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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 09-08-05, 09:54 PM   #1
garagedog
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Anyone have 700x25 tires?

Just wondering if anyone uses 25's or has comments about them. Wife and I are about 275lbs combined. I can't wait to shed the 31's that came on our c'dale.
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Old 09-09-05, 05:42 AM   #2
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Yes, we use 700x25s as well as 700x23s and have done so since we started to ride tandems. However, I also build my wheels using narrow racing rims that are spec'd for use with narrow tires.

Your Mavic A719s are a fairly wide rim at 24.5mm and the manufacturer recommends nothing smaller than a 28mm tire. So, before throwing on a set of 25's, I'd recommend checking the inside rim width and comparing it to the data in a table on Sheldon Brown's Website: http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html#width

While you can certainly run the slightly more narrow 25mm tire on a rim that's a bit too wide, you need to be mindful that the tire will have a more ovalized profile than was intended which means the tire height will be more or less taller than a 23mm tire and depending on the brand/model/inflation, the tire sidewalls could be coming in contact with the road when cornering. The only way to know for sure is to mount an example of the tire you intend to run, pump it up, and then inspect it to see how it fits. If worse comes to worse, the Continental Gatorskin in 700x28 would still be a massive improvement over the tires that Cannondale puts on its road tandems.

FWIW: I was able to get away with running 23mm tires on a Mavic T217 on our first tandem; however, the tires actually measured out to 25mm and had a very wide tread area ('97/'98 vintage Vredestein Tri-Comps). I seem to recall that the T217 had an inside bead width of 19mm, but I could be mistaken.
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Old 09-09-05, 10:21 AM   #3
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Interesting thread. I am going though the same delima. Will narrower tires make you a bit faster (less ground friction). I know it will make the ride a bit harsher. Will have to measure the rims as I am currently on my stock tires on my Burley Rivazza.
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Old 09-09-05, 10:40 AM   #4
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mtb,

I have a Burley Tosa with the Weinmann DPX rims. I changed the tires to Continental Gatorskins 700 x 25 for durability instead of performance. My first choice were 700 x 28 but the LBS carry the 25s. I actually have not noticed much difference in ride.
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Old 09-09-05, 11:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbcyclist
Will narrower tires make you a bit faster (less ground friction). I know it will make the ride a bit harsher.
Questions about bicycle tire selection and air pressure adjustments are like questions about macro economics; the answer will always be, "It Depends".

If you have very smooth asphalt roads that are relatively free of potholes, filled-in potholes, or other surface problems, then a narrow high-pressure tire will provide less rolling resistance. Moreover, by virtue of the excellent road surface, the harshness of the ride is also mitigated. However, as the quality and condition of the road degrades, so do the advantages of a narrow high-pressure tire. In that the other downside of really nice handling tires is higher cost & shorter tread life, you sometimes need to find a mid-level tire that will delivery a nice balance of performance and durability for a moderate price.

Thus, if you ride on chip-seal, concrete, or weather-damaged roads that have expansion joints, lots of cracks, or are otherwise imperfect you will obtain lower rolling resistance by using lower tire pressures and/or a wider tire. This is because the more compliant tire will conform to the road surface and provide a bit more suspension instead of impacting and rolling over each imperfection. The lower pressure and tire compliance will also reduce rider fatigue and improve handling on poor (or perhaps what may in fact be average) road conditions in the places that you ride.

Team weight, handling, tire quality, wheel contruction, and a bunch of other things -- none the least of which is your and your stoker's expectations for comfort -- will also factor into tire selection. As noted in other threads on this topic, we are blessed with extremely smooth asphalt roads in fairly good condition here in North Georgia, owing to our moderate climate and the absence of freeze damage. Thus, as an under 280lb team we can get away with using the more narrow tires at higher pressures. However, when we venture off to other locations up North or out West we leave the 23's at home and mount up the 25's and adjust tire pressure as needed to compensate for road conditions. In Texas and around Williamsburg, VA, for example, the chip-seal roads had us running at something close to 105 - 110 psi vs. the 135psi - 145psi we run at home. I would also note that our Vredestein tires saw some accelerated wear on those roads and if those were our local roads I would likely search out a different brand and model of tire, similar to what the locals might recommend.

Bottom Line: See what types of tires other teams who have similar riding habits are using in your local area on their tandems and find out why they chose them. You may find that a 28mm Conti, Avocet Carbon K20, or some other tire will deliver what you're looking for in a more narrow tire.

In closing, do some homework and pick up one of the tires you are considering, and then mount it on your front wheel to evaluate how it effects the handling and comfort of your ride as the captain. Then, after you have a feel for it, put your old tire back on the front and mount the new one to your rear wheel to see how your stoker likes it relative to comfort as well as to find out how fast it wears down the tread. Play around with different tire pressures as well to see how it performs at the recommended psi, about 10lbs below and about 10lbs above. If you find that the tire was truly "better" than what you were using, buy a second one and put it on the front and you'll be good to go until you wear out the rear. Once it's used up, move the front tire to the back, and then put a new one on the front.
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Old 09-09-05, 04:29 PM   #6
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I put Continental Ultra 3000 28s on our Cannondale. They actually measure 26 when they are inflated. We ride on mostly smooth roads and like the ride a lot better than the IRCs that came with the tandem.
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Old 09-09-05, 05:48 PM   #7
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Another aspect to consider: be careful when comparing sizes across different brands. My Panaracer Paselas in size 32 measure 27mm in width. On the same rim, the "narrower" Avocet Fasgrips, size 28, measure 29mm in width. Yup, the tire labeled as larger is actually a bit narrower!

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Old 09-09-05, 07:48 PM   #8
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For years we ran narrow tires: first 27x1 1/8s, then with 700c wheels we went for the 700x23s; lately we have been running Maxxis 700x25 Detonators (No, they have not detonated!) and they are a nice foldable tire, getting around 2,000 miles off a rear tire on our tandem.
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Old 09-09-05, 10:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemGeek
Questions about bicycle tire selection and air pressure adjustments are like questions about macro economics; the answer will always be, "It Depends".
We do back to back centuries on lime stone in Wisconsin. It is no fun to push your Tandem for 20 or more miles. On occasion we had to financially persuade people to drive us back to our car.
This is why we are determined to have as few tire problems as possible. For two years we had "Specialized Hemisphere EX 26 x 1.95 Armadillo."
No flats, no trouble. Are they the fastest? Who cares. I do not want to walk.

For those of you who do not know: A lime stone path in a Wisconsin thunderstorm, is something to behold. You do not want tire problems in the middle of that.
We had situations were the outer tire walls were weakened and no inner tube held up.
(I know the trick with Dollar bills, it did not work)
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Old 09-10-05, 08:47 AM   #10
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Why not just try some and see for yourself? I mean they're just tires. They are something that you are going to use up and eventually throw away anyhow. If you decide that they ride too harshly or whatever you can just stick them on a different bike.
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Old 09-10-05, 09:24 PM   #11
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I just put on some Ultra Gatorskins. Ah, thats better. Good sale at Performancebike right now. $25


... correction. Price just went back up to $32

Last edited by garagedog; 09-11-05 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 09-11-05, 06:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garagedog
I just put on some Ultra Gatorskins. Ah, thats better. Good sale at Performancebike right now. $25
Could you describe the difference in ride and/or comfort? We have only 1,000 miles on our IRC Tandems (came with the Cannondale) but it's nice to know what to buy next.
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Old 09-13-05, 07:09 AM   #13
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we've had good luck with Specialized Armidillos 700 x 25. Even with a team weight of 340lbs, they've been durable, and appear to be a good compromise between flat resistance, and speed.
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Old 09-25-05, 05:30 PM   #14
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I love the Panaracer Pasela Tg Road 700 x 28. They normally sell for about $25.00.
But for all of you who like the Continental Ultra 3000 Road Tire it is now on sale at Nashbar for only $12.95.
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Old 09-26-05, 07:47 AM   #15
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As soon as my new 05' Cannondale Road Tandem arrived at the LBS, I asked the owner to swap the stock tires for the narrowest that would fit the stock rim ... so we have been riding 700 x 25's for a few hundred miles now and all is well.
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Old 09-27-05, 02:28 AM   #16
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Like one of the posters above, my wife & I use 700 x 25c Specialized All Condition Armadillo tyres on our Dawes Galaxy tandem (combined weight 330 lbs plus the bike itself), and on both our winter solo bikes as well. We haven't punctured one yet, and they wear well too.

The only downside is a pretty solid ride, which presumably is the price you pay for the puncture-proofing. But on our Roberts racing tandem we run 700 x 20c Continental Supersonic tyres mounted on tri-spoke carbon wheels, so 25 mm tyres seem quite luxurious!
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Old 09-27-05, 04:04 PM   #17
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Hi,

We have been using the Continental 700x28 Gatorskin tires for a few years with good results.

The last set I put on developed a bump or lump in both tires. This had never happened before and I was thinking it was from them bending and coiling them for shipping or just a bad batch. I returned them for credit to the mail order Co. I was on Cycle Oregon, so had to buy new tires and they are 700x28 Bontrager brand. They have been good so far.

I have used 700x25 but felt the 28's were a little more stable and comfortable, could be the rim size. We have some rough, chip sealed roads here in SW Idaho.

Rob
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Old 10-02-05, 05:05 PM   #18
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I also use Conti Gatorskins 70 x 25. Combined weight 250 lbs. Durability is good, no flats. I have been using them for a long time after switching from Kevlar bead tires which would blow off the rim, very scary.

Joel
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