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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 06-25-12, 08:33 AM   #1
chill123
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Tyre Size Question

I've recently bought a tandem - a Dawes Two-Way Street LadyBack - for the wife and I to have some fun on. I am a very keen road cyclist while she is not very confident on a bike at all. After a few weeks we're having great fun on it so far and have been increasing the distance of our rides steadily (longest is 40km so far).

The tyres currently on it are 700x38 Ritchey Megabite's - which kinda look like very worn mountain bike tyres. I'm looking to get some new tyres on it which will hopefully give us a bit of extra speed without sacrificing puncture resistance or handling/comfort too much. We're looking to hopefully do a 100km in a few weeks to visit some friends and possibly a little mini tour to holand on it later in the year so getting something which rolls reasonably well would be a plus. That said it's not a road bike so we'll never be riding at 20mph! We'll mainly be riding on roads with i guess the odd mud packed trail or canal path thrown in.

I've read about Schwabe Marathon Plus's being great for puncture resistance and they look reasonably smooth (ie not too nobbily). Assuming this is a good choice (feel free to suggest others) what size should I go for? My wife and I are reasonably small (75kg and 50kg) however i've only ever used the 23cs on my road bike and don't know whats the norm on this sort of tandem!

Any help greatly appreciated.

Last edited by chill123; 06-25-12 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 06-25-12, 11:42 AM   #2
WheelsNT
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This link has some background info on tandem tire selection:

http://www.precisiontandems.com/arttiresbymark.htm

You folks are a relatively light team at 275 lbs, so you could easily go to 28mm or even 25mm tires *depending on your rims*. As the linked page points out: "Use of a narrow 25 mm tire on a fairly wide rim common to many modern tandems such as the Velocity Dyad or Chukker models will unnecessarily expose the sidewall to road debris and the lowered profile increases the propensity for pinch flats." On their current model Galaxy Twin tandem, Dawes uses the Alex DH19 which are 24.6mm wide. This compares well with the Velocity Dyad at 24mm. So if your rims are similar, I'd think you would not want to go smaller than 28mm on the tires. If you're going to ride on gravel or mud more than very very occasionally, you might want something a little wider to give you more comfort over the bumps. But if you're on the road 99% of the time, I would think 28mm would be fine.

I was not familiar with the Dawes Two-Way Street LadyBack, so I searched quickly on google -- looks like flat bars, triple crank and cantilevers. To your comment about it not being a road bike, you could easily put drop bars and brifters on it if you wanted to.
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Old 06-25-12, 11:55 AM   #3
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I should also add that we have no experience with Schwalbe tires -- we ride the Continental Gatorskin. But there's some discussion of Schwalbe, including the Marathon Plus, in this thread:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...Tire-Selection
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Old 06-25-12, 03:26 PM   #4
zonatandem
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We have been using Maxxis Re-Fuse 700x25 tires on our tandem and single bike.
In 2011 cycled 5,600 miles and had one puncture.
We do most of our riding in high desert of Arizona. Lots of road debris + cactus thorns!
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Old 06-26-12, 01:24 AM   #5
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When my wife started riding a tandem with me, she has never really ridden a bike in any real world situation. She had absolute trust in my choice of equipment. I went quite conservative (32c tires) and we never had a catastrophic equipment failure and only crashed once at low speed in 20 years. That low speed fall (going around a corner at low speed up a hill, invisible road grit) affected her confidence in my bike handling ability for months. My suggestion is to be conservative in your equipment choices and riding. One bad crash can make her decide to stay off the tandem forever in addition to whatever physical trauma.
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Old 07-01-12, 04:18 PM   #6
nfmisso
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We are very pleased with the Kenda Kwest K193 37-622 tires on our T50. The fastest we have riden it is 25 mph; typically we cruise in the 12 to 15 mph range. We run the tires at 95 to 100 psi - though they are rated at 85 psi max. We use Avenir Thorn resistant tubes (700 - 35/45) and Stop Flats 2 Gold liners - never had a flat. Did have a tube come apart at the stem when trying to get the valve chuck off after inflating it.

Unless you are going for sustained speeds over 20 mph, a narrow tires will not increase your speed.

A lighter tire will allow you to accelerate faster due to lower rotational inertia.
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Old 07-02-12, 02:32 AM   #7
chill123
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well, while we were out on Saturday we found a nice bike workshop and got some 35's marathon plus's fitted. So far impressed with them - much smoother than the old ones we had on there.
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