One nice thing about the Low-Key Hillclimbs is they generate a lot of interesting data. One nice thing about this year is we have Brian and Janet. They each did a climb solo, and did another climb as a tandem pair. Brian further ran another climb, but that's another matter.
While each climb is different, as long as a climb is continuous and doesn't provide much opportunity for drafting, the ratio of a rider's speed to the median male speed, using single bikes only (I specifically refer to male speed as the number of males tend to be a lot more than the number of females, so there's less random variation in the median male speed), tends to be fairly constant one climb to the next. So I'll use the ratio of climbing speed to median male climbing speed as a measure of general climbing speed.
So here's a comparison:
- Brian and Janet on Mt Diablo in the Low-Key Hillclimbs: 110.3% of the male single median speed.
- Janet on Alba in the Low-Key Hillclimbs: 81.3% of male single median speed.
- Brian on Old La Honda at Low-Key Hillclimbs: 131.8% of median single male speed.
Not bad, all things considered. Of course, there's a ton of flaws with this analyis. But it's interesting how close the result is. Certainly there's no indication that the tandem is particularly slower than what would be predicted from the individual riders.
I was interested to see how out of phase their cranks were: 90°. It's more conventional for cranks to be in-phase, or sometimes 45° out of phase. Some people think out-of-phase cranks smooths out the pedal stroke. Brian and Janet make a strong case for this. It certainly doesn't seem to slow them down much.
Brian and Janet on Diablo