I recently purchased a 1992 Ellison aluminium mountain bike tandem. It came equipped with Mavic 32-spoke rims and Mountain Cycles aluminium hubs (see photos). The spokes are 2mm with brass nipples - and they appear to be of the same vintage. Having determined to replace the old disc brakes (discussed in a recent post), I'm considering to use a set of cantilever Shimano Deore LX brakes and levers taken from my 1990's Trek 850 (see photo). This old frame does not currently have IS or Post mounts (see photo) - so, any thoughts of re-introducing disc brakes will require that I find a local frame builder to add IS mounts to the rear.
Our combined weight is 315 lbs + bike (currently weighing in at 40 lbs). My stoker is new to riding, so our plan is to stick to relatively short road rides of 6-20 miles in length (nothing off road), on somewhat rolling terrain (we live in San Diego), so I don't see mountains, or long steep descents as factors to consider at this point.
Considering our weight, and intentions toward riding, am I crazy to think of using the existing wheelset? I've plowed through old postings on the forum and I've gathered that 36 to 40-spoke rims appear to be the norm; so, some sage advice is needed on this point.
About the brakes... am I missing something if I put the Shimano Deore LX brakes on this tandem? I would like to re-use my existing parts inventory, but not at the expense of sacrificing safety; I don't want to be foolish, and being a newbie to tandem cycling, I could really benefit from the collective wisdom here. Thanks.