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TANDEM TIME I WWW.TANDEMS.CO.UK Changing Gear TANDEM TEAM


JD TANDEMS EXPLAIN HOW TO BE SMOOTH


Changing gear on a tandem is no different to changing gear on a solo bike, but there is a lot more power going through the drive train than on a solo, so changing gear over the front rings requires more fi nesse. And the front rider can’t see it, feel it or hear it. Changing gear under too much pressure can result in a broken chain, the chain coming off or a bent tooth on a chain ring. To understand this just put your foot on the pedals at the back and apply some pressure; feel how tight the chain is as it goes through the front derailleur? Imaginetwo riders pedalling hard; the chain has effectively turned into an iron bar. Triggering the gear lever on the left hand side moves the cable, but the cable has no chance of moving the chain unless the pressure on the pedals is really light. So to change gear over the front end, you have to pedal but apply light pedalling pressure only, if you have started climbing it’s too late to change over the front rings. So skippers, when shifting up or down inform your rear rider so they can back off the pressure; there’s is no point in you backing off if the person on the back is giving it loads of wellie. Ask your rear rider to inform you when the chain has completed its manoeuvre so you can both re-apply the pressure. This can take a few seconds. Changing gear over the rear cogs on the tandem does not require any co-ordination between riders. The chain is slack as it passes through the rear deraiileur. To understand this, put your foot on the pedal at the back and feel the chain as it comes off the bottom of the chain wheel; it’s slack. The rear derailleur will change under pressure. So you can toggle away through the rear gears whilst climbing.


Changing gear on a tandem with Rohloff


gears Tandems fi tted with Rohloff gears have 14 equally spaced gears located in the rear hub, so there is no shifting over front rings, and there are no derailleur’s fi tted. The changing of gears happens within the rear hub and the chains are inline and have no sideways movement. On a solo bike Rohloff hubs will change under pressure, but with two people pedalling hard the Rohloff won’t change. You won’t break a chain or damage anything, it simply won’t shift. At what point the Rohloff will and won’t shift you will quickly learn by experience.


78 www.cyclingworldmag.com


A FAVOURITE RIDE THROUGH IDYLLIC COUNTRYSIDE, AND TO A WORLD HERITAGE SITE BY STEVE DYSTER AND HIS SON ED.


NAMES


Steersman John Ward Shelia Ward


Stoker


Many Many


AGES 66 67


YEARS RIDING SOLO TANDEM Steersman Stoker


RIDING TOGETHER SINCE


HOW DID YOU GET INTO TANDEM RIDING? Friends introduced us


WHAT BIKE DO YOU RIDE? A Thorn Explorer upright tandem and a Greenspeed recumbent tandem trike (also have a George Longstaff upright tandem under refurbishment)


WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE RIDE? Round the New Forest where we live


HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET OUT ON YOUR TANDEM? At least weekly


NEWS FROM THE BACK – WHAT’S IT LIKE AS THE STOKER? Great – nothing to do except pedal, read the route sheet and look at the view.


SUM UP TANDEM RIDING IN FIVE WORDS Twice the fun on wheels


36 16


1997


ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS: WHEN DID YOU START RIDING YOUR RECUMBENT TANDEM? We bought it second-hand in Ireland about 5 years ago. WHAT DREW YOU TO SUCH A UNIQUE BIKE? We had tried a Trice version at the Mildenhall Rally years ago before we retired and decided that it was fun and we would love one as a retirement toy. Then found out that you could buy a small car for the cost of a new one! But secretly my husband had been searching the internet and found this one. WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT RIDING YOUR RECUMBENT TANDEM? John says, “I’m less moany going up the hills.” He adds that he is too old to take up free-fall parachuting and descending a mountain on the trike is the next best thing, apart from on the corners. Sheila says, “I like it because I was fed up with gasping for breath going up steeps hills when touring in France. On the trike you can climb almost anything, albeit very slowly. Also it makes people smile - on tour we expect at least one grin by 10 a.m., and usually get waves and hoots too. It causes a lot of interest and you get into conversation with people. But it is heavy and rather staid - the upright tandem feels a lot more fl uent and quiet to ride. You use entirely different leg muscles, by the way.”


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