Tandem Cycling - Mtn bike rear wheel on a tandem?
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03-07-07, 11:57 PM
Iíve got an early 90ís Rodriguez alum frame, 26Ē wheel tandem that I am upgrading for family fun road riding with myself and wife/kids. Currently using a threaded freewheel with 140mm dropout spacing and V brakes. Tandem team is sub 300 lbs and will be riding on road only with 1.5 tires. Would like to upgrade to a 9 speed cassette, 36 spoke wheel without spending an arm and a leg. What about using a 135mm mtn bike wheel with a 5mm longer axle and spacers? I understand that wheel dish is a consideration. I donít think that the bike will get enough use to wear out the bearings in a good quality hub. If this is OK, are there any mtn bike hubs that will work better than others? I was considering using Shimano XT hubs.
If I have to go with tandem hubs, I prefer the shimano FH-08 mostly for price. Can these hubs be converted from 145 to 140 spacing?
If we get serious about tandem riding, we may upgrade to a Co-motion but I would like to get this one on the road first to see how serious we are. Thanks for any help!
03-08-07, 05:52 AM
Can these hubs be converted from 145 to 140 spacing?
No need... the HF08 is offered in a 140mm version: I had one on our '98 MT3000. If your local bike shop can't find it in the QPB catalog contact someone like Tandem Cycleworks of Colorado, Precision Tandems in Kansas, Tandems East in NJ, etc...
03-08-07, 01:24 PM
Although it may seem that a Mountain bike wheel will be strong enough for a Tandem- It probably won't be. Forget about the standard Mountain bike wheels but contact a wheel builder. There are Hubs good enough for a Tandem and There is the Tandem XT hub that is excellent. No need to go more than 36 spoke on a 26" wheel and the rim should be of Freeride quality at least.(Not the lightweight racing ones).
03-20-07, 09:42 PM
Thanks guys for the advice. Will be pursuing the Shimano Tandem Hubs.
03-24-07, 09:49 AM
I'm not refuting stapfam or TandemGeek's wisdom as I consider their advice excellent for serious tandem riders but offering some additional information to think on....(because I think an XT MTB wheel is an excellent idea for an occasional tandem used primarily on road)
Using average weights of male (162 lbs)/ female (135 lbs - my engineering text from '83) which is close enough to 300 lb team. You will have ~120 lbs on front wheel & ~180 lbs on rear (based on my KHS Sportmania and test specimens of average values). This compares quite reasonably with my MTB...>145 lbs on rear wheel (only 65 on front...).
My MTB never gets out of middle chainring yet I have over 2000 km on the freewheel and it is still going strong. Theoretically, you could "time" your Rodriguez at 90 degrees and make the load on the freewheel lower/more constant.
Before I knew any better, I replaced the OEM wheel on my KHS (145 mm spacing) with a std MTB wheel (tightening the QR was a bear the first time but fine after that.) The addition of a 9 speed SRAM shifter ($10 off eBay) and I had 27 speeds (34 low versus 28, 11 high versus 14) which made riding here in the foothills much more enjoyable. I have over 1000 km on the wheel with no issues. (Stokers are primarily my kids - weights 60 - 100 lbs).
Even knowing better, I replaced the rear wheel on my cyclocross bike (aluminum, 135 mm spacing) with a road wheel (130 mm spacing + a couple 1 mm washers) for a Half-iron man (24 spokes versus 36 - placenta thing) and had no ill effects (other than I wasn't any faster than I trained).
So go with a tandem wheel if you are going to do lots of riding, have a strong team, and resale but don't be afraid of a MTB wheel.
Devinci Tosca - cyclocross / summer commuter / tribike
Tsunami road tandem
KHS Sportmania tandem
Norco Fireball MTB
Gary Fisher Piranha Winter bike
Devinci Moonracer (under reconstruction)
05-10-07, 10:33 AM
Hi bikeNut, we are a 300lb team as well, we have two tandems, one of which is running medium grade26" mountain bike wheels and a 9sp cassette. ( Alex rims and Quando hubs )
We've ridden that bike several thousand miles over some pretty gruelling roads in Czech Republic and Hungary, and the wheels were absolutely fine.
We used 26 x 1.75 tyres, so they will have taken a bit more sting out of the bumps than your 1.5s.
Give it a go and see how you get on I say ;-)
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