Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Central Illinois
Bikes: Colnago CX, Giant Propel, Gianni Motta, Co-Motion Supremo, Catrike Speed
Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
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I can only give anecdotal testimony and here goes:
My wife and I have both ridden singles and tandems since 1982. My wife is an accomplished rider who can hold her own in most groups of riders. We were both USCF racers in the 80s.
Now, we do climb some hills faster on a tandem than we do on singles but many hills, we do not. It seems to depend upon the grade and length. Longer hills seem to eventually wear us down and we end up in lower and lower gears and boy, tandems have some lowwwww gears. Also, very steep hills can cause us to come to a near stand-still.
There are many hills that seem to be made for tandems, though, and I guess those are the ones that keep a team coming back. Roller type hills are excellent on a tandem as are some long light grades, say 3-4%.
Lastly, that single rider wind resistance factor on a tandem doesn't mean much at lower speeds, however the double weight is a real killer.