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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 06-20-07, 11:04 AM   #1
Carbonfiberboy 
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It's not just a wife, it's a stoker!

If you play your cards right, you can get a twofer. We just came back from our first ride on our new-to-us tandem and we done good. There was the usual stoker pre-ride nervousness. My job as captain was not to show the slightest trepidation. So off we went: a perfect start, a little pedal down the street to be sure everything was working, a U-turn, and we vanished into the world. Well, as you know, not really vanished. Every cyclist we met waved and smiled. We willingly held 21 on the flats, until I backed it off. No need to eat it all at once. We hit 36 in the little dip before the riser I always sprint over, and we sprinted over it. The granny disposed of The Wall. Other terrain features expressed themselves as usual and were left behind but not forgotten. After the last sprint hill, on the coast home I asked, "How are your legs?" "Oh, fine." "Not trashed?" "Yeah, well I guess they are trashed!" So, a perfect ride with a great stoker.

Oh, and about the bike: it's an '02 or '03 CoMotion Speedster (the owner wasn't sure which) with the Wound Up fork, Aerohead rims, and Chris King hubs. It's a lovely blue, stoker's favorite color, and it fits us both very well. It's got one major issue: the cranks are the wrong length for us. They are 175/170. We need 170/165. I'm not sure exactly what model they are or where best to buy shorter cranks. They say "Race Face Forged" in printed black letters on them, and are I-beams in section. The three which connect to chainrings are one-piece with their spiders, secured to the BB by an allen head bolt, and the right hand captain's crank of course just has the allen head bolt. Any opinions about what to do?

The bike handles wonderfully; very stiff and easy to pilot. Stoker jiggles don't throw it off much. We had a test ride on a CoMo Primera, and we did not like the handling of that bike at all. I now think it's possible that the poor handling was due to the bike not being set up properly for us. Or maybe these big Speedster tubes really are stiffer. In any case, we have a great bike, fast, a good fit, and very easy to handle.

BTW, this is the first tandem I've ridden with a Shimano Flight Deck. Love it. I'd say a necessity for a tandem, since it displays which chainring and cog is in use. If you have Shimano, get one.

Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 06-20-07 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 06-20-07, 02:56 PM   #2
zonatandem
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Sounds like another tandem duo on the road!
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Old 06-20-07, 03:49 PM   #3
Fenlason
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+1 on the flight deck.

It is always great to hear of peoples joys at tandeming. I am glad the new bike is a perfect match. Of course it will only get better from here.

glenn
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Old 06-21-07, 12:24 AM   #4
Red Rider
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What do you mean, "It's not just a wife, it's a stoker!"? Don't you mean "she"?

Sorry...as a wife and stoker, that just rubbed me the wrong way...like pair of ill-fitting shorts on a hot, humid day.

Sounds like you have potential, though. Props to your wife/stoker for taking on the challenge. I hope you have many more happy rides two-gether.
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Old 06-21-07, 09:37 AM   #5
Carbonfiberboy 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Rider
What do you mean, "It's not just a wife, it's a stoker!"? Don't you mean "she"?

Sorry...as a wife and stoker, that just rubbed me the wrong way...like pair of ill-fitting shorts on a hot, humid day.

Sounds like you have potential, though. Props to your wife/stoker for taking on the challenge. I hope you have many more happy rides two-gether.
Sorry, RR. My weird sense of humor was acting up again. The purposeful objectification was meant to be obvious and therefore funny. I joke "on the straight" as they say. It's only funny because it's so true in this country. One of the many reasons I refuse to enter shopping malls unless forced to by necessity. Stoker enjoyed the joke, anyway, and that's all that matters to me. Sorry again, RR.

Thinking about the IP/OOP debate on here, what I like about riding IP is the communication. We each can feel each other's pedaling. And speaking of that, we are butter smooth together on the flat, but when we climb I can feel her surge a bit, just before my power stroke. I guess she has the better technique. I'll have to try to improve.

I don't think she sees it as a challenge, rather an opportunity. Another hour a day together is not a bad thing. I'm looking forward to our first flat.
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