I've broken out my old Trek T200 tandem and my partner and I are trying it. we are both long time cyclists,though on singles -- me more road bikes, Julie on mountain bikes first, and road bikes second.
All but one of our tandem rides so far (OK, only about 5 in total so we are still novices) has ended up in a silent battle of wills and with the two of us just trying to keep it together until we can get home and get off the DAMN THING. (Tandems are a fine test of a relationship.)
But here;s the main issue. Julie (in the stoker position) is always calling for a "harder" gear (Higher? Lower? I can never remember. just harder.) I am comfortable about two clicks up from the setting she's comfortable in. She complains that she's "spinning" and has "nothing to push against". I ask if she's pulling up as well as pushing... and on it goes until we lose it.
I'm afraid I'm going to blow my knees out. I'm happier at about 80-90 rpm (I didn't have a watch or clock today. I'll time her preferred cadence next time. if there IS a next time.)
what's happening here experienced tandem riders? have we just developed, in our solo careers, such different pedalling styles that we are having trouble merging them? Did Julie's longer experience on a mountain bike give her a lower preferred cadence?
Any suggestions on how we resolve this battle?