Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Auburn, AL
    My Bikes
    2003 Schwinn Racer MB
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Opposites attract

    I am a noobie to the bike forums here, and particularly tandem (but not to biking). I have never seen one, and don't know beans about them. I commute every day and I also ride recreationally whenever I get the chance, and love nothing more than to go on a long ride with my girlfriend. I am toying with the idea of investing in a tandem bike for us, but have a few concerns. First, as the title this thread may suggest, I am 6'1" 260lbs and built like a line-backer. My girlfriend is 5'4" 120lbs and built like a cheerleader. I would be a better sprinter, and I prefer to keep my bike in the highest of gearing, as I much prefer to push 300 lbs once every four seconds than 60 lbs every second. (make any sense at all?) She would be the one to run a marathon, and would much prefer to push the 60 lbs every second, and can't imagine pushing 300 lbs, even once, and thus likes her gearing in the lower range, rarely coming off the smallest chainring. This is not to say that she could not keep up with me in a bike race. I don't know if this is a recipe for harmony or disaster on a tandem. So: Should I even consider a two-place, or should I leave it be, and pedal by her side? Can you give any recomendations on tandem bikes?

  2. #2
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Towson, MD
    My Bikes
    2001 Look KG 241, 1989 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp, 1986 Gatane Performanc
    Posts
    4,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OK...

    As far as bike selection, you might want to look at a stiff aluminum frame like a Cannodale. You can get one right of the shelf that will fit you both. Other brands make alu frames which are also stiff, but Cannodale I think may have the frame-stiffness-per-dollar wrapped up. Mark L. will correct me if I am wrong.

    As far as cadence compatibility, that takes time and and a little give on both sides. Is it flat as a pancake in Auburn? If not, I don't think you will be big-ringing to many hills on a tandem...

  3. #3
    Cycle for life... woodcycl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200 | Cannondale Six13 TeamOne | Cannondale Road Tandem | Cannondale Prophet 3 "Lefty"
    Posts
    1,254
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Lomcevak Duck
    I am a noobie to the bike forums here, and particularly tandem (but not to biking). I have never seen one, and don't know beans about them. I commute every day and I also ride recreationally whenever I get the chance, and love nothing more than to go on a long ride with my girlfriend. I am toying with the idea of investing in a tandem bike for us, but have a few concerns. First, as the title this thread may suggest, I am 6'1" 260lbs and built like a line-backer. My girlfriend is 5'4" 120lbs and built like a cheerleader. I would be a better sprinter, and I prefer to keep my bike in the highest of gearing, as I much prefer to push 300 lbs once every four seconds than 60 lbs every second. (make any sense at all?) She would be the one to run a marathon, and would much prefer to push the 60 lbs every second, and can't imagine pushing 300 lbs, even once, and thus likes her gearing in the lower range, rarely coming off the smallest chainring. This is not to say that she could not keep up with me in a bike race. I don't know if this is a recipe for harmony or disaster on a tandem. So: Should I even consider a two-place, or should I leave it be, and pedal by her side? Can you give any recomendations on tandem bikes?
    +1 to what galen said.

    In regard to cadence / rpm ... this in my opinion is the single largest hurdle two overcome when it comes to marrying to varying cyclists on a single bike. I am a spinner, much like your GF. However, I know many mashers (i.e. pushing 300lbs as you say). One time, I tried putting my buddy (weighs a little more than me and is about 4" taller) on the back of the tandem to see how fast we could ride on a club ride. Oh man, I never worked SO HARD in my life on a tandem. He was masher and I am a spinner. Basically, I put in 98% of max HR the entire 26 mile ride ... while he sat back there chatting away ...ARGGGHHH. Not to mention, I was working so hard because I was attempting to compromise ... and ride closer to 80 to 90rmp instead of my usual 95 to 120.

    So, the morale of the story is ... finding "common ground" and compromising with cadence will take "time" and lots of patience. So, as long as you both understand that and discuss it ahead of time, I think you will both come to enjoy riding together on the tandem.

    Just my .002
    -\Brian
    06' Cannondale Six13 TeamOne
    06' Cannondale Prophet 3 "Lefty"
    92' Trek 5200
    05' Cannondale Road Tandem

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Lomcevak Duck
    I am 6'1" 260lbs and built like a line-backer. My girlfriend is 5'4" 120lbs and built like a cheerleader. I would be a better sprinter, and I prefer to keep my bike in the highest of gearing, as I much prefer to push 300 lbs once every four seconds than 60 lbs every second. (make any sense at all?) She would be the one to run a marathon, and would much prefer to push the 60 lbs every second, and can't imagine pushing 300 lbs, even once, and thus likes her gearing in the lower range, rarely coming off the smallest chainring. This is not to say that she could not keep up with me in a bike race. I don't know if this is a recipe for harmony or disaster on a tandem. So: Should I even consider a two-place, or should I leave it be, and pedal by her side? Can you give any recomendations on tandem bikes?

    I am 5'6"as stoker and my pilot is 6' + a bit, We use a large/Medium Cannondale frame, and No problems. May be a requirement for a suspension post for the stoker, and there will be room for this aswell.

    On the Cadence. Initially there will be a lot more problems than Cadence in riding a tandem. But it is one of the problems. Initially riding a Tandem you have to think of the stoker and it is the stoker you have to keep happy. I do ride as pilot with different stokers and the way to work it initially is--- The stoker dictates the gears, cadence and power input. Boring, frustrating and it will never work!! But it does, after a few trips out, the pilot has come a bit towards the stokers directives, and the stoker will be getting towards the pilots wishes in any case. It does not happen overnight though- With us it took about 500 miles/ 3 months before it became somewhere near right for both of us. Then suddenly it clicks. It may seem like a compromise right now but it will not be. Both of you will have adjusted your styles so that both of you are suited-- Completely. Then when you get back on the solo you find that your solo riding style has also changed.

    Incidentally, Even with your strength, that tandem will require the lowest gear you've got on the steeper hills. These things are heavy, even when the team get working, so do not think that you will not be using that lowest gear- you will. The big advantage you will have is all that power to keep the thing moving when the hill gets even steeper after about a mile, and the gentle breeze gets up to around 30mph, and turns into your face.

  5. #5
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,152
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Good feedback thus far. The only thing I would add would be to just give it a try...

    Tandems Limited (www.tandemsltd.com) is just up the road in Birmingham and sells a wide range of tandems, including the Cannondale line (which really would be a good bike for the type of physique you describe). It worthwhile to note that most tandem producers use a 400 lb - 450 lb combined team weight as their design target so you're inside the the bell curve with your total team weight.

    Tandems Limited is a home-based busines (which is the norm for many of the really good tandem speciality dealers) and they meet with clients by appointment only so that they can make sure they have a tandem or two or three for you to test ride that will fit you budget and needs and so that you get their full attention.

    I can't over emphasize how much of a leg-up tandem newbies can get from having an experienced tandem team coach you when starting out. Moreover, the overall experience will give you two the best shot a figuring out if tandeming may be something you and your GF will want to pursue.

    As for the cadence thing, if you enjoy riding the tandem and go into it with a commitment that you'll each "give a little" to make it work you'll have a better than 50/50 chance of working through the compromises. In fact, this past weekend our good friend 'Zonker' discovered that he and his GF have slightly different approaches to cadence when it comes to climbing that they will no doubt be working on in the future. Heck, if it was easy everyone would do it... and where would the fun be in that?

    Again, give it a try. You've got nothing to lose... well, except some cash if you get hooked.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 10-12-05 at 02:31 PM.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Auburn, AL
    My Bikes
    2003 Schwinn Racer MB
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    Is it flat as a pancake in Auburn? If not, I don't think you will be big-ringing to many hills on a tandem...
    Not exactly. We are in the foothills of the Appalachins, and while there aren't any serious mountains here, we do have some nice climbs. I figured there would be a big weight penalty with a tandem. Thanks for all the great advice guys (and gals).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Old Hammer Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Utah
    My Bikes
    Trek, Cannondale Tandem, Surly LHT
    Posts
    1,082
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    First, a little background:

    My wife and I have been tandeming for about 2 months now, on a new Cannondale (medium/small). I'm 5'9, 147 lbs., she's 5'7" and about 130 lbs. (don't tell her I revealed these facts). We have the opposite style of you guys, I like to really spin, and she prefers a little slower cadence, but isn't a real masher either. We both 1/2 bike too, for a total of between 3,500-4,500 miles/yr. in mountainous terrain. We are really having fun with our new tandem and things are really clicking.

    Thoughts:

    All above comments are excellent. You'll probably be quite surprised the first time you both mount a tandem. It will feel like you're on top of a wimpy flag pole in a wind storm. Starting and stopping can move your heart rate up a few ticks, too. This will soon go away, and if you haven't ridden your 1/2 bike for awhile, you'll be surprised how squirley your 1/2 bike feels. For us now, our tandem feels more comfortable, and it's really great to have a stoker to visit with and watch out for traffic, etc. As noted, you'll suffer a bit on up-hill climbs, but the trip down is a gas! Although, I have to admit, we're almost as fast up-hill on the tandem as we are on our halves, but that's just starting to happen.

    Your stoker may find the bars are too low with the standard set-up, but don't give up on that. There are solutions. You'll also find that tandems are special bikes, and not all accessories will easily fit. One thing I would encourage you to consider, should you purchase a tandem with Shimano STI brifters; Budget for a Flight Deck computer. You can't see the chain rings or the cassette (easily), and with the triple, there are lots of gears. You'll find yourself shifting a lot compared to a half bike.

    Other helpful or fun items we have found we enjoy include a stoker mirror mounted on the bull horn (stoker) bars, a GPS for the stoker, a Topeak quick-release (small) front handle bar bag, a small seat pack on the captain's seat for the stoker's goodies, and a trunk bag for longer rides (or picnic supplies).

    I guess you can tell, we're jazzed over our tandem. Be patient, remember that the stoker is never wrong, and enjoy. We're headed off to Las Vegas tomorrow to ride in the 'Vegas Century. Anyone else going???

    OHB

  8. #8
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    My Bikes
    ariZona carbon fiber tandem & single
    Posts
    9,996
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Agree with all the aforesaid posters.
    Tandeming is all about co-operation, communication, compromise . . . and fun!
    Jack Goertz of Tandems Ltd, is one heck of a good place to start your search.
    Height difference is not an issue. Have designed a custom tandem for duo that he was only 6'4", she 5'3", was a 27(!) x19" frame and 71-inch wheelbase. They've got over 25,000 miles on it now.

    Rudy 'n Kay/zonatandem

  9. #9
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,152
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hammer Boy
    remember that the stoker is never wrong, and enjoy...
    It's a nit but the referenced Primary Rule of Tandeming coined by Bill McCready is, "the stoker makes no mistakes". They are often times wrong about a lot of things.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Zonker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Smyrna, GA
    Posts
    215
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek
    Good feedback thus far. The only thing I would add would be to just give it a try...

    As for the cadence thing, if you enjoy riding the tandem and go into it with a commitment that you'll each "give a little" to make it work you'll have a better than 50/50 chance of working through the compromises. In fact, this past weekend our good friend 'Zonker' discovered that he and his GF have slightly different approaches to cadence when it comes to climbing that they will no doubt be working on in the future. Heck, if it was easy everyone would do it... and where would the fun be in that?

    Again, give it a try. You've got nothing to lose... well, except some cash if you get hooked.
    You can say that again! That was our first time on a hill, as all of our previous rides have been on a relatively flat rails to trails trail. While we're talking about cadence, my very wise and patient SO pointed out even before we got the tandem that we had different cadence styles on our single bikes. I went hard, coasted, went hard, whereas she had a more even, medium effort stroke. I've been riding a fixed gear single one or two nights a week to try to even out my cadence...there's no coasting on a fixie!
    waiting for a (Bike) Friday!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    23,830
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Are you lucky!

    If you live anywhere close to Birmingham, I can't say how strongly I'd advise you to spend a weekend day with Jack and Susan Goertz at Tandem's Ltd. If you are serious about buying a tandem I think that you'll be glad that you did.

  12. #12
    Campagnolo per sempre! Powerful Pete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Rome, Italy
    My Bikes
    De Rosa Planet
    Posts
    139
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The website is www.tandemsltd.com. If you forget the 's' you will be visiting a Turkish site that is under construction.

    Never been to Ankara, though!
    2004 De Rosa Planet
    Campagnolo Chorus

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •