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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 10-29-08, 01:06 PM   #1
pathdoc
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Anyone here riding a 26 inch wheel tandem

Here's my problem. I'm short. I need a short tandem frame with a standover of less than 30 inches.
I ordered a Tsunami off road frame with a stanover of 28inches.
Any reason I can't just build this up with slicks and use standard road components on everything else?
Thanks
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Old 10-29-08, 01:21 PM   #2
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No reason I can think of. I would suggest you gear a little higher--12T to start, and 11T as soon as you know you need it. If you are going to ride with groups on the road, you will need an 11T small cog with 26" wheels. Water bottle boss location could interfere with the placement of a front derailleur in the proper location for a 53T large ring on a typical 53-39-28 road triple.
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Old 10-29-08, 05:36 PM   #3
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My wife & I have a 26" wheel road tandem. We are somewhat new to the tandem scene & not as experienced as most who lurk here. We are running out of gears at about 40mph! That's plenty fast for us! I am 5'10" & my wife is 5'3" ,the low top tube makes for easy starts and stops.
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Old 10-29-08, 05:40 PM   #4
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You guys have any pics of you 26inch tandems?
I'm just wondering how different they look compared to 700c's.
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Old 10-29-08, 06:05 PM   #5
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Any reason I can't just build this up with slicks and use standard road components on everything else?
None. And, in all honesty, it's probably a better wheel size but cycling trends & marketing here in the states in particular have simply driven consumers towards the 700c wheel size.

Thus, often times folks come away with the impression that 26" wheeled road tandems just look out of place when surrounded by their taller-wheeled cousins and that makes for a tough sell given the power of conformity.

A worthwhile read on 700c vs 26" wheeled tandems: http://www.precisiontandems.com/artbillwheelsize.htm

Disclaimer: Our road tandems are, alas, 700c: guilty of following the herd / road racer bike mentality. However, we also have always had a 26" off-road tandem in the stable.
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Old 10-29-08, 06:13 PM   #6
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Yes, we have a 26" wheel tandem. It was sold as a mountain tandem, but we've got huge smooth-tread tires on it for "hybrid" duty.

My build-up thread is here: Project BRB (Big Red Bike)

Sadly, we haven't ridden it enough to really get a feel for it yet. 26" wheels do have the advantage of being stronger, due to the shorter spokes, so that's a good thing.
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Old 10-29-08, 06:21 PM   #7
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You guys have any pics of you 26inch tandems?
I'm just wondering how different they look compared to 700c's.
Here are some apples to apples pictures from two different builders:

26" Co-Motion Mocha & 700c Co-Motion Speedster




26" daVinci Grand Junction & 700c daVinci Joint Venture




Note: I would have included Santana's 700c Sovereign / 26" Encore; however, they use very different frame designs and have the Encores (as well as the steel Fusion) set up with off-road tires such that the 26" bikes look like off-road machines... not 26" road tandems.
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Old 10-29-08, 07:44 PM   #8
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We have a Co-Motion Moca with 26 inch wheels. Pictures of ours can be seen at http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=1875&v=Cv
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Old 10-29-08, 10:17 PM   #9
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You can see ours from my signature link.
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Old 10-29-08, 10:31 PM   #10
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Also, years ago Burley offered an optional road gruppo/drop bars on their 26" wheeled tandems.
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Old 10-29-08, 11:40 PM   #11
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None. And, in all honesty, it's probably a better wheel size but cycling trends & marketing here in the states in particular have simply driven consumers towards the 700c wheel size.

Thus, often times folks come away with the impression that 26" wheeled road tandems just look out of place when surrounded by their taller-wheeled cousins and that makes for a tough sell given the power of conformity.

A worthwhile read on 700c vs 26" wheeled tandems: http://www.precisiontandems.com/artbillwheelsize.htm

Disclaimer: Our road tandems are, alas, 700c: guilty of following the herd / road racer bike mentality. However, we also have always had a 26" off-road tandem in the stable.
Does anyone make 26 road wheels, or 26 x 23 mm tires? This would make a 26 wheeled tandem much more attractive for road cycling.
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Old 10-30-08, 05:40 AM   #12
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Does anyone make 26” road wheels, or 26” x 23 mm tires? This would make a 26” wheeled tandem much more attractive for road cycling.
Narrow Rims are easy...
  • Velocity's 26" Fusion rim uses the same 19mm width extrusion as their 700c rim which is ideal for 23mm - 28mm tires, and the AeroHead with it's 22mm wide extrusion is also a good choice.
  • daVinci makes its own 26" V-22 rim that has a 22mm width that works fine with 25mm - 32mm tires, but is probably marginal for 23mm.

Narrow Tires are the problem... 26 x 1.1 (28-559) is standard fare, although Continental makes the Grand Prix in a 25mm width (25-559), both folding and wire bead. I also want to say that Tufo makes a 23mm (23-559) Tubular.

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Old 10-30-08, 06:51 AM   #13
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Unless you're a very light team, 23 mm tires aren't likely all that great an idea anyhow. Rolling resistance depends on the amount the tire is deflected when in contact with the road. Narrow contact area means longer contact area means more deflection. The main advantage of narrow rims and tires is aerodynamics. Tandems are already advantaged wrt aerodynamics, but disadvantaged wrt rolling resistance. Hence wider tires (to a point) are faster. It's not that you want super wide tires, just that the optimum tradeoff between rolling resistance and wind resistance happens at a wider point for tandems.

And 26 inch wheels are widely recommended for touring, especially if you want to take it internationally.
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Old 10-30-08, 06:51 AM   #14
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You guys are a wealth of info.

Another question. Where can I find a good quality 26 inch rear wheel, disc compatible with 145mm spacing?
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Old 10-30-08, 07:35 AM   #15
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You guys are a wealth of info.

Another question. Where can I find a good quality 26 inch rear wheel, disc compatible with 145mm spacing?
I would almost ask where can't you. Quick search yielded DaVinci Designs, Peter White, Precision Tandems, Tandems East, Freewheel Bike, the list goes on.
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Old 10-30-08, 08:18 AM   #16
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Its looking much cheaper to go with a non disc rear hub.
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Old 10-30-08, 08:36 AM   #17
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Good place to start Precision Tandems
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Old 10-30-08, 09:31 AM   #18
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Unless you're a very light team, 23 mm tires aren't likely all that great an idea anyhow. Rolling resistance depends on the amount the tire is deflected when in contact with the road. Narrow contact area means longer contact area means more deflection.
Deflection is also dependent on pressure. Some 23 tires can handle 145 lbs/in2. We use 135 with 25 tires.
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Old 10-30-08, 10:31 AM   #19
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When I went to order our tandem I had been expecting to get 700c wheels, but was talked into 26". The folks at R+E seem to like 26"-wheeled tandems for most people, especially for coupled tandems since they're smaller and easier to pack. Mine has 36h Velocity Aeroheat rims, Phil Wood hubs, a SRAM 11-32 cassette and an Arai drum brake. R+E's favorite 26" tandem tire is the 26x1.25 Serfas Barista; it's a 310 gram, 100 psi "pavement" tire. They're a fast tire that I like pretty well except that I'm only getting about 900 miles or so out of a rear tire (the fronts last 3x as long), but they're fairly cheap at $25 per tire so it's not that big of a deal to replace them. If I were touring, I think that I would install heavier tires. I don't know what a comparable 700c wheelset would weigh, but this these wheels are pretty heavy - the rear wheel with everything on it weighs 7 pounds!

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Narrow Tires are the problem... 26 x 1.1 (28-559) is standard fare, although Continental makes the Grand Prix in a 25mm width (25-559), both folding and wire bead. I also want to say that Tufo makes a 23mm (23-559) Tubular.
The Primo Racer is 26 x 1 (20-559) and rated at 110 psi, but I don't think it's tandem-rated.
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Old 10-30-08, 10:58 AM   #20
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Thanks for the advice, I ordered a pair of the Serfas Barista tires.
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Old 10-30-08, 11:08 AM   #21
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Deflection is also dependent on pressure. Some 23 tires can handle 145 lbs/in2. We use 135 with 25 tires.
Pressure and weight. If you and your bike (and any gear) weigh (say) 200 pounds on a single, and your team, tandem and gear are 340 pounds, you're looking at 70% extra weight. It isn't distributed the same, but you could still be increasing the downward force by 50%. So if you like 120 psi on a single, you need 180 on otherwise identical tires to have the same contact patch. Or you can compensate with a combination of somewhat higher pressure and somewhat wider tires.
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Old 10-30-08, 03:37 PM   #22
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This is my Burley with a XS frame & 26" wheels. I use a 130 extra high stem for proper fit.
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Old 10-31-08, 02:28 PM   #23
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SWC7916 wrote "R+E's favorite 26" tandem tire is the 26x1.25 Serfas Barista; it's a 310 gram, 100 psi "pavement" tire"

I looked on the Serfas website and it said that the tire is max of 65 psi. Is the website incorrect? I ask because I am looking for faster tires for our Mocha. The Schwalbe Marathon Racers are great touring tires but are heavier and the tread probably offers some resistance. I have also looked at the Schwalbe Kojak, has anyone tried them on a tandem?

Thanks!
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Old 10-31-08, 10:56 PM   #24
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SWC7916 wrote "R+E's favorite 26" tandem tire is the 26x1.25 Serfas Barista; it's a 310 gram, 100 psi "pavement" tire"

I looked on the Serfas website and it said that the tire is max of 65 psi. Is the website incorrect? I ask because I am looking for faster tires for our Mocha. The Schwalbe Marathon Racers are great touring tires but are heavier and the tread probably offers some resistance. I have also looked at the Schwalbe Kojak, has anyone tried them on a tandem?

Thanks!
Serfas' website is in error.
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Old 10-31-08, 11:25 PM   #25
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I run a pair if Schwalbe Stelvio 26 Inch High Pressure Tires 26x1.1 Folding Bead (28-559, 115 Max. PSI, 250 grams) no flats to date on them tuff tire about 2k mi now these have no tread strictly road tire.
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