This is an awesome site. I have spent hours getting huge amounts of valuable info. I bought a tandem about 8 months ago and I love it. I use it on club rides over the weekend but also to “race” (hence calling her the555 EXPRESS) at PPA funrides www.pedalpower.org.za, have just competed the Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour (ACT)on 13 March, www.capecycle.co.za which is 109 km long and attended by about 35 000 people. The ACT is the biggest attendance race in the world and is a highlight on the South African racing/funride calendar.
My biggest problem with tandeming is how stand properly while riding hard up a hill. My stoker and I have tried it a few times but every time we do it, we tend to swerve to one side and almost end up buying a piece of real estate.
Standing on a tandem is something that must be praticed.
Communication is key to all tandem riding/maneuvering.
Practice first with only one person standing. Then alternate. Then try standing up simultaneously.
Keep your bodies and tandem upright. Do not 'rock' the tandem as you would your single when climbing/standing aggressively.
Practice a bit, use voice commands, and next thing you know it comes natrually.
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/Zonatandem
Tucson, Arizona, USA
In my limited experience I have found that after pactice and communication, gear selection can play a big part in standing and climbing on a tandem. I find that it works best to be at a slower candence and in a tall-ish gear that does dont make it easy to increase the candence in mid-hill. I find that a slower candence allows the stoker and captain to get in sync easier that spinning a small gear.
My wife and I don't stand together but do a lot of sequential standing where one then the other alternate as we go up the hill, it gives the other one a chance to recover briefly then the first one starts again., this is really usefull on long hills
I agree with the last two posters, that is, use high gears while standing and stand alternatively. We can stand at the same time with no problems but I can usually stand for longer than my stoker.
Here is what we do:
We go high cadence, at least 90 rpm, for as long as possible. When the end of the climb is in sight, we shift one or two gears up and I stand. Then my stoker gets up for about 20 to 30 strokes and sits to catch her breath. I remain standing until the top or very near the top with my stoker finishing standing and strong. It works for us.