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!

Tandems Do Rock!

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Old 06-04-18, 07:47 PM
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124Spider
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Tandems Do Rock!

As I've mentioned here before, we recently got a tandem as a way for us to ride together, despite our vastly differing strengths.

And today really proved the concept!

We had a window in the weather, so we went out to a paved trail, where there wouldn't be much traffic, and did a 25-mile ride. I rode as hard as I cared to ride (we just got back from 23 days away, during which we could not partake of any exercise other than miles and miles of walking, so we're far from peak shape), as did my wife. I averaged over twice her power output. We went fast. She's happy. I'm happy. And we stayed together the entire ride, the first time we've ever ridden together where I could put in a near-maximum effort and not leave her miles behind.

I think we're on to something here!

Mark

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Old 06-05-18, 06:45 AM
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The magic of a tandem!
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Old 06-05-18, 08:43 AM
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My wife and I rode single bikes together for 3 years and trying to stay together while getting myself a good workout was a real pain. Add a headwind or hill into the equation and the tears (mostly hers) started flowing. The tandem solved all that, I can absolutely destroy myself and my wife keeps up with me the whole time.
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Old 06-05-18, 10:20 AM
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Last weekend, the same phenomenon happened to us but in an unexpected way. My goal was to make cycling easier for my wife. It has succeeded at that. But the unexpected part is that it has made cycling harder for me. I welcome it, because it's another equalizing force. I may have to reduce my expectation of the number of miles we can cover.

I'm getting a new cassette and shifter for our tandem. We're going from 7 speeds in the back to 11 speeds. This will give us a lower low, a higher high, and smaller spaces in between. It may help. We often use the lowest gear for climbing, even when the hill isn't very steep.
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Old 06-05-18, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Last weekend, the same phenomenon happened to us but in an unexpected way. My goal was to make cycling easier for my wife. It has succeeded at that. But the unexpected part is that it has made cycling harder for me. I welcome it, because it's another equalizing force. I may have to reduce my expectation of the number of miles we can cover.

I'm getting a new cassette and shifter for our tandem. We're going from 7 speeds in the back to 11 speeds. This will give us a lower low, a higher high, and smaller spaces in between. It may help. We often use the lowest gear for climbing, even when the hill isn't very steep.
Certainly, when one rides with more than twice the power of the other (as is the case with my wife and me), the bike likely won't go faster (assuming any hills) over the course of a ride than the more powerful rider goes by himself/herself. And going uphill in a tandem is pure drudge, whereas I enjoy hills on my single. But it's well worth it when we can ride together, and both get a good workout.

I'm probably going to change two of my front rings. Our bike is a 3x9, with front rings 53/42/30 and rear cassette 11-32. I'm fine with the rear cassette, but I'm seriously considering going to a 26 nanny gear, and maybe a 39 middle ring.
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Old 06-05-18, 12:33 PM
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@124Spider , yup. We have hilly terrain in upstate New York, and we were towing a lot of weight in a trailer. I had forgotten about the trailer while pedaling, so I think I pedaled harder than usual.
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Old 06-05-18, 02:33 PM
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When my wife & I ride our tandem on rolling, moderately hilly terrain, we average a higher speed (maybe 17.5 mph) than I can under similar circumstances on my single (maybe 16.5 mph).
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Old 06-05-18, 02:33 PM
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Yup, the tandem is the great equalizer. Allows less than avid cyclist to come along and participate in rides they normally would not be capable of and have fun doing it.
Never have to wait or worry where they are or if they will make it. Can push as hard as I like and she never gets dropped.
It is all good.
Glad it is working out for the OP.
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Old 06-05-18, 06:12 PM
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Tandems do rock.
We live in a hilly area and you can't get 2km away from the house without a climb. My wife isn't too keen on doing the climbs on a single, but on the tandem she can do it. It is more effort for me, but less for her. The problem is we are faster on the flats and downhills than I am on my single bike, so the climbs arrive quicker. That's Ok as I need the workout.

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Old 06-06-18, 07:10 AM
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When we started tandeming, it too was for the great equalization factor and still offers that after 16 years, however, over time, it has come to be so much more in terms of our relationship through shared experiences, goals, and accomplishments. This is where I think Tandems really rock..
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Old 06-06-18, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Alcanbrad View Post
When we started tandeming, it too was for the great equalization factor and still offers that after 16 years, however, over time, it has come to be so much more in terms of our relationship through shared experiences, goals, and accomplishments. This is where I think Tandems really rock..
Well said, I completely agree.
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Old 06-10-18, 09:53 AM
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We have been riding tandems for 30+ years. My stoker would not ride a bike other than around a park unless on a tandem due to her fear factor and being much less athletic. But, on a tandem, we happily ride together every day, on major roads, in the French Quarter, for hours at a time, on a bridge over the interstate, to outdoor festivals with portable chairs loaded, etc. My stoker wouldn't do any of that on a half bike. But, on a tandem, she enjoys it and we enjoy it very much twogether.
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Old 06-11-18, 07:55 AM
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My wife doesn't want to ride the tandem as often as I do, but of course, it's up to her. We took a group ride on Saturday, and we rode singles. She said it's better for building her stamina. I really hope we can do at least one 50-mile ride on the tandem this summer, one that isn't perfectly flat.
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Old 06-11-18, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
My wife doesn't want to ride the tandem as often as I do, but of course, it's up to her. We took a group ride on Saturday, and we rode singles. She said it's better for building her stamina. I really hope we can do at least one 50-mile ride on the tandem this summer, one that isn't perfectly flat.
We've both quickly evolved to preferring the tandem to our half-bikes. Part of the reason it's going that way, I think, is that we also got Garmin Vector 3s pedals/power meters for each of us; my wife (who very much wants to do her share) now has objective data showing her how hard she's working, and she's upped her game significantly as a result.
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Old 06-12-18, 03:24 PM
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Wife and I are actively looking for the right deal on a tandem. Hopes are high. We've been married 42 years... hope tandem-ing isnt a deal-breaker!
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Old 06-15-18, 12:48 PM
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Wife and I are actively looking for the right deal on a tandem. Hopes are high. We've been married 42 years... hope tandem-ing isnt a deal-breaker!
My stoker and I will celebrate our 40th anniversary this coming December. But...............hope we make it because we've only been Captain and Stoker for 18 years. Too early to tell how that will affect things, eh?
Hope you find a bike that works for you!
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Old 06-18-18, 11:15 AM
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Cannondale tandem

We wore out our Trek tandem and went to a Cannondale. So far we love it..Any great tandem recommendations?
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Old 06-18-18, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by CherylH View Post
We wore out our Trek tandem and went to a Cannondale. So far we love it..Any great tandem recommendations?
We went from a Co-Motion Java to a da Vinci designs In-2-ition road tandem. Very different tandem riding experience but we absolutely love it!! So much easier to ride, especially for our old bones.We find that the independent pedaling action makes our tandem experience much more fun. We added some upgrades and some lower gearing giving us a Incredible gear range.

Check it out and our find a dealer where you can get a test ride. You will be surprised!
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Old 06-18-18, 02:40 PM
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+1 on a daVinci. We went from a Trailmate to a Trek T900 to a da Vinci Grand Junction. Now, the daVinci ICS is not for everyone. Some people like it and some don't. But, we prefer it. I no longer have to worry about my stoker's pedals clearing (handles it herself) and we can each take a break while the other pedals. Also, she can start us off with a good push while I am getting back up on the bike after a full stop. Sometimes, I stand on my pedals to take a break while my stoker pedals. The looks on the faces of the cyclists who pass us are priceless. You can see them trying to figure out how I am standing on the pedals and not pedaling while she is pedaling.
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Old 07-23-18, 05:55 PM
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Been riding 'in tandem' since 1975 and are now on tandem #5 .
Have ridden over a quarter million miles as a tandem team in 30+ states.
Current Zona carbon fiber tandem has only 45,000 miles on it (just broken in!).
At age 85\83 we still get out a couple times a week year 'round,

Enjoy yhe ride TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 08-12-18, 05:01 PM
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Yes, tandems are great in many ways! They can't be beat for allowing us to "keep up with each other" when we are out riding. There are other dynamics I'm not sure I can even identify involved as well.
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Old 08-12-18, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by WrenchSpinnr View Post
Yes, tandems are great in many ways! They can't be beat for allowing us to "keep up with each other" when we are out riding. There are other dynamics I'm not sure I can even identify involved as well.
Hi, neighbor!

Yeah, there really is, to us, a special sauce in tandem riding, that leaves us happier after a ride on the tandem then we ever were when we rode together on single bikes.
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Old 09-12-18, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
Wife and I are actively looking for the right deal on a tandem. Hopes are high. We've been married 42 years... hope tandem-ing isnt a deal-breaker!
The person who sold us our tandem had a great saying about tandems. "Whatever direction you marriage is going, the tandem with accelerate it!" Our marriage is going great, and our tandem does indeed rock and make our marriage greater!
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Old 09-12-18, 11:24 AM
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We've only been riding together a little over a year. Moving to a tandem was fantastic, it allowed us to progress much faster than we would have together on half-bikes. My wife would have never in her wildest dreams completed the Tour de Tahoe on a half bike, but we did it last weekend! Tandems really rock!
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Old 09-12-18, 11:25 AM
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I hope that's true. Our marriage is going better than ever. We don't ride the tandem often. Maybe we should.
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