Tandem Cycling - Softride beam lifespan?
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I've searched high and low both on bf.net and the interwebs and haven't found an answer.
Assuming no harsh treatment, how long can one reasonably expect a softride beam to last?
I don't imagine that without overloading that fatigue of the beam itself is an issue, but does the elastomer sandwich lose it's resilience over time?
I just picked up a used Burley Rock'n'roll softride. It's seen very little use, but is up there in age. Looking at the specs (Suntour XCE components IIRC) it looks like a '93.
Anyone out there with ooooold softride beams?
11-28-06, 04:32 PM
The only part that has a periodic replacement interval is the attachment bolt for the frame; Softride recommends replacement every 2 years or 5,000 miles.
More information and tech sheets are available from Softride's Website:
You can of course contact them as well....
BTW, if you search long enough you will find some stories about a few Allsop era softride beams delaminating and the like. To the best of my knowledge, that has not been the case with the "Softride" branded beams; they have an excellent track record so long as you replace the attachment bolt at the recommended interval.
11-28-06, 05:35 PM
Have never heard of a Softride failure nor longevity issues.
Have heard of bikes way back when that were rerofitted with the Allsop beam and there were some frame problems. C'dale recommened NOT to retroift their singles/tandems with the beam.
Burley, Co-Mo and others built beam-specific tandem frames and none have failed to our knowledge.
While the recommendations is to replace the attachment bolt after 5,000 miles, know folks that have more than double the miles on the original bolt.
So quit worrying and enjoy the 'soft' ride!
I rode a Softride for a few years and had no troubles and heard of no troubles.
Is right if you search you can can find delamination stories. We ride with a number of teams with beams and most have replaced them at some point and now that I understand that they are knnow longer will be made they have picked up spares or anticipating switching to tandems without beams at some point. In our experience those who ride beams usually really like them
12-09-06, 08:24 PM
The Softride beam will no longer be made.
Some builders have shown ti-beams on singles/tandems but we have not yet ridden one of those.
12-12-06, 05:23 PM
been using the Ti-Boom Tandem and it really has worked great with the stokers. A blind stoker I ride with, was upset after riding my tandem cause her tandem wasn't as comfy. I think I should buy the medium weight beam for heavier riders though, cause right now I am limited to 145lbs.
12-16-06, 09:30 PM
our burley had a beam no problems. if your worried and I would be a little b/c they are no longer being made. I would search ebay and find one for the cheap.
they pop up on occasion and can be had for pennies on the dollar. new ones will run several hundred dollars.
and used one ive seen went for under 100
01-10-07, 02:25 PM
The builder of my Off-road tandem [Jeff Shuggs] has had some failures on his own bikes.. they were more of an overload type event vs fatigue though. I have one of their mountain bikes.. it is quite old now. I only use it as my winter trail bike now. but the beam seems fine. I did have one of their frames fail as has been stated, and I had two different vs. of their stems fail. One was a recalled stem that we did not get notified about. It almost killed me!!!
01-10-07, 10:19 PM
Weight limitations were clearly printed on the Allsop c/f beams.
New beams sold in the $300 range.
One of the best suspension systems for stokers on a tandem. Have even seen one custom tandem with 2 beams . . . pilot and stoker!
01-11-07, 07:07 AM
My custom Coggs an off road use mountain tandem has 2 beams. it's sweet.
01-11-07, 10:39 AM
zonatandem.. the beam failures I am talking of were not because of having someone too heavy on it. It was from Offroad tandem racing... and it recieved too much of a hit. They blew way through it;s travel limits and snapped it in half.
12-29-07, 09:21 AM
I have had a softride for about ten years. The beam broke about eight or nine years ago and was replaced under warranty. I have had no problems since. There are apparently two different beams (at least) and they have weight ratings on the sticker underneath the beam. One is for low wt and the other is good up to 230lb weight of rider.
I tried to get a beam from Softride in the past month - they don't have anymore - out of bike making business. Have not found one on the net, or on ebay yet.
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