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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 10-19-10, 10:09 PM   #1
JSNYC
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Tandem on stationary trainer?

Anybody mount a tandem on a trainer (computrainer or cyclops)?

After a loooooong spring, summer and fall of no riding due to a variety of annoying events/ issues, I'm finally back to riding gently a couple times a week (with a still-healing sprained ankle, I might add). It's tolerable to go 25-30 miles riding through the pain before things start to really hurt.

Anyway....the next step is to put together the wonderful tandem that so many of you helped me with earlier this year. For my wife and I, riding outdoors right now is not a do-able proposition, so I'd like for us to get some practice indoors on the tandem. I have both a computrainer and a cyclops fluid unit, and figured with the adjustable nature of them, it'll easily accommodate the wider tandem axle.

Any tips or tricks on using tandem on a trainer?

Thanks a bunch. And hopefully I'll get some fully-built pics posted soon of my beautiful custom tandem that is still sitting in the box...
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Old 10-20-10, 05:46 AM   #2
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We put the long bike on a trainer when we got it in March, but it hasn't been back on since (we're of the "no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing" school of thought). The one we have grips the rear axle. Only one caution, and that is to keep the cadence down to a level that doesn't cause you to rock uncontrollably. It is possible to tip one of these things over, esp. with two on a big bike. You can work on your spinning, just emphasize smoothness, and increase the cadence gradually.
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Old 10-20-10, 08:42 AM   #3
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Pretty much what Webster noted...

We first used our CycleOps Fluid II Trainer about 12-years back with our Santana Arriva. The 160mm rear axle was a tight fit compared to the 145mm rear axles on our Ericksons, but that was the only real "compatibility" challenge.

It works fine for easy to moderate spinning, but as you increase your effort and tempo you begin to put a lot of stress on the rear drop-outs & frame that your tandem doesn't experience in the 'real world'. At a certain point, heavy in-the-saddle efforts will cause a CycleOps to lift from side-to-side and if not quickly curtailed you can capsize the tandem and riders rather quickly. Out-of-the-Saddle efforts just aren't a good idea at all.

There are a couple teams who have used Krietler's extra-long rollers with their tandems with some degree of success and if we were still hard-core enough to do any indoor training that might actually be my preference... even if we had to use a front fork stabilizer.

But, again, for simple cardio / spinning a rear-wheel trainer will work just fine.
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Old 10-20-10, 08:47 AM   #4
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Oh goodness, no out-of-saddle efforts will be goin' on here!

Like you said, simple cruising/spinning just to get the legs turning and a little exercise happening.

Thanks for the tip (or should i say, preventative tip-over?)!
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Old 10-20-10, 10:01 AM   #5
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We've put our Co-Motion on a CompuTrainer twice - once outside and once in the garage. Both times were to compete in Elden Nelson's (aka Fat Cyclist) 100 Miles to Nowhere ride. Here's our ride report for the third annual event earlier this year in 2010. http://www.fatcyclist.com/2010/05/11...ainer-division I think we also took the tandem and trainer to a Troy Jacob's triathlon clinic (to some teasing from our friends).

We haven't experienced any problems using the tandem on the CompuTrainer. It's been fun!

Last edited by PedalPink; 10-20-10 at 10:03 AM. Reason: Inserted link (I hope)
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Old 10-20-10, 10:19 AM   #6
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I've mounted my Trek T200 to a Cyclops Fluid 2 a few times. With 2 on the bike, the trainer gets really hot. Otherwise, I have no problems to report. I've ridden the tandem on a trainer by myself on really cold days because my single bikes don't have shifters.
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Old 10-20-10, 09:02 PM   #7
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We did it all last winter, worked well, as boring as it is
R&J
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Old 10-20-10, 10:11 PM   #8
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One of the reasons we moved to sunny Tucson way back in the '70s . . . no need to ride the rollers/trainer in winter!
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Old 10-21-10, 12:51 AM   #9
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zonatandem: oh come on...rub it in why don't ya????
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Old 10-22-10, 02:32 PM   #10
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HI , Every time sloppy weather prevents outdoor forays , our c'dale is mounted on the kurt kinetic road machine.
We find it stable enough for out of saddle shenanigans.

Comparing average speed to outdoor efforts sez the resistance on the trainer yields close to real world.

jeez , boring as hell , but dvd with cycling events help . hahaha

been at it since 05 and still no leaks . Cant say that with buddys cycle ops 1rst gen trainer . same vintage.
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Old 10-26-10, 07:29 PM   #11
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We have a Kurt Kinetic Rock and Roll that we've used with the tandem on occasion. It allows for some rock but we're smooth enough that it's a non-issue. I don't think we're ready to stand with it though. Just ride it like you'd ride any other long, straight, flat road that looks like the inside of your spare room.
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Old 10-27-10, 12:49 AM   #12
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Be a little careful if you do serious intervals. It is possible to let the 'magic smoke' out, leading to a dead trainer.
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Old 10-27-10, 09:01 AM   #13
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likelihood of serious intervals being performed: zero!

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Originally Posted by LWaB View Post
Be a little careful if you do serious intervals. It is possible to let the 'magic smoke' out, leading to a dead trainer.
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Old 10-27-10, 09:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
One of the reasons we moved to sunny Tucson way back in the '70s . . . no need to ride the rollers/trainer in winter!
I'm with you there 100% Zonatandem. Living in El Paso, we also enjoy the great weather to cycle year round. Tucson is a fantastic bicycle-friendly city. I have ridden El Tour a couple of times and regularly ride in the Casa Grande/Tucson area with the Arizona Brevet & Randonnee group. My wife has mentioned buying a stationary trainer a couple of times but I refuse to do it. I would rather spend the $$ on some cool weather clothing and get out and enjoy the fresh air and scenery.
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