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26 inch tires for tandem

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26 inch tires for tandem

Old 08-27-17, 08:06 PM
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gobsmacked
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26 inch tires for tandem

I haven't seen a recent discussion on 26 inch tandem tires. My preferred 26 inch tire is no longer available. We ride a 26x1.5 tire on asphalt and crushed gravel. Please let me know what 26 inch tires you are running and what you like about them. Thx.
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Old 08-27-17, 08:25 PM
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We have Serfas Drifter tires on our 26" wheel bikes. They were chosen as standard tires by Rodriguez and Erickson (R&E Cycles) in Seattle, which is experienced in using stuff that is good for its price.

If it were up to ME, though, I would get Compass tires in the appropriate width. Phenomenal.
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Old 08-27-17, 08:42 PM
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Long ago (okay, thirty years back) in a state not far away, Specialized made the original Fat Boy. It came in two flavors, one about two inches in width and the other either 1.25 or 1.5. They weren't kevlar lined and were very soft, fast tires. Eventually, those disappeared and then reappeared as stiff, slow kevlar-lined tires only available at one and a quarter inches wide; tried 'em, didn't like 'em.

Thankfully, someone eventually convinced Compass to make a few supple 26" tires. Initially, to avoid the cost of having Panaracer make new molds for them, they used existing molds that laid on a lot of rubber, but the tires were still supple and fast, though heavy, and available in 1.5" or 1.75" widths.

Compass eventually had Panaracer make some new molds for true performance tires in 26", and those are available at 2.3", 1.8" and 1.25", with their heavier proto-type still available at 1.5". I agree with Jan Heine's research that wider is indeed faster, so we roll the 2.3" tires on and off-road. Our off-road riding is mostly on gravel logging roads with a few of them being formerly gravel (long abandoned and pretty much 6" of dirt over the gravel).

I ride stoker (6'2", 180#) and love the slightly cushy ride. My captain (5'6" 128#) likes the front tire a bit firmer than I like the rear, but it's a far cry from those near-solid things so many riders roll on (typically we're around 40-55 psi, rear-front). We've found that the rolling resistance with these tires is dramatically lower than what we had with 1.25" tires pumped to 100 psi. Short flat spots we used to have to pedal on to get to the next drop are now places we have to brake; it's really noticeable. Then there's that whole lack of road vibration in the handlebars and saddle that we get with the softer tires. That really makes a difference at the end of a consecutive days of riding (or just the end of one day, depending on your roads and sensitivity).

The darned things are expensive, though. Thankfully, we get several thousand miles out of a tire, but I'd use them even if I only got 2000 miles out of each tire.
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Old 08-27-17, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I agree with Jan Heine's research that wider is indeed faster, so we roll the 2.3" tires on and off-road. Our off-road riding is mostly on gravel logging roads with a few of them being formerly gravel (long abandoned and pretty much 6" of dirt over the gravel).
I totally agree.
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Old 08-28-17, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by gobsmacked View Post
Please let me know what 26 inch tires you are running and what you like about them. Thx.
we use Schwalbe Kojak 50x559 slick for touring and daily riding on pavement and hardpack. Enough volume to handle anything we want to or have to ride on. A bit noisy but otherwise I like them.
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Old 08-30-17, 12:20 AM
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I find it hard to believe anything could be better than the 26x1.6 Schwalbe Marathon Supreme I'm using on my Disc Trucker.
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Old 08-30-17, 09:43 AM
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If my tandem used 26" wheels, I'd opt for these:
Compass Rat Trap Pass 26 x 2.3
Compass Naches Pass 26 x 1.8
Panaracer Pasela 26 x 1.75
Panaracer Pasela PT 26 x 1.75

My current favorite tandem road (good pavement, bad pavement, gravel, damp dirt, NOT muddy, NOT rutted) tires are Panaracer Pari Moto 650b x 42mm (1.75in). The Compass Naches Pass is really close.
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Old 08-31-17, 12:13 PM
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Not sexy, probably not cool, and definitely not expensive: we've used the Performance Bike Forte Metro-K 26x1.25 tire for years with very good results. Almost never get a flat, handles well, etc. Not the supplest or lightest, but a great all-around tire. And only $15-$20 usually. We've done loaded touring on them, metric centuries, bike paths, rail-trails, you name it.

Product: Forté Metro-K Road and Mountain Tires
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Old 08-31-17, 09:01 PM
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We prefer a narrower tire,like 1.125 to 1.250, started with Schwalbe Durano, liked the performance but switched to gatorskins, mostly for flat protection, didn't help, and disliked handling performance, went to Paneracer ribmo, not bad on rear but didn't like front handling, had 3 failures of the cord rubbing a hole in my tube, went back to Duranos!
Might try the Philly recommendation??
R&J
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Old 09-02-17, 10:53 AM
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We no longer have a 26" tandem (still have a great set of wheels though, hanging on hooks). Still have 1-1/8" Gatorskins on the wheels. We ran Kenda Quest 1.5" also, and I still have a set of those that were only on the ground once. The Kenda tires are 100 psi rated.
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Old 09-02-17, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Philly Tandem View Post
Not sexy, probably not cool, and definitely not expensive: we've used the Performance Bike Forte Metro-K 26x1.25 tire for years with very good results. Almost never get a flat, handles well, etc. Not the supplest or lightest, but a great all-around tire. And only $15-$20 usually. We've done loaded touring on them, metric centuries, bike paths, rail-trails, you name it.

Product: Forté Metro-K Road and Mountain Tires
Great value tire - I've used them on my single recumbents - but haven't been available on the website for quite a while. The link shows Out Of Stock.
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Old 09-02-17, 08:45 PM
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I've put hundreds of miles of rail trail (crushed limestone, gravel) riding on a set of Specialized Infinity Armadillo Reflect tires.

They aren't the lightest tire ever, but I have yet to get a flat with them. I got flats fairly routinely before putting them on. Zero since. Mine are the 26x1.75. They are rated to handle fairly high pressure, too, if that matters to you. The things are tough.
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Old 09-02-17, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by syncro87 View Post
I've put hundreds of miles of rail trail (crushed limestone, gravel) riding on a set of Specialized Infinity Armadillo Reflect tires.

They aren't the lightest tire ever, but I have yet to get a flat with them. I got flats fairly routinely before putting them on. Zero since. Mine are the 26x1.75. They are rated to handle fairly high pressure, too, if that matters to you. The things are tough.
We tried an early version of the Armadillos a decade ago. They rolled like they were a concrete core with some rubber glued onto the outside. Also, the rubber tended to delaminate and come off; I brought a set in that did that and the shop manager said, "Oh yeah, that happens all the time."

They didn't get flats, though. I'm not sure anything short of a small nuclear device could have gotten through them.
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Old 09-02-17, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
We tried an early version of the Armadillos a decade ago. They rolled like they were a concrete core with some rubber glued onto the outside. Also, the rubber tended to delaminate and come off; I brought a set in that did that and the shop manager said, "Oh yeah, that happens all the time."

They didn't get flats, though. I'm not sure anything short of a small nuclear device could have gotten through them.
I had a set of the older Crossroads (IIRC) Armadillos maybe 10 years ago or more. Like you said, they had a delamination issue there for a while. The older version I had back in the day were two tone with tan sidewalls, and I think that is where they tended to delaminate.

The Infinity line seems to be much improved, with no such issues. I think there are a fairly wide range of tires with the Armadillo feature, and they might not be necessarily related. I think Armadillo just is Spec's way of saying puncture resistant, and they use it on several different tires.

I took the Infinities off and put on some Panaracer Tour Guard Plus the other day. Only two rides in so far, but they seem slighly more compliant than the Spec tires. Efficiency, I can't tell, maybe they roll a hair easier. Can't say whether they are as tough, yet.

If I had to ride my bike in a situation where my life depended on not getting a flat, I'd put the Infinity tires back on.
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Old 09-13-17, 01:51 PM
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We have to agree with carfree about wider, softer, easier rolling, but darn, most of those weigh nigh double and not so nice for pulling hills.Another gram counter.
R&J
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Old 09-14-17, 07:12 PM
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These: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000C15E1W
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Old 09-15-17, 10:12 AM
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Street riding using Schwalbe Stelvio 26" tires great tire
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Old 09-19-17, 10:45 PM
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I went with Kojaks but Marathons might be better

I have nothing nice to say about Nimbus or Armadillos... I had them on my commuter and moved them briefly to the tandem. Yuck.
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Old 09-27-17, 06:58 AM
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We use Schwalbe Marathon Plus 26 x 1.35 (35X559) for pavement and firm packed rail trails.At 95 psi, they are reasonably fast and handle well. We have Schwable Marathon 26 x 1.75 (47x559) at 70 psi for softer trails. The 26 x 1.75s are E-BIKE rated. Bike is a DaVinci In2ition, carrying about 340#.

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Old 09-27-17, 06:09 PM
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Schwalbe Marathon Supreme! Great handling, 5 years no flats, won't ride anything else.

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Old 09-27-17, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by OneIsAllYouNeed View Post
If my tandem used 26" wheels, I'd opt for these:
Compass Rat Trap Pass 26 x 2.3
Compass Naches Pass 26 x 1.8
Panaracer Pasela 26 x 1.75
Panaracer Pasela PT 26 x 1.75
I use Pasela 26x1.75 on my tandem because the Naches Pass wasn't available the last time I bought tires for that bike, and I wasn't sure if the the Rat Trap Pass would fit. My wife and I only ride a few hundred tandem miles a year, so it may be a while before the Paselas need replacing.
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Old 09-30-17, 09:36 AM
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I just noticed that the max pressure printed on the 26x1.75 pasela sidewall is 65 psi, and my tire pressure calculator calls for 75 psi unloaded and 85 psi loaded for the rear tire.
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Old 09-30-17, 12:36 PM
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We use the Kenda Kwest Tandem tire on our quad. Max pressure 100 lbs.

https://www.niagaracycle.com/categories/tires-ken-kwest-26x1-5-bk-bsk-tandem-100lb-k193

Not a lot of 26" tires are rated for higher pressures, which we need for the quad. So we use these, we'd rather be safe than have maybe a little less weight or more supple tire.

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Old 09-30-17, 03:01 PM
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I run my tires at whatever the calculator says and ignore the sidewall.
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Old 10-01-17, 04:00 AM
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We are using Schwalbe Supreme 2.0" and have been finding them great for road and ok for gravel paths. They are much more comfortable than the Continental gatorskin 1.5" tyres we used to use.
They also roll a lot faster than the Marathons. With Marathons we seem to ride at about 27-28km/hr on a flat paved road whereas we are doing 31-33km/hr on the Supremes when we are touring with rear panniers.
I'm in the process of building some lighter wheels for around town and will be interested to try the Compass Naches Pass
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