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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 08-28-07, 08:44 PM   #1
Sevenrider
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Our 35th Anniversary Present

Hi,

I've been lurking around this forum while I was researching the components for me latest addition to my bike fleet, an anniversary present fwith my better half. We've been tandeming for many years and decided to buy the bike of our dreams. A Seven Axiom 007 Ti tandem. We are leaving in a couple of weeks for a tour of Tuscany and Elba. Please let me know if any of you have experience with the climbs in this area, I want to make sure the gearing is right for this trip. Here in Minnesota we don't have many long, steep climbs to train on so we do lots of shorter hills.

Attached is a picture the 112 year old team with our new ride.

Thanks for all of the advice that I gleaned from your previous posts.

Jeff
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File Type: jpg Jeff and Sharis Seven Tandem.jpg (98.4 KB, 209 views)
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Old 08-28-07, 09:26 PM   #2
zonatandem
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Congrats on the 35th anniversary and the new Axiom!
While we have not ridden Tuscany or Napoleon's exile island of Elba, lower gearing is never a bad choice.
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it!
Enjoy the trip!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 08-28-07, 10:39 PM   #3
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That is one beautiful bike. Congratulations and hears to many miles of fun twogether.
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Old 08-28-07, 10:42 PM   #4
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Happy anniversary and congrats on the new bike. We are going on the Santana tour of Tuscany and Elba in a couple of weeks and I assume it is the same trip. We are taking our 11/34 10 speed cassette. We have 53/39/30 on the front.
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Old 08-29-07, 07:31 AM   #5
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In the Basque region of northern Spain we had 28x36 granny and used every inch once we got into grades > 10 % (which are not frequent on paved roads in the US). I suspect you will use as low a gear as you've got, and will not stop to wonder if you could have made the climb on a higher gear.
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Old 08-29-07, 09:24 AM   #6
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Beautiful bike! I didn't know they could put couplers onto a Ti bike. Must be fun to have a new shiny toy!
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Old 08-29-07, 01:57 PM   #7
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Ti with couplers, front and rear disc, as Spicoli said,
"Awesome, totally awesome".

Rob
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Old 08-29-07, 04:43 PM   #8
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Both your bike and your team look faster than mine.

--Captain Mike
(really hoping to not be on the slowest tandem in Tuscany)
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Old 08-29-07, 08:02 PM   #9
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Congrats on your new ride and happy anniversary! Like to hear about your trip when you get back too!
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Old 08-29-07, 08:36 PM   #10
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Hermes, yes we are going on the Santana tour. Looking forward to meeting you and Velodiva. Have you done a post asking which other forum members will be on the tour?

Oldacura, S&S makes titanium couplers for titanium bikes. Yes it is fantastic to have a new tandem, we've had our previous Cannondale since 1992. It has served us well but is humbled by the new bike.
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Old 08-29-07, 10:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevenrider View Post
Hermes, yes we are going on the Santana tour. Looking forward to meeting you and Velodiva. Have you done a post asking which other forum members will be on the tour?
That is fantastic - we look forward to meeting both of you. Should be a great trip - we did the Santana Sonoma tandem rally last September and had a fantastic time - great riding, wine and made new friends. Our tandem friends from the Bay area/Peninsula are also doing the Tuscany tour. We are doing the pre-tour - are you? Funny thing - Hermes just commented at dinner tonight about doing a post to ask if any other Bike Forum members are going - I think we will do that - it is a small world!
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Old 08-30-07, 09:04 AM   #12
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Hi,

I've been to Tuscany more than a few times, some of them with bike, though never with tandem.

Yes it is hilly. As far as I could tell it's hard to cycle anywhere without going over a hill, plus a lot of the interesting villages are built on hills so you've got to get up them.

The hills are steeper than many alpine climbs, with 8-12% and more for short sections is common. Obviously the hills aren't as long as alpine climbs, with most about 1 mile or so. If you can practise this sort of riding before going you'll have more fun. If you don't have hills like this a ride up, a multistorey car park (after hours) could be good training ground.

In terms of gearing I have 39x25 on my single bike and had to grind up more hills than I would have liked. A compact crank on the single bike would have been advisable unless you're racing fit and want to race up all the hills. A tandem triple will be fine. Ours has ridiculously low 30x34 and we have never used it.

Road surfaces are pretty variable, just like the UK, so I'd recommend 28mm tyres on the tandem. Again lots of the interesting places to visit have gravel / unmetalled drives so it's not the place for tandeming on 23mm racing tyres.

Lastly don't blindly trust the signposts. I remember going for a 20 mile ride and following signs to St.Margerita part way through the ride. After a big hill and a loooong steep descent I found myself in an unfamiliar valley by a river with the daylight running out. After looking at a bus stop to find out where I was I phoned my wife who picked up in the car (without any directional issues as she's much better at that sort of thing than I am). On getting home I looked at the map and found there are no fewer than 5 St. Margeritas in within 10 miles. Things are just a bit different...

Hope that helps. I would also talk to the folks at Santana as it's their tour and they probably know everything there is to know about the route.
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Old 08-30-07, 11:20 AM   #13
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As I look at the photo of your bike, I notice that the couplers are farther from the seat tubes than on our bike. The mid & rear sections look pretty long. We have a 26" x 26" x 10" regulation airline soft case to ship our bike in (it just barely fits).

Will your bike fit into an airline legal case?

Also, we don't have disk brakes. How do you disassemble the bike with hydraulic lines?
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Old 08-30-07, 11:58 AM   #14
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Oldacura,

Seven recommended that we go with two 26" x 26" x 12" cases. We disassembled the bike to test packing it. There is lots of room left to fill with helmets, clothes and other items. The 12" cases supposedly aren't airline legal so I will find out soon what type of hassles I get with them. They will be under the max weight limit.

We are using Avid BB7 disk brakes that are mechanically operated not hydraulic. All cables have two splitters on them so they break apart in the same places as the frame.
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Old 08-30-07, 12:16 PM   #15
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We just returned from a round trip flight Denver - Calgary. We've travelled with our bike about 4 - 5 times. We get a little better, a little faster with the disassembly/assembly each time. It took us just over an hour to assemble and about 1 1/2 hours to disassemble & pack this time.

When we bought the bike, the prvious owner shipped it to us in one 26" x 26" x 10" soft side S&S case. It was a real puzzle to get it in there. I have since bought a garage-sale Samsonite hard side suitcase. I wind up disassembling the bike more now (easier to pack). I put the wheels & 3 frame sections in the soft case & all the smaller parts into the suitcase. Much easier to pack & each case is below the 50lb limit.

I wind up removing all of the cranks & chainrings & take the cassette off of the rear wheel. The teeth on the cogs tend to scrape up the frame sections. I also find that it is easiest to remove the captain's bars and zip-tie the cables into coils.
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