It might try to kill you one of these days.
Carbon has it own idiosyncrasies, but it in no way the fragile material you make it out to be.
Let's see now. You were asking about components, as I recall. :innocent:
As a part of the massive component changes I went thru to get our front brake working both satisfactorily and quietly I went thru 3 forks, one of which was the Wound-up Duo tandem canti fork.
I was impressed with the strength/quality of the fork, and would not hesitate to put one on another bike. It didn't work on our bike because the Trek T-2000 has been described by some as being very "Santana-ish" .... which is to say "stable" if you like that feel, or "sluggish" if you don't! Regardless, the frame is designed to have a fork of a particular rake and trail, and the Wound-up made our bike feel twitchy. Put it on your Speedster OR your new Seven and I'll bet it would track beautifully.
Personally though, I would want to talk to Seven directly, give them the handling/braking parameters you're looking for, and take their advice. My best guess would be that if you are used to / comfortable with the handling of a Co-Mo, the Seven with a Wound-up would be very similar. But they're the ones with years of info of their own as well as feedback from other knowledgeable customers as to what works best on their bikes.
I was hoping Tandemgeek would chime in here as he has a lot of experience with the various other carbon forks out there on a variety of frames. You might want to contact him directly from one of his sites, either http://www.thetandemlink.com or http://tandemgeek.wordpress.com/
I'm surprised you found the 7 stiffer than the Calfee and strongly suspect this was due to the fork more than the frame. So I'd seriously consider going with the Wound Up fork you liked. It certainly has a beefier feel than the Alpha Q and I noticed the difference riding a couple of nearly identical Co-Motions. I found the middle and back end of a Santana Ti very wiggly compared to Calfee, especially out of the saddle climbing, but we are much heavier than your team and I spec'ed the fat top tube on the Calfee. Unfortunately I didn't get to test a 7, though I know a couple of teams that have them and love them, so 7 may do better for stiffness. Then again, I know lots of people who love their Ti Santanas too.
I can't believe it took me so long to get to Calipers, but dual pivots are just as strong as the best adjusted V or canti and much quieter. My SRAM Force brakes are amazing, but I use a drum in the big hills and I will try a rear disk soon for medium hills. If you use 28mm or smaller tires you can run Calipers. Spec the frame to keep your options open of you can for disk, drum, calipers and V - unless you can't bear looking at the V tabs.
Phil Wood/deep-V for anything up to 28mm - and a good artisan wheel builder who knows tandems.
You could try Lightning if you want something different. Surprisingly easy to take off for travel, but make sure you put them back tight
I still like 9-SPEED but you need ebay. Dura Ace shifters/Ultegra 6503 FD /XTR RD. Parts are cheap and reliable. You can run 11-34 in the back if you choose.
"We’re now struggling with all the component choices. The biggest considerations for us are reliability, serviceability, and ease of travel (eg, I'll be able to break it down and rebuild it on trips with little risk of screwing something up). Weight-weenie-ism isn’t a primary goal, but we do like to climb, so it's not irrelevant either."
This was one of the OP's initial statements.
Here are are a some questions for him.
1. What type of riders are you? Do you like to poke along and smell the roses at 10-12 mph or do you prefer to ride a little faster 14-16 or even faster 18+.
2. Do you spin 90+ rpm or slog along at 70 rpm.
3. How do you corner, slow and careful or hammer around corners.
4. How do you climb, super low gears grinding up the hills or up out of the saddle attacking the hills.
5. How do you travel with the tandem, fly, drive, motor home etc.
6. How critical is the bike weight, are you targeting a total weight of under 30 pounds are something more like 35+ pounds.
We just went through this exercise back in May and if you look at my recent post that shows our Calfee with the new Shimano cranks you can see our results.
Answers to these questions will help determine what kind of components, fork etc will best meet your specific needs.
Brakes: I have two tandems--A 1991 mountain tandem that I retrofitted with Avid Disk brakes and a Paketa Mg road tandem with dual pivot dura ace brakes. If I were to do it over again, I would go with a dual pivot front and disk rear. The dual pivots always worked well on high speed descents, but I was always concerned about overheating the rims. The disk brakes work fine, but I experienced some noticeable rotor warp after prolonged descents with high speed breaking. Similar squeeling if the rotors are not clean. Also,packing wheels with exposed disk rotors in an S&S case may be problematic. Some people suggest removal of the rotors, which would take additional time at when packing/unpacking. One of each seems may be a good compromise. I have an Alpha Q fork on the Paketa which I would recommend, but may not be stiff for a disk brake that is heavily applied in an emergency situation. It works great with the dual pivot.
Parts: I am very happy with the performance of my 10 speed Dura Ace, but am sure that Ultegra would be more than adequate. I have Rolf wheels, but would suggest a stiff standard build wheel such as the Velocity Deep V for your travel tandem. The Rolfs are fancy and look sexy, but I would hate to be on an epic trip and find out that I cannot complete the trip because my high tension/low spoke count wheels broke a spoke that could not be serviced on the trip.
I own a Lynskey ti travel single and seven Axiom ti non-coupled single. Ti bikes make great travel bikes for the obvious durability reasons. None the less, I have some small blemishes resulting from transport, despite careful packing with frame padding. I'm sure a painted or carbon frame would be much more noticable. With the Ti, I simply scotchbrite the frame and the blemishes are hardly noticible.
The Seven Ti coupled tandem is a great choice. In fact, my Paketa has significant corosion that requires refinishing after four short years. Very sad but true. I am still considering whether to refinish or sell as is. Maybe I'll end up with a Ti Seven tandem for Xmas.
Love to see pics when you get it built!
We travel extensively with our coupled Calfee which we have about 8000 miles on. We have found our build choice has changed since the initial build. We have a rear disc and front Dura Ace caliper. We initially had an Avid BB7 on the rear which worked great for most descents but we ultimately melted it descending Mt Ventoux last summer along with all other tandems with that brake. Every brake choice had problems except the Bengal brake. The winzips all went thru pads in half the descent and nobody used two calipers only. For 90% of all descents the BB7 are probably adequate but the possibility of melting rules them out for us now. A number of our other Calfee riders have also changed to the Bengal at this time without incident. If you plan on riding in the mountains I believe a rear disc is imperative (unless you have a drum brake). We are a fairly strong team that weights about 335. We have Dura Ace shifters with a rear XTR and 11-32 cassette for climbing purposes however we rode Dura ace with a 11-27 until this year but wanted a little more range for the long climbs. K edge now makes a tandem specific front derailleur hanger that we fitted that puts the shifting more in the middle of the brifters range so it now shifts flawlessly from the middle to the large chainring even if the cable is slightly out of adjustment. We also fitted a K-edge chain catcher so we can shift middle to little with reckless abandon without worry. We built a set of Velocity Deep V rims on Chris King hubs 36 hole that I have not touched once in 8000 miles and are still very true and could be fixed with conventional spokes at any bike shop in the world. We run 25 mm tires with only the occasional flat. Packing the rear wheel in the case with the disc has not resulted in any problems. We spent additional money for a custom paint job that in retrospect I would have either gone with a nude finish or a stock paint job in that it will get a few scratches no matter how careful you are. We quit worrying about it and now just enjoy the incredible trips and great places we have ridden it. We upgraded ( and for many reasons I believe it is better) to the gates belt drive and have had zero problems with it. In fact we broke the timing chain twice when it was chain driven. I believe with the proper epoxy and cloth kit from calfee you could fix many problems to complete a trip easier them getting a conventional tube repair done. I am sure a 7 Ti bike will be awesome but traveling with a carbon bike has been without incident after many trips. No matter what bike and components you choose you will have a great bike to enjoy with someone who has the ultimate trust to ride with you and enjoy the many accomplishments together.
BRAKES. Food for thought on your Caliper vs. Disc decision, per your last update on brakes...
Using cantilever and or linear-pull cantilever (aka, V-Brakes) on tandems became a much improved option when Shimano increased the mechanical advantage of their Ultegra STI brake levers a couple years back, such that the travel agents are no longer needed. I only mention this because as a die-hard caliper + optional rear disc when we need it team, the compact calipers that have became standard fare over the last 20 years with their lighter weight and smaller profile limit our tire size and ability to fit mud guards.
Given the cost of what I suspect will be your final, long-term tandem acquisition, you might want to think about where you might travel to make sure that you won't need the frame / fork / rear triangle to be able to accommodate 32mm or even 35mm tires with mud guards. Imagine if you will, being on self-supported tour and finding that you must spend 4 hours in the saddle on chip-seal or crushed limestone roads during a light rain to reach your next hotel. That is where dual disc and/or cantilever brakes shine, so long as the fork and rear triangle of the frame have those necessary clearances. If that type of traveling is not something you'll do, and mud guards aren't something you'll want or need, then calipers with 28mm tires may be fine. Of course, with a rear disc already on the frame, a spare Wound-Up Tandem Duo / disc-ready fork could be acquired along with a disc-rotor equipped front wheel to "open up" your front tire size / mud guard options.
The only down sides to dual discs that I can think of for a travel tandem are:
(1) The additional care needed to protect the rotors during packing so that they don't get bent or warped. They can always be re-trued if they do, but that can be a pain to do in the field and an out of true rotor's "ching, ching, ching' will drive you nuts. Obviously, this also applies to travel tandems with rear discs. Before we gave up some additional freedoms by substituting profiling of terrorists with dim-witted TSA agents who go through our luggage this wasn't an issue. So long as you go with bolt-on rotors, you can quickly remove them from the hubs for travel and place them between two pieces of cardboard to make sure they don't get buggered up during transit.
(2) A damaged front rim or wheel will most likely require a rebuild, as 700c front disc wheels aren't something you'll find sitting on the shelf in bike shops or on a tour leaders sag wagon. Given that you'd want to use something with more than 36 spokes for a 700c front disc wheel, you'd want to make a habit of bringing a spare rim and some spare spokes when you travel so you can replace a damaged front (or rear) rim if needed.
Again, there really aren't any bad choices for brakes so long as you understand the trade offs and limitations with each type. The hard point for a compact caliper is the fixed dimension / tire size limit imposed by the rear brake bridge. Forks are relatively each to change.
Either rim laced to White Industries hubs would be a good choice. The Deep V's are a little heavier than the Fusions, but I just like the proportions of the Deep-V on a tandem and the added "meat" of the 30mm-deep rim: they make for very easy wheel building and a tad more laterally stiff than the Fusion. Again, the only limitation of these two rims is tire width. A 28mm tire is about their limit. They're ideally suited for 23mm and 25mm tires. 36h lacing is a good choice for a travel tandem given your team weight if you stick with only a rear disc. If you go dual disc, then you'll want to go with at least 40h front & rear. Note: I'm a big advocate of having the same rim on the front & rear of travel tandems such that you can always cannibalize the front wheel to fix a damaged rear rim when touring... assuming you're using a rim brake up front. Any 110mm front wheel with 32/36 lacing could be used by your team as a spare.
The Wound-Up is still the most laterally and horizontally stiff carbon fork you'll find. In fact, the Wound-Up probably had more to do with why the Seven felt more stable than the Calfee if the Calfee had a older True Temper Alpha Q X2 (no longer available) or an EDGE/ENVE 2.0 carbon fork, especially if your Co-Motion has a steel or Wound-Up fork. Lightweight carbon forks do alter how a tandem handles and feels, no doubt about it. However, like most subtle differences, they are usually assimilated by the rider given a little saddle time... unless it's just a bad fit for team size/weight/riding style. Getting back to the Alpha Q & ENVE forks, they also create some frame design / bike geometry issues in that they're built to single road bike fork dimensions, i.e., they're about 1.5cm - 2cm shorter than the Wound Up and other forks designed for tandems. The folks at Seven understand this.
If someone was put off with the look of a Wound-Up and/or wanted something a bit lighter that doesn't have the fork length issues and that is also stiffer than the ENVE 2.0, Co-Motion developed and now offers a house-branded carbon as OEM and as aftermarket that's really nice and in the same cost category as the others. I like the Co-Motion fork because, like the Wound-Up, it was specifically developed for performance tandems like a Co-Motion, i.e., correct dimensions, rake, robust design & tire clearance.
We're still very happy with old-school square taper BB's and cranks and haven't seen anything come along that's "better" than our daVinci cranks. Classic styling and "stiff enough" for mere mortals like ourselves. However, that's a bias I've developed. FSA does indeed hold the largest share of the tandem cross-over crank market. But, as noted Shimano has finally gotten back into the tandem crank business and that's a good thing: they've always made very nice cranks with some of the best-working chain rings on the market. TruVativ offers some tandem cranks, but they're base-model quality. Frankly, I'd listen to what the folks at Seven have to offer in this regard as they should have a pretty good idea of what's been working well from a crank interface / bottom bracket standpoint vis-a-vis feedback from their clients. That's one of the nice things about a boutique tandem builder in that they don't end up with production quantity parts sitting on a shelf that they put on all their tandems which can sometimes limit buyer options.
Stick with what you've been happy with and/or use on your single bikes. Familiarity is a good thing and Shimano is far more reliable than the bad rap they still carry from many years ago when there were problems, never mind being able to find Shimano components just about everywhere. There system integration is very good. The ONLY thing that they still continue to refine is front triple shifting performance, where technique is about your best bet for eliminating mis-shifts. Campy and bar-end / downtube shifting remain the kings of triple front derailleur shifting performance on tandems.
Be careful when considering advice from strangers on discussion forums... you often times get what you pay for, sometimes even less.
We like to Keep moving. We'll average 15mph on a long (60-100 mile), hilly (5000') course, 19mph on a pancake-flat century.
We're spinners, 85-90 rpm, accelerate rounding corners, and spin up hills seated.
Traveled with the bike first time this summer, and loved it. Plan/hope to fly with new bike couple times a year. Curious whether folks have positive or negative experiences flying with a full sized frame.
Would like the lightest bike consistent with all our other objectives. Why schlep more uphill than necessary?
We’re now struggling with all the component choices. The biggest considerations for us are reliability, serviceability, and ease of travel (eg, I'll be able to break it down and rebuild it on trips with little risk of screwing something up).
Based on this comment and your answers to the above questions here are "MY" suggestions.
1. Frame - buy a frame that only requires the use of 4 connectors, more connectors make it harder to line everything up and offer more chances to screw things up.
2. Wheels - use some proven wheels for your travel wheels, take a look at Topolino wheels for fun light
3. Components - Shimano Ultegra 6703 shifters, Ultegra or Dura Ace derailleurs, the new Ultegra cranks, we just installed them and the because of the new chainrings the front shifting is outstanding.
4. Dura ace calipers. Discs can get bent when traveling. If there is a very steep down hill then stop part way down the hill and let them cool off.
5. Chain drive for the timing chain, simpler to install in the field.
6. Thomson seat posts and stems.
7. Carbon handlebars front and rear.
8. Wipperman chains.
9. 10 speeds!
"Well, suppose a topolino spoke failed out in the hinterlands... Where you gonna go? Proven wheels for touring/traveling are NOT proprietary superlights. There is "light" and there is "stupid light" (thanks for the quote Glenn)."
That is why I said "take a look at Topolino wheels for fun light LOCAL wheels."
Does anyone have comments about Chris King rear hubs?
They do require periodic maintenance to include a very important pre-load adjustment after the first 100 or so miles. Very easy to work-on for basic user PM. Rebuilds require special tools and are best done by experts if it is ever needed, i.e., heavy-duty off-road users are more likely to need this vs the average road user.
The "killer bee" freewheeling sound of the splined engagement rings takes a little getting used to.
Wide range of colors provides buyers with a chance to have fun spec'ing wheelsets.
Note: We have not used these on our road tandems, but have them on our '02 Ventana off-road tandem. Never any issues.
Availability has sometimes been an issue in the past, but that was due in part to the multiple manufacturing facility relocations.
Note: We have not used these on our road tandems, but have them on our Ventana off-road tandem. Several friends have put 10's of thousands of trouble-free road miles on CKs.
This thread has opened my eyes to what the needs of a traveling/touring bike are, as different from what our "dream bike" might be. I know for me my dream bike that I would want to take to all the great epic locations I'd want to ride (sans cars) wouldn't really be the same bike that I know would get there without incident, and require the least fuss to stay rideable and in tune.
Back to the original post. It sounds like the ti Seven will be a great choice as they prefer the ride and also any damage it might sustain in transit should be visible, which may not be the case for carbon. As for components the op hasn't said where they will be touring. The argument for less than 10 sp and friction shifting capability may be valid if you are riding across India or something, but if you are not too far from a modern civilization I don't see a need for it.
BTW how is the Co-Mo short in the back. Ours is the normal 72cm, is yours shorter, or do you want something longer than this?
So pray tell me, since I've already set up at least 10,000 sets of brakes or so, how much longer do you think it will take me to learn how to adjust brakes?
BTW, just so you'll know, third hand and fourth hand tools have nothing to do with stopping brake squeal. Squeal is a function how the brake pad grips/slips on the rim, and is generally resolved by cleaning rims, breaking the glaze on pads, and altering either the vertical face alignment, toe-in, or some combination of all the above. Once all that is done, a 3rd or 4th hand tool simply holds the brakes in position while you tighten the nut on the cable fixing bolt.
From my point of view, it would behoove you to limit your remarks to those things with which you have actual experience and slow down on the use of such sweeping generalizations.
Secondly, recommendations from someone who is 6'6" and 375 pounds, (from what I gather from your previous posts), will be of little value for smaller, lighter teams. Your prejudice against every frame material except aluminum is just nonsense. It may be the only choice for you, but even you must realize that your weight/size is almost completely unique among cyclists. Smaller and lighter teams, (which almost everyone else is!), might find steel, titanium or cf to have a delightful ride.
Thirdly, three times I've pointed out where you didn't bother to read the original post before you launched into your tirade against this or that. Each time I pointed it out, your answer was something akin to "Yep".
Well, "Nope!" It is rude to not bother to read what the poster says before spouting off.
And lastly, speaking of rude, your opening line to a new poster, (and presumably someone you didn't know), was "I think you're going to be destined to either be disappointed in the Seven, or not willing to acknowledge how it really rides if you still go with it."
Translation: "You'll either hate it, or not be man enough to admit you hate it, and therefore lie about it."
What a wonderful way to greet a newcomer. Folks weren't like that last time I was in Colorado. What happened?
"Turn out the lights, the party's over........."
For anyone still awake on this thread, I'm reversing myself on brakes.
Previously I said it was down to calipers and discs. Well, after thinking through all the permutations, we've decided on V's plus a mount for a rear disc, so that we'll have the option of adding a third brake. Cable bosses will be set up so that either rear brake could serve as the primary, with the stoker taking the leftover if we feel the need for one (yeah, I've seen the debate about giving the stoker a brake -- this sport requires a little two-way communication and trust, doesn't it?). We'll also look for a fork that has both disc and V mounts, so we keep our options open up front as well.
Ultimately, what drove the decision was the desire for maximum long-term flexibility, given the time horizon we intend to have the bike and its intended use as a traveler. Two Vs best option for a particular trip? Check. A V and a rear disc? Check. Two discs and a back-up V? You get the picture. Plus, by choosing Vs over calipers, we'll have the option for different tire widths and mud guards down the road, depending on where we go and what we'll need.
Flexibility is good.
You could keep your options open and have fork and seat bridge drilled to accept caliper brakes in future.