Tandem climbing speed?

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Scott, Feb 5, 2003.

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  1. Scott

    Scott Guest

    Just dreaming, scheming, etc. about a two-wheeled tandem for me and my wife (currently ride a GTT),
    and I was wondering what kind of climbing speeds people are experiencing on their
    tandems--Screamers, DV's, etc. I know this question is highly motor-dependent, but for riders in
    pretty good shape (though not racers), I was wondering what we might expect for long grades in the
    5--6% range, which are pretty common here in the western US. Currently on the trike tandem we find
    ourselves frequently in the "4mph gear" as we call it. Since trikes are inherently slower than
    two-wheelers in this regard (climbing), if we could maintain 6 mph over similar terrain, that would
    be a huge boost. This would translate into something like 30 min. less climbing time on some of our
    bigger grades. Just wonderin'. What say you?

    Regards, Scott GTT Halu-Wahoo!-zak
     
    Tags:


  2. My stoker and I "become one with the hill." We climbed the same way on our Santana.

    Tim Storey

    2001 Vision R64 2002 RANS Screamer

    "Scott" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Just dreaming, scheming, etc. about a two-wheeled tandem for me and my wife (currently ride a
    > GTT), and I was wondering what kind of climbing speeds people are experiencing on their
    > tandems--Screamers, DV's, etc. I know this question is highly motor-dependent, but for riders in
    > pretty good shape (though not racers), I was wondering what we might expect for long grades in the
    > 5--6% range, which are pretty common here in the western US. Currently on the trike tandem we find
    > ourselves frequently in the "4mph gear" as we call it. Since trikes are inherently slower than
    > two-wheelers in this regard (climbing), if we could maintain 6 mph over similar terrain, that
    > would be a huge boost. This would translate into something like 30 min. less climbing time on some
    > of our bigger grades. Just wonderin'. What say you?
    >
    > Regards, Scott GTT Halu-Wahoo!-zak
     
  3. Ben Fox

    Ben Fox Guest

    When I had my O.E. Troika,I noticed it was much slower uphill than the screamer I had. Of course it
    weighted about 15 or 20lbs. more and there's that 3rd wheel ,resistance.

    The trike, OTOH allows you to climb at a slow pace without worrying about falling over because
    you're going to slow to maintain your balance.

    As 2 wheel tandems go I think the lightest and fastest is the Columbia by Barcroft. Mike stern has
    one and he and his wife are very fast on it,they tried a Screamer and say it's slower.

    You can sell me the G.S. at a ridiculous low price so I can afford it and buy a Columbia.

    The only drawback I can see to the Columbia is if you need to carry a lot of gear there doesn't seem
    to be too many places to hang anything. Ben fox "Scott" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Just dreaming, scheming, etc. about a two-wheeled tandem for me and my wife (currently ride a
    > GTT), and I was wondering what kind of climbing speeds people are experiencing on their
    > tandems--Screamers, DV's, etc. I know this question is highly motor-dependent, but for riders in
    > pretty good shape (though not racers), I was wondering what we might expect for long grades in the
    > 5--6% range, which are pretty common here in the western US. Currently on the trike tandem we find
    > ourselves frequently in the "4mph gear" as we call it. Since trikes are inherently slower than
    > two-wheelers in this regard (climbing), if we could maintain 6 mph over similar terrain, that
    > would be a huge boost. This would translate into something like 30 min. less climbing time on some
    > of our bigger grades. Just wonderin'. What say you?
    >
    > Regards, Scott GTT Halu-Wahoo!-zak
     
  4. Mike S

    Mike S Guest

    [email protected] (Scott) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Just dreaming, scheming, etc. about a two-wheeled tandem for me and my wife (currently ride a
    > GTT), and I was wondering what kind of climbing speeds people are experiencing on their
    > tandems--Screamers, DV's, etc. I know this question is highly motor-dependent, but for riders in
    > pretty good shape (though not racers), I was wondering what we might expect for long grades in the
    > 5--6% range, which are pretty common here in the western US. Currently on the trike tandem we find
    > ourselves frequently in the "4mph gear" as we call it. Since trikes are inherently slower than
    > two-wheelers in this regard (climbing), if we could maintain 6 mph over similar terrain, that
    > would be a huge boost. This would translate into something like 30 min. less climbing time on some
    > of our bigger grades. Just wonderin'. What say you?
    >
    > Regards, Scott GTT Halu-Wahoo!-zak

    Scott: We have a Barcroft Columbia tandem so our bike weighs a lot less than your Greenspeed and at
    least 10 pounds less than the Screamer and the DV (actual weight, not posted weight). Our experience
    (generally, not specifically) is that we are much faster than the Greenspeed overall, pass most of
    the Screamers at the tandem rallies, and do well against the Visions. That might be more a testament
    to comparative engines and the riding philosophy of the riders (who can ever tell) but I also think
    it may be the bikes. But, having said that, on a 5 - 6 % long grade we try to stay at 5 mph or
    above. The above is more of a wish than a reality. For stretches we may push it into the 6 mph range
    but we usually settle back into the 5's. Its all about keeping the reps up but when we are pushing
    that kind of weight uphill we are way down in the granny gear so our task becomes not how fast we
    can do the hill but to keep pushing so we do do the hill. As you know, tandems are not gazelles on
    long grades. One advantage you have is that even if you fall below 5 mph you can keep on motoring.
    The slower the two wheelers go the more effort you need to stay the course as their handling becomes
    more squirrelly.
     
  5. Ive been training for the Cross Florida ride on a RANS Screamer for the last three months.We found
    it necessary to include climbing in our training because the one-day 170 mile Cross Florida ride
    includes about 40 miles of hills. My riding partner is an experieced and fairly strong cyclist and
    I'd say that thanks to hard training, Im a bit better than the average bear in the speed dept -
    especially after losing about 20 pounds of lard. In so doing we've found that climbing on the RANS
    Screamer has proven to be a sloooooow experience. Though we don't have any good hills in South
    Florida, we've been using one of the steepest and longest bridge in the area to train (The Biscayne
    Key Bridge is the closest thing to a real hill around here). Anyway, our best speeds have been only
    6 to 9 MPH!. If I were riding a Wishbone RT on the same bridge, my speed would be closer to 16-17
    MPH with about the same effort. On my Tailwind, my climb speed is about 14 mph on the same bridge.
    So, in light of the fact that we've been training pretty hard for the last few months and have been
    cycling for years (thus we have a pretty good base), I would have to say that climbing is not the
    RANS Screamer's best attribute. Im not sure as to the main reason for this but I suspect that
    weight is a big factor here as is the stoker's low BB. I find it hard to generate power on a climb
    with a low BB.

    Having said that, the Screamer is a very stable & comfortable cruiser and - as long as you're not in
    a hurry to climb a certain hill, - you'll have a blast on the way down and on the flats.

    Jose Jose A. Hernandez Recumbent Cycling Means NEVER Having to Say Your'e Sore!
    http://www.BentRiderOnline.com http://www.GetBent.Org
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SouthFloridaRecumbentRiders
     
  6. Scott

    Scott Guest

    "Ben Fox" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > When I had my O.E. Troika,I noticed it was much slower uphill than the screamer I had. Of course
    > it weighted about 15 or 20lbs. more and there's that 3rd wheel ,resistance.
    >
    > The trike, OTOH allows you to climb at a slow pace without worrying about falling over because
    > you're going to slow to maintain your balance.
    >
    > As 2 wheel tandems go I think the lightest and fastest is the Columbia by Barcroft. Mike stern has
    > one and he and his wife are very fast on it,they tried a Screamer and say it's slower.
    >
    > You can sell me the G.S. at a ridiculous low price so I can afford it and buy a Columbia.
    >
    > The only drawback I can see to the Columbia is if you need to carry a lot of gear there doesn't
    > seem to be too many places to hang anything. Ben fox

    Hi, Ben: So you're no longer riding the Troika? Those seem like fine machines. As far as low-speed
    climbing, I'm pretty comfortable on my Haluzak going as slow as 3.5mph or so. What's slow speed
    handling like on a two-wheeled tandem? OTOH, if I never have to go that slow, all the better! I've
    looked at the Columbia, but I'm not really excited by the dual 20's though I wouldn't rule it out.
    It seems well made and very portable.

    Regards, Scott
     
  7. Ben Fox

    Ben Fox Guest

    Not to change the subject ,but Jose mentioned that on low BB bikes he can't generate power on
    climbs. I see Tour Easy riders climbing hills without any problem, some as fast as my P-38. I wonder
    if it's a case of power generation or just building the proper muscles group for the the bb height .
    I guess I will find out since I now also have a Stratus to go with my P-38. Ben fox "Jose A.
    Hernandez" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Ive been training for the Cross Florida ride on a RANS Screamer for the
    last
    > three months.We found it necessary to include climbing in our training
    because
    > the one-day 170 mile Cross Florida ride includes about 40 miles of hills.
    My
    > riding partner is an experieced and fairly strong cyclist and I'd say that thanks to hard
    > training, Im a bit better than the average bear in the
    speed
    > dept - especially after losing about 20 pounds of lard. In so doing we've found that climbing on
    > the RANS Screamer has proven to be a sloooooow experience. Though we don't have any good hills in
    > South Florida, we've
    been
    > using one of the steepest and longest bridge in the area to train (The
    Biscayne
    > Key Bridge is the closest thing to a real hill around here). Anyway, our
    best
    > speeds have been only 6 to 9 MPH!. If I were riding a Wishbone RT on the
    same
    > bridge, my speed would be closer to 16-17 MPH with about the same effort.
    On my
    > Tailwind, my climb speed is about 14 mph on the same bridge. So, in light
    of
    > the fact that we've been training pretty hard for the last few months and
    have
    > been cycling for years (thus we have a pretty good base), I would have to
    say
    > that climbing is not the RANS Screamer's best attribute. Im not sure as
    to the
    > main reason for this but I suspect that weight is a big factor here as is
    the
    > stoker's low BB. I find it hard to generate power on a climb with a low
    BB.
    >
    > Having said that, the Screamer is a very stable & comfortable cruiser
    and - as
    > long as you're not in a hurry to climb a certain hill, - you'll have a
    blast on
    > the way down and on the flats.
    >
    > Jose Jose A. Hernandez Recumbent Cycling Means NEVER Having to Say Your'e Sore!
    > http://www.BentRiderOnline.com http://www.GetBent.Org
    > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SouthFloridaRecumbentRiders
     
  8. Me

    Me Guest

    While I have a couple thousand DF tandem miles under my cleats, I have less than 5 on a bent. We
    discovered that we would wobble wildly if our pedals were in sync. on the steeper grades we would
    have to get off and walk. I changed the pedals to 90 degrees OOP and the wobbling was nearly
    eliminated and we have not had to walk since. I have no idea, but I would guess the bents would
    respond the same way, I will know in about a month.

    In addition to being out of phase with each other, we found team work was critical to hill
    perforance, and practice. Like many people, our preferred cadence was different. When I got used to
    slower, and she got used to faster, (we settled into the high 70's) our speed and power improved
    everywhere.

    The last thing that helped us was the captain developing some good technique for shifting and
    planning ahead for it. Specifically to power to the base of a hill getting all the momentum
    possible, then trying to maintain cadence/speed all the way up, then descending the other side, go
    for all the speed you can get again and repeat the process. I am finding I climb best with any bike
    doing this, so I suspect it would be well known to users of this board, yet I pass countless people
    trying to catch their breath before a hill, attacking it at low speed/low gear and grinding up, so
    there are plenty who don't know. Obviously, at some point on a long enough/steep enough hill you end
    up in granny grinding at 4.5 mph, but you don't necessarily have to start that off way.

    mike
     
  9. Scott

    Scott Guest

    MB: How does your stoker find the ride on the Columbia? (Damn, that's got a sad, ironic ring to it
    these days...) I'm 6'4" and my wife is 5'3" (yeah, we make a goofy pair :>). Would this bike be
    too cramped for us? I read on Barcroft's website that these are made in Santa Rosa, CA, where
    we used to live. Wonder if Delaire has any on hand for test rides....

    Regards, Scott

    >
    > Scott: We have a Barcroft Columbia tandem so our bike weighs a lot less than your Greenspeed and
    > at least 10 pounds less than the Screamer and the DV (actual weight, not posted weight). Our
    > experience (generally, not specifically) is that we are much faster than the Greenspeed overall,
    > pass most of the Screamers at the tandem rallies, and do well against the Visions. That might be
    > more a testament to comparative engines and the riding philosophy of the riders (who can ever
    > tell) but I also think it may be the bikes. But, having said that, on a 5 - 6 % long grade we try
    > to stay at 5 mph or above. The above is more of a wish than a reality. For stretches we may push
    > it into the 6 mph range but we usually settle back into the 5's. Its all about keeping the reps up
    > but when we are pushing that kind of weight uphill we are way down in the granny gear so our task
    > becomes not how fast we can do the hill but to keep pushing so we do do the hill. As you know,
    > tandems are not gazelles on long grades. One advantage you have is that even if you fall below 5
    > mph you can keep on motoring. The slower the two wheelers go the more effort you need to stay the
    > course as their handling becomes more squirrelly.
     
  10. Do you have problems starting out with your pedals out of synch?
    --
    Bill "Pop Pop" Patterson Retired and riding my Linear, my front drive low racer and our M5 tandem.
     
  11. Scott

    Scott Guest

    Mike: As per Greenspeed's instructions, we have our pedals at 90 OOP, too. One the couple of
    occasions when I've re-coupled the trike after transport and forgotten to set up the cranks in this
    manner, I can immediately feel pulsing/wobbling through the frame. Put the cranks in 90 OOP, and the
    wobble goes away. It seems, however, that experienced tandem teams often do not have this problem,
    that they have developed smooth strokes. Because we have a 3X8 hub, we can't really experiment
    w/pedals in phase. Putting them 90 OOP reduces stress on the hub, to less than single bike levels
    (according to Greenspeed); without this reduction, we could easily blow the hub.

    Scott

    [email protected] (me) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > While I have a couple thousand DF tandem miles under my cleats, I have less than 5 on a bent. We
    > discovered that we would wobble wildly if our pedals were in sync. on the steeper grades we would
    > have to get off and walk. I changed the pedals to 90 degrees OOP and the wobbling was nearly
    > eliminated and we have not had to walk since. I have no idea, but I would guess the bents would
    > respond the same way, I will know in about a month.
    >
    > In addition to being out of phase with each other, we found team work was critical to hill
    > perforance, and practice. Like many people, our preferred cadence was different. When I got used
    > to slower, and she got used to faster, (we settled into the high 70's) our speed and power
    > improved everywhere.
    >
    > The last thing that helped us was the captain developing some good technique for shifting and
    > planning ahead for it. Specifically to power to the base of a hill getting all the momentum
    > possible, then trying to maintain cadence/speed all the way up, then descending the other side,
    > go for all the speed you can get again and repeat the process. I am finding I climb best with any
    > bike doing this, so I suspect it would be well known to users of this board, yet I pass countless
    > people trying to catch their breath before a hill, attacking it at low speed/low gear and
    > grinding up, so there are plenty who don't know. Obviously, at some point on a long enough/steep
    > enough hill you end up in granny grinding at 4.5 mph, but you don't necessarily have to start
    > that off way.
    >
    > mike
     
  12. Me

    Me Guest

    Bill Patterson <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Do you have problems starting out with your pedals out of synch?

    No,

    I use the technique that requires the stoker to stay clipped in untill the bike is stopped and the
    captain gives permission to get off. The captain is soley responsible for keeping the bike upright
    and for starting and stopping. I've only had one stoker who objected to that, and he is a problem on
    a solo bike as well :)

    I think the guy who makes the Santana tandems, Bill McR*** has that written up on his company's
    tandem information site. It works well for us.

    Mike
     
  13. Von

    Von Guest

    [email protected] (me) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > While I have a couple thousand DF tandem miles under my cleats, I have less than 5 on a bent. We
    > discovered that we would wobble wildly if our pedals were in sync. on the steeper grades we would
    > have to get off and walk. I changed the pedals to 90 degrees OOP and the wobbling was nearly
    > eliminated and we have not had to walk since. I have no idea, but I would guess the bents would
    > respond the same way, I will know in about a month.
    >
    > In addition to being out of phase with each other, we found team work was critical to hill
    > perforance, and practice. Like many people, our preferred cadence was different. When I got used
    > to slower, and she got used to faster, (we settled into the high 70's) our speed and power
    > improved everywhere.
    >
    > The last thing that helped us was the captain developing some good technique for shifting and
    > planning ahead for it. Specifically to power to the base of a hill getting all the momentum
    > possible, then trying to maintain cadence/speed all the way up, then descending the other side,
    > go for all the speed you can get again and repeat the process. I am finding I climb best with any
    > bike doing this, so I suspect it would be well known to users of this board, yet I pass countless
    > people trying to catch their breath before a hill, attacking it at low speed/low gear and
    > grinding up, so there are plenty who don't know. Obviously, at some point on a long enough/steep
    > enough hill you end up in granny grinding at 4.5 mph, but you don't necessarily have to start
    > that off way.
    >
    > mike

    My wife ans I have 15 yrs. on DF tandems and 1 season on our new Rans Screamer. We climb much better
    on the Screamer. The gearing is about the same. Low gear that is, Our top end is lower so we are a
    bit slower. We spin out around 30 MPH as apposed to 35 MPH on DF. Which is fine with us as we are
    getting older. But we do Scream on the down hills,55+. The Rans is very stable as speed and the
    White Bro. Shock keeps the wheel on the road. Von, V-REX, Rans Screamer,and my beloved Pinarello.
     
  14. Having been involved with the BikeE2, I got several questions about its handling.

    1. Its tendency to turn on a slope. That problem was more a question of the fat front tire and the
    very narrow handlebars

    2. Pedal steer. Some people are nervous about small control forces. Again it is worsened by the
    narrow handlebars and lack of tiller.

    3. Frame flex. I only felt this at high speed with a strong stoker. It may be solved by putting the
    pedals out of synch/phase. I know that it makes my df tandem much smoother. I didn't test this
    because of fears that it would make starting much harder on a recumbent tandem.
    --
    Bill "Pop Pop" Patterson Retired and riding my Linear, my front drive low racer and our M5 tandem.
     
  15. Mark Stonich

    Mark Stonich Guest

    Bill Patterson <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Do you have problems starting out with your pedals out of synch?

    I think it's easier. Oddly, we did just fine on out upright with the cranks 90 degrees out, but this
    feels a bit jerky on the 'bent. After much trial and error, her cranks now follow mine by 45 degrees
    (adjusted for our dissimillar riding positions). Smooth as butter.
     
  16. Mikeb

    Mikeb Guest

  17. Mark Stonich

    Mark Stonich Guest

    [email protected] (mike s) wrote in message news:
    > Scott: We have a Barcroft Columbia tandem
    Mike, Do you have the Avid disk brakes on yours?

    If so I have some questions, as I'm planning to use them on my next tandem.

    Are they the big, 203mm, disks? If so, are they "Grabby" with a 20" wheel?

    I've read that if you get a drop of oil, or a greasy fingerprint, on them you have to replace the
    pads. Sounds ridiculous, is it true.

    What are you getting for pad life?

    Any complaints?
     
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