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Tandem Time Trialing

Old 02-12-09, 09:00 AM
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merlinextraligh
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Tandem Time Trialing

This is a cross post from the Tandem forum. However, I figure there are a lot more people here that have experience time trialing, and its a more active forum, so I'd like the benefit of your thoughts as well.

We're going to do a couple of time trials on the tandem for the first time this year; the State TT championship in May, and the Co-Motion Classic Tandem Race has a stage that's a time trial.

So are there things unique to Tandems that we should consider with regard to preperation, equipment, training?

With regard to equipment, we'll use clip on aero bars for the captain. For the stoker, I'm thinking we'll just go with the bullhorns that are already on the bike, perhaps lowered. Although I'm interested in the "drop in" bars pictured below.

For wheels, I think we'll use a HED3 front which I already have. Anyone else using this on a tandem (our team weight is around 340lbs.)

For the rear we'll probably just stay with the Rolf Prima. I have a HED disc. Does anyone know if you can swithc out the axle on the HED to get to 145mm spacing. (the bike in the pic below I'm pretty sure has 130mm spacing.)

I also thought about building up a Zipp 808 clydesdale rim with a Tandem hub. However, Zipp strongly recommends against this on the basis that the wider spacing results in the spokes pulling at an angle that will crack the rim. Also, I'm too cheap to spend the money for a couple of events.

Time Trial helmets. Data suggests that a TT helmet is one of the biggest energy savers you can buy. I already have one, but my stoker doesn't. Any thoughts on how important a TT helmet is for the stoker.

As for the race itself. Any thoughts on teamwork, and pacing unique to tandeming? Given that pacing off Power is not an option, our plan is to each gauge our effort off of our indivual HRM's




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Old 02-12-09, 09:47 AM
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I don't know a whole lot about the aerodynamics of tandem TT'ing, but if the 2008 Australian tandem TT championships are any indication, i'd go with:

- Disc rear
- Two TT helmets
- Drop bars for the stoker
- a nice cologne.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qtgy4...eature=related
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Old 02-12-09, 09:57 AM
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yeah, and edit your post to half it's size. I thought I was having Deja Vu.

Then I realized I was.
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Old 02-12-09, 09:59 AM
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I thought I noticed something like that too, but marked it up to my own insanity.
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Old 02-12-09, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by DrWJODonnell View Post
yeah, and edit your post to half it's size. I thought I was having Deja Vu.

Then I realized I was.
problem with cutting and pasting. Oops.
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Old 02-12-09, 10:37 AM
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My Pal Don and his daughter Rebecca doing the TT in Harriman Park in September:

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Old 02-12-09, 11:16 AM
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Here's my wife and I getting ready to start the NYS TT Championships.



It was the longest ride she had ever done, and her first race. It was more for fun, since I had already ridden in the Cat 4 TT, and my legs were totally shot. I was a little worried when she started complaining on the first hill, but she made it, and was pushing hard all the way through the finish.

It was a lot of fun, and she said she'll do it again this year.
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Old 02-12-09, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
For wheels, I think we'll use a HED3 front which I already have. Anyone else using this on a tandem (our team weight is around 340lbs.)

For the rear we'll probably just stay with the Rolf Prima. I have a HED disc. Does anyone know if you can swithc out the axle on the HED to get to 145mm spacing. (the bike in the pic below I'm pretty sure has 130mm spacing.)
If you aren't going to be doing Nats or Masters Nats (i.e. not concerned with UCI rules) just get a custom cut cover from wheelbuilder.com for your Rolf rear tandem wheel that you already have. Just as fast as any "true" disc...and MUCH cheaper

BTW, if you want to see a power file from the rear of the tandem that set the 90+ tandem US record last fall...go here:

http://wattage.googlegroups.com/web/...2hncZWbpWmJ7IQ

Also, here's John Verheul's account of the run:

http://tenspeeddrive.com/national-90-tandem-40k-record/
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Old 02-12-09, 12:12 PM
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^ Thanks or the link. I was surprised by a couple of things. One, the relatively low cadence. I wonder what the cadence of each of the riders would typically be for an individual TT, i.e. did they ride a slightly lower cadence on the Tandem.

Two, I would have guessed the watts to be higher.
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Old 02-12-09, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
^ Thanks or the link. I was surprised by a couple of things. One, the relatively low cadence. I wonder what the cadence of each of the riders would typically be for an individual TT, i.e. did they ride a slightly lower cadence on the Tandem.
What was it? I'm pretty sure that Doc Coggan typically TTs in the 80-90 rpm range....

Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Two, I would have guessed the watts to be higher.
Well...both of those guys are fairly low drag on their individual bikes...and don't forget why the record attempt was made in Moriarty, NM. The air density is pretty low on that flat and fast course. Go see how many national TT records are from that location. There's a reason for that
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Old 02-12-09, 12:32 PM
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mostly in the low 80's
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Old 02-12-09, 01:04 PM
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duno if an aero helmet for the stoker is really required. Seems like most duck behind the captain. Heres some tandems TT'ing:

http://hcphoto.smugmug.com/gallery/5088159_qqPLg
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Old 02-12-09, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Val23708 View Post
duno if an aero helmet for the stoker is really required. Seems like most duck behind the captain. Heres some tandems TT'ing:

http://hcphoto.smugmug.com/gallery/5088159_qqPLg
None of those setups has ANYTHING on this:

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Old 02-12-09, 04:16 PM
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Merlin, why don't you just talk to Jim W, he lives right next to you and has numerous attempts at tandem TT'ing, including his national championship.
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Old 02-12-09, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
Merlin, why don't you just talk to Jim W, he lives right next to you and has numerous attempts at tandem TT'ing, including his national championship.
I have. They did it the old fashioned way, with a lot of power, and not much in the way of high tech. I believe they just used clip on aero bars, and the Rolf Prima wheels which we ride as our regular wheels.

When he rides his tandem with Katie on group rides, they absolutely fly.
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