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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 11-30-06, 04:13 PM   #1
oldacura
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"Tandem-Friendly" terrain

I've heard this phrase used several times and I assumed this just meant "flat". We live just east of the Rockies and most of our rides head west - into the foothills. This often means slow (~10MPH) climbs followed by fast decents. This doesn't tend to yield high average speeds.

When we have chosen fairly flat rides, I note our constant speed somewhere below 20MPH. On flat ground with no wind, a team can only put out a given level of power for a given period of time.

I'm now thinking (to myself) that maybe "tandem-friendly" terrain would be gently rolling terrain with relatively short, moderate climbs followed by similarly short, moderate decents. This way, the team could work hard for a short period of time on the climbs, attain some pretty good speed on the decents and carry the momemtum part way up the next hill.

It seems that when I drive my manual transmission car on this type of terrain (and coast on the downhills), I achieve the best fuel economy. I'm not sure we have enough of the "ideal" terrain around here to try this out but it may yield the best average speed.

Any other thoughts? Does this make sense to anyone else?
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Old 11-30-06, 05:29 PM   #2
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The ideal terrain would be to be going continuously downhill with the wind to your back, no matter which direction you go. When we all get to heaven.....
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Old 11-30-06, 09:36 PM   #3
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I like rollers.
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Old 11-30-06, 09:40 PM   #4
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Flat and short rolling hills we consider 'tandem friendly.'
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Old 12-03-06, 09:24 AM   #5
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I ride offroad and to me Tandem friendly is anything that we can get grip on uphill and Not too lumpy to throw us off track downhill. On the road- The worst type of route is one with plenty of Tight corners in. Just as you get into the rhythm of a comfortable cadence with comfortable pressure-You have to brake for a corner and then accelerate out of the corner. Up and down on cadence and effort put in. At least going up even a steep hill, you can get in a rhythm.
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Old 12-03-06, 07:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zonatandem
Flat and short rolling hills we consider 'tandem friendly.'
I think this definition is what most tandemists think of as 'tandem friendly'. Long, sustained climbing will generally sour the mood of at least one of the team....
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Old 12-04-06, 12:27 AM   #7
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Judging by the rides that bring out the most tandems (around my neck of the woods, anyway), "tandem friendly" would be defined as pan flat or small rollers. While it's true that long, sustained climbs will generally kill the mood (and speed), first time captains who haven't figured out barcon shifters can induce some strong teams to pass singles like they're standing still. Ask me how I know.
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Old 12-04-06, 08:03 AM   #8
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When on the tandem, my favorite climb is a short uphill that comes immediately after a steep downhill that is approximately 30% higher and longer....
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Old 12-04-06, 11:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zonatandem
Flat and short rolling hills we consider 'tandem friendly.'
+1
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Old 12-07-06, 07:27 AM   #10
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Hills. Warmer to ride up and more fun to descend.
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Old 12-07-06, 06:12 PM   #11
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With our gears we can go pretty much anywhere single bikes can go. We aslo love short rolling hills; but close behind, we like a loop that has a very steep (>10%) 3 mile climb follwed by a gradual descent (>3%) > 10 miles long.... we really love descents with turns in which you hardly have to touch the brakes but pedal furiously between turns.
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Old 12-12-06, 08:17 PM   #12
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Okay. I can't resist. Tandem friendly terrain has: a) great scenery and b) a FABULOUS lunch spot. Shopping at the LBS is optional but welcome.

Nuff said from the stoker seat.
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