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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 08-08-07, 05:00 AM   #1
just me
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Tube Selection and tire question

I thought there was a thread about this but I searched the forums and could not find an answer here or at Hobbes. I thought I remembered Tandemgeek and Zonatandem discussing this earlier.

I need to order a few tubes, any advice? No decent local shop, Performance has a "Forte Road Presta Tube 700c x 19-26" on sale for 2.99. Although I have no problem paying more if it makes a difference.


Santana Team Niobium
Continental Ultra Gator Skins 700x25
Team weight 310? (She don't tell, and I don't ask.)
1700 miles 1 flat
Probably a "B-Team" more concerned about less flats than speed

And since I am asking questions
What are the indications that you need to get new tires?
How often do you rotate?

Thanks
Jack

Last edited by just me; 08-08-07 at 05:17 AM.
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Old 08-08-07, 06:45 AM   #2
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Roatation

I never put a used tire on the front.I prefer to leave a new front alone until it gets old or some other reason to replace it.I may wear out 2-3 rears before the front goes away.

I've had some fronts go flat rapidly on the tandem and its not pretty.We didn't go down,but came close.We were going about 18 on a straight/level surface and it was as if we hit ice.

As for tubes,I would not use anything marked lightweight.Other than that,I think tubes is tubes.

dan
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Old 08-08-07, 06:57 AM   #3
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On when to replace tires, read a section here:

http://sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#mixing

Re tire rotation, conventional wisdom is to not rotate tires, you can read it here:

http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-rotation.html

The only acceptable tire rotation plan is to rotate the front to the back when you need to replace the back tire, and always put the new tire in front. This advice is particularly important on tandems because the front tire on a tandem bares more weight than on a single and thus more likely to blow, and a blow-out on a tandem can be more catastrophic. That said I think most people here will answer that they do not rotate, and replace each tire as needed, with more safety margin allowed to the front tire.
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Old 08-08-07, 07:30 AM   #4
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...rotate the front to the back when you need to replace the back tire, and always put the new tire in front...
Slaps forehead repeatedly and says "I knew that". I guess I was still asleep, and a little perturbed that at 4 a.m instead of getting in a quick 15 miles, I was changing a flat.

Jack
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Old 08-08-07, 07:36 AM   #5
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We use both ligth and conventional tubes... have not detected a difference. We run 25 in the back and 23 in the front; so we do not rotate. Before, when we ran 28 front and back, we would start with a pair of new tires. At some point we moved the front to the back. The front for us usually lasts twice as long as the back tire.
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Old 08-08-07, 08:05 AM   #6
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If you're using a Silca dedicated presta pump head, I'll recommend using Michelin tubes or other tubes with a smooth bore valve stem, simply because these make putting on and taking off the pump head much easier.
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Old 08-08-07, 02:50 PM   #7
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We do not rotate tires on tandem or single.
Before each ride, I spin the wheels for a quick look-see if tires are OK (no bulges, no bad cuts, enough air, and no wheel wobble) and off we go.
As for tubes, have run super light to normal tubes and you can run them a bit narrow (19-23) for our 23 or 25mm wide tires. There seems to be no huge difference in tube brands; lighter ones tend to be pricier as are the ones with extra long valve stems. We don't bother with 'puncture proof' tubes
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Old 08-08-07, 07:09 PM   #8
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We got 2250 miles out of the stock tires that came on our bike. Vittoria Rubino Pros 700 X 25. Had a valve failure on the front tube and so it was replaced around 1500 miles. No flat tires along the way. Had a blow out on the rear at 2250 miles. Carry a spare tube and tire from recommendations from BF contributers. Replaced the tire and tube and finished the ride. Upon arrival home, both front and rear tires were replaced and the front tire was retired although it still had some miles left on it. Tubes from the previous tires were used. Team and bike weight 360. New tires were Conti Ultra Gator skins 700 X 25. The original tires outlasted the drive side chain, hope the Gators last that long. As for tubes, The original tubes were Kendas with the front valve failing early and the rear blowing out. Contis have a screw in valve that has caused me problems with CO2 inflation, so I won't use them. Current ones are Giants or Bontragers. No problems so far.
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Old 08-08-07, 08:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by just me View Post
I need to order a few tubes, any advice? No decent local shop, Performance has a "Forte Road Presta Tube 700c x 19-26" on sale for 2.99. Although I have no problem paying more if it makes a difference.
Unless you're racing for fame and fortune, an inner tube is an inner tube. Don't waste money on ultralights or heavy-duty: standard tubes are just about all that anyone needs.

I buy in bulk -- 10 packs -- when ever I find that I'm down to two spare tubes in my tube drawer, noting that I usually have 2 spare tubes and a spare tire in my tool box and 2 more tubes + 1 spare tire in the saddle bags on the tandem. The tubes on the bike are usually tubes that have been patched. The rationale for carrying patched tubes on the bike is that they are just as likely to be handed off to someone else with a flat as used on my own bike and I'd rather not give away new tubes if I can help it.

Anyway, back to buying in bulk... Performance would usuall offer up the 10 pack about twice a year for $20 ($2/tube) which is a pretty good deal. I see that they are presently doing a 50 pack for $99.99 and you can mix and match tube sizes. Frankly, I'm not sure I'd want to have that many tubes sitting around for that long but if you had a cycling buddy or two who also needed some tubes it's a pretty good way to get your tubes at a reasonable price. A quick search also revealed that JensonUSA.com is also selling tubes in 10 packs for $20: http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...alve+Tube.aspx


Quote:
Originally Posted by just me View Post
What are the indications that you need to get new tires? How often do you rotate?
I replace a tire (and it's the rear tire 99/100) when:

a. I notice a white stripe running down the middle of the tire (that would be the PRS liner showing through the worn-out tread), or
b. I notice any type of defect in the tread during routine post or pre-ride maintenance. Defects include cuts, cracks, sidewall damage, or other defects, or
c. I pull down a bike that doesn't see much use and discover that the tread compounds have gone well beyond "seasoning" and are no longer supple or are showing signs that they have dried out.

As for rotation, when ever a new tire goes on a bike it goes on the front and the front goes on the rear. This always ensures the "best" tire remains on the front and also makes me feel like I'm getting more life out of my tires since the rears wear out so darn fast.

Last edited by TandemGeek; 08-10-07 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 08-09-07, 02:52 PM   #10
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I get my Salsa 700 X 28/32 48mm stem tubes from Precision Tandems. Down here in North Texas, when you can't be sure of the condition of the roads that the club ride will use, a 700 X 25 tire is daringly narrow, owing to the risk of pinch flats due to insufficient volume to tolerate irregularities of the road. Some other club members once tried to use the stock 700 X 25 (26?) tires that came on their Santana (this was about eight years ago) at Hotter'n Hell in Wichita Falls. They had five flats, very possibly due to the coarse nature of the road pavement.
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Old 08-09-07, 08:13 PM   #11
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We use 700x23 tires on the steel Kuwahara tandem, but crew weight is ~320 lbs and we never carry bags of any kind (a bike is not a pack animal!).

You can buy 700x20-23 tubes for CDN$2.50 or long-stem tubes (60mm) for CDN$2.75 from Mountain Equipment Co-op in Canada (mec.ca).

All the previous advice about checking for tire defects is excellent. One more thing I would add is to check the sidewalls. Some - especially Continentals - tend to crack from age. Contis are notorious for sidewall blowouts Sometimes the brake pads will move upward as the pads wear (this is particularly noticeable on the arm attached to the offset pivot on dual pivot sidepulls). If the pad is set too close to the top of the rim, it will sometimes contact the sidewall and wear a hole in it. Don't laugh - it's happened to me.

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Old 08-10-07, 06:19 AM   #12
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Thank you all for taking the time to add your very interesting and thoughtful answers. Not only have I gotten the tube and tire question resolved, but I have added a couple of items to my pm (preventative maintenance) list.

Thanks
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Old 08-10-07, 08:37 AM   #13
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we never carry bags of any kind (a bike is not a pack animal!). L.
You should go over to the touring section and let them know this. I think they have the wrong idea.
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Old 08-16-07, 08:31 PM   #14
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Just replaced rear tire on our Zona tandem. Had a flat and it looked as if the actual rubber that hits the road was sort of thin. Slapped in a new tube and when I got home put on new rear tire.
Decided to dissect this Maxxis Re-Fuse 700 x 25 mm and peeled the rubber off part of the tire. The actual carcas of the tire under the peeled off rubber was not just several plies of alternating nylon cord, but there was a super-thin mesh (probably kevlar) right between rubber and inner cords. Jabbing through this mesh with a pocket knife was do-able, but did need to push the blade pretty hard.
Quite impressed with this tire technology.
Oh, got 2,478 miles off that Maxxis Re-Fuse and probably could of squeezed another 100+ out of it.
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Old 08-19-07, 02:08 AM   #15
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I know I am offroad on the T, but several years ago I got into latex Tubes. Not the thin lightweight one. The ones I got were a thick latex and about the same weight as a Butyl tube. One big advantage of these is that when we get the in and out thorns- They semiseal around the hole and don't go down as quick. Might have to put a bit of air in the tyre if we notice that we have a flattish tyre towards the end of a ride- but we have more punctures in the Bike shed overnight than we do on the trails.

And on tyre rotation- Another believer in front to rear- Except that offroad- A worn front tyre will not give a great deal of grip on the rear in mud. I seem to have plenty of Semi slick quality tyres for summer use only in the shed.
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