Tandem questions - re. the bike I just bought

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Eric Rayl, Oct 27, 2003.

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  1. Eric Rayl

    Eric Rayl Guest

    I just picked up a tandem at an estate sale, and I'd appreciate any feedback and advice on some
    questions below. Thanks in advance to anyone with the patience to wade through this, and feel free
    to comment on anything. Here's what I got:

    It's a Rodriguez 26" wheel steel bike, 9 years old, right now set up as a mountain tandem (straight
    bars) but with slicks. I'm going to use it exclusively on the road. It has to have less than 500
    miles on it, absolutely mint condition.

    Wheels: 36 spoke mavic M6CD rims on Phil hubs, cassette 7 speed. Rear axle has socket head cap
    screws instead of a QR skewer, I assume to make the axle stronger? Drivetrain: Specialized 175
    cranks F and R, unknown bottom brackets, 28, 38, 52 chainrings. Derailleurs, shifters, cassette:
    Suntour XC Pro, cassette is 13-30 Headset: 1-1/8", unknown brand Fork: Rodriguez, straight blades
    with round (not oval) section Front brake: IRD U-brake Rear brake: IRD rotary brake (kinda like a
    Suntour roller-cam but with a big rolling cam between the arms

    It will fit my wife and I well with a few stem, handlebar, and seatpost changes. The current posts
    have no setback(I think they are IRD also), and the effective top tubes are 21.5" and 29", so this
    seems a bit unorthodox being a bit short in front and long in the back. Anyway, it's a little too
    upright for both of us but easily fixed.

    Questions: Are there better brakes these days that will fit u-brake positioned bosses, or is what I
    have just fine for road riding? Brake pads are kool-stop, anything tandemers consider to be better?
    Are 36 spoke wheels likely to be adequate (175 and 140-lb riders)? I notice a lot of road tandems
    are using 40 spokes, at least with 700c wheels. Will the chainrings + cassette be fine for road
    riding, or should I up the middle and large chainrings a few teeth? Any other items I should check,
    be aware of, or worry about? Are there any tandem specific forums this would be better aimed at?

    Thanks! Eric Rayl Woodinville, WA
     
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  2. Eric Rayl wrote:

    > I just picked up a tandem at an estate sale, and I'd appreciate any feedback and advice on some
    > questions below. Thanks in advance to anyone with the patience to wade through this, and feel free
    > to comment on anything. Here's what I got:
    >
    > It's a Rodriguez 26" wheel steel bike, 9 years old, right now set up as a mountain tandem
    > (straight bars) but with slicks. I'm going to use it exclusively on the road. It has to have less
    > than 500 miles on it, absolutely mint condition.

    Cool! Rodriguez tandems are highly regarded.

    > Wheels: 36 spoke mavic M6CD rims on Phil hubs, cassette 7 speed.

    Are you sure it's a cassette? My guess is a freewheel.

    See: http://sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.if you're not certain.

    > axle has socket head cap screws instead of a QR skewer, I assume to make the axle stronger?
    > Drivetrain: Specialized 175 cranks F and R, unknown bottom brackets, 28, 38, 52 chainrings.
    > Derailleurs, shifters, cassette: Suntour XC Pro, cassette is 13-30 Headset: 1-1/8", unknown
    > brand Fork: Rodriguez, straight blades with round (not oval) section Front brake: IRD U-brake
    > Rear brake: IRD rotary brake (kinda like a Suntour roller-cam but with a big rolling cam between
    > the arms
    >
    > It will fit my wife and I well with a few stem, handlebar, and seatpost changes. The current posts
    > have no setback(I think they are IRD also), and the effective top tubes are 21.5" and 29", so this
    > seems a bit unorthodox being a bit short in front and long in the back. Anyway, it's a little too
    > upright for both of us but easily fixed.

    Tandems always have a longer rear top tube, because the rear stem points the opposite way, but 21.5
    in front is, indeed short...strange to see that with the long cranks.
    >
    > Questions: Are there better brakes these days that will fit u-brake positioned bosses, or is
    > what I have just fine for road riding? Brake pads are kool-stop, anything tandemers consider to
    > be better?

    The best are the _salmon_ colored Kool Stops, noticeably better than the other colors.

    > Are 36 spoke wheels likely to be adequate (175 and 140-lb riders)? I notice a lot of road tandems
    > are using 40 spokes, at least with 700c wheels.

    With anything but Phil hubs, I'd be a bit nervous, but Phils are famous for their gentleness on
    spokes. The thick flanges and radiussed spoke holes on Phil hubs make spoke breakage very unlikely.

    > Will the chainrings + cassette be fine for road riding, or should I up the middle and large
    > chainrings a few teeth?

    Ride it a while before making a lot of changes like this. It also depends on the rear gear, the
    terrain, and your riding style. Nobody can tell you what gears you need.

    > Any other items I should check, be aware of, or worry about? Are there any tandem specific forums
    > this would be better aimed at?

    I have a buncha tandem stuff on my Website, see:

    http://sheldonbrown.com/tandem

    Sheldon "Times Two" Brown +---------------------------------------------------------------------+
    | There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: | when he can't afford it, and
    | when he can. --Mark Twain |
    +---------------------------------------------------------------------+ Harris Cyclery, West Newton,
    Massachusetts Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041 http://harriscyclery.com Hard-to-find parts
    shipped Worldwide http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
     
  3. Nick Payne

    Nick Payne Guest

    Sounds like a nice bike - if it was me I would just change what is necessary to get it to fit you
    and then ride it as-is before you start changing wheels or gearing. I think the wheels should hold
    up fine - tandem rear wheels are wider spacing and have less dish than single bike wheels (usually
    no dish at all). Our 1987 vintage touring tandem also uses Mavic M6 36-hole 26" rims (on Bullseye
    hubs). We've put a lot of kilometres on the wheels, including a fair bit of loaded cycle-camping
    touring with around 70-80 lbs of luggage, and had zero problems. Our gearing on the tandem for
    touring is pretty low at 46-34-24 with 13-32 7s freewheel. We use Shimano Deore U-brakes which have
    been quite powerful enough. There is also an Arai drum brake on the rear hub but it only ever gets
    used when coming down long winding mountain passes with a touring load when the rim brakes start to
    fade due to getting hot.

    The long rear top tube is necessary because the stokers handlebar stem projects backwards from the
    front seatpost.

    As for tandem-specific forums, there is the [email protected] mailing list. You can find more
    information about joining the list at http://www.bikelist.org and search the list archives at
    http://catfood.phred.org/.

    Nick

    "Eric Rayl" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I just picked up a tandem at an estate sale, and I'd appreciate any feedback and advice on some
    > questions below. Thanks in advance to anyone with the patience to wade through this, and feel free
    > to comment on anything. Here's what I got:
    >
    > It's a Rodriguez 26" wheel steel bike, 9 years old, right now set up as a mountain tandem
    > (straight bars) but with slicks. I'm going to use it exclusively on the road. It has to have less
    > than 500 miles on it, absolutely mint condition.
    >
    > Wheels: 36 spoke mavic M6CD rims on Phil hubs, cassette 7 speed. Rear axle has socket head cap
    > screws instead of a QR skewer, I assume to make the axle stronger? Drivetrain: Specialized 175
    > cranks F and R, unknown bottom brackets, 28, 38, 52 chainrings. Derailleurs, shifters, cassette:
    > Suntour XC Pro, cassette is 13-30 Headset: 1-1/8", unknown brand Fork: Rodriguez, straight blades
    > with round (not oval) section Front brake: IRD U-brake Rear brake: IRD rotary brake (kinda like a
    > Suntour roller-cam but with a big rolling cam between the arms
    >
    > It will fit my wife and I well with a few stem, handlebar, and seatpost changes. The current posts
    > have no setback(I think they are IRD also), and the effective top tubes are 21.5" and 29", so this
    > seems a bit unorthodox being a bit short in front and long in the back. Anyway, it's a little too
    > upright for both of us but easily fixed.
    >
    > Questions: Are there better brakes these days that will fit u-brake positioned bosses, or is what
    > I have just fine for road riding? Brake pads are kool-stop, anything tandemers consider to be
    > better? Are 36 spoke wheels likely to be adequate (175 and 140-lb riders)? I notice a lot of road
    > tandems are using 40 spokes, at least with 700c wheels. Will the chainrings + cassette be fine for
    > road riding, or should I up the middle and large chainrings a few teeth? Any other items I should
    > check, be aware of, or worry about? Are there any tandem specific forums this would be better
    > aimed at?
     
  4. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    Eric Rayl wrote:

    > I just picked up a tandem at an estate sale, and I'd appreciate any feedback and advice on some
    > questions below. Thanks in advance to anyone with the patience to wade through this, and feel free
    > to comment on anything. Here's what I got:
    >
    > It's a Rodriguez 26" wheel steel bike, 9 years old, right now set up as a mountain tandem
    > (straight bars) but with slicks. I'm going to use it exclusively on the road. It has to have less
    > than 500 miles on it, absolutely mint condition.
    >
    > Wheels: 36 spoke mavic M6CD rims on Phil hubs, cassette 7 speed. Rear axle has socket head cap
    > screws instead of a QR skewer, I assume to make the axle stronger? Drivetrain: Specialized 175
    > cranks F and R, unknown bottom brackets, 28, 38, 52 chainrings. Derailleurs, shifters, cassette:
    > Suntour XC Pro, cassette is 13-30 Headset: 1-1/8", unknown brand Fork: Rodriguez, straight blades
    > with round (not oval) section Front brake: IRD U-brake Rear brake: IRD rotary brake (kinda like a
    > Suntour roller-cam but with a big rolling cam between the arms
    >
    > It will fit my wife and I well with a few stem, handlebar, and seatpost changes. The current posts
    > have no setback(I think they are IRD also), and the effective top tubes are 21.5" and 29", so this
    > seems a bit unorthodox being a bit short in front and long in the back. Anyway, it's a little too
    > upright for both of us but easily fixed.
    >
    > Questions: Are there better brakes these days that will fit u-brake positioned bosses, or is what
    > I have just fine for road riding? Brake pads are kool-stop, anything tandemers consider to be
    > better? Are 36 spoke wheels likely to be adequate (175 and 140-lb riders)? I notice a lot of road
    > tandems are using 40 spokes, at least with 700c wheels. Will the chainrings + cassette be fine for
    > road riding, or should I up the middle and large chainrings a few teeth? Any other items I should
    > check, be aware of, or worry about? Are there any tandem specific forums this would be better
    > aimed at?

    Such a nice machine! You should just ride together as much as possible ( communication is many times
    more important than equipmment in tandeming), even/especially on short rides impusively. Just get
    used to each other and the bike.

    Angel and I were very close at one time and I have all the world of respect for him and his designs.
    Ditto the new owner, Estelle, who's an ex-Madison cyclist.

    I might not have built that machine with those parts ( OK, I defintely would not have) but
    everything's of good quality and unless you have an actual complaint or problem, I'd just ride it.

    Stoker top tubes compared to single bike top tubes are sort of like a bank's accounts compared to
    ours - everything is in reverse! Long rear top tubes are very desirable and you'll agree soon. There
    isn't enough love to cover having one's face touching someone else's back for a hundred miles.

    Twenty-inch bikes use ABrakes which are the modern brake with that mount. If you should become
    unhappy with your brakes later on there are alternates. I guess I feel the same way about the other
    equipment questions. Ride it and if it doesn't do what you need then change it.

    --
    Andrew Muzi www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April, 1971
     
  5. Jay Beattie

    Jay Beattie Guest

    "Eric Rayl" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I just picked up a tandem at an estate sale, and I'd appreciate any feedback and advice on some
    > questions below. Thanks in advance to anyone with the patience to wade through this, and feel free
    > to comment on anything. Here's what I got:
    >
    > It's a Rodriguez 26" wheel steel bike, 9 years old, right now set up as a mountain tandem
    > (straight bars) but with slicks. I'm going to use it exclusively on the road. It has to have less
    > than 500 miles on it, absolutely mint condition.
    >
    > Wheels: 36 spoke mavic M6CD rims on Phil hubs, cassette 7 speed. Rear axle has socket head cap
    > screws instead of a QR skewer, I assume to make the axle stronger? Drivetrain: Specialized 175
    > cranks F and R, unknown bottom brackets, 28, 38, 52 chainrings. Derailleurs, shifters, cassette:
    > Suntour XC Pro, cassette is 13-30 Headset: 1-1/8", unknown brand Fork: Rodriguez, straight blades
    > with round (not oval) section Front brake: IRD U-brake Rear brake: IRD rotary brake (kinda like a
    > Suntour roller-cam but with a big rolling cam between the arms
    >
    > It will fit my wife and I well with a few stem, handlebar, and seatpost changes. The current posts
    > have no setback(I think they are IRD also), and the effective top tubes are 21.5" and 29", so this
    > seems a bit unorthodox being a bit short in front and long in the back. Anyway, it's a little too
    > upright for both of us but easily fixed.
    >
    > Questions: Are there better brakes these days that will fit u-brake positioned bosses, or is what
    > I have just fine for road riding? Brake pads are kool-stop, anything tandemers consider to be
    > better? Are 36 spoke wheels likely to be adequate (175 and 140-lb riders)? I notice a lot of road
    > tandems are using 40 spokes, at least with 700c wheels. Will the chainrings + cassette be fine for
    > road riding, or should I up the middle and large chainrings a few teeth? Any other items I should
    > check, be aware of, or worry about? Are there any tandem specific forums this would be better
    > aimed at?

    Get some fenders . . . or this year, pontoons. -- Jay Beattie.
     
  6. Snake

    Snake Guest

    IF it fits her, let your wife ride in the front!!! That way, you have a less flexible bb to put
    those big quads to work. Much more efficient. Snake (remoove the dashes in dot com)

    "Eric Rayl" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I just picked up a tandem at an estate sale, and I'd appreciate any feedback and advice on some
    > questions below. Thanks in advance to anyone with the patience to wade through this, and feel free
    > to comment on anything. Here's what I got:
    >
    > It's a Rodriguez 26" wheel steel bike, 9 years old, right now set up as a mountain tandem
    > (straight bars) but with slicks. I'm going to use it exclusively on the road. It has to have less
    > than 500 miles on it, absolutely mint condition.
    >
    > Wheels: 36 spoke mavic M6CD rims on Phil hubs, cassette 7 speed. Rear axle has socket head cap
    > screws instead of a QR skewer, I assume to make the axle stronger? Drivetrain: Specialized 175
    > cranks F and R, unknown bottom brackets, 28, 38, 52 chainrings. Derailleurs, shifters, cassette:
    > Suntour XC Pro, cassette is 13-30 Headset: 1-1/8", unknown brand Fork: Rodriguez, straight blades
    > with round (not oval) section Front brake: IRD U-brake Rear brake: IRD rotary brake (kinda like a
    > Suntour roller-cam but with a big rolling cam between the arms
    >
    > It will fit my wife and I well with a few stem, handlebar, and seatpost changes. The current posts
    > have no setback(I think they are IRD also), and the effective top tubes are 21.5" and 29", so this
    > seems a bit unorthodox being a bit short in front and long in the back. Anyway, it's a little too
    > upright for both of us but easily fixed.
    >
    > Questions: Are there better brakes these days that will fit u-brake positioned bosses, or is what
    > I have just fine for road riding? Brake pads are kool-stop, anything tandemers consider to be
    > better? Are 36 spoke wheels likely to be adequate (175 and 140-lb riders)? I notice a lot of road
    > tandems are using 40 spokes, at least with 700c wheels. Will the chainrings + cassette be fine for
    > road riding, or should I up the middle and large chainrings a few teeth? Any other items I should
    > check, be aware of, or worry about? Are there any tandem specific forums this would be better
    > aimed at?
    >
    > Thanks! Eric Rayl Woodinville, WA
     
  7. [email protected] schreef ...

    > Questions: Are there better brakes these days that will fit u-brake positioned bosses, or is what
    > I have just fine for road riding?

    AFAIK, Magura HS-33 can be made to fit U-brake bosses by turning around the bits that hold the brake
    cylinders.

    > Brake pads are kool-stop, anything tandemers consider to be better? Are 36 spoke wheels likely to
    > be adequate (175 and 140-lb riders)? I notice a lot of road tandems are using 40 spokes, at least
    > with 700c wheels.

    With 700c wheels this is wise, with 26" wheels 36 spokes are sufficient. We are a tad lighter at
    155/135 lbs, but in the last 13 years of tandeming we had only some 5 spoke breakages. 3 of which on
    the same rim that later turned out to be faulty at the spoke holes! We also ride off- road quite a
    bit. With the Rohloff hub, tandems even ride on 32-spoke wheels without much trouble.

    > Will the chainrings + cassette be fine for road riding, or should I up the middle and large
    > chainrings a few teeth?

    Try it. We ride 48/36/24 with an 11/32 cassette and are very content with it. It all depends on the
    speed you wish to ride at and the available "legforce".

    --
    Regards, Marten
     
  8. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    > > Brake pads are kool-stop, anything tandemers consider to be better? Are 36 spoke wheels likely
    > > to be adequate (175 and 140-lb riders)? I notice a lot of road tandems are using 40 spokes, at
    > > least with 700c wheels.
    >

    So much depends on your riding style, quality of wheel buld, tire size, rim strength and depth.

    Having said that, I use 32 2.0/1.8 DB spokes w/ medium dish rims (early design = heavy, Campy Sydney
    2000), 700x28 or wider tires.

    For your use try Velocity Deep V

    -Bruce
     
  9. B.C. Cletta

    B.C. Cletta Guest

    > Are 36 spoke wheels likely to be adequate (175 and 140-lb riders)?

    wouldn't that depend on the type of tires you're using? for 26-in wheels you can get slicks in
    1.0 up to 1.9. my guess is that the former will wipe out the wheels within blocks of your house
    and the later will get you across the country a few times. i've used 1.25 with my 26-in wheeled
    tandem, 36h, even a little dirtroad use, and we lived to tell about it. what i like about 26-in
    wheel tandems is that you can run normal readily available 36h MTB stuff.
     
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