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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!

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Old 04-03-05, 07:01 PM   #1
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Tips needed

Well, my husband and I are finally back on our tandem after 6 weeks of back problems. Now we have decided that we want to start practicing clipping out together and both of us putting our foot on the ground together at stops. Are there any goods tips that will help? I'm just afraid that on start up we won't have the same momentum as when I stay clipped in and on the saddle. Which way works best for you?
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Old 04-03-05, 08:00 PM   #2
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When we ride my stoker stays clipped in at stop lights where we need to get moving quickly. I (captain) keep my left foot clipped in as well. My stoker moves the chain backwards to put the unclipped pedal horizontal so I can step on it and go. When we stop to rest or have a drink we both unclip but to restart I hold the bike steady until she is clipped in and then start as described above. We both used to unclip at lights but it slowed us down to start up. Try different variations to se what works for your team.
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Old 04-03-05, 08:20 PM   #3
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I guess several ways work for different tandem teams. For us, the stoker always stays clipped in at normal stops. I always click out of both pedals and use both legs to keep the bike secure and upright, until we are ready to restart. This answer applies to our brand of tandeming, and we ride only on paved roads with a road tandem. I find that with two-sided MTB pedals such as SPD's or Speedplay Frogs it is very easy to clip in when starting. Single sided pedals would not be as easy in my estimation. When I say "normal" stops above, I would make the exception that when stopping on a steep slope, slick road, sand or other extenuating circumstance, it would be beneficial to have the stoker clip out with at least one foot as well.
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Old 04-03-05, 09:17 PM   #4
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Debbie rides the tandem the same way you ride a horse. After getting saddled up, the only time she puts a foot back on the ground is after the bike has come to a stop and she intends to dismount.

For context, this pertains primarily to road riding (off-road is a bit more complex), I'm 5'8" @ 165 lbs (winter weight) and Debbie is 5'2 and about 1/3 lighter.
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Old 04-03-05, 09:46 PM   #5
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Do it whichever way is comfortable for the 2of-U!
Kay gets fully clipped in before we start and at traffic lights/stop streets, etc. she does not unclip unless she is actually dismounting.
And on the dismounting part, we teach stokers to 'walk away from the tandem' and say "Off". That way the captain knows she is out of the way as he throws his leg over the saddle/stoker bars to dismount. This way a karate kick to the stoker is avoided.
We also pedal 90 degrees out-of-phase (OOP) which facilitates better/quicker start ups with out tandem and no need to worry about momentum or equal force pushing off.
However, some captains (a bit more agile) throw their leg over the pilot's handlebar, but still, a bit of co-ordination and voice commands avoids any problems!
Glad U-2 are back on the l-o-n-g bike!

Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/Zonatandem
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Old 04-04-05, 02:50 AM   #6
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It will be hard to beat a Proper Method start with the stoker already clipped in, starting off one captain foot, for accelerating off a stop, if the captain clips in quickly.

I wrote some good instructions for starting off two feet, one captain foot and one stoker foot, in Mindi Rosenthal's "Sidi Road Shoes" thread.
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