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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 09-08-11, 10:39 PM   #1
jacks1071
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Standing up on climbs?

We had our first go at standing on a small climb the other night, it was like 3, 2, 1, STAND - we went pretty good, got a bit of a wobble and I said SIT! then for the next kicker we stood again.

It didn't feel bad, needs practice.

Is there any special proceedure to follow? We just need a little more power to keep with the singles on the hills.

I'm guessing for a really steep, slow climb standing is out of the question?
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Old 09-08-11, 10:54 PM   #2
Dean V
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I have found it best if we stand together or if we don't get up quite in sync as long as it is the stoker first it seems ok. I (the captain) don't like the feel of the bike if I stand up before the stoker does.
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Old 09-09-11, 07:10 AM   #3
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It gets better with practice. The stoker needs to have a quiet peddling style, although I have found that I'm mostly the culprit in the wobbling, I muscle the bike too much as though it was a single. Your right, it's nice way to kick up the last part of short climbs.

Frank and terry
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Old 09-09-11, 07:12 AM   #4
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Keep working at it. At first you'll have to work to coordinate it. After a while, you'll find you can stand together or separately. The only thing the captain needs to consider is to not gear down right before the stoker wants to stand.
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Old 09-09-11, 09:25 AM   #5
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Like anything it will get better the more you work on it. I love standing on our tandem. I think it is really more the stoker that controls the level of rocking because they are in the center of the bike. When we are going well I barely have any force on the handle bars.

Slow climbing on steep hills is possible. We have a easy hill with a 90 degree corner and I love watching singles give us a double take when when stand around that corner pedaling about a cadence of 30.

I found that good practice for standing is to put the bike it in a really high gear on a steady very slight (1-3%) incline so that when you stand you are pedaling at very slow cadence. This gives the team time to feel each other and the bike. The better you get the slower you can make the cadence. We call it walking it up the hill. It gives the riders a break from sitting, and is easy on the legs. If you get the right gear for the hill you can just let your weight do the work.

Get comfortable doing that and you will be able to smoothly stand up a roller at 20+ mph with no problem. Not very aerodynamic, but a real blast!

Wayne
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Old 09-09-11, 09:27 AM   #6
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Only tandem riders can really "dance" on the pedals!
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Old 09-09-11, 12:27 PM   #7
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That has been our experience, standing on shorter rollers can really power you over the top, even faster than the singles, or make them work hard to
stay up. Stoker and pilot both have to moderate the tendency to throw the bike side to side that you can do with abandon on the single. Stoking,
I tend to try to 'run in place' with more up and down rather than side to side muscling. Can't avoid it completely as that is the whole point of standing
to maximize upper body input in addition to using your weight to push down. Energetically it is a LOT more demanding and will blow you anaerobic
rapidly if you do it a lot. Makes climbers like the pros even more impressive to see them climb for a kilo or more out of the saddle.
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Old 09-09-11, 04:07 PM   #8
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Gotta say, it's all about communication. Since we have a daVinci with the independent drivetrain, it's even more crucial. Recently, I convinced my wife to try locking it out and now we're much better when we climb. The independent drivetrain worked for us because were were newbs to tandeming, but now, the lockout works much better for climbing out of the saddle. Practice, practice and more practice will get you feeling comfortable being out of the saddle.
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Old 09-09-11, 08:10 PM   #9
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OK, well, a little contrary opinion FWIW. We NEVER stand together, and rarely does either of us stand alone. When one of us does (usually Her Stoker-Ness), it is for a "saddle break". We have both observed that when one of us stands, we slow down. In our experience, standing is NOT an efficient way to go. If we want max acceleration over all else, we go for it, but knowing it is at the cost of a lot of extra expense of effort. But we're pretty sure that our best use of energy is to stay seated and adjust the spin for efficiency. We love passing standing singles on hills while we are seated. I like this logic: Is it time to sprint? If so, stand up. If not, stay seated where you are more efficient. Standing is for sprinting: save it for that.
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Old 09-09-11, 09:50 PM   #10
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Standing may not be as "efficient" as sitting and spinning, but it is indeed a good way to power over short hills or stretch your legs on longer climbs. Cycling, after all, is not always about efficiency. IMO, the ability to climb while standing is one hallmark of an accomplished tandem team. You can practice by using a big gear on flat roads... also a great way to take a "butt break" without slowing down.

Regards,
Dave
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Old 09-10-11, 07:05 PM   #11
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ability to climb while standing is one hallmark of an accomplished tandem team.
And the presence to choose not to stand is even more so a hallmark of the accomplished, experienced and wise.
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Old 09-12-11, 03:17 PM   #12
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I believe studies have shown that standing will cause a higher heart rate for a given power output. It is fun to surprise people but we don't stand just to impress other people. In my book there are three reasons to stand on a bike:

1) It is fun (the best reason)
2) "saddle break"
3) short power burst

If number one does not apply , then you have only two reasons. That's fine with me. Ride your bike and have fun.

Wayne, who has never heard "she's not pedaling" while standing.
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Old 09-12-11, 05:31 PM   #13
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We'll keep practicing, if we can power over the top of a short climb standing we can keep with the single bikes - we dropped one last night on a short climb by standing whereas normally they'd get away from us on this hill.

I'm reasonably comfortable with how the bike feels - if it starts to wobble a little too much I've got the stroker trained to jump back on the saddle when I yell "SIT" so we're all good.

I would love to be able to stand to power over some FASTER climbs - we'll get comfortable at slower speeds first though.
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Old 09-13-11, 09:25 AM   #14
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We are getting on in years and climbing isn't what it used to be for us, so we find that when riding with stronger climbing teams, we can stay in contact by standing for the last 3rd or so of short climbs. For longer climbs we just sit and get dropped.

Frank and Terry
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Old 09-13-11, 01:13 PM   #15
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When we first got our tandem, I found my butt got more sore than on my single. After a bit I realized it was because I didn't stand on the tandem as often. Early on, we would just occasionally stand for more power in a climb. Now we both stand frequently on the flats just to restore circulation. We probably each stand for 100 yards or so every 3 miles or so. The cadance usually goes that I (captain) will upshift a few gears, stand for a bit, sit down and wait a few seconds to see if stoker wants to stand. If not, I'll gear back down to a seated cadance. Now, the particulars of saddle don't matter so much.
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Old 09-13-11, 04:11 PM   #16
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+1 on all the above - we stand to give the bottom a break, to get up hills without shifting into the granny ring and losing momentum and occasionally to sprint on the flat.

More recently we started standing if we start off if in a high gear. It just happened as it felt like too much effort to start off in a big gear once, now we do it maybe 50% of the time.
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Old 09-14-11, 03:16 PM   #17
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Standing is also good for recovery rather than sprinting.

Tapping away up a sustained climb at threshold HR at 90 rpm or so is hard to do without some variation. You can recover by dropping the cadence, shifting up and standing WITHOUT surging (basically maintain speed). Do that for a few seconds every once and a while, to keep your quads fresh(er). You have other muscles to use, so why not use them.

Also, if you are on a climb with short short steeper pitches, briefly standing to pound over them and then settling back down is a good technique (especially if the up pitch is followed by a dip that you can use to recover).
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Old 09-14-11, 03:22 PM   #18
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We have not learned to stand together but I stand on a regular basis. We have just recently decided that when I stand that is her signal to grab the middle of the bars, shift her weight back a bit and provide some additional power. It works great getting over a rise and helps to keep our momentum up. Once you get it up you want to keep it up, your momentum, that is.

We also will stand as a butt break about every 4 miles, stand with the right pedal down and then rotate so that the left pedal is down, we then take a drink.
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Old 09-14-11, 03:49 PM   #19
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As everyone else says - it takes time. I would also try different things as well. Now I simply say "UP" and when I feel her getting out of the saddle I follow on the next pedal stroke. It works extremely well for us. Other methods - not so much.
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Old 09-14-11, 06:12 PM   #20
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Standing is also good for recovery rather than sprinting.

Tapping away up a sustained climb at threshold HR at 90 rpm or so is hard to do without some variation. You can recover by dropping the cadence, shifting up and standing WITHOUT surging (basically maintain speed). Do that for a few seconds every once and a while, to keep your quads fresh(er). You have other muscles to use, so why not use them.

Also, if you are on a climb with short short steeper pitches, briefly standing to pound over them and then settling back down is a good technique (especially if the up pitch is followed by a dip that you can use to recover).
+1

In prolonged/steep climbs we have to stand every so often to give our legs a brake. We stand together or independently and we ride 90 OOP... but mind you we have been a team for many years. We also stand to make up for suden accelerations in the pace line and as mentioned before to crest over rollers, butt brake,sprints, etc.
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Old 09-16-11, 10:29 PM   #21
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Been tandemers since the mid1970s; very rarely does one of us stand.
We've got lotsa gears, so we use them!
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