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Advice for new tandem riders please

Lil 31 Jul 15:47  

Joined: 31 Jul 2008

Posts: 2


We bought a tandem at the start of the year and are planning to do a 250 mile charity ride in September. Training is going reasonably well, but we're still learning how to ride the tandem - it's quite alot different to a single bike. Has anyone got any advice on how to make the riding easier?

happy 31 Jul 16:20  

Joined: 15 Mar 2006

Posts: 302

Bike: Orange P7 with Rock Shox, Michelin Wildgripper Lites, XTR Chainset

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Hi Lil,

My wife and I got a tandem about 4 months ago, it was only about 4 weeks ago we got out on it properly though.

Some things we found that may help:

1. Always stop on the same side (i.e. agree a side with your partner that will be the side to put your foot down when stopping), unless something is otherwise preventing you to do so.

2. Strongest person, and the more confident bike rider should be at the front. I found that basically the stronger person should try and get the bike up to speed, and once there, both of you share the load as its much easier to keep a bike going fast, once someone has got it going fast.

3. Allow a wider turning circle.

4. spds can be hazardsome lol.

If you are both about the same fitness, this won't really be a problem.

Somethings that took me a while to get used to was that you can no longer freewheel when you like, as the person behind will keep cycling, so you are best just to slow the pace down but keep your legs moving. If you are going to stop pedalling, make sure the person behind knows :)

These are things I'm sure you have found out already. As far as actual training goes though, it might be worth alternating who is as the front, just to improve both of the riders. Ultimately distance is going to be the main factor, just keep putting in long distance cycles and you'll be fine.

Hope that helps somewhat.


My Latest Route: Oct 2010 Livingston to Ayr Avoiding A71

Murray Barnes 31 Jul 18:33  

Joined: 07 Jan 2007

Posts: 64


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And if Happy's advice is not good enough for you, the late Sheldon Brown wrote some articles about tandems, available here

My Latest Route: Jul 2008 Great Glen Cycleway

Lil 01 Aug 13:49  

Joined: 31 Jul 2008

Posts: 2


Thanks for the advice guys - will let you know how we get on


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