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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 05-15-08, 09:07 AM   #1
Gus Riley
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In Sync. Lead or Follow?

We have elected to pedal our triplet out of sync. But thinking it over I have come to a question that some might be better qualified to answer than me. Looking at the photo, shouldn't the captain (me) lead with pedal stroke vs. follow as my photo shows we are currently doing?
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Old 05-15-08, 10:22 AM   #2
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I think the way you have it will work. When your outside pedal is down, the middle rider will also have outside pedal down, and the rear rider will be parallel.

Key is having the inside pedals all either up or parallel to the ground.
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Old 05-15-08, 11:10 AM   #3
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It should look like the attached: OOP is like dancing, Captain always leads and the power strokes should shift from the right to left to right sides of the bike in a moving wave so the rider's bodies don't move in opposition.

So long as your outside pedal is in the down position when cornering, all three inside pedals will be clear.
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Old 05-15-08, 11:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
It should look like the attached: OOP is like dancing, Captain always leads and the power strokes should shift from the right to left to right sides of the bike in a moving wave so the rider's bodies don't move in opposition.

So long as your outside pedal is in the down position when cornering, all three inside pedals will be clear.
Your attachment makes sense to me. I suspected we were backwards. Will change. Thanks!

Last edited by Gus Riley; 05-15-08 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 05-15-08, 12:28 PM   #5
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I have tried oop with stoker 90 ahead and behind. I like it when the stoker starts the power stroke and I finish.

Try it different ways and see if you have a preference.

Last edited by Smooooth; 05-15-08 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 05-15-08, 08:58 PM   #6
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Your attachment makes sense to me. I suspected we were backwards. Will change. Thanks!
I changed the order of the cranks and it really seems to make a difference. I (being the strongest of us three) don't feel as labored while riding. Seems there is more power or better efficiency.
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Old 05-15-08, 09:34 PM   #7
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To add a bit more to the discussion . . .
There is left and right foot leading too!
Some captains prefer to clip in with left (or right) foot first and that's the foot that would be leading.
We've been pedaling 90 degrees OOP (right foot) captain leading for well over 200,000 miles TWOgether.
Works great for us!
But as Smooooth sez, try it different ways and then see what's preferable for your team.
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 05-16-08, 07:04 AM   #8
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To add a bit more to the discussion . . .
There is left and right foot leading too!
Some captains prefer to clip in with left (or right) foot first and that's the foot that would be leading.
We've been pedaling 90 degrees OOP (right foot) captain leading for well over 200,000 miles TWOgether.
Works great for us!
But as Smooooth sez, try it different ways and then see what's preferable for your team.
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
I prefer to lead/clip-in with my right foot. We tried the 90 OOP on our tandem and just couldn't get comfortable with it. We rode the Wisconsin along the river ride and RAGBRAI in that configuration. Could be we were backwards as we started on the triplet, I don't remember if we even considered the possibilities. It might be worth a re-look.

On the triplet we seem to be comfortable with 45/90 degree setup as per TandemGeek’s illustration. When backwards it was definitely less efficient.
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Old 05-17-08, 05:41 AM   #9
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On the triplet we seem to be comfortable with 45/90 degree setup as per TandemGeek’s illustration. .
That is too the setup that we use on our triplet. Our only problem is during take offs while ridding with tall inexperienced stokers. In those situations my wife usually takes the rear stoker position. Since she unclips her left foot to help support the rig in case our friend decides to move a bit, when we take off her right foot is at 12:00 at best. We ride our tandem 90 OOP and we like it!
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