I will be upgrading from a Santana Sovereign tandem to a custom S&S Erickson this winter, and am in the midst obsessing over components. My concern for this week is the drivetrain. The things that I know are:
* I am going to have Campagnolo Carbon Ergo shift levers
* I am a Campagnolo fan and would prefer to use Campy derailleurs
* We are a 350lbs team, who are fairly fit and have no plans to do loaded touring
* We live in northern California, so we do a fair bit of hill climbing
* We like to go fast
My current idea is to go 10-speed with a Wheel Manufacturer 11-27 cassette, and Campagnolo triple derailleurs. This would require a 10-speed chain (which I am a little nervous about on a tandem). I keep changing my mind on the crank between the FSA carbon and the TA Zephyr with 50 x 38/39 x 26 chainrings. This would give us gearing roughly equal to our existing 8-speed tandem's 52x44x30 and 12x32.
My questions are:
1) Is going 10-speed a bad idea, seems like everyone is going 9-speed?
2) Am I going to regret not getting a higher top gear?
3) Am I going to regret not getting a lower granny gear?
4) Any suggestions to improve performance, shifting speed, beauty, etc. would be appreciated.