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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 12-21-13, 09:13 AM   #1
hup
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9 speed to 10 speed - what's in it for me?

I thought I would toss this out there for input.
Our Burley Rock N Roll is set up for road riding. It is currently sporting 9 speed 5500 STI 105. It works just fine. I love the bike and enjoy riding and working on it.
I have a new (take off) set of 5700 STI 10 speed shifters, derailleurs, and cassette(s) sitting on my bench. I'm trying to decide whether or not to swap it over to the tandem.
Minuses? I would be removing perfectly functional setup that I have pretty much dialed in right now. However, it dates from the 90s and while it is believed to be low mileage, it was used when I obtained it so there is an element of unknown there. Also, I would likely want to replace the cables, which I just replaced last spring.
On the plus side, I would be gaining 10+ years of technology along with another cog in the rear. In addition to that, the parts are essentially new. I also like the ergonomics of the 5700 vs the 5500. The shape of the shifters seems to feel better to my hands and wrists.

We ride less than 1000 miles/year. I would love for it to be more, but at this time that's just what it is. My stoker enjoys riding, but doesn't really love it. I, on the other hand, love it.
On the tandem we do mainly club rides in the 30-50 mile range, 15-16 mph avg on flat ground with a decent amount of climbing. We also ride an occasional metric. Compared to most of you folks here, we are just dabblers in the tandem world.

Would this just be change for the sake of change?

Henry
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Old 12-21-13, 09:36 AM   #2
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10 spd is much more expensive to maintain, and doesn't seem to offer as many choices of gearing.
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Old 12-21-13, 10:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hup View Post
I thought I would toss this out there for input.
Our Burley Rock N Roll is set up for road riding. It is currently sporting 9 speed 5500 STI 105. It works just fine. I love the bike and enjoy riding and working on it.
I have a new (take off) set of 5700 STI 10 speed shifters, derailleurs, and cassette(s) sitting on my bench. I'm trying to decide whether or not to swap it over to the tandem.
Minuses? I would be removing perfectly functional setup that I have pretty much dialed in right now. However, it dates from the 90s and while it is believed to be low mileage, it was used when I obtained it so there is an element of unknown there. Also, I would likely want to replace the cables, which I just replaced last spring.
On the plus side, I would be gaining 10+ years of technology along with another cog in the rear. In addition to that, the parts are essentially new. I also like the ergonomics of the 5700 vs the 5500. The shape of the shifters seems to feel better to my hands and wrists.

We ride less than 1000 miles/year. I would love for it to be more, but at this time that's just what it is. My stoker enjoys riding, but doesn't really love it. I, on the other hand, love it.
On the tandem we do mainly club rides in the 30-50 mile range, 15-16 mph avg on flat ground with a decent amount of climbing. We also ride an occasional metric. Compared to most of you folks here, we are just dabblers in the tandem world.

Would this just be change for the sake of change?

Henry
Sounds like the 9 speed works well for you so I suggest it would be change just for change. Maybe you want to change for the fun of it and that is ok but in my mind that is what it would be.
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Old 12-21-13, 06:39 PM   #4
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Whenever the 5500 STI gives up the ghost, you will likely be forced to move to 10-speed, as the 9 speed stuff is becoming more difficult to find.

Picking up a cog is always nice.

I have no experience with 10-speed stuff on a tandem, so I don't know what the potential minuses would be.
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Old 12-21-13, 08:33 PM   #5
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Tested the10-speed Shimano DI-2 (electronic) on our tandem. It malfunctioned seriously after only 1,800 miles in the middle of a hillclimb. Yup, it had been fully recharged.
Went back to 9 speed barcons.
Happy!!!
.
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Old 12-21-13, 09:16 PM   #6
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The 10 speed stuff requires more precise adjustment so is more often out of tune when a 9-speed would have tolerated the slight mis-adjustment just fine. I just finished building a $4k touring bike and sourced new old stock Ultegra 9-speed components for that reason. I also have seen 2 friends have 10 speed chains break in last few years but have never seen a 9 speed break.
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Old 12-22-13, 10:40 AM   #7
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Hup, what cassette are you currently running?

Do you need a higher or lower gear, is there a big jump between two gears where a gear between them would keep you in the cadence range that you prefer.

i like a cassette with closely spaced gears, hence the 12-27 that we use. I would not go back to a 9 speed.

What can be gained? A lower low gear, a higher big gear or maybe better spacing. It all depends on what you want.

i have never broken a chain, 5,6,7,8 or 10 speed. Yes I have ridden them all except the 9 speed. As for cost, there may come a time when 9 speed will cost more than 10.
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Old 12-22-13, 11:54 AM   #8
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Speeds is just how many cogs are stacked up on the back wheel..

It says nothing about the usable gear ratios available.

for that you need to count teeth and do the math ..



Will one more cog matter a lot ? Doubtful.
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Old 12-22-13, 12:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
Tested the10-speed Shimano DI-2 (electronic) on our tandem. It malfunctioned seriously after only 1,800 miles in the middle of a hillclimb. Yup, it had been fully recharged.
Went back to 9 speed barcons.
Happy!!!
.
Was the Di2 modified?

Cant remember the cause of your failure.

Have you tried shimano tandem ten speed group as that would be a more fair comparison.
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Old 12-22-13, 06:52 PM   #10
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I remember that when we were doing our big make-over back in Jan., our LBS owner dissuaded us from going 9-sp to 10. Our non-tandem shop wanted to know why we wanted to go to a 10-cog. My response was simply another climbing gear. He told us to stay with the 9, mostly over costs. (Caveat: we were staying with our Flight Deck.) He pointed out that besides new shifters, cassette, & chain costs, the 10-sp chains wore out more often. He also recommended that in addition to keeping our old 9-sp set up, to get NOS 6503 shifters for when the originals wear out. But I digress, maintenance & tolerances would be the biggest issues. And we just have to train harder for the climbing at GTR-2014 in Athens.
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Old 12-22-13, 09:39 PM   #11
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Team Fab:

The only modification we had on the DI-2 was to substitute a NMH battery inside stoker seatpost for the Shim. battery pack.
Worked great for 1360 miles before having to recharge the unit. Worked good for another 300+ miles before becoming problematic and finally failing on a hill climb. No warning from the light system indicating any impending battery issue.
Fortunately we did not pay $3,600 for the DI-2 setup as we were being test dummies.
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Old 12-23-13, 10:30 AM   #12
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^^^ current Ultegra 10spd (aka 6770) Di2 pricing is about 1/3 that cost which was likely an early version of DuraAce Di2. In a broader survey by cyclingnews.com, barcon shifters didn't make the list

I vaguely recall reading something about battery drainage being related to derailleur firmware long since fixed. May have been a quirk in that area, or problems centering around a non-Shimano battery. In either case, pain of early adopters. The current E-tube Di2 implementation seems to have a huge fan base.

Our Di2 10 spd build should commence in a couple weeks once Calfee returns the modded frame to us. The setup will include the Shimano BTR2 seatpost battery + the E-tube front junction box with the USB charging port. Hopefully this turns out great and +1 to the fan base.

---

To the OP, I found Ultegra 10spd (6700 series) worked very well and no more finicky than 9spd. It had improved/smoother shifting plus cleaner cable routing under bar tape from the shifters, +1 rear cog. The front derailleur trim on the 6703 shifters was better too.

In considering 5700 (105 series), you may want to do some searching on "Shimano 5700 fd trim". There seems to be a lot of complaints about the FD/left shifter for that model.

Last edited by twocicle; 12-27-13 at 01:15 PM.
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