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SRAM wireless on a tandem

Old 06-20-24, 03:38 PM
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SRAM wireless on a tandem

Anyone running SRAM electronic wireless or wired shifting on a tandem? If so, chainrings and cassette are you using? We have Shimano 3x10 mechanical and I would like to get more consistent shifting by getting rid of the long cable run to the RD.
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Old 06-20-24, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cheg
Anyone running SRAM electronic wireless or wired shifting on a tandem? If so, chainrings and cassette are you using? We have Shimano 3x10 mechanical and I would like to get more consistent shifting by getting rid of the long cable run to the RD.
I've considered it, but the range of a 3x10 drivetrain can't be beat for hilly places like Colorado. We simply change cables and housing more often to keep shifting smooth and quick.
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Old 06-21-24, 02:48 AM
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We’ve been running SRAM etap WiFli on our CoMo Macchiato for a few years and are very pleased.
46/30 x 11-36. Love it!
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Old 06-21-24, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by cheg
Anyone running SRAM electronic wireless or wired shifting on a tandem? If so, chainrings and cassette are you using? We have Shimano 3x10 mechanical and I would like to get more consistent shifting by getting rid of the long cable run to the RD.
House of Tandems offers such a setup. I'm considering it, but at a combined age of 127 years (stoker is 29 and I'm 98 ) and a weight of 400# we can't quite get the gearing we want. I'm on a weight loss program, so maybe with another 30# loss......
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Old 06-21-24, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by TobyGadd
I've considered it, but the range of a 3x10 drivetrain can't be beat for hilly places like Colorado. We simply change cables and housing more often to keep shifting smooth and quick.
What are you using for the cassette, rear derailleur and shifter? My rear setup is giving me fits (Shimano 9-speed cassette, new Deore XT RD and flat bar trigger shifter).
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Old 06-21-24, 09:27 AM
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We’ve been very happy running Ultegra Di2 for 5+ years on our Carerra. Very standard gearing - 50-34 and 11-34. We have a second cassette (11-42), longer chain & Wolftooth that we switch to when we’re going to do a hilly tour. It’s a coupled bike, but connecting the internal wires is no big deal. SRAM users seem pleased with their choice as well.

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Old 06-21-24, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CaliTexan
Weíve been very happy running Ultegra Di2 for 5+ years on our Carerra. Very standard gearing - 50-34 and 11-34. We have a second cassette (11-40), longer chain & Wolftooth that we switch to when weíre going to do a hilly tour. Itís a coupled bike, but connecting the internal wires is no big deal. SRAM users seem pleased with their choice as well.
we need a 24-36 at low altitudes and used a 24-42 in Southern Utah when toured Bryce, Zion and Grand Canyons last month. Wonderful trip, but the altitude was, ummmm, challenging!

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Old 06-21-24, 08:21 PM
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Finally tracked down a nearly NOS etap 11 spd setup for exactly this conversion from 105 triple. Will be a summer project and report back!
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Old 06-21-24, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by JSNYC
Finally tracked down a nearly NOS etap 11 spd setup for exactly this conversion from 105 triple. Will be a summer project and report back!
Keep us updated!
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Old 06-22-24, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
House of Tandems offers such a setup. I'm considering it, but at a combined age of 127 years (stoker is 29 and I'm 98 ) and a weight of 400# we can't quite get the gearing we want. I'm on a weight loss program, so maybe with another 30# loss......
Combined ages of 169, weight 345#, no hills, added Cytronex C1 e-assist. Love the SRAM and ability to see gears on Garmin.
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Old 06-25-24, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by TobyGadd
I've considered it, but the range of a 3x10 drivetrain can't be beat for hilly places like Colorado. We simply change cables and housing more often to keep shifting smooth and quick.
When you chart it out, consider the duplicated gears, and the cross chained gears you donít want to use in the 3x10 setup, you have about the same number of useable gears, and can cover the same range, with about the same spacing between gears.

we have 2x11 di2 on both tandems, and have not missed a triple at all. My single bikes are SRAM 2x12, and thatís going in the tandems when their group sets need replaced.
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Old 06-25-24, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
When you chart it out, consider the duplicated gears, and the cross chained gears you don’t want to use in the 3x10 setup, you have about the same number of useable gears, and can cover the same range, with about the same spacing between gears.

we have 2x11 di2 on both tandems, and have not missed a triple at all. My single bikes are SRAM 2x12, and that’s going in the tandems when their group sets need replaced.
It's not about the NUMBER of gears with my 3x10, it's about the RANGE. Specifically, on the "slow" end, I've got a 24x42--which gets us up 20% climbs. On the "fast" end, I've got a 50x11--which enables us to pedal down 5% descents (up to about 35-40 MPH, depending on cadence). I've never seen a 2x system that can do anything close to that, but please let me know if I'm missing something.

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Old 06-26-24, 06:14 AM
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If you need a 24x42 for a low, then you’re probably right that the triple is your best option. However, 24/42 is way below what most tandem teams would spec even for hilly terrain.

It’s not hard to get a 2x system well below 1/1 gearing and still have the same high end you have. A low gear of almost .5/1 is pretty unusual on a road bike.






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Old 06-26-24, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
If you need a 24x42 for a low, then youíre probably right that the triple is your best option.
Yes. Riding/racing a tandem up 14,000' peaks in Colorado does require lower gearing than what might otherwise work well. Limited oxygen on these steep climbs adds to the challenge.

Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
A low gear of almost .5/1 is pretty unusual on a road bike.
Yes, again! Again, grinding up steep climbs with low oxygen requires unusual gearing.

Not everyone needs easy gears, even on 20% grades, but my wife has a connective-tissue disorder that prevents her from putting down too much torque--but she can spin quickly to generate decent watts. So, we like to maintain a cadence of at least 85-95 on longer climbs. Mashing an under-geared 2x drivetrain for hours isn't just inefficient, it's actually harmful for her. As the saying goes, spin it to win it!

All of that said, I have two wheelsets to make it easier to change from climbing to cruising mode and back again. And I have a mountain tandem with 22x42 low end for really steep and rough stuff, also with two wheelsets. Maybe we just need two more bikes so that we can have 3x10 and 2x12 drivetrains!
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Old 06-26-24, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TobyGadd
Yes. Riding/racing a tandem up 14,000' peaks in Colorado does require lower gearing than what might otherwise work well. Limited oxygen on these steep climbs adds to the challenge.


Yes, again! Again, grinding up steep climbs with low oxygen requires unusual gearing.

Not everyone needs easy gears, even on 20% grades, but my wife has a connective-tissue disorder that prevents her from putting down too much torque--but she can spin quickly to generate decent watts. So, we like to maintain a cadence of at least 85-95 on longer climbs. Mashing an under-geared 2x drivetrain for hours isn't just inefficient, it's actually harmful for her. As the saying goes, spin it to win it!

All of that said, I have two wheelsets to make it easier to change from climbing to cruising mode and back again. And I have a mountain tandem with 22x42 low end for really steep and rough stuff, also with two wheelsets. Maybe we just need two more bikes so that we can have 3x10 and 2x12 drivetrains!
We need similar gearing on our tandem. What are you using for derailleurs?
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Old 06-26-24, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
We need similar gearing on our tandem. What are you using for derailleurs?
Shimano 105 3x10.

But there are a few catches:

1) Shifting from the granny to the middle ring isn't exactly smooth. I changed the middle ring to something without ramps, but with good chain-catching grooves, which helped a LOT (peterwhitecycles.com/tach.php#alize). But, even after lots of tweaking, I am considering moving to an old-school friction Dura Ace shifter for the front derailleur. I don't drop in and out of the little ring very often though, so I may just keep the existing 105 brifter. A 26t ring shifts well, and a 30t works perfectly.
2) Make sure that the chain is long enough for the 50x24 combo.
3) When on the 24-tooth ring, the chain will go slack about 1/2 the way down the cassette. It won't damage anything, but it's best not to use the little cogs while in the little ring--which, of course, is best avoided due to heavy cross-shifting anyway.
4) You'll need to add a road link, or something similar, to the rear derailleur. As long as you keep the cables in good condition, shifting is still surprisingly nice.

Good luck!

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Old 06-26-24, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by TobyGadd
Shimano 105 3x10.

But there are a few catches:

1) Shifting from the granny to the middle ring isn't exactly smooth. I changed the middle ring to something without ramps, but with good chain-catching grooves, which helped a LOT (peterwhitecycles.com/tach.php#alize). But, even after lots of tweaking, I am considering moving to an old-school friction Dura Ace shifter for the front derailleur. I don't drop in and out of the little ring very often though, so I may just keep the existing 105 brifter. A 26t ring shifts well, and a 30t works perfectly.
2) Make sure that the chain is long enough for the 50x24 combo.
3) When on the 24-tooth ring, the chain will go slack about 1/2 the way down the cassette. It won't damage anything, but it's best not to use the little cogs while in the little ring--which, of course, is best avoided due to heavy cross-shifting anyway.
4) You'll need to add a road link, or something similar, to the rear derailleur. As long as you keep the cables in good condition, shifting is still surprisingly nice.

Good luck!
Curious. What shifter do you have for the rear? I've got a similar setup, although my rear derailleur is a new (from Santana) Deore XT. It just hasn't worked for me. The bike is a 2007 Santana Sovereign and about 6 months new to us.

Front shifter has been friction for a while and after a couple months of terrible rear shifting, I converted the rear to friction shifting. While I'd love to have indexed shifting, I don't mind the friction shifters and I don't get the dreaded neutral on hills. I made the friction shifters from Paul Components and Camppy levers. I think part of my challenge is having flat bars instead of drop bars. I have arthritis and I'm no longer comfortable with drop bars on the tandem.



Campy levers for front and rear
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Old 06-26-24, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
Curious. What shifter do you have for the rear? I've got a similar setup, although my rear derailleur is a new (from Santana) Deore XT. It just hasn't worked for me. The bike is a 2007 Santana Sovereign and about 6 months new to us.
Just a basic Shimano 105 3x10 mechanical brifter. I've tried to mix and match OLD XT with 105 (which is supposed to have the same pull), but I've just never had much luck. I've also tried Tanpan devices, but they make quick cable swaps painful--and the most important part of tandem shifting is fresh cables. The 105 derailleur with a Road Link has been solid, reliable, and smooth.

Nice setup. Always fun to see other people doing oddball stuff that works for them! If you get frustrated with mixing and matching road components and flat bars, you might also just look into using only MTB parts.

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Old 06-26-24, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TobyGadd
If you get frustrated with mixing and matching road components and flat bars, you might also just look into using only MTB parts.
LOL!! I have a rather LARGE box of MTB components that didn't work. They are looking for a new home.............
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Old 06-27-24, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by PromptCritical
LOL!! I have a rather LARGE box of MTB components that didn't work. They are looking for a new home.............
Ha, I can relate! Customizing bikes always seems to generate a silly number of leftover bits. While I keep too much stiff, I occasionally drop off some at our local bike co-op.
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Old 06-28-24, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TobyGadd
Ha, I can relate! Customizing bikes always seems to generate a silly number of leftover bits. While I keep too much stiff, I occasionally drop off some at our local bike co-op.
How does one find a local co-op? I'd love to volunteer my time.
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Old 07-07-24, 01:18 PM
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We switched to SRAM Red 2x12 (except for cranks) 3 years ago and think it is great. For the front, we have a 46x33 with a 10-36 on the rear. We were riding 3x10 before with 52-28 in the front and 11x28 in the rear. I think the useful gearing is very similarly spaced with the 2x12 with a lower low, not quite as high a high, but at 150 years, it works for us. I do like the lower low. We can also shift while standing with much more confidence. I wanted to stay as stock as possible, so we are running SRAM Force rings. At the time the only available tandem crankset with 107 mm SRAM bolt circle was Lightning. Since then, Ignite has started to produce 107 mm bolt circle tandem cranks as well. In 48 years of tandem riding, I have gone from 3x6 with down tube Campy friction shifters and various index shifters in between to the now SRAM Red and think is the best choice now. One cannot get the same range in Shimano with a near stock set-up. I think staying near stock will get better performance with the highly integrated systems now being produced.
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