The Tandem Club


Forum

Forums
List All Forums
Help

Account

Pictures


Forsale

Discussions

Discussion of anything related to Tandems. Opinions expressed on this discussion board are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Tandem Club. Postings or extracts may be published in the Tandem Club Journal.
To add a response or post a new message you need to have an account and be logged in. You can get emails sent to you by enabling the Send Forum Emails tick box in your user preferences. Note you need to login to the website to add replies. See our help information here for more information.
You can add to this discussion using the entry box at the bottom of this page, when logged in.

Slower on a tandem than a solo.

Phillip Jurczyk2017-05-18 16:24:57

After several years piloting with a stoker about 12% lighter than me (I am 68kilos and 1.60 tall) I recently bought another tandem to use with my son who is approaching 40, 1.92 tall, weighs about 110kilos and pilots the new tandem. We are both fit and can do solo 200k rides in under 10hrs. including stops but find we are around two hours slower on the tandem. Can anyone explain why this might be the case?

Barry Wilson2017-05-20 09:57:23

: After several years piloting with a stoker about 12% lighter than me (I am
: 68kilos and 1.60 tall) I recently bought another tandem to use with my son
: who is approaching 40, 1.92 tall, weighs about 110kilos and pilots the new
: tandem. We are both fit and can do solo 200k rides in under 10hrs.
: including stops but find we are around two hours slower on the tandem. Can
: anyone explain why this might be the case?
:
I'm assuming the comparison is between solos and the new tandem, and not between tandems. I find it takes quite a time to be comfortable and confident with a new pairing and so caution makes levels of effort a little lower, even if they seem the same or higher. The stoker now has no control over gearing and so cadences might not be ideal, and I would be surprised if you are both honking whereas on solos is common to honk up small rises thus maintaining the pace. Do keep at it tho, and note that the LEJOG record (900(ish) miles)on a tandem is only about an hour or so slower than a solo.

Barry

Tim Dowson2017-05-20 10:54:54

: I'm assuming the comparison is between solos and the new tandem, and not
: between tandems. I find it takes quite a time to be comfortable and
: confident with a new pairing and so caution makes levels of effort a
: little lower, even if they seem the same or higher. The stoker now has no
: control over gearing and so cadences might not be ideal, and I would be
: surprised if you are both honking whereas on solos is common to honk up
: small rises thus maintaining the pace. Do keep at it tho, and note that
: the LEJOG record (900(ish) miles)on a tandem is only about an hour or so
: slower than a solo.

: Barry

Because of the decreased wind resistance tandems can often be faster than solos, but I suppose the mechanical losses and tiredness adds up over the course of lejog. At what distance (or time) to tandem records start to drop below solo ones?

Roy Bradshaw2017-05-20 11:07:39

: Because of the decreased wind resistance tandems can often be faster than
: solos, but I suppose the mechanical losses and tiredness adds up over the
: course of lejog. At what distance (or time) to tandem records start to
: drop below solo ones?

I am sure, as has been said, that compatibility of cadence will be the main problem. It is interesting to read that the Solo LeJog record is slower than for the tandem, but it does also depend on how much suffering the riders are willing to accept and so may not be a good guide. I am fairly certain that the average speed at which my wife and I ride on the tandem is considerably faster than the average speed we would achieve if we combined our solo speeds.

One thing I have noticed is that many tandem pairs start changing down as soon as they see a hill ahead. I am of the opinion that for short hills provided you can keep the speed above 15 mph then you will sail over. It is worth attacking the hill before you get there. It doesn’t work for us on long hills as we soon run out of energy, but on short hills the inertia of the inherent faster speed of the tandem will often take you over faster than a solo.

Roy Bradshaw

Phillip Jurczyk2017-05-20 11:33:39

Thanks for your responses. I forgot to mention that my cadence is considerably higher than my son's. Mine is normally between 100 to 110 and Alek's is around 80. I find that even within 20k my legs feel the effect of pushing higher gears and it's much lower cadence and am considerably more tired at the end of our normal rides of 200k or so. When I am piloting either of my stokers our cadence is much higher and I am much less tired after rides of similar distances.

Brian Grindall2017-05-22 13:38:57

: Thanks for your responses. I forgot to mention that my cadence is
: considerably higher than my son's. Mine is normally between 100 to 110 and
: Alek's is around 80. I find that even within 20k my legs feel the effect
: of pushing higher gears and it's much lower cadence and am considerably
: more tired at the end of our normal rides of 200k or so. When I am
: piloting either of my stokers our cadence is much higher and I am much
: less tired after rides of similar distances.

Forget all the scientific stuff. You should know the answer by now; the one on the back isn't pedalling !!

Charles Kendall2017-05-23 19:11:30

I have often wondered about this. We are a mixed crew and alone on a solo I average around 27kmh whereas on the tandem its around 21kmh for the same circuit. I think if my stoker could average 27kmh, then on the tandem one might do around 30kmh. I think on a tandem you lose some time manouvering, stopping and starting which all reduces average speeds. The one phase in which I think you win over solos is downhill whatever the crew. I don't believe in momentum being of much benefit on the uphill. In my experience momentum decays more rapidly on a heavy tandem than on a light solo. But then we are over 60's now, 35 years ago on our first tandem we could fly.

: After several years piloting with a stoker about 12% lighter than me (I am
: 68kilos and 1.60 tall) I recently bought another tandem to use with my son
: who is approaching 40, 1.92 tall, weighs about 110kilos and pilots the new
: tandem. We are both fit and can do solo 200k rides in under 10hrs.
: including stops but find we are around two hours slower on the tandem. Can
: anyone explain why this might be the case?