Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Springfield, MO
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I think you're experiencing a pretty common problem, especially with stokers who aren't necessarily strong or experience riders when they start tandeming. When we started riding the tandem, I figured out pretty quickly that my wife and I preferred different cadences, and since the captain's job is to keep the stoker happy and comfortable at all times, I did my best to keep the cadence at something she could live with. In terms of compromise, however, I concentrated on keeping it at the upper threshold of her comfort zone (which happened to be just a few revolutions below mine) most of the time. I say most of the time, because I was able to throw in a few cheats every ride and inch it slightly above her zone for short periods without her saying anything.
Over time, as her comfort with riding the tandem increased, so did her cadence. I can now time my shifts to keep us between 92 & 98 rpm, with occasional jaunts into the 105 range without causing her any discomfort. By now she has learned that we can go further with less energy used by staying in the middle chain ring and spinning than by mashing a higher gear at a lower cadence.
Another thing you might think about is whether her cranks are the right size. If she's pretty short, you might want to go to 165mm cranks. I think 170's are pretty common for the stoker on most tandems.
Give her time and be patient. If she's as good a stoker as my wife, she'll catch up pretty quickly.
Last edited by twilkins9076; 06-27-07 at 10:08 AM.