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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 02-18-13, 05:11 PM   #1
bgblue1978
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wheelset decision

my girlfriend and i have been riding the tandem more lately and thinking about a wheel upgrade. the bike is an older kuwahara steel tandem. current wheels are suzue hubs and unknown 27in steel rims with an arai drum in the rear. we don't use the drum so we're looking at wheels without it. bike is 140 spaced but i don't think fitting 145 will be a problem. i threw some road 700c wheels on to test fit size and i think they will work fine so i'm looking at 700c tandem wheels.

we mainly ride alone in a mildly hilly area here in the texas hill country (austin). we plan on doing an ms150 this year and maybe a few charity centuries but mostly short solo rides.

right now a member on this board has a set of used bontrager race lites for sale. for the same price a local on cl has a set of dt540s laced to dyads that came stock on a comotion. i think they are both lightly used. as far as the wheels alone which do you guys think will suit us better? the other difference is of course local vs forum. local i get to see them but forum member is well respected so i don't have any concerns with either seller. as always thanks for the input.
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Old 02-18-13, 08:43 PM   #2
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what's wrong with the wheels you have currently?
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Old 02-18-13, 09:14 PM   #3
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Aluminum wheels are said to brake much better but it has been since i rode steel rims i can ' t remember.
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Old 02-18-13, 10:24 PM   #4
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Nothing really but they are heavy and I have a few bucks from selling another frameset
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Old 02-19-13, 04:22 AM   #5
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Keep your eye on eBay also. I picked up a set of Rolf Tandem Wheels really cheap. Nothing was wrong with my original wheels either, i also just wanted to improve weight and hubs.
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Old 02-19-13, 08:39 AM   #6
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We really like our Spinergy wheels. We purchased from www.houseoftandems.com . Since you are in Austin you could easily drive over and check them out. Bring your bike and Ric will put a set on for you to ride on. It does not get any better than that. They are in Spring which is just north of Houston on I 45 and before the Woodlands and Conroe.

Lots of organized rides going on every Sat and Sun in the area for the MS 150. Y'all can catch a ride while here also. There is a good discussion thread I started on these wheels. Search Spinergy and it will probably come up. If you go, tell him Allen from Beaumont sent ya! Call and make an appt. as the store is attached to their home.

Check out this link for ride calander. www.texbiker.net
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Old 02-19-13, 08:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
Aluminum wheels are said to brake much better but it has been since i rode steel rims i can ' t remember.
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what's wrong with the wheels you have currently?
Steel rims do not brake well in the rain. I had enough miles on a Schwinn Varsity to know this well.

I wouldn't ride (or would ride very carefully) a bike with steel rims in wet conditions on a hilly ride, or around a lot of traffic.

Decent set of modern wheels will make the bike brake better, and the reduced rotating weight will make it feel much more responsive.
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Old 02-19-13, 11:35 AM   #8
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thanks for the ideas. i think a new set of spinergy is out of our range right now. i'm basically trying to get something a little lighter and 700c that we can put some miles on and enjoy together. i'm leaning toward the dt540/dyad set because they are in my price range and i'm a little more comfortable with a traditional spoked wheel right now. my hope is that they will be a little lighter, brake as well or better than what we have, and give us lots of tire options.
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Old 02-19-13, 11:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgblue1978 View Post
my girlfriend and i have been riding the tandem more lately and thinking about a wheel upgrade. the bike is an older kuwahara steel tandem. current wheels are suzue hubs and unknown 27in steel rims with an arai drum in the rear. we don't use the drum so we're looking at wheels without it. bike is 140 spaced but i don't think fitting 145 will be a problem. i threw some road 700c wheels on to test fit size and i think they will work fine so i'm looking at 700c tandem wheels. We mainly ride alone in a mildly hilly area here in the texas hill country (austin). we plan on doing an ms150 this year and maybe a few charity centuries but mostly short solo rides. right now a member on this board has a set of used bontrager race lites for sale. for the same price a local on cl has a set of dt540s laced to dyads that came stock on a comotion. i think they are both lightly used. as far as the wheels alone which do you guys think will suit us better? the other difference is of course local vs forum. local i get to see them but forum member is well respected so i don't have any concerns with either seller. as always thanks for the input.
bgb; You mention changing from 27" to 700C wheels while removing the drag brake and also currently having steel rims... that is a lot of moving parts...

Would recommend examining your overall brake situation before committing funds. You likley have cantilever rim brakes now, then you will need to have a framebuilder-type change the location of the studs if you change the wheel size. Changing the wheel diameter also changes the bottom bracket height and it alters the steering. If you have fenders, they may need to be replaced. Etc.

Not meaning to FUD you out, but just wanting to assist you in seeing that a lot of changes to a tandem have secondary impacts, some of which are not immediately obvious. If you gather all the change data first and cost all that out... you may find that the really great answer is selling the existing bike after finding a used one that is more closely equipped to your desires. Lots of good, already modern, name brand tandems for sale routinely for under $1,000. You will be exceed that figure quickly enough for parts and labor to change the current bike vs what it will be worth as an updated Kuwahara which will have a resale value of $xxx.yy (a figure I don't know but its not very high).

Just trying to help you think it all out. From what I am reading from the current posts here, I would likely suggest starting by just buying a good set of tandem rims (maybe Dyads) to replace the steel ones, add good KoolStop pads and then ride that bike for a year or two to see if it is now good enough. The recent availability of good tandem rims and tires in 27" make it a potentially viable decision and pretty cheap (~$200 w/ the new pads) to execute... /K
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Old 02-20-13, 10:30 AM   #10
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i always appreciate another perspective but i was really just looking for opinions on those two particular sets of wheels. to address your concerns though i have test fit another set of 700c and the difference is small enough that i can adjust the current canti brakes without moving the studs or changing brakes. we already havent been using the drum (it's not even connected) so we won't miss its braking power. i already have kool stops. another possible benefit of these new wheels is moving to a modern freehub. i havent actually done it but i think i could make the friction shifters work with 8 spd and give us a few more gear options. no fenders or racks to worry about and i will be using slightly larger tires (another plus) so i don't think the bottom bracket height/handling will be enough for me to even notice. you do make a good point though that bang for your buck i could prob find a nice used tandem. however we have this one, it fits us well, we both have several other older steel bikes and we enjoy riding older frames. not to mention the biggest factor of all is that working on our bikes together is one of our hobbies and spending time together working on the tandem is something we really enjoy.

again i didn't mean to sound ungrateful for your response just saying that i have been thinking about this stuff. also i have some dura ace 8 speed brifters that may end up on this bike eventually...
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Old 02-23-13, 05:40 PM   #11
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Went with the dt/dyad wheel. The girlfriend and I spent a few hours last night setting them up. Went for about 60 mile ride today and so far everything performed as hoped. Braking seemed improved ride was smooth and I didnt weigh them but they seemed a bit lighter when I put them on. We went with some 28c tires I had but I might put 32s on eventually. Maybe give her a little butt relief on some of tbe rougher roads.
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Old 02-23-13, 06:41 PM   #12
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Good job. Nice that an older machine is getting some love and being well used. W
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Old 02-23-13, 07:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
Aluminum wheels are said to brake much better but it has been since i rode steel rims i can ' t remember.
Of course--- I missed the steel part...
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