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2017 Winter Training for Tandems

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2017 Winter Training for Tandems

Old 10-01-17, 10:24 PM
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Stick69
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2017 Winter Training for Tandems

There are old threads on this topic but technology and people change, so what are your plans for this winter? Here are ours.

Having made a modicum of improvement in fitness over the summer the stoker and I decided to purchase a trainer. We made this decision after reading many posts about alternative training methods, looking into available spin classes, and reading the generally poor reviews for the limited number of trainers that work with tandems. In the end we decided the best exercise is the one we’ll do and for us that meant riding the tandem. Since we both still work that means riding indoors after work for we are loathed to go out on the moor in those hours of darkness when the powers of evil are exalted. Only slightly less scary than encountering a giant hound with glowing eyes was wading into the world of trainers.

If someone is genuinely interested I will provide additional information but for now I will just list our equipment and software.

We chose the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control because it will hold a tandem, has a large flywheel, and is Zwift compatible.

We purchased a skewer with steel ends from Precision Tandems and two mats from our local Performance Bike.

We both use our Moto Z Play phones on our bike. I use the Kinetic App to update firmware and calibrate the trainer and the Wahoo App to collect data during the ride. The stoker has the Zwift App on her phone which provides a bridge to the computer and controls during the ride. My heartrate data is uploaded from Wahoo to Strava and the stoker’s heart rate data is uploaded rom Zwift to Strava where we both keep track of our training load.

We decided to use an HP laptop that my son was not using anymore since he built a gaming computer. The HP had a better graphics card than my own laptop and could be dedicated to the trainer. But oops we had to add a Bluetooth dongle to the laptop.

The Zwift program is loaded on the laptop which is hard wired via HDMI to a 53-inch not so smart TV. The bike sits at a slight angle to the TV so the stoker can see most of it and I have to look slightly left. We may change this arrangement if physical aches develop.

So far we have enough fans that drippage is not an issue but I expect we will need to add fans as we increase power output.

We are using the 25mm conti that came with the bike and are hoping to wear it out so it can be replaced this spring with a 28mm conti. I pump the tire up to 120 psi before each ride (just like I do outside) and clean the tire with alcohol if we have been outside between trainer rides. So far that has provided good contact with the trainer but next winter I will likely get a trainer tire and maybe a second rear wheel.

Our Zwift weight is our combined weight plus half of our bike times 1.15 to account for reports that the Kinetic over reports power. We have the difficulty setting on Zwift set to full to simulate real world conditions as best as possible. The default setting is half.

We have ridden with Zwift five times now and are starting to adapt. If you see a 420 pound bald rugby player with tandem in there last name trudging up a hill on Zwift it might be us.

Last edited by Stick69; 10-01-17 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 10-08-17, 07:52 PM
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We too are trying Zwift for the first time this year, after all but ignoring our trainers the last two winters. We're trying it on our half-bikes and bought a pair of Elite Qubo smart trainers. One works well but the other may be defective; I have to do some more troubleshooting.
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Old 10-10-17, 04:58 PM
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Instead of riding a trainer, this year I bought a dentist drill so I can get a more accurate weather report from my spouse. ie: Is it safe?
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Old 10-11-17, 07:13 AM
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Turns out that my smart trainers work OK, and my frustration with Zwift is due to how the software derives your in-game speed from your watts. The training programs work great, the "just go ride" feature, where I attempting to ride along with others in-game doesn't work that well since the speed is off.
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Old 10-30-17, 05:30 PM
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What is winter?
We live in southern Arizona and ride year round for the past 39 years.
Pedal on!
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Old 10-31-17, 04:40 PM
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The recumbent cycling machines at our YMCA are close enough to our positions on our 'bent tandem that we get some benefit from using those a couple of times a week during the Dark, Cold Months. My stoker spends more time doing that than I do - I try to catch up on core and upper body strength that I largely ignore during cycling season. And, we get out on the real tandem occasionally. I get some some solo miles, too.
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Old 10-31-17, 05:46 PM
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My off season training will be skiing powder off piste and groomers usual a hundred days a season want to talk about getting in shape? Total body strength!
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Old 10-31-17, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Bad1 View Post
My off season training will be skiing powder off piste and groomers usual a hundred days a season want to talk about getting in shape? Total body strength!
You're lucky to get in so many ski days. I stay in shape just for the powder days!
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Old 11-01-17, 08:17 AM
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We use a computrainer with ErgVideos.
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Old 11-01-17, 09:13 AM
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We bought a Tacx Vortex 2 years ago and use zwift ftp 12 week training workout. This works well for us.
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Old 11-10-17, 02:52 PM
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When we have to ride inside we use separate trainers. Our tandems are outside toys.
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Old 11-10-17, 04:39 PM
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Here in the PNW our tandem is also an outside toy. In winter, we usually do an outdoor group tandem ride on Sunday, rain or whatever unless it might be icy. During the week, Stoker rides her trainer and Captain his rollers, plus we lift weights twice a week, Stoker has a dressage lesson, Captain runs and skis mostly Alpine, mostly lifts, and we snowshoe if conditions permit. We get 8-12 hours/week total. We track our training stress with HRMs and upload to TrainingPeaks to manage intensity. On our trainer/rollers, we do a variety of training to keep it interesting. If one is bored on the trainer, up the pain level. I'm never bored on my rollers.
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Old 11-10-17, 10:29 PM
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We have a Kirk Kinetic trainer we use the garage and a TV on the wall.
I really really hate riding on it, but when it is dark and cold after work it is our only option.
1 hour is most we can do on it.
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Old 11-19-17, 04:58 PM
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Question about setting up the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control trainer for the tandem - Why was the steel skewer needed?


"We purchased a skewer with steel ends from Precision Tandems and two mats from our local Performance Bike"

Thanks
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Old 12-29-17, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Fred6670 View Post
Question about setting up the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control trainer for the tandem - Why was the steel skewer needed?


"We purchased a skewer with steel ends from Precision Tandems and two mats from our local Performance Bike"

Thanks
So it won't be damaged by the steel sockets on the trainer.
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Old 01-03-18, 08:23 AM
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The proper skewer is very important. A good friend was riding his single with Mavic skewers on his trainer and during a standing sprint the skewer head broke, he fell and broke is collar bone and his carbon frame shattered (and nobody was there to see it :-)). If all you do is sit and spin, you may survive, but if you put any effort into it, disaster may befall you.
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