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Equinox 07-12-09 11:43 AM

Setting up a tandem for a time trial.
My stoker is an elite runner and very competetive. 25 years of running is taking its inevitable toll, so she is starting to make the transition. She still needs a race situation, so we are preparing for a local time trial. Our bike is set up for club riding. What cheap modifications can we make to our bike to make it feel faster? We have 28 mm. Continental Four Seasons now, and I was thinking of getting a lighter tire. What can I safely place on a tandem? Would a 23mm tire be safe? Maybe a more aggressive saddle for my stoker? She has a Trek WSD saddle. Maybe a Terry Butterfly or Fizik Vitesse? We were also thinking of trying OOP. Suggestions?

merlinextraligh 07-12-09 12:47 PM

There's a couple of threads on our set up for the Florida State TT Championships, with some good suggestions offered by various people, I'd peruse those.

At a team weigth of 340lbs we ran a 23mm front, 25 back. The front matters most for aerodynamics.

The number one relatively cheap improvement is aerobars for the captain. We couldn't fit aerobars for the stoker, but used Cane Creek speed bars which offered a narrow, low position for the stoker.

As for a saddle for the stoker, my wife uses a Fizik Vitesse triathlon saddle. More padding in the nose for comfort in an aero position. Its worked well for her, but saddles are a very personal preference matter.

As for return on investment, you'd get more return out of buying time trial helmets. After aerobars, these are the next biggest bang for the buck item.

zonatandem 07-12-09 07:53 PM

Do your time trial on your present tandem 'as is.'
If you two like doing TTs then inve$t in aero stuff.

Equinox 07-12-09 08:52 PM


Originally Posted by zonatandem (Post 9267248)
Do your time trial on your present tandem 'as is.'
If you two like doing TTs then inve$t in aero stuff.

Absolutely. I just was interested in getting a psychological boost.

Red Rider 07-13-09 12:33 PM

Aerobars, TT helmets, shoe covers -- that's all we use. We run 25s and are thinking about 23s for the stage race next month.

We recently went OOP and are really enjoying the extra power. I think we're going to stay OOP for a while.

Good luck with your event. We really enjoy our tandem TTs. Here's a pic from one we did in June:

uspspro 07-13-09 01:36 PM

Just areo bars in the front will probably be your #1 improvement:

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