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  1. #1
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    Lost our front wheel- literally!

    We took the tandem out for a nice fall evening ride last night with another couple we're friends with on their tandem. It was a gorgeous trail ride and we got back just past dusk. I put our tandem on the rack in the back of the truck, took the front wheel off and set it in the carrier, locked the front fork into the mount, and hopped out of the bed. We said our goodbyes and parted company. Any guesses so far what happened?

    Fast forward to us getting home about 15 minutes later and unloading the tandem. I jump in the back and exclaim, "Where the hell did our wheel go?" Dummy me forgot to tighten the skewer down and on top of that I typically run a bungee through the front spokes to keep the wheel from spinning as well, but hadn't bothered this time. Somewhere along the road I'm assuming the front wheel was spinning like a madman and decided it was now or never to make it's escape.....

    I retraced the route in the dark hoping by some miracle it rolled to a stop on the roadway (and hadn't been hit or picked up) or was laying on the shoulder. No such luck. I'll be looking again today in the daylight, but I'm still not very hopeful considering most of the drive was 4 lone divided highway with deep ditches.

    So, now I need to replace the front wheel. Luckily our tandem is a T900 with stock components so the wheels I'm assuming aren't ultra expensive. However, I haven't been able to find them online to check pricing. Does anyone know where I can find an Alexrims TA19 (26") wheel online?

    Thanks,
    Rick

  2. #2
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    If it is any consolation....

    I once left a $500 front wheel leaning agaisnt the fence, an hour away from home, near to where I parked the truck. Fortunately, we called a friend that lived close by and he picked it up.

    Then about 4 weeks ago, I left a $300 front wheel on the ground leaning against the truck, I asked my wife to drive home but before she did, she ran over the whell damaging the axle. We are still wating for replacement parts for the axle from precison Tandem. Both cases totally my fault.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Ouch, definitely some hard knocks there. From what I can find based on similar Alex rims, I should only be out $50-75 with tire and tube so I don't feel terrible about it, just stupid for not thinking about what I was doing.

    Rick

  4. #4
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    That stinks. Good luck on the daylight hunt.

    I had a friend show up to an MTB race so stoned that he forgot his front wheel at home (leaning against a fence). He was racing Expert, and borrowed a Sport rider's front (they were done). Then he went on to win... I guess it helped his concentration

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    For some reason I keep imagining this wheel flying out the back of the truck and passing traffic as it rolls down the highway.

  6. #6
    Member
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    I thought I was the only one who has done that. I put my single on the roof rack and put my Roff vector pro front wheel in the wheel holder. I drove about five miles to work and the wheel was gone. I went back and looked, but never found the wheel.

    Steve

  7. #7
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    Somebody out there is getting a collection of front tandem wheels. I now carry my front wheel in a wheel bag. This way the empty bag reminds me to not leave it leaning against my truck... as I did before...on my Stokers side, but she makes no mistakes!

  8. #8
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Consolation: a front tandem wheel is a lot le$$ than a rear wheel!
    Sometimes we tend to learn things the hard way . . .

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Well, it would seem this isn't exactly going to be easy to fix since Trek doesn't stock the wheel any longer and it seems it was a specific order item made for them as I can't find it online anywhere. The LBS says they should be able to build a replica wheel for about $150, but I'm not so sure about that cost.

    Are there any cheap yet durable 26" front wheels that anyone would recommend to save me some cash? Should I just look at a decent mountain bike rim instead? I'm not worried much about weight considering the T900 is no lightweight in it's own right.

    Thanks,
    Rick

  10. #10
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    A hand built wheel, assuming it is a good wheel builder, for $150.... sounds very reasonable.

  11. #11
    Junior Member thalver's Avatar
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    Last winter I had a front wheel built to match an alex TA 19 My wheel builder used a WTB rim that was remarkably similar in profile and size to the 19, but slightly different in color.

    Unless you are very hard on equipment, I think you could easily get by with a hand built 36 spoke rim on an ATB hub. The hand-built 36 will probably yield a better wheel than the OEM 40 spoke wheels on most production tandems. The parts should be slightly less expensive, and perhaps more to the point, available to get you back on the road more quickly. (My wheel builder has several of us running 36 spoke ATB hubs on the front of tandems, with no problems thus far)

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    I received a response back from Alexrims and they recommended the DH-19 as a similar rim. REI carries them in a 26" size. I was wondering what everyone thought of this rim: http://www.rei.com/product/711406

    Our team weight is right at 300 lbs with the captain (me) being 170-175 so I don't think we're putting a lot of stress on the front wheel. Another thought is that we only put 200ish miles on the tandem this year and I don't forsee us getting much over 500 next year so we're not logging a ton of miles as it is. For the price, I think it might be a good gamble. Thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Rick

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Well, I decided to go ahead and buy these yesterday. There is a Cranksgiving alleycat coming up in a couple weeks that I want to do on the tandem (as long as I can talk my wife into it) so I figured for $54 shipped I can risk it. I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Rick

  14. #14
    WoodBadge NE-VI-1 beaverstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornucopia72 View Post
    If it is any consolation.... ran over the wheel
    My Michigan Tech buddy of 30+ years did this to a wheel:
    http://www.jim.bike123.com/Chig/Harvey.html
    Guess which picture?!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaverstuff View Post
    Guess which picture?!
    No idea!.... but those are some huge frames!!! How tall are you?

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