Converting Tandem Wheels to Tubeless Road
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  1. #1
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    Converting Tandem Wheels to Tubeless Road

    I am thinking of converting my tandem wheels so I can run tubeless road tires. I love the tubeless tires on my standard road bikes and have virtually eliminated flats. I would love to do the same for my tandem that is ridden very lightly. Not having to deal with worry of minor punctures and such would be nice on the tandem. I have always worried about a front flat and stopping the thing!

    I wonder if anyone has done so on here - thinking of using the Hutchinson Intensive Tubeless tires. These will be almost 25mm wide on the Velocity Dyads I expect. They aren't true 25c tires but do have more volume than the Fusion 3 tires. They measure almost 24mm wide on a Stan's Alpha road rim.

  2. #2
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    I don't have a tandem but wish I my wife would ride. Anyways, I love tubeless and just can't figure out why they are not more popular. I have had one flat in five years.

    If the wheel is wider you just need the wider MTB tape. I'm sure the wider tires would work better for a tandem.

  3. #3
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    Tubeless will give you so many advantages, go for it

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by metoou2 View Post
    Tubeless will give you so many advantages, go for it
    What is your team weight? I really think the Intensives will be too narrow for any more than a VERY lightweight team. As you know from your single bike, Intensives are barely bigger than most 23c tires, and even if opened up a bit on the wider Dyad rims I still find the thought of tandemming on such skinny tires really dicey. Take a look at the new Hutchinson Secteur 28s (700x28c) and give this some more thought.

  5. #5
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    I have a set of the Hutchinson Secteur - I was waiting for them for quite a while, as they seemed like the best option. Finally got a pair last month

    The tandem hasn't been out much lately, but I foresee some more rides soon, and I would love to get rid of the tubes, and the worry of flats. I will come back and update this post when I get around to switching over.

  6. #6
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    Tandem Tubeless Tires

    Quote Originally Posted by worthcycle View Post
    I have a set of the Hutchinson Secteur - I was waiting for them for quite a while, as they seemed like the best option. Finally got a pair last month

    The tandem hasn't been out much lately, but I foresee some more rides soon, and I would love to get rid of the tubes, and the worry of flats. I will come back and update this post when I get around to switching over.
    I have a set of the Secteurs and like you have been on road tubeless for several seasons now. I am planning a new tandem wheelset as soon as I can scrape up the funds and they will be wider rims like the new Hed Ardennes+ at 25mm. I've ridden the Secteurs on my single and they seem perfect for our tandem, I just want a wider, more stable rim to support them for our 350# team weight. Currently we are on Velocity Deep V's which are so narrow I just can't see running as tubeless with such fat tires even though they are fine with tubes and Conti Gatorskin 28c. I look forward to anything you can tell me once you get the tubeless Hutch. on your tandem.

  7. #7
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    OK. Its been a while, but I have set up road tubeless on our tandem bike. Worthcycle are you still interested in this thread?

    After a lot of thought, I built up Velocity Blunt 29 rims with 36 spokes and Chris King tandem disc hub in the rear and Hed Belgium+ rims in 32 spoke around a C. King Classic front. The front is a rim brake design, the rear is disc. Both front and rear have Hutchinson Sector (Secteur) 28 tires. So far we have about 40 miles on this set. I'm hoping to have it out for some wet weather riding this weekend because I am most curious about how the front rim braking will alter or diminish in the wet vs. the rear disc that should be unchanging wet or dry.

    We're finding that we are able to use lower psi. with the bigger volume tire/rim combo, but the lower limit seems to be around 70psi for our 350# team. We would use Conti Gatorskin 28c tires at 105psi. On the upper end, 85psi seems fast and comfortable and well under the 101psi max. recommended pressure for the tires.

    So far no flats though I dug out some deeply embedded thorns.

    I plan to torture this tubeless set up a lot more between now and Summer, I'll try to post back as I get more experience with this.

  8. #8
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    Hey! You did what I was thinking of trying.
    I think that most tandems are using wheels that are too narrow to begin with, so going wide for tubeless makes sense.

    How did the Blunt work out? I like its width for tandem wheels, but I was worried about it being an MTB rim--lower pressure--and of it being related to the Blunt SL, which has not been a sturdy rim for many folks, apparently.

    Why not use the Blunt on the front as well?
    I like the Belgium+ rim, as it seems to be pretty tough, but I want 36 rim, I think.
    What other rims did you consider for the tandem?

    Have you considered some of the wide/supple/light tires that Compass Bicycles imports?
    I am thinking of perhaps going with a 650b wheel with wide tires.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Guy View Post
    OK. Its been a while, but I have set up road tubeless on our tandem bike. Worthcycle are you still interested in this thread?
    I am interested - I just have the Tandem hanging in the garage at the moment - I have used it once in the last year.

    My little guy is getting bigger - so I am thinking of building a stoker adapter for him - once that happens I think I can get someone on the road with me...

    Glad to hear that others have had some success with tubeless. I do think wider rims make a big difference IME on singles.

    I will be using Dyad rims which are a bit wider than most. I am planning to use some of my used, lightly worn tires first from one of my single bikes - I don't see the need to put new expensive tires on a tandem I use so little.

    I think the little guy and I could use some of my training road wheels on the tandem - I love the HED Belgium C2 rims - and with his weight and mine combined the wheels would still hold up. I just need to figure out how to space the rear hub from 130 to 145mm easily if I decide to do that.

  10. #10
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    I have some time now on tubeless road tires on my Tandem, and I really like it. The extra stiffness that the Hutchinson Tubeless tires seem to offer in the sidewalls, plus the ability to run lower pressures if desired (with no chance of a pinch flat), makes the combo a really good one for a Tandem.

    Right now I am running Dyad rims (so 24mm wide) with the Hutchinson Secteur 28c tires. The Secteur tires do require a good sealant and a fair bit of fuss to get them to hold air (they act just like a non tubeless ready mountain tire - the sealant seeps out the side walls all over the tire). I found that it took several days of riding and re-airing the tires to get them to stop leaking from the side walls and last more than a day with enough air to ride. Stans sealant didn't work at first, but sealed one tire pretty well after putting the tires horizontal on a bucket and the other tricks I know from the mountain world. The other tire was a bit stubborn so I threw in some CaffeLatex I had laying around, and after one day (2 rides) it was all sealed up. The other tire with Stans was still dropping 20lbs a day at that point so I swapped in CaffeLatex for it as well. I think the foaming action helped coat the sidewalls of the tire and possibly any rim/seam areas better than the Stans. However, I prefer the Stans since I find it seems to plug larger holes - so the next time I have the tires open I will put Stans back in. I think the tires are now sealed - so no matter what sealant I have it won't really matter.

    The ride is great - and it is pretty nice to not worry about flats while flying down hills with a 5 year old on the back saying go faster!!!

    With an adult as the Stoker we can easily run 60-70psi with no worry of pinch flats, smooth rolling, a wider bump eating profile, and very consistent cornering which all really make these tires a winner. If I was going to be on better roads I think I might try a set of the Hutchinson Fusion 3 in 25c rear and 23c front to see if they are faster - but I am think I have found my ultimate tire for the Tandem in the Secteur's.

  11. #11
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    We too have a thousand or so miles on our road tubeless tandem set up, for us using Hed Belgium Plus on the front and Velocity Blunt 29 on the back. Handling with Hutchinson Sector 28s is the best I've ever had on a tandem though I have never run tubular tires on the big bike.
    We found the fit of Sector 28 tire to be very snug on the Velocity Blunt, that the height of the beadwall is very short and when the tire seats in it can be a bear to get off at the roadside. Velocity does mention somewhere that they try for a tightly seated tire for low pressure MTB riding with this rim, but with road tubeless pressures of 60 to 90 psi it really doesn't need to be so tight. I found single wrap of Stans tape to be sufficient, no need to build up the rim bed very much at all.
    The Hed Belgium Plus is a great match for the Sector 28, very easy to fit the tire and remove.
    I'm never going back to tubes; wider tires with more volume and lower pressures are the cat's whiskers for the weight of two, punctures are so rare, and the comfort factor is outstanding.

  12. #12
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    I'm running Hutchinson Fusion 3 in 700x25c on my single bike. It's a true 25mm tire, measuring 25.1 mounted up on 23.8 OD rims. I like them very well at 75psi on the half bike, but I think there's not enough tire there for our now 340# tandem team.

  13. #13
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    The Blunt 29 rim seemed like a great choice for us on our tandem. I needed to reuse my Chris King 36h hub rather than spend the money for a new 32h hub. That limited my choice to only a few rims that are wider, tubeless adaptable and have 36 holes. Blunt 29 is disc only, and for the front we use a rim brake so the Belgium Plus was my choice. I had to bite the bullet and build a new front in 32 spokes. Looking back, I like the bomb proof strength of 36 spokes, but 32 would probably be adequate front and rear for us.

    I didn't consider Grand Bois or others from Compass because they cannot be safely run tubeless at road pressures and they don't fit through my frame.

    Blunt 29 rims work well with the Hutchinson Sector 28 tire. it's a tight fit and once on, the bead hook grips the tire bead tightly. No need to build up the rim bed with extra layers of tape; the tire seats in with a floor pump, and extra tape will make the tire really hard to get off if you ever do get a flat.

  14. #14
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    Anyone still reading this? Just I in case anyone is, I'll try to update you on my recent tandem road tubeless experience.
    We retired the Velocity Blunt early last summer when spokes began to pull through. Longitudinal cracks appeared on the exterior of the rim between spoke holes. I got a new Aileron rim from Velocity (36 hole) and built it up. As of this summer we are a 320# team having lost a further 20# from last year, but despite that the Aileron rim showed signs of failure after about 600 miles. This time the longitudinal cracks appeared on the interior of the rim between several spoke holes under the rim tape. All the tires I've tried fit well on these rims.
    I have now rebuilt the hub into another Velocity Aileron rim and we'll give this one a good workout summer of 2016.
    The Hed Belgium Plus (32h) rim on the front has been flawless. The Sector from Hutchinson and the 28c Schwalbe One tubeless fit easily and ride great at 90 psi.
    I hope to get some new Schwalbe One Pro tubeless tires in 28c sometime in 2016 and put them to work on this bike.
    So far I am completely sold on road tubeless tires on the tandem bike. The solid handling is inspiring of confidence in the turns and the lowered pressure (we run 110-105 psi with tubes) is comfy and still feels fast.
    Anyone else?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Guy View Post
    Velocity does mention somewhere that they try for a tightly seated tire for low pressure MTB riding with this rim, but with road tubeless pressures of 60 to 90 psi it really doesn't need to be so tight. I found single wrap of Stans tape to be sufficient, no need to build up the rim bed very much at all.
    You haven't had any trouble with just one layer of Stan's tape? They recommend 2 layers for road because the higher pressures can cause the tape to break into the spoke holes of double walled rims.
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  16. #16
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    Yup just one wrap of Stans tape. I wanted the tires to fit a bit less snug. I had no trouble because of it.

  17. #17
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    We are still riding along just fine with the Sectors. I don't know when we might wear them out...

    I would like to try the new Schwalbe Pro One 28c tires and/or the new Hutchinson Fusion 5 25c All Seasons, but see no need to buy new tires just to try them.

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