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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 01-08-07, 02:13 PM   #1
Fenlason
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zero gravity brakes

Hi Everyone:

I am new here. Has anyone had any experience with zero gravity brakes, on a tandem? I currently have Durace on my bike and am happy with them, but many of the singles that I ride with have switched over love them.. but I would like feedback on tandem use.

thanks
glenn
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Old 01-09-07, 01:23 AM   #2
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Glenn, from a somewhat simplistic POV, if you trust a caliper brake (single or dual pivot, take your pick) to slow or stop your tandem (actually, I guess that would be two caliper brakes), then I suppose they would be feasible, but, I think most tandem riders and captains, I'm sure, are probably more comfortable with greater stopping power (cantis and/or drums/discs) that doesn't fade on a long downhill. Roughly doubling the mass and using caliper brakes just might introduce a bit too much flex/fade for most people's comfort. YMMV
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Old 01-09-07, 06:18 AM   #3
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crazy person move. There are racers I know who have issues with their braking power. ON a single. Forget the insane cost.
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Old 01-09-07, 07:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenlason
I am new here. Has anyone had any experience with zero gravity brakes, on a tandem? I currently have Durace on my bike and am happy with them, but many of the singles that I ride with have switched over love them.. but I would like feedback on tandem use.
Don't waste your money; DuraAce is about as good as it gets for calipers on tandems. Campy's Chorus & Record were good when they still have dual pivot / differential front & rear, as the single sidepull rears are nearly worthless on a tandem.


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Originally Posted by t4mv
...but, I think most tandem riders and captains, I'm sure, are probably more comfortable with greater stopping power (cantis and/or drums/discs) that doesn't fade on a long downhill.
No, only the ones who have only read the word of or that swear by Santana's marketing literature...

A good caliper, e.g., Shimano's BR600, Ultegra, and DuraAce models as well as Campy Chorus & Record (noting my previous comment on single side-pull) are more than adequate for most aggressive lightweight to mid-weight teams under most conditions and where they aren't, any other rim brake would also be problematic.
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Old 01-09-07, 09:33 AM   #5
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Let me clarify a bit: if you're riding a Paketa, Calfee, etc... that weighs 23 lbs. and you're getting ready to ride the Tour de France on the tandem, then those brakes make sense. What do you ride now??? What gear does it have?
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Old 01-09-07, 10:48 AM   #6
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As I stated in my question... I currently have duraAce brakes. I am quite happy with them. I find I have better braking than a friend does on his Cannondale.. with v brakes and the pulleys needed to run them with road levers. [although his brakes may need a little tweaking]His combined weight is only perhaps 25 to 30 pounds more than us.

With all the Santana bashing that I seem to be seeing on this site I am hesitant to say what I own for a bike.. but I have one of their new Beyonds.. the ti carbon bike. This is my 5th tandem. I have ridden many. I currently own three... and I have been a shop mech. for the past 24 years. [although I got my start.. back in the 70's].

This bike is pretty much stock except for gearing. It has ultegra 10 sp sti.. Fsa carbon cranks... and of course the sweet 16 wheels.

I currently use fsa time trail rings 55 42.. I am changing to an Snytace stem and Easton handbars in the capt cockpit. [ I have not found any suitable options for the stoker yet]. I also plan to change the cassette to an 11-28 from the 11- 34.

We do use this as a performance bike... riding with the local single bike racers.

The only thing i expect to gain with the brakes.. is weight loss. The 2 zero gravity calipers weigh what 1 of the duraAce ones do. I seems a pretty simple way to take off ... what is it.. about 167 grams.

I do not really want to loose brake performance or feel, from what I now have with the duraAce.

I was hoping someone here might have used both, and could share their thoughts.

glenn
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Old 01-09-07, 12:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenlason
With all the Santana bashing that I seem to be seeing on this site..
Just to be clear, had the poster's original comments not so closely parroted what is likely in the '07 Santana Tandems & Tandeming catazine (received mine yesterday but haven't read it yet) and/or what Bill has previously posted to Hobbes over the past year, they would not have caught my attention.

Here's the deal: Santana is a fine company that makes fine bikes. Bill McCready is an industry icon, someone I admire and consider as a friend (not a foe). However, the marketing literature which flows from Bill's hand has been called out for being over the top, questionable, and devisive on the internet since 1993 when the Hobbes list was born. I suspect that the 2007 Tandems & Tandeming that I just received continues that tradition and embodies many of the "trial balloons" and comments that Bill has shared with the Hobbes list over the past year on the subject of brakes, wheels, disc brakes, and frame design. Tandem design and equipment is NOT a zero-sum game where there is only one correct approach and all of the others are therefore wrong.

Now that I have that off my chest....

Congrats on the Beyond. Given the implication that you are a professional bicycle mechanic, either full or part-time as a hobby, I'll assume you can can get products and parts at dealer prices either directly or indirectly. Given how subjective individual results and impressions regarding brake performance can be (see previous objection to assumptions regarding caliper brake performance), why not buy the brakes and give them a try. If they don't work well, you could still sell them for far less than the average consumer pays and still come out ahead.

My original reply to YOUR post still stands: "Don't waste your money; DuraAce is about as good as it gets for calipers on tandems."

Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-09-07 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 01-09-07, 12:32 PM   #8
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dude!!! on a rig that sweet, the Zero Gee brakes do make sense from an economic perspective. And I ain't gonna bash your ride: the Santana Beyond is up there with the best. I am intrigued by teh engineering. And I are a PhD engineer.

BUt the performance would worry me. There have been a number of "ultralight" brake sets out there - most notably the Cane Creek jobbies that were so bad they were speed modulators, not actual brakes. Save weight somewhere else. Personally, the drive train would be my first shot: get that Mt bike stuff off and run a road cassette and rear derailleur. I also like DuraAce levers better than Ultegra. That's my Co MO's setup. And 23mm tires. Try teh Botrager Hardcase:nary a flat in over a year of hard riding.

By the way, teh stock Cdale setup isn't that good. I changed mine out to an Avid SIngle Digit 7 and got a bit better stopping. Cheap fix for yer friend.
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Old 01-09-07, 12:38 PM   #9
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The couple of people I know with Zero Gravity don't like their stopping power much. I think you will see a decrease in performance, which could be a little more critical on a tandem.
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Old 01-09-07, 01:19 PM   #10
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Not a typist and English Professor???

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElRey
dude!!! on a rig that sweet, the Zero Gee brakes do make sense from an economic perspective. And I ain't gonna bash your ride: the Santana Beyond is up there with the best. I am intrigued by teh engineering. And I are a PhD engineer.

BUt the performance would worry me. There have been a number of "ultralight" brake sets out there - most notably the Cane Creek jobbies that were so bad they were speed modulators, not actual brakes. Save weight somewhere else. Personally, the drive train would be my first shot: get that Mt bike stuff off and run a road cassette and rear derailleur. I also like DuraAce levers better than Ultegra. That's my Co MO's setup. And 23mm tires. Try teh Botrager Hardcase:nary a flat in over a year of hard riding.

By the way, teh stock Cdale setup isn't that good. I changed mine out to an Avid SIngle Digit 7 and got a bit better stopping. Cheap fix for yer friend.
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Old 01-09-07, 01:43 PM   #11
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tandemgeek:

I have not read a Santana Cat. newer than the 04.. I have not been on the other list.. and know nothing of what has been discussed there. I had NO adgenda.. other than to try and seek some advice on some brakes.
Just because the other list has more bashing... does it make it ok?

yes I can buy them for less.. and if I don't like them recoup my money... again I was just looking to see if anyone else here and already done it. To perhaps save me some time and work.

glenn
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Old 01-09-07, 02:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenlason
I have not read a Santana Cat. newer than the 04.. I have not been on the other list.. and know nothing of what has been discussed there. I had NO adgenda.. other than to try and seek some advice on some brakes.
Again, and my apologies for cross-posting this stuff:

I my initial reply I responded to YOUR question in my first paragraph, to wit: "Don't waste your money; DuraAce is about as good as it gets for calipers on tandems."

My second paragraph of the same initial reply responded to "t4mv" who appeared to be citing chapter and verse from Santana's marketing literature in their posting.

Invoking the "please no Santana Bashing" defense illicited my subsequent response which, again, was an explanation of my comments, the motivation, and reiterated my semi-informed recommendation which remains: "Don't waste your money; DuraAce is about as good as it gets for calipers on tandems."

Had I truly had it out for Santana products and their owners (which I don't) I would have been far more creative in my reply.
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Old 01-09-07, 02:26 PM   #13
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is it permissable to hi-jack one's own thread?

Elray.. yes perhaps drivetrain is a better place to improve and save weight. What are you using for a set up on yours.. is it 9 sp or 10? what for gearing? duraAce deraileurs?

If I go to the 11-28.. i was debating putting the 3rd inner chainring back on... although I have used my sovereign with a 44 small ring and 11-28... but I am getting older.

tires I really really like the michelin pros i use the 25's ... our roads are pretty bad in places.

Yes I am aware that cannondale set up is not the best. on my other two bikes I have the avid..hmm I forget the model .. the cnc machined ones [canti's not v's] they work real good.


Glenn
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Old 01-09-07, 05:20 PM   #14
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Have done a quickie test ride with Zero G brakes on a c/f tandem. In my opinion they are as good as D/A, although much lighter/pricier.
Suggestion: put a Zero G brake on rear only and keep the D/A on front. Then swap: D/A rear and Zero G front. Any difference in stopping performance?
On 'tana bashing: Bill has as many supporters as he has detractors and tends to be just like the rest of us tandemistas: opinionated (ourselves included)!
Agree with Mark, they build a good product. Bill tends to disparage other brands/makes/designs. He opines his are 'the best.' Lighter tandems (by several pounds) than the Beyond? Magnesium: Paketa; C/f: ariZona, Calfee, Rue Sports.
So if you want to literally save 'pounds' instead of 'grams', skip the ZeoG brakes and test ride some of the real lightweights.
Having ridden over 30 brands/models of tandems, we have our own opinions.
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Old 01-09-07, 08:01 PM   #15
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ZG brakes

I have used DA brakes on singles and now run ZG brakes. I truly noticed no difference in braking and the weight difference is significant. Don't run the corima pads which are for carbon rims as they dont work nearly as well as the supplied rubber pads.
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Old 01-10-07, 05:30 AM   #16
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A joke, fool....
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Old 01-10-07, 07:44 AM   #17
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while I have not taken an actual count.. I have perhaps as many people here saying they have actually used the brakes and were happy with their performance... as those that say not to do it.

So I suspect that I will try them.

Elrey wrote " A joke, fool...."

hmm making fun of the new guy

Zonatandem.. I would love to try these other bikes... hmm perhaps not now that I have boughten what I have I would hate to fall in love with something else.

while I have had the opportunity to ride many other bikes.. these you mention I have not. Perhaps they are not allowed east of the Mississippi ?

I do not know specifically about some of these other bikes.. but I know for example what makes the paketa lighter [when it is] is mainly the parts chosen. Their frame is lighter than mine.. but not much. I know some people are using things like zzip carbon wheels with sewups.

while they might be fine.. the thought of using things like that makes me a little nervous.

Years back I did try a spinnergy up front.. on a tandem... it was way to flexy and I was gentle on it.

Personally I want durable and practicle... ok so perhaps spending this much for a tandem.. or for the zg brakes.. is not that practicle. but I myself am seeking an everyday bike... vs a seperate "race day" bike. I do realize that your own bike is an everday bike.

I would like to know more about your bike.. what parts you have and what it actually weighs.



I am basically just looking to upgrade my current bike a little. Will it make me noticeably faster? not likely. Again I have a friend that just bought the Paketa.. his bike is around a pound lighter than mine... I can perhaps fairly easily make mine just a little lighter than his

glenn
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Old 01-10-07, 08:02 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Elrey wrote " A joke, fool...."
I could be wrong, but I think Elrey was making fun of me making fun of him.....
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Old 01-10-07, 08:15 AM   #19
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duh! yes of course.
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Old 01-10-07, 09:10 AM   #20
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yep. I was busting on galen. dude, I can't believe you've not heard the stock joke: "Last year, I could not spell Engineeer, now I are one..." You were probably so drunk at the time (that's when a lame joke like that would get said...) you don't remember. And Fen, there are those of us who play it fast and loose. galen knows I'm like that through experience on this site.

Fen, I do think you might benefit from a changeout to a DuraAce rear der. and road cassette (12-25 or 27). The improvements in shifting are noticeable, even to my stoker who's not an experienced racer. Especially when off the saddle uphill. Levers are pretty expensive: maybe use the Ultegras up a bit. That's what I did, then switched over to DuraAce in a year. I run DuraAce 9sp simply because I got levers for $250, not the $550 you pay for ten sp. One gear doesn't matter to me on the tandem. I do run ten sp. on my Colnago. BUt that used to get raced. As for tires, 25mm are in the ballpark. I started with 32s then to 28s then to 25s now 23s. I was simply trying to make a point that superduper parts like Zero Gee brakes should be paired with superduper other stuff. Not 28mm tires, as an example... or 40 spoke wheels. SUperduper is an engineering term i learned in grad school.
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Old 01-10-07, 10:51 AM   #21
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I was not drunk when I heard that joke.... but I was drunk when i read your post

when i read your post I did catch the joke.. and also assumed that galen was just teasing.

when your "just joking post" came in.. I did not reread the earlier stuff..I had forgotten about your joke and not knowing you... wondered if you were messing with me a semi techo weenie.

I don't have the education myself to be able to use the word superduper.. but I do understand the "need" to pick the proper mix of the "good stuff" .

I have a way to perhaps justifly the DuraAce levers. I could change my older Sovereign to 10 sp and switch it from bar ends to sti.

Although the guys at the shop are trying to get me to put the new Sram stuff on. It looks nice.. but I am not sure I want to have to go back and forth use wise between the two systems.. and it may sound silly.. I am not sure I want to give up flight deck.

thanks
glenn
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