I have a Schwinn Twinn Sport 10sp tandem. It's sort of "one step up" from the basic Twinn tandem, having a top-bar front end and mixte rear, weighs about 12 lb. less than the older Twinn. It also came as a 10-speed from the factory.
Front (stoker's) chainwheels are 52-tooth and 39-tooth. I put a 14-34 cluster on the rear, to get that low hillclimbing gear. But I'd also like to replace that front 39-tooth chainwheel with a smaller one if possible. I don't want to replace the entire front crankset with a triple, cuz that's a major undertaking on a tandem, in time, effort, and $$ for parts.
Some have told me that it's impossible to put a chainwheel smaller than 39 teeth on the front of this particular bike, because the diameter of the bolt pattern pretty much dictates the smallest chainwheel that can go on and still fit outside those bolts.
But I noticed that right next to the 39-tooth chainwheel, is a 36-tooth chainwheel, that carries the synchronizing chain to an identical 36-tooth chainwheel on the front (captain's) crankset. And it is also bolted to those same bolts.
Is there any reason I couldn't get another one of those 36-tooth chainwheels usually used for the synchronizing chain, taken off the 39-tooth drive chainwheel, and put the 36 in its place, so I have one 52-tooth and two 36-tooth chainwheels side by side? One 36 chained to the captain's crankset and the other 36 chained to the rear cluster for hillclimbing?
Anybody ever tried this on a tandem? Especially a Schwinn?