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  1. #1
    Flick Lives
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    Raleigh Coupe Owners-Pls read and comment

    Hi,
    Since I couldn't edit the Title, I'm re-posting this with the hopes of getting some input from Coupe owners.
    I've been looking around for new, new old stock, and used tandems. We'll be an experienced road/mtn riding captain and a minimal experienced stoker. 395lb team. Based on what I've been reading, seems like I should have a great braking system, and I'm happy with the idea of 203mm discs. I've been thinking of a new old C'dale Road for $2500 (or a used one if I can find one and can wait) or a new old Raleigh 05 Coupe leftover at $900 and I'll modify to the 203mm rotors. (I'm an experienced wrench) Obviously, there's a difference in components and pricing. And the Coupe is a morph of road and mountain positions/components.
    Since we are a new team, I hope that a love for riding faster and longer develops with my stoker than just farting around the neighborhood. But that might not happen.
    In addition, I'd like to ride with my 14 year old daughter, to help her develop in strength and others that unfortunately she's been 'challenged' with since birth. I understand from reading that this is great for kids with these issues. The Coupe also has a lower step over in the rear which would be easier for her. She has ridden tandems before, btw.
    Here's the C'dale spec........

    Frame Road Tandem
    Fork Fatty R Tandem
    Rear Shock N/A
    Rims Mavic A719 w/eyelet and machined sidewall, 40 hole
    Hubs DT Swiss Tandem Disc
    Spokes DT Swiss Champion
    Tires Continental Ultra GatorSkin, 700 x 28c
    Pedals N/A
    Crank TruVatiV Elita Tandem, 30/39/52
    Chain Shimano 9-speed (drive), SRAM 9-speed (timing)
    Rear Cogs SRAM PG-970, 11-34
    Bottom Bracket TruVatiV Giga X Drive
    Front Derailleur Shimano Ultegra
    Rear Derailleur Shimano XT
    Shifters Shimano Ultegra 9-speed
    Handlebars Cannondale Fire, 31.8mm front, stoker rear
    Stem Cannondale 3-D Forged
    Headset Cane Creek S-1
    Brakeset Avid BB7 Disc
    Brakelevers Shimano Ultegra
    Saddle Fi'zi:k Aliante Sport Mg
    Seat Post Kalloy SP-248D front, Satori Poise XC suspension rear

    here's the Coupes:

    Size 20"/18"
    Frame Atomic 13 Aluminum Tandem
    Fork Chromoly Road w/disc mount
    Crankset Truvativ Elita Tandem 30/42/52t
    Bottom Bracket Truvativ ISIS
    F. Derailleur FB FD-443
    R. Derailleur 105 RD-5500GS
    Shift Lever FB ST-440L
    Brake Levers Avid Speed Dial 7
    Brakes Avid BB7
    Cog Set 9spd CS6500 (12-27t)
    Rims Alex DM-21
    Tires Vittoria Ranndoneur 28c w/puncture protection
    Pedals Mtn Platform w/Alloy Cage, Clips, and Straps
    Handlebar Truvativ XR Flat
    Stem Truvativ XR / Stoker
    Seatpost Alloy Micro Adjust / Alloy Suspension
    Saddle WTB Speed V / WTB Speed She
    Headset WTB Zero Stack
    Colors Black
    Drivetrain Shimano / Truvativ 27 Speed
    Chain KMC Z9000/Z610
    Hubset 40h Joytech Tandem Disc
    Spokes 14G Stainless Black
    Grips Raleigh
    Seatpost Clamp MX-30-RT
    Extras Rack & Fender Mounts, Water Bottle Mounts

    I know the C'dale is a superior spec. But is it worth 3x the price?
    Do you Coupe owners have any guidance for us? How has your experience been with riding, quality and performance of the Coupe? Do you ride it aggressively or just around town?

    Thanks
    INDY aka Spongebob
    Don't have to be fast, or go far. Just need to have fun!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Hi,...love your forum name,...and I'd definately like my kids to hear that as well.

    I purchased a Coupe as a supplemental bike to keep in Fl. We go down there on a
    somewhat regular basis,...maybe 4x/winter. The coupe we bought was a 2 year
    leftover and I think cost about $800? I converted to drop bars, put an Ultegra
    small cage with close gearing on the back, took of the granny, put some narrower
    tires on and we ride it ALOT. Of course,..we're talking seriously flat,..so I really
    didn't even consider the braking. Still,....I like the bike and we will typically ride it
    2 - 3 hr when we're down there, and it is comfortable although not really responsive
    when compared to most others,...and although I've never ridden a Cannondale,...I
    suspect it would be much more responsive than my coupe.

    Anyway,...I really like our Coupe,...now that it is set up for us. Fit is very important
    to me,..I like to feel like I'm in the same position that I'm in on my single bike,..and
    that is exactly how I feel on the Raliegh.

    Hope that helps,....and if you want more info. just let me know.

    Rich

  3. #3
    Flick Lives
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    Hey Rich,
    Thanks for the input and your opening line about the name; it cracked me up.
    A lot of the changes you mention I was thinking of doing once we would get more in tune as a team. LOTS of traffic around here and my stoker won't be used to that for a number of rides, not to mention the road tires. But none the less, can you explain what you mean about 'responsive'; do you mean stiffness/flex or exactly what? I put a premium on responsiveness myself with my singles. And also we're a 395lb team, and I wonder if that'll have an effect on the frame and such. Are you comparing to other tandems that you have in VT?
    Thanks for your input!
    INDY aka spongebob
    Don't have to be fast, or go far. Just need to have fun!

  4. #4
    DoubleTrouble cgallagh's Avatar
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    We bought an 05 Coupe as our first tandem a year ago this month. We put over 4k miles on it and really enjoyed the bike. We rode many centuries and even did a 34k TT on it(it was our first TT and we did not come in last). I was reluctant to put much money into upgrades as I realized, early on that I would be looking for another bike. The stoker compartment was really a little small for Red Rider all along but we made do. I only had a couple of mechanical issues. Within the first 1k miles, the captains bottom bracket wore out. We were riding along and the cranks started wobbling and there was a lot of squealing. The LBS took care of that problem right away. I also had a lot of issues with the rear wheel breaking spokes. We are a 300 lb team and the stoker has a lot of power. The LBS had the factory replace the wheel once. This did not stop the problem. We finally had the wheel completely rebuilt by the wheel builder in the LBS other shop. We never had another problem after that. I did break/wear out two drive chains but that was not the bikes problem. We sold the bike to another BF poster "Superunleaded". He did some really nice upgrades on it and as far as I know he likes the bike.

    All in all we enjoyed the bike and would have kept it as a spare if I didn't need the money to pick up the new tandem at such a deal.
    Two blondes walked into a building-You think one of them would have seen it.
    2006 Co-Motion Roadster 2006 Fuji Team Pro, 2005 Specialized Dolce Comp, 2008 Orbea Diva (Red Riders Baby-"The Avocado")
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Hey Not Dead,
    I guess when I say responsive,..I am thinking about how connected I feel with
    the bike. I think in general,..I never feel as "connected" as I do on my single
    bike, and a tandem is kinda like riding a truck compared to the single bike, so
    maybe it really doesn't make any difference,...but still,..when compared to our
    bike in VT,...it feels sluggish. That could be a function of the softer wheels,
    as noted in the previous post.

    All in all,...we're really happy with the bike and it works great for our use. We
    are a 270lb team, fwiw.

    Good Luck
    Rich

  6. #6
    Flick Lives
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    Thanks cgallagh,
    Those early ISIS BB's were horrible. I used Truvativs too, and used to go through 2 a year on my mtn bike. I had exactly the same thing happen to me on my mtn bike. I actually had one with bad bearings right out of the box! Now they're much better, if you can find them. Thanks, I'll keep an eye out for that and I'll check the spoke tensioning when I look at the bike soon. The stoker compartment being small;...would that be because of the straight bars, or the effective top tube length? One thing I was thinking of doing right away were stoker bull bars instead of the straight bars. Great input. Thanks again.
    INDY
    Don't have to be fast, or go far. Just need to have fun!

  7. #7
    Flick Lives
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    Thanks for the info rich!
    Don't have to be fast, or go far. Just need to have fun!

  8. #8
    DoubleTrouble cgallagh's Avatar
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    Sent you a reply on the other question. The stoker compartment was just to short in length. RR is 5-6 with long legs and she just was to big by a hair. We put bar end extensions on both but bull bars may be a better alternative.
    Two blondes walked into a building-You think one of them would have seen it.
    2006 Co-Motion Roadster 2006 Fuji Team Pro, 2005 Specialized Dolce Comp, 2008 Orbea Diva (Red Riders Baby-"The Avocado")
    Custom Simonetti (thanks Steve)

  9. #9
    Junior Member thalver's Avatar
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    Last winter, I purchased an as-new 2002 Coupe, with I believe, a 2004 frame, for my brother and his family. I had heard from friends in the industry that the wheel-build was the achilles heel of this model, so I replaced the wheels immediately. What we did notice was that while the rear spacing was 145mm, the rear hub was a standard atb hub with 135mm spacing and long axles. (that did make re-sale of the oem wheels easier) Yours appears to have an upgraded rear hub, but it might be worth checking the hub spacing.

  10. #10
    Flick Lives
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    thalver,
    Well, I purchased it on sunday, and boy oh boy, you're right about the wheels. I spent about 3 hours retensioning, straightening, etc those wheels. Now mind you, I'm not a wheel builder, but they were gad awful!

    I took off the disc rotor from the rear, and found an 'extention' to the hub, that matched the standard disc side design. The screws from the rotor had extra long bolts to go through the extension and into the hub. That was a surprise. Never seen that before, and since this is my first Tandem, didn't know if that was OK, a cost saving measure, or what...
    Also found huge burrs in the seat tube (one which scratched the h out of the post) and greasy disc rotors and pads.

    I'm just happy that I have some wrenching experience to find all this stuff b4 we went out on the road.

    Now all I need is a 30 or 32 tire recommendation ( see other post) and we'll be ready to go.

    Thanks for your input.
    Bob
    Don't have to be fast, or go far. Just need to have fun!

  11. #11
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    Hi Bob,
    Congratulations on your new Coupe. My wife and I have had ours since March '06 and love it. The low step over in the rear was a big plus as she's about 4'-11". Like the poster above, we've recently had a number of broken spokes on the rear wheel - all within the last 3 months. Our LBS replaced the spokes (4) and did a complete retensioning of the entire wheel the last time. I'm hoping that does the trick. Otherwise, we're very happy with the bike. I'd be interested in how your disc upgrade goes.

    Good luck,
    John

  12. #12
    Flick Lives
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    'I'd be interested in how your disc upgrade goes.'

    Ikegarch: the rotors and adapters are on order and should have them early next week. I'll post to let you know how it goes. I'll probably reassemble everything and go out and make some adjustments and see how the newly cleaned rotors and pads do. If they still slip after the ride, I'll just replace the pads. I'll also probably unmount the wheels and check and perhaps bring to the LBS for a professional retensioning if they sound bad.

    Where did your spoke break? At the nipples or somewhere else?

    Thanks,
    INDY Bob
    Don't have to be fast, or go far. Just need to have fun!

  13. #13
    DoubleTrouble cgallagh's Avatar
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    FYI

    Our spoke breaks always occurred at the hub, never in the nipple.
    Two blondes walked into a building-You think one of them would have seen it.
    2006 Co-Motion Roadster 2006 Fuji Team Pro, 2005 Specialized Dolce Comp, 2008 Orbea Diva (Red Riders Baby-"The Avocado")
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  14. #14
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    We had one break at the nipple. The rest all broke at the hub. Our LBS tech noted that disc brakes inherently put more stress on the spokes than rim brakes do and that spoke breakage at the hub would be expected. It makes sense as you are slowing the wheel from the hub rather than the outer circumference of the rim. If your frame is set up like ours you should have mounts for a typical rim brake in the rear. That might be an option for additional braking power without overstressing the spokes.

  15. #15
    Flick Lives
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    Interesting. In all my years of riding singles, I've never broken a spoke at the hub, except once, where it had gotten tangled up with a chain. Granted they were mtn bikes, but they were also disc, both mechanicals and hydraulics.
    Well, hopefully my pre maintenance tightening and straightening of the wheelset with help with my Coupe's spokes.
    Thanks
    Bob
    Don't have to be fast, or go far. Just need to have fun!

  16. #16
    Flick Lives
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    First test ride

    Hi y'all,
    Went for a 'single' test ride yesterday. Adjust the front cockpit as best as it could be, switched out to a lighter captains saddle and adjusted the front bar / shifters / brake positions. The straight bar is 1.75" lower than my single road, although not too bad.
    I thought to get a little more stretch and change hand position, I could try some good ol' bar ends. Do any of you have them on your Coupe?

    Also, could use a 29.8mm setback set post that longer than 350mm. I have this one at max extension. Has anyone found one of those?

    The discs are stopping well based on 1 person, although the fronts have better power right now. I cleaned them again after the ride to get the oil that was on them upon delivery off. The 203mm rotors should be here by the end of the week.

    I'm wondering about buying a new cromoly fork just to get a longer steerer and therefore higher position with the thought of going to road bars in the future. Has anyone had luck finding a reasonable cromoly disc fork with long steerer? If so, where?

    One more question: Considering a rear rack/bag. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

    Going out for a full test ride in about an hour. Thanks for your help

    INDY Bob
    Don't have to be fast, or go far. Just need to have fun!

  17. #17
    Junior Member thalver's Avatar
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    Just an idle thought: with the plethora of stems available these days, I would be inclined to first try a stem with a steeper angle. I'm not sure it will buy you an inch and three quarters in height, but it might help some. If you buy one with 31.8mm bar diameter, you will have to buy a (relatively innexpensive and) new handlebar, but if/when you decide to switch to drops, the 31.8 stem will work with them as well. The stem, coupled with a higher rise bar, might get you where you want to be.

    I have used bar ends on a flat bar tandem with good results. After installing them, I spent most all my ride time on them. I was able to set them to roughly mimick the same reach as the brake hoods on my drop-bar bike.

  18. #18
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    Rack: Be sure it is compatible with your rear rim brakes (if any). Some of them conflict with V-brakes, but not with cantilever brakes.

    Trunk bag: I like the Axiom "Magellan", but there are a lot of other options out there. Performance Bike has their "Transit" ones on sale about once a month, it seems. Bungee cord on top is a handy feature.

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    Hi Bob,

    We still have the original hanlebar setup here but are considering bar ends up front and changing to a stoker bull bar in the rear. As far as the rear rack goes, I tried the Axion Journey Disc rack but it was too large for our frame. Finally found a Topeak Explorer with disc mounts and it fit perfectly.

    Good luck

  20. #20
    DoubleTrouble cgallagh's Avatar
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    I put bar ends on ours front and back and it worked out okay. It is easier than going full out for drop bars.
    Two blondes walked into a building-You think one of them would have seen it.
    2006 Co-Motion Roadster 2006 Fuji Team Pro, 2005 Specialized Dolce Comp, 2008 Orbea Diva (Red Riders Baby-"The Avocado")
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  21. #21
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    We have had our Coupe for two seasons now. Was initially quite worried about the disk brake size because of the naysayers here but in two seasons in all kinds of riding except loaded touring I haven't felt the stock brakes to be in any way deficient. One particular panic stop involved a small girl running into the road and observers swear we were fully stopped in one bike length. A larger disk IMO will not stop you faster but will allow several stops in quick succession before fading. Our team weighs nearly what you do. We also have broken a spoke. Just one though and as I think about the earlier posters comment it makes sense. Most wheels back in the day were 4x but now 3x is the rule and this is probably less than the best cross for a disk braked wheel, not to mention the probably less than exemplary wheel building at the entry level price point. Changing to drop bars will be near impossible because the BB7's require long pull levers of which only one drop bar lever is so equipped. There are workarounds, notice I didn't say it would be impossible, just 'near impossible'. I knew flat bars were out of the question at 50 y.o. so I had the dealer replace the stock bars with some riser bars. The Coupe has a large diameter bar but Truvativ makes a riser bar in black and a similar bar for the rear. Incidentally to get a stock bar width they had to saw an inch of each end the new bars. If I had known how heavy steering the Coupe was I would have kept the extra leverage. I have some Profile bar ends but have not installed them. There are better bikes to put a rack on. The Coupe is a quasi-sport ride and IMO you don't really want to kill it by putting a rack on it. That is why we also have the Kent (Wal-Mart). That one has a Delta Rack and Trunk and BOB nuts on the axles to pull the BOB Yak. A seat post rack like the Delta or Topeak would be ideal but even at 5'6" on the medium frame my GF doesn't use enough seatpost to allow fitting a seatpost rack. Backpacks do it for the day rides and pockets for park loops. I simply cannot imagine wanting to have a stiffer frame than the stock one. A new fork? New tires? None of this is neccessary when buying at the Coupe price point. Unless you really have the bling to burn the stock setup is really quite adequate. Since the bars (and seats) swaps were done before delivery they didn't cost us anything. You would have to eat the price of fork, bars, brakes(!) not to mention lost riding time on labor and road testing everything. You have bought in my opinion one of the better entry level tandems available. Enjoy it for a full season (or two) before you seriously take the wrenches to it.

    H

  22. #22
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Was initially quite worried about the disk brake size because of the naysayers here but in two seasons in all kinds of riding except loaded touring I haven't felt the stock brakes to be in any way deficient.
    I'm not sure if I was one of the naysayers or not. However, I believe when I have been asked about the disc-equiped Raleigh coupes I have noted that Avid, heretofore, had only approved the use of their 203mm discs as primary brakes on tandems.

    While the lack of the manufacturer's endorsement doesn't mean the models with 6" rotors "won't work" for many teams, it does suggest that -- like all brakes -- they have limitations. To be fair, tandems with coaster brakes and antiquated center-pulls also "worked" when there wasn't anything better and under all different types of conditions.

    Therefore, the decision to use any type of brake system on a tandem (as well as the rest of the components to include the frame and fork) is one that always needs to be tempered by the intended use and expectations of the operator. As someone suggested, if you plan to take on the Alps d Huez or other significant riding conditions, the braking system on your tandem would need to be a heck of a lot more robust than what you'd use for a Trans-Florida challenge, the hilly terrain around NYC, or other light to moderate riding conditions.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 10-30-07 at 07:31 PM.

  23. #23
    Flick Lives
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    So far

    I've put on a 17 degree stem, giving it a bit more rise, but I'm still about an inch away form my single height. It's ok for now, but I really need to get a 29.8 seatpost, which is longer than 350mm for getting the seat up a little more. There's a 30 degree stem I could also get to give it a final rise. Or, like you guys are saying, get a bit of a riser bar. I difinitely like the idea of bar ends to have an alternate hand position.
    The 203mm rotors don't fit the frame or the fork. I'm trying the 185s next. I'll report on that next but probably won't get those until next week. So far, the 160s are working just fine, but no big long desents have been tried yet. I've got to get some time in the saddle and get some experience first.
    I put new 32c tire f&r and they've made a nice difference. Took 280g's off the rotating weight and added a little comfort.
    Put on a stoker bull horn bar and the stokers seem to like it a lot more than the straight bar.
    The really good news is my daughter seems to be a natural at this. She's got good strength and her balance is good too. And she LIKES speed. We're already pushing through the curves and she's back there in an aero position! Yee Ha!
    Luckily, I'm a good mechanic, so there's no cost there. Any many of the items coming off are going on Ebay and getting some good prices.
    I'll update this weekend.
    Thanks for all the ideas.
    INDY>
    Don't have to be fast, or go far. Just need to have fun!

  24. #24
    Flick Lives
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    29.8mm X400 seatpost found!

    The good news is I found a good basic setback seatpost at 400mm. A little problem is that its in England. But I hooked up with a LBS over there and did the deal. The shipping was almost as much as the post, but it'll be well worth it for the peace of mind. I should have it in 10 days. Its a PUSH Black 29.8mm x 400mm black jic y'all want to know. www.mardleymtb.co.uk and e mail Mike. To bad the cost for shipping to the USA is so high and the dollar is so weak.
    c2L
    INDY
    Don't have to be fast, or go far. Just need to have fun!

  25. #25
    DoubleTrouble cgallagh's Avatar
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    Not meaning to counter the more expert advice on your braking system but I never had any problems with the stock breaks. We are a 300 lb team and this part of California has some pretty steep, long, descents (long straight and curving of several miles and several thousand feet). The brakes always slowed or stopped us when necessary and I never had overheating problems.

    Just sayin.
    Two blondes walked into a building-You think one of them would have seen it.
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    Custom Simonetti (thanks Steve)

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