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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 08-11-09, 08:19 PM   #1
merlinextraligh
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Riding a single bike feel weird?

Tonight I did a Criterium race on my single bike. As I was warming up, it dawned on me, I hadn't ridden a single bike in 3 months. (Note to self, don't pull the bike off the rack the morning of a race when its been sitting unused for 3 months, without checking things a few days before)

Warming up just felt weird, and the bike felt overly twitchy. Went away in the first couple of laps, fortunately.

This season we've put 4500 miles on the tandem, and I've only put 2000 on my single bike. Going forward, I think I need to make a conscious effort to ride the single occassionally.
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Old 08-11-09, 09:53 PM   #2
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Yeah, it feels lighter and faster...but missing some stability. Like jumping from a B-17 back into a single-seat fighter...


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Old 08-12-09, 06:56 AM   #3
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If I've been riding the tandem a lot, I'll get on the single and find myself calling out "shifting", "braking", "signal left", etc., all to the funny looks I get from others.
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Old 08-12-09, 08:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Tonight I did a Criterium race on my single bike. As I was warming up, it dawned on me, I hadn't ridden a single bike in 3 months. (Note to self, don't pull the bike off the rack the morning of a race when its been sitting unused for 3 months, without checking things a few days before)

Warming up just felt weird, and the bike felt overly twitchy. Went away in the first couple of laps, fortunately.

This season we've put 4500 miles on the tandem, and I've only put 2000 on my single bike. Going forward, I think I need to make a conscious effort to ride the single occassionally.
Got back from a seven day trip on the tandem, hopped on my single commute bike - and my was it twitchy. Never had been before. Didn't seem as twitchy when I rode no-handed. I think part of it is a tiny bit of bar pressure goes a lot further on the single. Took several days to get used to it again.
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Old 08-12-09, 08:52 AM   #5
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I'm riding the single very little this year as well, but when I do, I go straight to the steeper hills that I hate on the Tandem and use to hate on the single as well, but now.. I actually enjoy climbing 'em on the single ...' can thank all the miles of grinding them out on theTandem for this new found pleasure...
Steering?...oh yeah..way quick!

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Old 08-12-09, 10:56 AM   #6
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It especially feels weird on my Monday commute, after a doing a double century on the tandem over the weekend
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Old 08-12-09, 11:09 AM   #7
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When I intially jump back on my single after a prolonged absence while riding the tandem....

1. I find myself pulling the front wheel off the ground when I attack on a climb or from a dead stop
2. I find myself locking up the rear wheel as the bike comes to a stop.
3. The bike flops around a lot.
4. I still swing my right leg out and around the front of the handlebars track-style when mounting and dismounting
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Old 08-12-09, 11:47 AM   #8
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Same Here

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If I've been riding the tandem a lot, I'll get on the single and find myself calling out "shifting", "braking", "signal left", etc., all to the funny looks I get from others
Same here. It gets worse after riding the tandem and pulling the youngster on the single with tag-along.

What I notice most is how fast the single accelerates comparatively.
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Old 08-12-09, 12:37 PM   #9
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When I intially jump back on my single after a prolonged absence while riding the tandem....

1. I find myself pulling the front wheel off the ground when I attack on a climb or from a dead stop
I have the opposite problem.

Attacking climbs (standing), I used to pull the rear wheel off the ground, from pulling hard on the pedal upstrokes.

I am pretty good about adapting though, due to commuting. Otherwise, ti would be bad, because I ride the tandem with my wife way more than I ride my single race/train bike.
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Old 08-12-09, 02:55 PM   #10
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I regularly (today in fact) go on a tandem ride at 7am and then join another ride on my single at 9am. The biggest problem is convincing myself that the broken rear end is in my head. But I am getting used to it. Today I didn't look back once.
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Old 08-12-09, 06:25 PM   #11
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Going back and forth between an upright tandem and a recumbent single isn't a problem because they are so markedly different. There is no expectation of similarity.
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Old 08-12-09, 06:31 PM   #12
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Interesting question.. I haven't ridden a single bike in over a year since we bought our tandem. I gave my vintage Trek 720 to my son at college over 2 years ago and have no other bike at home other than our motorcycle. Can't wait to see how a single feels now that you brought it up.
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Old 08-12-09, 08:11 PM   #13
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I go both ways! Just this past weekend a tandem friend and I rode our singles over the Kancamagus Hwy from Lincoln, NH over to North Conway (diverted on Bear Notch Road) 40 miles to a PUB in N.Conway, is there any better reward for climbing mountains?

Then on Sunday we were back on the tandems with our wives for a 37 miler which ended with lunch in Woodstock, NH.

Life is good both ways!!!!

Last edited by tandemnh; 08-12-09 at 08:14 PM. Reason: left out a word
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Old 08-12-09, 10:17 PM   #14
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Usually ride 'in tandem' 5 days a week and do the single bike once a week.
Our tandem is as quick handling as my single . . . just a bit more wheelbase.
However single does not pack an 'afterburner' like the tandem . . . thanx Kay!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 08-13-09, 01:57 AM   #15
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Know what else feels weird?

OK... normally if I hop on the tandem by myself, for testing, etc... it feels fine.

But, try riding on the tandem solo, after 100+ miles into your (tandem) ride. Whoa!
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Old 08-14-09, 11:17 AM   #16
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I rode my single again for the first time since June a few days ago...I felt like Contador when I was hitting hills!
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Old 08-14-09, 07:17 PM   #17
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The last time I rode my single road bike was after riding the tandem almost every Sat. & Sun and not riding the single at all for six months or more.

For the first couple of miles, the bike felt so light that I thought it was going to float right out from under me.
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Old 08-15-09, 02:40 PM   #18
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You can have a similar experience without changing bikes. I was once doing a fully-loaded camping tour with front and rear panniers. About a week into the tour came the first time that I rode the bike unladen, going a couple of miles from the campground to the local town. Suddenly, I could hardly control the bike and almost fell off as I weaved all over the place. By the time I got to town, it felt a bit more normal, but I was happy when I got the gear back on it the next day.
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Old 08-16-09, 09:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tandemnh View Post
I go both ways! Just this past weekend a tandem friend and I rode our singles over the Kancamagus Hwy from Lincoln, NH over to North Conway (diverted on Bear Notch Road) 40 miles to a PUB in N.Conway, is there any better reward for climbing mountains?

Then on Sunday we were back on the tandems with our wives for a 37 miler which ended with lunch in Woodstock, NH.

Life is good both ways!!!!
So what happened to the plan of the tandem on the Kank and Bear Notch? Just got back form NH today. Man was it hot riding and running this weekend up there or what!
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Old 08-16-09, 10:10 PM   #20
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Two years ago we rode the tandem a lot. One day I dusted off my Dolce for a solo ride, was cruising down the block to a T intersection, and started to panic because I was going to run into a parked car. I forgot that I could steer.
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