cycling is an athletic undertaking. For the newbies, there is a definite break-in period. If you think your body is not going to be sore after an hour or three of saddle time, then you are delusional. If you body is not the least bit sore after a decent ride, then you were not actually riding, you were coasting. Steps can be taken to easy the transition, but some discomfort you have to learn to deal with or find something else to do.

Toughen up people!!!
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Old 09-06-05, 08:38 AM   #10
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All of the above is true however I believe in this mantra "the captains job is to keep the stoker happy"
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Old 09-06-05, 11:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by galen_52657
Cycling is an athletic undertaking. For the newbies, there is a definite break-in period. If you think your body is not going to be sore after an hour or three of saddle time, then you are delusional. If you body is not the least bit sore after a decent ride, then you were not actually riding, you were coasting. Steps can be taken to easy the transition, but some discomfort you have to learn to deal with or find something else to do.
I agree with the basic premise of the comment above, but take a different approach. Cycling is an athletic effort which requires regular activity to maintain fitness. By that I mean although you get your heart rate up by swimming or running, it doesn't help keep your butt in training to sit in the saddle.

Its no different than few people could just step outside and run a marathon, few can ride 50 miles comfortably without preparation. And if you want to do that many times over the course of a summer, then you have to ride on a regular basis to make sure your butt muscles stay in shape. Yes, I know you sit on your sitz bones, but still, the pain comes from the muscle, in my opinion.

I've noticed a lot of tandem riders where one (often the captain) rides a lot (maybe commutes) and the other (often the stoker) rides only on the weekend on the tandem. And then is unhappy or uncomfortable at some point. The stoker would be more comfortable if they got another ride in every week, even if it is short. Ride to a coffee shop, for breakfast, for dinner, or some such excuse.

Yes, recumbents are fine (I've got nothing against them), sprung saddles are great, suspension saddle posts are wonderful, but I still think regular (even short) rides would help a bunch.
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Old 09-06-05, 12:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrodyGeek
I've noticed a lot of tandem riders where one (often the captain) rides a lot (maybe commutes) and the other (often the stoker) rides only on the weekend on the tandem. And then is unhappy or uncomfortable at some point. The stoker would be more comfortable if they got another ride in every week, even if it is short. Ride to a coffee shop, for breakfast, for dinner, or some such excuse.

Yes, recumbents are fine (I've got nothing against them), sprung saddles are great, suspension saddle posts are wonderful, but I still think regular (even short) rides would help a bunch.
Very good post and spot-on.

I am on a bike saddle at least 4 days/12 hours a week often more. My stoker way less than half. She always compains about her butt and my answer is always 'ride more often...you have your own bike'...

When I started riding serously again after several years of occasional riding, my butt was what hurt the most...way more than my legs...
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