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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 07-09-09, 09:48 AM   #1
Phantoj
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Any good 28mm tires out there? Slicks, please!

Recently had a blow out on the tandem with 700x28 Hutchinson Flash tires on the back. I think that I'm limited to 28mm or wider because I have touring rims on this bike (guess I should check that assumption). Still, 28mm seems like a good compromise for the tandem to me.

The Flash were cheap tires, and I wasn't impressed by the blowout at all. But it seems like the good quality, well-made, high-pressure, low-rolling-resistance tires are all 25mm or smaller. Anything good in 28mm? I'd prefer not to spend too much, but I'm ready to spend more than the $5 I paid for the Flash-In-The-Pans...
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Old 07-09-09, 10:06 AM   #2
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Virtually all of the temdem teams around here are using 700 X 28C Continental Gatorskins.
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Old 07-09-09, 10:09 AM   #3
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The Conti GP 4 Seasons seems to have a good reputation, but I don't know that they qualify as "slicks". I'm transitioning to these as my Ultragatorskins wear out (have the GP 4 Season on the rear only now). These are available in 28mm. From what I've seen there are more tire opinions than there are tandemists (same applies to 1/2-bike riders)
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Old 07-09-09, 10:13 AM   #4
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The Conti GP 4 Seasons seems to have a good reputation, but I don't know that they qualify as "slicks". I'm transitioning to these as my Ultragatorskins wear out (have the GP 4 Season on the rear only now). These are available in 28mm. From what I've seen there are more tire opinions than there are tandemists (same applies to 1/2-bike riders)
When my brand-new Conti Ultras (700x28c) gave me two flats (one per/tire) in as many weeks, I said "Enough!" and found a pair of Conti GP 4 Seasons, in the same size. It's been a month now, and I couldn't be more satisfied with the "new shoes".

Mine were $45/ea, on eBay... but most online places are charging $55-$65/ea.
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Old 07-09-09, 10:25 AM   #5
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700x28 Gatorskins have been very good to us.
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Old 07-09-09, 11:00 AM   #6
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We're also doing 700x28 4 Seasons. Had a few flats, but cause has been roofing material lately. Hail storm a few months back and streets are full of nails, tacks and staples.
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Old 07-09-09, 11:28 AM   #7
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The 700X28 Gatorskins have been fine, other than the fact that they are the most difficult tire I have pried onto a rim.
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Old 07-09-09, 11:31 AM   #8
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Sounds like Continental has this market sewn up...

Ugh; I think Continentals are overpriced, but I guess I need to bite the bullet...
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Old 07-09-09, 12:12 PM   #9
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I've had good luck with Serfas Seca tires. They come in 28mm. And they're cheap. REI carries them.

http://www.serfas.com/product_details.asp?ID=254
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Old 07-09-09, 12:19 PM   #10
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Take a look at the Panaracer Ribmo.
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Old 07-09-09, 12:20 PM   #11
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Sounds like Continental has this market sewn up...

Ugh; I think Continentals are overpriced, but I guess I need to bite the bullet...
Continental Ultra Gatorskins and the like are flat resistant tires. In my opinion none of the flat-resistant tires are overpriced, since for those of us for whom flat resistance is an issue, the difference is easily paid for in tubes/patches, and (especially) time repairing flats over the life of the tire.

I started using flat-resistant tires on my single one season when I got five flats in a (Spring) month and a half of commuting. The town was using a cheap substitute for salt or sand the previous winter - tailings from incinerators or power plants or something - that contained the occasional bit of cylindrical glass about to 1/2 mm in diameter and these would find their way into the texture of the road so they were standing up, and then work their way into the tire over time. I'm willing to pay an extra $30-$40 (probably more if I had to) to avoid repeating that experience, and stick with one or two flats every two years of commute. And on the tandem I care even more, since there are two people involved. I'd much sooner never fix a flat, but replace a tire when it's worn out.

I've had similar experience with Specialized Armadillos, which also come in a 700x28c.

And others have recommended Schwalbe Marathon Pluses (somewhat deeper tread than the other two), also available in 700x28c.

A fairly quick search seems to indicate that the Continentals are the cheapest of the three.
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Old 07-09-09, 12:43 PM   #12
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Specialized Armadillos

We ride with 700 X 28 Specialized Armadillos, after the previous Bontrager Race-Lites, blew out a year ago. After ~ a year, haven't had a single flat. Changing flats with tandem is even less fun than single. The Armadillos don't roll as well as the Bontragers. They are much wider than the 700X28 Bontragers (mfg differences). So wide, that we have to deflate the tube to take the wheel out from the brakes. We will consider 25's on Armadillos next time.
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Old 07-09-09, 01:02 PM   #13
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Mine were $45/ea, on eBay... but most online places are charging $55-$65/ea.
Of course Conti 4 Seasons are a bit less than $42 at Probikekit (and that seems a lot higher than they were a couple of months ago) -- no shipping, no taxes. We use them in the winter when we switch to something wider. They hold up well and are more cushy than our normal tires.

Last edited by rmac; 07-09-09 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 07-09-09, 01:21 PM   #14
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Tires would be the last place I would want to save a buck on a tandem. Never had a blowout on the tandem. Never want to. Gatorskins work for us.
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Old 07-09-09, 02:04 PM   #15
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Continental Ultra Gatorskins and the like are flat resistant tires. In my opinion none of the flat-resistant tires are overpriced, since for those of us for whom flat resistance is an issue, the difference is easily paid for in tubes/patches, and (especially) time repairing flats over the life of the tire.
I should have mentioned that I'm "biased" (LOL, that's my second tire sort-of-pun in this thread) against flat-resistant tires. I don't get many flats, and I feel that I am paying a rolling-resistance and weight penalty for that Kevlar belt.
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Old 07-09-09, 02:14 PM   #16
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Tires would be the last place I would want to save a buck on a tandem. Never had a blowout on the tandem. Never want to. Gatorskins work for us.
I'm not sure about this. Cheaper tires seem a lot heavier and probably flat less than expensive, light-weight, supple tires -- even with a kevlar belt.
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Old 07-09-09, 02:33 PM   #17
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Tires would be the last place I would want to save a buck on a tandem. Never had a blowout on the tandem. Never want to. Gatorskins work for us.
One is enough for me!

I was "just riding along" on a flat bike path, tire at 90-100 psi (rated 90 psi on sidewall), with a 45-lb stoker and a 35-lb'er in the baby seat:

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Old 07-09-09, 02:48 PM   #18
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I should have mentioned that I'm "biased" (LOL, that's my second tire sort-of-pun in this thread) against flat-resistant tires. I don't get many flats, and I feel that I am paying a rolling-resistance and weight penalty for that Kevlar belt.
I don't know about the rolling resistance, as Continental offers what they consider racing tires that are flat-resistant. There may well be a weight penalty. There might also be some other advantage you'd get at the same price point for giving up flat-resistance.

If you're not into flat-resistance, then the main advantages of the Gatorskins will be lost on you.

Specialized makes a number of non-Armadillo tires in 700c - many of which are slick or minimal tread, and many of which go up to 28 wide.

Continental - not so much: most of their 28c's advertise flat resistance.

Don't know about Schwalbe.
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Old 07-09-09, 04:09 PM   #19
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Flats are an incovenience. Blowouts could be disasterous. Don't know if the Kevlar belt reduces the liklihood of blowouts.
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Old 07-09-09, 04:10 PM   #20
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Based on your photo, I don't know if this was caused by a sharp object or just too much pressure for the casing. You're lucky if you didn't crash.
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Old 07-09-09, 04:16 PM   #21
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Just a note on the GP 4 seasons - the folding version can be changed without tools although I find it a bit easier to get removal started with a single tire iron. Those more experienced would find this step unnecessary.
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Old 07-09-09, 05:47 PM   #22
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This is a 30 mm tire, but more bombproof than the Continental tires mentioned above....

http://schwalbetires.com/marathon_racer

I use them on my Co-Motion Americano 1/2 bike when I want to go "fast".
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Old 07-09-09, 05:53 PM   #23
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Very satisfied with Conti 4 Season GP's...28's. We are a 305 pound team that ride on some pretty rough roads on a regular basis. We're about to put on our 4th set of them with no hesitation..The only down side is the rear does wear out in 1500 miles or less.
Recently we started riding a second tandem with Bontrager Race Lite Hard Case c28' tires that also seem very durable but they feel a bit less confidence inspiring if pushed much...not sure if the issue is simply the tires or the wheels or the frame...but we do plan on replacing the Bontragers with the Cont's and see what that does to it.
I also run 4 Season GP's on my single bike in an overkill c25 size.... needless to say they have been virtually indestructable, super durable while retaining great handling in that application.....
Obviously I'm a big fan of these tires and recommend them highly.

Something else to consider...while there are probably a lot of good tires out there to meet various uses....the only thing that is certain in my book, particularly on a Tandem is: the heavier the team or the harder a team rides or the greater the risks a team chooses to take on their tandem...the more critical a really great quality tire becomes. If in doubt... buy a better quality tire and (if you're not racing for money or glory) maybe a slightly larger tire than you think you get get by on. A little saftey margin, when the only thing between all our hides and the pavement are those two tiny pathes of rubber, is a wonderful thing.

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Old 07-09-09, 07:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Phantoj View Post
One is enough for me!

I was "just riding along" on a flat bike path, tire at 90-100 psi (rated 90 psi on sidewall), with a 45-lb stoker and a 35-lb'er in the baby seat:

I would be very surprised to see that in any of the usually recommended Continental/Specialized Armadillo/Schwalbe Ultra Marathon tires, unless ridden way beyond its normal lifespan. The Kevlar (or alternative) belt is exactly where that blowout occurred.
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Old 07-09-09, 10:30 PM   #25
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Have used lotsa brands of tires in our 34+ years of tandeming.
Have experienced several blowouts, front and rear. No fun, but survived all of them without a mishap, even at 30+ mph.
The last few years we've been very happy with 700 x25 Maxxis Re-Fuse tires (better resistance than their lighter Detonnator tire). They have a Kevlar bead and an Aramid protection layer. Even effective against cactus thorns in AZ. Am usually able to install/remove tire without tools.
Just our input.
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