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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 06-02-07, 06:51 AM   #1
gobsmacked
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Learning to do it Standing Up

We've been riding for a few years and have been happy to just sit and peddle. We've tried both standing up at the same time without much success. We occasionally alternate with only one standing at a time. That seems to be a bit easier. Do many teams do it standing up? If so, how did you learn?
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Old 06-02-07, 08:36 AM   #2
matthew_deaner
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My 10-year old son and I stand all the time...
We learned by trying it in a flat area. I instructed him to avoid throwing the bike from side-to-side like he does on his single bike. He took to it very quickly, even though we ride 90-degrees out of phase. The main thing to remember is don't rock the bike. Just give a signal to stand together, and smoothly pedal. Keep a loose grip on the hoods, and be ready to make major corrections if you're stoker gets eratic.
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Old 06-02-07, 09:28 AM   #3
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Practice. Practice on small hills - We tried standing only after the first 750 miles. Even though we have thousands of miles, we still count down starts and standing.... 1-2-3-GO or may be a quick "STAND" command. Need to make sure you are in the correct gear/cadence which for us would be around 30-40 for standing.
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Old 06-02-07, 10:55 AM   #4
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We stand on a regular basis.

Before doing this we discussed which leg we would start to stand on. Do you start on the left or right? [We have chosen the left leg] I then say "stand" as the left leg is coming around to perhaps the 3 o-clock postion.... then we stand together the next time the pedal comes around to that same posistion.

I will sometimes rock the bike slightly. It is important that the stocker stay loose, and not fight anything. It is nto anything terribly difficult to do, but one wants to be quite comfortable on the bike before hand.

glenn
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Old 06-02-07, 08:00 PM   #5
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I'll echo the idea of practicing before you need to stand. Remember that you usually need to be at least 1 (maybe 2) gears higher than normal to do it. At first, I always gave Pam a heads up that we needed to stand, but it wasn't long before she was following my cue like a good dancer. I think she realizes I'm not gearing down as normal, but whatever cues her, she is able to respond almost instantaneously. She's pretty good!
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Old 06-02-07, 09:34 PM   #6
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With only about 500 miles on the tandem as a stoker we are still working
on this. Generally, the captain initiates and like all else in tandom work,
communication is helpful to synchronize the effort. We have found that
where the captain can toss the bike side to side as usual the stoker
really needs to run in place and try to minimize the amount of pulling
on the bars. On occasion we sometimes, somehow get out of synch with
one person going one way the the other the opposite, and this rapidly
gets very uncomfortable with the bike going all wobbly. Seems impossible
but we have managed it several times, so attention has to be paid.
Getting the right gear helps a lot, generally going down on the cassette
1-2 cogs at least depending on the terrain. Short choppy hills approached
at speed are good places to start experimenting. One other thing, if you
are in a pace line be aware that standing will result in a short term speed
drop and if bikes behind are not notified ("STANDING") collisions, crashes
and bad feelings can result.
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Old 06-02-07, 10:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sch
...One other thing, if you
are in a pace line be aware that standing will result in a short term speed
drop and if bikes behind are not notified ("STANDING") collisions, crashes
and bad feelings can result.
The same is true for singles... seeing your butt leaving the sadle, should serve as notice that the pace is likely to drop, but only momentarily....

Standing has become second nature for us on the Tandem. No signals needed. On the triple, I, the captain, instruct my stokers to let me know if they want or need to stand; unless they are following my lead. I need my full attention and strength to keep to rig in line.
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Old 06-03-07, 01:24 PM   #8
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My wife and I have been riding tandem for 20 years and stand up all the time. Try doing it on the flat first. It is easier if you are not pedaling too fast, maybe about 70-80 rpm. I think the stoker has the more difficult job of keeping balance and not pushing the bike around. On the front I also try to let the bike go where it wants instead of trying to control it too much.

Good luck - Joel
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Old 06-04-07, 05:30 AM   #9
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The first time we tried standing without having read about it or talked to anyone about it was a "let's-sit-down-before-we-wreck" moment. I went back to tandem@hobbes and read several older posts about standing that got us started. We both rode single bikes for many years and we both rock when standing on our singles. As we read the posts, it was clear that some tandem riders do not rock at all while others do. I was then hopeful that we would be able to rock some while standing on the tandem. We knew we needed to stand somehow to at least give our rears a rest from sitting.

For us, the first step was just for both of us to stand up while coasting on level ground or slight downhills. For a few rides this was great just to give our butts a much needed break every few miles.

The second step for us was to (again on level road) shift to a higher gear and just have the stoker stand up and pedal (you're already doing that). This didn't feel particularly smooth to me (captain) but I could steer well enough to practice it in the beginning times. I found that I didn't like to stand up and pedal while the stoker was sitting because I tended to want to rock more and that did not work well with her seated behind me.

The third step was on level ground, shifting to the highest gear, both standing to coast and then on a "ready" from me we would both pedal slowly for a count of seven (outloud), stopping with a foot down and coasting a bit and then on a "ready" we would both pedal for a count of seven again ending with the other foot down. We repeat this for as many times as we want to rest our rears. Most of the time, seven strokes works well for us in that it keeps the bike going without our cadence getting too fast to be comfortable. We settled on seven after trying three and five (too short) and sometimes nine being too long. Sometimes we find that we want to just pedal for awhile while standing without counting and we'll go for a while until I'm ready to count to seven to let her know we're finishing.

Our goal was to be smoother about the start of standing and to be able to stand on hills. At first we were always making sure that we stood together with me calling "ready, stand" and that got us going but now when I say stand, I wait for her to start standing up (I can tell when she starts up) and as soon as she's getting up I get up. When we are both standing now (and rocking a little bit) it feels good and natural. (As I said before, it doesn't work for me to stand first but it's great if she does)

Now, my wife feels very at ease standing on her own to help give a boost at certain times, whether starting up from a stop or on part of a hill. She doesn't rock when doing these solo stands.

Have fun.

Bloomington, IN
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Old 06-04-07, 07:18 AM   #10
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For us, it came pretty easy and fast in the first year riding the bike. Right now, in the second season, it has become a second nature, I just feel it I guess.
As for rocking the bike, every time we ride standing up, we rock the bike, I dont understand why you should not do that, its just the same movement as on a single. Maybe thats for teams that rides out of phase.
I give credits to my girlfriend who captains the bike, good communication and good anticipation.
Maybe it works well because I am visually impared, I "feel" the bike instead of looking, so I just follow the movements and the flow.

Lots of fun!
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Old 06-04-07, 06:47 PM   #11
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We've tried it a few times and just weren't "feeling the love" for standing, until this past w/e.

We don't have any real hills where we live and ride regularly, and apparently never got in the right gear / cadence to stand and pedal smoothly the few times we tried it. It worked a lot better when we tried it on the hills at the Tennessee Tandem Rally this past w/e.

We'll need more practice but I think we're starting to catch on.
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Old 06-06-07, 10:29 AM   #12
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Any advantage/disadvantage to standing with OOP (out of phase) cranks? We are OOP and not having much luck, but then again it was hard when we were IP (in phase).
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Old 06-06-07, 11:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thigh Master
Any advantage/disadvantage to standing with OOP (out of phase) cranks? We are OOP and not having much luck, but then again it was hard when we were IP (in phase).
Standing was a little scary in the beginning (at least from the stoker's perspective) until I trusted that the captain could cointrol the bike. It is easier for us when we both stand. I concentrate on not introducing a lot of motion and try to be "still." Captain can't even tell when I am standing. Even tried standing alone when Captain Hermes was on the aero bars, and he couldn't tell. We generally ride OOP and standing feels smoother that way for me. This evening we went out for a ride and Captain Hermes switched to IP (trying it out to see if it might be better for a flat TT this weekend). Captain thought that the tandem was more stable while we stood with the cranks IP - stoker didn't like it - felt jerky. Stoker is always right.
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Old 06-07-07, 12:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velodiva
Standing was a little scary in the beginning (at least from the stoker's perspective) until I trusted that the captain could cointrol the bike. It is easier for us when we both stand. I concentrate on not introducing a lot of motion and try to be "still." Captain can't even tell when I am standing. Even tried standing alone when Captain Hermes was on the aero bars, and he couldn't tell. We generally ride OOP and standing feels smoother that way for me. This evening we went out for a ride and Captain Hermes switched to IP (trying it out to see if it might be better for a flat TT this weekend). Captain thought that the tandem was more stable while we stood with the cranks IP - stoker didn't like it - felt jerky. Stoker is always right.
The stoker is never at fault and possibly never wrong. But always gets what she wants.
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Old 06-07-07, 08:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thigh Master
Any advantage/disadvantage to standing with OOP (out of phase) cranks? We are OOP and not having much luck, but then again it was hard when we were IP (in phase).
We're convinced that OOP helps our standing climbs a great deal and seems to make spinning up hills while seated a little easier. Since most of our riding involves hills, we prefer OOP. We run the captain 90 degrees ahead of the stoker, and can tell we've always got a power stroke coming around. If anything, I think OOP might be detrimental in a flat sprint situation, but we've never really tried a full out flat sprint other than butt breaks where we might occasionally continue pedaling.

As for the question of which is more aerodynamic, we've got a long hill on our morning ride that we max out at 33.5 mph while coasting every time unless the wind is pushing us or against us. We were hitting that speed consistantly last year (IP) as well as this year (OOP), so for us, the difference is so negligable that we can't measure it. I don't think it would make a difference for most teams, unless they were one of the elite racing teams you mention above.

There was a thread on the question recently, and I agree with the bulk of the discussion there...that OOP works for some teams, and IP is best for others. It probably just comes down to preferences and riding styles. Nothing really wrong or right about either.
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Old 06-07-07, 01:55 PM   #16
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On long distance rides we stand a lot. We started out by my husband captain saying "standing" (some of our friends say 1-2-3-go); but now, I just know when he wants to stand because he clicks down a cog or two. Standing saves the butt (especially mine) on long rides. We take "butt breaks" on downhills where we both stand and just coast. It's just a matter of practice.
:-)
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