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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 10-29-13, 09:49 PM   #1
swc7916
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Our Tandem on Cyclemonkey Blog

Cyclemonkey did a nice write-up of our tandem on their Monkey Lab blog:

http://cyclemonkeylab.blogspot.com/2...loff.html#more

Last edited by swc7916; 10-31-13 at 11:52 AM. Reason: changed link
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Old 10-29-13, 11:21 PM   #2
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Nice bike.
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Old 10-30-13, 12:31 AM   #3
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Interesting drivetrain. Don't think I've ever seen anyone use the smaller chainring on a double to connect the timing chain. Great idea.

Are you pretty happy with the Rohloff? Seems like it would make for a much easier to use drivetrain on a tandem.
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Old 10-30-13, 07:25 PM   #4
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Looks great! Saw your bike on R&E's website. It is always fun knowing who owns the bikes you've drooled over.
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Old 01-29-14, 08:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by swc7916 View Post
Cyclemonkey did a nice write-up of our tandem on their Monkey Lab blog:
Smooth looking bike.
How about a ride report?
Any pros, cons so far with the Rohloff?
What is the weight as pictured?
Why not go with belt drives? Or did you want that brighter look the chain seems to give to match the bike color theme?
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Old 01-29-14, 03:05 PM   #6
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A couple of people above asked for feedback about running a Rohloff on a tandem, so here goes:

We used a Rohloff on our tandem for a couple of months. We took it off because you can only shift the Rohloff during the dead-spot of the pedaling motion - if there's any power going through the drivetrain then it won't shift, or it will at least be very hard to do so. Since we prefer to have our cranks 90 degrees out of phase, we have no dead spot, and so shifting with the Rohloff was pretty poor - all of the derailleur setups that we've had on the bike have worked better (we've had Shimano, Campy, and SRAM shifters on there and Shimano MTB, Shimano road, and SRAM MTB derailleurs). I've since put the Rohloff hub on a 29er hardtail MTB, and in that application it is awesome. I assume that if you pedal in phase on a tandem then a Rohloff would shift pretty well.

I'm also not a fan of the Rohloff for road riding because the 13.6% shifts are too large. Most 10-speed road cassettes have cog size differences of 8-12%, with some wider-range cassettes having one or two 13-15% jumps. 13.6% is more similar to the jumps made on MTB cassettes, and that is the domain it is targeted at, as well as adventure bike tourers. Instead of having a 500+% gear range, I'd rather that Rohloff made a road version with a gear range of only about 400% but had 11-12% differences between gears. Again, I've found the hub to be ideal on a MTB (especially because derailleurs get so easily knocked out of line or much worse in any technical terrain) but IMO it is not suited to road riding after you're accustomed to 10-speed cassettes.
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Old 01-29-14, 03:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
A couple of people above asked for feedback about running a Rohloff on a tandem, so here goes:

We used a Rohloff on our tandem for a couple of months. We took it off because you can only shift the Rohloff during the dead-spot of the pedaling motion - if there's any power going through the drivetrain then it won't shift, or it will at least be very hard to do so. Since we prefer to have our cranks 90 degrees out of phase, we have no dead spot, and so shifting with the Rohloff was pretty poor - all of the derailleur setups that we've had on the bike have worked better (we've had Shimano, Campy, and SRAM shifters on there and Shimano MTB, Shimano road, and SRAM MTB derailleurs). I've since put the Rohloff hub on a 29er hardtail MTB, and in that application it is awesome. I assume that if you pedal in phase on a tandem then a Rohloff would shift pretty well.

I'm also not a fan of the Rohloff for road riding because the 13.6% shifts are too large. Most 10-speed road cassettes have cog size differences of 8-12%, with some wider-range cassettes having one or two 13-15% jumps. 13.6% is more similar to the jumps made on MTB cassettes, and that is the domain it is targeted at, as well as adventure bike tourers. Instead of having a 500+% gear range, I'd rather that Rohloff made a road version with a gear range of only about 400% but had 11-12% differences between gears. Again, I've found the hub to be ideal on a MTB (especially because derailleurs get so easily knocked out of line or much worse in any technical terrain) but IMO it is not suited to road riding after you're accustomed to 10-speed cassettes.
Could you adjust the ratio between the front and rear sprockets to change the ratio ie a smaller front and rear would increase the difference and a larger front and rear would reduce it?

Or am I mixing this up entirely?
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Old 01-29-14, 05:47 PM   #8
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Changing the sprockets would change the overall gearing by a constant factor, but it won't change the size of the steps between internal gears.
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Old 01-30-14, 08:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
A couple of people above asked for feedback about running a Rohloff on a tandem, so here goes:
Thanks Chris
The appeal of clean, low maintenance, and being able to shift while stopped sounded great for a future drivetrain. I didn't know you couldn't shift while actually pedaling. That would be a major drawback if you want to keep up in the draft on a tandem.
Sounds like I will keep the old, tried and true, drivetrain.
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Old 01-30-14, 03:17 PM   #10
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I didn't know you couldn't shift while actually pedaling.
You can shift while pedaling, but you have to ease off the power quite a bit more than you do with a derailleur system. As I said, you can normally make a shift by doing so in the dead-spot of the pedal stroke, but that doesn't exist on a tandem that is setup out of phase.
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Old 01-30-14, 05:02 PM   #11
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Nice! We have the same brake setup on our tandems (2 cantilevers and rear disc). I'm okay with the braking but wondered how those Rodriquez cantilevers work for you. I considered using them before going with Shimano.
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Old 01-30-14, 08:08 PM   #12
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Nice! We have the same brake setup on our tandems (2 cantilevers and rear disc). I'm okay with the braking but wondered how those Rodriquez cantilevers work for you. I considered using them before going with Shimano.
The Rodriguez cantilevers are the most adjustable - and easiest to adjust - cantilevers I have worked with. They're pricey, but I would not consider any other cantilevers.
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Old 01-30-14, 08:31 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Chris_W View Post
You can shift while pedaling, but you have to ease off the power quite a bit more than you do with a derailleur system. As I said, you can normally make a shift by doing so in the dead-spot of the pedal stroke, but that doesn't exist on a tandem that is setup out of phase.
That is not exactly my experience. We don't "ease up" when making a shift. If you're mashing the pedals, you can't shift - keep the cadence reasonably high and shifting is usually good. When approaching a hill you learn to shift before your cadence drops too low. One thing different about the Rohloff is that the indexing is in the hub, not the shifter. Because of this, there is always a little play in the rotary shift that doesn't always feel positive; you have to rotate the shifter slightly to take up the play in the cable before you can shift. Good shifts are noticeably better than a derailleur - they are instantaneous; that is, you don't get the slight lag of the chain moving from one cog to the other. We occasionally get stuck "between" gears (I don't know what exactly is happening inside the hub) and have to shift back and try again. The most annoying thing (to my stoker, at least) is that at least once on every ride I will forget which direction to twist the shifter and shift down when I meant to shift up.
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Old 01-30-14, 09:07 PM   #14
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I guess you haven't tried DI2 shifting on a tandem yet, the smoothes, fasts shifts possible, on a tandem, no cables, no housing & no friction!
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Old 01-30-14, 10:11 PM   #15
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If anyone is interested there is a Co-Motion listed for sale with a belt drive and Rohloff!

New Hampshire craigslist
http://nh.craigslist.org/bik/4265504592.html
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Old 01-30-14, 10:20 PM   #16
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I guess you haven't tried DI2 shifting on a tandem yet, the smoothes, fasts shifts possible, on a tandem, no cables, no housing & no friction!
And what value did this comment add to the discussion? Or was this just to show off your (supposed) superiority?

I'll bet that there are not many people who have tried DI2 on a tandem. I happen to be one of the few people who have tried Roholff on a tandem, however. With a derailleur system, whether cable-operated or electonic, the rear wheel still takes a partial revolution to move the chain from one cog to the other. With the Rohloff, this is not a factor and shifts can occur quicker than a derailleur.
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Old 01-31-14, 12:49 AM   #17
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Your bike is beautiful. The shaped tubing is art in my opinion. What kind of tubing is that?
Is this the bike you are thinking of putting the Compass tires on? The more I ride those tires, the more enthusiastically I want to recommend them. I don't think you'd regret giving them a shot. Plus, they would look super sweet on your Rodriguez.
Cheers!
Henry

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Cyclemonkey did a nice write-up of our tandem on their Monkey Lab blog:

http://cyclemonkeylab.blogspot.com/2...loff.html#more
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Old 01-31-14, 05:05 PM   #18
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2 eccentric BB's makes the tensioning both chains Tidy.

My Rohloff bikes are my favorite .. though i'm Single, so No tandem .
both 16t cog, 38t on 26" wheel. 53t on the 20" wheel ..

Im Old too so a lower High is just fine.
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Old 01-31-14, 05:29 PM   #19
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Your bike is beautiful. The shaped tubing is art in my opinion. What kind of tubing is that?
Is this the bike you are thinking of putting the Compass tires on? The more I ride those tires, the more enthusiastically I want to recommend them. I don't think you'd regret giving them a shot. Plus, they would look super sweet on your Rodriguez.
Cheers!
Henry
Thank you. The frame was built by Todd Bertram and he did a beautiful job on the welds. I don't know what kind of tubing it is, but this frame is much nicer than our old Rodriguez. R+E had a limited supply of this tubing and ran out soon after building this tandem.

You're making me want to pry $120 from my wallet to try out the Compass tires....
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