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  1. #1
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    What would you do???

    I'm going to be buying my first tandem before long. I'm looking for a good used deal or may buy new if that doesn't work out. Here's my issue...We live on a gravel road, .8 mile one way or 1.2 mile the other way to get to the pavement. When the gravel is freshly graded, I load my bike to get to the pavement, otherwise if a nice lane is worn smooth, I ride slowly with my road bike to get to the pavement. In getting a tandem, I'm thinking I might be best off with a bike with 26" wheels so I can put on a wider tire to enable us to ride to the pavement under pretty much all conditions. What's the opinion out there? How much will I sacrifice in road performance? I put road tires on my daughters MTB and I'm pretty surprised by how well she keeps up with me on the pavement. Can I expect similar good performance on the tandem?
    "Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take many small steps" -Helmut
    Schmidt

    06 Bacchetta Giro 20

  2. #2
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    I ride gravel roads all the time - 700 x 28 tires pumped up to 120 PSI. It's not an issue.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I don't think that it matters very much.

    Unless the gravel on your lane is really loose, 700c wheels/tires will be fine. I've found that a tandem, with it's longer wheelbase, is easier to ride on loose gravel than a single bike.

    Unless you're raceing somebody who's a real close match, you'll never notice any performance difference between 700c wheels and 26 inch wheels.

    Where exactly in Iowa is Watkins?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Watkins

    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    I don't think that it matters very much.

    Unless the gravel on your lane is really loose, 700c wheels/tires will be fine. I've found that a tandem, with it's longer wheelbase, is easier to ride on loose gravel than a single bike.

    Unless you're raceing somebody who's a real close match, you'll never notice any performance difference between 700c wheels and 26 inch wheels.

    Where exactly in Iowa is Watkins?
    Watkins is about 20 miles SW of Cedar Rapids. Watkins is far too large a community for me however (being perhaps 50 people) We live on an old farmstead of 7 acres. Peace and quiet but gotta put up with that gravel road. I am close to nice smooth asphalt roads however and folks around here are pretty tolerant of cyclists.
    "Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take many small steps" -Helmut
    Schmidt

    06 Bacchetta Giro 20

  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkijohn
    Watkins is about 20 miles SW of Cedar Rapids.
    I wish that I'd known that a month ago. We were at the Midwest Tandem Rally in Cedar Rapids over Labor Day. We got rained on Sunday but it was one of those dry, Iowa rains. Loved the area! Did I see you there and not know it?

  6. #6
    Co-Mo mojo
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    We live 1/4 mile down a gravel road and I take my Cannondale Synapse out all the time without a problem. I just ride slowly and carefully. I run 700 x 23 light hi-perf tires on this bike and only once in the past year got a cut in the tread -- but that was on a tire with 1500 miles on it. Of course, I also keep on top of road maintenance....

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    I wish that I'd known that a month ago. We were at the Midwest Tandem Rally in Cedar Rapids over Labor Day. We got rained on Sunday but it was one of those dry, Iowa rains. Loved the area! Did I see you there and not know it?
    My 13 yr old daughter and I were there on the Sat. afternoon strolling around checking everything out (like the $12k carbon fibor unit) I was hoping we might find something used for sale there but nothing quite right. If I go new, and buy locally, it may be a Canondale or Co-Motion. I'm checking e-bay and "Bike Iowa" classifieds and we may turn up something good that way.
    "Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take many small steps" -Helmut
    Schmidt

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  8. #8
    Bicycle built for 5 tuolumne's Avatar
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    We ride 700x35 tires on some pretty rough gravel at times. This tire is fast enough for our family on roads and paved trails. I am sure a 32 would work fine on gravel as well. We keep the front tire at about 70 psi and the rear at 80. I don't know how these tires perform at high speeds as I never go more than 30 with kids on the bike. As far as your daughter's performance on the tandem...either of my almost 4 year old twins can help me average the same speed on the tandem as I would alone on my commuter touring bike. Best of luck.

    By the way, our tandem is a 2000 Burley Duet with Conti top touring 700x35 tires which we found used.
    Would rather be at 119.49079W, 37.76618N

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