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  1. #1
    Senior Member CGinOhio's Avatar
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    New bike 10 speed or 9 speed ultegra?

    My wife and I are new to tandeming but getting ready to put a scary amount of money on a new co-mo. It appears I have the option of 9 speed or 10 speed Ultegra. My racing buddies say the new 10 speeds are great on their single bikes with double chainrings, but how is durability of the components (chain, cassette, shifters) on a tandem triple? Any thoughts?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    In the Mechanics forum, their is a thread that talks about this

    Comes down to this: Shimano NA knows that a lot of US cyclists are still happily riding 9 speed groups, esp. Ultegra & Dura Ace. They know because people like me are constantly calling them trying to find things like front derailleurs and cranks and shifters, etc, because our regular distributors have no stock. They have no stock because Shimano Japan wants to devote as much manufacturing capacity as possible to the new 10 speed groups, rather than continue to make replacement parts for the 9 speed stuff. So far the home office is winning and there is no way I would point a customer toward buying something that the company who made it is trying to make go away.
    I do not have experience with the Shimano 9 or 10's, but I have not read of any durability issues. I would not think you would have a problem with either.

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Have heard that the chains are not as strong on 10 spd but have no experience. If this is true- then it could cause a problem with a powerfull team. Other problem is the range of gears available. Are cassettes available in the sizing that most of us want on a Tandem?
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  4. #4
    Co-Mo mojo
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    Three weeks ago we ordered a new Co-Mo and had to make the same choice. I have single bikes with both 9 and 10 speed Ultegra, and my wife's single bike is 9 speed Ultegra. What convinced me to go with 9 speed is a July 2006 tour on the Oregon coast. A fluke problem resulted in a bent chain and the need to find a replacement. I fixed the chain temporarily using professional chain straightening tools: crescent wrench and vise grips. 325 miles and 6 bike shops later, we found plenty of 9 speed chains but not one 10 speed chain in stock. Slight correction -- a bike shop in Astoria had a Wippermann 10 speed chain but no master link.

    IMHO the ten speed Ultegra on my Cannondale Synapse is outstanding -- the levers feel better and everything shifts even nicer (my Synapse has a DA rear derailleur). I've read a number of opinions about Shimano 10 speed chains, and I recall the early ones had problems and a revised chain with a different part number was released. This was based on threads just like this one and some "factual" web sites, so anything I say should be checked to be sure you make the right decision. Anything except for availability of chains on the Oregon coast! BTW -- all my bike bags now have small sections of chain and new pins in addition to chain tools.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CGinOhio's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=masiman]In the Mechanics forum, their is a thread that talks about this



    I do not have experience with the Shimano 9 or 10's, but I have not read of any durability issues. I would not think you would have a problem with either.[/QUOTE

    Thanks. My local dealer said something similar. Shimano is going to 10 speed like it or not. He also mentioned Co-Mo couldn't supply him the new cassettes for stocking; they would only supply for repairs/emergencies. Shimano can't keep up with production so they are in short supply. The cassette in question is a wide range 11/34, like Santana has been touting.

    My wife and I are not a big team (285 lbs) and while we would like to think we are strong, "powerful" we are not. We plan to do some light touring once we improve our bike handling skills on a tandem. Hopefully we won't have problems. Thanks to everyone for the advice.
    Chris

  6. #6
    Hej på dej!! Eurastus's Avatar
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    Not really a significant point of interest in this discussion, but I've been running Campy 10-speed on our daVinci tandem all season...with a 9-speed KMC chain (can't find a 10-speed chain long enough for the daVinci drivetrain yet...I need at least 122 links and 124 would be better. Longest 10-speed chain I've found is 116 links and I haven't wanted to splice two chains together).

    I had to get a little bit creative in substituting two 9-speed cassette spacers in the middle of the cassette to cut down on a small bit of chain chatter. Everything is smooth as silk now.

    But even with the stock cassette spacers, the shifting was acceptable in an emergency situation.

    Food for thought...
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  7. #7
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    I have ten speed DuraAce on my COlnago C40 racing bike. Just put 9sp DuraAce levers and rear der. on my Co Mo to replace the 9sp Ultegra. Ultegra levers are a bit less durable than DuraAce, but since you're looking at either Ultregra 9 or 10 that won't count. Not a real bid difrerence, reallly... you can't really rebuild the levers, so what difference does factory support make? if that's a worry, buy Campy.

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    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    My thought would be that 9-speed will be crisper. It isn't required to be as precise as a 10-speed system, and with that looooong rear der cable, I think any precision issues would be magnified.

    Besides, I don't see any value in adding one more cog. We had enough gears when they went up to 8. I haven't felt any gearing improvements since I got that 16T on my 12-23.

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    We've been running 10sp for a couple of months now and have had no problems. It shifts just as well as a 9sp. We have Campy brifters, Shimano 11-27 cassette, Dura Ace RD, and A Wipperman Shimano chain. IRD makes a 10sp 11-32 and 11-34 Shimano compatible cassette if you want wider gearing.

  10. #10
    Co-Mo mojo
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    Co-Mo 2007 models and prices now posted to their web site as of yesterday. 10-speed Ultegra is the new standard on a number of models. Although this is a bit off-topic, the rumored $2500 Periscopes are now real. Some other very interesting changes to the full line. Our 2006-spec Speedster should be coming soon....

  11. #11
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBC Steve
    What convinced me to go with 9 speed is a July 2006 tour on the Oregon coast. A fluke problem resulted in a bent chain and the need to find a replacement. I fixed the chain temporarily using professional chain straightening tools: crescent wrench and vise grips. 325 miles and 6 bike shops later, we found plenty of 9 speed chains but not one 10 speed chain in stock. Slight correction -- a bike shop in Astoria had a Wippermann 10 speed chain but no master link.
    the availability equation is going to gradually reverse itself. 5-10 years from now you're likely to have the opposite problem. I doubt you'll have much trouble finding 10 speed chains most anywhere in very short order, and have you tried to find a 7 speed freewheel recently? If you keep your stuff a long time, I think there's something to be said to starting with the latest generation.

  12. #12
    Co-Mo mojo
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
    the availability equation is going to gradually reverse itself. 5-10 years from now you're likely to have the opposite problem. I doubt you'll have much trouble finding 10 speed chains most anywhere in very short order, and have you tried to find a 7 speed freewheel recently? If you keep your stuff a long time, I think there's something to be said to starting with the latest generation.
    You make some good points, and that certainly will depend on the person. All kinds of riders read posts to the tandem group. For someone like me who rides 4000-6000 miles every year, nearer term availability is important. I was actually surprised to find no 10 speed chains along the Oregon Coast, particularly since there are so many cyclists there every summer and 10 speed stuff has been around for almost two years. I was told it was not a matter of high demand -- I was one of the few people who had looked for a 10 speed chain. That obviously will change over time.

    For others who ride less, the longer view you suggest makes more sense -- especially those who only put 500-1000 miles a year on their 2-fers. If I was in that position, I'd probably go with the 10 speed setup. In any case, I am very happy with my 15 month old Synapse with 10 speed Ultegra, and equally happy with our 9 speed Ultegra Speedster. I expect to keep the Co-Mo frame for a long time, recognizing that it may go through equipment changes along the way.

    As to a 7 speed freewheel -- real old technology -- I got a new one a few months back for a late 1970s Gitane tandem I rebuilt. I was surprised to find one, but they are out there. Now, as to a five speed freewheel for my 1966 Cinelli Super Corsa ... !

    I think the original post generated enough response to provide some diverse, good advice.

  13. #13
    Senior Member CGinOhio's Avatar
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    First ride on our new tandem

    We took delivery of our new Co-Mo Speedster in mid Nov, but my stoker broke her collarbone about a week before it arrived we didn't get to ride it until today. Her sling is off and we got a surprisingly nice day here in NE Ohio (around 60 degrees) and took it out for a ride.

    We are thrilled with it! The ride and handling are better than our singles....of course it should be for what it cost! I like the new 10spd brifters. Better one finger action than the 9spd. The most significant difference is the trim capability with chainring brifter. Nice. We shall see how it holds up. Thanks to all for the advice on 9spd vs 10spd.

    CG

    fyi...anyone looking for a tandem dealer in NE Ohio should check out The Bicycle Shop in Hartville. We got great help and patient answers to all our questions from Jim and Lisa.
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    Captain - 2nd in Command djsincla's Avatar
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    10 Speed Rocks

    We just upgraded our tandem from 9 speed Ultegra to 10 speed Ultegra. I already have 10 speed Dura ace on my single bike.

    We noticed a big improvement shifting with the 10 speed - Nothing wrong with the 9 speed but it all feels smoother.

    I think you made the right choice.

  15. #15
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    On our tandem, we have the Shimano/Santana 11/34 ten speed rear sprocket with Ultegra components with 53/39/30 on the front. The shifting is crisp with no problems in 950 miles. Our typical rides range from 800 – 1200 feet of elevation gained per 10 miles traveled, such that the drive train has been stressed significantly. I have Shimano 12/27 ten speed on my Trek Madone with Ultegra components with 53/39/30 on the front. I have the same results – no problems.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I pretty much made the decision this Summer to stick with 9-speed. I acquired a brand new pair of 9-speed Ultegra brifters just to keep as spares. My concern is that, if Shimano stays true to form, 9-speed Ultegra level components are going to become more difficult to obtain in a short time.

  17. #17
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    I have been using 10 speed Dura-Ace for the last 2 years on my Co-Motion. While 9 speed worked just fine, the 10 speed shifters have a more positive feel as they use a different internal system than the previous generation.

    Chains are no less strong than previous models provided the connecting pin is installed properly.

    The 11-34 cassette that is being used by Santana/Co-Motion is made by IRC and not Shimano. The largest (range) available for 10 speed from Shimano is 12-27.

    Generally speaking, what you ride is what works best - until you upgrade and have to justify the money you spent on your new stuff...

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