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 12-08-06, 12:45 AM   #1
t4mv
ES&D
Thread Starter
 
t4mv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Roadieville, USA
Bikes: 3Rensho, Merlin XL, Melton custom, Michael Johnson tandem, Look 481SL, Pedal Force RS
Posts: 1,372
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Downhill run..coast or pedal?

Just curious, what's your preferred means of fast descent on a well-paved, properly banked stretch of road, pedaling, or full aero tuck?

I was just thinking back quite a few years to a dc we were riding, and we were going down a steady 6% or so for a couple miles in a full tuck (50mph zone, I think it was) and I noticed a black fender inching up on us (I was stoking). I looked over and it was a CHP cruiser.
I think technical twisties are even more fun; the sensation of the pavement being within fingers' reach is a real rush.
t4mv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-06, 05:13 AM   #2
Trsnrtr
Nefarious Reprobate
 
Trsnrtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Central Illinois
Bikes: Colnago CX, Giant Propel, Spec. Roubaix Pro, Co-Motion Supremo
Posts: 7,612
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 150 Post(s)
Pedal to 42 mph and then let gravity do the rest!
__________________
Dennis T
Trsnrtr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-06, 01:31 PM   #3
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trsnrtr
Pedal to 42 mph and then let gravity do the rest!
The Same but I want more Gravity.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-06, 04:57 PM   #4
zonatandem
Senior Member
 
zonatandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single
Posts: 10,837
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Fastest we have pedaled on slight downhill was 42.5 mph in a 56x13 and we were bouncing on the saddles, could not let a couple of male/male tandem teams get the best of us!
Now that we're older/wiser, full tuck or just plain coasting is preferable!
zonatandem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-06, 12:13 PM   #5
Dr.Deltron
Guest
 
Bikes:
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Pedal for all you're worth!
That's what downhills are all about!
On our Greenspeed tandem we've hit 48.2 m.p.h.~!
Great fun and super stable on that rig!
It's a super luge!
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-06, 12:37 PM   #6
derath
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Reisterstown, MD
Bikes:
Posts: 3,190
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Coast. But then again my stoker isn't a speed demon.

-D
derath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-06, 06:05 PM   #7
regomatic
Cyclist- Bike 'n a half
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Orlando, FL
Bikes: Custom S & S Bushnell Tandem, Eddy Merckx Ti
Posts: 257
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We don't have any long descents in our area and haven't traveled much yet with the tandem. On the few "hill" rides in our area and on some of the weekend tours we've done on rollers, we're always pedaling downhill to carry speed up the next one, until we hit 40.

That's when the "stoker imposed" speed limit kicks in. When she sees that magic number, stern power ceases immediately and if I continue to push it, "discussion" ensues.

I'd like to think I'm a cautious captain, careful not to go too fast for road and traffic conditions, even more so on roads that I am not familiar with. She doesn't see everything that I do, so I'm accepting her speed limit for now.

I figure that aero-tucking or powering down a long, smooth descent by ourselves has got be much safer than any club ride sprint. Last weekend we topped out at 29.9 on flat ground in the group. When we get to the next level and can do 32's or 33's I plan to appeal on the 40 MPH limit.
regomatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-06, 08:35 PM   #8
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)
Our fastest is 45 mph and we pedaled only half of the way, but our river valley hills are pretty wimpy in comparison to the mountains some of you ride. It's a bit of a gut check for the stoker to decide if he/she trusts the captain at that speed, but for us the Primera is such a fierce (and stable) descender that we can't help but ENJOY that thrill. Of course, my captain tells me that the 45 mph hill was a bump compared to the Ohio Street hill so now I have to decide if I have the courage to descend that one!

If anyone can explain why our low-end Primera is such a good descender, we'd be happy to hear it. When we went to the MTR it was clear that we were superb descenders and it certainly wasn't because of our skill (we're newbies) or our weight (we were a solid fifty pounds lighter than many of the teams we passed). I know many teams ride their brakes, which is understandable, but many of the teams were clearly bombing in aero position and we easily passed them.

Just some thoughts...
Lakes and River is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-06, 09:45 PM   #9
mtbcyclist
Senior Member
 
mtbcyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Pedal like mad and yell wahooo like a mad man (or woman).

Really though do what ever your stoker wants as that normally bring peace and equalibrium to the ride.
mtbcyclist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-06, 12:54 PM   #10
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbcyclist
Pedal like mad and yell wahooo like a mad man (or woman).

Really though do what ever your stoker wants as that normally bring peace and equalibrium to the ride.
Your top speed is dependant on how loud the stoker screams or how handy the pump is.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-06, 06:31 PM   #11
Hermes 
Elite Rider
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes: Too Many
Posts: 9,687
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
[QUOTE=If anyone can explain why our low-end Primera is such a good descender, we'd be happy to hear it. When we went to the MTR it was clear that we were superb descenders and it certainly wasn't because of our skill (we're newbies) or our weight (we were a solid fifty pounds lighter than many of the teams we passed). I know many teams ride their brakes, which is understandable, but many of the teams were clearly bombing in aero position and we easily passed them.

Just some thoughts...[/QUOTE]

Pure speculation…you are lighter and thus possibly narrower (body and legs) than the heavier teams enabling a lower air drag coefficient and therefore faster descent.
Hermes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-06, 06:44 PM   #12
Hermes 
Elite Rider
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes: Too Many
Posts: 9,687
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
We pedal all the time unless we want a butt break. We will go aero to keep pace or chase someone down.
Hermes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-06, 08:59 PM   #13
matimeo
Senior Member
 
matimeo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Beaverton, OR
Bikes: It's the motor, not the bike, right?
Posts: 746
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My wife would kill me if I didn't hit the brakes.
matimeo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-06, 05:00 PM   #14
Artmo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: SW Florida
Bikes: '04 Trek 2300; '06 Bianchi Pista; '57 Maclean; '10 Scott CR1 Pro; 2005 Trek 2000 Tandem; '09 Comotion Macchiato Tandem; 199? Novara Road; 2014 Cannondale T2 tandem
Posts: 1,255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
<< If anyone can explain why our low-end Primera is such a good descender, we'd be happy to hear it. When we went to the MTR it was clear that we were superb descenders and it certainly wasn't because of our skill (we're newbies) or our weight (we were a solid fifty pounds lighter than many of the teams we passed). I know many teams ride their brakes, which is understandable, but many of the teams were clearly bombing in aero position and we easily passed them.>>

We love our Primera, too (we have the Bontrager tandem wheels and Wound up carbon forks). There aren't many hills around here, only a high bridge, but our Primera is very stable on the downhill. We manage 35mph on the short downhills, coasting, and 30mph on the flat in a sprint. Our combined weight is about 350lb + tandem ~37lb.
As for your downhill speed, I would guess that the others in full aero were touching their brakes. You, as newbies, have no fear!!

BTW, do you have the standard Avid Single Digit with brakes as we do? I'm not very impressed by their braking force and want to change them, but I'm not sure what to change to.
Artmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-06, 11:41 AM   #15
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)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artmo
<< BTW, do you have the standard Avid Single Digit with brakes as we do? I'm not very impressed by their braking force and want to change them, but I'm not sure what to change to.
Since we bought ours off the showroom floor of the LBS, I'm sure we have the standard Primera brake set-up. Mr. Lakes thinks that they work just fine. I think that a few people above have noted that we're such a new team that we fearlessly bomb our descents in aero position because we don't know any better. Not much use for brakes in that situation! I'm guessing one big crash will change that... Also, our team weight is about 290 (should be 250) and we don't have mountains in these here parts. Some long, stinky hills, and some deep river valley hills, but no mountains.
Lakes and River is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-06, 01:03 PM   #16
TandemGeek
hors category
 
TandemGeek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 7,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Once you reach about 40-45 mph there's no point in pedalling on a descent if you're looking to achieve higher velocities. Getting your upper bodies out of the airstream with your arms and knees tucked in will yield far higher speeds than you could ever achieve spinning away with standard gearing.

To the question about the Primera, we're 5'8" and 5'2" and only about 285lbs and our best is 63mph and mid-50s are also common. While other teams have higher gross weights, it is as someone else has suggested the lower aero drag of our smaller bodies combined with a very tight aero position, and little or no braking that allow us to descend more efficiently than many other teams. Well, that and the lack of prudence which would suggest that the increased risks associated with very high speed descents when there is nothing truly at stake aside from a cheap thrill and bragging rights is somewhat foolhardy.

Please note, there are only a couple of teams who we will descend with at speeds above 40mph; bad things can happen fast and there's more to going fast safely than simply going fast.
TandemGeek 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 08:41 PM.