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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 02-02-04, 06:14 PM   #1
Zin
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Thanks

My wife and I have been looking at tandeming for some time now. We both think it would be a blast.

Thanks to everyone sharing thier experiences here, we will be taking the plunge later this year.

We have some work to do, however.

1. She still needs some single handling skills.
2. She is 260lbs and I think we need to reduce her weight before I'll be able to pilot with her in the stoker position.

Any input into these two issues?

Thanks
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Old 02-03-04, 12:36 PM   #2
Gtscottie
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The single handling skills shouldn't be a big deal if she is stoking. As far as the weight goes it might be good for her to try some aerobic stuff at the gym. Just half an hour a day on the treadmill or bike will work wonders.
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Old 02-03-04, 12:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N7CZinMT
My wife and I have been looking at tandeming for some time now. We both think it would be a blast.


1. She still needs some single handling skills.
2. She is 260lbs and I think we need to reduce her weight before I'll be able to pilot with her in the stoker position.

Any input into these two issues?

Thanks
On the Handling skills, If she is an accomplished Solo Rider, then she may transfer bad habits to the wrong seat on the tandem to have them. I am a solo rider gone stoker, and I found it very disconcerting not to have control on the bike. I found that I was trying to shift weight on cornering, steering, Stopping pedalling when I wanted to, and many other problems. It took 3 months to get me out of these nasty habits. If she were (Sorry but you haven't given us the stokers name) to start out as a stoker with less bad habits, then there will not be the "Unlearning" curve before the Tandem effect starts to come in.

I am a lightweight, and my usual pilot is 40lbs heavier than me.(He can hit harder than I can) That is why he is the stoker in this team. I act as pilot for two other stokers, one of whom is a great deal heavier than me. I do not find him a problem as he has learnt to sit there and not react to the movement of the tandem. He acts with it, and although we do not do anything radical, we still manage to enjoy our tandem riding.

Another point to remember, or at least it may be a problem, You might not be able to handle the knocks and jolts that come from an offended stoker. A pair of tandem riders should be a team, and as such you both have something to learn. The weight issue is not an issue. Any puppyfat that exists on either of you will disappear quite quickly. If the weight of the stoker is then an issue, then let her pilot occasionally, then you will find out the best way to set up the tandem, and how to ride it.
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Old 02-03-04, 02:41 PM   #4
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On Issue #2:

My wife (Shari) recently joined "Curves", an area women's fitness center. It is a program gym (you do what they tell you) and each workout is only 40 mins long. It is cheap too....80 to join, 30 a month)

You go from station to station with short breaks in between. Resistance is offered by your effort, so there is no pin changing, unclamping etc.

Shari likes it (she is not an athlete by any means) and has lost 9 pounds in a month, plus some inches (can't remember what).

Edit: I quick web search reveals it is a national chain, not an "area" thing. Perhaps there is one in your neck of the woods?

I know I'm not much of a motivator (of my wife). Working out with her creates more problems than it resolves....for what ever reason (I suspect I'm too intense, but she has other names for it ).

Last edited by ehenz; 02-03-04 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 02-03-04, 06:33 PM   #5
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new tandem? Not 2 heavy!

Howdy from Tucson!
Why would your wife need bike handling skills if she will ride in the stoker position? She will have nothing to 'unlearn' riding the tandem!
Losing some of that weight would be nice (and healthy!) but I have piloted a tandem with a 300-pound male on the rear seat . . . and yet I weigh 135 lbs! Do-able? Sure, just make sure that the stoker does NOT try to steer the tandem from the rear and makes no quick/sudden drastic moves!
Good luck!
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Old 02-03-04, 10:10 PM   #6
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I agree that an inexperienced rider is an easier stoker to ride with than a long time solo rider. Just tell her not to lean or turn to look behind her without warning you first. Starting your first ride on an easy downhill will make getting out of the blocks easier.
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Old 02-06-04, 11:38 AM   #7
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Just do it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by N7CZinMT
My wife and I have been looking at tandeming for some time now. We both think it would be a blast.

Thanks to everyone sharing thier experiences here, we will be taking the plunge later this year.

We have some work to do, however.

1. She still needs some single handling skills.
2. She is 260lbs and I think we need to reduce her weight before I'll be able to pilot with her in the stoker position.

Any input into these two issues?

Thanks
Waiting just uses up a little more of your lives before you start having fun on your together. That's time you will never get back. I say just do it!

1. Be sure to start with a decent bike, like a Burley Samba or better. The cheaper bikes have really flexy frames and you might get more side to side motion than you want.
2. Start and stop the same way every time. Bill McCready of Santana recommends the stoker keeping her feet in the pedals at stops, but my wife and I always both put our left feet down for every stop. Whatever you do, be consistent and you'll be fine.
3. Tell your wife to keep her nose in line with your spine and you're not likely to have any handling problems.
4. The rear rider doesn't have the benefit of seeing the bumps in the road: A good quality shock seatpost for the stoker is an excellent investment. Let her pick out her own saddle. Get into the habit of announcing each and every single little bump in the road.
5. If you get into the habit of riding together often, far and fast will come naturally and relatively painlessly.
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