What kind of climbing do you do on your tandem? What types of hills have you tackled? What's the steepest you've cycled up? Have you taken on long, hilly rides?
Share some tips and tricks you've used to get up hills with your tandem.
-- First of all, we adjusted our gearing ...
At first our lowest gear was 30T chainring and 34T cassette, and we were getting up some relatively steep hills (8% and 2-3 km long) without too much difficulty, but we struggled with steeper and longer hills.
Then we changed to a 26T chainring with the 34T cassette, and felt more comfortable on more hills or somewhat steeper hills. With this combination we did a relatively hilly 300K which contained two steep hills (9-10% and 2-3 km long). We made it partway up both of those hills, before finally getting off and walking the rest of the way. Just recently we tackled a ride where in the first 136 km we climbed 5000 ft, including several longish (2-3 km) steep ones.
And finally we changed our cassette so that our low gear was 26T chainring and 36T cassette. (Gear inch rating of 20.2 GI) That's about as low as we can go with a comfortable cadence, maintaining about 7 km/h, and still able to handle the bicycle. We have not yet tried it out on anything terribly steep. The 36-11 cassette has a very nicely spaced gear range and we're not struggling so much to find the right the gear on inclines, flats, and declines.
-- Secondly, we try to maintain a steady pace without pushing too hard up the hills. I tend to try to push a bit, but Rowan tells me to ease up and keep it steady so that we don't blow up before the top or later in the event.
-- Thirdly, we took on an Alpine Ascent Challenge on our single bicycles, and have been working on our climbing skills and fitness levels individually.
But we're still working on our tandem climbing skills.