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  1. #1
    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    Why does the stoker stay seated?

    When my hubby and I first starting riding our tandem I use to stay seated at stop signs and stop lights. I really felt bad that he had to balance the bike sometimes for several minutes waiting for a light to change.

    Last year we finally mastered both of us getting off and on at the same time. That made a world of difference for us. Lets me rest my butt and now he isn't worried about dropping the bike. We enjoy the riding much more now that we can both relax at stops.

    I was wondering since the majority of you have your stoker stay seated, why that is. Have you tried both getting on and off at the same time?
    Cats are people too.

  2. #2
    I'd rather be riding DKMcK's Avatar
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    My stoker often has difficulty getting cleated in. This just seems easier.

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litespeed View Post
    I was wondering since the majority of you have your stoker stay seated, why that is. Have you tried both getting on and off at the same time?
    Personal preference, much the same as why we choose to ride in-phase instead of out of phase, build our bikes with Campy and not Shimano, use skinny tires instead of fat tires, prefer Vredestein to Continental or Michelin tires, prefer carbon over aluminum and don't care if our riding attire matches or not.

    Just one of those things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litespeed View Post
    When my hubby and I first starting riding our tandem I use to stay seated at stop signs and stop lights. I really felt bad that he had to balance the bike sometimes for several minutes waiting for a light to change.
    It makes it a lot easier to get get going after a few seconds stop if my stoker remains clipped in. If it is going to take several minutes then we both unclip. It is specially helpful if she remains clipped in when we have to stop/start uphill. As for balancing he rig, it has never been an issue... but I am 40 lbs. heavier than my stoker.
    Last edited by cornucopia72; 03-30-09 at 09:14 AM.

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    At a stop light or stop sign it may be for 2 min or less so we prefer to be ready to roll. My stroker is just 100' so it is simple to balance. If she needs a break to stretch we both get off but if the stop is because of a light, sign or change of direction we find it easier for her to stay clipped

  6. #6
    PMK
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    We mix it up but lean towards her staying clipped in on the road tandem.

    If she wants to stretch a bit, she'll stand with the pedals flat while still clipped to them.

    As for holding her up, I don't really notice to much what's going on back there while stopped. The one thing that can be a problem is if she's gabbing with other riders and forgets to set the pedals flat for starting out.

    As TG stated, I suppose it's just preference.

    Stoker probably steps off more when we ride off road. She hates it when I lose my footing and almost drop her in the dirt. The frame sits higher and has a higher center of gravity adding to the chance of a tip over.

    You'll decide and find what works best for you, and you'll know because it becomes almost natural and without much thought.

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  7. #7
    Captain - 2nd in Command djsincla's Avatar
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    My stoker stay seated. No issue for me balancing the bike and there are numerous times in the ride when we encounter slight inclines, I want my stocker to keep the bike moving while I clip in. No issue for me clipping in with the pedals going around. I will say something like 'keep peddling on this start".

  8. #8
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    I've only been doing the tandem thing casually for a couple months (road setup) but I haven't had problems keeping my stoker clipped in. I had a 220 lb stoker (I'm 145 lb) who wasn't really even a regular cyclist and didn't have a problem keeping him up with one of my feet still clipped in and a Speedplay cleat on the ground. I find it's nice to know they are in already. I tend to clip in while pedaling on both my road bike and tandem. Most people I know clipped in while not pedaling and nobody else I ride with can clip in while pedaling in the stoker position. As a result if the stoker unclips we need one pedal stroke to get going, then a pause while they clip in, hopefully before we are going too slow to stay up, and then a signal that I can pedal again. If they are clipped in its none of that mess, I just push and we're off.
    It sounds in your case however that you've been doing this for long enough to try out both methods, so use whichever one you prefer.

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    After fifteen seasons of riding with me and having employed both techniques, my #1 stoker prefers to step down at stops. I think that sitting still on the saddle at a stop is harder on one's posterior than actual riding. I also believe that stepping down with me helps reinforce my stoker's status as partner/teammate and not just a passenger/power source. Although the rare misses can be embarrassing, it is quite satisfying to nail re-starts with near-simultaneous clip-in. Even better on the triple, when #2 stoker joins the dance. (We will never be one of the the strongest or fastest teams out there, so you'll have to excuse me if I take a bit of pride in captaining one of the more coordinated teams. :-)

    Regards,
    Dave

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Stoker Kay always stays seated/clipped in at lights/stop sign
    Also, we pedal out of phase 90 degrees. If there is a slight incline at the stop, as pilot pushes off, her pedal going over the top gives us a bit of extra oomph.
    There no stumbling around like . . . 'oops the light changed . . . gotta clip in '
    After 34+ years of tandeming TWOgether, this is what works great for us.
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

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    We always unclipped one of the pedal when we stop at light/stop sign . we have no problem to clip on flat/hill,just need practice thats all .

  12. #12
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    Child stoker... can't reach the ground.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

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    And now for something different. Captain's pedals are 90 degrees advanced. All pedals are platform - i.e. no clips. Stoker's feet won't reach the ground while seated.

    If the anticipated stop is only momentary, then I usually put only one foot down. If the stop is likely to be longer, then I have both feet firmly on the ground, while straddling the top tube. The key here is 'balance'.

    In either case, my starting pedal is waiting at the 1 o'clock position.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    Stoker Kay always stays seated/clipped in at lights/stop sign
    Also, we pedal out of phase 90 degrees. If there is a slight incline at the stop, as pilot pushes off, her pedal going over the top gives us a bit of extra oomph.
    There no stumbling around like . . . 'oops the light changed . . . gotta clip in '
    After 34+ years of tandeming TWOgether, this is what works great for us.
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
    Hi Rudy and Kay,
    Has it only been 34 years? Thought you'd been into tandeming longer than that.
    My preference as captain is that stokers who are lighter than I am should stay clipped in but those who outweigh me should put a foot down.
    Peter and Jan (we left Tucson in '80).

  15. #15
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    It makes sense that 90 degree OOP teams prefer the "stoker stays seated" technique. Given that the captain is likely to have his cranks nearly vertical when foot-down at a stop, the stoker -- with cranks almost horizontal -- has plenty of incentive to stay in the saddle. Stepping down is much less natural (if not downright awkward) when your cranks are horizontal.

  16. #16
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    my stoker(s) stay clipped in. The 14 year old only weighs 100 and has occasional problems clipping in. My wife has MS and has days when she has difficlutly "feeling" herself clip in so once she's clipped she stays that way unless we're making a rest stop. Love riding twogether.

  17. #17
    Senior Member mkane77g's Avatar
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    Drop the stoker a few times and they wont stay clipped in for long. from experience

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkane77g View Post
    Drop the stoker a few times and they wont stay clipped in for long. from experience
    So far, knock on wood, never dropped a stoker... my stokers stay clipped.

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