Originally Posted by ctroth
My boyfriend & I ride a tandem and have tried everything. When we pedal the bike goes back and forth and he goes one way and I go the other way. It is a waste of energy but we cannot figure out what is causing the problem. Can anyone give us some suggestions we are both really frustrated and do not have this problem on our singles.
A. About the tandem: What brand and model do you have?
B. About You:
1. What else do you ride (road, mountain, tri-geek, cruiser, bent, etc...) and how would you characterize yourself as a cyclist, e.g., occasional recreational rides, always in-training for fitness, club or licensed racer?
2. How tall are you and how would you describe your build?
C. About your BF:
1. What else does he ride (road, mountain, tri-geek, cruiser, bent, etc...) and how would you characterize him as a cyclist, e.g., occasional recreational rides, always in-training for fitness, club or licensed racer?
2. How tall is he and how would you describe his build?
D. About the problem: Have you tried riding with an experienced tandem team in your local area in an effort to have them help you with your technique? While we might be able to solve the mystery long distance via the "20 questions game" (above), the BEST recommendation that I could make would be to hook up with a tandem team that would be knowledgeable enough to critique what you are doing and help you work through it on the bike.
To locate a candidate team you could contact one of the tandem-speciality dealers in SoCal. I believe the closest one to you that I'm aware of would be Downey Cyclery.
11296 Los Alamitos Blvd
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
You'd want to talk with Tom or Trudy Eichen, the owners. You could either see if they would be willing to ride with you or perhaps put you in contact with other tandem teams in your area who you could ride with.
There is also Buds Cyclery in Clairmont, CA (Santana's home shop), but that's a pretty good drive from where I think you are.
There is a lot of truth to what Preston noted; sometimes it just takes time to get acclimated to riding together. Also, to Scott's point, if your cranks are set out-of phase that could also be something that you need to correct -- at least for the time being. Again, if you could hook up with a good tandem team they could probably pin point a few things to work on.