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Old 06-27-18, 11:41 AM
Clipless in Coeur d'Alene
twocicle's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Posts: 1,929

Bikes: Tandems: Calfee Dragonfly S&S, Ventana ECDM mtb; Singles: Specialized Tarmac SL4 S-Works, Specialized Stumpjumper Pro, etal.

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If we ever might have a use for a drag brake, maybe it would be if on a fully loaded tour with panniers or a trailer. Otherwise we do plenty of Euro tours on super steep twisty grades and really enjoy the rush of high speed descents and technical terrain. The primary danger being vehicle and bicycle traffic so control is essential to avoid issues with that. For our needs, solving "braking power" does not require a single 10" rotor and having a rim brake up front would introduce a huge chance of tire blowout. On the road tandem we use hydraulic brakes with front/rear 203mm rotors. For comparison, our off-road (mtb) tandem we only use 203mm front and 180mm rear (with a lightweight stoker I cannot apply more rear braking anyway... there is only so much traction available). Our brake pads last a frustratingly long time... I have sets of spares just dying to be installed but rarely seem to find the need. FWIW, we never have need to stop and let our brakes cool... I let the fast moving air do that while we ride

The Santanas we had, rode well enough. The first CoMo frame was a bit soft and a dog by comparison to everything we have ridden since. The Sovereign (Team AL) was actually a great ride quality, but there were plenty of times where I was holding my breath when needing to apply a lot of front caliper brake (re: heat & blowout potential). We did make a big mistake with that purchase because we were unaware at the time the very wide rear spacing exceeded my petite wife's biomechanical requirements... she cannot handle wide Q-Factors. Her ITB problems resulted in needing surgery and began and ended with that Sovereign usage not to reappear since moving back to lesser width stances. This may be a corner case and most people probably will not experience the issue, but for us the 160mm spacing is not usable.

Moral of the story, get what works for you - riding style and physical needs.
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