Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Grand Prairie, TX
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I prefer to spin up hills. To climb long, steep hills like Mount Evans in Colorado on my single (7500 feet of climbing finishing at 14,100 or so), I switch the chainrings for 24-36-50 and the cassette to 12-27. This keeps the gear splits for RD shifts a little closer than with the wide-range cassettes. The stock Ultegra derailleurs handle that without difficulty, though it seems to me that I recall that I needed to avoid using the large-large combination owing to insufficient chain--I would just switch the chainrings and cogs w/o adjusting the chain length. I found plenty of use for the 27, 24, and 21 cogs on the inside of the cassette.
The nominal Shimano FD capacity is usually 22T. Lots of people stretch this some, with varying degrees of success.
It seems to me that you have about three choices worthy of consideration:
1) gear the tandem you have for your needs,
2) make more power to get the cadence up,
3) keep an eye out for a MTB tandem or frameset. Putting skinny tires on MTB rims can be a gear or more lower (about 10%) than the same size tire on a 700C rim.
Last edited by SDS; 05-22-08 at 06:49 PM.