Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Thailand
    My Bikes
    DEAN Colonel X-Lite, JAD MTB
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Road or mountain bike?

    I am planning to buy a tandem - first one for me. I live in Thailand and there isn't much choice here. I am thinking of a Cannondale and they have two models - a road version and a mountain bike version - priced the same and I would like advice on which one to go for.

    I intend to ride on roads and would like to go fast sometimes (if my wife can cope/help!). I am wondering if - with a change to skinny tires - the mountain bike version could be just as fast as the road version, plus have the advantage of stronger/stiffer wheels (26 inch rather than 700c)?

    One other reason for considering the mountain bike version is that I enjoy mountain bike racing on my single bike and understand that it would be better for my racing peformance if I continued to maintain a mountain bike riding position when riding other bikes (e.g. the tandem).

    Second question, if I did choose the mountain bike tandem and wanted to switch to fast skinny 26" tires for the road - can anybody suggest what tires would be good? Do tandems require special tandem tires?
    The Cannondale mountain bike rims are Sun Rhyno Lite, 40 hole; I don't know the width of these rims and what is the narrowest tire they could take. I currently use Hutchinson Top Slick (26 x 1") tires on a single mountain bike that I use for training on roads (with Mavic X517 rims) - would these tires work on the above rims and for a tandem? My wife and I weigh about 275 lbs total (not including bike).

    Many thanks.
    Best regards,
    Eddie.

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JungleBiker
    I am planning to buy a tandem - first one for me. I live in Thailand and there isn't much choice here. I am thinking of a Cannondale and they have two models - a road version and a mountain bike version - priced the same and I would like advice on which one to go for.
    I am wondering if - with a change to skinny tires - the mountain bike version could be just as fast as the road version, plus have the advantage of stronger/stiffer wheels (26 inch rather than 700c)?

    Yes and no. Yes, it would just as fast up to a point... and that point is around 35mph assuming you and your stoker could spin a cadence of 120 rpm. The MT1000 is fitted with a compact crankset so your largest chain ring is only 44t which will only yield 98 gear inches in 44t x 11. The RT1000 - in addition to having larger diameter wheels - has a taller top end with a 52t chain ring which yields ~125 gear inches in 52t x 11. Therefore, the road tandem would be cruising along at 44mph at the same cadence of 120 rpm. So, if you don't often find the need to cruise along at around 30 mph the MT1000 would probably be OK, but not optimal.

    ...and understand that it would be better for my racing peformance if I continued to maintain a mountain bike riding position when riding other bikes (e.g. the tandem).

    I'm guessing you could probably find trainers who would also tell you that the benefits to cross training on a road bike -- which uses a slightly different riding position -- would outweight the value of maintaining a mountain bike riding posture while road training. We switch back and forth between road and off-road tandems and 1/2 bikes and the transition period is just a few miles. Of course, we're not elite racers so we're probably less sensitive to the difference. Just something to consider. Bottom Line: Go with the confirguration that will be best suited to how you intend to ride the tandem. If it's 100% road, RT. If you plan to play in the dirt, MT.

    can anybody suggest what tires would be good? Do tandems require special tandem tires?

    There are very few tandem-specific tires and the ones that do exist are primarily large diameter, over-built touring tires which are hardly conducive to performance riding. In general, most teams run tires on their road and off-road tandems that are at least 1 size larger than their 1/2 bike tires. As for which ones to consider, rather than summarizing, let me give you a link to two recent thread archives (March & June '04) on another tandem list where folks asked the same question and received a few replies from folks who routinely ride on 26" road tandems: http://search.bikelist.org/?SearchSt...D&Scope=tandem

    The Cannondale mountain bike rims are Sun Rhyno Lite, 40 hole; I don't know the width of these rims and what is the narrowest tire they could take.

    The Rhyno Lite is 27.5mm wide whereas your Mavic X517s are more like 22mm or 24mm wide. Per most specs, the Rhyno Lite should be used with 35mm - 47mm (1.35" - 1.85") wide tires but 1.25" would probably be OK, although many teams use 1.5". Frankly, so long as you have them inflated properly, there is not much of a disadvantage to running a slighly wider slick road tire.

    I currently use Hutchinson Top Slick (26 x 1") tires on a single mountain bike that I use for training on roads (with Mavic X517 rims) - would these tires work on the above rims and for a tandem? My wife and I weigh about 275 lbs total (not including bike).

    No, not on the 26" Rhyno Lites. Now, sure as the sunrise, someone may claim they do without any problems but I would say it's a poor choice and their experience would be the exception and not the rule.

  3. #3
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    4,935
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you get the Cannondale, since its disc, you can switch the wheelset to a 700c disc wheelset for road use. It would be pretty close to a full road bike though a bit heavier, and lacking some of the bigger gears.

  4. #4
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    If you get the Cannondale, since its disc, you can switch the wheelset to a 700c disc wheelset for road use. It would be pretty close to a full road bike though a bit heavier, and lacking some of the bigger gears.
    Not exactly.

    The RT and MT tandem frames use completely different frame, fork and steering geometry.
    - MT has 71 degree head tube, fork rake of 46mm, 2.6" of trail, and rear bottom bracket height of 11.4".
    - RT has 73 degree head tube, fork rake of 53mm, 2.0" of trail and a rear bottom bracket height of 10.5"

    If you put a set of 700c wheels on an MT (assuming there is enough room under the fork crown), you would end up with nearly 2.8" of steering trail... (compared to the RT's 2.0") making it incredibly unstable, especially at slow speeds. Moreover, the MT's higher bottom brackets would be raised even higher by the 700c wheels: a high center of gravity is highly undesireable for road bikes and even more undesireable for tandems. Moreover, it exacerbates the steering geometry problem already discussed which would make the tandem almost unrideable for many teams.

    Now, if you had a custom fork made with about 57mm of rake, you could correct the steering but, regardless, you're not really doing anything to make the MT more road-worthy or improving the top end all that much for your $500 investment in a pair of disc brake compatible 700c road wheels and the ~$200 custom fork.
    Last edited by livngood; 09-05-04 at 12:27 AM.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Thailand
    My Bikes
    DEAN Colonel X-Lite, JAD MTB
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi Livngood,

    Many thanks for your quick and detailed reply to all my queries. I am not yet sure what sort of speeds we will travel at, but in order not to let gears and wheel sizes be a limiting factor I'll go for the road bike.

    Thanks again,
    Eddie.

  6. #6
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JungleBiker
    I am not yet sure what sort of speeds we will travel at, but in order not to let gears and wheel sizes be a limiting factor I'll go for the road bike.
    Let me play devils advocate here for just a second. While this may come across as though I'm trying to make your decision harder than it needs to be, I just want to make sure you run all the way through the thought process before making your choice.

    Back to your point about off-road racing, there are certainly many off-road racers who ride their XC bikes 100% of the time and who put on slicks to run with the fast roadies for road training. If you and your stoker are both strong cyclists, chances are you won't run out of gears unless you've got a lot of long 2 - 4% descents where sustained speeds above 30mph are the norm.

    Bear in mind, while you'll probably spin-out at 35 mph, the amount of time most teams spend pushing big gears at those speeds is pretty low. In fact, where most teams use the big gears like 54 x 12 and 54 x 13 is bombing down steep hills where they could probably coast just as fast or faster in an aero tuck or riding in pacelines with fast single or fast tandem groups where they're only spinning a cadence in the high 70 to mid 80s. Teams that can spin 95 - 100 rpm or higher, seldom use those big gears except when they get to those long downhill grades or where tailwinds allow the pack to run in the mid-30's for a few miles. Even in that scenario, if you had short gears you could drop in behind the pack and draft for those segments to save yourselves some energy and not get dropped

    Moreover, even if you don't have off-road tandem riding in your immediate plans, you may find the idea tempted after you and yours begin riding the tandem and if you have the MT you're pretty much good-to-go for trails that are conducive to a rigid. You could also pick up a tandem-rated suspension fork and get into some slighly more technical conditions if your stoker was willing.

    Bottom Line: Given what we now know about tandeming and our interest in both road and off-road tandeming, if we could only have one tandem it would be a 26" model. Admittedly, it would probably end up with two sets of components to allow conversion from high-speed drop-bar road bike to flat bar XC hardtail (e.g., bars with different shifters, two sets of wheels, 48/36/24 chainrings, two forks, as well as S&S couplings) but it would still be a 26" model. Thankfully, we have found tandeming to be our full time recreational pursuit (no boats, RVs, don't ski or dive anymore, etc..) and have freed up enough discretionary income to maintain both dedicated road and full-suspension off-road tandems.

    Bottom Line: Think through your options carefully and spend some time talking with whoever might end up being your stoker to flush out your most-likely riding scenarios. If it's all road riding with other roadies, the RT would seemt to make more sense. However, if you run with a group of off-road racers and your peers just switch to slicks and use their XC bikes for road riding, perhaps that's the path to follow for your tandem.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Thailand
    My Bikes
    DEAN Colonel X-Lite, JAD MTB
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Mark, many thanks for giving my original question so much further thought. I appreciate you getting me to think carefully and giving me all the technical details on which to base a sound decision. I now still believe that it is the road bike that will satisfy my requirements. Though just one worry sticks in my mind and that is the issue of wheel strength. I suppose the reason is because a while back I visited the web site of one tandem producer - Da Vinci (I think?) and they say they only sell bikes with 26 inch wheels, one reason being that they are stronger. You did not refer to the strength issue, but I assume that is because you do not think it is an issue, i.e. you are confident that 700 wheels are up to the job. If so, then so am I because after reading some of the other posts at this forum I am convinced you are truely a tandem geek!

    Thanks again.
    Eddie.

  8. #8
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,151
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JungleBiker
    Though just one worry sticks in my mind and that is the issue of wheel strength. I suppose the reason is because a while back I visited the web site of one tandem producer - Da Vinci (I think?) and they say they only sell bikes with 26 inch wheels, one reason being that they are stronger. You did not refer to the strength issue, but I assume that is because you do not think it is an issue, i.e. you are confident that 700 wheels are up to the job.
    Todd Shusterman at daVinci is a pretty cutting edge guy and his designs are simply awesome. He is absolutely correct that 26" wheels are stronger than 700c wheels. There are also lots of arguments to be made relative to being lighter and more aerodynamic. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line a long, long time ago 27" wheels were adopted as the "norm" for performance bikes (most likely because it was the largest wheel that would fit on 90% of the frame sizes needed for most riders) and that set the trend for "road bikes" that continues to this day.

    So, enough about my view on history. When it comes to tandems and wheels, there is 'not strong enough', 'strong enough' and 'what's the point'. Production builders are somewhat compelled to spec wheels (usually 40h) that are strong enough for that heavier than average 400# team so, as a team that weighs 30% less than that, you end up with a wheelset that is heavier than it needs to be. That's not necessarily bad since it will also be more durable but, again, what's the point beyond having a wheel that is durable enough? And, when it comes to wheel strength, the quality of the parts, the number of spokes, the type of spokes, lacing pattern and -- most important of all -- the experience and attention given by the wheel builder are what make for a strong and durable wheel.

    Bottom Line: At a team weight of 275#, you could use easily get away using a 700c 36h deep section rim wheelset -- which is what we and many of the other sub 350# teams we ride with use with no durability or flex issues.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
    My Bikes
    Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
    Posts
    19,915
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    [QUOTE=livngood]
    Bear in mind, while you'll probably spin-out at 35 mph, the amount of time most teams spend pushing big gears at those speeds is pretty low. In fact, where most teams use the big gears like 54 x 12 and 54 x 13 is bombing down steep hills where they could probably coast just as fast or faster in an aero tuck or riding in pacelines with fast single or fast tandem groups where they're only spinning a cadence in the high 70 to mid 80s. Teams that can spin 95 - 100 rpm or higher, seldom use those big gears except when they get to those long downhill grades or where tailwinds allow the pack to run in the mid-30's for a few miles. Even in that scenario, if you had short gears you could drop in behind the pack and draft for those segments to save yourselves some energy and not get dropped

    Moreover, even if you don't have off-road tandem riding in your immediate plans, you may find the idea tempted after you and yours begin riding the tandem and if you have the MT you're pretty much good-to-go for trails that are conducive to a rigid. You could also pick up a tandem-rated suspension fork and get into some slighly more technical conditions if your stoker was willing.

    QUOTE]

    I'm an aggressive mountain Biker that also does some road work on the mountain Tandem. If it not more than a 30miler on the road, then we stay with the offroad tyres, but for a 65 or 100mile randonnee, then slicks are used. Top gear by the way is 48/11. Our speed for a 65 miler is pretty fast, even though it is a Tandem that is not set up properly for the road, nothing except the tyres is changed from the offroad setup. I will agree that top speed downhill is where we could be lacking, except for one thing,or rather 2-Slipstream profile, and stay off the brakes. We rarely get to 45mph downhill and the cadence is far too high once 35mph is reached, so coasting in the tucked position is the only way we can go any faster. This may happen once or twice on a ride, and it is surprising how much time we spend in the middle ring for the rest of the ride. In fact, it is surprising how much time we spend in the granny, considering it is an easy ride on the road, but That belongs to age, fitness or any other excuse I can find.

    Now comes the poser!! 45mph on slicks on the road, is the fastest we have gone. How come we regularly touch 50mph off road, over shorter hills, with knobbly tyres, and lumpy ground. In fact, our fastest was 53mph on the longest, grassiest, dew covered hill on the South Downs. The only thing I can put it to is the red mist that comes over the Nobrain, Downhill pilot whenever he sees a gravity laden pile of mud that he just has to go at. That and the fact that both of us agree that it is less fun on the road, where all that comes into play is fitness and how hard you can pedal. Give us a bit of mud, rain, rocks and a handfull of solo's you can P*% all over, and really show the Mountain Solo's how a Tandem should be ridden

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You might want to consider other makes. The KHS Alite comes with 26" wheels but 52 road cranks. That should make it fast enough on roads, I can cruise at 40kph on the flats and still can go off road when I want.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •