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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 03-01-12, 10:04 AM   #1
mkane77g
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Lightweight Tire Selection

Finally got the best of us. Were looking for suggestions. 700x28. Been running Michelin Pro Race since they came out. Road conditions have finally got the best of us. Been on the tandem since 1990 and experienced what all tandem owners fear the most. Rear tire failure (large cut/brand new tire) @ 50mph in a sweeping turn. Big crash, many injuries.
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Old 03-01-12, 10:26 AM   #2
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The best advice I have seen on tandem lightweights is here: http://www.precisiontandems.com/arttiresbymark.htm We are currently using GP4X with good results, but the previous ultra gatorskins worked well for us also.
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Old 03-01-12, 10:54 AM   #3
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Finally got the best of us. Were looking for suggestions. 700x28.

Been running Michelin Pro Race since they came out. Road conditions have finally got the best of us.

Been on the tandem since 1990 and experienced what all tandem owners fear the most. Rear tire failure (large cut/brand new tire) @ 50mph in a sweeping turn. Big crash, many injuries.
Michelin Pro Race aren't available in 28 mm, 25 mm is the largest. Was the tire that failed a 25 mm ProRace3?

If you are to mention an equipment failure resulting in a crash, I think that a more detailed report would be much appreciated.
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Old 03-01-12, 11:42 AM   #4
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Best wishes for a speedy recovery for you and your stoker.

Interesting link. We've been using Conti GP 4 Seasons in 28mm (330 lb team/estimate). We've had few flats in the 8000 miles on the bike. I suspect the rear tire is good for 1500 miles or so, but I confess to not keeping track and may be more than 1500 miles. About 2000 miles ago we lowered pressure to 105psi/front and 110 psi/rear which improved the rear tire wear and has produced no negative effects. Our roads are not the best (whose are?) and I'm sure this contributes to less than stellar tire wear.

I've used the Ultra GatorSkin on a single, but hard to make a cross-over comparison. Rubber is getting expensive so I may look at a savings in the tire area especially as we ride more. Speed isn't important to us, but ride quality certainly is so I'll have to factor that in. We also have the option of going to wider tires; might be an interesting experiment.
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Old 03-01-12, 11:55 AM   #5
mkane77g
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We have been using Michelin Pro Race3 in 25mm. Looking for a 28mm tire. I would not call it equipment failure. A large slash in the tire resulting in a blow out in a high speed downhill rt. hand turn. Results are not pretty. Recovery will take months.
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Old 03-01-12, 01:21 PM   #6
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+1 on the Conti GP 4 Season. We are a 350 lb team and have had good luck with these tires. The only issue was a brand new tire rolling off the rim. It turned out to be a tire bead defect and Conti replaced it free of charge.

Previous to the 4 Season we used Conti Ultra Gatorskins. This is a good durable tire but we had repeated issues with the sidewall threads coming off the tire. I ride the Gatorskins on my single and have not had the same issues. I believe the thread issue was caused by a combination of sidewall flex from the extra loads on the tandem as compared to a single, and the sharp edge on the rims of our Rolf Prima wheels. We are now doing most of our riding on Velocity Deep V's and I have noticed the edge is not as sharp as on the Rolf but I like the 4 Seasons and will continue to use them.
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Old 03-01-12, 01:41 PM   #7
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+2 for Conti GP 4 Seasons from this sub-300 pound team.

A good balance of performance and durability, IMHO.
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Old 03-01-12, 02:18 PM   #8
Dean V
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Sorry to hear about the crash. But if something cut through the tyre like that isn't it likely to of happened to any reasonably lightweight tyre?
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Old 03-01-12, 02:34 PM   #9
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We have been running 28mm ultra gatorskins on dyads for about 1200 miles and the wear is reasonable...will probably rotate tires soon. These tires seem to hold up pretty well to pot holes, etc. I have been very happy with them.
Bent, What kind of pressure are you running? Could you be low and getting excessive sidewall flex? We run 120 psi front and back. we weigh 180 up front and 135 on back. bike weighs 38#.
If you are in the market for gatorskins, be sure to check out Mel's site (tandemseast.com); he is offering a pair of gatorskins in 25 or 28 for $75. This is a deal!
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Old 03-01-12, 03:39 PM   #10
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tires

We use Gran Bois 30 mm tires on the tandem. We are about 280 pounds, and the ride is exceptional. Very light and very smooth tires, but not so good for loaded touring. On our single bikes, we run 26 mm Gran Bois tires. Again, never ridden anything so comfortable. Good luck with recovery.
Joe
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Old 03-01-12, 04:09 PM   #11
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Been successfully using Maxxis Re-Fuse 700x25 folding tires (275 grams/120 PSI) on our tandem and single.
In 5,600 of miles of riding in 2011 got exactly ONE puncture.
Tires last a bit over 2,000 miles on rear of tandem and usually wear out before puncturing.
We ride mainly in the desert in AZ and also several months in northern Utah.
Roads are not the best, lotsa detritus!
Currently trying a Panaracer Pasela TG (210 gr/115PSI) on rear of tandem. Several hundred miles so far, no punctures.
However had to lower PSI from 115 to 110 as the ride proved to be harsher for stoker than on the Maxxis'.

Both brands are folding bead with Aramid (Kevlar) puncture resistant layer in tire.
The Pasela TG is available in 28mm with steel bead only.

Crashing is never fun; been there, done that.
Get well soon!

Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 03-01-12, 05:01 PM   #12
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We use Schwalbe Ultremo ZX tires in the 700 X 25 size and buy them here: http://www.worldclasscycles.com/clincher_tires_only.htm

I see that he offers the ZX in the 700 X 28 size.

I have over 1800 miles on the set we have on the tandem now, the front looks like it will go another 1800 miles, i am hoping to get 2500 total miles on the rear.

Wayne
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Old 03-01-12, 05:11 PM   #13
Bent In El Paso
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Bent, What kind of pressure are you running? Could you be low and getting excessive sidewall flex? We run 120 psi front and back. we weigh 180 up front and 135 on back. bike weighs 38#.
We run at 120 psi front and back too. I really think it has something to do with the sharp edge on the Rolf Prima wheels. The Velocity Deep Vs seem much less sharp. I think the sharp edges cut into the threads allowing them to begin unraveling. (Only my opinion/guess) I end up with threads wrapped around the stays, spokes, hubs, and cassette. Eventually I get a spot where the tire starts to bulge.

While I have had the occasional thread come off the tires on my single, it has never been bad enough that I worry about the integrity of the tire while riding. I know others are riding with these same tires on their tandems without problems. I would try them again, but I have been pleasantly surprised with the GP 4 Seasons.
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Old 03-01-12, 05:12 PM   #14
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We have been using Michelin Pro Race3 in 25mm. Looking for a 28mm tire. I would not call it equipment failure. A large slash in the tire resulting in a blow out in a high speed downhill rt. hand turn.
By equipment failure, I mean the large slash in the tire sidewall resulting in the blow out.

It is my impression from use of Pro Race tires, as well as what is reported on message boards, that the Pro Race tires are prone to cuts, are particularly weak on the sidewall, and yours is not the first relatively new Pro Race to have a sidewall blow out.

As you recover, you may want that tire investigated as to the source of the failure.
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Old 03-01-12, 06:07 PM   #15
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Not a sidewall blowout. Middle of the tread. Destroyed rear rim, ground through both sets of carbon bars after first grinding through 3 of my fingers, trashed rear der., rt brifter gone, ground through capt. ti speedplay, half the platform gone along with spindle. Haven't done a real inspection yet. Bikes shoved into the corner. Major rt. side damage to both capt & stoker. We will get through this. Lucky the tire didn't come off and wrap itself around the seat stays.
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Old 03-01-12, 07:12 PM   #16
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Bontrager Race Lite - Hard Case 28c

Reasonably light, tough as nails, nuff said.
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Old 03-01-12, 08:07 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mkane77g View Post
Not a sidewall blowout. Middle of the tread. Destroyed rear rim, ground through both sets of carbon bars after first grinding through 3 of my fingers, trashed rear der., rt brifter gone, ground through capt. ti speedplay, half the platform gone along with spindle. Haven't done a real inspection yet. Bikes shoved into the corner. Major rt. side damage to both capt & stoker. We will get through this. Lucky the tire didn't come off and wrap itself around the seat stays.
I hope your recovery goes well.
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Old 03-01-12, 08:12 PM   #18
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Not a sidewall blowout. Middle of the tread. Destroyed rear rim.
I had a middle of the tread blowout as well, as we were traversing an intersection at 20 mph. Was lucky to keep control. These was not a lightweight tire, however, but a 304 gram 25 mm Specialized Roubaix. Roughly the equivalent of a Continental GP 4-Seasons.

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Old 03-01-12, 09:26 PM   #19
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I usually toss our ProRace tires due to cuts. For our dirty spring roads we'll be trying Conti GP 4season (28mm 260g folding $52 OutsideOutfitters/TreeFort) and Conti Gatorskin (32mm 380g wire $34 outsideOutfitters/TreeFort).

I hope you and your stokers recoveries go well.
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Old 03-01-12, 09:44 PM   #20
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Wow - this thread is scary.

About 4 years ago, we had a 28mm gatorskin with about 700 miles fail while sitting in our garage. The front tire split at the sidewall, immediately adjacent to the wire bead. This happened about 6 hrs after a sub-5 hr century that included 4000' of climbing and a 55+mph descent. The tire had been pumped to 115psi, and there were no signs of any other damage to the sidewall except for the split. Had we been riding when this happened, the tire likely would've been shredded, and it might have appeared that we hit something causing the sidewall failure.

I contacted Conti USA and they told us the following may have been contributing factors: the tires were actually 3+ years old (although we had purchased the tires about 6 months prior) and the wire bead tires had been folded/coiled by the retailer (this is NOT recommended by Conti) possibly stressing the bead. The tandem we had at the time only had rim brakes, and i also wondered if the sidewall/bead material had somehow been weakened by rim heat.

In any event, we wish the Mkane77g team a speedy and complete recovery!

Last edited by coloroadie; 03-03-12 at 04:16 PM. Reason: to correct details
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Old 03-01-12, 10:31 PM   #21
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I usually toss our ProRace tires due to cuts. For our dirty spring roads we'll be trying Conti GP 4season (28mm 260g folding $52 OutsideOutfitters/TreeFort) and Conti Gatorskin (32mm 380g wire $34 outsideOutfitters/TreeFort).

I hope you and your stokers recoveries go well.
I couldn't find the $52 on the 28mm Conti GP 4 seasons size, but ordered four tires and tubes from Wiggle for a total of $181. Unless I've completely misunderstood the price as a pair price that's an unbelievable value.
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Old 03-01-12, 11:03 PM   #22
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Thanks for the get wells. Ultimately fingers 3/4/5 will be fused on my right hand. Knuckles were ground down to nothing and lot's of bone loss, so fusion was the best option. Approx 60 stitches were removed this week. Got to work on grip strength. 15 stitches in rt. arm also. Wifes doing well also. Couple of broken bones in her rt. shoulder which is keeping her from swimming, something she's done 5 times a week her whole life. Roadrash just about healed. Were comming along just fine.
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Old 03-02-12, 06:52 AM   #23
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Hopefully this is an appropriate question but I was wondering about the cost for repairing the bike? Will your home owners insurance cover it? I just had a conversation about that subject with my agent and the bike is covered but my home owners deductible of $500 applies. I could have them write a schedule on the policy and reduce the deductible down to $50.

Will your stoker ride with you again once you are both recovered.

So sorry to hear about the accident and pray that you both recover physically and emotionally.

Wayne
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Old 03-02-12, 08:12 AM   #24
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Wow, glad you are both recovering. Hope you're able to get back on the bike again soon.
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Old 03-02-12, 09:11 AM   #25
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Not a sidewall blowout. Middle of the tread.
We had similar experience with a couple of older Bontrager tires over a decade ago. (This tire is no longer made and Bontrager has switched manufacturer's since then).

Bike didn't go down in either blowout, but after the second we switched to the Conti's and haven't looked back.

What pressure were you running, what wheels were you using, and what is your team weight?
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