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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 02-26-08, 09:21 AM   #1
merlinextraligh
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second set of Wheels.

The new Tandem is going to come with Rolf Vigors.

I'm thinking I want a more robust set of wheels for training rides, long rides away from home (where breaking a spoke on a low spoke count wheel is problematic.) and perhaps some very light touring (i.e. pulling a bob trailer.)

So what would you reccomend in a 36 spoke wheel, that will still be reasonably light, but a bit more robust than the Rolf Tandem Vigors.
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Old 02-26-08, 09:52 AM   #2
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I've been throwing around the idea of building up a set of 36 spoke wheels around Velocity Fusions. They're a little deeper than the Aerohead but not as deep as the Deep-V. I'm not sure which hub I'd use. The reason for me would be to have a set that's a little lighter than the 40 spoke Dyads and that fit a 25 mm tire better. I'm runing a Fusion on the rear of my single and it built up pretty nice.
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Old 02-26-08, 06:57 PM   #3
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I'm also looking hard at the build up of a set of 36 hole Fusions on some White Indutries' hubsl...but they will be our lighter-weight go faster wheels.
Our 305 pound team has run exclusively on a set of bullet proof 48 hole Mavic T519's on Phil Wood hubs. They've been indestructable and low maintanence as you would expect but I'm getting restless for something lighter for those special event days, but they still need to be pretty durable.
I have a set of Fusions on my Cross/touring bike and they have been outstanding in that application with only Shimano hubs. While not exactly an apples to apples comparison by any means, I do like what I've seen and think they will play well with the tandem and at a pretty easy price point....at least I hope so!
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Old 02-26-08, 07:29 PM   #4
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White Industry hubs built on DT Swiss 1.2 rims with appropriate spokes.


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Old 02-26-08, 07:48 PM   #5
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Given that you have the lightweight Rolf's, I'd probably pass on a near equally light conventional wheelset (White Ind / Mavic CXP33, Velocity Fusion, Aerohead, etc...) and opt for something like White Ind. MI5/MI6 or Chris Kings (still light, but bombproof) and Velocity Deep-V rims. Yes, you incur a weight penalty with the Deep-V rims, but they're ideal for daily use, training, and touring and hold up incredibly well even when they nail a pothole. They also have nearly the same great looking deep aero section rim profile as the Rolfs which just look really nice on tandems: good proportions.

There's a pretty good chance that I'll either change out the Fusion rims for Deep-Vs as a daily use wheelset after I get done with my comparison rides up against the low-spoke count racing wheels or just sell the entire wheelset and build up a fresh set of White Ind / Deep-Vs wheels. The Fusion rims were necessary to get the weight down to something very close to a low-spoke count racing wheelset and seem like a great rim, but I prefer deep section rims for tandems.

The White Ind hubs were my choice because I did what I'll call my own beta testing on our '98 Erickson back in '02 and they continue to an excellent hubset: light, affordable, and at 275lbs we really don't put a huge load on the engagement mechanism. If we were a heavier team I'd likely use the Chris King hubs as we've got those on our off-road tandem and they are really a brilliant design, very light given their complexity and strength, and aesthetically well suited for high-end racing tandems (pick your color). The only down side is that they, like Phil Wood hubs, are pricey. However, like Phil Wood hubs (which are only left off the list because of their weight), they're heirloom quality.

Spokes: Always double butted, 3x, and preferrably with brass nipples.

Last edited by TandemGeek; 06-09-08 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 02-26-08, 10:13 PM   #6
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Agree on King or Phil hubs.
Have run Phils on 3 tandems since 1977 for a total of 177,000+ worry-free miles.
Run 17,000+ miles currently on Chris Kings. Have used other types of hubs on other tandems but these 2 are the Hallmark for worry-free riding.
Currently use Velocity Aerohead rims (32H front, 36H rear) with the CK hubs and DT Revolution spokes. One minor mishap at 17,000 miles: we broke an alloy nipple on front wheel. Agree brass nipples would/could offer better longevity at a minute weight difference.
We are a rather light team at just under 250 lbs total.
Quality is priceless!
Just our experience.
Pedal on TWOgether!
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Old 02-28-08, 01:54 PM   #7
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second the DT swiss 1.2. It has a deep section, is robust,..but not very light.
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Old 03-01-08, 08:52 PM   #8
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FWIW, I've finally got my conventional wheelset in hand.

The tale of the scale is 1,950 grams for the set, noting that the rear hub has an integrated disc mount. So, for a more accurate comparison you must add the 62 gram thread-on disc adapter's weight to the low-spoke count racing wheels which gives you a comparison weight of 1,862 grams (yes, for some reason my the low-spoke count racing wheels are reading 30 grams lower than spec, and i don't believe the decals that I removed could weight that much) using the same Ultimate Alpine scale. That's a difference of 88 grams... and if they'd used the correct spokes that difference would have been 18 grams.

Now, for an apples-to-apples comparison, a White Ind. Daisy rear hub (left-hand threaded just like the low-spoke count racing wheels) would need to be spec'd, and you'd lower the weight of the rear wheel by 78 grams, which would better the weight of the low-spoke count racing wheel's by about 60 grams.

Again, the Fusion rim is not one that I'd recommend for heavier teams that need a wider tire (28mm and up), and I personally prefer the Deep-V even though each rim is about 20% heavier than the Fusion. However, for teams who can get away with running 23mm or 25mm tires, it demonstrates that you can build up a conventional wheelset with 36 hubs/rims and a semi-deep section / aero rim to achieve a wheelset weight of about 1,760 grams.

Tomorrow we'll see how they ride compared to the low-spoke count racing wheels.
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Old 03-02-08, 07:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
The new Tandem is going to come with Rolf Vigors.

I'm thinking I want a more robust set of wheels for training rides, long rides away from home (where breaking a spoke on a low spoke count wheel is problematic.) and perhaps some very light touring (i.e. pulling a bob trailer.)

So what would you reccomend in a 36 spoke wheel, that will still be reasonably light, but a bit more robust than the Rolf Tandem Vigors.
Out Bontrager Tandem wheels appear very close to the Rolfs. They have been bomb proof, pot holes, trailer towing, etc... I've been very pleased. We run about 330 lbs as a team. I would just run the Rolfs for awhile and see if you really need a different set.
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Old 03-03-08, 10:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
Wow!! The Calfee was completely tranformed by the conventional wheels... in a very positive way.

What was a nagging sense that the Calfee's frame was a bit whippy and some concerns about how well it was tracking through corners was completely resolved during todays ride with the 36 conventional wheels front & back instead of the low-spoke count racing wheels.

Is there a law of diminishing returns here?
What would the Calfee feel like with a "classic" 40 spoke front / 48 spoke rear setup?

and is there an argument to be made that a slightly less flexy, but slightly heavier, bike can get to the finish faster, because the rider(s) won't have to back off on speed at critical points?

rhetorically posed, of course - no intent to start a weight weenie vs. sturdy clunker war
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Old 03-03-08, 11:17 AM   #11
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Is there a law of diminishing returns here?
I think the only thing I need to add at this juncture is that it's too soon to tell if my experience with this particular set of low-spoke count wheels is representative or perhaps an anomaly. The spoke tension numbers for both the front and rear wheels have been sent back to my dealer who is comparing notes with the manufacturer. It may very well be that this set of wheels is out of spec. and, if so, reworking them may resolve the matter... which would be just fine with me. I have not heard nor read anything else on this forum that suggests others have had this type of experience so it does strike me as unusual.

I've been open and candid with my experiences on this tandem because I felt it might be of benefit to others who go down this path, e.g., things aren't always perfect and solving issues is about realizing where you may have made mistakes (bottom bracket spindle lengths), learning new things (eccentric nuances), finding the root cause of performance issues (handling & stability) and addressing them in the right order.

Rest assured (or fair warning), this isn't the final chapter of our saga... more to follow.

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Old 03-03-08, 01:01 PM   #12
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Speaking of Prima Vigors, has anyone seen any deals them? I've been thinking about getting a pair.

-Couch
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