Tandem tyres

Discussion in 'Tandem and Other Bikes' started by LeeOsborne, 15 Mar 2017.

  1. LeeOsborne

    LeeOsborne Active Member

    Aldridge, Walsall
    Morning all,

    I've just bought a tandem, ebay special, very pleased with it too. TBH, I only bought it to do a charity ride with a friend in June (Wolverhampton to Aberdovey), but it may be that I can persuade the wife to go out on it too.
    I was looking to change the tyres for something with a little less rolling resistance but I'm not sure what can be fitted in terms of extra load, etc. I'm not sure if the rims are different either.
    I've got a BMC Apenchallenge Hybrid with 700 x 35 Continental Sportcontact II which I'm very impressed with, fast and lots of grip in the wet, but are these ok for a tandem?

    We've only been out for one ride so far, and I have to say, we found it harder than expected, so I'm looking for ways to ease the pain.
    We only did 25 miles at an average of just under 15mph, but we did get it up to 35 on the flat at one point.
    It's got flat pedals on it at the moment too but once we get into it I'll change these for spd's so that should help.
    Here she is...
  2. I like Skol

    I like Skol I'm adamant I haven't got any PPI....

    Looks like Schwalbe tyres at the moment, probably Marathons? These will be fine and shouldn't hinder you too much if at the right pressure. I suspect the max pressure should be around 85psi (look on the tyre sidewalls to confirm this) and for two people on the bike I would suggest pumping up to this max pressure.
  3. srw

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

    ...and then some.

    Our fast tandem came with some kind of Conti tyre. They attracted punctures, so I fitted Schwalbe Duranos. One of them blew up while the other one wore out very quickly, so I switched to 28mm Marathons. At 100psi, slightly above recommended maximum, they roll smoothly and quickly and are puncture resistant and last a long time. 35mph on the flat is fast by any standards other than that of the pro peleton, especially on a bike which is basically set up for touring and looks like it was built by someone who's not a tandem specialist.

    In general, tandems are a bit more difficult than solo bikes to ride, especially uphill. With that particular bike I'd be looking to lube up the hubs and clean and lube the chain before worrying about rolling resistance with the tyres.
  4. OP

    LeeOsborne Active Member

    Aldridge, Walsall
    Thanks for the replies.
    The tyres that are on it are 32mm Schwalbe Marathon Plus but I only put the max pressure of 85psi (I think) in them. Perhaps I'll add a little more and try again before think more of changing the tyres. I was a bit wary of over inflating them at first.
    As for the chain, etc. I'm going to strip and clean it all before the next ride anyway. I don't do this often enough on my road bike but when I do it makes quite a difference. The hubs run very smoothly so I won't be going there. The biggest issue is with the pedals. They're cheap nasty things and are quite stiff to turn. They'll be going in the bin before the weekend.
    When I said 35mph, it was actually 34.7 according to my Garmin, and only for a short distance to be fair
  5. Flick of the Elbow

    Flick of the Elbow Wage Slave

    West Lothian
    @LeeOsborne welcome to the tandem club :smile:. By the way, there is such a thing as The Tandem Club, useful for meeting up with other tandemists in your area and for picking up hints and tips.
    Tandems devour tyres, brake blocks, rims, and transmissions far quicker than a solo bike. Have a good look at the rims for brake wear, if it should fail under braking the consequences could be catastrophic.
    Tyres are very prone to sidewall failures. The good news is that the Schwalbe Marathons you already have are excellent. I've been using them on tandems for nearly 20 years without incident. I keep them well inflated but only up to the recommended maximum.
    Tandems are also very demanding of saddle comfort, especially for the stoker. Many stokers opt for suspension seat posts, the parallelogram ones work best. And be sure to give warning of potholes to your stoker !
    Enjoy !
  6. OP

    LeeOsborne Active Member

    Aldridge, Walsall
    Tyres pumped up to 100psi, all the drive cleaned and lubed & spd pedals fitted... What a difference!
    The spd's make for an interesting ride mind with this only being our second ride on the thing.
    33 miles in very windy conditions. Very fast out but our average speed was dramatically reduced on the return home.
    Next change will be the handlebars. They are a bit narrow for my liking, swapping for something wider will hopefully give me a bit more confidence, especially when starting off. Working together better will also help. Hopefully this will come with time.
    The only issue we had was being a little uncomfortable in the saddle. I guess you do spend more time in the same position than you would riding single.
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