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Buy a Burley Tamburello for gravel?

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Buy a Burley Tamburello for gravel?

Old 03-09-21, 09:19 PM
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NRissy
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Buy a Burley Tamburello for gravel?

Have decided to get a tandem for myself and my son to ride. I want a tandem that I could ride gravel with as Nebraska has several bike trails that are gravel and the numerous back-roads throughout the state. I don't have the budget to buy new and I don't want to buy something sight unseen as buying a used bike with wore our parts is going to be just as expensive to replace as buying a new bike. The issue I am finding is that I like having drop bars for the multiple positions but I need wider tires for loose gravel. Finding both on a used bike is become hard.
Locally (a 2 hour drive 97 miles) I have found a Burley Tamburello that the person selling said is basically new because his wife and him had kids the summer after they bought it and never road it again and his children have no interest.He is getting back to me on exact tire size and frame size but I need to know; what would be cheaper on a tandem; replacing the front handlebars and shifters to drop bars; or replacing the tires? I haven't been able to find any hardtail tandems locally. Tandems are somewhat of a unicorn in Nebraska. Should I buy this Burley Tamburello for $1000 and then spend??? on replacing the tires with something wider(how big of a tire could I go? How hard would this bee? or should I look for something else?

My budget is $1000.
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Old 03-10-21, 10:46 AM
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DCwom
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We have a Tamburello frame, but not a factory built bike. Mel @ Tandems East built the bike as a hybrid using the Tamburello frame, the bike has flat bars with SRAM twist shifters, etc. The bike runs 32 mm tires which isn't unusual on tandems, although pure road tandems do go much narrower. I'm not sure you could go much wider than 32 on Tamburello because the chain stays are pretty close together, there is plenty of room in the front fork to go wider, but I can't say if our fork is the same as a factory shipped Tamburello.

The next question is what you consider as "gravel", we've ridden our 32mm on plenty of rail-trail surfaces (GAP, Erie Canal, etc.) with no issue, but these trails have actual surfaces, crushed rock/stone dust, etc. Real gravel, like loose pea sized gravel isn't so good, nor is the typical 1 inch size blue stone you find in parking lots. Packed dirt you find in single or double track is ok if its dry & root free, 32s are just too narrow for mud.

BTW the Tamburello is an aluminum frame so it doesn't flex as much as steel.
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Old 03-11-21, 07:26 PM
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NRissy
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The gravel I ride is mostly hard-packed gravel Nebraska roads. Some minimum maintenance that is just dirt or sand that when wet becomes mud balls that narrow tires would sink into. The Cowboy trail can be very soft in spots when the game and parks puts fresh down. So I have always error on the wider side when possible. I was hoping I could squeeze 1.75in wide tires.

So they won't fit?
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Old 03-12-21, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by NRissy View Post
The gravel I ride is mostly hard-packed gravel Nebraska roads. Some minimum maintenance that is just dirt or sand that when wet becomes mud balls that narrow tires would sink into. The Cowboy trail can be very soft in spots when the game and parks puts fresh down. So I have always error on the wider side when possible. I was hoping I could squeeze 1.75in wide tires.

So they won't fit?
With our 700-32mm (32mm = 1.25") Gatorskins there is less than a 1/4 inch clearance on each side of the tire. Inflation, tread (knobbies), etc could also effect tire width. Also the chain stays are angled in toward the BB so that the bigger/higher the tire gets the less clearance you'd have on the sides. I'm not an expert on tire widths, others may chime in, but I doubt a 1.75 inch tire would fit.
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