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Tandem Riders - What tires do you ride with?(15 posts)

Tandem Riders - What tires do you ride with?UncleMoe
Nov 16, 2003 6:02 PM
Finally bought a tandem for wifey and me. Burley Rumba, used. We've rented tandems a few times, MTB with wider tires. The narrower road tires will take some getting used to, even though I ride a road bike too, the added tandem weight is a challenge, and I admit to feeling a little squirrely on todays ride.

Question - what tires do you run, and what size?

The previous owner was running the stock Continental Ultra 2000's 700x28, but because they hadn't been used in 2 years, I decided it would be safe to replace the tires and tubes in case of rubber rot from inactivity and dampness from his garage. I couldn't find any 700x28 and tried two shops, so I bought 700x25 Gatorskins (I run 23's on my road bike). Rode today and they were OK only because it gave us a chance to ride and get some instant gratifaction.

Anyone run anything wider than 28cm for additional comfort?

We aren't speed demons (yet). Even with the gatorskins at 115 psi and at a very very low speed, I could feel the rear tire nearly bottom out onto the rim going over a very small curb lip into our driveway. I'm hoping to find a larger volume tire that will fit on the rims and have solid pucture resistance.

Thanks for any advice and insight.
What is the total weight.Kerry Irons
Nov 16, 2003 6:33 PM
The short answer is get tires wide enough so that when pumped to rated pressure, you're not getting pinch flats. This will vary quite a bit depending on the total weight of the system (two riders, bike, other stuff). Sounds like 25s aren't wide enough. You might even consider 32s. Often this means finding a shop or mail order place that specializes in tandem stuff.
Bike about 41, me 180, wife 125...UncleMoe
Nov 16, 2003 7:31 PM
So a total rider weight of 305-310 lbs, plus another 40 some odd pounds of bike (although I haven't actually weighed it, it is speced at 41 I think).
At least 28, maybe 32Keeping up with Junior
Nov 17, 2003 6:44 AM
Our total rolling weight is 300 including bikes and we run a 25 on the rear. This if for fast race training pace rides.

Based on your weight and riding style you may prefer a wider tire. A good discussion referencing tire width, team weight and riding style can be found here:
re: Tandem Riders - What tires do you ride with?wily in pacifica
Nov 17, 2003 8:14 AM
I have a couple long bikes. For my faster Bilenky I use 25's and have not had a problem with a rider weight of about 300 lbs. But I have Campy brakes so I am more limited then if I had V's or cantis
re: Tandem Riders - What tires do you ride with?wily in pacifica
Nov 17, 2003 8:24 AM
For our longer bike I have 32's on it. They fit and soak up bumps very well. It is not a go fast bike since I usually have the kids on board. This picture was from a couple years ago. The little one, now almost 4, on the rack is now the Midshipman with her own stoker kit and her big sister, six, is the rear admiral. I get the little one on first then the older one can climb up on the rear and tighten down her toe straps. She wears her soccor cleats to keep her feet in.

Plan to get a couple friends to try it on the Solvang Century.
Awesome pictureUncleMoe
Nov 17, 2003 9:41 AM
Nice shot with the kids.

32's will fit on the rims with no problem? Probably a stupid question, but I want to be sure.
Awesome picturewily in pacifica
Nov 17, 2003 4:26 PM
32's fit just fine and imagine I could go wider but no need. There is not a lot of remaining room under the fork for much bigger. I was going to put some green cross tires on it and ride up with a couple of buddies just for kicks but not sure they would fit.

I have it all set up for the kidlets now and in about a year Girl #3, Lauren, will get to test out the rear Rhode Gear Limo. My wife and I just had another 2 months ago. All ready saving up for the Quad.

Here is the entire family on it.

Willy in Pacifica
Specialized Armadillo 700x26Spoke Wrench
Nov 17, 2003 9:03 AM
My wife and I together weigh on the wrong side of 350lbs. This year I've been experimenting with lowering air pressure to 110 rear, 100 front with no pinch flats. Our rear Armadillo just about lived out it's entire life without flatting, but I finally picked up a pretty big glass shard at MTR in Dayton.
Specialized Armadillo 700x26gtscottie
Nov 17, 2003 9:46 AM
Same tires we run. Combined weight is around 330 and we have had no problems. Even when we are packed up and pulling the BOB.

I've been having trouble finding them though I live in the Calgary , Alberta area...Any suggestions?
Specialized Armadillo 700x26UncleMoe
Nov 17, 2003 9:56 AM
What would your thoughts be on this tire in a 32?
Specialized Armadillo 700x26gtscottie
Nov 17, 2003 10:09 AM
They will probably do the trick for you. I haven't had any problems with bottoming out on my 26s but the 32 will definately give you a cushier(is that a word?!) ride.
Specialized Dealer AllianceSpoke Wrench
Nov 17, 2003 3:33 PM
A few years ago Specialized formed an alliance with their dealers. The idea was that the dealers would handle the broad Specialized line and Specialized would protect the dealers from internet and mail order competition. I have no idea how well it is working. There is a Specialized Dealer Direct internet site that is owned in part by Specialized dealers. Otherwise you about have to find a Specialized dealer to buy Armadillo tires.
Nov 17, 2003 2:59 PM
Put on by the LBS where the Santana was purchased. So far, no complaints.
Panaraser Pasela TGcyclopathic
Nov 17, 2003 1:30 PM
32mm but they run kinda tall and narrow, mounted size is 29mm on CR-18 rim. Not a problem, we are very light (28lbs bike, 142lbs me and 60lbs for my son) and could get away with 25mm, or even 23s.

Most tandem couples I spoke to use 32 for all around riding, 28 for qualifying brevets and 25 for TT. 35mm is usually for loaded touring. Depending on rim it may be not a good idea to run 25mm on wider rims like Mavic T-519/520 or Sun CR-18, it may cause pinch flats.

Pasela TG is common tandem tire and kevlar belt does good job to prevent flats and they're only 20$ at Nashbar. If you feel that you bottom try 35mm. Your wife would appreciate extra comfort, and they're not much slower IMHO.

Also it is essential for tandem to have good pump like Zefal HPX, or CO2. There's no way you'd pump up tire to high enough pressure with mini-pump.