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Tandem Front Wheel - Need Advice

Old 05-22-24, 11:28 AM
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Tandem Front Wheel - Need Advice

Iím converting our tandem to a front disc brake and would like some advice on what folks have found works well.

700c either CLD or 6-bolt, but would prefer CLD.

Looking for a nice compromise between weight and durability (about 375# all in).

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-22-24, 04:30 PM
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Tandem Rated Fork

First thing is you need to get a tandem rated fork - and there aren't a ton of choices. Look at reputable tandem dealers. Your local bike shop is not likely to have anything you could use and they may not even know it is a 'thing.' Tandems East, (NJ) House of Tandems (TX) or Rodreguiz Cycles (WA) are places to look, as well as most of the big tandem companies, like Co-motion. Don't try to go cheap by using a single bike fork. Your life may depend on it!
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Old 05-22-24, 05:16 PM
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I would recommend contacting any of the above dealers for wheel options as well. Last I checked Velocity, White Industries and DT Swiss all had good 40 hole hub options, and I use Velocity Dyad rims. And of course quality spokes and a competent wheel builder make all the difference too.
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Old 05-23-24, 03:17 AM
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Your profile shows you’ve got two Santana’s. I’d start with the factory for their fork & brake recommendations. And go from there to the resources already mentioned.
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Old 05-23-24, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by CaliTexan
Your profile shows youíve got two Santanaís. Iíd start with the factory for their fork & brake recommendations. And go from there to the resources already mentioned.
Originally Posted by joeruge
First thing is you need to get a tandem rated fork - and there aren't a ton of choices. Look at reputable tandem dealers. Your local bike shop is not likely to have anything you could use and they may not even know it is a 'thing.' Tandems East, (NJ) House of Tandems (TX) or Rodreguiz Cycles (WA) are places to look, as well as most of the big tandem companies, like Co-motion. Don't try to go cheap by using a single bike fork. Your life may depend on it!
Well, thanks, but I didnít ask about forks. I have that covered with a custom fork built by a very respected frame builder.

Just trying to get some insight into what folks are running for wheels. I have a 40H DT Swiss tandem hub and Dyad are good rims so Iíll probably go with that, but looking for options.
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Old 05-23-24, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
Well, thanks, but I didnít ask about forks. I have that covered with a custom fork built by a very respected frame builder.

Just trying to get some insight into what folks are running for wheels. I have a 40H DT Swiss tandem hub and Dyad are good rims so Iíll probably go with that, but looking for options.
I guess from your reply that you're not interested in Santana's recommendations.

We run Rolf carbon tandem wheels with TRP Spyke mechanical disks, and have been happy with both.
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Old 05-23-24, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CaliTexan
I guess from your reply that you're not interested in Santana's recommendations.

We run Rolf carbon tandem wheels with TRP Spyke mechanical disks, and have been happy with both.

Well, Santanaís advice was to not do it, so Iím looking for other advice and experience.

Thanks for letting me know what youíre using.

I have a call into Rolf.
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Old 05-23-24, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
Well, Santanaís advice was to not do it, so Iím looking for other advice and experience.
What, specifically, didn't Santana recommend--and why?
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Old 05-23-24, 04:40 PM
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Mike, sorry! I read 'folks' as 'forks.' Should have had my glasses on. I do aopologize
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Old 05-23-24, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by TobyGadd
What, specifically, didn't Santana recommend--and why?
Iím curious to hear this as well.
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Old 05-23-24, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CaliTexan
Your profile shows you’ve got two Santana’s. I’d start with the factory for their fork & brake recommendations. And go from there to the resources already mentioned.
Originally Posted by joeruge
First thing is you need to get a tandem rated fork - and there aren't a ton of choices. Look at reputable tandem dealers. Your local bike shop is not likely to have anything you could use and they may not even know it is a 'thing.' Tandems East, (NJ) House of Tandems (TX) or Rodreguiz Cycles (WA) are places to look, as well as most of the big tandem companies, like Co-motion. Don't try to go cheap by using a single bike fork. Your life may depend on it!
I asked them if they had a fork that would accept a disc or any conversion parts. They said “no, they never use a disc except on the Evolve fork.” I asked why and they said they just don’t. It wasn’t the sort of conversation that was going to yield details.

I get the sense they are not very interested in supporting modifications. They pitched me on a new bike, which is fine, but I’m not a buyer at the moment.
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Old 05-23-24, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
I asked them if they had a fork that would accept a disc or any conversion parts. They said ďno, they never use a disc except on the Evolve fork.Ē I asked why and they said they just donít. It wasnít the sort of conversation that was going to yield details.

I get the sense they are not very interested in supporting modifications. They pitched me on a new bike, which is fine, but Iím not a buyer at the moment.
Sounds like they were just saying they donít have a compatible fork for you. They may be able to help with wheels, but again, so can any of the other tandem specialty shops. Iíve personally had great dealings with CoMotion and House of Tandems in Houston.
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Old 05-23-24, 07:51 PM
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I can certainly call a shop and ask for advice, but I really don’t like doing that when I know I’m not going to buy. I’m going build it myself.

why the resistance for folks to tell me what they ride?
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Old 05-24-24, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
I asked them if they had a fork that would accept a disc or any conversion parts. They said ďno, they never use a disc except on the Evolve fork.Ē I asked why and they said they just donít. It wasnít the sort of conversation that was going to yield details.

I get the sense they are not very interested in supporting modifications. They pitched me on a new bike, which is fine, but Iím not a buyer at the moment.
You mean Bill McCready was not supportive of an idea that was not his own. Sounds ď properĒ to me.
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Old 05-24-24, 06:04 AM
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So, why not use an Evolve fork? I’m assuming that Santana’s current steerer diameter is different from your older Santana?

As for front hubs, we use DT240’s on several different sets of wheels with no issue. ( 2 with 100mm qr, and one with through axle).
The front hub doesn’t need to tandem specific
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Old 05-24-24, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
I can certainly call a shop and ask for advice, but I really donít like doing that when I know Iím not going to buy. Iím going build it myself.

why the resistance for folks to tell me what they ride?
Ok, but youíll need to buy the components to build the wheel somewhere. Why not from any of the above shops that specialize in tandem parts?
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Old 05-24-24, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
You mean Bill McCready was not supportive of an idea that was not his own. Sounds ď properĒ to me.
Well, yes. And after the advice he gave about brakes on that tour in France (Mt. VÖ.?) the last thing Iíd take advice from him on is brakes.

That and they have incredibly unhelpful in dealing with the bankruptcy of one their tour operators, for which we have $8K tied up.
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Old 05-24-24, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bboy314
Ok, but youíll need to buy the components to build the wheel somewhere. Why not from any of the above shops that specialize in tandem parts?
I probably will. Right now Iím in the information gathering stage.
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Old 05-24-24, 12:48 PM
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Other than the wheels that have come with my bikes, I usually have my wheels custom-built to my specs. I've always had good luck with DT Swiss hubs, spokes, and rims. I also like Shimano hubs, which are a great value. Universal Cycles has built all of my custom wheelsets over the years, and they've always been excellent. Their configurator lets you select pretty much whatever hubs, spokes, nipples, and rims you like--so you can really tune the cost, performance, durability, etc. to your taste. Universal Cycles -- Custom Wheelset Builder.

If you also need new brakes, you'll likely have to decide of you want to change your brifters to hydraulic or not--which could end up requiring upgrading most of your groupset for big bucks. If you want to keep the existing cable-activated levers, then I'd recommend either Avid BB7 brakes or Paul Klampers. My Cannondale T2 came with BB7 brakes, and I anticipated needing to change them--but they've actually been great for riding steep stuff in Colorado like Mt. Blue Sky, Pikes Peak, etc. Klampers are very expensive, but excellent. If I decided to tour with a big load, I'd likely buy the Klampers, but BB7s have proven to be everything that I need for now (300-pound team plus bike, water, gear).

I'm still a little confused about the fork issue, though. If the fork is disc-compatible, why doesn't Santana want you to put a disc brake on it?
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Old 05-24-24, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bboy314
Iím curious to hear this as well.
No problem. It was actually kinda funny.
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Old 05-24-24, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
So, why not use an Evolve fork? Iím assuming that Santanaís current steerer diameter is different from your older Santana?

As for front hubs, we use DT240ís on several different sets of wheels with no issue. ( 2 with 100mm qr, and one with through axle).
The front hub doesnít need to tandem specific
The Evolve fork is tapered, and they really werenít interested in going down that road.

Thanks for letting me know your wheel specs.
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Old 05-24-24, 08:43 PM
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Dt Swiss hubs 350 hybrid front and rear both 32 hole and both laced into dt Swiss gr 531rims. Touring/ gravel rig with plenty of KMs on mixed terrain.
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Old 05-25-24, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
Iím converting our tandem to a front disc brake and would like some advice on what folks have found works well.

700c either CLD or 6-bolt, but would prefer CLD.

Looking for a nice compromise between weight and durability (about 375# all in).

Thanks in advance!

I have a little-used Spinergy TX2 front tandem wheel, 6-bolt for disc for sale. Light and bomb proof!! Complete with tire and tube.
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Old 05-25-24, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TobyGadd
Other than the wheels that have come with my bikes, I usually have my wheels custom-built to my specs. I've always had good luck with DT Swiss hubs, spokes, and rims. I also like Shimano hubs, which are a great value. Universal Cycles has built all of my custom wheelsets over the years, and they've always been excellent. Their configurator lets you select pretty much whatever hubs, spokes, nipples, and rims you like--so you can really tune the cost, performance, durability, etc. to your taste. Universal Cycles -- Custom Wheelset Builder.

If you also need new brakes, you'll likely have to decide of you want to change your brifters to hydraulic or not--which could end up requiring upgrading most of your groupset for big bucks. If you want to keep the existing cable-activated levers, then I'd recommend either Avid BB7 brakes or Paul Klampers. My Cannondale T2 came with BB7 brakes, and I anticipated needing to change them--but they've actually been great for riding steep stuff in Colorado like Mt. Blue Sky, Pikes Peak, etc. Klampers are very expensive, but excellent. If I decided to tour with a big load, I'd likely buy the Klampers, but BB7s have proven to be everything that I need for now (300-pound team plus bike, water, gear).

I'm still a little confused about the fork issue, though. If the fork is disc-compatible, why doesn't Santana want you to put a disc brake on it?
Thatís a great at Universal Cycles, but there are very few QR disc hubs.

Thanks for the link.
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Old 05-25-24, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
Thatís a great at Universal Cycles, but there are very few QR disc hubs.

Thanks for the link.
Yeah, the industry is definitely moving to TA hubs. Still some decent options there, though.

You could also try calling Tandems East. Mel has lots of QR hubs, and he laces up nice wheels.
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