We're enjoying our new Santana Team Niobium. Team weight 330-340 lbs. Came with Rolf wheels and 700x25C Continental 4-season Gran Prix tires. The one problem we're having is rear tire flats. In 400 miles we've had 4 flats, 3 of which were pinch flats. Minor bumps that were no problem on our previous tandem (steel Santana Sovereign running 28C Continental Ultra Gatorskins on conventional 48 spoke wheels/rims) are causing pinch flats on the new bike.
OK. I've read a lot of the threads on pros/cons of 25 vs. 28C and my first action will probably be to replace the rear tire with 28C. I think I'll keep the 25C up front to keep weight down (love the acceleration in these lightweight wheels/tires). Any comments on that (vs. going 28C for both wheels) appreciated.
My dealer suggested that Bontrager Hardcase would be better even than Gatorskins due to stiffer sidewall and thus pinch flat resistent. Anybody have experience with that comparison? The Hardcases are heavier unless I go with the X Lite version, but those only come in 25C, not 28C. If you have experience with them, do you think they are so strong (sidewall) that they'll work well at 25C? Or is it better to go with 28C Gatorskins (or other?)?
But my big question is, Is it better to go with a heavier tire like the Gatorskins or Bontrager, or to go with a heavier tube? Something like the thorn resistent tubes available, for example. Seems to me if it is the tube being pinched that's the problem, maybe rather than stiffening the tire sidewall it would work better to thicken the tube material. If we assume equal weight increase, is it better to put the extra weight into thicker tubes or into heavier tires?