Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-10-04, 09:14 PM   #1
snikrep
www.ttfc.org
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Seattle
Bikes: 1989 Daccordi/1987 Raleigh/ 1993 Schwinn Unicycle/ 2003 Burley Tandem/2004 Jamis Quest
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
gearing concerns on Pacific Coast trip (hills)

My daughter, who will be 14 at the time, and I plan to ride our tandem bike (fully loaded), possibly with trailer from Canada to Mexico (see www.ttfc.org), via the Pacific Coast in summer ’05. I have some concerns that our bike is geared properly. It has a stock triple 30/42/52 and a 9 speed rear 11-32.

Any thoughts and/or experience with this gearing… good or bad?

I am considering making some changes, if practical. Any comments would be appreciated.

Thx,

Steve
snikrep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-04, 09:52 PM   #2
Michel Gagnon
Year-round cyclist
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Montréal (Québec)
Bikes:
Posts: 3,023
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Use whatever you are comfortable with -- a few loaded practice runs would help you decide.

However, my preference is always for lower gears. You have three options:

1. The least expensive, if you are fairly comfortable with what you have: Change the small ring for a 26... which probably would work with the 52-42 pair. However, the transition will be a bit much and you'll still have quite a few ultra-high gears you won't use.

2. Change all 3 rings for 48-38-24. The largest 2 exist as a ramped and pinned set (from FSA amongst others), so they would work with STI. I know such a combo works fine with bar-end shifters and I heard quite a few who say it works with STI, though you might prefer to add something like the N-Gear jump stop to prevent the chain from falling inside.

3. New compact cranskset? $$$


BTW, if you stay on the coast, hills are not that steep, but there are quite a few long ones. It's if you veer off that road that you'll see the steepest hills. But then, as a person from Seattle, you should have some experience with real hills.

Regards,
Michel Gagnon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-04, 05:41 PM   #3
TandemGeek
hors category
 
TandemGeek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 7,213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
A couple of thoughts.

1. Load up the tandem with enough dunnage to replicate what you think you'll be carrying on your tandem and/or pulling behind it in the trailer and search out some 11% - 12% grades near your home.

2. Take on the hills with your existing gearing and see how it goes.

3. If it's barely do-able, beg - borrow - steal an 11x34t cassette and see if that makes much of a difference. In reality, it's only a minor reduction in gear inches but sometimes a little is all it takes.

4. If it's still a bit goey, consider packing a little bit less. Folks who take on trans-whatever rides for the first time often times find they have packed more than they need or want to load and unload each day and search out a UPS / Mailboxes Etc. store to ship home the excess baggage.

5. If after putting on the 34t cassette and optimizing your total tandem weight those hills are still a bit too challenging give a 28t or 26t granny ring a try if your Tamb. will take a timing ring that small. I don't recall what the spacing is on the TruVative cranks that Burley uses for your particular tandem which is why I'm being tentative here.

We did a portion of this ride in '02 -- San Francisco to San Diego -- and while there were some steep grades they were usually short and steep with few exceptions. I believe some of the terrain along the Oregon Coast may actually be a bit more challenging that PCH was so my suggestion to use 12% grade may or may not be the worst you'll encounter. I seem to recall that it was about the worst that we saw on the planned route. We took a side trip that may have been a bit more daunting that that but the heat had a lot to do with it.

FWIW: We used a 54/44/30t x 11/32t cassette on our West Coast trip and I only recall using the 30x32 gear once, just south of Pismo Beach. However, we were fully sag'd and had only our middle-aged bodies to drag up the hills and we waited until Sept. when the weather was a bit cooler further down the Calif. coast.

Good Luck. It sounds like a great adventure.
TandemGeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-04, 07:59 PM   #4
zonatandem
Senior Member
 
zonatandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single
Posts: 10,904
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Howdy from Tucson!
Lighten your load as much as possible. You can wash out cycling clothes daily in camp/motel/laundromat.
Skip the heavy electric razor and carry some cheapo plastic disposable safety razors. Pack some multi-use clothing, good for on/off bike. If you do need anything 'extra' you can usually buy it along the route.
Do some practice runs/climbs with gear a bit heavier than you anticipate to carry. We used to practice climbing with loads of books/encylopedias in panniers!
On gearing, it depends on the individuals; but better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it! Err on the side of grannier gearing.
You are planning well ahead; enjoy the adventure!
Rudy & Kay/Zona tandem
zonatandem is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:42 PM.