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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 08-12-13, 06:56 PM   #1
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A Couple Questions about upgrades

We have a Giordano tandem that we love. It was inexpensive to start out with. A good way to see if we liked it more than our singles. I have upgraded the brakes to 105's and swapped out the bar tape.
I want to replace the tires on it now. They have 1400 miles on them. No flats or scuffs but They are the factory no name 700 X 32. I would like to go to a 28mm. What are some good tire choices? We do load the bike a bit for long rides. Bike loaded weighs in at 75 lbs, and we weigh 300 lbs combined. I would like to keep the cost around $100 for the pair if possible.
I also want to replace the rear derailleur and all the cables and housings. Rear derailleur is a Shimano RD-TX51D. What would be a good upgrade for it. Bike is a 3X8. Does anyone have some advice on cables and housings? Our shifting on RAGBRAI went downhill after the 3rd day. Delayed shifts, missed shifts, shifting when I hit a bump.
I know its a cheap tandem. Our goal now that we love riding together is to purchase a better higher end tandem in late 2014.
Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-13-13, 06:22 AM   #2
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Hi Aaron

Glad you are enjoying your tandem.

My two cents: Don't drop in tire size, but buy a good quality kevlar bead 700x32 tire like the Panaracer Pasella. There are numerous threads in this forum about tire choice (and numerous opinions) but we ride a lot of miles and we ride fast and unless you are on pristine pavement a bit more volume is better in my opinion.

Upgrading your 8 speed drivetrain is a bit trickier. I wouldn't expect that one 8 speed derailleur is really much better than any other, unless the derailleur is damaged. I'd start by replacing the cables and housings and would also take the bike to a knowledgable shop to have the derailleru hangar straightened. Make sure you don't have any tight bends in the cables.

Another common cause of skipping/misshifts is a worn chain or cassette. Park tools makes a wonderfully simple chain checker (part number CC-3.2) that every cyclist should own. One huge advantage of 8 speed is that chains and cassettes are very inexpensive. I would guess you could replace the cables, housings, cassette and chain for under $100 in parts. Your chainrings might also be worn but unless they look like sharks teeth you can try them with the new chain and see how it goes.

Good luck.
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