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Tandem wheels


phoenix
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Can anybody give me some advice on tandem wheels?

 

We ride a Ravo with the shimano wheels it came with. I'm thinking of upgrading, but R10 000 for Bontrager or Rolf tandem wheels is a bit steep for me.Confused
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Guest Big H

Why.... the Shimano hubs are Tandem specific hubs. Are they past their sell by date????? or are U just itching???? You can use the self same hubs and have them rebuild on DRC rims and DT Swiss spokes.. You will not get any Tandem specific wheel that is lighter or better that the Bonty's and Rolf's.

 

If you go the rebuild route above ensure that the wheelbuilder uses DT specific head washers to ditribute the loads generated by Tandem wheels and riding.
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Given BigH's comments, let me add that you might get better response by going for a deeper rim mated to your existing hub. You'll need new spokes since the spoke length will be shorter (I'm not sure what the word on the streets is on gauge, check with the builder?).

 

Speaking of which: get the best builder you can find (check post elsewhere) and be prepared to pay the premium. 

 
EdoardoBianchi2007-03-18 13:14:08
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Guest Big H

I used Campagnola Atlanta deep profile rims on the tandem. They were drilled to take 36 spokes (was 18 spokes originally) If I could get another pair I would use them again. A manhole totalled one and I still have the rear wheel. Bombproof and strong!!!!! The DRC rims in 40 spoke configuration is more than ample though!!!!

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I own a Ravo with the factory fitted wheels and after breaking quite a few spokes (+- 2 000km)  I took them to Mark (top act tandem rider for many a year) at Marks Bike shop and had both wheels rebuilt with the best spokes available and in 5000km have not bust another spoke.

The Bontrager or Rolf tandem wheels are awesome and dont buy because you think you need them - buy them because you can and want to.

 
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Thanks for all the replies. The problem we have with the current wheels are that we break spokes quite often and even without breaking spokes, the wheels go out of true relatively easily.

 

 
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phoenix, a VERY VERY strong buddy of amateur, daisy and i had a similar problem (also standard issue wheels) - broke spokes every race and almost every ride. linden cycles rebuilt them with new spokes and never another prob.

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Regular breaking of spokes points to incorrectly built wheels, not necessarily bad wheel quality.

We've done a loaded tour on a tandem with Mavic/DT/Shimano wheels with 32 spokes front and rear and shed spokes at an alarming rate. Had the wheels re-built while on tour (in Italy) and had no problems with the wheels after that. Check the other thread on wheel builders...

Cheers

EB

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The previous owner of my tandem had the same issue with his back wheel - had one custom built by Doug Patterson, no problems yet. 

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Yep, its all about EVEN spoke tension over the entire wheel. The impact of the difference in tension is multiplied by speed and weight and focused on the head of the spoke. A bit like bending a piece of wire until it breaks. 

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Guest Big H

Phoenix, (read below very carefulley!!!!, if you do not understand Private Mail me) What is imprtant is that you MUST understand the mechanics of a wheel. Even if a wheel is correctly trued it does not mean the wheel is mechanically ok. The secret of a working wheel is an combination of trueness and CORRECTLY TENSIONED wheels. It does not matter who build your wheels ..... if these factors are not in place THE WHEEL WILL NOT WORK!!!!! Get yourself a wrench that uses a spoke tensiometer. This is a device that correctly measures the tension in every wheel. If he tells you he "feels" the tension.... do not use him. Nobody has the accuracy a tensiometer has. It is like diagnosing a heart condition with a stethoscope. You need an ECG for it or a scan to do it properly!!!!! You must also have the wheelbuilder insert DT hub spacer washers to take up any play between the spoke head and the hub. Some wheelbuilders also tie the spokes where they cross and even solder them. I do not endorse this practice and see it a bit extreme.

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I used Campagnola Atlanta deep profile rims on the tandem. They were drilled to take 36 spokes (was 18 spokes originally) If I could get another pair I would use them again. A manhole totalled one and I still have the rear wheel. Bombproof and strong!!!!! The DRC rims in 40 spoke configuration is more than ample though!!!!

 

Big H used Campag and will do so again ! I will frame this quote !

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Regular breaking of spokes points to incorrectly built wheels' date=' not necessarily bad wheel quality.  We've done a loaded tour on a tandem with Mavic/DT/Shimano wheels with 32 spokes front and rear and shed spokes at an alarming rate. Had the wheels re-built while on tour (in Italy) and had no problems with the wheels after that. Check the other thread on wheel builders...Cheers EB[/quote']

 

Ditto that and big NB is to have the bike serviced by someone who knows tandems. My tandem went in to one LBS 3 times with a gear slipping problem and the more that I told then that the only way to test a tandems gear setting is to do it under presure and not by "hanging" it in the air or cycling in the car park.

 

They did not listen and now another LBS has my tandem as they do all testing and final tweeking by putting my bike on an indoor trainer plus they only ask for payment if the problem is fixed.
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Guest Big H

If you such an ardent reading of my enlightening reports on the bad qualities of kempekkernoglia you will in no doubt recall that I have never ever critisised Campagnolo wheels. The other make though ..... kempekkernoglia, about those flimsy thingies that is only made for sisies and wimps I can say much more (and have a record of saying!!!!) if you really want me too.

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Guest Big H

Phoenix as MdK aptly said..... the choice of your "guru" when it comes to Tandems is verrrry critical!!!!! I have become my own guru and I find it amazing to keep such an amazing machine ticking over perfectly!!!!!! It is not that difficult and do not beleive the LBS..... it is NOT a dark art. Bikes (and Tandems) are very simple mechanical machines and easy to maintain!!!!!!

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