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Well, just picked up our new to us tandem. Yaaaaayyyy!
I already went from hero to zero four miles into our first ride. Booooooooo!

We got a flat. No big deal as I had a tube... but, the rims were deeper V than I'm used to so the valve stem on my tube wasn't long enough. AND, I haven't carried patch kits in 20 years of biking single bikes, preferring to carry entire tubes. So we had to walk the 4 miles home.

So, to you new tandem owners, try to contain your excitement enough before your first ride to make sure the tube you've always carried will work okay for your tandem rims. Also, throw a patch kit in your bag. And don't choose the most desolate roads for your first test ride. I think we rigged the punctured tube enough for me to ride home by myself (less weight on the rear tire), but our route was so desolate that there was no place for her to wait for me to come back in a car.

For anyone interested- I think the rim tape had moved just enough to expose a spoke hole to the tube. Plus, the tube was sized up to a 25c tire, but we had the stock 28c tires on it, which probably didn't help the tube withstand that spoke hole. I used the folded-dollar-bill trick to cover the exposed spoke hole. Dear stoker had the good idea to tear off some of the vinyl tape that finishes the bar tape and wrap the tube where the puncture was. That kind of worked, but not enough for our 320 lbs. But at least those tricks worked well enough to roll it without hurting the rim. Not to mention it rolled a lot easier than with a completely flat tire.
 

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Great White North
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One of my biggest pet peeves is having to have a longer valve stem for certain wheels than others. My Fargo takes 48mm minimum stems due to the rims, all other wheels in the household take normal 25mm stems. The 48's stick out way too far on the other bikes, increasing the chances that I'll bust one off during inflation, so now I have separate tube stashes for different bikes. PITA.

I also make sure to replace the rim tape on every new wheelset that makes it's way into the household. A jumbo roll of gaffers tape makes it easy and cheap, 1 $5 roll of gaffers tape = dozens (if not hundreds) of wheels.

Plum
 

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Plum said:
so now I have separate tube stashes for different bikes. PITA.
Agreed. I finally got around to drilling out the rims on my trail bike to accept Schraeder stemmed tubes. Now at least 4 of me and my wife's 8 bikes use the same tubes. If her road bike used 700 instead 650C wheels I'd be a happy man.
 

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Great White North
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dir-t said:
Agreed. I finally got around to drilling out the rims on my trail bike to accept Schraeder stemmed tubes. Now at least 4 of me and my wife's 8 bikes use the same tubes. If her road bike used 700 instead 650C wheels I'd be a happy man.
I am only buying 26" tubes these days, even though I have 26", 650b and 29" (700c) wheels at the house. No issues with durability IME with using a 26" tube in a 29x2.35 tire, a little air to help them hold their shape during mounting and I'm good to go.

It's that one stinkin bike that requires 48mm valve stems that gets me. Really makes me want to sell that wheelset and build another that doesn't need them, but that would require some motivation, which seems to be lacking lately as well.

Plum
 

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BT, wishing you ride safe
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Plum said:
I also make sure to replace the rim tape on every new wheelset that makes it's way into the household. A jumbo roll of gaffers tape makes it easy and cheap, 1 $5 roll of gaffers tape = dozens (if not hundreds) of wheels.

Plum
Plum had some really good points in his post, but I really agree with this. Be suspect of factory rim tape on anything but a top of the line bike!. Crappy rim tape has cost me more tubes than any other cause. I've not used gaffers tape, but I'm use it's much better than what they use on many rims.

Good quality rim tape ($5) pays for itself over and over. While you are at it, check less than TOTL rims for tiny metal shards left over from the spoke hole drilling process. Lightly sand the spoke hole, just to be safe.
 

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BT, wishing you ride safe
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Wheelspeed said:
Well, just picked up our new to us tandem. Yaaaaayyyy!
I already went from hero to zero four miles into our first ride. Booooooooo!

We got a flat. No big deal as I had a tube... but, the rims were deeper V than I'm used to so the valve stem on my tube wasn't long enough. AND, I haven't carried patch kits in 20 years of biking single bikes, preferring to carry entire tubes. So we had to walk the 4 miles home.
...
Another lesson hard learned.

We had the same problem compounded by a failure to check the equipment prior to a ride. I have 2 wheel sets. The stock wheel set has semi-aero rims that will take a 32 mm stem. They are NOT QR skewers. I forgot to pack the 4" crescent wrench needed to remove the hub nuts.

A few weeks later we were riding a very technical bike path when the rear wheel went off the pavement and blew out when it came back on. Unbeknownst to me when I put on the new tube there was a hole in the tire. When the tube blew immediately we found the hole and used a folded $1 BILL to span the hole and allow us to ride to a nearby bike shop ( 5 mi) I ridden a similar patched tire 10 mi in a pinch.

Remember these lessons, or learn them later.
 
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