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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1tandem View Post
    You could keep your options open and have fork and seat bridge drilled to accept caliper brakes in future.
    And I would definitely want that option if like us you often ride 28mm or smaller tires. At least the seat bridge. Some forks may not allow disk+caliper drillings or V-brake+caliper, but it's relatively easy to change forks. Dual pivot Calipers are just stronger and easier to adjust than the average tandem V-brake installation. Also you get more rack options...

  2. #52
    Member tstansbury's Avatar
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    Builder says the tabs for the Vs in the rear would interfere with placement of calipers, so the frame can be built to accommodate only one or the other. Not an issue up front, with different fork options.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onegun View Post
    What a wonderful way to greet a newcomer. Folks weren't like that last time I was in Colorado. What happened?
    From here in Boulder, "mtnbke" looks like a total kook. The first thing he does is slam the bike the happy/proud customer bought. On top of that he makes some asinine comments.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by tstansbury View Post
    Choosing Seven over Calfee was as surprising a decision as it was close. Going into the process, I was 99% certain we'd get carbon. Didn't even consider ti initially, in large part due to all the chatter about it being a little noodly for a tandem. BUT, the test drives changed the calculus. After narrowing the choices down to the two frames/materials, we rode both bikes back-to-back multiple times. Each time the take-away was the same... the stoker found the bikes indistinguishable, but up front, the ti tester was just a smidge smoother, just a smidge stiffer laterally, and just a smigde more to my liking with handling, than the CF tester. Of course, all of these characteristics could change, for better or worse, in the customization process. But, what we felt and liked on the road was what we felt and liked on the road. It's hard to ignore the real-world experience. Finally, the gut says a metal frame (with ti-welded-to-ti couplers) might stand a slightly better chance than CF of surviving 15-20 years of abuse from baggage smashers. For whatever it's worth, we're 105 yr old, long-distance cruisers, not CAT-rated mashers. There are obviously lots of Calfee lovers here, and it's easy to understand why. It felt like a great bike. For our specific needs/wants, however, a well-designed, solidly-built ti frame just seemed to suit us.

    For brakes, we've eliminated the V's, so it's down to caliper vs disc. May have to toss the coin again.
    Since you've eliminated v brakes, be patient (if possible) and wait for some hydraulic road disc set ups to hit the market (should be soon). The cable disc brakes are not near as good as the the hydraulic. I've been racing MTBs for over 10 years, and I can tell you there's no comparison! Good luck with your build!

    Rick

  5. #55
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Anecdotal Brake Observation:
    After putting 200 miles on my disc-equipped road bike I'll change the front brake on our daVinci to a disc if I ever have to replace the fork. I can stop the road bike on a steep descent with two fingers on each lever, feathering the rear of course, but there is no fade whatsoever. While the front V-brake on the DV is effective, we do get fade in steep descents and the front disc would be especially effective with the short cable run.

    I can see where hydraulic would be especially effective for the rear tandem brake application, but would be interesting in the case of a coupler-equipped bike.
    Rick T
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    Anecdotal Brake Observation:
    After putting 200 miles on my disc-equipped road bike I'll change the front brake on our daVinci to a disc if I ever have to replace the fork. I can stop the road bike on a steep descent with two fingers on each lever, feathering the rear of course, but there is no fade whatsoever. While the front V-brake on the DV is effective, we do get fade in steep descents and the front disc would be especially effective with the short cable run.

    I can see where hydraulic would be especially effective for the rear tandem brake application, but would be interesting in the case of a coupler-equipped bike.
    Ah..you're right. Forgot about the coupler thing. It could still be done by pulling the calipers off at the wheel. Very easy to set back up.

    Rick

  7. #57
    Member tstansbury's Avatar
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    OP here. Fork and frame are being built to accomodate both Vs and discs. Just haven't decided which to start with yet. Current bike uses Vs, which (so far) have successfully stopped us on some very steep terrain. Experience counts for a lot. But discs, which I've not used before, have some attractive traits (and some not so attractive ones, as noted in other posts on this thread). The new frame should be delivered in late February, so there's time still to make a final decision, AND second-guess it.

  8. #58
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Options are good.

    Wayne

  9. #59
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    I have cable disk brakes on my tandem--Avid BB7's to be exact. I am very please with how they operate. I am curious about the several statements that hydraulic brakes are better. Can somone fill me in on the advantages over the cable operated ones?

  10. #60
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Spohn View Post
    I have cable disk brakes on my tandem--Avid BB7's to be exact. I am very please with how they operate. I am curious about the several statements that hydraulic brakes are better. Can somone fill me in on the advantages over the cable operated ones?
    Hydraulic systems are very very efficient in transmitting force and also provide excellent feedback to the user. This is why automobiles converted from cable actuated brakes and clutches many years ago. A cable housing will squirm as force is applied and the more force the more the squirm. This movement shortens the housing and allows the cable to be pulled by the user without transmitting power to the brake. You can see this effect by standing next to your bike and applying the brake very hard while watching any exposed curve in brake housing. Hydraulics avoid this problem. Cables continue in use because they are simple, light, cheap and field serviceable. Cables are more of a problem with disc systems than rim brakes because more cable force is used with disk systems. Rim brakes use a much larger disk and have more leverage to use for braking. They therefore need less force to be applied than a disk brake. Less force means less squirm.

    Wayne

  11. #61
    Senior Member coloroadie's Avatar
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    i'm not sure hydraulic disc brakes are ideal – unless the entire system was specifically built to handle the additional mass and greater speeds that come with road tandems. Even so, Santana offered disc brakes with a cable-hydraulic interface several years ago, but many found they would bind up due to the fluid expansion in the brake lines under extreme braking conditions. Their current disc brake offerings no longer include hydraulic disc brakes.
    Last edited by coloroadie; 01-15-12 at 06:37 PM.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by akexpress View Post
    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.
    Mark
    Mark,

    Interested in the K edge derailleur hanger but couldn't find it on their site. Do you have a link to this online somewhere?

    Thanks
    Ian

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianbal View Post
    Mark,

    Interested in the K edge derailleur hanger but couldn't find it on their site. Do you have a link to this online somewhere?

    Thanks
    Ian
    Just call Joe Savola at kedge and he will send one. They even come in a variety of colors. Around $25 dollars I think.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by akexpress View Post
    Just call Joe Savola at kedge and he will send one. They even come in a variety of colors. Around $25 dollars I think.
    Thanks.

  15. #65
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    To the OP: How did this turn out?

    We're in the early stages of a hunt for our next tandem. Like you, I was 99% sure we were going to go carbon. But recently, after test riding both a Seven and a Calfee, I was amazed with the Seven's ride and responsiveness -- made no difference to stoker.

    So I'm deeply curious if your delivered Seven has lived up to your expectations. Please let us know!

  16. #66
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    I would love to hear how this has worked out for the OP. We are currently working through design parameters for a Seven Ti.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  17. #67
    Member tstansbury's Avatar
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    OP here. The bottom line reaction to our new Seven is ... love it love it love it. With about 1,500 miles in the saddles now, the bike is proving to be exactly what we hoped to get. The ride quality is simply outstanding. The bike is incredibly smooth and compliant, soaks up road noise, and does a masterful job of taking the edge off the road's bumps and jolts, all of which make century distances so much more comfortable. Handling is predictable and sharp. Laterally, the bike is plenty stiff for us, and comparable in feel to the Seven we test drove, even though our baby is nearly 3 inches longer than the tester (tall stoker).

    Very happy we sprung for the S&S couplers. The break-down/build-up process is pretty darned easy, and the ability to pack such a big-@ss bike into two regulation-sized suitcases is a marvel of engineering. Neither the S&S ti couplers nor the travel cases are cheap, but the ease with which we can take the bike anywhere makes it very worthwhile. We had one minor issue with the coupling system that had an easy two dollar fix. The cable splitters banged and rattled against the frame tubes, which was highly annoying. We simply replaced the thin rubber O-rings that came on original splitters with thicker ones. Problem solved.

    As noted my prior posts, our main objectives with the build were flexibility and reliability, rather than weight weenie-ism. For components, we opted for:

    Fork -- Wound Up Tandem Duo (uber-sturdy; disc-ready)
    Cranks -- FSA SL-K (more options than the new Ultegras for crank arm lengths and chainring sizes)
    Derailleurs -- Ultegra (front and rear)
    Brakes -- Avid Single Digit Ultimate linear pull (front) and Avid BB7 disc (rear)
    Wheels -- White Industries disc hubs with Deep-V rims (front and rear)

    I chose different brake types just to see which I liked best, but may end up sticking with the current configuration. The Ultimate linear-pull up front has much better braking power than I expected. The grip of the rear disc is enormous. We also added V-tabs in the rear for a future 3d brake, and designed the cable bosses so that either captain or stoker can operate either rear brake. Options are good. At least as of now, I'm not second-guessing any decisions on the components. If we stick with the Ultimate linear-pull brake up front, we may swap out the disc-ready hub for a non-disc, but that's about the only change I can anticipate at the moment.

    Finally, the bike Seven built for us is a work of art. Over the past weekend, we heard "awesome bike!" multiple times. We certainly think it is.

    Cheers!

  18. #68
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great setup up with reliable components. Have any pictures to share?

  19. #69
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    It sounds wonderful, please do post pics.

    Do you mind sharing where you sourced the frame? You mentioned in your first post something about the Blue Ridge. I'm in NoVa and am amazed that the closest Seven tandem dealer to me is TandemsEast outside Philly. In fact, we went up there for the Tandem Expo and and test rode a Seven tandem and I am wondering if that's also where you did your testing.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by tstansbury View Post
    OP here. The bottom line reaction to our new Seven is ... love it love it love it. With about 1,500 miles in the saddles now, the bike is proving to be exactly what we hoped to get. The ride quality is simply outstanding. The bike is incredibly smooth and compliant, soaks up road noise, and does a masterful job of taking the edge off the road's bumps and jolts, all of which make century distances so much more comfortable. Handling is predictable and sharp. Laterally, the bike is plenty stiff for us, and comparable in feel to the Seven we test drove, even though our baby is nearly 3 inches longer than the tester (tall stoker).

    Very happy we sprung for the S&S couplers. The break-down/build-up process is pretty darned easy, and the ability to pack such a big-@ss bike into two regulation-sized suitcases is a marvel of engineering. Neither the S&S ti couplers nor the travel cases are cheap, but the ease with which we can take the bike anywhere makes it very worthwhile. We had one minor issue with the coupling system that had an easy two dollar fix. The cable splitters banged and rattled against the frame tubes, which was highly annoying. We simply replaced the thin rubber O-rings that came on original splitters with thicker ones. Problem solved.

    As noted my prior posts, our main objectives with the build were flexibility and reliability, rather than weight weenie-ism. For components, we opted for:

    Fork -- Wound Up Tandem Duo (uber-sturdy; disc-ready)
    Cranks -- FSA SL-K (more options than the new Ultegras for crank arm lengths and chainring sizes)
    Derailleurs -- Ultegra (front and rear)
    Brakes -- Avid Single Digit Ultimate linear pull (front) and Avid BB7 disc (rear)
    Wheels -- White Industries disc hubs with Deep-V rims (front and rear)

    I chose different brake types just to see which I liked best, but may end up sticking with the current configuration. The Ultimate linear-pull up front has much better braking power than I expected. The grip of the rear disc is enormous. We also added V-tabs in the rear for a future 3d brake, and designed the cable bosses so that either captain or stoker can operate either rear brake. Options are good. At least as of now, I'm not second-guessing any decisions on the components. If we stick with the Ultimate linear-pull brake up front, we may swap out the disc-ready hub for a non-disc, but that's about the only change I can anticipate at the moment.

    Finally, the bike Seven built for us is a work of art. Over the past weekend, we heard "awesome bike!" multiple times. We certainly think it is.

    Cheers!
    Sounds great.

    We are currently in the third back and forth round of design for an almost identical bike to yours. With my tall stoker we may not be able to build an S&S bike that fits a 26" case. I'll post again later in this, or another thread.

  21. #71
    Member tstansbury's Avatar
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    I'll try to take/post some pics over the weekend. We're also in NoVa (Falls Church), and used Mel at Tandems East. It's a bit of a schlep from the DC Metro, but for us it was well worth the effort. Sounds like we test drove the same two bikes. See you the road!

  22. #72
    Member tstansbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
    Sounds great.

    We are currently in the third back and forth round of design for an almost identical bike to yours. With my tall stoker we may not be able to build an S&S bike that fits a 26" case. I'll post again later in this, or another thread.
    For reference, my stoker is 5'8." We fiddled a few times with the frame design and location of the couplers. We ultimately placed them behind the captain's seat tube, so we end up with two triangles and three straight tubes. Seven confirmed everything would fit before we pulled the trigger.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by tstansbury View Post
    I'll try to take/post some pics over the weekend. We're also in NoVa (Falls Church), and used Mel at Tandems East. It's a bit of a schlep from the DC Metro, but for us it was well worth the effort. Sounds like we test drove the same two bikes. See you the road!
    Yes, surely it was the same test Seven, and likely the Calfee he's got up there as well. It is quite the schlep and it is amazing that this cosmopolitan, capital of the free world area does not have a tandem shop. Yes there's Mt Airy but even they are a bit of a haul. Opportunity, anyone? FWIW, I spoke with Spokes in Vienna -- the local Seven dealer -- and they have never done a Seven tandem. They would be happy to do so and would guarantee fit but their recommendation was to go with Mel for the tandem expertise. So Mel it is I guess.

    We'll look for you on the W&OD!

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by tstansbury View Post
    For reference, my stoker is 5'8." We fiddled a few times with the frame design and location of the couplers. We ultimately placed them behind the captain's seat tube, so we end up with two triangles and three straight tubes. Seven confirmed everything would fit before we pulled the trigger.
    That is exactly what we finally arrived at and how we did it. My stoker is also 5'8" plus a smidgen. As designed, her top tube length will be 85cm---33.5 inches! Signed off on the design today. Now for the components.

  25. #75
    Member tstansbury's Avatar
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    At long last, here are few pics of our new(-ish) Seven, now with about 2k miles ...

    Packed, the bike fits in two airline-regulation cases. Actually, one case hold everything except the rear rear wheel, rear triangle, and stoker bars. Break-down and build-up take us a bit under two hours...

    IMG_1168.jpg

    Here are the twins as originally configured. We're going to replace the stoker cowhorn bars with standard drops ...


    IMG_1404.jpg

    Like the bike as a whole, the welds are beautifully done...



    IMG_1421.jpg

    And finally, this past hot-n-hazy weekend, the bike faithfully carted us up Skyline Drive in Shenandoah Nat'l Park ...


    IMG_1436.jpg

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