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We have been riding tandems for most of our relationship but about 5 years ago I got hit by a car and was rewarded with a fractured knee. :eek: Since then (until a few weeks ago) our tandeming was limited to very casual rides as I slowly got back to full strength and we were just too busy riding other bikes.

Now we have a new tandem and are pushing the miles on the thing. And going crazy fast-at least 3mph faster for 100 miles than on our half bikes. On shorter rides our speed improvement is even greater. Up hills, down hill, on the flats it doesn't really matter, we are flyin'. Worst of all I haven't really pushed our speed on the downhills yet.

I suspect the improvement isn't really about the new bike (since our old one was top end at the time). I think my stoker has gotten somewhat stronger from riding fixed all the time and a lot more agressive. Now she wants to go all out all the time.

What can I do? I don't want her to pass me so I am going harder too. And we are going faster together. So back to my original question; do you go faster/harder on your tandem than you do on your half bike?
 

· Just Riding Along
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"What can I do? I don't want her to pass me so I am going harder too. "

Even in the captain's seat, MB1 has to work hard to stay ahead of Miss M!
 

· Steaming piles of opinion
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Some of that's natural; less rolling and air resistance than a set of half bikes. In most conditions you'll be faster with no more effort.

The other bit is probably the 'connected' nature of things. In a way, tandems are a little bit like fixies, in that it's harder to stop pedaling, so you tend to keep going. Then there's not letting the team down, etc.

Be an interesting puzzle to figure out how much of each is responsible.
 

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Overall I was disappointed with the tandem. I was expecting a huge increase in speed. But given that I ride faster than my wife does on singles it is no wonder. Still I find it rewarding. We rebuilt our first tandem, 91 Fish converted to touring rig, and absolutely flew during a stretch of trail passing everone and no one could catch us.

Bought a C-Dale RT3000 back in 2001 and have yet to really find its limits. Babies and life get in the way.

Funny thing is that I can feel my 13 year old as a stoker, rarely feel my wife stoking. She is a strong road rider but I think slacks on the tandem.

ps don't let her read this post
 

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I've got the opposite- we got the tandem out this weekend, hooked up the trailer (total length was the same as my car) and went for a nice gentle ride.

Of course, my stoker isn't that into riding, and since the stoker is never wrong, she got to set the pace.

Best part of the ride was when she said she thought we should make this a regular sunday morning tradition. Can't beat that.
 

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I find that the Tandem is like a fixed - Just don't freewheel like I do on a single due to the captain - stoker relationship. As a result, better workout due to constantly peddling. We do go faster - Until we hit a long climb. Still have not found the secret to powering up the hills like I can on a single.. Despite riding one for more than 15 yrs now..
 

· Steaming piles of opinion
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Adding to previous comments: Like many tandem couples, we're considerably mismatched. Perhaps unlike many tandem couples, most of my single-bike time is spent riding with her as well. As a result, a single-bike ride ends up being a pretty lazy affair for me, and a pretty aggressive one for her.

On the tandem, I get a ride more like I want - a harder, more consistent effort. She gets more of what she wants, too - a spirited but easy cruise. And we tack on an easy 3+ mph.

A typical single session has me in the low-middle of HR zone 2, her sticking the 4's. Not a lot of fun for either. A tandem session settles me into the high 3's to low 4's, her high 1's to mid 2's. (notwithstanding the occasional steep or stop) Both of those outcomes are aligned to our personal desires for riding, which is kinda neat.
 

· Squirrel Hunter
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The Hurt

Andrea138 said:
I'm reading this and wondering even more what would happen if Mr. 138 and I ever acquired a tandem. FYI- we both race... he's a cat 3 & I'm a cat 2. We're both pretty adept at hauling a**

I think it'd be dangerously fun :D

//I also wonder if you could build a rear tandem wheel w/a powertap...
Well it is likely you would really put the hurt on anyone trying to hang onto your wheel. The little woman and I like to lead out the final sprints for our Tuesday Night World Championships and will start the leadout on the eary side so the sandbaggers looking for a free ride have to work hard to hold our wheel and then still have a good distance to go before the finish line. Sorts out the men from the boys. You will need to work out some subtle non-verbal cues such as a double butt tap or secret code when you plan to start a sprint, when to latch onto a wheel, etc.

As long as you have similar cadences you will find the tandem to be a rocket sled. You will soon find that you can ride with a lot of nonverbal cues and work like a well oiled machine. The only area that may take a bit of training is hills, a tandem can climb as fast as singles but it does take a little coordination between the two if you, Also the stoker will need to be willing to give up some control although that also means the freedom of not worrying about some things.

I do work harder on the tandem and as someone mentioned above, it is a bit like a fixie where you generally spin where you might be coasting on a single. I also find that as captain you are the only one putting in the extra half pedal stroke to close a small gap in a paceline. Also takes a little more effort from the upper body to control the extra weight of another person that may not flow exactly like you plan.

Not sure a PowerTap wheel would work well as tandems generally have wider rear spacing than singles to allow for wheels with less dish in them.
 

· Cheese is my copilot
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Andrea138 said:
I'm reading this and wondering even more what would happen if Mr. 138 and I ever acquired a tandem. FYI- we both race... he's a cat 3 & I'm a cat 2. We're both pretty adept at hauling a**

I think it'd be dangerously fun :D
None of your friends would ever take a pull, that's for sure.
 

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We are getting faster by the year. Namely, my stoker has lost about 30# since buying out tandem in March of 07. We both are continually getting stronger, I am training and racing, she is gym training and gradually getting into single riding. Our tandem speeds are still slower than my regular single ride speeds. We still haven't found the secret to tandem climbing, though. I climb fairly well single, but I think we lose most of our vertical ability in efficiency. I am a single spinner, but can't spin as fast on the tandem without feeling like I'm pulling stoker feet around. We do love gravity, however, and relish towing everybody down the hills who just passed us on the way up...
 

· BS the DC
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My stoker is considerably slower and more casual about riding than I am, so when we are on the tandem together, we are riding slower than I'm use to. This use to drive me crazy watching people pass me on group rides. I use to kill myself trying to keep up with riders. I have since learned to relax and just enjoy the ride at a slower pace.
 

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Faster Fun Fun!

My wife and I are totally mesmerized by our new road tandem experience. I have been riding since 1972 and she just "converted" to road cycling after a recent back injury with an L4 bulging disk interfering with her avid running (10 k on most days). We are easily keeping speeds over 20 MPH, even with head winds, cross winds, do not matter, the accelerations just stay consistent. I am the captain and she is the stoker. To me it feels like the "speeding rush" you get in a pack of strong riders with a tail wind. We are riding a "cheap" Walmart Kent, our first tandem, but it performs like a high end steel road frame to me. If a cheap tandem can deliver this kind of riding experience, then what about a higher end tandem? Uummh...
We are definitely going to invest in the higher end road racing tandems now. The trill of speed and fun, with good quality time together is very rewarding! I still will ride my nice carbon road bike "solo", but the tandem experience is like riding in a fast, strong pack with a tail wind always, and silky smooth ride no matter what the road throws at us, he-he.:thumbsup: :D ru1-2cycle
 

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My wife and I have been riding our KHS tandem for about 6 years now. We both bought 2009 allez sports this year and I have gotten up to almost 19 mph. Karen injured her wrist right after buying the allez and has not ridden since May. She just got cleared to get back on the tandem and we started at about 12mph, then dropped to about 11 mph but yesterday's ride was just over 13mph. Don't know if we will get as fast on the tandem as on I can go on the allez but we will have fun trying;-)

I ride the tandem as hard as the single. My wife pushes pretty good too. But as others have said, it's nice to be able to ride as hard or easy as we both like and still enjoy the ride together.
 
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