Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Grand Prairie, TX
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The way I do this with new stokers is to first stand up and coast, on a gentle uphill, in the biggest gear we've got, the 53 X 11T. Then we start pedaling from an already standing position, at first very slowly, and then faster and faster.
Once we've gotten to where we can use this for a tactical tool to top small rollers, the technique is a little different: you call the stand one crank revolution ahead of time, and next time that crank (always the same one) comes around to the 2:00 position, we both stand up at once. Because standing cadence is lower than sitting cadence, I usually upshift two gears on a tight cassette (11-21, 12-21, 11-23).
People try so hard not to disturb each other on a tandem that the normal routine of standing on a single is disrupted, and you do have to make a practice of standing regularly to avoid saddlesores, chafing, numbness, etc.
You may never get good at standing if the stoker does not have room to move forward when standing. I had one stoker (5'11") who just couldn't do it until I moved from the pre-'98 Cannondale J/L with 30" BB spacing to the Meridian with 37" BB spacing. First test ride, first time we stood up, the tandem went straight without the usual bicep-bulging effort on my part. She'd never known before that all she lacked to do it right was the space, but THEN she knew.