A Couple Questions about upgrades
We have a Giordano tandem that we love. It was inexpensive to start out with. A good way to see if we liked it more than our singles. I have upgraded the brakes to 105's and swapped out the bar tape.
I want to replace the tires on it now. They have 1400 miles on them. No flats or scuffs but They are the factory no name 700 X 32. I would like to go to a 28mm. What are some good tire choices? We do load the bike a bit for long rides. Bike loaded weighs in at 75 lbs, and we weigh 300 lbs combined. I would like to keep the cost around $100 for the pair if possible.
I also want to replace the rear derailleur and all the cables and housings. Rear derailleur is a Shimano RD-TX51D. What would be a good upgrade for it. Bike is a 3X8. Does anyone have some advice on cables and housings? Our shifting on RAGBRAI went downhill after the 3rd day. Delayed shifts, missed shifts, shifting when I hit a bump.
I know its a cheap tandem. Our goal now that we love riding together is to purchase a better higher end tandem in late 2014.
Thanks in advance!
Glad you are enjoying your tandem.
My two cents: Don't drop in tire size, but buy a good quality kevlar bead 700x32 tire like the Panaracer Pasella. There are numerous threads in this forum about tire choice (and numerous opinions) but we ride a lot of miles and we ride fast and unless you are on pristine pavement a bit more volume is better in my opinion.
Upgrading your 8 speed drivetrain is a bit trickier. I wouldn't expect that one 8 speed derailleur is really much better than any other, unless the derailleur is damaged. I'd start by replacing the cables and housings and would also take the bike to a knowledgable shop to have the derailleru hangar straightened. Make sure you don't have any tight bends in the cables.
Another common cause of skipping/misshifts is a worn chain or cassette. Park tools makes a wonderfully simple chain checker (part number CC-3.2) that every cyclist should own. One huge advantage of 8 speed is that chains and cassettes are very inexpensive. I would guess you could replace the cables, housings, cassette and chain for under $100 in parts. Your chainrings might also be worn but unless they look like sharks teeth you can try them with the new chain and see how it goes.