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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 02-02-13, 05:46 PM   #1
zonatandem
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Tandem Tire Mileage

Here's a couple numbers on our tandem tire mileage.
Maxxis Re-Fuse 700x25 folding front tire: 3,432 miles.
Maxxis Re-Fuse 700x25 folding tire rear tire: 2,351 miles.
Panasonic Panaracer Pasela TourGuard Kevlar 700x25 folding rear tire: 2,447 miles.
Both brands are in the same price range.

These are our the highest mileage numbers for folding tires n the past 2 years.
Minimal flats due to Kevlar protection.
We do live in the desert southwest (Tucson area) with lots of flat opportunities from cactus thorns, pieces of wire from ripped up steel belted radial car/truck tires along with other road detritus.
The Re-Fuse tires are a bit easier to mount/dismount than the the Pasela.
With the Re-fuse we can do it without tire tools; with the Pasela initially had to use tire tools; after they were on the bike a bit, no tools were needed but it was a
bit more strenuous to remove them.

The Maxxis Re-Fuse tires give much better flat protection/wear than the Maxxis Detonnators which we used for a while. Actually had a couple of them 'detonate'!
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 02-03-13, 11:33 AM   #2
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'Always enjoy threads on tire mileage for Tandems as we can never get more than 1200 to 1500 miles out of our rear 28c Conti 4 Season GP's that we love.
Rudy...what is your team's weight again?
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Old 02-03-13, 11:39 AM   #3
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Our team weight is 290 and we get 4,000+ miles out of the front tire and 2,500+ out of our rear tires. Schwalbe Ultremo ZX, 25C.

95 percent of our riding is on Illinois county/township roads that are oiled and chipped. A typical ride will have 500 feet of climbing. We also rarely have flats but use latex tubes.
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Old 02-04-13, 10:38 AM   #4
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'Always enjoy threads on tire mileage for Tandems as we can never get more than 1200 to 1500 miles out of our rear 28c Conti 4 Season GP's that we love.
Rudy...what is your team's weight again?
SpecBill; Have you tried a set of 32's?
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Old 02-07-13, 08:52 PM   #5
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Rudy and Kay - We have on our first set of Vittoria Hypers (32s) on now and so far love the tires. We have about 1200 miles and no flats yet. Not sure what to expect yet for ultimate mileage. Have you tried Hypers and if so what has your opinion been of them? We found Schwalbe Marathons a little slow, Pasela T/G very comfy and fast but too prone to flats and Gatorskins pretty good all around but not as nice as the Hypers...
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Old 02-07-13, 09:56 PM   #6
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We just got 498 miles out of a pair of Schwalbe Ultremo DD 25c. The tires were hardly worn, but so full of glass and cuts that they flatted constantly in spite of our best efforts. 4 flats on one ride. I had to throw them away, so sad, not to mention expensive. Almost all those miles were on wet roads. They don't sweep the roads here in the winter, plus they put on that fine grain "sand" that really cuts tires up. These tires just absorbed rocks and glass and then sort of healed over them, making the little bits very hard to find and remove. OTOH they were really sticky in the wet, too sticky I guess. I'm putting on a pair of Michelin Pro4 Endurance. We'll see. I'm also interested in trying the new Conti 4 Seasons.

I'm also going back to Vredestein tubes. I used to use them exclusively until I got a run of bad tubes where the valves pulled out right away. I went to Performance light tubes, but they've just changed all their road tubes and the reports are that quality control is horrible. It's possible that the problem with the DDs was the Performance tubes, which were new. I think I'll dig the DDs back out of the garbage. On the 4-flat ride, we didn't see any damage in the inside of the tires.
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Old 02-07-13, 10:09 PM   #7
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If I am keeping track of mileage for anything then I am not having fun.
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Old 02-08-13, 06:15 AM   #8
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We just got 498 miles out of a pair of Schwalbe Ultremo DD 25c. The tires were hardly worn, but so full of glass and cuts that they flatted constantly in spite of our best efforts. 4 flats on one ride. I had to throw them away, so sad, not to mention expensive. Almost all those miles were on wet roads. They don't sweep the roads here in the winter, plus they put on that fine grain "sand" that really cuts tires up. These tires just absorbed rocks and glass and then sort of healed over them, making the little bits very hard to find and remove. OTOH they were really sticky in the wet, too sticky I guess. I'm putting on a pair of Michelin Pro4 Endurance. We'll see. I'm also interested in trying the new Conti 4 Seasons.

I'm also going back to Vredestein tubes. I used to use them exclusively until I got a run of bad tubes where the valves pulled out right away. I went to Performance light tubes, but they've just changed all their road tubes and the reports are that quality control is horrible. It's possible that the problem with the DDs was the Performance tubes, which were new. I think I'll dig the DDs back out of the garbage. On the 4-flat ride, we didn't see any damage in the inside of the tires.
Have you tried latex tube, that is what we run and I am very happy with their performance. We run the Schwalbe ZX tires and have only had 1 flat in something like 9,000 miles. We rarely ride when it is wet.
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Old 02-08-13, 07:13 AM   #9
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We just got 498 miles out of a pair of Schwalbe Ultremo DD 25c. The tires were hardly worn, but so full of glass and cuts that they flatted constantly in spite of our best efforts. 4 flats on one ride. I had to throw them away, so sad, not to mention expensive. Almost all those miles were on wet roads. They don't sweep the roads here in the winter, plus they put on that fine grain "sand" that really cuts tires up. These tires just absorbed rocks and glass and then sort of healed over them, making the little bits very hard to find and remove. OTOH they were really sticky in the wet, too sticky I guess. I'm putting on a pair of Michelin Pro4 Endurance. We'll see. I'm also interested in trying the new Conti 4 Seasons.

I'm also going back to Vredestein tubes. I used to use them exclusively until I got a run of bad tubes where the valves pulled out right away. I went to Performance light tubes, but they've just changed all their road tubes and the reports are that quality control is horrible. It's possible that the problem with the DDs was the Performance tubes, which were new. I think I'll dig the DDs back out of the garbage. On the 4-flat ride, we didn't see any damage in the inside of the tires.
After a run of bad tubes I switched to Schwalbe. Very high Quality but not cheap. They hold air between rides very well.

We ride 5 or 6 days a week and in the dark of winter it is a bummer to get a flat so this year I have tried adding some tubeless sealant to inside the tube. Schwalbe tubes have a removable valve so that part is easy. Have to see if it is worth the extra weight and trouble.

DubT - how often do you pump up the latex tubes?
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Old 02-08-13, 07:44 AM   #10
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After a run of bad tubes I switched to Schwalbe. Very high Quality but not cheap. They hold air between rides very well.

We ride 5 or 6 days a week and in the dark of winter it is a bummer to get a flat so this year I have tried adding some tubeless sealant to inside the tube. Schwalbe tubes have a removable valve so that part is easy. Have to see if it is worth the extra weight and trouble.

DubT - how often do you pump up the latex tubes?
i have to pump them up every time we ride, they will loose 10-20 psi overnight. We also ride 5-6 days a week when the weather permits.

The cheapest place that I have found to buy Michelin Latex tubes is Probike kit in the UK, something like $11 per tube and free shipping if the order is over $30. I just received 3 tubes and it only took about a week to get them.
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Old 02-08-13, 08:48 AM   #11
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Has anyone given the Michelin PRO4 Service Course in a 700 x 25 a try on their tandem? I've usd the PRO series since the PRO2's first came out on my single bike.
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Old 02-08-13, 01:40 PM   #12
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Tire wear seems determined largely by team weight, wattage, and tire material. Tire life seems determined by local conditions and tire material. We've never actually worn a tire out. They always get cut up to where they're unusable long before they wear out. Same on my single - never wore a tire out here. Our usual weekend ride, which is all we do outside in the winter, is 50-80 miles and 2500'-4000' of slow climbing. We usually flat off the rear tire pretty well before it's gone, but the fronts look almost new when they become unusable. On our recent 4-flat ride, three of the four were on the front. A 500 mile tire life on the tandem is not unusual for winter. Harder (long wearing) compounds do not adhere well to our slick pavements.
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Old 02-08-13, 02:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
After a run of bad tubes I switched to Schwalbe. Very high Quality but not cheap. They hold air between rides very well.

We ride 5 or 6 days a week and in the dark of winter it is a bummer to get a flat so this year I have tried adding some tubeless sealant to inside the tube. Schwalbe tubes have a removable valve so that part is easy. Have to see if it is worth the extra weight and trouble.

DubT - how often do you pump up the latex tubes?
I don't ride a tandem, but I find that the Schwalbe tubes hold air better than any other tube I have ever tried, in 60+ years of riding. You are the first person To also say that.
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Old 02-08-13, 02:37 PM   #14
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Tire wear seems determined largely by team weight, wattage, and tire material. Tire life seems determined by local conditions and tire material. We've never actually worn a tire out. They always get cut up to where they're unusable long before they wear out. Same on my single - never wore a tire out here. Our usual weekend ride, which is all we do outside in the winter, is 50-80 miles and 2500'-4000' of slow climbing. We usually flat off the rear tire pretty well before it's gone, but the fronts look almost new when they become unusable. On our recent 4-flat ride, three of the four were on the front. A 500 mile tire life on the tandem is not unusual for winter. Harder (long wearing) compounds do not adhere well to our slick pavements.

Water is though on tires. It lubricates road debris entering the tires and causing mare and deeper cuts. Back when I replaced car radiator hoses myself we learned to wet the hose while cutting it to size. The tough hoses were difficult to cut with the sharpest knife but could be cut verily easily with the same knife if you wet the hose.

Well now I sound old but I guess I am.
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Old 02-08-13, 04:58 PM   #15
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SpecBill; Have you tried a set of 32's?
We only ride 32c's on non paved trails such as The Allegheny Passage, Katy Trail or the Route of the Hiawatha.
We usually ride 4000 + miles a year on pavement, mostly in the steeps and twisty roads here in the southern Sierra..... anything bigger than a 28 scares the heck out of me in the down hill corners as they tend to get mushy and start moving around under me. I like a bike to take a solid set on corner entry and be predictable from there, to the apex and out the full exit. The 28c Conti 4 Season GP's give me the most confidence in that regard for our riding style and area.

Bill J
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Old 02-08-13, 05:30 PM   #16
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We only ride 32c's on non paved trails such as The Allegheny Passage, Katy Trail or the Route of the Hiawatha.
We usually ride 4000 + miles a year on pavement, mostly in the steeps and twisty roads here in the southern Sierra..... anything bigger than a 28 scares the heck out of me in the down hill corners as they tend to get mushy and start moving around under me. I like a bike to take a solid set on corner entry and be predictable from there, to the apex and out the full exit. The 28c Conti 4 Season GP's give me the most confidence in that regard for our riding style and area.

Bill J
Better than 25c? Team weight? At 305 lbs., I found 28c a bit squirrely on our Deep-V rims. Not really objectionable, just not as solid as 25c. We have to run 28c when touring.
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Old 02-08-13, 05:37 PM   #17
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Water is though on tires. It lubricates road debris entering the tires and causing mare and deeper cuts. Back when I replaced car radiator hoses myself we learned to wet the hose while cutting it to size. The tough hoses were difficult to cut with the sharpest knife but could be cut verily easily with the same knife if you wet the hose.

Well now I sound old but I guess I am.
That makes a lot of sense. I also think the wet causes the glass and stones to stick to the tires and running fenders, we can't brush the tires off, not that we'd even see the glass in the wet.
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Old 02-09-13, 11:57 AM   #18
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Better than 25c? Team weight? At 305 lbs., I found 28c a bit squirrely on our Deep-V rims. Not really objectionable, just not as solid as 25c. We have to run 28c when touring.
For our tandem purposes I am a conservative guy and have not been able to convince myself to go down to a 25c on the tandem despite the many years we've been riding. I know many teams are quite confident on 25's . I trust they would handle well for a 290 pound team like us, but for piece of mind I like a bit of a margin when it comes to tires. We run the Conti 4 Seasons GP's at 100 /110 psi on a variety of wheels and find them quite predictable/stable for our not particularly aggressive riding style along with having some of the better rolling resistance for our heavily chip-sealed roads around here.

Bill J.
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Old 02-09-13, 01:00 PM   #19
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dwmckee: Have not ridden any Vittoria tires since the 1980s.
Here in the desert southwest (Tucson area) our tire nemesis are catcus thorns and tiny pieces of steel from ripped up steel belted radial car tires.
Seldom get rain, but yes, if roads are wet/damp then it is more likely for debris to cling to the tandem tires.
Being a lighter team likely helps (we are just under 250 lbs duo) and tires with a kevlar layer help with puncture resistance. No such thing as puncture- proof unless you use solid rubber tires.
Tested those one year at the request of the maker. Great ride on super smooth pavement but any kind of rough surface became an issue. Worst part was crossing a cattleguard: the tandemn shook/vibrated like we were in the mids of an eathquake!
Also needed a special large tool to install/remove the tires; a real tough workout!
We've always kept track of tires/component wear as we do opccasional freelance writing and it's good to have actual numbers to quote.
Pedal on TWOgether!
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