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Yes! We finally got a tandem!

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Yes! We finally got a tandem!

Old 09-23-11, 09:25 PM
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john4789
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Yes! We finally got a tandem!

The GF and I are regular commuters on individual bikes, riding the same route together to and from work. I ride about 4k miles per year, she is more like 2-3k miles per year since she doesn't ride absolutely every day like myself.

I have been pushing a tandem for awhile. Many reasons. First being fun. Second being able to ride hard even when we ride together.

I decided to get a used MTB, a tank, something that wouldn't require much work. This is what I got for $150 on CL:



Anyone know anything about this brand? We've put about 60 miles on it so far with no real complaints so I think I've hit the jackpot.

The best value? Seeing people's reactions to a tandem commuting team in downtown Chicago. That will bug some eyes out!
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Old 09-23-11, 09:53 PM
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nfmisso
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Looks okay. I can't tell from the picture, but the boom tube (between the cranks) looks to be on the small side. Stiff coupling of the cranks is critical for efficiency on a tandem.

Now you need some fenders (we SKS Commuter Fenders), lights, some high pressure tires (like Kenda's 100psi 26 x 1.5), and you'll fly.

We enjoy chasing down skinny 20 somethings on high end road bikes with our T50.
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Old 09-23-11, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
Looks okay. I can't tell from the picture, but the boom tube (between the cranks) looks to be on the small side. Stiff coupling of the cranks is critical for efficiency on a tandem.

Now you need some fenders (we SKS Commuter Fenders), lights, some high pressure tires (like Kenda's 100psi 26 x 1.5), and you'll fly.

We enjoy chasing down skinny 20 somethings on high end road bikes with our T50.
Thanks for the tips, we are less than a week in so the bike is yet to be tricked out. I'm going for full back fender, rack, tidy cat tub paniers, horn for her and bell for me, and more...

I want to get some slick high psi tires like you said but am having second thoughts due to high number of flats we get on our normal commuters. 2x the weight seems like a lot of extra punctures that might not otherwise occur. Do you experience more flats on a tandem compared to your single bikes?
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Old 09-24-11, 06:54 AM
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Congrats! Glad to hear you're enjoying the new toy.
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Old 09-24-11, 07:03 AM
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ANY tandem is a good tandem!

Congratulations.
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Old 09-24-11, 07:57 AM
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Congrats! I'm really envious at the moment as my primary stoker (daughter) is off at college and our tandem is sitting idle. As far as flats, I get more on my single than on the tandem, with the same tires (Continental Ultra Gatorskins 700x28), but then I guess the tandem doesn't see my commute route and some of the crap my single rides through. As you'll be on the same route, it'll be an interesting comparison... :-)
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Old 09-24-11, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MNBikeCommuter View Post
Congrats! I'm really envious at the moment as my primary stoker (daughter) is off at college and our tandem is sitting idle. As far as flats, I get more on my single than on the tandem, with the same tires (Continental Ultra Gatorskins 700x28), but then I guess the tandem doesn't see my commute route and some of the crap my single rides through. As you'll be on the same route, it'll be an interesting comparison... :-)
Thanks!

I mentioned the flats because 75% of my flats on my single are the back wheel. I assume it is due to more weight being able to push things through the tire more easily. Enter the weight on the back wheel of the tandem. I'm assuming that if I have the same tire thickness/flat protection as my single I would get a lot of extra flats. I'm thinking I might stick with the MTB tires on there now just in case, even though I am compromising the speed of the slicks. We'll see how it goes.

What part of MN are you from? I was born/raised in Bemidji, spent 6 yrs in Minneapolis for school, now in Chicago.
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Old 09-24-11, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by john4789 View Post
What part of MN are you from? I was born/raised in Bemidji, spent 6 yrs in Minneapolis for school, now in Chicago.
I'm in Shoreview, at roughly the "12 o'clock" position on the 494/694 loop. Growing up in western North Dakota, it was rather a culture shock to move here twenty-some years ago. :-)

As for the rear getting more flats, Jobst Brandt has a nice explanation on this. In short, the front tire kicks things up and the rear hits them just right to be impaled. With that in mind, the longer wheel base of the tandem may give the nail, etc., a chance to "settle back down" before the rear hits it. But, you may be traveling faster with the tandem, negating the longer wheel base? :-)

http://sheldonbrown.com/brandt/rear-flats.html
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Old 09-24-11, 01:28 PM
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$150? That was a great deal.
Soon you will need a Santana or Co-Motion to match your GF's eyes.
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Old 09-24-11, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by CHAS View Post
$150? That was a great deal.
Soon you will need a Santana or Co-Motion to match your GF's eyes.
Haha, I know! The best part is that it was delivered from Aurora, a 1:15 minute drive in traffic. All I can say is this guy really wanted to get rid of it!
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Old 09-24-11, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by john4789 View Post
T....full back fender, rack, tidy cat tub paniers, horn for her and bell for me, and more...?
Cool; I have tidy cat 35lbs panniers on my commuter and on the tandem - I used an orbital sander to get them a semi-uniform color; haven't painted them, wife said no need to.

We also have http://www.amazon.com/GSI-Waterproof...&s=electronics which is great for communicating - my wife can hear me know, even in traffic. And this pump is great to carry along, fortunately has not seen any use: http://www.amazon.com/Topeak-Turbo-M...dp/B000FIE4PO/

Originally Posted by john4789 View Post
I want to get some slick high psi tires like you said but am having second thoughts due to high number of flats we get on our normal commuters. 2x the weight seems like a lot of extra punctures that might not otherwise occur. Do you experience more flats on a tandem compared to your single bikes?
I use arimid (Kevlar®) belted tires, TR tubes and liners; seem to be very effective compared with standard tubes and no liners. And SLIME does not work, it may give you an extra 100 yards before you absolutely have to stop at best.

Suggestions for you:
http://www.amazon.com/Kenda-Commuter...924825&sr=1-16 26 x 1.5 is 100 psi.
http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Flat-Tire...6924964&sr=1-3
http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Thorn-R...6925009&sr=1-9

We're running Kenda tires, stop flat liners and avenir TR tubes - very happy with them.
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Old 09-25-11, 01:06 AM
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This is the type of tandem we first purchased to see how we liked riding a tandem. We rode if for about a year and then sold it for about 150 (a little less than half what we paid for it). Then bought the cheapest road tandem we could find. It was a huge improvement on efficiency and allowed us to extend the distance of our rides and we really started to enjoy riding the tandem...we've since purchased a few more. It's a good intro hope you guys enjoy it.
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Old 09-27-11, 07:12 AM
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I've had really good luck (little to no flats) running fairly cheap Performance bike shop Forte Metro-K tires. They make them in 25x1.25 and 700x35. We even run them on our triplet, which is carrying a good bit of weight. At $12.99 on sale right now they are worth a try, IMO. See http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...8_20000_400237
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Old 09-27-11, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by briwasson View Post
I've had really good luck (little to no flats) running fairly cheap Performance bike shop Forte Metro-K tires. They make them in 25x1.25 and 700x35. We even run them on our triplet, which is carrying a good bit of weight. At $12.99 on sale right now they are worth a try, IMO. See http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...8_20000_400237
Thanks for the tip, I'll look into it. I've been thinking about upgrading all of my bikes' tires to Kevlar lately and this looks like a good find.
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