BIKE: '04 Co-motion Speedster Co-pilot, W/U CF fork, Ultegra/XTR, Rolf Vigors
TEAM: 280 lbs total, experienced roadies and mtb'ers
RIDING STYLE: Casual rides with kids in trailer (50%), fast training rides (40%), loaded touring with BOB Yak (10%)
PREFERENCES: Kevlar bead, Black sidewall, 28 mm (to soften the ride a bit; my wife is pregnant), good road feel, decent durability.
COMMENTS: Continental seems to make a decent Kevlar tire (Ultra Gatorskins, 4-season GPs) but I'd prefer a black sidewall (rather than the reddish color). I know it's just a cosmetic issue; But if I can have my druthers all other things being equal, I'd like it to be black (looks better on the wheels). Conti make an Ultra 2000 (black) but only with a wire bead. Considering Michelin Races but only come in a max 25 mm and seem to be a durability issue.
QUESTIONS: Are wire bead tires on a tandem that much of a rotational weight problem? I have always run kevlars on my single; and honestly never have tried wire beads. Any other brands out there a decent choice?
Are wire bead tires on a tandem that much of a rotational weight problem? I have always run kevlars on my single; and honestly never have tried wire beads. Any other brands out there a decent choice?
I have never run wire-beaded tires on any of my bikes, tandem or otherwise. However, I have run different wheelsets on my bikes and tandems that have rims where the weight varied by as much as ~100g each (well, and even more than that). The lighter wheelsets definitely make the bike feel lighter and more responsive when you accelerate rapidly and feel lighter when you're slugging it out on steep climbs, but that's about it. Once you're rolling it's very hard to tell what you're rolling on.
About the only other all-black tire in the 28mm width would be Avocet's Fasgrip K Carbon 12 "Duro". On the bright side, it's a really great tire.
While Avocet specs 95 psi, run them with enough pressure to get the proper shape for your team weight, i.e., so that there is just a slight sidewall bulge once you are both on the bike. This could be 110 - 115 psi; you'll have to experiment. Also note, there is a Duro and then a Duro Plus K which adds a Kevlar belt for puncture resistance and an additional 20g of weight. A place like Harris Cyclery would probably have both models available.
Rans Rockst (Retro rocket) Rans Enduro Sport (Retro racket) Hase Kettweisel Tandem (redundent recumbent), Merin Bear Valley (The gopher).
Your wife is pregnant and 60% of your tandem riding is with a trailer. It doesn't sound to me like you're going to be doing very much sprinting on that tandem for a while. I wouldn't worry about a few extra grams of tire weight.
Marks, thanks for the info (as always). I'll definitely look into the Avocets...
Retro, you're exactly right...for now, that is...but come next spring, we'll be on regular fast-paced rides. I'd rather be on a better performing tire for "casual" rides then to have a less than ideal tire for the quicker rides. I don't mind paying for quality stuff later when I need it; but I have a tough time replacing tires that are still in good shape.
How black do they have to be? Panaracer T-Serv for Messenger tires are black except for the logo, have kevlar beads and belts, and come in 25, 28, 32, and 35 widths. I like them so far.
Bill McCready (Santana CEO) does not like kevlar-beaded tires because he says they come off the rim when they get hot (HEAVY rim braking required to do this), and I don't like wire-beaded tires (Paselas) because they come off the rim after they go flat.
Anybody who thinks pregnant women can't ride (shouldn't is another matter) would do well to remember that Miji Reoch, world class cyclist, rode all the way through her pregnancy, including to the hospital while in labor...Dawn Richardson's article on riding while pregnant at the VeloNews website should be enlightening.
Guest stokers do happen. Captains too. Health is a transient thing, and you both won't always be tandem-ready at the same time. Keep the tandem ready, though.
Our 5c worth (inflation got rid of 2c worth):
Been using Maxxis Detonnator 25mm with Aramid bead with excellent results/mileage. They may make a 28mm, but not sure. Michelins are another option.
Lo-tech soloution:You could always put liquid black shoe polish on the sidewalls!