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Strava with a tandem

Old 03-10-21, 08:03 AM
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Hypno Toad
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Strava with a tandem

Since we just placed our order for a Co Motion Java, I'm starting to think about Strava with a tandem (it'll be August before we get delivery, but I like extra time to over-think superfluous details).

For reference, we have a '65 Swchinn Twinn, that's clearly never caused any stress on segments. OTOH, I can see the Java being much fast and might get the stoker some high ranking, possible QOMs. I'd be interested how other tandem teams deal with their Strava accounts and tandem activities.

We both track our rides with our own Garmin (mostly for HR), and both have our own Strava accounts. I will enter the bike in my gear list as "tandem", and will likely put "tandem" in the activity titles too. FWIW - I'm fairly sure that Frau Toad has her activities hidden from leaderboards, if she leaves it like that, this will likely be a non-issue here.

Kinda wish Strava would add a "Tandem" tag with "Commute" and "Indoor Cycling".
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Old 03-10-21, 09:57 AM
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Just do it and if someone gets upset, they'll just flag the ride and Strava can adjust it. Putting Tandem in the titles is what we do. I agree with you about having a "tandem" tag. I'd love for Garmin to do the same with the cycling type.
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Old 03-10-21, 10:43 AM
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Strava Ranting

The first time we used Strava I forgot to turn it off. After driving a few miles I remembered and 'saved' our ride. By the time we got home there was already a guy that wrote me, telling me to 'crop your ride, man!' I had to write him back to ask what he was talking about. I guess our 50MPH along a segment of his KOM really irked him. That taught me that some people really take their Stava seriously. And here, I was only interested in tracking our own miles!

Anyway, back on topic; I have several bikes and when we ride the tandem I put in the description 'Tandem afternoon ride," for example. That basically helps me later when I want to compare times on various segments, tandem compared to my single bike. Though we occasionally have the fastest daily time for a particular segment, I don't think we are anywhere close to any KOM's - not with the number and kind of serious bikers we have in the Tucson region. (Many pros and wannabe pros train here.) If, as a tandem team, you are close to QOM's, it would be a bit unfair to those women that did it on their own. And, as my earlier story above indicated, there are people who take this KOM/QOM thing very seriously and they will let you know.

I believe Strava is starting to address this issue with tandem teams. Do a search, and I think you will find there is a tandem section - which I just joined, thanks to your question. Now, how to use actually use it without fouling everything up? Let the ranking begin...!
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Old 03-10-21, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by joeruge View Post
Anyway, back on topic; I have several bikes and when we ride the tandem I put in the description 'Tandem afternoon ride," for example.

I believe Strava is starting to address this issue with tandem teams. Do a search, and I think you will find there is a tandem section - which I just joined, thanks to your question. Now, how to use actually use it without fouling everything up? Let the ranking begin...!
Yeah, we do the same in terms of logging in our tandem-only rides in the daily ride titles. I'll have to see if I can find the "tandem section," for I never knew it existed.
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Old 03-10-21, 01:45 PM
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we use two garmins one for me one for her. and we are following each other. then it shows we rode together. we dont really go any farther then that. way too lazy to label rides I do way to many a day sometimes 5 or 6 rides.
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Old 03-10-21, 07:25 PM
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This issue has been discussed many times over the years on various forums. Many asked Strava to creat a Tandem class to avoid this issue. Strava didn’t see it as a big deal and responded by recommending that tandem riders just open an additional free account and include “(tandem team)” as part of the user name. This would identify tandem teams that are stealing all those coveted Strava cups.

I have my own Strava account and we have a free account with tandem team in our name. So far, collecting too many Strava cups has not been a problem 😁. I record all my rides in my account by the bike ridden and our tandem rides in the free account. It works.

I think Strava is right, it’s just not a problem upsetting the sanctity of the segment hunters domain.
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Old 03-11-21, 08:17 AM
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^^^ Good point, a 'Tandem' tag seems like it's just fixing the people that put far too much importance on KOM/QOM status.

Like I said earlier, I'm a Strava nerd ... I want to see which bike I rode for each activity ... I mean, in Strava, I have a gear option for "Kona + BOB" for riding with my trailer (I think I need help ). So I'm going to post tandem activities with honesty in the gear and title.

Also, I'm not sure we'll go 'that' fast together - Frau Toad is not doesn't like to go that fast (& I don't expect she'll trust her captain going fast either). It will be interesting later this year when we get our Java dialed-in and see how fast we are comfortable going. Frau Toad will likely see a lot of PRs on the local rail trails that we ride often, but I doubt she'll see top 10 for the women's leaderboards (& I'll double-check that she's set her Strava to keep her off the leaderboards - I think that'll solve any potential Strava issues for this team).
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Old 03-11-21, 10:56 AM
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I have a separate Strava account for our tandem, which has Tandem in the account name. That makes performance evaluation a lot simpler. I don't think tandem QOMs are OK..
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Old 03-12-21, 10:01 AM
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Tandem Club on Strava

So, I checked into the Tandem Club on Strava. It's just like joining any other club on Strava, like your own local riding club. In the 'club' your stats are shown along with other tandem teams. You still have your personal stats, which show up on your dashboard.

I guess the thing to do is for captain and stoker to each have their own account. (Do you need two separate recording devices?). Stats will show up in your dashboard.

I'm modifying my feeling about QOM's (not that we're likely to get any). If you join the Tandem Club on Strava and each of you have your own account (paid or free), then you've done your due diligence. If someone complains, as someone has mentioned before, let Strava sort it out.
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Old 03-12-21, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by joeruge View Post
So, I checked into the Tandem Club on Strava. It's just like joining any other club on Strava, like your own local riding club. In the 'club' your stats are shown along with other tandem teams. You still have your personal stats, which show up on your dashboard.

I guess the thing to do is for captain and stoker to each have their own account. (Do you need two separate recording devices?). Stats will show up in your dashboard.

I'm modifying my feeling about QOM's (not that we're likely to get any). If you join the Tandem Club on Strava and each of you have your own account (paid or free), then you've done your due diligence. If someone complains, as someone has mentioned before, let Strava sort it out.
That's transferring the burden of right behavior to other people. We see too much of that in our society. That's a big reason we have a separate tandem account, posting the team's results. Of course we are members of the TCS, which is worth exactly nothing.
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Old 03-15-21, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by joeruge View Post
I guess the thing to do is for captain and stoker to each have their own account. (Do you need two separate recording devices?). Stats will show up in your dashboard.

Beloved stoker and I maintain separate Strava accounts. She used to ride her single as much as the tandem, but has lost her taste for riding on her own in traffic. She still uploads her trainer rides and hikes to Strava.


We both upload from our Garmin to our accounts for our tandem rides. Stoker has an Apple Watch which she uses to view data mid-ride, but not for uploading.


Concerning KOMs/QOMs, outside of high population, hardcore riding hotspots, I don't believe many even notice when a tandem holds the KOM/QOM.


We live in a rural area with a healthy density of cyclists, with the most fit coming from an Ultra or triathlon background as opposed to mass-start road racers. Our cycling population also skews older. Net result is most everyone knows everyone else. Stoker has a couple of dozen QOMs from the tandem (as well as several hiking/running QOMs), while I've only maintained a single KOM (from an isolated, rarely ridden road). All are on descents or flat routes - no climbing KOM's for us!


None of the local tandems has ever gotten push back from other Strava users. There was one guy locally with a fully faired recumbent who was positively *smoking* everyone on the descents. Some of his segments got flagged, but Strava kept them up.
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Old 03-15-21, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I don't think tandem QOMs are OK..
Curious why you think this? So, KOMs are okay, but not QOMs?
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Old 03-15-21, 05:19 PM
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My philosophy is "don't hate the player, hate the game" (so to speak) in regard to Strava. Like many others, I wish there was a tag to select tandem instead of getting lumped in with all the singles out riding, but that isn't the way it works (at least for now -- hopefully, that will change at some juncture). Now, if I were starting over/starting fresh, I'd probably create a separate tandem Strava account to keep those rides separate from my solo rides, but that didn't occur to me initially, so now they are all lumped in together. They are labeled as tandem rides via the gear, but I have, on several occasions, wished that I could sort out together rides vs those by myself. I am able to do this via Veloviewer because the data is better sorted there, but when it comes to the happenings of Strava and records, well, I go back to my initial statement. This really should be an easy fix for Strava, but my guess is that they just don't have enough squeaky wheels to give them the motivation to get it done.
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Old 03-15-21, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by PoeCo View Post
Curious why you think this? So, KOMs are okay, but not QOMs?
You ever see a tandem KOM that wasn't a descent? I wouldn't argue with a tandem QOM that was 2 women, but I've never seen one of those either. It's simply a matter of fairness to others. I think descent cups are silly and dangerous, may the biggest fool win. I think that's a majority viewpoint, noticing that public descending segments are frequently removed around here.

Taking that a little further, 2 men or 2 women on a flat? All of them could get a KOM/QOM if there were a segment like that. I wouldn't argue with that as long as it was identified as a tandem effort,

IMO any awards, PRs, etc. belong to the team and thus to neither participant. It's a team game, so really weird for only one team member to claim some glory or other, like the other team member wasn't there.

How about a man stoking for a male pro and claiming KOMs? Is that OK? Not in my opinion. Might as well be on an e-bike.

Tandems are too small a market segment. That's the reason that Strava isn't going to spend any money on us. They'd really rather we all just went away.
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Old 03-15-21, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by PoeCo View Post
My philosophy is "don't hate the player, hate the game" (so to speak) in regard to Strava. Like many others, I wish there was a tag to select tandem instead of getting lumped in with all the singles out riding, but that isn't the way it works (at least for now -- hopefully, that will change at some juncture). Now, if I were starting over/starting fresh, I'd probably create a separate tandem Strava account to keep those rides separate from my solo rides, but that didn't occur to me initially, so now they are all lumped in together. They are labeled as tandem rides via the gear, but I have, on several occasions, wished that I could sort out together rides vs those by myself. I am able to do this via Veloviewer because the data is better sorted there, but when it comes to the happenings of Strava and records, well, I go back to my initial statement. This really should be an easy fix for Strava, but my guess is that they just don't have enough squeaky wheels to give them the motivation to get it done.
I think that's the right idea. It's never too late to start. Doesn't really matter about the water under the bridge. I mostly ride tandem outdoors, so I have a premium account for the tandem and a free one for my single. My wife only rides outdoors on the tandem, so she doesn't need another account. We each use TP for keeping track of our training and RWGPS for routes. Both do their jobs much better than Strava. Strava's fun because when you're doing it on Strava, you're doing it in public.
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Old 03-15-21, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
You ever see a tandem KOM that wasn't a descent? I wouldn't argue with a tandem QOM that was 2 women, but I've never seen one of those either. It's simply a matter of fairness to others. I think descent cups are silly and dangerous, may the biggest fool win. I think that's a majority viewpoint, noticing that public descending segments are frequently removed around here.
What I am gathering from this is that you meant to say you aren't okay with any records, either KOMs or QOMs, for tandems on Strava, but in the original post you'd singled out QOMs, which is why I was curious why you thought KOMs were acceptable but not QOMs. If it's both, I get it... any record on a tandem should be a record for both parties, but again, this could be solved if Strava would add a category. They've done it for e-bikes (though many, at least around here, don't seem to use it), so it really would solve so much, I think.
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Old 03-15-21, 07:46 PM
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Some good posts here.

If my stoker was interested in competing on Strava segments, we'd create a unique account for tandem rides. But she honestly hates leaderboards, and has it set to not show her in the leaderboards.

To the points about fast tandem teams, I've raced with fast tandems. Our local gravel community has some great tandem teams. IMO those stokers earn their Strava ranking. Frankly when that team rides me off their wheel, that's not just the captains efforts.

​​​​​ We'll both use our own Garmin (great for heart rate info) and load the data to our own Strava accounts. We'll both have tandem as our gear and use the word tandem in the activity title.

Since I use VeloViewer, I'm ok keeping all rides on one account.
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Old 03-16-21, 07:50 AM
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We have two Garmins and each track our miles. Strava shows us riding together of course. We have never set a KOM or QOM while on the tandem. We are happy with personal bests.

I would like to see a tandem category on Strava. Then maybe we could get a TOM, but probably not.
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Old 10-28-21, 08:57 AM
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Just a Toad's results, but this tandem team is no threat to the Strava leaderboards. This is my highest ranking segment riding our Java from The Filthy 50 ... 278th place of 582 riders and 2:30 off the KOM's time LOL! For reference, I rode this course in 2019 on my fatbike, we had headwinds on this segment in 2019, and a tailwinds in 2021.

(BTW Chase is insane, he rode The DAMn in just over 12 hours ... 240 miles of gravel roads holding a total average speed of 20 mph !?!?)
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Old 12-07-21, 05:45 PM
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My wife's miles are only on the tandem while I ride it and a couple of other bikes. We are in a local Strava tandem group so I can tell where we place by looking at her Strava user. However there are others in that group whose mileage for all bikes show up. I do wish that Strava had a way to differentiate tandem mileage on various leaderboards and even for KOMs (TOM?).
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