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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 10-25-06, 08:21 PM   #1
MattMuney
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crusing speed

whats your cruising speed on flats on your tandems?
Whats the fastest you have ever hit downhill on your tandems?
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Old 10-25-06, 08:30 PM   #2
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Average speed for rides < 50 miles over rolling terrain is around 16 MPH.

Cruising speed on flat roads with no wind is about 20 MPH not working too hard.

I have gone over 50 MPH down hill.
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Old 10-25-06, 08:41 PM   #3
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We usually average between 14-16 on our rides, but just cruising on flat sections we are often going 17 mph or so. Top speed is in the 40s.
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Old 10-25-06, 09:49 PM   #4
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Our best sustained racing/cruizing speed was years ago, with rolling hills, covered 43 miles in 2 hours even.
Nowadays we're lucky to do 12 mph . . . caveat: we're in our 70s now; been there, done that!
Our fastest speed, coasting in the White Mountains of AZ: 53 mph. Broke 50 mph several times.
Our fastest pedaling/racing, slight downhill and bouncing on the saddles in a 120 inch gear: 43 mph.
Oh to be young and foolish again (not really . . . older and retired is more like it!).
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Old 10-25-06, 10:44 PM   #5
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Crusing on speed on flats: 20 MPH.

Fastest ever 52 MPH. My stoker does not like to go over 45 MPH so we very seldom go over that.
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Old 10-25-06, 11:54 PM   #6
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85 on the roof rack...
mid 40s down hills
on the flats 15 to 25
uphill, we have no 'cruising' speed, only cursing speed (or lack thereof)
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Old 10-26-06, 12:42 AM   #7
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Depends on the road- or terrain. I ride offroad and do a 100 miler offroad each year. Best average for this is 9.8mph. On a training run of 30 miles and taking in 2,000ft of climbing- I can average 12mph. The only road ride I have record of is a 40miler- fairly flat- quite a few short short rises though- BUT with lots of 90 deg corners. Pushing it non stop we averaged 16mph. That was on the MTB Tandem with the only change to slicks.

On top speed- On the road 52.8 mph, but offroad and admittedly on fairly smooth grass for about 800 yards at 15%, we got 53.8mph.
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Old 10-26-06, 10:39 AM   #8
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On a single bike, I average 17-18 alone on the flat; 15-16 over rolling terrain if I'm not in a paceline (just to give you a base to compare against).

With one of the kids on the back of the tandem (doesn't seem to matter which kid) we average 12-13 on rolling terrain with 14-15 on dead flat rides. This speed pushes me pretty hard; at the end of the ride, I'm always more tired than I would have been on a single bike at the faster speeds mentioned. With the wife, we cruise at 20 on the flat pretty easily and average 16-17 rolling, but she doesn't go out more than a few times per year.

My oldest son (the 10-year-old speed demon) and I hit 48 mph the other day during a metric century. The bike felt good and stable; I suspect we easily could have held over 50 had we not run out of hill. The oldest kid (12) is a definite anti-fast girl and won't let me get over 25. So be it. I keep her happy when she's in the back. The youngest is only 7; I'm not that comfortable with his ability to sit good and still yet. No fast downhills for him for a while.

I've had the single bike up over 65 drafting behind a semi-truck on a steep smooth highway from Lake Tahoe down into Carson City, NV back in my younger and stupid days almost 25 years ago. That was not smart and I'd never even consider it now.
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Old 10-26-06, 11:15 AM   #9
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Our best so far - 21mph avg over 66 miles at Autumn in Bonham. Over half of it was done solo or with wheel suckers i.e. no drafting help. Our average actually went up when we got dropped and later passed our group.

We'll generally cruise the flats at 21-22. Our fastest was on the flats at 41mph trying to chase down another tandem that was about 1/8 mile out (we didn't catch them...too fast for us). I'm too chicken when it comes to downhill speed -BROCK BROCKKK-.

We find it hard to ride with -uninitiated- singles at rallies. When we fly by on the downhills they seem to think we're trying to break the pack up. They don't understand we're just trying to get everything out of our momentum till we get stuck in slog mode going up the hill. On most of our club rides they'll let us fly by knowing full well they'll easily suck us up and spit us out the back on the hill.

Last edited by Doggus; 10-26-06 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 10-26-06, 11:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
On top speed- On the road 52.8 mph, but offroad and admittedly on fairly smooth grass for about 800 yards at 15%, we got 53.8mph.
And the award for the Bravest Stoker EVER goes to....
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Old 10-26-06, 01:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROJA
And the award for the Bravest Stoker EVER goes to....
Got to admit that I do trust my pilot. We have been riding for 4 years now and More important- He trusts me. He knows that I am NOT going to try and look over his shoulder or move weight around- unless I warn him. It has got to the state on the team when I can tell when he wants to speed up- change gear or even change direction. And he knows that I am not going to question what he wants to do. Mainly because I can't see round him, but also because he's bigger than me.

Incidentally- Fastest speed on the flat was 45mph (After a hill to get us started), which on 48/11 gearing on 26x1.4 wheels put our cadence at 150- I said then- I never want to pedal that fast again.
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Old 10-28-06, 08:52 AM   #12
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We like to try and hold cruising speed at 20. But with warmup, stops and starts, etc. average speeds on the computer or GPS for flat rides are usually 17 point something.

Our best average recently was a group ride with some strong, steady "domestiques" up front. We had a 19.2 avg. on the GPS for 60 miles with 2 rest stops. This was just about three months after my triple bypass and it felt pretty good to mark it as a milestone of recovery.

40 is the designated speed limit on downhills. As soon as the stoker sees this magic number on her computer rear power halts immediately.
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Old 10-28-06, 04:00 PM   #13
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Cruising on the flats, no wind, in the 55x19, around 30 to 32 kmh (32 kmh = 20 mph).
Average speed on medium-length (60 km) rides, between 20 and 26 kmh, depending on how hilly it was.
Fastest we've ever gone on the tandem, 84 kmh (roughly 52.5 mph) on the descent from Bleuett Pass in WA.
(Fastest I've ever gone on a single: 94 kmh on a carbon fiber Trek with Spinergy wheels down a street called Royal Oak in Burnaby, British Columbia - and I was just letting the bike coast, not pushing it)

- L.
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Old 11-03-06, 07:51 AM   #14
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Are we talking loaded or unloaded tandem.
No one can touch a fully loaded tandem going down hill.
We cruise on the flat no wind at 25 to 27 kmph
Holding the bike back at 66km/hr - on a safe clear run down hill. No record breaking (nor neck) there.
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Old 11-03-06, 08:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regomatic
40 is the designated speed limit on downhills. As soon as the stoker sees this magic number on her computer rear power halts immediately.
Reasonable speed, to be sure, but does the stoker have control of a drag brake?
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Old 11-03-06, 08:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regomatic
Our best average recently was a group ride with some strong, steady "domestiques" up front. We had a 19.2 avg. on the GPS for 60 miles with 2 rest stops.
Always good to have some help and share the load. Our team managed to infiltrate the front group of 8 or so teams on the 2005 GTR Saturday ride and averaged 22 +/- for the 40 +/- mile first half of the ride to the lunch stop. The group was so fast they got to the lunch stop 20 minutes too early!

We were so beat up from the effort we had to take the shortest 15 mile route option back to the motel and take a nap.......
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Old 11-03-06, 04:57 PM   #17
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When we're looking for a workout we try to keep things up over 20mph on the flats (how high over 20mph depends on how far we're trying to go!). As far as top descending speed is concerned, there're a lot of steep hills around here and almost any ride we do involves descents where we're likely to hit 50mph at least briefly. That's about the most my stoker is willing to tolerate, though, so we rarely go much faster. The fastest we've ever gone was probably when we hit 56mph on a descent at the Davis Double while trying to catch up to a friend. Probably won't be doing that again as, Stoker did NOT appreciate it.
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Old 11-03-06, 05:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galen_52657
Reasonable speed, to be sure, but does the stoker have control of a drag brake?
No drag brake, and no long descents where we live, we have to pedal, and usually pretty hard to hit 40 on the few hills we ride.
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Old 11-06-06, 06:15 AM   #19
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28 with mixed team, 30 with mens team.

56 max this summer.
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Old 11-06-06, 08:38 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by URace4Me2
28 with mixed team, 30 with mens team.

56 max this summer.
We can only dream of crusing at 28 mph. We can take short, 1 or 2 minutes, pulls at 28-30... but crusing, no way!!

Last edited by cornucopia72; 11-06-06 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 11-29-06, 02:16 PM   #21
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Our all-time fastest was 58mph in the foothills of the Rockies. When we are out for 20 - 45 mile rides by ourselves, we usually average about 18mph. Our best average time was this last summer - we did 19.7 mph average for 44 miles.
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Old 11-30-06, 02:14 AM   #22
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-Jamie (5 yo daughter) and I usually average around 17 on our group rides on our triplet. On the flats alone, we can "cruise" at 17-19 without too much problem. In a paceline, 20-21.
-Dawn (wife), Jamie, and I average closer to 15, flat sections stay around 17.

Our fastest time is something like 45 on a very short steep hill. We bike a lot of hills, but no mountains yet.
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