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  1. #1
    Junior Member tandemchick's Avatar
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    OOP Starting and Stopping Techniques

    Quick question regarding starting/stopping techniques when OOP. First, an explanation of our situation:

    I'm a 5'2" female captain with slight balance issues, meaning if I'm standing on one foot for longer than 10 seconds I start to feel dizzy. My stoker (and fiance) is a 5'8"-ish blind guy who has amazing balance. Even though I'm short, I'm not exactly "light." And he's pretty freaking skinny. We've been tandeming for a little over a year now, and from what we've read and heard have a different starting/stopping method. Basically, for starting, it's left pedals up, right foot on the ground. Clip in with left foot. He counts off "1, 2, 3, GO!" We both push down, pedal to get clipped in (we use Speedplay Frogs, FWIW), and go about our merry little way. When we stop, I let him know what's going on (obviously important), and have right pedal up, clip out, step down with right feet. He spins the pedals back so that the left is in the correct starting position, and we both stand completely unclipped while I watch traffic or traffic lights to get a sense of when we'll need to start again. Unconventional, yes, but it works for us and keeps me from falling over (which happened quite a bit when we first started riding together).

    Now we're looking at trying to ride OOP, to A) see if we like it and B) because from the research he's done it makes it much easier to climb hills, which is important since we live in a hilly area. Our question, though, is how in the world would we keep our current techniques--or some version thereof that we're both comfortable with--and be able to start and stop while OOP. We honestly don't agree with the "correct" method of having the stoker clip in fully while the captain balances, but that's primarily because of our team dynamic, nor with my balance issues, would I feel comfortable holding up the entire thing with him clipped in. Needless to say, any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member riding_blind's Avatar
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    A quick update from the stoker of the bike mentioned in the post above. After playing around for about an hour in the frying pan known as Austin in July we have discovered that going OOP 45 degrees may work. At 90 degrees out we weren't able to sincronise our starts and stops but with her ahead by 45 degrees it seems to be less of a problem. We will try for a 15-20 mile ride when things cool down some late this afternoon. I will write another post letting you know how things turn out. However, if any of you have suggestions for starting or stopping at 90 degrees OOP they would be greatfully received. Thank you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    We've been riding 90 degrees OOP for the past 35 years.
    Seeing that there is a balance/weight issue for female pilot and a vision issue for stoker we have a possible solution.
    Throw your legs over the tandem; both of your feet flat on the ground. Pilot gets seated and she clips in; she then pedals backward so stoker clips in his leading foot (left or right) and on count of 3 you both push off.
    Reverse this for stopping.
    Pilot can stay clipped in if stoker can balance the bike with both or one foot on the ground.
    Have ridden with blind stokers . . . and yes, it's great to ride TWOgether!
    90 degrees OOP should be do-able and (to us) is more efficient than 45 degrees OOP. Just our opinion/suggestion.
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  4. #4
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    We have ridden 90 deg oop and started the same as when we ride in phase, which is the same method that you use. The only difference being with oop was that when we start the stoker has the crank only just past top dead centre. The captain also needs to get on the seat quickly. BTW we tried it for several months and ended up going back to in phase. For us we didn't notice any performance advantages with oop and we prefer the way the bike feels with in phase pedaling.

  5. #5
    Junior Member tandemchick's Avatar
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    Thanks, zonatandem and Dean! We actually ended up trying it at 90 degrees, and ended up doing what you did, Dean. I don't know that either of us noticed a performance difference, but we did notice that the bike shifted much more easily with a more even power distribution, which is always a good thing. Starting actually wasn't anywhere near as difficult as I'd feared it would be--even when the butt pad of my shorts got caught on my seat after starting at a green light--and the biggest concern became cornering and making sure our pedals didn't scrape ground, curbs or speed bumps. Unfortunately, we weren't able to compare numbers due to the Garmin going screwy on us for about two miles. :-/

  6. #6
    Member riding_blind's Avatar
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    Tandemchick pretty much said it all but I wanted to write and say thanks again to both of you. Unfortunately today's 17 mile ride wasn't enough to make a final decision. In other news I am making another controversial move later this week and moving the shifters to the stoker's compartment and will post pictures of that when it happens.

  7. #7
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    You really need to try it for a few weeks to give it a fair go. Takes a while to get used to oop. For cornering I (captain) always put my outside pedal down the same as I would on any bike. That will put the stokers cranks horizontal which will also clear the ground. Any other methods involved too much thinking.

  8. #8
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Give OOP at least a couple hundred miles test before you decide.
    Never had an issue with pedals striking speed humps . . . gotta lift the butt UP a bit more so as not to get hung up on saddle!
    Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  9. #9
    Member riding_blind's Avatar
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    A quick update. After a week of riding OOP we doubt we'll ever ride IP on the road again. The bike both handles better and shifts smoother.

  10. #10
    TWilkins
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    45 degrees is a good compromise that balances the benefits of OOP with the ability to start and stop. We've been riding that way for years.
    Tracy Wilkins
    2011 Trek Madone 5.2
    2005 Burley Duet Tandem
    2009 Surly Cross-Check (Commuter)
    www.springfieldcyclist.com

  11. #11
    Eclecticaleliptic! Mainframeguy's Avatar
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    I want to hear more about what happens with moving the shifters to the rear....

    I should quite like to try to relinquish some of the captains control, but am aware that it is highly unconventional and will definitely call for a good deal more communication in absence of Rohloff gearing - I am assuming you run deraileur?

    I say good for you in working to an unusual mount, dismount style and making your tandeming work for you in an unusual setup... as I see it there's no hard and fast rules with tandems - it is all about what works for you with your setup... we could never go oop, I know it would drive stoker nuts and that I am slightly more the power house for bursts up front (well, I would say that!)...

  12. #12
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Benefit of moving shifters to the rear: Shorter cable runs.
    But . . . a lag in the shifting as pilot has to tell stoker when to shift; in an emergency it may not be fast enough as in coming around a corner and there is an unexpected monster of hill facing you.
    Shift to inner chainring NOW!

  13. #13
    Member riding_blind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainframeguy View Post
    I want to hear more about what happens with moving the shifters to the rear....

    I should quite like to try to relinquish some of the captains control, but am aware that it is highly unconventional and will definitely call for a good deal more communication in absence of Rohloff gearing - I am assuming you run deraileur?

    I say good for you in working to an unusual mount, dismount style and making your tandeming work for you in an unusual setup... as I see it there's no hard and fast rules with tandems - it is all about what works for you with your setup... we could never go oop, I know it would drive stoker nuts and that I am slightly more the power house for bursts up front (well, I would say that!)...
    Though I donít think it would work for everyone moving the shifting duties to the stoker seems to work well for us. I, the stoker, am more in tune with the bike and what gear we should be in and usually called out the shifts so it actually took a link out of the chain. Now instead of calling out the shifts and waiting for her to react I can call the shift and shift immediately. There are a few snags we need to work through. I had a shop do the work thinking new cable stops etc. Unfortunately I didnít make my desires clear enough, my fault, and instead of shortening the cables he lengthened them running them back along the top tube from the barrel adjusters mounted on the down tube in front of the captain. Due to the length of the cables along with the bend in them the shifting hasnít been as accurate or as responsive as I would like. Hey thatís what trial and error is for right? However, this should be easy enough to fix. I should also add that I am a perfectionist and rather ocd about getting things right.

  14. #14
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    this is off topic but we're in austin too and pretty new to tandems. my girlfriend and i would love to have another tandem to ride with and check out the OOP. we are up north and generally ride on parmer, shoot me an email if you guys would like to try to meet up one day for a ride. bgblue1978@hotmail.com

    nick

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