Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Boston, MA
    My Bikes
    Masi Speciale Randonneur, Fuji del Ray, Co-Motion Speedster
    Posts
    387
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Stoker wrist pain

    My wife and I have been riding a tandem for a few months now, and lately she's been having a lot of wrist pain. We're trying the usual things like raising the bars, but she also mentioned that she has to "hold on for dear life" because she's getting bounced around from unexpected bumps and cadence changes -- which seems like an obvious cause of tension and thus pain.

    Now, unexpected bumps and cadence changes are obviously something we can work on (though most of our riding is in heavy traffic on bumpy roads, which makes it harder). But it seems to me that even in bumpy spots, it shouldn't be necessary to hold on to the bars tightly. I suspect that she's doing so because she's inexperienced and a little nervous -- but then again, I've never ridden as a stoker, so maybe it really is different. Can any of the stokers out there shed some light on this?

    I also wonder if the bars might have something to do with it. I ride with drop bars, and I can rest my hands very securely on the hoods without having to grip the bars at all. She has flat bars and usually rides on the bar ends -- which give a similar hand position to hoods, but maybe are more slippery?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Cleveland
    My Bikes
    Pugsley, fixie commuter, track bike
    Posts
    1,567
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm not a stoker or even an experienced tandem rider but perhaps a suspension seat post and or a bull horn bar instead of the flat bar would help. I know I am not comfortable on flat bars but find bullhorns to be much better.

    Craig

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1,735
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Also ask her how much she is bending her wrists. They should be nearly straight.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Boston, MA
    My Bikes
    Masi Speciale Randonneur, Fuji del Ray, Co-Motion Speedster
    Posts
    387
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Her wrists are definitely bent too much. Like I said, we're trying all the usual wrist-pain remedies, including considering bullhorns or some other type of bar. I've spent enough time on bike forums that I don't need all that stuff rehashed for me.

    But, the fact that she's holding on to the bars so tightly is another issue. I wanted to see what other stokers thought about that before I tell her "you're doing this wrong".

  5. #5
    TWilkins
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Springfield, MO
    Posts
    352
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My first comment....NEVER TELL YOUR STOKER SHE'S DOING SOMETHING WRONG!

    Secondly, I suspect that if it were an issue of holding the bars too tightly, she would also be having elbow and shoulder pain from tension in her whole upper body, and as captain, you should be able to tell that she's not relaxed from the way the bike is handling.

    I think you've got a setup/fit issue. When I hear "wrist pain", I immediately start thinking that the bar/saddle height relationship is not correct, and that she's got too much weight on her arms. As with singles, bike fit is critical for a comfortable ride, and if you can't solve issues on your own, you should consider a professional fitting a wise investment. With that said, bullhorns or drop bars would probably give you more options to work with in trying to get things sorted out.

  6. #6
    Older Than Dirt
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Reidsville, NC
    Posts
    376
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If your wife/stoker is hanging on for dear life account of unexpected bumps, cadence changes, etc, I would say you are not communicating enough. I don't claim to be a good captain, but I try to always call bumps and announce changes in cadence, etc. My wife is not one to relax unless she is aware of what is going on and I am quite diligent about this. Of course sometimes you can't do anything except yell, "HANG ON!!!!!!!!!", like when the pedestrian darted in front of us on Mackinac Island. I missed the idiot woman and stopped and explained that on the island pedestrians have no right of way over anything. But, I digress. I do think better communication can help relax your stoker. Try it, you'll like it.

    I usually leave my bar ends uncovered, but you might want to try Lizard Skins or similar on your wife's bar ends.

    Doc
    Say Ya to da Yoop, eh!

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    My Bikes
    2005 Co-Motion Primera
    Posts
    27
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Possible suggestions from the stoker's seat

    I find that, as the stoker, I don't move my hands as often as I do on my single bike. When I first started stoking, I had a surprising amount of wrist discomfort that I wasn't expecting since I ride my single bike quite a bit. I found that since my hands have nothing to do as a stoker (except tickle the captain's tush), they pretty much don't move unless I make a conscious effort. However, I've never ridden with a flat bar (I have drop bars on both bikes) so I don't know how much ability one would have to change hand positions. It's certainly worth trying different styles of bars to see if that helps. There's no single type of preferred stoker bar!

    If the cause of your stoker's wrist pain IS because of tension and worry over the bumps, etc. then it should improve with better communication from the captain and the confidence that time on the bike will provide. DocF is right, new captains cannot possibly over communicate. Honest.

    We ride a lot on city streets so I hear you about the bumps. Because of my suspension seatpost, I only need to be warned about the gargantuan bumps because the rest simply don't matter. Of course, when Mr. Lakes doesn't warn me about a gargantuan bump, and is actually thrilled that he managed to pop a wheelie over the monster leaving me and the back wheel to become personally and unexpectedly acquainted with all it had to offer, there is going to be some SERIOUS hollering from Mrs. Lakes accompanied by a tush pinch.

    Good luck and let us know what works for you!
    ________________________
    Our bike: Co-Motion Primera
    My bike: Terry Isis
    His bike: Guru Strada

  8. #8
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    My Bikes
    ariZona carbon fiber tandem & single
    Posts
    9,939
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Agree with DocF that you need to improve your communication skills. Only after that will she learn to relax a bit and not keep a 'death grip' on the bars. 'Deathgrip' in turn puts tension in her whole body . . . not good!
    I have piloted/stoked and yes, the person in back has to learn to trust 'that idiot' driver up front who thinks he's still riding his single bike . . . so communicate!
    While I have more experience being 'that idiot' driver than being a stoker, after 31+ years of tandeming we still communicate (on and off the bike).
    If that does not help the situation after a couple weeks, then think about changing out the bars for something different. Drops with stoker handrests, wider bars, cushy bar tape, etc . . . but above all proper positioning on the tandem.
    Communicate . . . and she'll enjoy tandeming!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  9. #9
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    northern California
    My Bikes
    Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
    Posts
    5,605
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    While I am no fan of throwing money at the problem it would work here; absolutely. The original counterpoint semirecumbent design is still made by Angletech and Bilenky. The stoker has NO weight on her or his hands. Hands are needed only for an occasional cadence change, taking pictures, waving, or passing snacks back and up to the captain. A full recumbent tandem would be about as expensive.
    This space open

Posting Permissions

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