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New Tandem Brakes? again....

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New Tandem Brakes? again....

Old 08-30-06, 03:33 PM
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New Tandem Brakes? again....


We are getting a new Carbon tandem and selling our 1999 Aluminum Santana Sovereign.
This is just in time for Cycle Oregon which we rode last year also.

The first topic is brake choice. We have selected the front dura ace rim brake and avid mechanical rear disc.

Our current tandem has the Formula hydralic disc we bought 5-6 years ago AFTER a blow out on
the rear tire descending Molas pass in Colorado using rim brakes. We had stopped once to cool the
rims and were almost at the bottom when we blew the tube. We kept the bike upright due to being
out of downhill and luck. The scare left an impression on us, and I kept the shredded tire for a

The formula brake has worked great for us (I know lots of people hated it and removed it) and last month we had it serviced and have been using it to descend from the local ski area with success.

How does the avid compare?

How does the carbon tandem handle compared to a stiff aluminum on the downhill?

Anyone with experience please include team weight, terrain and anything else applicable.

We weigh about 300 and have attended numerous tandem rallies. I also race some road and MTB
and have experience with steel, carbon and Ti single road bikes.

I am also familiar with the different braking techniques reccomended by "experts".

Thanks for your positive, constructive and inspiring input.

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Old 08-30-06, 06:41 PM
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Brake selection sounds about right to me for how you describe yourselves and your riding experiences.

As compared to the Formula, the Avid should perform just as well and you should have no trouble servicing it yourself.. adjustments, pad replacement, cable replacement.

Tandems made from different materials are no different than single road bikes make from different material: the handling varies more due to things like the frame design, tubing selection, construction, steering geometry and wheel / tire selection than simply the frame material(s). So, if the baseline is your Santana, it's hard to know without knowing who's carbon frame you're buying (Calfee, Santana's, AriZona's, or ???) and how you may have spec'd the frame, extra light, extra stiff, etc... I'd also have to know more about your Santana such the year it was made, which fork and wheels you're using, etc. before offering an opinion.
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Old 08-30-06, 06:50 PM
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We have over 12,000 miles on our carbon fiber Zona tandem. Weights: pilot 135, stoker 112. Tandem 26 1/2 lbs without our 'junk'.
Brakes: D/A caliper front, Tektro-mini V-brake rear.
We live in AZ and have our share of hills/mountains. We no longer do the 'hard stuff' like centuries and mega-climbs. We're in our 70s . . . been there, done that!
Our Zona tandem handles/descends as well/better as anything else on the market, is lighter and more comfortable.
Have ridden a c/f tandem with Hayes and Avid discs; for us, we consider them overkill.
Have over 200,000 miles of tandeming experience; includes over 100 centuries, some double metrics, multi-day tours, a few time trials, and tandem rallies since 1975; we know what works for us.
Your needs may be different.
With limited choice of c/f tandems, you either ordered a Calfee or Zona.
Enjoy the new ride!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 09-05-06, 08:37 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Always good to hear from experienced tandem riders.
The new bike is in the house, in fact, so is the old one. For Sale soon.
I was fretting out over the brake selection.
I will post a review on the other thread since we switched from
Santana to Calfee.

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