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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 08-26-11, 11:46 AM   #26
rdtompki
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...Ride like a pilot, head moving, constant situational awareness, a little more room to each side. If something goes wrong, we have a discussion after about how we'll prevent that from happening in the future, just like everything else in our lives... .
+1. My stoker actually gets to look at the scenery. I'm spending a lot of time scanning the road both close in for hazards (glass, nails, etc.) and further ahead for road condition, camber, curve, traffic, etc. And if the stoker is uncomfortable, I'm uncomfortable. The only thing that concerns my stoker on the downhills is passing a lot of singles since on large, organized rides singles can be very, very sketchy and often hog the road. They are clueless that an overtaking tandem might actually be going considerably faster on an otherwise safe road.
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Old 08-26-11, 07:30 PM   #27
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bj: stoker doesnt have a water bottle cage?
Howdy, she uses a "Camelback", it keeps the water "colder, longer" and she doesn't seem to have the "weight on the shoulder" problems that I do. We had a handlebar waterbottle cage mounted but it interfered with her knee so we took it off.

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Old 08-26-11, 09:02 PM   #28
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Regarding transporting a tandem, we have a Honda Odyssey. I have a 10' aluminum square "U" channel that I slip up the center. The "U" channel is used to make screened in patios here in FLA.

I don't know if they are available at home depots in other parts of the country, but any 2" wide 8' - 10' channel product should work. If not a 10" piece of 4" x 1" and 2 pcs of 2" x 1" wood could easily be fashioned into a suitable channel. If the bike is a MTB bike you might want to use 6" x 1" material to accommodate the wider tires.

I then start the bike with the front wheel in the rail, push it forward, and then lift the back of the bike into the rail. The key is to move the rear seats up a bit and rotate the crank so that the left pedal is about 11 o'clock and the right is about 5 o'clock. This sets the pedals in a perfect position to maximize the forward motion of the bike. Once in, the rear hatch closes perfectly. Removing the bike is simple as the front tire follows the channel and doesn't get hung up because the front wheel stays straight.
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Old 08-26-11, 09:05 PM   #29
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bj: stoker doesnt have a water bottle cage?
If in the rare case the stoker does not, or if you need more bottle capacity, a seat post 2 bottle holder works great.
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Old 08-27-11, 04:17 PM   #30
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If in the rare case the stoker does not, or if you need more bottle capacity, a seat post 2 bottle holder works great.
Thanks, I saw one on a really nice road bike today as we were riding along, and thought, "Hey, maybe" that would work so I'll look into it. I've got a Camelback type unit but with having "Reiter's Syndrome", (chronic arthritis), my shoulders just have a cow, using it full of ice and water. That would bring up the water capacity for us, which would be a great idea when we start touring, next summer!
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Old 08-29-11, 05:10 PM   #31
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few more questions:

1- A kick stand.... all tandems have them and is it advisable to have one? I dont use them on my road bike but I know its different
2- At a stop light, do you both have to touch the ground?
3- what was the hardest thing for you all to get used to?
4- Are tandems the same length?
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Old 08-29-11, 06:30 PM   #32
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1- A kick stand.... Most tandems don't have them here in the states, but that's more or less a carry-over from single-bike culture / fashion. I'd guess maybe 1/50 have them. Mud guards (aka, fenders) fall into the same category.

2- At a stop light, do you both have to touch the ground? Some do, many don't. Depends on which 'technique' you find most comfortable for starting and stopping. My petite stoker clips in when we start off for a ride and doesn't unclip and put a foot down until she has a reason to get off the bike at a stop. Other's prefer to do the synchronized swimming thing.

3- what was the hardest thing for you all to get used to? Finding good and useful information about tandems.

4- Are tandems the same length? No. Tandem lengths are all over the map depending on the size of the captain and the design-spec. used by different builders for stoker compartments. For example, Santana uses something like 27.75" for stoker compartments whereas Co-Motion uses 28.5", Rodriguez uses 31" or something like that, and Cannondale varies the length based on the size of the frame.
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Old 08-29-11, 07:38 PM   #33
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1. Kickstand: We were hoping to be able use a "double legged" kickstand we have from our old hybrids but there's not enough room, too close to chain wheels, etc, for my comfort. So we will be using a "Clickstand" http://www.click-stand.com/ Were currently using one left over from my old touring bike and it works ok, but plan to order the "special" one for Tandems, when they return from vacation in Sept. Humm I guess we are 1 in 50 as we have both a type of kickstand and fenders.

2. My wife (navigator), keeps her feet on the pedals at a stop and when starting, but as TG stated it's what "technique" you like to use.

3. Remembering all the "commands", that "pilots" have to voice for the "navigator" ,(wife HATES being called a stroker!!)! Agree with TG, wish there was a Tandem Forum, like "Bentrideronline.com" for Bents.
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Old 08-29-11, 08:43 PM   #34
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3- what was the hardest thing for you all to get used to?
The psychology of climbing (for me) is very different. When you're grinding away at 5 mph on a long climb (think 1 hr+) negative thinking can come into play, but it's all part of the experience and hasn't hurt our relationship and the benefits clearly outweigh the downside.
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Old 08-30-11, 03:04 AM   #35
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1- A kick stand: We do not have a kickstand and haven't really found a need to have one. I can always find something to lean it against and keeping the weight off the bike seems more beneficial to us than having one.

2- At a stop light, do you both have to touch the ground? : Like stated above, techniques vary, but we found what works the best for us is for the Stoker to stay clipped in unless she plans on dismounting.

3- what was the hardest thing for you all to get used to? : I think standing while pedaling has been the hardest for us. We are getting much better at standing, but it still isn't as smooth as it could be.
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Old 08-30-11, 11:09 AM   #36
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3- what was the hardest thing for you all to get used to?
The psychology of climbing (for me) is very different. When you're grinding away at 5 mph on a long climb (think 1 hr+) negative thinking can come into play, but it's all part of the experience and hasn't hurt our relationship and the benefits clearly outweigh the downside.
I agree with this one. I like to think of myself as being a pretty good climber while my wife is not a very strong climber. It doesn't stop us from doing a fair amount of climbing and enjoying it, just have to use smaller gears and go slower. I also like to stand a lot during climbing but do less of that on the tandem. I always approach a tandem ride as conserving my energy because if I am spent part way through the ride its no fun.
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Old 08-30-11, 05:09 PM   #37
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Not standing as much. I like to stand a lot on my single even though I know it is not as efficient. Standing is even more fun on the tandem. I feel like we are really dancing in time up the road. Gets some great looks going around corners too! My stoker doesn't like to stand any more than needed to get a break once and a while. We comprimise on it just like everything on the tandem.
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Old 08-30-11, 07:39 PM   #38
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Stoker and I both know how much less efficient standing is, and we do it only for butt breaks, not hills. When powering, we sit.
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Old 09-05-11, 04:04 AM   #39
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Does any of your stokers do anything to annoy you when you ride? I can see my wife poking me, pinching me and tickling me.

fun time this will be
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Old 09-19-11, 06:46 AM   #40
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Stoker do anything to annoy me? Nope!

We laugh, talk, stop to eat and take pictures. We have stopped to pee at a firehouse, bottle recycling station, and a corn field. She feeds me, passes my water bottle, runs the GPS, and in general is my partner. The only thing that REALLY bugs me is that we didn't do this 30 YEARS AGO!

Best regards
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Old 09-21-11, 11:40 AM   #41
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She scratches my back and if feeling playful, may pinch my butt.

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Does any of your stokers do anything to annoy you when you ride? I can see my wife poking me, pinching me and tickling me.

fun time this will be
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Old 09-21-11, 04:05 PM   #42
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Howdy, she uses a "Camelback", it keeps the water "colder, longer" and she doesn't seem to have the "weight on the shoulder" problems that I do. We had a handlebar waterbottle cage mounted but it interfered with her knee so we took it off.

We figured out a way to get the "stroker" water bottles so my wife could reach them and it gave us, "5 water bottle" capability too boot!
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Old 09-21-11, 05:02 PM   #43
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I have nothing to add but interesting thread. I just started riding again a little over a year ago at 50 and soon found out it is just as much fun as when I was a kid. My friend seen how much fun I was having and so she bought a bike this spring. While I have done well over 3000 miles in that time of course she has done much less. But one thing for sure is we enjoying riding together a lot.

Which brings me to my point. I mentioned to her about the couples I see on tandems and the fun they appear to be having and maybe we should look into giving one a try which she thinks would be fun. Since than I've been trying to "learn the rules" as it were and this thread really shines.

Quick little story. Last night I went to a local cyclecross practice and was amazed to see a couple on a tandem out there. The thing that really struck was the smile that was on the strokers face. For the hour I watched they never went by me without that hug smile on her face and you could tell he was enjoying it just as much. The real amazing part was they were just as fast if not faster than a lot of the single riders. Clearly not their first rodeo because the captain guided that big long bike like a pro over the dips and tight corners. Truly fun to watch.

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Old 09-24-11, 09:29 PM   #44
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Nice cyclocross story! Its amazing to see them at mountain bike races, so I'm told (never seen one myself - probably too busy racing than watching).
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