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Hydraulic Brakes and Separable Tandems

Neil Plant2024-05-17 12:46:42

A bit of information for anyone wanting hydraulic brakes on a separable tandem.

When we bought our S&S coupled tandem we specified cable disc brakes as there didn't appear to be any good options for hydraulics other than removing the lever or caliper which would have meant a lot of hassle when splitting the frame as we do for train travel.  Having recently seen the following from Taiwan:

Q-Connector - Bicycle Hydraulic Quick Coupler – zenocycle (zenocycleparts.com)

...we took a chance and ordered a quick connect and got our local bike shop to upgrade the tandem to hydraulics, fitting the quick connect.  After a four-day tour in Scotland, the upgrade was worth it and the connector works fine.  The LBS reported it was easy to fit.  It's worth a look if you're looking at speccing up a separable tandem or upgrading.

We never had an issue with cable discs, we just wanted something that took less effort.  We went with TRP Hylex levers and Magura 4 pot calipers on a Rohloff tandem.

R Allen2024-05-17 13:45:48

Interesting - internet has everything!

Another idea is could locate lever elsewhere / have stoker controlling rear wheel braking.  Bestw rich

David Beacham2024-05-17 14:46:34
An easier option is the hybrid cable/hydro brake, I always thought they were the worst of both worlds but after getting one in the workshop for a service I changed my mind. I was really impressed how good it was and easy to set up. Obviously you could still use a cable splitter on those, mind you we were quite happy with BB7's on ours laugh
David Beacham2024-05-17 14:51:51
I wouldn't trust my stoker with a brake, it would be on more that the main ones!angel
Simon Brown2024-05-17 17:18:20

My second-hand Thorn tandem has a hydraulic coupler which works very well, but is a silly price at £195 (https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brakes/100-dry-hydraulic-coupling-fittings-no-hose-supplied/).  After about 25 uncoupling/couplings, the brakes can start to go a bit soft so I bleed them which takes about 10 minutes so not a major inconvenience.  If I were to do it again I would look at the hybrid options.  The TRP Hy/Rd I have on my solo is phenomenal, especially considering its on a 160mm rotor