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blown over

Old 10-29-14, 03:50 PM
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engineerbob 
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blown over

This morning, when my wife and I went out for a ride, there was a slight wind, about 15mph. As we continued and got out of the trees, the wind picked up speed. Climbing, the bike was badly buffeted from side to side. And then "the gust" hit us, literally blowing us and the bike onto our sides. Fortunately, we fell away from traffic. Nothing more than scrapes.

Are tandems more susceptible to cross-winds?

Bob
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Old 10-29-14, 04:11 PM
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mdtenor
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Eat a sandwich!!!

Joking aside, glad you guys are ok. I've never experienced anything like that, despite some decent cross winds. Been buffeted pretty bad on my motorcycle, but not the tandem.
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Old 10-29-14, 04:26 PM
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merlinextraligh
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blown over

IMHO tandem is less susceptible to cross winds because the longer wheelbase equals more stability.

I'll ride the tandem with zipp 808s in wind that I wouldn't Ride them on a single bike.
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Old 10-29-14, 04:27 PM
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Carbonfiberboy 
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I don't think so, but tandems lose their aero advantage in cross winds. I'd rather have a headwind. Never been blown over even in 25 knots, though never had winds like that while climbing. That would be bad because the bike isn't as maneuverable when going slow so it's harder to keep the wheels under you.

The worst danger is with winds from the traffic side. When a big truck or similar comes up along side, it take the wind away and because you're leaned strongly into traffic, can cause the bike to move into traffic and thus that truck if you aren't ready for it. Gravel trucks with pup trailers are really bad!
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Old 10-29-14, 05:17 PM
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engineerbob 
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Originally Posted by mdtenor View Post
Eat a sandwich!!!

Joking aside, glad you guys are ok. I've never experienced anything like that, despite some decent cross winds. Been buffeted pretty bad on my motorcycle, but not the tandem.
Yeah, our combined weight is 250#. I tell myself that is an advantage when climbing. I tell myself a lot of things.

I think the problem with today's wind was its variability. A constant cross-wind is more manageable. Obviously, the gust's strength surprised me.

Bob
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Old 10-29-14, 10:43 PM
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WillFam-Reno
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In my experience, tandems (even our triplet) are LESS susceptible (man that word looks funny) to cross wind effects, but require a lot MORE steering effort and quick correction due to the longer wheelbase. If you think a tandem requires more steering motion and effort than a single, try a triplet with two wiggling boys (three when we used a trail-a-bike). I can only imagine the work to control a quad or quint.

Glad you are both okay.
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Old 10-30-14, 06:23 AM
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DCwom
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Tandems have a larger cross-section than a single so they will have greater wind pressure from the side than a single, however they also have more mass and as other have said the long wheel base can help with the steering stability when correcting for the side pressure (yaw?) Probably a bigger factor is forward speed of the bike, the faster the wheels spin the greater the gyroscopic effect which keeps the bike upright.
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Old 10-30-14, 07:25 AM
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The last few rides on the tandem we had some major winds. We both made the comment that we were so happy we took the tandem out and not the singles. A couple of times we got hit with major cross winds and it did move us sideways some but it moved the singles alot more than us.
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Old 10-30-14, 10:40 AM
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waynesulak
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I agree with all the above posters that due to their size tandems are more stable machines in the wind than a single. On the other hand, with current popular tandem steering geometry tandems are much more likely to be destabilized by side to side weight shifts. Add to this the fact that some tandem teams have little experience in high wind on the tandem. As a result if a tandem, especially one moving slowly, is suddenly tilted by the wind then the bike will react in an unfamiliar manner which can result in more movement off their line than on a single where the rider is well acclimated and almost automatically adjusting for the wind.
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Old 10-30-14, 02:05 PM
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In a two-day stretch on open roads atop Britain's shelterless Pennine moorland we were blown completely off the road and into the heather three times.

This becomes less surprising when we remember that we've also been blown off the footpaths when hiking in the same region.
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Old 10-30-14, 10:13 PM
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Never been blown 'off the road' and crashed by the wind on our tandem in over 40 years of tandeming. Have however been blown sideways and even had to make an involuntary left run due to very strong crosswinds.
Have been blown off the road on my single bike while cresting a steep hill when a big gust blew between 2 mountain peaks. Ended up losing control, crashing and breaking 6 ribs + a punctured lung. Was lucky, as I just missed a 50 foot drop-off on the side of the road.
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