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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 05-28-12, 12:20 PM   #1
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Bar Buzz: Any Suggestions for "Suspension Fork" on Road Tandem?

Hi There, and thanks for your time in advance!

I'm getting unbearable Bar Buzz/Vibration on rides and am considering a suspension fork to dampen the buzz. My gloves and bar tape have the maximum gel padding, have and considered Bontrager Buzz Kill inserts, Fi'zi:k Gel, foam insertion.

Any ideas on a suspension fork that has little travel but good dampening quality/adjustment?
Pannier brazons/eyelets would be a plus!

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Old 05-28-12, 01:03 PM   #2
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You don't tell us anything about your bike, except that you are thinking of panniers (touring?). Suspension seems a bit of overkill on a road bike, just to reduce buzz. Wider tires would be the most cost-effective way. Also, interposing more carbon and less aluminum between your hands and the road. Carbon components are more expensive, but are a general upgrade that also mitigates road buzz.
  • Wider tires
  • Carbon fork
  • Carbon stem
  • Carbon bars
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Old 05-28-12, 05:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by drmcgarry View Post
I'm getting unbearable Bar Buz/Vibration on rides and am considering a suspension fork to dampen the buzz.
How'z about we start with a few questions.

What brand/model tandem are you riding (assuming it's an older model based on 1st post where you mention 7 speed), what size wheels, what brand/model/size tires at what tire pressure and how old are they?

When you say bar buzz / vibration, are you also getting numb hands or is just an annoying vibration. Are you also getting a "buzz" through the saddle and does your stoker also experience any "bar buzz"?
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Old 05-28-12, 08:58 PM   #4
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A bit more info on your tandem and riding style/conditions would help.
Do you have your bars too low and consequently to much pressure on hands?
Have tested some of those 'magical' gel things under the bartape, and found them to be wanting greatly.
Agree with Ritterview that a wider tire would help; and a full carbon fiber fork would greatly reduce vibration and even lighten up your bike.
A suspension fork is heavy and will suck up some shock. Have you priced a tandem-rated $uspenSion fork lately?
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 05-29-12, 06:20 AM   #5
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Inflatable tires are the best insulator for both bumps and road buzz. Wider tires are better because you can run lower air pressure to absorb vibrations. Avoid tires with stiff side walls and heavy tread. Those tires are good at preventing flats but transmit a lot of vibration. It is difficult to find high quality wide tires that are flexible but they are the most comfortable.

We ride a lot of chip seal, and washboard roads as well as roads that have pot hole patches patching more patches. We started on narrow high pressure tires and have migrated to wider lower pressure high quality tires.

Another thing to think about is how much weight you have on your hands. Road vibration is more manageable if your bike fit allows you to ride with a light touch on the handlebars and little weight supported by your hands and wrists.
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Old 05-29-12, 08:45 AM   #6
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CF handlebars definitely helped a bit. I went from 25mm to 28mm on my single and noticed an improvement. Even with the best setup certain road surfaces will cause some buzz on both our tandem and my single. Biggest remediation technique is to stay light on the handlebars.
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Old 05-29-12, 08:59 AM   #7
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:^) Fatter Tires. :^)
The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley
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Old 05-29-12, 09:31 AM   #8
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If you have a steel fork, a carbon fork will help.

Also, proper position should put minimal weight on your hands.

The only time I wear gloves is when it's cold or it is really humid.
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Old 05-29-12, 12:26 PM   #9
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Your front wheel bearings/races maybe causing the problem
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Old 05-29-12, 04:54 PM   #10
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Our Bike Friday came equipped with a Pantour Suspension Hub. Small wheels with narrow high pressure tires can be a bit jarring so our sales rep recommended the Pantour. I have been very impressed with it. When you put the wheel on the bike--like after unloading from your bike rack for instance--you line up the hub a certain way in the dropouts and you have a hub suspended on an internal elastomer. Be careful to adjust the brakes as when centered on the rim in the conventional manner they will shift toward the tire when the bike is loaded. Sounds complicated, but really is a snap. The hub is not like a mt. bike hub with lots of travel, but just a few cm of travel takes out a lot of the sting of a bad road. The sealed bearings are first rate and the hub spins freely.
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