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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 06-06-12, 06:35 PM   #1
Tandem Tom
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A few post Tour questions

We just arrived back home a few hours ago from a trip around Lake Erie and I have a few questions.

First-Flats!! We had 4 of them. All rear wheel. When I examined the tube the punctures looked like a snake bit. The tires were,I will explain shortly. 28MM GatorSkins. We had rear panniers and a BOB trailer. The tires were missed during my pre-tour inspection!! But I did wax the frame!!!!
The last flat was right when we stopped for breakfast and we were only 3/4 miles from a bike shop. So I bought new 28mm GatorSkins and we rode the last 60 miles home with no flats!
So my question is what might have caused these flats as I could find no violation of the tire in the location of the puncture? So am I asking a 28mm tire to do too much?
The next question is about our Garmin 800. I have it mounted on the Stoker's handlebar and my Butt seems to get in the way of my wife's being able to see it at times!! And I have lost weight! My question is is there some type of extender that we could use to move it away from my butt?
Thanks!
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Old 06-06-12, 07:19 PM   #2
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What was you total weight on the road? What was the rear tire pressure? Unless you greatly outweigh you stoker, your rig is riding high % of the weight on the rear tire. You are probably expecting a lot from a 28mm tire, especially if it's under inflated. Keep in mind with a touring load and rear weight bias, you may need to inflate the rear tire well above the recommend range listed for the tire. I'd strongly consider a larger tire for greater safety margin.

This summer we are heading out on a ten day tour of Michigan's UP with 35 mm Schwalbe Supremes. This is the largest size tire that will fit on the Speedster otherwise I'd have gone larger. Our total weight on the road (captain, stoker, bike, load) is around 390 lbs. I plan to run 90-95 psi front and 100 psi rear. But we are using front and rear panniers, with the heaviest loaded panniers in the front. So our weight load back/front is probably much more even, probably 60:40.
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Old 06-06-12, 07:53 PM   #3
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I will have to weigh everything out. That will happen tomorrow. As for the PSI I have been keeping them @ 110-115. At this point I do not have front panniers only the rack. The panniers are the next purchase to spread the load out.I like the idea of considering a wider tire and may do that for touring time.
Is this the tire? http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...1&category=625
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Old 06-06-12, 09:36 PM   #4
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Is this the tire?
Yes, that's the tire. But we haven't toured with the Supremes yet. We have about two months of training rides and one fully loaded shakedown ride on them. They ride and handle much nicer than the Marathons we used on our C&O/GAP tour. The Marathons are a thick, treaded tire, very durable with a beefy sidewall. Necessary for the crushed limestone, dirt, mud, sticks, etc on the C&O. But the Marathons ride rough, even fully loaded. And are very heavy and handle poorly for fast unloaded rides. I'm hoping the Supremes are a good compromise between the Gatorskins that we ride unloaded and the Marathons. I'll post back after the tour and let you know whether we still like the Supremes for touring.

We've debated a north coast tour. Did you enjoy your tour of the lake? Do you have a blog or journal posted?
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Old 06-06-12, 10:25 PM   #5
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There are several auxilliary light/garmin mounts that would work equally well on stoker's bars (in the reverse direction. Bdop, FSA (I think) both have something. Any large cycle shop should have something. I have the Bar Fly on both on my bikes. This is an expensive unit, but is specific to the Garmin 500/800 and makes it much easier to use the touchscreen. The other type of mounts depend on the Garmin O-ring mount and tend ot move around when the unit is touched.
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Old 06-06-12, 11:31 PM   #6
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We've toured with 28c @ 120 lbs., 305 lb. team, 40 lbs. total load, mostly in rear panniers. No tire problems, well no problems of any sort, and over some pretty bad pavement and poor gravel/dirt. Vittoria Rubino Pro Tech. We have the Bar Fly on Stoker's bars. It's the Only Thing.
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Old 06-07-12, 03:10 AM   #7
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A few post Tour questions

We had the same problem with my butt and my wife's Garmin, so we took it off her handlebars and installed it to her top tube. It fixed the problem without buying anything.
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Old 06-07-12, 06:12 AM   #8
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I thought about installing it on the top tube but she has a stoker bag there and she said it would be harder to see. I guess our eyesight is not as good as it use to be!
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Old 06-07-12, 06:17 AM   #9
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CG,
We really enoyed the ride around the Lake. The Ontario side was quite nice with the small towns and farms. The coast up there is,I think, more interesting than Ohio. We did ride up to Niagara on the Lake and then back down to Fort Erie before heading west. The biggest challenge was the wind. I bet we battled "flag snapping" type wind for 400+ miles. It really tired us out. I have not done a journal. I am thinking about trying an after trip journal on Crazy Guy.
We ar also planning a trip in August over the UP. We plan to start in Minneapolis and follow the ACA North Lake Route. What is your trip consisting of?
Tom
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Old 06-07-12, 08:49 AM   #10
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Tandem Tom,

Nobody has asked the obvious, What type of wax did you use?
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Old 06-07-12, 08:55 AM   #11
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How about clip the Garmin to your jersey pocket?
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Old 06-07-12, 09:57 AM   #12
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We just finished a 700-mile tour from San Francisco to the Mexican border with NO flats. 300 lb team, plus 40 lbs of luggage (two large rear panniers, rack, and rear trunk bag). We used the Panasonic Panaracer RIBMO 28mm tires inflated to 115-ish. These tires are hard to mount and get the bead set without blowing the tire off the rim when you inflate, but once they are on, they are rock solid nice handling and appear to be flat-proof. We've used them over 8000 miles (4 sets) with no flats in 13 months. We don't skimp on tires, as far as wear is concerned, when we are leaving town. We always put on a new set a few days before the trip/tour and ride them a couple of days and start the tour with new tires. The only negative thing I could say about them is if by some chance you do get a flat on the road it might be very hard to remount the tire and get the bead set and inflate without having the problem that we've had right here in our own garage. That would be a real pain. I think if we ever tour with them again we'll take a spare tire that's easier to mount as an emergency backup, but so far we are spoiled with no flats on these tires.
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Old 06-07-12, 10:25 AM   #13
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Snake bite flats are always pinch flats, so the main variables are the inflation pressure and how sharp an object you run over. We've had maybe one pinch with 28mm gatorskins at 120psi (our team weight makes up for the lack of a touring load). On the other hand I got one last week on my 23mm equiped single at 120 psi when I hit a very sharp rock - that hasn't happened before.

Maybe your new tires were a little less flexible, maybe the shop pump put a little more air in the tire, maybe you were lucky enough to avoid anything sharp.
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Old 06-09-12, 04:37 AM   #14
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We just _removed_ a set of 700 x 28 Schwalbe Marathon Supremes because, to us, they feel very slow. Feel like we're always riding through mud. Don't think I've ever felt such a clear case of high rolling resistance. They had replaced Panaracer Paselas (same size, wire bead- not the TG folding version) which we liked, but we got pulled in by the Supreme's description. Replaced the Supremes with Continental Grand Prix 4 Season, and breathing a sigh of relief on the rolling resistance front. So I can highly recommend the Panaracers, and they are available in bigger sizes which you may need, and I can recommend the GP 4 Seasons. For reference: team weight 310 lb (yay! new low!), 40 lb bike, day rides normally not loaded, 120 psi front and rear.
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Old 06-09-12, 08:44 AM   #15
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We run Continental Grand Prix 4Season 28s at 120psi. Bike+riders weighs 500. We wear them down (rears last 800 before they're squared off) but don't snake bite them.
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Old 06-09-12, 10:32 AM   #16
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I am considering the Continental GatorSkins in a 35 mm. Since I have the 28mm now and like them, though we have only had are tandem about 10 months. I will also explore the Grand Prix.
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Old 06-11-12, 06:20 AM   #17
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We went switched to 32mm Gatorskins this year, no complaints after a couple hundreds miles.
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Old 06-11-12, 10:20 AM   #18
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Depending on weight, it may be too much for a 28mm tire. The thinner a tire becomes from wear the more likely a flat. Replacing tires before totally worn out does reduce the number of flats. We rode around Lake Michigan on 26 X 1.5 Schwalbe Marathon Racers with no flats. We carried a folding spare and replaced the rear tire after 1000 miles to decrease the chance of a flat. We are a 350 pound team with 25 pounds in the rear panniers. We have also ridden the 28 mm Gatorskins on our 700c tandem for 9 years and 36,000 miles with have very few flats. The Gatorskins seem to be a good tire.

It would be great to hear about your trip. Either on this forum or crazyguyonabike.com.
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Old 06-11-12, 03:13 PM   #19
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I hand wrote a journal,should have done a CGOAB one. Would this Tandem Forum be the approriate place?
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Old 09-11-12, 11:15 AM   #20
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re experience with 28mm tandem tires snake bites

I have to wonder sometimes if there is a hidden truth behind it, but seems everytime we pass a tandem team broke down on the roadside and repairing a tire or trying to hitch a ride to the "nearest bikestore" to buy a new tire, I see 700x28mm tires or what is left of same on their bike. I have started carrying a 700x35mm spare and a couple of tubes just for them... Myself, I can't image running 28's even on a single let alone a bagged touring tandem, but to each their own.

Last edited by ksisler; 09-11-12 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Comment tuned
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Old 09-13-12, 12:28 PM   #21
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I have to wonder sometimes if there is a hidden truth behind it, but seems everytime we pass a tandem team broke down on the roadside and repairing a tire or trying to hitch a ride to the "nearest bikestore" to buy a new tire, I see 700x28mm tires or what is left of same on their bike. I have started carrying a 700x35mm spare and a couple of tubes just for them... Myself, I can't image running 28's even on a single let alone a bagged touring tandem, but to each their own.
I had trouble with pinch flats on my single 700C 25mm tires as well. I finally changed with to a larger 35mm, same as my wife's, and no more flats. When we bought our Mocha, we went for the wider, 26 inch tires to avoid pinch flats and because we tour and sometimes find ourselves on gravel or dirt trails.
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Old 09-13-12, 10:47 PM   #22
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While we do not do any loaded touring any more we have had great luck/usage out of Maxxis Re-Fuse 700x25 folding tires on our tandem. Running 120 PSI.
Put 5,600 miles on Re-Fuses (get about 2,000+ miles out of rear tire, a bit more on front) in 2011 and had one flat.
Not a puncture, but old patch that came loose!
Currently trying out Panaracer Pasella folding 700x25 and so far no punctures in 1,794 miles. The Pasela is recommended 115 PSI but rides a bit harsh for stoker, so we run it at 110 PSI. So far so good!
Just our input.
Rudy and Kay/zonatandewm
We do live in the Sonoran Desert and along with chipsealed road/ usualroad debris we get a fair amount of catus needles.
We are a rather light team (+/-250lbs)
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Old 04-11-13, 01:35 PM   #23
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We were constantly getting flats on our used Burley Duet, first in rear, then up front. We replaced the factory-installed plastic rim strip with tape, and had the spoke nipples closely examined, but the problem persisted. We eventually replaced the rims and spokes, and no problems since.

We're a 330-lb team, riding 700x25 Gatorskins, inflated to 120. I frequently wonder if we could lessen our chances of a flat by gong to 700x28 tires, but our bike mechanic, who owns a well-regarded, tandem-only shop specializing in Co-Motion and Calfee (he knows his stuff), insists the 25s are perfectly adequate as long as inflated to 120.
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Old 04-11-13, 02:29 PM   #24
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It would be my humble opinion that 28mm is too small of a tire for loaded tandem touring. To me, that would be single bike touring tire size. We are a heavy team, team + tandem = 380 pounds, and we use Gatorskin 28's for unloaded riding. I would certainly used 30 or 32 mm, maybe even 35, tires for packed touring.
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Old 04-11-13, 03:17 PM   #25
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Pinch flats happen a lot more to some people than others. I believe that this is the case because of the road conditions and the style of riding. ROad conditions can be rough but not cause pinch flats if the holes and obstructions are rounded rather than straight.

For example there is a nice new bridge on a multi-use path near us that is slightly higher than the paved path. The inch or inch and 1/2 or so rise is not a big jump but because it is a straight edge across the road there are many many pinch flats at that location. My style of riding also causes pinch flats because we like to maintain momentum and blow through stuff that where others slow down.

The bottom line is if you are getting pinch flats then your tires don't have enough air for your riding style and location. It really does not matter what other people's results are. A good discussion below is copied from the following link:


Quote:
Questions to ask yourself when selecting a tire

A person's mindset is also a factor in deciding what tire is best suited for the team. The questions below should help sort through your concerns.

1) Are you into fast sport or competitive riding?

2) What is your team weight? ..under 275? ..over 350?

3) Would you prefer durability (longer wear) at the expense of added weight and increased rolling resistance? Gram counters and competitive or fast sport riders will invariably say no.

4) Are your roads excellent, good (occasional problem but can avoid the bad spots), or poor (unexpected hits, too many to miss)?

5) Are you a careful captain and take it easy over railroad tracks and rough spots or do you hammer through everything to prevent loss of speed?

For simplicity, please allow me to make some generalizations for the purpose of categorizing teams and tire recommendations. Categorizations will not fit all teams across the board but at least some thought should be stimulated!

A Team = Go fast hammerhead racer types and wannabes that count grams, willing to spend money to save weight, interested in greatest efficiency and not concerned about shortened tread life as a result. These teams are usually very fit, ride a large number of miles, participate in competition or do fast sport riding. Team weight is often near 300 pounds or less.

B Team = Possibly new to tandems, getting in better shape, weight is dropping, not competitive all the time but may be with the right crowd but does not necessarily seek it out in order to have a "good" ride. These teams will sometimes stop and smell the roses. Longevity and durability and reasonable performance from a tire is expected by this team and they do not mind spending a little extra for a quality tire. These teams often enjoy and ride fine equipment. Team weight varies greatly but is often between 300 and 350 pounds.


C Team = Into smelling the roses, prefer longevity and durability. Not interested in average speed or saving a few grams. Does not mind being passed. May prefer a more expensive quality tire or something quite basic. Working on long term goals of exercise, possibly weight loss but not always, and improved health.
http://www.precisiontandems.com/arttiresbymark.htm
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