26" or 700c ?

Discussion in 'Tandem and Other Bikes' started by Paul Walters, 15 Apr 2019.

  1. Mrs W has announced that she is planning a 4-month sabbatical from work, and wants to cycle around the coast of Britain, on a tandem, with me (I'm honoured, apparently), and therefore, since we'll be going together, we need a tandem.....

    We've talked about this before, but without consensus, so, for a 4500mile ride, would you go Thorn Raven type 26" wheel, or Dawes 700c ?

    If I was spec'ing a new bike for touring I would go for the following, but I am interested to know what everyone else thinks.. (at the moment, our solo tourers are Claud Butler Dalesman (me), Dawes Karakum (Mrs W)

    So, for a tandem......

    Steel Frame and Fork / 700c wheels / disk brakes / Rohloff gears / dynamo front hub / drop bars / low step though (standover) height.

    I'm 5'11" and Mrs W is 5'1".

    Any thoughts ?
    Blue Hills and Andy in Germany like this.
  2. Bonefish Blues

    Bonefish Blues Banging donk

    52 Festive Road
    26. Because slightly stronger, slightly more reliable.
    Andy in Germany likes this.
  3. srw

    srw It's a bit more complicated than that...

    Thorn. Because it's a bombproof bike (though you'll want to look up the problems with Rohloff flanges) and because Thorn's aftercare is excellent.

    For anything above a fairly short trip I'd only look at specialist tandem makers. Dawes isn't.
    Andy in Germany likes this.
  4. Bonefish Blues

    Bonefish Blues Banging donk

    52 Festive Road
    I thought we were just talking about wheel size & provenance and having re-read I'm still not certain, but as SRW has just said, if you are talking whole tandems, then Thorn in a heartbeat.
  5. derrick

    derrick The Glue that binds us together.

    Have you ridden a tandem yet? I rode one with my grandaughter no problems, but the thought of ridding one with the wife. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Two nice touring bikes is the way to go. Good luck with that one,
    The Thorn seems expensive, the Dawes looks nicer, need to ride them both before you buy.
    Last edited: 15 Apr 2019
    Cycleops likes this.
  6. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Resistance is futile! Moderator

    That, in a nutshell. Derrick is bang on there.
    Buying a tandem and then setting off on a 4500 mile ride sounds like a bit of a baptism of fire!
    Hope you enjoy it :biggrin:
    Andy in Germany likes this.
  7. We had a test ride on one a few years ago, then Mrs W decided she would prefer the freedom of a solo bike.. she now has 3 ! The tandem idea is because she wants to do the tour, but doesn't want to be 200 yards behind me all the time, which is what normally happens.

    Thorn would be my go-to choice, but I am not convinced on the 26" wheels...

    The trip is planned for 2020 or 2021 (depending on what our respective employers have to say about taking 4 months off work), but I thought of getting the tandem well before then so we have some practice and bicker before we set off.....
    derrick likes this.
  8. Bonefish Blues

    Bonefish Blues Banging donk

    52 Festive Road
    What's at issue re the 26" wheels, which are a no-brainer to me?
  9. OldShep

    OldShep Active Member

    Because of the increasing lack of choice in 26” tyres and rims I’d now plump for 700c. Seriously considering selling my 26” wheel tourer.
    Have a holiday in Yorkshire and try some https://www.tandems.co.uk/tandem-test-rides/
  10. Bonefish Blues

    Bonefish Blues Banging donk

    52 Festive Road
    I don't think tandems are an issue in that respect tbh - as long as there are Andra 30s, 35s and 40s, and Duremes we're well set - and 26 is still the international size of choice.
  11. Why tandem and not two touring bikes? You can carry more gear on two touring bikes.
    Blue Hills likes this.
  12. YukonBoy

    YukonBoy Extra solar

    Ultima Thule
    For your wife's height 26" may give a better setup for her.
  13. Bonefish Blues

    Bonefish Blues Banging donk

    52 Festive Road
    ...and that's an incentive exactly how?:laugh:
    Profpointy likes this.
  14. Blue Hills

    Blue Hills ^

    more comfort at stops?
  15. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    Husband and wife team on a Cannondale tandem at the weekend. Lovely machine. Those rounds look like 26” to me.

    A friend also had a Orbit tandems. Now those were beautiful.

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