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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 05-20-13, 06:34 AM   #1
born2pdl
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Can our Tires/Wheels Handle This Gravel Road?

Planning a short 2-day tour, just us and a friend. Part of the route gets remote, with a 5 mile section of either freeway, or gravel frontage road. 320 lb team running 28mm gatorskin ultras on rolfs, which is all we have.

We have ridden freeway shoulder (remote 2-lane) on another ride for 20 miles where there were no alternatives and it was doable. I'd take my solo on this gravel no problem but don't know much about tandems on gravel and don't want to get stranded with a damaged wheel or tire. What do you recommend?
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Old 05-20-13, 08:08 AM   #2
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Depending on the gravel, there's a decent chance you can tear a sidewall in those tires. Unless, the gravel is really jagged, I'd go for it, but carry a boot, and a spare tire.

The Rolfs should be fine. We've ridden double track with Rolfs, and 25mm tires.
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Old 05-20-13, 06:06 PM   #3
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We rode those tires on Bontrager tandem wheels on a dirt and gravel forest road in NZ. Our team is also 320 lbs. There were even a few roots and rocks on our adventure. I just took it easy over obstacles and we did fine. We carried a spare tire but did not use it.
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Old 05-20-13, 07:25 PM   #4
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My wife and I gravel-grind with our cannondale RT2, and the only real issue I could imagine for you would be the tendency for the rear-end to skitter left or right in the gravel (and the subsequent discomfort of the stoker). If you wanted to, you could grab a pair of folding xc tires that are in the 35 mm range and swap the gator skins out for these for that section of the ride.
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Old 05-21-13, 06:51 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by CaptainHaddock View Post
My wife and I gravel-grind with our cannondale RT2, and the only real issue I could imagine for you would be the tendency for the rear-end to skitter left or right in the gravel (and the subsequent discomfort of the stoker). If you wanted to, you could grab a pair of folding xc tires that are in the 35 mm range and swap the gator skins out for these for that section of the ride.
OP didn't say what tandem they're riding, but if it's a road tandem with caliper brakes, 28mm may be the upper limit on size.

Schwalbe Marathon tires are very cut resistant and are available in 700x28.

However, for 5 miles of gravel, they may be overkill.
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Old 05-25-13, 11:33 AM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions. (It's a trek t2000.) We're going to try it with the current setup and will ride easy in that section. And carry the spare and such. Still haven't ruled out a brief stint on the freeway since it's remote and would be less than 20 minutes. I guess we'll decide when we get there.
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