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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 04-02-04, 10:00 AM   #1
Lost Coyote
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Enough already!

Enough already! My stoker and I have got about 400 miles on our Trek T2000 (our first tandem). I was very dissatisfied with the brakes from the get-go and had up graded to Paul’s Components V brakes (front and rear) yielding some relief. I adapted the V brakes for the STI levers using Travel Agents. For the rear, I had eliminated as much of the “mushy” feel as possible by silver soldering section of tubing over the cable for that portion which runs along the top tube between the stops. I also had decided to use Odysey “compression-less” housing to eliminate housing compression. Although these modifications were a vast improvement over “stock” I still was not happy.

Having road raced motorcycles through the late 60’s through the mid 70’s I saw the development of disk brakes to motorcycles. With this background many of arguments I’ve seen presented against using a single disk brake on a bicycle just didn’t hold up in my mind. So, here is what I ordered up yesterday:

Avid Ball Bearing Mechanical Disk Brake (160mm for road)
Chris King hub (28 spoke so I can keep my Bontrager Race Lite Tandem rims)
Winwood carbon cyclocross fork.

I came across a Santana the other day which had this exact set up with the exception of they had opted to use both V brakes and Disk on the front (via cable splitter). For some reason they had never run the disk alone which I plan to do. Due to the lack of mounting brackets on my chain stays I plan on keeping the Paul’s V brakes in the rear.

Any comments, or suggestions?
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Old 04-02-04, 11:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Coyote
Enough already! My stoker and I have got about 400 miles on our Trek T2000 (our first tandem). I was very dissatisfied with the brakes from the get-go and had up graded to Paul’s Components V brakes (front and rear) yielding some relief. I adapted the V brakes for the STI levers using Travel Agents. For the rear, I had eliminated as much of the “mushy” feel as possible by silver soldering section of tubing over the cable for that portion which runs along the top tube between the stops. I also had decided to use Odysey “compression-less” housing to eliminate housing compression. Although these modifications were a vast improvement over “stock” I still was not happy.

Having road raced motorcycles through the late 60’s through the mid 70’s I saw the development of disk brakes to motorcycles. With this background many of arguments I’ve seen presented against using a single disk brake on a bicycle just didn’t hold up in my mind. So, here is what I ordered up yesterday:

Avid Ball Bearing Mechanical Disk Brake (160mm for road)
Chris King hub (28 spoke so I can keep my Bontrager Race Lite Tandem rims)
Winwood carbon cyclocross fork.

I came across a Santana the other day which had this exact set up with the exception of they had opted to use both V brakes and Disk on the front (via cable splitter). For some reason they had never run the disk alone which I plan to do. Due to the lack of mounting brackets on my chain stays I plan on keeping the Paul’s V brakes in the rear.

Any comments, or suggestions?

What have you been using for brake cables? The Travel Agent people say to use braided brake cables, but I find they have way too much stretch for tandem use.
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Old 04-02-04, 12:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Coyote
Avid Ball Bearing Mechanical Disk Brake (160mm for road)
Chris King hub (28 spoke so I can keep my Bontrager Race Lite Tandem rims)
Winwood carbon cyclocross fork.

I came across a Santana the other day which had this exact set up with the exception of they had opted to use both V brakes and Disk on the front (via cable splitter). For some reason they had never run the disk alone which I plan to do. Due to the lack of mounting brackets on my chain stays I plan on keeping the Paul’s V brakes in the rear.

Any comments, or suggestions?
If you are determined to use this set-up (Beta testing as it were) ...

1. Contact Winwood and verify the Muddy Cross Fork is suitable for your total bike/team weight.

6400 West 105th Street
Bloomington, MN 55438-2254
Phone: 888-255-6922
Email: lisa@winwoodbikeparts.com

2. Buy a locking front skewer. The name of the manufacturer escapes me at the moment but they do exist; MTBTandems.com has them in stock and sells them. Make sure your front wheel skewer is always affixed properly and checked often as the drop-outs on this fork do not appear to have the orientation of the wheel opening optimized for a disc brake application.

3. Recognize that your stock fork had 55mm of rake and this one has only 45mm. Thus, you will end up with more steering trail and a tandem that handles more like a Co-Motion than your original Trek or a Santana with a stock fork.

4. Contact Avid and see if they can sell you a Road model caliper with a mounting adapter that will allow it to work with a 203mm front disc rotor vs. the stock 160mm model.

5. Buy an off-set Ritchey or Velocity Fusion OC rim that is designed for front disc brake installations; it will correct the front wheel dish to ensure you have the strongest wheel possible and while you're at it, use a hub/rim combination with 36h spoking for increased durability / longevity.


If you want a tandem-specific front disc installation that will afford you a greater degree of safety margin contact:

a. Steve Rex of Rex Cycles http://www.rexcycles.com/home.html, or
b. Dennis Bushnell of Bushnell Cycles (Email: BushCycles@aol.com), or perhaps
c. Bob Davis at ariZona Tandems http://www.arizonatandems.com

Steve & Dennis have both been fabricating tandem-rated 700c, front disc compatible steel forks for clients. They mount the caliper on the front right fork to mitigate issues with the fork drop-out orientation. The forks are not excessive in terms of weight -- I believe they are as light or lighter than most stock steel tandem forks -- and incorporate a more robust leg/crown design. You can also specify your fork off-set to either replicate your stock fork's geometry or reduce it to give your tandem a more lively feel and better high speed cornering characteristics. The overall cost will not be much more than what you've already planned to spend. If you want to incorporate a front rim brake a hole can be added for a front brake arch. Bob Davis has been experimenting with both modified Steel Canitlever brake forks and Wound-Up's Carbon fork & discs. As far as I know, he is the only builder offering a disc-compatible carbon fork. There are a few retro-fitted Cannondales running around with them in addition to his own Zona tandems.

Just my thoughts, as requested.

Last edited by livngood; 04-02-04 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 04-02-04, 01:51 PM   #4
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What brake pads are you using? I went with some kool stop red severe condition and they are working out great for us. I'm sure we'll be replacing them faster than standard black shoes but the preformance is well worth it to me.
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Old 04-03-04, 08:35 PM   #5
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As usual you guys have provided just they type of questions/suggestions I am looking for.

First, I forget exactly which brand of cable it was I used, but it was a tandem specific cable and was wound, not braided cable.

Mark, thank you for the links they are very much appreciated. Your thoughts also bring much to the table to be considered. Thanks again.

I have been using the green Kool Stop pads, and have yet to try the red pads, thanks for the suggestion, I’ll give them a shoot next time I replace my pads.
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