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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 06-07-12, 10:49 AM   #1
waynesulak
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Strong team loves their 650B Seven Ti tandem.

Many of you may have heard of the Blayleys, a strong team in the northeast. They just purchased a new Seven Ti 650B tandem and a link to the blog entry is below.

http://blayleys.blogspot.com/2012/06...erie-dust.html
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Old 06-07-12, 11:44 AM   #2
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Nice link wayne. Great to read an enthusiastic endorsement of ti by such a knowledgable team. Intriguing idea re: fork size, disc brakes, ability to add calipers and swapping wheels - good info for those who really desire a "do it all" tandem.
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Old 06-07-12, 02:12 PM   #3
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Many of you may have heard of the Blayleys, a strong team in the northeast. They just purchased a new Seven Ti 650B tandem...
Yes, they are a strong team. And note the triple...



...and 12-36 in back.




More evidence that triples and gearing on tandems are not appliances for the aged and infirm.
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Old 06-07-12, 04:55 PM   #4
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Yes, they are a strong team. And note the triple...



...and 12-36 in back.




More evidence that triples and gearing on tandems are not appliances for the aged and infirm.
How about for any one or combination of aged, infirm, overweight, unfit, touring and mountain climbing.
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Old 06-07-12, 06:25 PM   #5
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How about for any one or combination of aged, infirm, overweight, unfit, touring and mountain climbing.
Definitely for mountain climbing. One of their photogaphs is of Burke Mountain.


A still clean tandem with Burke Mountain in the background

The Burke Mountain climb is one of the steepest 3 miles in America, 3.2 miles, 11.8%. I'd like to see the mixed team that didn't need a triple for that.
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Old 06-07-12, 06:37 PM   #6
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Yes, they are a strong team. And note the triple... ...and 12-36 in back. More evidence that triples and gearing on tandems are not appliances for the aged and infirm.
When I was much younger a fine golf teacher told me that "the game is not how but how many."

I say cycling is not about what you ride but how fast you ride it. To me it is your times that speak for you not your bike. If I had your times I would tell anyone disparaging my triple to get their wife on a tandem and show me what they have.

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Old 06-07-12, 07:30 PM   #7
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Definitely for mountain climbing. One of their photogaphs is of Burke Mountain.


A still clean tandem with Burke Mountain in the background

The Burke Mountain climb is one of the steepest 3 miles in America, 3.2 miles, 11.8%. I'd like to see the mixed team that didn't need a triple for that.
I got up that sucker on a single bike years ago, but softened my tubular cement so badly coming down that the valve started to shift. Too bumpy to go fast, too steep to use the rear brake, and I was and am only 150 lb. I'd be scared to death trying to take a tandem down that thing.

Edit: 'course, I don't see in their blog that they actually did Burke Mtn. itself. There is lots of wonderful riding up the the NE Kingdom of Vermont without that awful climb.

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Old 06-07-12, 08:02 PM   #8
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Climbing Burke Mountain

Indeed, we did not climb Burke over Memorial Day, but we have climbed it many times previously on both tandems and single bikes, and we even hold the tandem record for the race up Burke that is held over Labor Day weekend every year. We managed to fit in a fair amount of climbing in our first three days on the new machine, and I probably shouldn't admit that thanks to that giant pie plate 36T cog in the back, we haven't actually used the granny (in anger) yet!

We are of the belief that if you aren't using your lowest gears that you are not using the bike to its full potential and need to look harder for better climbs. I am quite confident our granny will see plenty of use soon! The gearing on our bikes says a lot more about the rides we chose to do!

IMO, Burke is one of the toughest climbs I've ever done. Compared to many of the BUMPS races, it is short, but the sting is in the middle of the climb, and you just can just never recover. I will say there is an advantage on the tandem, as the biggest challenge on that middle section is keeping the front wheel on the ground, not an issue on the tandem!

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I got up that sucker on a single bike years ago, but softened my tubular cement so badly coming down that the valve started to shift. Too bumpy to go fast, too steep to use the rear brake, and I was and am only 150 lb. I'd be scared to death trying to take a tandem down that thing.

Edit: 'course, I don't see in their blog that they actually did Burke Mtn. itself. There is lots of wonderful riding up the the NE Kingdom of Vermont without that awful climb.
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Old 06-08-12, 08:16 AM   #9
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Great looking bike and very interesting set up being able to run the 650b or 700c. Do you think you will run it more one way than the other? Will the 700c be more for racing and 650b for everything else? I would be very interested to hear how the ride differs in both comfort and speed between the two set ups. When you get around to changing the wheel config, I'd love to hear about it.

I have never ridden ti (single bike or tandem), but I would like to see what it is all about.
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Old 06-08-12, 08:30 AM   #10
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Cool bike!!!

Neat choice of cranks and gearing, as mentioned with a purpose.

Not going to bother doing the math, but I wonder how that bike plots each gear compared to it's 700c relative.

PK
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Old 06-08-12, 10:18 AM   #11
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Cool bike!!!

Neat choice of cranks and gearing, as mentioned with a purpose.

Not going to bother doing the math, but I wonder how that bike plots each gear compared to it's 700c relative.

PK

The gearing is not significantly different. The difference in diameter in 650B and 700C wheels is for the most part made up by the additional height of a 42mm tire. The result is that the outside diameter of a 650B wheel with a 42mm tire mounted is very close to a 700C wheel with a 23mm tire mounted. I have verified this by placing my wife's single with 700C wheels next to our tandem with 650B wheels.

Of course if you are making the comparison of 650B and 42mm tire with 700C and 28mm tire then there would be a small additional difference similar to moving from 23mm to 28mm on a 700C bike.

Mountain bike sized 26 inch wheels on the other hand are even smaller in diameter than 650B wheels and often mounted with fairly narrow 28mm smooth tires when used on the road. This leads to a significant difference in gearing when compared to a 700C bike.
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Old 06-08-12, 12:23 PM   #12
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The gearing is not significantly different. The difference in diameter in 650B and 700C wheels is for the most part made up by the additional height of a 42mm tire. The result is that the outside diameter of a 650B wheel with a 42mm tire mounted is very close to a 700C wheel with a 23mm tire mounted. I have verified this by placing my wife's single with 700C wheels next to our tandem with 650B wheels.

Of course if you are making the comparison of 650B and 42mm tire with 700C and 28mm tire then there would be a small additional difference similar to moving from 23mm to 28mm on a 700C bike.

Mountain bike sized 26 inch wheels on the other hand are even smaller in diameter than 650B wheels and often mounted with fairly narrow 28mm smooth tires when used on the road. This leads to a significant difference in gearing when compared to a 700C bike.
Colotandem sent me a comparison chart, yes they are a lot closer than I expected.

PK
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Old 06-08-12, 02:22 PM   #13
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Our Seven Ti is currently confirmed and on order. Hopefully ready in about 3 weeks.
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Old 06-08-12, 02:28 PM   #14
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Wow, what a beautiful bike. I'm curious though, what specific differences are there in a tandem built to accommodate both 650B and 700c wheels? Chain-stay width?
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Old 06-08-12, 03:10 PM   #15
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Wow, what a beautiful bike. I'm curious though, what specific differences are there in a tandem built to accommodate both 650B and 700c wheels? Chain-stay width?
I converted a 700c Santana Arriva to 650B and found:

If you use canti studs they need to be moved down about 19mm. On singles many use longer caliper brakes and are happy with them but on a tandem I would be concerned about the flex of longer brake arms. Disk brakes are a good way to avoid the whole issue.

Rear tire clearance is the main issue. On our conversion it was a little too tight for my taste on both the chain stays and seat stays. We started with 42mm tires but now run 38mm which solved the problem. Adding fenders with good clearance between the tire and fender would require an additional 15-20mm of tire clearance on our bike. The Santana uses a 73mm wide BB which helps but uses straight chain and seat stays. Notice the curved chain stays and seat stays on the Ti bike. The builder has to be careful to fit fenders on 42mm tires and still have the cranks clear the chain stays.

Fork clearance on the standard Santana Fork and the Bilenkly 700C fork I decided to use both are OK with no issues. Most carbon forks have no where near enough clearance.

Some have asked me about pedal strike with the smaller wheels. That depends on the bike, riding style, crank length and pedals. A new bike may be designed with a slightly higher BB especially if the plan is to use it off pavement. For us the Santana had a little bit lower BB than the Comotion Speedster we used to own but it works ok. The height of the 42mm tire once again makes this less of an issue unless you use long cranks or like extra clearance. When we moved from 42mm to 38mm tires I did notice my toes down pedaling stoker had to learn to pull her toes up when we are powering around tight corners.

A new bike probably doesn't have to be designed with room for a Thudbuster seat post for the stoker. 70-80 psi absorbs the bumps and buzz much better than 120-130 psi ! Even with 42mm tires this is a big net weight loss for the bike.

One final thing we did was move to a high rake (60mm) fork. The wider tires do effect the feel of the steering and less trail seems to work better for me. The Blayleys did not take this approach and also seem happy with their bike. I believe that issue comes down to personal preference.

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Old 06-08-12, 04:49 PM   #16
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We are of the belief that if you aren't using your lowest gears that you are not using the bike to its full potential and need to look harder for better climbs.
We take advantage of the full potential of our Screamer quite frequently on Central and Southern Indiana (puny little) hills. Not ashamed to use the little ring.

Very nice bike you have!
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Old 06-08-12, 07:16 PM   #17
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We use every one of our four chainrings the smallest being (the equivalent of) a 24. I recently changed the cassette to a 12-36 and the 24-36 combination gets us old folks up 15-16% if it's not too long
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Old 06-08-12, 07:27 PM   #18
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Definitely for mountain climbing. One of their photogaphs is of Burke Mountain.


A still clean tandem with Burke Mountain in the background

The Burke Mountain climb is one of the steepest 3 miles in America, 3.2 miles, 11.8%. I'd like to see the mixed team that didn't need a triple for that.
I rode up Burke mountain once . . . It was a heck of a ride on the way down as well. I was riding an old school touring bike and I had a 24 running on a 28 tooth in the rear. It was a really, really tough climb.
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Old 06-08-12, 08:09 PM   #19
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We are of the belief that if you aren't using your lowest gears that you are not using the bike to its full potential and need to look harder for better climbs. I am quite confident our granny will see plenty of use soon! The gearing on our bikes says a lot more about the rides we chose to do!!
Even speaking as someone who will never win a race that has more than just me in it -- and even then I'd probably only take second! -- I do like your philosophy. We've got seven tandems going to the Pyrénées this year who think the same way.

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IMO, Burke is one of the toughest climbs I've ever done. Compared to many of the BUMPS races, it is short, but the sting is in the middle of the climb, and you just can just never recover. I will say there is an advantage on the tandem, as the biggest challenge on that middle section is keeping the front wheel on the ground, not an issue on the tandem
That's a really good point. The steepest sustained climb we've ever done is an indicated 23% for about 500 m over a bump before the descent to Bad Ausee, Austria. I don't think it was really 23% the whole way, maybe just the worst bit, but supposedly the 1-km leadup was 18%, also according to the signs, again I'm skeptical. Honest-to-Pete though, with a 32x30 it was like doing dozens of leg presses. I attribute our being able to get up it without stopping to the thrill of being overseas on vacation and to a very determined stoker who just wouldn't quit. But for all that, front-wheel lift was not a problem. (We were more worried about whole-bike-sliding-down-the-hill.)
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Old 09-12-12, 10:55 AM   #20
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I just wanted to follow up on this thread from earlier this summer. We have managed to put a few more miles on our 650B equipped tandem over the summer, including the race up Burke Mountain over Labor Day weekend, where we did use our granny gear and did break our previous record by over 2 minutes! (For a little perspective, we also finished ahead of all the gals!) We swapped the Grand Bois Hetres out and used Cypres tires for the race. These rolled along quite nicely. We tried Pari-Motos earlier in the summer, but didn't have the best of luck with them. The Hetres are working out great for the majority of our rides. We will save the Cypres tires for races.

We did another fun dirt road event on the tandem last weekend and a friend got some good photos of us in action...
http://blayleys.blogspot.com/2012/09...e-klassic.html


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Indeed, we did not climb Burke over Memorial Day, but we have climbed it many times previously on both tandems and single bikes, and we even hold the tandem record for the race up Burke that is held over Labor Day weekend every year. We managed to fit in a fair amount of climbing in our first three days on the new machine, and I probably shouldn't admit that thanks to that giant pie plate 36T cog in the back, we haven't actually used the granny (in anger) yet!

We are of the belief that if you aren't using your lowest gears that you are not using the bike to its full potential and need to look harder for better climbs. I am quite confident our granny will see plenty of use soon! The gearing on our bikes says a lot more about the rides we chose to do!

IMO, Burke is one of the toughest climbs I've ever done. Compared to many of the BUMPS races, it is short, but the sting is in the middle of the climb, and you just can just never recover. I will say there is an advantage on the tandem, as the biggest challenge on that middle section is keeping the front wheel on the ground, not an issue on the tandem!
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Old 09-12-12, 11:10 AM   #21
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Sadly my conversion tandem does not have quite enough clearance for Hetres. I have run them but now run the 38mm Lierres and find them to also be a really nice tire but closer to a Hetre than the Cypres in ride.
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Old 09-12-12, 12:27 PM   #22
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We have managed to put a few more miles on our 650B equipped tandem over the summer, including the race up Burke Mountain over Labor Day weekend, where we did use our granny gear and did break our previous record by over 2 minutes!
So, this is the Burke race, here [John Bayley] and here [Pamela Blalock]? QoM on mighty Burke Mountain, congrats!

The Blayley's tandem feats need to be in the annals of the Strava Tandem club (note the logo and link in the sig line)! It would work best as a separate Team Blayley account on Strava, uploading only the tandem rides (more detail here).
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Old 09-12-12, 01:08 PM   #23
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Pamela,
After a summer of riding your new tandem, is there anything that you wish that you would have done differently? Maybe too soon to tell? Maybe you built the perfect bike for your needs? I'm curious, as we are about to begin the process of spec'ing our new bike.

Also, are you only riding the 650b setup now? or have you ridden it with the 700c wheels?

Thanks!
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Old 09-12-12, 07:53 PM   #24
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So far, we are thrilled with our choice. We have yet to build up a set of 700C wheels - we've been spending too much money on ride entry fees and motels and travel this summer! And after taking two minutes off our previous Burke time, we may not even bother with the 700s! (Previous Burke record was with 700X25 Vittoria Corsa CX - new record set with Grand Bois Cypres 650BX32) The Cypres tires are great. We have talked about building a 2nd front wheel with a King Hub - to swap out when we don't need the generator, saving a few grams, but also lightening the wallet, so it may be a while :-)

We've done a mixture of dirt road rides (DROVES, Gent's Race, Grand Hundo, Kearsarge and assorted non-event rides) , paved rides (Quadzilla), and a couple of hillclimb races (Ascutney and Burke). The Hetres are proving an excellent choice for the dirt rides we seem to love the most. And when we've used them on pure paved rides, they have performed quite well. We certainly haven't felt we were slow!

There is a set of 700C wheels at the shop that we could try out and one of these days we may, just to see if we feel any difference. But without sounding like a 650B evangelist, I will say that I love the versatility of this size - having room for fatter tires and fenders, as well as seemingly fast and skinny options.

We still haven't managed to get the disk carbon fork - I believe Seven is checking again about availability. But I can't say I'm missing it either.

We love the disks. They are awesome. I definitely recommend disks for any new tandem. The issue here is John now wants disks on his single bike. More $$$

Aside from trying a few different tires, the only *change* is we have swapped in a Shimano ICE-Tech rotor on the front - with the theory being that they are cooler, so to speak. We'll change out the back one soon - just need to find a few free minutes. Given some of the extreme braking we end up doing, John wanted to try these.

We did not get couplers on this tandem - partly due to weight and partly due to cost, but mainly we already have a coupled tandem and coupled singles, so we figured we would keep this one simple. We are also still happy with this decision. If you travel a lot, I believe couplers are a great asset, and for us, make travel a bit easier - especially the transfers and trains.

So all that to say that we still LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the bike, and are quite happy with the way we spec'd it, and more imprtantly the execution by Seven. These folks did a phenomenal job!


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Pamela,
After a summer of riding your new tandem, is there anything that you wish that you would have done differently? Maybe too soon to tell? Maybe you built the perfect bike for your needs? I'm curious, as we are about to begin the process of spec'ing our new bike.

Also, are you only riding the 650b setup now? or have you ridden it with the 700c wheels?

Thanks!
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Old 09-14-12, 04:51 AM   #25
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Pamela,
After a summer of riding your new tandem, is there anything that you wish that you would have done differently? Maybe too soon to tell? Maybe you built the perfect bike for your needs? I'm curious, as we are about to begin the process of spec'ing our new bike.

Also, are you only riding the 650b setup now? or have you ridden it with the 700c wheels?

Thanks!
FWIW, there are a couple of Seven Tandems here in Florida. The typical two machines we see are both beautiful. Obviously the riders have a lot to do with how the bikes perform but both will carry the mail if you know what I mean.

A travel Seven is not even on our radar solely on account of the expense. If we were shopping for a travel tandem though, I might consider selling a lot of "stuff" on ebay to find the funds.

PK
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