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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 08-30-01, 08:01 AM   #1
Gus Riley
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Standing on Our Tandem

The wifey and I have over 3,500 miles and two years experience on our tandem now.

I can stand at any time while riding and keep firm control of the bike. In fact I have to stand up periodically to wake things up (but that's another issue).

My better-half has experimented with standing sometimes when I stand. At first she didn't feel strong enough to stay up but for only a second or so. But as time goes on she has been getting stronger and can stand for up to a minute now.

Our biggest problem with standing is we tend to take up a whole lane when standing. We don't wobble but we do drift left and right. It is pretty hard to "Hold our line". Other than "Practice, Practice Practice", does anyone have any technique suggestions? I try to tell her to keep her upper body quiet, (relaxed on the handlbars) and I do the same on my bars.
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Old 02-08-02, 08:00 PM   #2
Richard Parker
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I stabilize my tandem by squeezing one of my legs up against the top bar. This helps me control the bike much better while we are standing and coasting on some of the narrow bike paths here in Houston. Both my wife and I are working on the peddling out of the saddle technique so we can get some experience before we hit some hills in Austin TX. This is flatland Texas down here in Houston
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Old 02-08-02, 08:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Parker
I stabilize my tandem by squeezing one of my legs up against the top bar. This helps me control the bike much better while we are standing and coasting on some of the narrow bike paths here in Houston. Both my wife and I are working on the peddling out of the saddle technique so we can get some experience before we hit some hills in Austin TX. This is flatland Texas down here in Houston
Richard, yes we stand and coast okay, but our standing and peddling has been weighed, measured and found to be wanting!

Although we live in Illinois, we have ridden in Houston, specifically around the Woodland's area. You're so right....FLAT!!! Houston wasn't my favorite place to ride. In fact I got right-hooked down there by a housewife and her family van.
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Old 05-22-02, 12:57 PM   #4
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May I suggest that you train to pedal standing on the tandem in three steps.

1. practice riding with you standing. keep it up until you both feel very comfortable with you being up. the stroker has to feel your rhythm when your up.

2. pracrice with her standing. this helps you figure out how to control the weight changes.

3. work on both coming up, then sitting down together so that you work as a team not two people one one bike.

ya gotta feel the rhythm, remember that a tandem is a realtions ship intensifier.
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Old 05-22-02, 11:29 PM   #5
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You're on the right track. Goal setting, practice and communication will get you where you want to go. Focus on keeping your upper bodies and heads from bobbing and decide on what style of bike handling you'll use. If you're a bike thrower then your wife needs to go with the flow and you'll both need to work at staying in sync as you pull on the opposing ends of your handlebars such that the bike moves smoothly as you throw (sway) it from side to side. Better yet, set a goal of keeping the bike from moving back and forth so that you waste as little energy as possible when your riding out of the saddles. Make sure that each time you stand you talk about what your objectives are and then after you've finished your push and taken your seats critique yourselves with regard to what worked or what didn't and what you need continue focusing on.

Another thing to consider is you might also want to stay in a lower gear range as you work to improve your technique. Pushing too big of a gear will usually result in exaggerated upper body and arm movements that will be more likely to cause the tandem to flop from side to side, resulting in unintended steering inputs. Bicycles and motorcycles tend to go left or right when leaned to the right or left. So, if your tandem is being leaned over to the right and left on opposite pedal strokes, it will tend to weave up the road unless the front fork isn't absolutely kept on a straight and narrow path.
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Old 10-12-03, 12:50 PM   #6
Gus Riley
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I posted our lack of "standing while pedaling technique" about a year and a half ago... an update: We are pretty well polished at it now. Sometimes I don't even feel her when she stands (pretty sneaky of her, especially if I decide to shift gears). When we both stand we can now stay on our line pretty well. Thanks for all the suggestions, they worked!
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