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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 04-27-11, 08:26 AM   #1
nfmisso
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tandem tires sizes - Trek

We got a great deal on a '94 Trek T50 this past weekend. The one thing that I believe is a bit crazy is the tires the previous owner installed - Continental Four Season 700c x 23. They look really weird on the rims - the tires maximum width is actually less than the maximum width of the rims. Great for removing the wheels for transport, but......

One of the first changes we're planning is the tires. From research, I understand that all of the mid-1990s Trek tandems had the same frame - so I am hoping for some input from riders of similar vintage Trek tandems on this subject. I haven't measured things out yet, but am thinking that 700c x 28 or 700c x 32 would be a good size, and am leaning towards Continental Gatorbacks. My prime concern is durability in urban and rural environments.

We had been considering a Mongoose AL Wanderer, and then adding some upgrades. We found the Trek, and calculated that it made much more sense economically, and is a better match for us. I prefer CroMo frames.

Thank you
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Old 04-27-11, 10:41 AM   #2
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Here's a link to the BikePedia that shows it came with 38s!
http://www.bikepedia.com/QUICKBIKE/B...=T50&Type=bike

For urban warrior usage, belted or more flat-resistant tires of some sort are a good idea. Conti Gatorskins, Specialized Armadillos, and Schwalbe Marathons are some of the more common brands that tandemers swear by. If there is a "middle of the road" or "most common" tire size, my guess would be 28s, but somewhere on thetandemlink.com I'm sure TandemGeek has poll results to say definitively yea or nay.
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Old 04-27-11, 11:46 AM   #3
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The "middle of the road" to which OneGun refers is actually the middle of the road ridden by the most frequent posters to the Tandem Forum. My take on it would be that that may be the peak of the distribution, but you only see a few light teams with narrower tires, and the tail on that distribution goes out past 50 (well, at least 1.9").

The way I figure it, you want to look at the kind of load you'll be carrying and then from one of the tire pressure charts (such as the one Sheldon Brown references) you can see what tire pressure you need to run for a given width tire. Then look at the pressure range of your favourite flat-resistant tire and pick a width that lets you run that pressure, without being wider or narrower than the acceptable width for your rims. Yes there are tires out there that will take 180 psi and more, but I don't want to inflate my tires to that pressure with a hand pump, which is what I use.

By comparing our avatars you will see how we might come at it from different points of view...

Last edited by WebsterBikeMan; 04-27-11 at 11:47 AM. Reason: Noticed avatars.
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Old 04-27-11, 01:50 PM   #4
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I'm sure you could fit 38s in there, if you chose.

My "LeMond" (90's Trek tandem geometry) bike came to me with a 28mm Bontrager on the front and a 32mm Vittoria Courier on the rear. Chosen for durability, I think.

Bontrager is a Trek house brand and you'll only find them at Trek dealers.

Schwalbes are nice. For that mater, Panaracer's Paselas would do the job for you too.
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Old 04-27-11, 02:20 PM   #5
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Onegun - thank you for reminding me of that link to the T50 information - I had actually looked at, and have it book marked, but missed the tire size - duh

I'll be looking at various options based on the information all of you provided.

Thank you !!
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Old 04-28-11, 07:11 PM   #6
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We have a '94 Trek T100 and are running Panaracer Pasela 700x35c. Max inflation is 90psi. Good ride, few flats, plenty of clearance for fenders, if you want.
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Old 04-29-11, 08:49 AM   #7
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We decided to go with Kenda 700x35, K193, Kwest, Black Cross/Road tires for the local learning rides. We probably won't get more than 15 miles from home in the next few months. My wife has not ridden a bike in years, and is now practicing on a stationary (she has balance problems and can't/won't ride a single)

In the fall, or later, depending how the Kendas hold up, we will be looking at tires again, probably Continentals.

Thanx everyone for the information.
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Old 04-29-11, 10:37 AM   #8
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Hi nfmisso,

I've liked our Continental Ultra Gatorskins so far. 700/28c used on roads and occasional jogging paths. Those jogging paths have some sections of rough and sharp stones. No flats yet in a few hundred miles. Our team, bike, and water/gear is probably around 365 pounds and I pump the tires to 120psi. If we spent more time on the jogging paths, and if our frame could fit a larger tire, I probably would go to the next size up like you recently purchased.
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Old 05-02-11, 06:50 PM   #9
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Has anyone tried the Continental Gatorskin Hardshell? We would like to try them in size 700 x 28 for our Cannondale Road Tandem. Team weight is 355. We ride crushed limestone trails in addition to suburban and county roadways.
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