Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-13-10, 08:52 AM   #1
RochMNTandem
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
RochMNTandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Rochester MN
Bikes: Burley Tosa
Posts: 60
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Energy output same or less?

There is a lot of reference and numbers that tie bicycle riding to energy output or calorie burning on a single. I can't find the same with respect to tandem. Do both riders on a tandem spend same, less - if less, how much less energy to the pedal?
RochMNTandem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-10, 09:27 AM   #2
WebsterBikeMan
Senior Member
 
WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Just outside Kitchener, Ontario
Bikes: Nishiki Continental, Bilenky custom travel tinker, home built winter bike based on Nashbar cross frrame
Posts: 622
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Depends.

Climbing, there are issues with inefficiency if the two have significantly different optimal climbing cadence (and therefore there is no 'perfect' gear). Even if they have similar but different optimal climbing cadence, one will be (typically) expending less than they would on a single, and the other is unlikely to make up for it.

On the level, or a gentle descent [gentle enough that they're still pedalling] the power used per unit speed is normally less, because the wind resistance per rider is lower [only a bit higher than the resistance of the captain alone, in most cases]. Estimates vary, but for reasonably matched [for cadence, not watts per kg] riders, something in the range of 5 to 10% seems normal.

This is assuming both riders are out for a workout when on singles and when on a tandem. I normally put out less energy riding alone on a single as I coast, and let my mind wander. On the tandem my wife doesn't like coasting except for butt breaks and when we top out on downhills. So it only happens at those times and as we approach intersections or tight curves. Very different dynamic.
WebsterBikeMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-10, 09:38 AM   #3
TandemGeek
hors category
 
TandemGeek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 7,213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by RochMNTandem View Post
There is a lot of reference and numbers that tie bicycle riding to energy output or calorie burning on a single. I can't find the same with respect to tandem. Do both riders on a tandem spend same, less - if less, how much less energy to the pedal?
It varies from team to team, depending on the level of each rider's fitness and contribution of physical effort under different conditions. There are some stokers who are powerhouses who may, in fact, be pushing the captain around. Conversely, there are also stokers who add resistance to the captain's efforts. Only way to know what's happening with your own team is to measure the effort of each rider with a HRM and then plot that data.
TandemGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-10, 11:53 AM   #4
Phantoj
Certifiable Bike "Expert"
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 5,645
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Your energy output is really dependent on how hard you are riding. I probably put out less power on the tandem overall, because I get distracted talking to my stoker. I'm more focused on the single.
Phantoj is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:41 PM.