Touring - Anyone else touring on a tandem?
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11-19-05, 07:27 AM
The wife and I are buying a new Burley this winter, and are going to start out in the spring, doing some local 2 and 3 night touring (with our son in his Burley Solo trailer).
Just wondering for those that tour on a tandem, what setups do you have? 700c wheels or 26"? The biggest decision we are faced with is if we should go with a straight-bar setup for the captain or a drop bar setup.
The snow is flying here...and it will be for another, oh...5 months or so. This is our time of the year to plan our trips - which can be as much fun as the trip itself!
11-19-05, 11:13 AM
I've been touring on tandems for years, with many different stokers and many different tandems. (uprights,recumbent,trikes, side by side) The first thing to consider is how you plan on touring, credit card or loaded? All of our touring is loaded and if your going to be towing your son I guess you should consider it loaded touring. The extra weight of your son and his trailer, will be less then what we carry when we tour.
I would set the bike up with 26" wheels, 48 spokes built 3 cross. A 700 wheel is a little faster then a 26" but the 26" wheel is a little stronger, just how much? I don't know but I'm sure someone could fill pages about it.
I would also set the bike up with a drum brake, disk brakes work very well but can not yet handle the heat when used as a drag brake to control speed downhills. As soon as I find one that can, I will use one. The hitch on your sons trailer may not work with a drum brake, but Burley has an alternative hitch that will.
I have toured self contained with both 700c and 26 inch road and mountain tandems using full panniers. If I chose a tandem today I would want a 700c one capable of mounting the largest 29er tires if needed but providing the option of narrow road tires. With this set up few road or non-road areas would be off limits while on tour. Some of our most relaxed touring has been on gravel forestry roads nearly empty of motorized vehicles.
I use a flat bar with bar ends now but have lusted after the Jones Ti H Bar for more hand positions and control while upright. See below.
Happy Tandem Touring next year and .....
My wife and I did a 9 day credit card trip last year with 10 other tandems covering 450 miles over wideling varying terrain. Even though it was a credit card trip we all carried alot of gear and we had hills with plus 12% grades. Based upon that trip and another we are planning next year - I'd go with tires of atleast 700x32 or 26x1.5.. I'd use front and rear panniers - by the way I am partial to Madden Panniers which are no longer in business, but can be picked up on ebay for a quite reasonable sum. We use tubus racks. Since that trip I have also acquired a 26 inch tandem - and I thinking about changing the rings out to 48-36-26. Bars combination along with your saddles are stricly a personal preferance - but my stocker who I do double centuries has to have a shock seatpost. By the way we loaded up our tandem with gear and took a number of trips to get used to the steering and stopping with a load on - which I would strongly suggest.
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