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  1. #1
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    New to tandem - questions on tires and tubes

    Hi there! We are new to tandems and wanted to touch base and see what everyone recommends for tires and tubes. I wanted to have some of both on hand and have no idea which ones to get - if some are better than others - and also where online to buy them! It seems that most products are more economical online. We are riding a 2007 Cannondale Road Tandem that has 700x28 Continental Ultra GatorSkin tires. Also - dumb question, but does that mean I need a 700x28 road tube? Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    Yes. We also use 700x 28 continentals and like them , Sometimes tubes may be labeled 25-28 or 28-32 and they all work well. Also in a pinch I have used 700x23 and it also worked- they all stretch slightly

  3. #3
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    Awesome! Thanks for the response. We bought some 700x26 tubes today... by mistake! But, by what you have mentioned they may be okay! I think I will shoot for the 28's... but will keep in mind the others will work if needed! How often are you changing out your tires - short of cuts...- Thanks again -

  4. #4
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    We started using the Gatorskins(700x28) last fall, after the Ultra 2000s were discontinued. Our front tire has 4500 miles on it. I replaced the first rear at 2000 miles. The current rear has 2500 miles on it. I will be replacing both this next weekend. We had our first flat with these when we picked up a small sliver of glass Saturday in the front. We are running the Specialized 700x20/28c tubes. Some feel that these are too thin but we've been using them for almost 30,000 miles with no trouble. Our team weight is under 300lbs.
    I'm old enough
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  5. #5
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    We run used to run with the "bulletproof" Specialized All Condition Armadillo 700x28s. Great tyres for riding through "puddles" of glass, but they feel like you are driving a tank.

    Tried Conti Gatorskins 700x28, unfortunatly all the glass on our city streets means I was lucky to get 1000 miles before they were cut to shreds, however the ride was much nicer (and a bit easier up the hills)

    Just switched to the new Specialized Roubaix Armadillo Elite 700x25's, so far they feel great and appear to be almost as bulletproof as the all conditions - but ask me again in 3 months time

    As to your question about how often we change tyres - well I have never had the oppertunity to actually wear out a tyre where we ride. We got about 6 months (approx 2000 miles) out of the All Condition Armadillos and about 3 (approx 1000 miles) from the GatorSkins
    Last edited by thebearnz; 10-01-07 at 12:58 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jinker's Avatar
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    It's the tire, not the tube, that actually takes almost all the force retaining the air pressure in the wheel. Running a slightly undersized tube just means it will stretch a little more when inflated. It will be a tiny amount more susceptible to punctures if, say a thorn or chunk of glass punctures the tire, but frankly, anything that makes it through the tire will likely make it through the tube no matter what thickness tube you have in there.

  7. #7
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Rather than how many months do you get off a tire, it would be better to state how many miles.
    Of course road conditions and even extreme temperature can have an affect on longevity. Living in the desert southwest we have not only glass and shredded-up steel belted truck tires but loads of cactus thorns/goatheads to contend with + lots of chipsealed roads and temps over 100.
    For the last couple years we've been using the Maxxis Detonator and Re-Fuse folding tires with good results.
    Pulled a 1-inch thorn from a saguaro cactus out of our rear tire just last week.
    Have not yet found a 'bullet proof tire' in our 200,000+ miles of tandeming!
    Just our experience/observations.
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    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  8. #8
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    Thanks Zona - have updated.

    Because we ride our "1/2 bikes" about 50% of the time (hehe) we don't clock up the miles quite as quickly

    So far in 14 months since we have had the Tandem we have clocked up around 6000kms (or just under 4000 miles).

    We started with Bontrager Racelite tyres that came with the bike, they lasted about 1000 miles, then 2000 on the All Condition Armadillos and 1000 on the Gatorskins. So far 60 miles on the Armadillo elites.

    Post every ride, I deflate the tyres and pluck out the bits that have added themselves to the rubber. In the 14 months we have only had 1 flat (and 1 blowout after hitting a large rock at speed) during a ride

    As I mentioned above, I have never come close to wearing out the tread on any of the tyres (even though I have heard plenty of stories of people getting 5000+ miles on some tyres, I have yet to experience this myself) It always comes down to the number (and size) of the cuts I feel comfortable riding with

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    This is all great info! Thanks... I ordered some of the tires that we currently have on the bike online last night. I don't want to not have any in case of issues. We like the way these tires are riding (the Continental Gatorskins 700x28)so we are going to keep going with those for a bit. Do you find that less than a 28 tire affects the way the bike rides? I figure the 28 is on the bike for a reason - but not certain if anyone has any success with a different size.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Narrower tires tend to be a fraction lighter (rotating weight is important if you are a 'weight-weenie') and ride a bit faster but also harsher. So stick with what you have for now and as you get more experienced riding as a duo then you can mess around with other brands/sizes.
    We used to ride 23mm tires for years, but as we aged (we're older than dirt!) we switched to 25mm; not a big change and stoker did not even notice any difference in the ride.
    Just our experience/opinion.
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  11. #11
    Co-Mo mojo
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    Whatever you do, watch out for nails! This was a flat from our recent tour through the wine country to San Francisco. Fortunately this was on one of the half bikes. No, kevlar would not have helped.

  12. #12
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raztaztwo View Post
    This is all great info! Thanks... I ordered some of the tires that we currently have on the bike online last night. I don't want to not have any in case of issues. We like the way these tires are riding (the Continental Gatorskins 700x28)so we are going to keep going with those for a bit. Do you find that less than a 28 tire affects the way the bike rides? I figure the 28 is on the bike for a reason - but not certain if anyone has any success with a different size.
    25c's will give a little less rolling resistence, and be a little lighter. They make the bike feel faster and quicker to accelerate. The actual quantitative difference is probably pretty small.

    On the downside, you'll need to put more pressure in the 25c's than the 28's to avoid pinch flats. So the 25c's will give a little harsher ride. The appropriate width of tires depends on your team's weight, and your priorities.

    Personally, our team weight is 340lbs, and we don't have aproblem riding 25c's.

  13. #13
    Senior Member joe@vwvortex's Avatar
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    Not all tires are created equal in terms of size either - some are bigger/smaller than others in the same size. We run the 28c Duraskins on the tandem - but quite frankly i've run about 100 different tires over the years on my road bikes. When all is said and done - you will find some that ride nicer, some that last longer and some that just are plain horrible at doing either or. The Duraskins have lasted very well on the tandem and give a decent ride - considering our combined weight is in the 350 range. To me it's a tradeoff for durability and ride quality. After I run through this set - i'm going to try some kevlar beaded Michelins - since i've had good luck with their pro-race on both my wife and my roadbikes. Not sure how they'll hold up to the weight in terms of durability - but i'm sure i'll find out.
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  14. #14
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I recently bought a couple of cheap Schwinn tubes at Target for 26x1.75/1.9/2.1 size. Those tubes are maybe 1" diameter before inflating. I think they could sell the same ones for 26x1.375" or smaller, too. Don't know if the higher quality tubes are like this, I would assume not.

  15. #15
    pel
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    Schwalbe Big Apple

    A tip a picked up on the Forum.
    6500kms in Europe last year and not a single puncture. But two tyres on the rear wheel. First lasted 3500km and was worked hard on a fully loaded tandem with trailer. The slicks are fast.

  16. #16
    pel
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    lost the title some how. ie Schwalbe Big apple.

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