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Tandem for 2 Heavyweight??(6 posts)

Tandem for 2 Heavyweight??rdksn
Aug 6, 2002 7:07 AM
I'm shopping for a tandem that will hold up to a couple of heavyweights, approx 275 and 300. Both are pretty tall, 6'1" and 6'5". Not really looking for a high performance road tandem but don't want anything too slow either. I'm just not sure what is going to hold up. would welcome any suggestion beside lose 50 lbs.
re: Tandem for 2 Heavyweight??Sharkman
Aug 6, 2002 9:10 AM
The Cannondale tandems are very stiff and should hold up well. I have one and have never had any problem. My wife and I are not as heavy (200 and 180, respectively), but it has held up over three years. Wheels have never been trued, frame does not flex at all.

What you need to be concerned about are frame flex and wheel strength, followed by fork strength. Some of the more exotic tandems (Santana, Burley, etc) are made from steel, which, while a fine material, becomes too flexy with the added length of a tandem. Your weights will magnify this.

Oversize aluminum will minimize it, and that coupled with real strong wheels will keep you in good stead. One additional thing to think about, at your weights, braking ability will also be a factor, particularly if you ride down hills much. On my wifes and my tandem, the stock brakes are adequate, but not overkill. If I were you, I would add a disc brake to the setup for extra braking power. Hope this helps.

re: Tandem for 2 Heavyweight??Mike M
Aug 6, 2002 9:15 AM
I would take a look at a mountain style tandem. These are likely to have wheels that will hold up to that type of weight. 40 spoke wheels with some sturdy rims. As far as the frame consider aluminum as there will be little flex in the frame. A good sturdy aluminum fork w/o suspension wil probably give a great ride and hold up well. You can put some 1.3-1.5" slicks on it for maintaining speed. Cannondale makes a pretty sturdy frame with the bottom tube that looks like a sewer pipe, in aluminum and at a reasonable price. Trek is making a new tandem that looks nice for the price and Burley has a good reputation in the reasonable price range. Everything goes up in price from there! But definitely talk to a tandem shop that has experience. There may be some other issues I do not know about. Give Tandems East a call as they carry most types of Tandems.

Good luck it is a lot of fun if it works.
re: Tandem for 2 Heavyweight??rbb
Aug 6, 2002 10:04 AM
I'm not real familiar with tandems but the main sponsor of our road team has a tandem specialty shop! I'd advise you to email or call them, they are really nice people. Check them out online at
They've been riding them for years and are a great asset to the community and our team!
Take care,
SantanaSpoke Wrench
Aug 6, 2002 10:31 AM
What they are is sturdy. Santana's have the beefiest forks that I have ever seen. Santana also uses 160mm rear triangles which allows them to use totally dishless rar wheels while maintaining good spoke bracing angles. They have significant experience building triples, quads and at least one five-seater, so your weight shouldn't make them wince.

I think that I would suggest one of their 26" wheel models. They come in both road and flat handlebar models and in steel or aluminum frames. Bring money, they aren't cheap.
re: Tandem for 2 Heavyweight??CFBlue
Aug 6, 2002 3:14 PM
We are almost as tall and weigh in at about450,at our heaviest, + gear. We ride a three year old RT1000 from cannondale, size jumbo/large. I have had to get a longer stem and the lowest gearing we could get for the granny so we could 'haul our carcasses up the hill'. We added the arai drum brake to keep the decending speed under control and upgraded the front brake. Other than that, we have had close to 2000 trouble free miles in sometimes rugged road riding.