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

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Old 02-03-12, 09:26 AM   #1
PMK
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There are some tricked out rides here...

I know there are some very sweet and special tandems posted in various places along this forum.

I'm just curious, and this is often difficult to see in the photos, but are these bikes also given a factory works bike treatment of titanium and aluminum fasteners? Or are most of you running the oem Shimano, SRAM, or Campy hardware.

What about the other chassis fasteners. Seat Clamps, Bottle Cage, saddle to seatpost, stem etc hardware.

Are the dollars flowing and Ti holding?

FWIW, not picking on anyone for this, more curious than anything else.

PK
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Old 02-03-12, 10:26 AM   #2
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Our Cannondale RT2 is essentially OEM, except for the Specialized seats and Continental GP4Seasons tires.
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Old 02-03-12, 11:52 AM   #3
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We designed our full carbon Zona tandem and nitpicked everything including c/f lugs with retro window cutouts, round c/f handrests, c/f adjustable stoker stem with integral mount for her bottle cage and yes, even a c/f rear rack.
Ti tidbits like rear dropouts and even ti bottle cage bolts.
Get what you want and/or can afford and then ride the hell out of it!
Our Zona has over 33,000 miles on it and still worth every $ we spent!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 02-03-12, 05:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post

We designed our full carbon Zona tandem and nitpicked everything including c/f lugs with retro window cutouts, round c/f handrests, c/f adjustable stoker stem with integral mount for her bottle cage and yes, even a c/f rear rack.
Ti tidbits like rear dropouts and even ti bottle cage bolts.
Get what you want and/or can afford and then ride the hell out of it!
Our Zona has over 33,000 miles on it and still worth every $ we spent!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
Just curious as to why you used an adjustable length stoker stem? I am sure Kay knows where she wants the handlebars by now.
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Old 02-04-12, 12:53 AM   #5
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Well, when I started with my tandem in 2009, I was given a spreadsheet by Calfee of every component they typically used.

My build used hardly a single component on that spreadsheet, nor many of their recommendations.

But now, when I see Calfee's new tandems, my build is very similar.

So, our tandem started tricked out, but now it is just de rigueur.
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Old 02-04-12, 12:12 PM   #6
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Well, when I started with my tandem in 2009, I was given a spreadsheet by Calfee of every component they typically used.

My build used hardly a single component on that spreadsheet, nor many of their recommendations.

But now, when I see Calfee's new tandems, my build is very similar.

So, our tandem started tricked out, but now it is just de rigueur.

Great excel file of your build. It would be interesting to compare it to my almost carbonless tandem build. If I can find the time I will do the comparison. A quick looks shows you have some parts much lighter and other maybe maybe slightly heavier.

What is the story behind the left shifter?
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Old 02-04-12, 12:15 PM   #7
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Well, when I started with my tandem in 2009, I was given a spreadsheet by Calfee of every component they typically used.

My build used hardly a single component on that spreadsheet, nor many of their recommendations.

But now, when I see Calfee's new tandems, my build is very similar.

So, our tandem started tricked out, but now it is just de rigueur.

Ritterview, this photo from another topic, posted by you got me thinking about this topic.




The two things I noticed and wondered about were why is the QR skewer left with excess length and from the photo it appeared the cable clamp bolt on the avid BB7r was plain steel. This just sort of surprised me considering the details many of these bikes see. Great bike and build, just curious why folks sometimes don't spend the few extra dollars to go way over the top with small details.

Please don't shred me for asking. It just seems that cool little trinkets like chainring bolts, cable stuff, perches for levers and other tid bits would give that small unnoticed feature to build a true works bike.

Again cool bike.

PK
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Old 02-04-12, 06:42 PM   #8
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The two things I noticed and wondered about were why is the QR skewer left with excess length and from the photo it appeared the cable clamp bolt on the avid BB7r was plain steel. This just sort of surprised me considering the details many of these bikes see. Great bike and build, just curious why folks sometimes don't spend the few extra dollars to go way over the top with small details.
You're right-- I am going to have to step up the game!

(I am just grateful that you spared me the mortification I'd have if you'd pointed out the glaring [literally] error of having silver granny chainring bolts poking through in a black spider!).
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Old 02-04-12, 08:01 PM   #9
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Dean V:
Kay prefers an adjustable stoker stem because through her 37 years as a stoker her body has changed/aged a bit.
She was 5' 1/2" tall when we started back in 1975; she is now 4' 10 3/4" in height.
She has added on a few years from age 40 to being 77 years old this year.
We do keep our tandems for a long time . . . 50,000+ miles.

Age/time has a habit of changing a few things; bit less flexibility, cancer, effects of meds, even a few aches and pains, etc.
Only once since 2003 when we got the Zona tandem did she ask for me to adjust reach to her bars; she's aslo changed saddles, some after thousands of miles, others after only a month or so of riding.
Our body tells us when something's not quite as we'd like, so the adjustability gives us a chance to compensate.
The bike's still great. The bodies . . . well, give yourself another 20 years of riding!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 02-05-12, 04:55 AM   #10
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You're right-- I am going to have to step up the game!

(I am just grateful that you spared me the mortification I'd have if you'd pointed out the glaring [literally] error of having silver granny chainring bolts poking through in a black spider!).
...And I thought those bolts WERE ti.
Seriously, the bike is killer, no doubt even better in person.

PK
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Old 02-06-12, 03:50 PM   #11
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I guess "tricked out" is a relative term...we sold our 20+ year old Burley a couple of years ago and found a '93 Santana Visa. I built a new set of Dyad/9 speed wheels, XTE v-brakes, cold-set rear dropout spacing (145) for 9 speed (w/ titanium 12-34 cassette). We're having fun with it.
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Old 02-06-12, 04:30 PM   #12
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I guess "tricked out" is a relative term...we sold our 20+ year old Burley a couple of years ago and found a '93 Santana Visa. I built a new set of Dyad/9 speed wheels, XTE v-brakes, cold-set rear dropout spacing (145) for 9 speed (w/ titanium 12-34 cassette). We're having fun with it.

Thats cool! I will probably take the same path with our T-200. Question: Did the 9 speed cassette not work in the 140mm spacing? It seems that if I want custom wheels I'll have to cold set the rear end cuz 140mm hubs are so hard (or expensive) to come by.
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Old 02-06-12, 06:21 PM   #13
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Our 2011 Calfee utilizes stock off the shelf components and weighs 27.4 pounds with 4 bottle cages and pedals.

We have a small/small Calfee Tetra frame (carbon fiber)
Carbon fiber Enve fork
Carbon Fiber Arundel bottle cages
Topolino Tandem wheels with Carbon fiber spokes and titanium Q/R
Zipp carbon fiber captain handlebars
Profile carbon fiber stoker bars
Thomson seat posts
Thomson front stem
Ritchey rear stem
Dura ace front and rear derailleurs
Dura ace front and rear caliper brakes
Ultegra 6703 brifters
New 2012 Ultegra Tandem cranks
Ultegra 11-28 cassette
Wipperman chains
Schwalbe ZX 25mm tires
Latex tubes
John Cobb captain saddle
Bontrager WSD RL ladies saddle for the stoker
Shimano SPD pedals for the stoker
Samson pedals for the captain, original design with titanium spindles

That pretty well covers it. The only addition I plan is to replace the timing chain with the new Gates CDX belt when it is available. The last I heard is that it will not be available until sometime near years end.

Wayne
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Old 02-06-12, 07:25 PM   #14
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When I ordered our Co-Mo Speedster at the end of 2004 - I worked with my local shop to get all the parts I wanted that weren't available from Co-Mo and got credit for parts that were shipped with the bike in exchange. We ordered almost everyone of their optional Wound Pp CF pieces and the Rolf wheels. I've made a few changes over time in terms of drivetrain - the biggest was going to a full Campy 10 instead of running my Ergo levers with a DaVinci modified Sram X-9 and adding the WoundUp CF disc fork and disc brake.
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Old 02-06-12, 10:26 PM   #15
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I suspect that many tandem teams feel that the issue is the experience and not the bike. Additionally a failed component is a bigger loss during a tandem ride. Those and the fact that weight is less an issue on a tandem then on a single make the weight wiennie/bling **** thing less of a tandem thing. The coolest teams I've seen show their stuff with their legs and smiles... Andy. (Who knows that this post will get nothing).
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Old 02-07-12, 06:32 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by DubT View Post
Our 2011 Calfee utilizes stock off the shelf components and weighs 27.4 pounds with 4 bottle cages and pedals.

We have a small/small Calfee Tetra frame (carbon fiber)
Carbon fiber Enve fork
Carbon Fiber Arundel bottle cages
Topolino Tandem wheels with Carbon fiber spokes and titanium Q/R
Zipp carbon fiber captain handlebars
Profile carbon fiber stoker bars
Thomson seat posts
Thomson front stem
Ritchey rear stem
Dura ace front and rear derailleurs
Dura ace front and rear caliper brakes
Ultegra 6703 brifters
New 2012 Ultegra Tandem cranks
Ultegra 11-28 cassette
Wipperman chains
Schwalbe ZX 25mm tires
Latex tubes
John Cobb captain saddle
Bontrager WSD RL ladies saddle for the stoker
Shimano SPD pedals for the stoker
Samson pedals for the captain, original design with titanium spindles

That pretty well covers it. The only addition I plan is to replace the timing chain with the new Gates CDX belt when it is available. The last I heard is that it will not be available until sometime near years end.

Wayne
Yes a trick ride...but did you take it to the limit and go with exotic fasteners? That was my main focus of starting this topic. I doubt the cost of the fasteners is a hold back in the case of this bike. The reduction of weight is small, but the ability to "finish" the bike has potential.

PK
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Old 02-07-12, 06:32 AM   #17
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When I ordered our Co-Mo Speedster at the end of 2004 - I worked with my local shop to get all the parts I wanted that weren't available from Co-Mo and got credit for parts that were shipped with the bike in exchange. We ordered almost everyone of their optional Wound Pp CF pieces and the Rolf wheels. I've made a few changes over time in terms of drivetrain - the biggest was going to a full Campy 10 instead of running my Ergo levers with a DaVinci modified Sram X-9 and adding the WoundUp CF disc fork and disc brake.
Same here...

Yes a trick ride...but did you take it to the limit and go with exotic fasteners? That was my main focus of starting this topic. I doubt the cost of the fasteners is a hold back in the case of this bike. The reduction of weight is small, but the ability to "finish" the bike has potential.

PK
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Old 02-07-12, 06:46 AM   #18
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I suspect that many tandem teams feel that the issue is the experience and not the bike. Additionally a failed component is a bigger loss during a tandem ride. Those and the fact that weight is less an issue on a tandem then on a single make the weight wiennie/bling **** thing less of a tandem thing. The coolest teams I've seen show their stuff with their legs and smiles... Andy. (Who knows that this post will get nothing).
I don't disagree with this. Typically though quality titanium fasteners are not a common failure. Rest assured we smile and pedal, most times enjoying every pedal stroke. For us, titanium fasteners are used so they don't corrode and look like a Huffy.

Some of the bikes discussed here are about as close to factory "works" bikes as a tandem will be. Those from the moto side know when they see a factory bike, much of it is handmade, they also don't assemble it with steel fasteners.

Just because the bike is light, doesn't mean it will fail or can't be ridden hard. Because the bike is pretty doesn't mean it's a quality build. The ones here I mention are pretty and quality, just how deep does that definition of trick run...

Yes I am taunting these teams a bit, not being mean or condemning them. These are very nice EXPENSIVE and nice bikes.

Maybe the owners will spend their tax returns on titanium fasteners...

PK
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Old 02-07-12, 11:25 AM   #19
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We have a few Ti fasteners on our 35+ lb bike but I have also found that Stainless steel does not corrode. It is at least as shinny as Ti as well (if that is bling). A big problem is that some "quality" stem manufacturers insist on using non stainless steel fasteners on stems which are directly in the line of falling salty sweat. Seems strange to pay top dollar for a stem or FD and have it attached with a corroded fastener.

In fairness I have found that stainless steel is not rated as strong as regular steel and that may be part of the reason for its use. Stainless is still stronger than Ti in the same configuration.

What is a complete Ti kit on a tandem going to save in weight?

Wayne
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Old 02-07-12, 11:31 AM   #20
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Yes a trick ride...but did you take it to the limit and go with exotic fasteners? That was my main focus of starting this topic. I doubt the cost of the fasteners is a hold back in the case of this bike. The reduction of weight is small, but the ability to "finish" the bike has potential.

PK
So what fasteners would you change and what would be the weight savings?
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Old 02-07-12, 11:35 AM   #21
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I suspect that many tandem teams feel that the issue is the experience and not the bike. Additionally a failed component is a bigger loss during a tandem ride. Those and the fact that weight is less an issue on a tandem then on a single make the weight wiennie/bling **** thing less of a tandem thing. The coolest teams I've seen show their stuff with their legs and smiles... Andy. (Who knows that this post will get nothing).
Andrew, have you ever ridden a 27 pound Tandem? We went from an older steel Santana Visa to our new Calfee Tetra and the ride, acceleration and ability to get it up hills is DRAMATICALLY improved.

Try one and you will see what I mean.

Wayne
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Old 02-07-12, 01:40 PM   #22
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Same here...

Yes a trick ride...but did you take it to the limit and go with exotic fasteners? That was my main focus of starting this topic. I doubt the cost of the fasteners is a hold back in the case of this bike. The reduction of weight is small, but the ability to "finish" the bike has potential.

PK
Nope - not worth the time or effort to source and install for me. Although I remember a time when we started drilling holes in everything to lighten the parts back some 35+ years ago
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Old 02-07-12, 02:11 PM   #23
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While I don't try to build the lightest bike, I have sometimes find my time spent designing the bike and selecting components has become a hobby in its own right. This seems prevalent among those trying to shave every last gram from their bike. Not a bad hobby but really different than riding.

Wayne
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Old 02-07-12, 02:46 PM   #24
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MYMOJO....i sent you a private reply. check your notifications
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Old 02-07-12, 03:40 PM   #25
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I suspect that many tandem teams feel that the issue is the experience and not the bike.
The bike doesn't matter? I dunno, I have a 45 lb. 1991 Burley Rock 'N Roll as well as my tricked out 25 lb. Calfee, and our experience is notably different on the two bikes. If considering riding a hilly century, or a fast group ride with singles, I'd have apprehension doing so on the Burley, but eager anticipation with the Calfee.

The two bikes differ in each component, but for each it is argued that the component makes no difference. Steel frame versus carbon? "Steel is real." Aluminum bars vs. carbon "Can't feel the difference". Robust (heavy) 26" wheels with 1.25" road tires vs. 700 cm carbon rims with 25 mm GP2000's? "Go fast wheels are only for races." To the naysayers, no component matters, or the difference is trivial, but when put all together the difference is profound.


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Additionally a failed component is a bigger loss during a tandem ride.
Verily, as calling your wife will do little good. If she is your stoker, she is the partner in your distress. If she is at home, she will ask just who is this new stoker ?. Either way, you're still stuck.

But in saying this you do not prove that heavier components are more reliable. Neither do you assert this, but rather insinuate. If you think lightweight components are not reliable, then which ones? I have a spreadsheet attached to a post above, which component is fraught with peril?

Lighter components are also higher end, and often have use in bicycle racing. A failed component in a bike race is a great loss indeed, a dropped chain arguably cost Andy Schleck the Tour de France. The wattage and intensity of say, a bicycle sprint, is much greater than a recreational tandem ride. So, if I am looking for reliable components, I can argue that those proven in bicycle racing is a more valid criterion than that it is heavy.


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Those and the fact that weight is less an issue on a tandem then on a single make the weight wiennie/bling **** thing less of a tandem thing.
Gravity is remorseless, and cares not whether mass is on a single or tandem. Why is weight less an issue on a tandem? In comparison to singles, tandems typically, with a female stoker already have additional mass with a lesser power/mass ratio than does a single male rider. Acceleration and climbing are therefore relative weaknesses. Reducing the mass of the tandem helps to overcome that weakness. One or two pounds aren't noticeable, correct, but with extra weight or miles it eventually is noticeable. If you are on a hilly century, you don't want to be dragging any more weight than necessary.

Another benefit of a light tandem is that it is easier to maneuver off the bike. Putting into/onto the car, or parking at a rest stop or at home, etc. is a breeze not a chore. The stoker can much better handle it. The lightweight Gates belt makes it cleaner, too. I look at my heavy and oily Burley much differently than my light and clean Calfee. The former is moored in the garage, the latter brought inside. This may seem trivial, but one's experience with a tandem is not exclusively riding.


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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
The coolest teams I've seen show their stuff with their legs and smiles....
Okay. Yay, legs and smiles! Tandems generally elicit a positive response from those with which you interact while cycling. Other cyclists, non-cycling onlookers, etc. But, though our smiles and legs be the same, I find there is a difference with my Burley and my tricked out Calfee. A huge difference. We will get a smile or wave on our Burley, and an oh-look-a-tandem, sure enough. But with our charismatic Calfee it is a different thing altogether. I do not know if a tandem team of Bradd Pitt and Angelia Jolie would attract more attention. People are drawn to it, and behold it with a wild surmise. They hadn't imagined a tandem could be so...racy? They gush, and then pepper me with questions. I'll get "That is the nicest bike I've ever seen!" repeatedly. It really is something.
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