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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 10-06-05, 11:38 PM   #1
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What is better for tandem touring 26'' or 700c wheels

Anyone got advice on which wheels are best suited for tandem touring. Am deciding whether to get the Cannondale mountain tandem with 26'' wheels or the road bike with 700c wheels.
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Old 10-07-05, 12:38 AM   #2
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26"wheels would initially be stronger, but 700 wheels could be purchased that are strong enough for touring and the weight carrying capabilities that this would involve. Unless you are talking "Excessive weight"carrying capacity, look at the type of riding that will be involved.

I would look at the style of bike that you want to ride, as this will be the main thing that will affect your capabilities.
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Old 10-07-05, 04:00 AM   #3
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I'm all for versatility. If you get a road bike, you can get some stout wheels, but it will always be a road bike. If you get the MTB version, you have more options. You can use it off road, you can build up a good touring bike, or you can get a lightweight set of wheels and skinny tires for a faster ride. There's even a manufacturer of clamp-on drops for flat bars. That's my 2 cents, adjusted for inflation.
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Old 10-07-05, 02:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by tandemtas
Anyone got advice on which wheels are best suited for tandem touring. Am deciding whether to get the Cannondale mountain tandem with 26'' wheels or the road bike with 700c wheels.
In general, it's my belief that 26" wheels are a better all around wheel than 700c "racing wheels". However, 700c have pretty much become the defacto wheel size for most road-going bikes and debating the pros and cons isn't really worth the effort any more than Campy vs. Shimano, In-Phase vs. Out, etc. The latter is particularly true nowadays as wheels are stronger and lighter than they once were, road-specific 26" tire selection in the US is a mere shadow of what it once was, and I suspect even in Europe 700c tires, tubes, and wheel components are fairly common in most places.

That said, an back to your question, there's a world of difference between how a touring tandem with 26" wheels would be designed and equipped vs. a 26" mountain tandem like Cannondale's MT1000, e.g., bottom bracket height, steering geometry, gearing, bar/shifter combinations. So, if the MT1000 and RT1000 are your two choices, you'd be better off opting for the 700c RT1000. It's adaptable to racing, sport riding, or touring. In fact, give that it's fitted with dual discs, you can actually run 26" wheels on it. Pretty cool, huh? (Not that I would).
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Old 10-08-05, 09:39 PM   #5
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Here's a nice little article you might like to read.

Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.
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Old 10-09-05, 01:59 PM   #6
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a daVinci with 26 inch wheels can give you the best of both worlds for touring.
Having said that, it all depends if you will stay on road surfaces 95 per cent of the time, use 700s; or, do more trail,dirt/off road, then 26" would be more logical.
We've toured 1000s of miles with 27 inch and 700c road tires/wheels. Have even used a cyclo-cross rear tire on 27" wheel, way back when, for riding 12 miles of rough dirt road with sand/rocks and mountain curves. It worked fine.
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Old 10-09-05, 06:45 PM   #7
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I've got a tandem with 700 and a 26" tandem. I used to ride 650B.

I really can't tell much difference in the ride quality of 700 & 26 with the same tire pressure. Maybe if I put 28 mm tires on the 700 I'll get some difference.

We were just talking today about how much less sensitive to tires the tandems seem past a certain point. Might be that there's more rubber on the road or more pressure or something like that.

Now geometry is something else. One of our tandems is a real mountain bike (but with road tires at the moment). The other is a road tandem. Handling is quite different. I really prefer the drop bars for the road. But they both work fine on the road.
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Old 10-18-05, 08:28 AM   #8
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We bought a Co-Motion Mocha Copilot a few months ago for our 6 week cycling holiday in France and Austria. We have already done 5000kms and on to our second set of tyres already. The 40h Velocity DeepV rims and Hugi hubs have been completely trouble free. We toured carrying all our camping gear and we had a rolling weight of around 400lb. There are a huge range of 26" tyres available for whatever type of riding you are wanting to do. Our Santana has 700c wheels and I cant tell the difference in speed in a straight line. The Co-motion handles alot better than the Santana though to be fair the Sovereign is nearly 14yrs old.


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