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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 08-23-12, 10:51 AM   #1
loubapache
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New Tandem Owner (Trek T900)

Hi, Tandem lovers.

We just bought a new Trek T900 yesterday. Overall we are happy with it. However there are things that can be better.

First of all, the tandem is "Made in China".

The brakes seem to be of inferior quality (compared to the rest of the components on the tandem). The front brake, for example, is kind of loose (the brake lever) even if I tighten the cable to a point where the pads almost touch the wheel. I saw they put the rear brake springs in the upper holes (of the three holes) for the rear brakes so I also moved the front brake springs to the top holes (were in the middle holes). It is a little better but still not as tight as the rear brakes. Maybe I need to upgrade to some better V-brakes.

The wheels are 26" but seem to be well made.

Right now, when I go over 12 MPH, there is a whistling noise. It is kind of elusive but seems to be from the front. I would say it is either from the front hub or could even be something else due to aerodynamics. I wonder if you have had the same experience before.

I am 6' tall and the wife is 5'10" and the tandem fits both of us well.
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Old 08-23-12, 12:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loubapache View Post
The brakes seem to be of inferior quality (compared to the rest of the components on the tandem). The front brake, for example, is kind of loose (the brake lever) even if I tighten the cable to a point where the pads almost touch the wheel. I saw they put the rear brake springs in the upper holes (of the three holes) for the rear brakes so I also moved the front brake springs to the top holes (were in the middle holes). It is a little better but still not as tight as the rear brakes. Maybe I need to upgrade to some better V-brakes.
We bought our T900 in 2005, so some of the components may be different. I have not had any complaints with the brakes on our bike, which appear to be Tektro Tenera. However, a long steep downhill absolutely ruined the OEM brake pads. We switched to KoolStops brake pads and could hardly believe how much better they were. I have read good things about other premium pads on this forum, too.

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The wheels are 26" but seem to be well made.
After about 2,000 miles the spokes on our rear wheel became loose. Thankfully the wheel was still true and round. $18 later our LBS had everything tightened up nicely, and we haven't had any trouble with the wheel since then.

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...when I go over 12 MPH, there is a whistling noise.
I haven't noticed anything like that on our bike.

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Originally Posted by loubapache View Post
I am 6' tall and the wife is 5'10" and the tandem fits both of us well.
The T900 is VERY adjustable. My wife is 5'3", and she is comfortable on the back, even with a long-travel Thudbuster seat post. A while ago I pulled out the captain's seat post for some reason. It was adjusted for my 5'9" height, and it looked like it was long enough to go almost 6" higher!

We replaced the OEM tires with some good road tires and found they made a big difference in cruising speed and comfort.



After a few thousand miles on our T900 I believe that it is the least expensive good tandem you can buy.

Have fun!
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Last edited by mwandaw; 08-23-12 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 08-23-12, 12:36 PM   #3
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need bike shop adjustment

Sounds like it needs to go back to the bike shop for adjustment.
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Old 08-23-12, 02:06 PM   #4
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Thank you.

mwandaw: What tires did you replace with?

OK, got rid of the whistling noise. I searched around and followed a tip by an experienced gent. What I did was to put a drop of light oil on both sides of the front hub. There is a rubber cover for the hub on both sides.
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Old 08-23-12, 02:36 PM   #5
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mwandaw: What tires did you replace with?
We have 26 x 1.5 wire bead Schwalbe Marathon Racers on our bike. That's what's on our bike in our picture in my earlier post. They were a BIG improvement over the OEM tires for road use. The OEM tires, of course, were much better on dirt roads, but 99% of our miles are on road.

While we are happy with the Marathon Racers, there are many other choices. For example, DaVinci Designs is a proponent of 26" wheels for tandems. They put Panaracer Ribmo and Kenda Kwik Roller tires on their 26" tandems. Ask, and you'll get other recommendations, too.

Last edited by mwandaw; 08-23-12 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 09-01-12, 05:53 PM   #6
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This is just FIY.

It turns out the "soft" front braking is by design, sigh. I found there is a spring inside the front braking noodle connector to "prevent" inexperienced riders to lockup the front wheel. The price to pay is decreased braking efficiency.

See this thread:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-front-V-Brake
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