Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 82
  1. #1
    Member tstansbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    My Bikes
    Seven Ti Tandem
    Posts
    35
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Building out a new Seven ti tandem

    Would appreciate the views of the many experts here on building out a new custom tandem.

    We’re a 310 lb team with a couple of years in the saddle(s) on our first two-seater, a Co-Motion Speedster. Typical outing is 60-100 miles. Local terrain ranges from the gently rolling to the cuss-your-mother steep-n-twisty (Blue Ridge Mtns). The bike faithfully carried us over 4000 miles this year, including on a multi-day guided trip in CO/UT (GREAT trip). Looking ahead, we want a bike that will be easy to transport. Touring will be either very light or fully supported.

    The Co-Mo has been totally problem-free and a joy to ride. But in addition to being uncoupled, it’s way too cramped for the stoker. Et voila, a great excuse for a new bike! Our trusty Speedster is now looking for a good home.

    After test driving about a dozen bikes, we’ve decided to get an S&S coupled titanium frame from Seven (basically needed to flip a coin to pick it over a Calfee).

    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.

    BRAKES. This is the biggest issue and concern. Looking over various threads on this topic, each type of brake has its champions and its detractors (including those who believe that it – whatever “it” is – is a death trap). Current bike uses V-brakes with travel agents, which to date have stopped us without fail or blow-out, even on some really long, hairy descents. Only real complaint is that they can squeal like stuck pigs, unless the rims are totally clean of every speck of residue. Retailer is promoting discs, but the jury is still out for me. How reliable/serviceable are they? What are the real advantages/disadvantages over calipers, given where/how we ride? I get the sense that bad technique can be just as much of a problem, and a danger, using discs as well as rim brakes, so what's the real benefit? What specific brake models should we be considering?

    WHEELS. White Ind. hubs laced to Deep V or Fusion rims get lots of votes from folks around here as solid performing, bomb-proof, every day wheels. Given our objectives, this combination seems spot-on, but are there other suggestions? Preferred spokes?

    FORK. The Seven we test-drove had a Wound Up tandem duo disc fork. Ride was incredibly smooth and solid. How does this fork compare to the rest of the market?

    CRANKS. I’ve neither a preference nor a guess as to what would best serve our purposes. What’s available for tandems, other than FSA?

    DERAILLEURS. Ultegra gets the Honda Accord/Toyota Camry Award… totally devoid of sexiness, but solid as a rock and unfailingly reliable. What could be better here?

    SHIFTERS. Does the Accord/Camry Award go to Ultegra here, too?

    “OTHER.” If we’re going to plop down this much coin for a bike, we want it to be EXACTLY what we want and to serve our every need for years. What else should I be asking or thinking about?

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Boulder County, CO
    My Bikes
    '89 66cm Cannondale 3.0, '92 22" Cannondale M2000, '92 JxL Cannondale R1000 Tandem, '86 Cannondale ST800 27" (68.5cm) Touring bike w/Superbe Pro components and Phil Wood hubs.
    Posts
    786
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tstansbury View Post
    Would appreciate the views of the many experts here on building out a new custom tandem.

    We’re a 310 lb team with a couple of years in the saddle(s) on our first two-seater, a Co-Motion Speedster. Typical outing is 60-100 miles. Local terrain ranges from the gently rolling to the cuss-your-mother steep-n-twisty (Blue Ridge Mtns). The bike faithfully carried us over 4000 miles this year, including on a multi-day guided trip in CO/UT (GREAT trip). Looking ahead, we want a bike that will be easy to transport. Touring will be either very light or fully supported.

    The Co-Mo has been totally problem-free and a joy to ride. But in addition to being uncoupled, it’s way too cramped for the stoker. Et voila, a great excuse for a new bike! Our trusty Speedster is now looking for a good home.

    After test driving about a dozen bikes, we’ve decided to get an S&S coupled titanium frame from Seven (basically needed to flip a coin to pick it over a Calfee).

    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.

    BRAKES. This is the biggest issue and concern. Looking over various threads on this topic, each type of brake has its champions and its detractors (including those who believe that it – whatever “it” is – is a death trap). Current bike uses V-brakes with travel agents, which to date have stopped us without fail or blow-out, even on some really long, hairy descents. Only real complaint is that they can squeal like stuck pigs, unless the rims are totally clean of every speck of residue. Retailer is promoting discs, but the jury is still out for me. How reliable/serviceable are they? What are the real advantages/disadvantages over calipers, given where/how we ride? I get the sense that bad technique can be just as much of a problem, and a danger, using discs as well as rim brakes, so what's the real benefit? What specific brake models should we be considering?

    WHEELS. White Ind. hubs laced to Deep V or Fusion rims get lots of votes from folks around here as solid performing, bomb-proof, every day wheels. Given our objectives, this combination seems spot-on, but are there other suggestions? Preferred spokes?

    FORK. The Seven we test-drove had a Wound Up tandem duo disc fork. Ride was incredibly smooth and solid. How does this fork compare to the rest of the market?

    CRANKS. I’ve neither a preference nor a guess as to what would best serve our purposes. What’s available for tandems, other than FSA?

    DERAILLEURS. Ultegra gets the Honda Accord/Toyota Camry Award… totally devoid of sexiness, but solid as a rock and unfailingly reliable. What could be better here?

    SHIFTERS. Does the Accord/Camry Award go to Ultegra here, too?

    “OTHER.” If we’re going to plop down this much coin for a bike, we want it to be EXACTLY what we want and to serve our every need for years. What else should I be asking or thinking about?

    Thanks all!
    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.

    There have been many cyclists over 6'5" that have ordered custom Seven bikes (singles) and been very disappointed in them. Seven just hasn't figured out how to make their custom bike truly "custom" and seems to never be taking into consideration the needs to build much stiffer frames for bigger cyclists that generate outlier wattage. It is kind of a trite thing now for a big dominant cyclist to get the custom Seven and hate it, and the BIG Seven pass around game starts amongst those that can fit these frames (bigger than 67 cm). I've never ONCE heard anything positive amongst the tall cycling crowd about custom Seven bikes (this does NOT apply to normal size people or their Seven experiences). I have heard many of these negative nightmare experiences about Sevens.

    A tandem requires so much more stiffness than a single, and along two planes. A single doesn't have to deal with the torque of the dual wattage, so I really think this is a huge mistake.

    Always stick with a company that makes tandems, not some boutique builder that makes singles. You may spend the rest of forever trying to talk yourself into believing your custom Seven is a good bike, if you go that route. I think you'll hate it the same way big cyclists hate their wriggly Sevens (mind you these were big ultra fit CAT racers, not even big/fat guys like me). If want a Seven so badly, buy one, but don't compromise your tandem on a company that specializes in singles. They don't know how to build you the tandem you think you'll be getting, they just don't. How many have they ever even built?

    If you have to get a titanium tandem I'd for sure go with someone that has built many. If it were me I'd get a magnesium Paketa or a carbon Calfee. If I had to go titanium, I'd actually go with a Zinn custom design. His focus is primarily on outlier (6'6" and up cyclists) so stiffness wouldn't be a factor at all, he obviously has the tech and design pedigree, and you would never be frustrated with the tandem being a wet noodle. I think its funny how many people are selling epic good bikes these days because they get frustrated that "people don't know how good my bike is." I'm serious. You should see the Boulder Craigslist. A lot of these elite cyclists are replacing world class bikes with someone more "recognizable." That's idiotic in my book. You don't buy a tandem to impress people that only know about singles.

    However, I suspect the attraction to the Seven is significantly vanity. Vanity doesn't make for a good tandem. Again, if you need a Seven, buy a single.

    PS - If your brakes squeak take a learn to wrench on your own bike class or just buy a book (Zinn or Park), and learn how to adjust your own brakes. Also NEVER return to whatever shop that has a wrench that didn't know how to set up your pads without squeal.

    I'm of the opinion that a tandem shoudn't use modern drivetrain (more than 8 speeds). Eight speed allows for a stronger chain, thicker stronger cogs, thicker and stronger cogs. Anything above 8 speed is going to be much finickier to keep in tune and shifting properly as you move up in speeds along the spectrum. Its really a simple function. Indexing has to be calibrated within the narrow confines of cog width and thickness, hyper-narrow cogs means there is no room for error. Others do it, but 9/10/11 don't belong on a S&S coupled bike in my opinion. Just too finicky to keep properly tuned. Do you really want to finally get to some once in a lifetime destination and spend the ride with finicky and poor shifting? Not to be snarky, but if you can't figure out how to adjust pads you're not going to be tuning your bike and adjusting your own rear derailleur.

    On that note, any Campy Ergo levers (even 10/11 speed) can be converted internally back to 8 speed. Send 'em to Vecchio's in Boulder. They'll do it for you right.

    So my recommendation:

    Not getting a Seven (staying with Magnesium, Carbon, or Aluminum as well).
    Campy Ergos converted to 8 speed
    Shiftmates to use Shimano XT 8 speed
    Any iteration of the Mafac Tandem/Cyclocross brake (disc brakes are boat anchors and the "rotor" on a rim brake is larger
    Equip the bike with an Arai drag brake for those epic descents
    Bombproof overrimed/overspoked touring wheelset (save the lightweight racing stuff for home, not while traveling w/no access to replacements)
    Last edited by mtnbke; 12-08-11 at 01:17 AM.

  3. #3
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    My Bikes
    Spec' Tarmac (road), Spec' Secteur Disc (commuter & tourer), Salsa Mamasita (MTB), CoMo Speedster (tandem), Surly Big Dummy (cargo), Airnimal (folder), a train pass, and NO car :)
    Posts
    2,046
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Transmission: We started with Shimano Ultegra shifters and derailleurs, and also tried with an XT rear derailleur, and have run several cassettes from 12-27 to 11-32. The rear shifting with all of the combinations never worked great. Despite me being very happy with the Shimano gearing on all our single bikes, and knowing almost every trick in the book about adjusting rear derailleurs, I just couldn't get it working well enough. I then tried Campag 10-speed Record shifters paired with a SRAM X-9 "10-speed" rear derailleur (plus a 12-32 cassette), and have been extremely happy with the performance. The Campy levers pull a bit more cable per shift than Shimano, and luckily this matches the amount that the SRAM derailleur needs almost exactly. I would recommend this as the best rear shifting option for a tandem. For the front derailleur, either a Shimano 105 (if big to middle ring difference is 10 or 11 teeth) or an Ultegra (if the difference is 12+ teeth) works very well with either a Shimano or Campag lever.

    Wheels: I had some bad experiences with Velocity rims and now only use Mavic A719s on the tandem and my single touring bike and am extremely happy with them. For hubs, I always choose Shimano, and got hold of a pair of their XT tandem model, these are way better than the DT Swiss Hugis that we did have because the DT rear hub had a noisy and inconsistent freewheel noise that really bugged me, plus I can more easily service the Shimano bearings.

    Cranksets: Shimano have just released a competitor to the FSA cranks that is very interesting, see the other threads that are currently active about this crank. Also see this index of triple cranksets (single and tandem) for other options.

    Brakes: Lots of positives and negatives for every option. Three brakes is always a nice luxury to have. We are currently running a front V-brake and a rear disc controlled by the captain and a rear V-brake controlled by the stoker which we only use on straighter sections of a long descent when trying to give the other breaks a chance to cool off a bit. This has generally worked well for us; there have been a few issues, but no other option seems to offer a better setup for us. YMMV.
    Last edited by Chris_W; 12-08-11 at 04:11 AM.

  4. #4
    Oldie, just not here! Onegun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Shady Hills, Fl.
    My Bikes
    2005 Trek T2000 tandem, 2003 Burly Tosa Tandem, 6 singles including 2 fixies
    Posts
    980
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
    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.
    Did you miss the part where he's already test ridden one?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
    There have been many cyclists over 6'5" that have ordered custom Seven bikes (singles) and been very disappointed in them.
    Did I miss the part where they mentioned that they were over 6'5"?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
    PS - If your brakes squeak take a learn to wrench on your own bike class or just buy a book (Zinn or Park), and learn how to adjust your own brakes. Also NEVER return to whatever shop that has a wrench that didn't know how to set up your pads without squeal.
    FYI, there are some brake/pad/rim combinations that it is almost impossible to stop from squealing on a tandem. I've been a bike mechanic for 40 years and have set up ten thousand sets of cantis and V brakes with no squeal. But when you're talking hardened, machined rims with harder pads, (like Koolstop salmons), and V brakes on a tandem, it is sometimes almost impossible to stop the squeal. Put softer pads on and the squeal goes away immediately. Unfortunately, the bike won't stop as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
    I'm of the opinion that a tandem shoudn't use modern drivetrain
    There are hundreds, if not thousands, of teams on here that would disagree with that opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
    Anything above 8 speed is going to be much finickier to keep in tune and shifting properly as you move up in speeds along the spectrum.
    If your derailleur isn't shifting properly, learn to wrench on your own bike; take a bike class or just buy a book (Zinn or Park), and learn how to adjust your own derailleurs.
    BICYCLE - [bahy-si-kuhl] - Noun :> A medical device used to correct the common geriatric condition of OFS, (Old, Fat & Slow), in a manner that does not induce brain-decaying boredom like walking or running.

    2005 Trek T2000 Tandem, 2003 Burley Tosa Tandem, Pacific Dualie beater tandem, and 6 singles including 2 fixies.

    TampaBayCycling.com - A LOCAL Cycling Forum
    The Florida Panthers Tandem Club

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Central Illinois
    My Bikes
    Trek Speed Concept 9.9, 2011 Calfee Tetra Tandem
    Posts
    894
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We bought and built a new Calfee tandem in late May and have ridden it for nearly 3,000 wonderful miles. I would not buy anything else at this time.

    I am using the new 6703 shifters, Dura Ace derailleurs, New Ultegra cranks, 11-28 Ultegra cassette and the rear shifting is perfect when. We had an older Santana with 8 speed gearing and I would ABSOLUTELY NOT go back to 8 speed gearing. Note that mtnbke and his stoker have a combined weight of over 500 pounds which would influence his choice of transmission components.

    You can look at he pictures of our Calfee in the post about the Ultegra cranks.

    Will you be flying or driving to your destinations? If flying I can understand the desire for couplers but if driving I would not add the weight and expense. Our lightweight tandem fits into the back of our Chrysler Pacifica very easily.

    Wayne

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    135
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Happy with our da Vinci custom Ti

    We have had our custom Ti from da Vinci for a year, and put 6000 miles on it. We have traveled with it out-of-state 5 times. Because the da Vinci frame has no lateral bars, there are only 4 (Ti) couplers and it's lighter and easier to pack and re-assemble than the frames with lateral bars. The frame is also stiffer because the tubes are a little bigger and they have special construction of the tubs to make them stiff. The bike rides like a dream (on a cloud) and easily fits in 2 UNDERWEIGHT legal-sized suitcases for travel. The Ti is indestructible, there is no paint to worry about scratching during the packing/travel process and the people at da Vinci are a dream to work with. (we didn't order this from a retail store, we went straight to da Vinci). It's got Campy Chorus, WI hubs, and the awesome bomb-proof da Vinci hand-built wheels. I'd give it strong consideration if you want a custom Ti Tandem and are ready to drop a chunk of change.

  7. #7
    Member tstansbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    My Bikes
    Seven Ti Tandem
    Posts
    35
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    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.

  8. #8
    Senior Member PedalPink's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    My Bikes
    2010 Calfee Tetra Tandem, 2005 Co-Motion Primera Co-Pilot, El Conquistador de Montanas, Schwinn Twin
    Posts
    105
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We have a carbon Calfee and a steel Co-Motion with S&S couplers, but for extensive travel with a tandem we think Ti will be a great choice.

    We still talk about the awesome Kent Ericksen tandem at the Indianapolis edition of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show a few years ago. We must have returned to that booth a dozen times to look at the bike. We've sadly noted that although it was built for an Ohio owner, we have yet to see this bike on the road.

    It's great that you were able to test ride so many bikes - many of us have not been able to do that. I'm looking forward to hearing all about the build and your component choices ... and can't wait to see the pictures!

  9. #9
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ft Worth, TX
    My Bikes
    650B tandem converted from Santana Arriva, Santana Noventa, Boulder Bicycle 700C, Gunnar Sport, Trek TX700,
    Posts
    1,690
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am sure you know this but I will state it anyway, Only you know what you like and how you ride. Buy what you feel is best and not what others feel is best for you. There now that is out of the way I will toss in my unconventional opinions which are worth about as much as you paid for them:

    Wheels - What tire width are you running? If not running 28mm or wider then Deep V or Fusion traditional wheels with 36 butted spokes are hard to beat. If running 28 or wider tires also consider the Dyad. Marginal gains from specialty wheels give you guess what - only marginal gains (if any) at the cost of repairability and durability and also money. Rather than wheels at twice the price I would opt for another set of identical conventional wheels. It is really nice to go pull out the bike and discover a flat and just swap wheels and ride. Sometimes we take a spare set with an alternate cassette in the car on trips.

    Cranks - Look at Davinci if you think you might like sizes other than 175-170. Otherwise We have had good service from FSA as well as Shimano. Also if you might like more custom front rings then 110 BCD provides middle rings in the 34-38 size that you will not get with a standard 130 BCD crank. This is helpful if you want a granny ring smaller than 30 and don't huge jump from 39 down to 24 or 26 and back up again.

    Shifters: I am assuming triples only here. Personally I think shifters come down as much to the shape of the device since Shimano and Campy both work well. You are going to spend a lot of hours holding those things after all. If you like Shimano then Ultegra shifts about like DA to me. I now use Camy 10s now and the front down shifting on a triple under load is much much better than any Shimano Ultegra or DA triple. Really nice when on a middle ring at about 80+ cadence to move to the granny with the stoker under full power. I can even get away without announcing it sometimes.

    Derailleurs: If using Campy shifters you can use Shimano 10 cassettes with no adapter and SRAM 10 RD or use an adapter for either Campy or Shimano RDs. Personally I think Shimanos RD feel are best shifting but they all work well. Front derailleur : Shimano 105 is a little stiffer than Ultegra or DA. The very small amount of additional weight is worth it when shifting under load up front. I would skip SRAM or Campy FD on a triple.

    Brakes: All will stop you if maintained. I have switched our primary tandem to Cantis and actually like them better than V-Brakes. Just personal Preference. Disks I would skip unless you ride a lot in the wet or need a third brake. It seems every time we go to a tandem rally most of the disk brakes on tandems give that zing zing sound going down the road. Annoying. I know this is only a maintenance issue but it seems that it is enough of an issue that a lot of folks don't get it right. I don't want to fuss over my brakes all the time to keep the zing zing away.

    Forks. Duo looks good but never used one. Get as much tire clearance as possible just in case you want to run wider tires later.

    Other:
    Personal preference - In the unlikely event you were considering a rack and trunk on your Seven, we love our front bag which allows stowing removed jackets, pulling food without stopping. Much lighter and more usable while riding. Provides a place for the captain to see a map as well. They require a very small front rack that attaches to the canti bosses. When not using the front bag the rack is small and not an air brake like a rear rack.

    I guess you can tell our bike doesn't look most new tandems. Enjoy your build. I am sure it will be a great bike.

    Wayne

  10. #10
    Oldie, just not here! Onegun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Shady Hills, Fl.
    My Bikes
    2005 Trek T2000 tandem, 2003 Burly Tosa Tandem, 6 singles including 2 fixies
    Posts
    980
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post
    If flying I can understand the desire for couplers but if driving I would not add the weight and expense. Our lightweight tandem fits into the back of our Chrysler Pacifica very easily.
    One of the members of the Florida PANTHERS Tandem Club, (who is about 6'2", BTW, and loves his Seven tandem), fits his UNcoupled tandem in the back of his Prius! Both wheels off, of course, and he made his own .... diaper, if you will, that covers the entire drive train!
    BICYCLE - [bahy-si-kuhl] - Noun :> A medical device used to correct the common geriatric condition of OFS, (Old, Fat & Slow), in a manner that does not induce brain-decaying boredom like walking or running.

    2005 Trek T2000 Tandem, 2003 Burley Tosa Tandem, Pacific Dualie beater tandem, and 6 singles including 2 fixies.

    TampaBayCycling.com - A LOCAL Cycling Forum
    The Florida Panthers Tandem Club

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    787
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We have a Calfee that I selected all of the parts for and built from scratch myself.
    I will give my opinions below:

    BRAKES. This is the biggest issue and concern. Looking over various threads on this topic, each type of brake has its champions and its detractors (including those who believe that it – whatever “it” is – is a death trap). Current bike uses V-brakes with travel agents, which to date have stopped us without fail or blow-out, even on some really long, hairy descents. Only real complaint is that they can squeal like stuck pigs, unless the rims are totally clean of every speck of residue. Retailer is promoting discs, but the jury is still out for me. How reliable/serviceable are they? What are the real advantages/disadvantages over calipers, given where/how we ride? I get the sense that bad technique can be just as much of a problem, and a danger, using discs as well as rim brakes, so what's the real benefit? What specific brake models should we be considering?

    I agree about the V-brakes. We had them on our old Santana and they squealed constantly, but worse they were grabby. I did not want to rule out a rear disc so we had the frame made with a disc mount and used a hub that could accept a disc. In the end I did not want the complication and weight of a disc brake if I could get away without it. Another person here recommended Mavic SSC calipers. I did some research on these brakes and they are well regarded as having good stopping power for a caliper. I have been happy with these brakes and they stop as well as can be expected on a tandem. We have done loaded touring and they still were good enough. They don't have a centering adjustment or release lever. I didn't find either of these a problem. I am using Campy shifters which have a brake release built into them. Another alternative are Dura Ace calipers which are known to be powerful brakes.

    WHEELS. White Ind. hubs laced to Deep V or Fusion rims get lots of votes from folks around here as solid performing, bomb-proof, every day wheels. Given our objectives, this combination seems spot-on, but are there other suggestions? Preferred spokes?

    I think you are on the right track. WI hubs are very good and pretty light. I am using using Fusion rims with 32 spokes and they are fine. If you weigh a lot then the Deep V rims and 36 spokes may be a better choice. Deep V rims are pretty heavy, Kinlin makes a 30mm rim that is much lighter but I am not sure how it work on a tandem. We have broken 3 spokes over the course of 2 years (1 front, 2 rear) I am not sure if this is par for the course or I did something wrong when building the wheels (I build all of my own wheels).

    FORK. The Seven we test-drove had a Wound Up tandem duo disc fork. Ride was incredibly smooth and solid. How does this fork compare to the rest of the market?

    We have the Alpha-Q which I like but is no longer being made. I think Calfee is now using Enve and they are highly regarded. That would be my choice.

    CRANKS. I’ve neither a preference nor a guess as to what would best serve our purposes. What’s available for tandems, other than FSA?

    This is always problematic. I started with FSA SLK 170mm front and FSA Gossamer 165mm rear. I found the Q factor on the front too wide. I switched to Ultegra SL cranks installed backwards. I had to get the pedal threads reversed by installing helicoils. This setup has been working well. Be aware that if you ever want to use a Gates belt drive the chain line from front to rear has to be perfect. That is not possible with my setup since the front is narrower than the rear. FSA are probably the most popular tandem crankset due to low cost and there has not been much else available. Other choices are the new Shimano tandem crankset, DaVinci, and Lightning (light but expensive). If I was going to do it over again I would consider the new Shimano crankset since Shimano has always made good cranksets. The only drawback I see is the chainrings are proprietary and you are stuck with the chainring sizes that they come with. If I had the money I would go with Lightning.

    DERAILLEURS. Ultegra gets the Honda Accord/Toyota Camry Award… totally devoid of sexiness, but solid as a rock and unfailingly reliable. What could be better here?

    I am using Ultegra GS rear and Camp Comp triple front. I don't think you can do better than Ultegra.

    SHIFTERS. Does the Accord/Camry Award go to Ultegra here, too?

    I am sure Ultegra would be great. However I decided to go with a hybrid system using Campy Centaur shifters and Shimano drive train. I am using a JTEK shiftmate to make it all work. I am a long time time Shimano user but I found that when a Shimano shifter breaks or wears out it can't be repaired and has to be thrown away. Shimano has also been raising their prices with Dura Ace shifters priced at a staggering $600. For $200 I bought Campy Centaur shifters with Carbon levers. The Campy sifters are less expensive, lighter, have better ergonomics and are repairable. Once I got used to Campy shifting I now prefer it.

    “OTHER.” If we’re going to plop down this much coin for a bike, we want it to be EXACTLY what we want and to serve our every need for years. What else should I be asking or thinking about?

    There are always the incidentals like stems, bars, saddles. These are mostly personal preference and getting the fit right. One thing that comes to mind is the eccentric where I would highly recommend Bushnell.
    Last edited by jnbrown; 12-08-11 at 10:20 AM.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Mid Michigan
    Posts
    283
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Consider 9 speeds and XTR rear derailleur. Gives us great results with our normal 11-28 cassette, and we can throw on 11-32 or 11-34 for mountain rides without changing anything else.

    Other: Ultegra front derailleur. Ultegra shifters. Ultegra octalink crankset. Get great shifting, including triple front. Re-tuning after assembling our S&S coupled bike at the destination is not a problem, despite what mtnbke says. Dura Ace caliper brakes work great. Sometime we add a disk on the rear, controlled by stoker, if anticipating major descents. Have had variety of wheels over the years, liking the current Phil Wood hubset built with Velocity Deep V's and 36 spokes. Our frame only handles up to about a 28c width tire, else I'd probably consider the Mavic A719s. Also have an older set of WI hubs with daVinci V-22 rims, and these were OK, but broke too many spokes at inopportune times (but maybe a build issue, not equipment). 320 lb team. Let us know what you decide.

  13. #13
    Oldie, just not here! Onegun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Shady Hills, Fl.
    My Bikes
    2005 Trek T2000 tandem, 2003 Burly Tosa Tandem, 6 singles including 2 fixies
    Posts
    980
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    An alternate word on calipers. We finally went to a caliper for the front to both get the stopping power I wanted AND get rid of the squeal. In doing so, I found that the Ultegra/Dura Ace level of brakes were not sufficient for us. (We're a heavier team.) It's the old adage, "Strong. Light. Cheap. Pick two." The upper price level of brakes are really designed to stop a high end bike and average weight rider exceedingly well while being as light as possible. They achieve that and maybe a little more, but that's ALL they will do. They are really too weak to apply the kind of clamping force needed to stop anywhere from 2 to 3 times that much mass.

    So we took the advice of an avid touring tandem rider and spent a lot less for a stronger, albeit heavier, brake caliper. The one we use is the Shimano BR-650, which is not even part of any grouppo. Added the Koolstop salmon blocks and finally got the quiet stopping power I been looking for.
    BICYCLE - [bahy-si-kuhl] - Noun :> A medical device used to correct the common geriatric condition of OFS, (Old, Fat & Slow), in a manner that does not induce brain-decaying boredom like walking or running.

    2005 Trek T2000 Tandem, 2003 Burley Tosa Tandem, Pacific Dualie beater tandem, and 6 singles including 2 fixies.

    TampaBayCycling.com - A LOCAL Cycling Forum
    The Florida Panthers Tandem Club

  14. #14
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Jacksonville
    My Bikes
    Wilier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Co-Motion Robusta; Schwinn Paramount; Motobecane Phantom Cross; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er
    Posts
    27,219
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Onegun View Post
    An alternate word on calipers. We finally went to a caliper for the front to both get the stopping power I wanted AND get rid of the squeal. In doing so, I found that the Ultegra/Dura Ace level of brakes were not sufficient for us. (We're a heavier team.) It's the old adage, "Strong. Light. Cheap. Pick two." The upper price level of brakes are really designed to stop a high end bike and average weight rider exceedingly well while being as light as possible. They achieve that and maybe a little more, but that's ALL they will do. They are really too weak to apply the kind of clamping force needed to stop anywhere from 2 to 3 times that much mass.

    So we took the advice of an avid touring tandem rider and spent a lot less for a stronger, albeit heavier, brake caliper. The one we use is the Shimano BR-650, which is not even part of any grouppo. Added the Koolstop salmon blocks and finally got the quiet stopping power I been looking for.
    Uhm, I'm betting any difference in stopping power between your BR 650's and Dura Ace comes from changing the pads, not the calipers themselves.

    They're both dual pivot brakes, with the big difference being the 650's are long reach and open wider.

    If you're not going to run over 28mm tires (which Dura Ace will handle) I don't see an advantage to 650's, other than price.

    For what it's worth, we're a larger team, and use Dura Ace brakes with stock pads to do things like Everest Challenge, and Brasstown Bald, with no issue about having enough stopping power.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  15. #15
    Member tstansbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    My Bikes
    Seven Ti Tandem
    Posts
    35
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As for tires, we've run 28mm Gatorskins on the Co-Mo. No real objection to them (other than the hassle of finding a folding 28 for use as a packable spare). Our test rides were on 25s, and I didn't perceive much difference in performance. We're generally dry-road riders, but have been caught in our share of rainstorms. Unless 25s have appreciably less rolling resistance than 28s, the slightly cushier ride from the slightly larger tire, plus better surface contact on the occasional non-dry days, would seem suited for our riding style. Other thoughts?
    Last edited by tstansbury; 12-08-11 at 03:08 PM.

  16. #16
    Oldie, just not here! Onegun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Shady Hills, Fl.
    My Bikes
    2005 Trek T2000 tandem, 2003 Burly Tosa Tandem, 6 singles including 2 fixies
    Posts
    980
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Uhm, I'm betting any difference in stopping power between your BR 650's and Dura Ace comes from changing the pads, not the calipers themselves.
    Nope. Exact same pads on all three sets of brakes. I only had one set of Koolstops left at the time, so they got swapped from caliper to caliper as I tested them. The 650s have beefier arms, therefore less flex and more clamping power.

    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    For what it's worth, we're a larger team.
    What??!! You mean all this time the EXTRALIGHT in your username referred to your bike??!!
    BICYCLE - [bahy-si-kuhl] - Noun :> A medical device used to correct the common geriatric condition of OFS, (Old, Fat & Slow), in a manner that does not induce brain-decaying boredom like walking or running.

    2005 Trek T2000 Tandem, 2003 Burley Tosa Tandem, Pacific Dualie beater tandem, and 6 singles including 2 fixies.

    TampaBayCycling.com - A LOCAL Cycling Forum
    The Florida Panthers Tandem Club

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    787
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't detect any flexing at all with the Mavic SSC brakes. I think the only limitation is how much force you can apply with your hands and how well the pads grip the rim.

    I actually prefer narrower tires. I use 23 on front and 25 on the rear but we are a lighter team at 250 lbs. Wider tires to me have a sluggish feel to me, this of course may be just perception and make no difference in speed.

  18. #18
    Oldie, just not here! Onegun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Shady Hills, Fl.
    My Bikes
    2005 Trek T2000 tandem, 2003 Burly Tosa Tandem, 6 singles including 2 fixies
    Posts
    980
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    From what I've seen over the years, the most commonly used size is 28. BUT, those that run wider tires seem to defend them with religious fervor, whereas those that prefer narrower, (like TandemGeek), tend to state it as simply a preference.

    We have run anywhere from 25 to our current 32s, (due to our current weight), and see only minor changes in acceleration and handling characteristics. The bike is not quite as snappy with the bigger tires, but the difference is minimal.

    This may well be due to the weight of our wheels. The Bontrager RaceLite Tandem wheels are sexy as well as bulletproof, but they're heavy. I suspect TG would report that on the much lighter wheels he runs, the difference would be far more noticeable.
    BICYCLE - [bahy-si-kuhl] - Noun :> A medical device used to correct the common geriatric condition of OFS, (Old, Fat & Slow), in a manner that does not induce brain-decaying boredom like walking or running.

    2005 Trek T2000 Tandem, 2003 Burley Tosa Tandem, Pacific Dualie beater tandem, and 6 singles including 2 fixies.

    TampaBayCycling.com - A LOCAL Cycling Forum
    The Florida Panthers Tandem Club

  19. #19
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ft Worth, TX
    My Bikes
    650B tandem converted from Santana Arriva, Santana Noventa, Boulder Bicycle 700C, Gunnar Sport, Trek TX700,
    Posts
    1,690
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
    I don't detect any flexing at all with the Mavic SSC brakes. I think the only limitation is how much force you can apply with your hands and how well the pads grip the rim.

    I actually prefer narrower tires. I use 23 on front and 25 on the rear but we are a lighter team at 250 lbs. Wider tires to me have a sluggish feel to me, this of course may be just perception and make no difference in speed.
    I can't get my head around the physics behind using similar size tire for a single and tandem. If a 23mm is fine for a 250lb ride/riders then it would seem to me to be much to overbuilt to optimal for a 125-140 lb rider. I understand that you are happy with it so I am sure it must be adequate for your needs. We all have are preferences and biases. Mine say if I need a 23 on my single then I need a bigger tire on my tandem or if a 23 is ideal for our tandem I should be riding something much smaller on my single.

    Oh well. If it works for you then great. I am glad we can all ride what we like.

    Wayne

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    787
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
    I can't get my head around the physics behind using similar size tire for a single and tandem. If a 23mm is fine for a 250lb ride/riders then it would seem to me to be much to overbuilt to optimal for a 125-140 lb rider. I understand that you are happy with it so I am sure it must be adequate for your needs. We all have are preferences and biases. Mine say if I need a 23 on my single then I need a bigger tire on my tandem or if a 23 is ideal for our tandem I should be riding something much smaller on my single.

    Oh well. If it works for you then great. I am glad we can all ride what we like.

    Wayne
    The 23 tire we use a GP4000S which are pretty robust tires so that has something to with it. I don't think I would feel good about using the Michelin Pro3 tires that I use on my single. I started using a 23 by accident, I had worn out a 25 and all I had on hand was a 23. I was surprised that ended up liking it better.

  21. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Happy with our Titanium Axiom SEVEN

    We took delivery on our Ti Seven tandem three weeks ago and went with disc brakes but had Seven include posts and pac man so we can go back to V's and drum. The disc brakes were excellent in the rain and about the same as our mini V's in dry.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Boulder County, CO
    My Bikes
    '89 66cm Cannondale 3.0, '92 22" Cannondale M2000, '92 JxL Cannondale R1000 Tandem, '86 Cannondale ST800 27" (68.5cm) Touring bike w/Superbe Pro components and Phil Wood hubs.
    Posts
    786
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Someone made a good point. A carbon coupled traveling bike might get you killed one day. Epoxy bikes don't play well with being being scratched, banged, dropped, and in general "traveling." Titanium, more than any other metal can recover from rough treatment. While I'm a huge fan of aluminum and magnesium tandems, I would be the first to admit that they are probably not ideal for a world traveling touring tandem. Just too brittle and too easy to really damage alignment.

    My point about the 7s is that if they can't build bikes that aren't all noodly for strong 185 to 215 pound cyclists who put out high wattage, how the heck is a 7 tandem going to withstand to bowing forces and dual wattage. Stiffness is critical to a tandem being efficient. I would just ALWAYS go with a builder that specializes in tandems, period.

    Also, while the OP mentioned taking lots of test rides, he never said he actually test rode a titanium 7. Maybe he rode everything else, maybe another brand of Ti tandem, and then decided on the 7 tandem. Maybe he did ride a 7 tandem, I just don't see that overtly mentioned. However, to be fair I completely hadn't even noticed that he mentioned riding any tandems at all before deciding.

    One thing that cracks me up is that people consider calipers or V-Brakes, but never cantilevers. There is a reason it was called the Mafac Tandem brake people. There are very good cantilevers that will crush your rims, they have that much stopping power. There is a reason that cyclocross bikes use cantis: They work, they are light, they are simple, and just plain stop (that and the mud clearance).

    I still think Campy could find a great market by manufacturing a touring wide range triple long cage 8-speed group. If they did I think half the new tandems sold would spec it. For a traveling tandem, I still would go 8 speed, but I'd probably mount downtube shifters on Retroshifts, Kelly Take-Offs, or Budd mounts. I could always flip 'em to friction and I would never have to worry about a brifter problem. That plus dedicated levers give you so much stronger brake leverage, and I still can't figure out why.

  23. #23
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ft Worth, TX
    My Bikes
    650B tandem converted from Santana Arriva, Santana Noventa, Boulder Bicycle 700C, Gunnar Sport, Trek TX700,
    Posts
    1,690
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cantis are not usually considered because they are not "sexy". I have and love em. There are not magic but works as well as good V-Brakes or Calipers like Dura Ace. Usually brake problems are in the setup. Good cantis do allow good wide tires with a modern road shifter without a brake adapter and that is why I use them on one of our two tandems. They work for me.

    There are a whole lot of bike stuff that is sold because it is "sexy". I guess that means it is in style and promoted by pro riders and the industry. Maybe it just looks fast?

    I like to ride what seems to work the best for me and that is not always the same stuff that is promoted by the industry. Sometimes it is the same stuff. Di2 is a good example. If they would just make a triple I would probably move that direction (especially when it goes to 11 speed). They do not offer what I like so so I stick with what works for me no matter how "sexy" Di2 is.

    I look forward to pedal power meters that will work with SPD pedals. Oh I am dreaming again - we all know all serious riders use Look or Speedplay!

    Have fun on the bike you like.

    Wayne

  24. #24
    Member tstansbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    My Bikes
    Seven Ti Tandem
    Posts
    35
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To the poster who sent me a private note... thank you for the info. For some reason, BF prevented me as a newbie from responding to you privately. Rookie limitation, I guess.

    As for the questions from mtnbke about our test riding, we drove a Seven ti and a Calfee CF, back-to-back, multiple times, over two weekends. As mentioned previously, we found the Seven we tested to be just a hair smoother on the road, a hair stiffer laterally, and a hair more directionally stable, than the Calfee CF we tested. Just our experience with those two specific, off-the-rack bikes.

    Appreciate everyone's input on building out the new bike.

  25. #25
    Oldie, just not here! Onegun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Shady Hills, Fl.
    My Bikes
    2005 Trek T2000 tandem, 2003 Burly Tosa Tandem, 6 singles including 2 fixies
    Posts
    980
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
    My point about the 7s is that if they can't build bikes that aren't all noodly for strong 185 to 215 pound cyclists who put out high wattage, how the heck is a 7 tandem going to withstand to bowing forces and dual wattage. Stiffness is critical to a tandem being efficient. I would just ALWAYS go with a builder that specializes in tandems, period.
    Well, let's see. We have heard from a couple of Seven tandem owners here and I personally know a couple more, and they are all delighted with their bikes. You, apparently, know of one or more Seven single riders who are not happy with their bikes. So perhaps we should consider Seven a quality tandem specialty builder who also dabbles in singles!

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
    Also, while the OP mentioned taking lots of test rides, he never said he actually test rode a titanium 7 .... However, to be fair I completely hadn't even noticed that he mentioned riding any tandems at all before deciding.
    Then you apparently not only missed paragraph 7 completely, you also missed the first sentence under his "Forks" paragraph where he said, "The Seven we test-drove had a Wound Up tandem duo disc fork."

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
    One thing that cracks me up is that people consider calipers or V-Brakes, but never cantilevers.
    As has been discussed here many times, one of the major reasons is that the stokers heel often touches the canti arms due to the (invariably) smaller rear frame sections of many tandems. The arms also tend to catch on other things. I personally went from cantis to V brakes to a caliper on the front because the brake/pad/rim combo I wanted to use could not be stopped from squealing.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
    For a traveling tandem, I still would go 8 speed, but I'd probably mount downtube shifters on Retroshifts, Kelly Take-Offs, or Budd mounts. I could always flip 'em to friction and I would never have to worry about a brifter problem.
    Most serious touring/randonneuring cyclists use bar end shifters to alleviate having to take your hands off the bars to shift. Since they are as simple and reliable as downtube shifters, they are a good choice for those whose riding will take them away from civilization.
    BICYCLE - [bahy-si-kuhl] - Noun :> A medical device used to correct the common geriatric condition of OFS, (Old, Fat & Slow), in a manner that does not induce brain-decaying boredom like walking or running.

    2005 Trek T2000 Tandem, 2003 Burley Tosa Tandem, Pacific Dualie beater tandem, and 6 singles including 2 fixies.

    TampaBayCycling.com - A LOCAL Cycling Forum
    The Florida Panthers Tandem Club

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

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