Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-27-06, 09:50 AM   #1
elbows
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Boston, MA
Bikes: Masi Speciale Randonneur, Fuji del Ray, Co-Motion Speedster
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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?
elbows is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-06, 10:10 AM   #2
CBBaron
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland
Bikes: Pugsley, fixie commuter, track bike
Posts: 1,602
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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
CBBaron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-06, 01:28 PM   #3
masiman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 1,735
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Also ask her how much she is bending her wrists. They should be nearly straight.
masiman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-06, 01:44 PM   #4
elbows
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Boston, MA
Bikes: Masi Speciale Randonneur, Fuji del Ray, Co-Motion Speedster
Posts: 389
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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".
elbows is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-06, 03:07 PM   #5
twilkins9076
TWilkins
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Springfield, MO
Bikes:
Posts: 352
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
twilkins9076 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-06, 03:39 PM   #6
DocF
Older Than Dirt
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Reidsville, NC
Bikes:
Posts: 376
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(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
DocF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-06, 04:17 PM   #7
Lakes and River
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Bikes: 2005 Co-Motion Primera
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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!
Lakes and River is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-06, 04:20 PM   #8
zonatandem
Senior Member
 
zonatandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single
Posts: 10,908
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(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
zonatandem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-06, 07:42 PM   #9
ken cummings
Senior Member
 
ken cummings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: northern California
Bikes: Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
Posts: 5,601
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(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.
ken cummings is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:42 AM.