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Tandem Tire Width - What is yours?

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Tandem Tire Width - What is yours?

Old 09-05-19, 03:27 PM
  #26  
conspiratemus1
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The new Donnelly 30 mm in the back as it's the biggest that will fit under the brake bridge, even had to file a little off the bottom face with a half-round file. (Bike has short-reach side-pull brakes.) 28 up front. 28 in back worked fine for "good" gravel with clear tracks of hardpack but 30 is a little more comfortable for stoker and still gives smooth rolling on pavement. She likes it a lot. (Well, the chip and seal that passes for pavement here.) The 28 ploughs through most gravel better than I thought it would, enough that we don't exclude gravel roads outright from our local rides any more. Like getting a visa to a new country! 280?-lb team.
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Old 09-06-19, 06:05 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
Our tandem tire width is 32 (Schwalbe Marathon Plus). We just returned from a 10 day tour on which Google Maps was sending us on mixed terrain from regular roads to pretty bumpy gravel paths. I wished for a wider tire on some of the sections as well as during some of the steep downhill turny roads. I'm kind of considering 35 or 42. Anyone riding those widths on pavement and how do You like it?
We like 1.5" M+ for mostly on paved roads and 2" duremes when more off pavement. We have sufficient clearance (26") that our fenders work for both. Tried 1.5" panaracers for 2000 miles, they are lighter but not robust. At 65 psi, the casing ripped on two different tires and they were prone to flats, which is a PITA on tours. We run the M+ at 70-75 psi, a noticeable improvement in comfort over the 95 psi of our older tandem with 32's.
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Old 09-15-19, 11:17 AM
  #28  
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We are running 26x2.35" Bontrager XR3s right now. They are a on the edge of what our frame fits, but when it gets sandy, I'm glad to have all the rubber I can get.

I am going to try a Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 26x2 next. I had the 26x1.6 on another bike but I prefer the volume for tandeming.
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Old 09-20-19, 01:41 PM
  #29  
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We have schwalbe marathon plus 28x1.50 700x38c , 5bar/75psi. We are a 165kg/365lbs couple both over sixty, with a triple nine gear tandem of roughly 30kg/65lbs ( including arai drag brake, filled bidons and so on) which we use on Pavel roads on the flat and in the mountains
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Old 09-20-19, 01:48 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by hortan View Post
Pavel road
error: I ment:
PAVED roads
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Old 09-21-19, 08:32 AM
  #31  
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700 x 44 RH Snoqualmie Pass on our Jack Taylor.
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Old 09-22-19, 08:40 AM
  #32  
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We currently have a 50mm Specialized something or other on the rear and a 47mm Schwalbe Marathon Plus on the front. I have a set of 42mm Marathon Supremes ready to be installed but I really dislike replacing perfectly good usable tires.
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Old 09-23-19, 05:21 AM
  #33  
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Our weekly group ride switches to gravel after Labor Day, so this year for the first time we decided to join them on our tandem. We’re running Conti RideTours, 700x42c at 60psi. We removed the Thudbuster from the stoker position and are using a standard rigid seatpost again. So far so good, I don’t think we could go any larger on this frame and I wouldn’t want to go any narrower on gravel. Not yet tried our usual 20mi road route with these tires, but so far they seem comfy on pavement.

Last edited by Yamato72; 09-23-19 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 10-13-19, 04:21 PM
  #34  
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26x1.75 Marathons.
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Old 10-21-19, 08:22 PM
  #35  
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700x26
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Old 05-13-20, 03:07 PM
  #36  
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Update on the 700x38 Gravel Kings. The rear tire is worn down to the casing after about 2,000 km. That seems like really short tire life to me. Anyone have any suggestions as to something better?
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Old 05-13-20, 03:54 PM
  #37  
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Turns out a have a really short memory. Searching this forum I see that last year I complained about my Rene Herse tires wearing out in 1200 km. For the price maybe the Gravel Kings aren't so bad after all. Still open to other suggestions.
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Old 05-13-20, 06:11 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by bikeinxs View Post
Turns out a have a really short memory. Searching this forum I see that last year I complained about my Rene Herse tires wearing out in 1200 km. For the price maybe the Gravel Kings aren't so bad after all. Still open to other suggestions.
Tires are a consumable. Good reason to always mount new tires before a 1200. We run 28-32 mm Conti 4000 or 5000. They are fast and seem durable enough. I had 1400 miles on a 4000IIs 28mm rear tire before I took it off. It had a good bit of rubber still on it, but had become cut up on the winter road debris we get here. I've had a 28mm 5000 on the front for 200 miles, still has the mold flashing here and there. A 28mm 4000IIs, which was on the front for a couple thousand miles, now has 200 miles on the rear and has a small center flat. I've tried many different brands and models and these are the best tires I've run so far. Good handling, fast, decent flat protection, and as durable as any I've tried. My big issue with tandem tires is road cuts. We have a lot of glass and flints on the roads and shoulders here. Our local sweeping budgets are evidently very small. These Contis are the most cut resistant I've tried in the past couple years.

YMMV depending on your combined watts.
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Old 05-14-20, 11:16 AM
  #39  
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We run Gatorskins in 700x28 on the road only. Our mountain tandem though has much bigger Mezcal tires.
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Old 05-16-20, 02:12 PM
  #40  
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700 x 28 or 32 on paved roads. 700 x 40 on gravel and for touring.
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Old 05-18-20, 01:46 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by bikeinxs View Post
Turns out a have a really short memory. Searching this forum I see that last year I complained about my Rene Herse tires wearing out in 1200 km. For the price maybe the Gravel Kings aren't so bad after all. Still open to other suggestions.
Performance/racing tires usually have softer compounds to provide greater grip, and are overall softer for better rolling resistance, this leads to faster wear. Touring tires are designed to last longer with harder compounds. Tandems are heavy and are tough on tires.

I'd say that Gravel Kings are usually a good balance, performant, a bit more hard wearing than the softest tires, and not too expensive. We like using performance tires due to rolling resistance and comfort so but that comes with a cost -- more expensive tires that wear out quicker. If you want more run for your money you should probably look for a good touring tire, for example a Schwalbe Marathon.
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Old 05-23-20, 05:01 PM
  #42  
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We're still on our first and only tandem -- A Burley bought used in 2011 -- and it came with OEM 700cc wheels with 25mm tires on them and the tandem dealer told us to run them at 120 psi. We ran down just about every Colorado mountain pass in the book on those things. In retrospect, I can see it was like schussing down the passes on ice skates. Plus, it was dang hard to hand-pump those things to 120 psi. And we flatted frequently -- five times in one morning on Ride the Rockies, and we got to the point where we were suspecting the spoke nipples and other rim-related problems. So we switched out the wheels to some Dyad 48-spokes, and bumped up the tires to 700 x 28 Gatorskins. And, crucially, we dropped the psi to about 80, mostly because I had come to the decision that 120 was just nuts. Maybe it's the new wheels; maybe it's the wider tires; maybe it's the lower psi; maybe it's a combination of all three, but flats now are rare. We're a 320-pound team on a too-small Burley Duet that we absolutely love, though we'll be upgrading to a properly sized lifetime bike soon.

I thought I was taking a big step moving out to 28mm tires, but after reading this thread (and checking the clearance of my fork and stay), I can see we've got plenty of room to grow. I'd like to try something in the 32+ range; we ride pavement mostly but the Colorado freeze-thaw cycles turn our city streets into a bone-jarring series of cracks and crevices, and there are a lot of gravel trails to be ridden around here, so I'm looking for tires that will handle both surfaces.

Last edited by JeffandKathy; 05-23-20 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 05-23-20, 08:22 PM
  #43  
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My money is on the Gatorskins
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Old 05-24-20, 08:16 AM
  #44  
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We are using 700x25 Conti gp 4000. Currently ride pavement only. Moving and will likely ride dirt roads/gravel. Frame has tons of clearance (looks funny with the 25mm tires honestly) but rims are 18-622 so not sure how big I can reasonably go. Sheldon brown says up to 2x rim width. Bike is disc brakes. Thoughts?
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Old 05-24-20, 09:47 PM
  #45  
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We're slightly under your weight class (say 300/350), but regardless we run 650b's in the 40 to 48mm size class simply because it allows for greater volume / lower pressures and greater ride comfort (with nominal bottom bracket drop). and to be more explicit, we're running 40 - 50 psi on our 650b/48mm road wheels & 25 - 35psi on our 650b/47mm xc tires.
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Old 05-24-20, 09:48 PM
  #46  
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Personally I'm on the "go as big as you can" train, as higher volume = lower psi = better ride quality & comfort.
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Old 05-25-20, 03:06 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by act0fgod View Post
We are using 700x25 Conti gp 4000. Currently ride pavement only. Moving and will likely ride dirt roads/gravel. Frame has tons of clearance (looks funny with the 25mm tires honestly) but rims are 18-622 so not sure how big I can reasonably go. Sheldon brown says up to 2x rim width. Bike is disc brakes. Thoughts?
Often clearance is a bit less than it seems - the narrowest point is typically in the chainstay close to the seat tube. Sometimes there is a bit of asymmetry so there is less space on one side than the other. It's often hard to measure in advance what will fit though other than very coarsely as there are many parameters. A narrower rim leads to a bit narrower tire.

18 is a really narrow rim with modern standards, so probably the 2x rim width is wise, that would lead to 36mm tires. Hutchison Overide exisits in both 35 and 38 and can deal with quite high pressures. We used the 35mm version on our Cannondale Tandem for a season an liked the tires, but to this season I built 650B wheels so I could fit 47mm rubber. While the 35mm would be enough on a single bike on the type of gravel we ride, I feel that with the heavier and less dynamic tandem I prefer wider tires still. It all depends on how coarse stuff you are going to ride though. 35mm is great for fine gravel and is fast on tarmac.

We probably would have kept the 35mm rubber if we had only one wheelset, as we do ride lots of tarmac as well, but we have a road-specific wheelset too, and use this 650B for all-around and adventure touring where speed is less of a concern.
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Old 05-25-20, 04:38 AM
  #48  
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I ordered a pair of Marathon Supreme Microskins in 700x35. I'm looking forward to the direct comparison with the Gravel Kings. They are quite a bit heavier. Although I know it really doesn't matter my inner roadie wouldn't let me buy the 700x40's because of the weight.

As an added complexity I really like running tubeless tires. There aren't many tubeless options when you get larger. I did find a couple of interesting things though. First, it turns out Panaracer just released a couple more variants of the Gravel King, at least one of which is supposed to be more puncture resistant (which I assumes means thicker/tougher). Second, I found the Vittoria Terreno Zero which looks like it could be an interesting choice. Available up to 700x38 and tubeless ready. About the same weight as the Marathon 700x35.

https://www.vittoria.com/us/terreno-...nd-gravel.html

I'm sure the perfect tire is out there!
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Old 05-26-20, 03:40 PM
  #49  
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Generally, I agree, wider is better. But I wanted lightweight tires with not too much tread. I went down in size from 2.125 inches to 1.4 inches, and I don't notice it's harsher. I think in general, I feel less on the tandem than on my singles.

We are lightweight people, 275 pounds in total. I keep the tires at about 80 psi.
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Old 05-27-20, 11:19 PM
  #50  
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23mm front and rear. Works great on placement and gravel.
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