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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 10-04-05, 02:57 PM   #1
ROJA
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What are your favorite upgrades/mods/accessories?

I would be curious to hear what upgrades, modifications, and/or accessories have improved your tandem cycling life.

Let's split it up this way:

A. Best/Favorite mods/upgrades period.

B. Best one(s) for stoker comfort, happiness, etc. What does he or she really notice?

C. Best for under $100.

D. Best for performance (climbing, speed, etc.).

E. Next planned mods or what upgrades or mods would you do if you had an extra few bucks to spend?


--Thanks for the info!
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Old 10-04-05, 07:58 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROJA
I would be curious to hear what upgrades, modifications, and/or accessories have improved your tandem cycling life.
A. Best/Favorite mods/upgrades period: Custom-sized, S&S equipped tandem frame that makes travelling with our tandem a no-brainer. 2nd place goes to the Avid rear disc.

B. Best one(s) for stoker comfort, happiness, etc. What does he or she really notice? Replaced hardtail Cannondale MT3000 with full suspension Ventana off-road tandem; saved a ton on chiropractic visits.

C. Best for under $100. The last, right saddle (aggregate cost of finding it by trial and error probably closer to $500)

D. Best for performance (climbing, speed, etc.). Engine mods; mostly weight reduction and increased horsepower (cost = $0.00)

E. Next planned mods or what upgrades or mods would you do if you had an extra few bucks to spend? None. If I had any, I would have already made them. Our tandems are pretty much the way we want them to be.
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Old 10-04-05, 08:05 PM   #3
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B. I can build and repair PC's with ease which does nothing but get a glazed vacant stare from my wife. Then I spliced two wiring harness together so she would have a cycling computer to keep up with speed and milage. OMG, she now thinks im the greatest. Every times she puts her computer on for a ride she's braggin about how smart I am and how tickled she is with it. Hey, gotta keep tha stoker happy.
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Old 10-05-05, 06:00 AM   #4
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Best upgrade - changing out left STI lever for ERGO lever, banishing chain rub with the flick of a finger or thumb forever!

Stoker comfort - is an ongoing project as I think we are about 1/3 of the way through Tandemgeek's saddle assessment program....

Performance mods - more time, more hills! (more weight training in the winter)

Next mod is only a contemplation - set of Sweet 16 wheels or... custom built wheels or... maybe a whole new tandem w/couplers.
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Old 10-05-05, 05:02 PM   #5
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Here's what we've done to improve our 1999 Trek-

1) For improved stoker comfort-Tamer seatpost and Terry Butterfly
saddle.

2) For overall performance improvement-Changing from the original
7-speed to 9-speed. New wheels (Phil hubs, Dyad rims), and TA
chainrings replacing the original steel rings shaved almost 2 pounds
of rotating weight. Better shifting and better gear spacing/range.

3) For aesthetic improvement-Silver SKS fenders.

4) Best low-cost improvements-Avocet Fasgrip 700 tires; Kool-stop
salmon brake pads.

Next upgrade will probably be a new frame and carbon fork.

George Handy in Arlington Texas, anxiously awaiting a cool front that
is on its way.
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Old 10-05-05, 05:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROJA
I would be curious to hear what upgrades, modifications, and/or accessories have improved your tandem cycling life.

Let's split it up this way:

A. Best/Favorite mods/upgrades period.
Custom sized, S&S equipped titanium tandem frame, assembled by myself and my wife with handpicked components.

B. Best one(s) for stoker comfort, happiness, etc. What does he or she really notice?
Suspension post, HRM, GPS, and a pink kitty sticker and purple bell on her bars. Just added a Profile
behind seat 2 bottle carrier below the stoker stem - now she doesn't need to reach down for water on long rides.


C. Best for under $100.
XT 203mm rotors. Replaced the damaged titanium ones.

D. Best for performance (climbing, speed, etc.).
Going a bit out of phase with her leading. Cost= nothing. Value= priceless.

E. Next planned mods or what upgrades or mods would you do if you had an extra few bucks to spend?
Single crown Marzocchi DJ fork. Stainless lines so we can install the Magura brakes.
--Thanks for the info!
After building it, we switched from a full XT/XTR 8 speed group to SRAM X9/XTR. Still haven't decided if it's better, or just newer. I've also had my sanity questioned for replacing every bolt possible with titanium or aluminum. The blue bottle cage bolts match the anodized brake/shift cable tips.

Last edited by Brian; 10-06-05 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 10-06-05, 10:55 PM   #7
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We buy the best we can afford; upgrades? When a component wears out, if there is something better out there we'll go for it.
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Old 10-07-05, 08:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expatriate
After building it, we switched from a full XT/XTR 8 speed group to SRAM X9/XTR. Still haven't decided if it's better, or just newer. I've also had my sanity questioned for replacing every bolt possible with titanium or aluminum. The blue bottle cage bolts match the anodized brake/shift cable tips.
Wait a minute. You have her leading your out-of-phase cranks? Don't you mean you're leading? I only ask because while upgrading our chainrings I accidently got the cranks out of phase with her leading by just a couple of teeth, that you can barely see, but we both realized how much harder it was for her that day, as we happened to climb a number of hills. It made me think that perhaps I should lead by just a bit and it would save her knees!
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Old 10-07-05, 10:18 PM   #9
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We've been doing 90 degrees OOP (pilot leading) for over 200,000 miles. Works for us!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 10-07-05, 10:57 PM   #10
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Zonatandem: 90 degrees OOP (pilot leading)??? Does not make sense.
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Old 10-08-05, 12:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlong
Wait a minute. You have her leading your out-of-phase cranks? Don't you mean you're leading? I only ask because while upgrading our chainrings I accidently got the cranks out of phase with her leading by just a couple of teeth, that you can barely see, but we both realized how much harder it was for her that day, as we happened to climb a number of hills. It made me think that perhaps I should lead by just a bit and it would save her knees!
I'm got more leg power than her, by a fair margin. So far, we've found that this works well for us. With me leading, I felt like I was pulling her over the top.
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Old 10-08-05, 01:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornucopia72
Zonatandem: 90 degrees OOP (pilot leading)??? Does not make sense.
On a given side, captain is 90 degrees ahead of stoker in the pedal stroke.

-Greg
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Old 10-08-05, 07:36 AM   #13
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OK, but 90 degrees after that... stoker is leading. I am sure I am missing something
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Old 10-08-05, 07:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornucopia72
OK, but 90 degrees after that... stoker is leading. I am sure I am missing something
Of course you are correct... but note that I said "on a given side".

Some teams find that this makes a difference. It's most often attributed to the stoker and captain each having one leg (usually the right) stronger than the other (and, presumably, captain stronger then stoker). By "90 oop captain leads" they mean "90 degrees OOP, captain's right leg goes, then stoker's right leg, then captain's left leg, then stoker's left leg."

So, if they take their 90 degrees OOP tandem and shift the stoker's cranks by 180 degrees, they'll still be 90 degrees OOP, but they'll notice a difference and they won't like it.

-Greg
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Old 10-08-05, 09:22 AM   #15
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A) Best: Nice set of wheels (we got Velocity Deep V's, built right and stay true...thanks Mark)
Favorite: New Burley Alpha Q Fork. Feels better up front (steeper rake, smoother feel, but mostly a psychological boost as it looks bad a.. I dig the change in the lines with the straight fork blades)

B) Terry Butterfly for my wife

C) I love my Flightdeck. Cadence (virtual) and visual gear indicator keep me from looking down and helps me shift better. I wish it was more reliable though. Buttons are fritzy.

D) Getting out there. It just gets better with experience.

E) I would love to try disc brakes, but can't. Frame has no tabs.
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Old 10-12-05, 03:24 PM   #16
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Was interested in your post. I use Campy on my solo and like it very much. But considering Shimano Ultegra on my next tandem. I don't know much about Shimano STI. Can you not "nudge" the front derailleur the way you can with Campy? (I use Campy Chorus, only indexed system I have used.)
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Old 10-12-05, 10:55 PM   #17
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My Ultegra FD has one click of trim. Not quite as fine as my DA 9 spd that does about 3 clicks but it does the trick.
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Old 10-13-05, 08:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayB
I don't know much about Shimano STI. Can you not "nudge" the front derailleur the way you can with Campy?
No, STI and Ergo have always had a different approach to trimming the front derailleur. The Shimano STI systems use fewer "index points" or stop positions for the front derailleur movement than Campy Ergo. More specifically, the Ergo levers provide up to 10 stops for all of their front derailleurs, 5 of which are useful for doubles and perhaps 7 for triples given the amount of travel normally used, whereas Shimano now provides five stops for the triples. This STI arrangement gives you one "nudge" between the small-middle and middle-big chainrings. With a little patience, you can fine-tune the Shimano front derailleur's cage position using your front derailleur's in-line cable (barrel) adjuster to where most chain rub is eliminated on useable gear combinations. Campy doesn't require this added attention to detail and works, more or less, just like the good old downtube and bar-end friction or early indexed (SIS) shifters.

There are some other differences between the two different systems which help to feed the STI vs Ergo debates. Ultimately, test riding both systems is the only way for anyone to figure out which system they prefer. I've got a Web page that does some other anecdotal analysis of the two different shifters at the following URL: http://www.thetandemlink.com/stivsergo.html

Last edited by TandemGeek; 10-13-05 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 10-13-05, 06:05 PM   #19
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Cornucopia:
Try the OOP for U-2, you may like it. Try it for about 3 weeks; easy to switch back if you want to.
Make 'no sense' to some folks, but makes plenty sense to us; been OOPers for over 30 years!
For us it is not a matter of stronger leg or stonger rider. it is a question of climbing easier, easier take-off from any stop, less tendency for tandem frame flex, less tendency of throwing cross over chain (some racers in phase often will do that).
If you've ever ridden behind a tandem that's stomping on the pedals you will note a bit of 'tail end wagging' . . . OOP will elminate most of that too.
Been told by some folks 'it does not work', 'it looks goofy' . . . we don't care!
It's our tandem and we'll ride the way we prefer . . .

Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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