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Old 08-06-10, 07:50 PM   #1
scozim 
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Can I see your C&V tandem

My daughter is bugging me to get a tandem and, of course, it would have to be a C&V version. I don't know a lot about tandems and would ride some distances with her including some hill climbs. I've seen a few Gitane tandems (drawn there a little because of the French bikes I already have) but I'd like to see some pics of other C&V tandems to know what's out there. The rear mixte set up seems to be one that would work well with my daughter.
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Old 08-06-10, 08:04 PM   #2
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Old 08-06-10, 08:18 PM   #3
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Old 08-06-10, 08:19 PM   #4
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Old 08-06-10, 08:24 PM   #5
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1936 Earnie Ross
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Old 08-06-10, 10:54 PM   #6
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My ol' CCM, it's a double mixtie. Works fairly well for the wife and I:



Last edited by tashi; 08-06-10 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 08-06-10, 11:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by scozim View Post
My daughter is bugging me to get a tandem and, of course, it would have to be a C&V version. I don't know a lot about tandems and would ride some distances with her including some hill climbs. I've seen a few Gitane tandems (drawn there a little because of the French bikes I already have) but I'd like to see some pics of other C&V tandems to know what's out there. The rear mixte set up seems to be one that would work well with my daughter.
A mixte design on a tandem serves no purpose whatsoever. The already more flexible tandem frame will become even more flexible and there is no need to worry about clearance as the stoker only needs to get on the bike once and don't need to put their feet down at any time whatsoever. In fact, you want your stoker to learn to not put their feet down! I have been riding with my daughters since they were about 4 years old. We got by with a kiddie adapter when they were between 4 and about 11 at which time they should both be able to graduate to an "adult position". They both got a kick out of riding the 5 miles to their school (especially when they could invite along a friend on the triplet.)
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Old 08-06-10, 11:57 PM   #8
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That Bob Jackson is remarkable, the curved rear seatpost, short wheelbase, captain's cranks going to the rear wheel... I have never seen one like it. How well does the long drive chain work?
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Old 08-07-10, 12:02 AM   #9
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I'd get you a picture of my uncle's Schwinn tandem from the war era, but he has none on the blog. Which sucks.
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Old 08-07-10, 12:54 AM   #10
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That Bob Jackson is remarkable, the curved rear seatpost, short wheelbase, captain's cranks going to the rear wheel... I have never seen one like it. How well does the long drive chain work?
Having the drive going to the captain's crank is very functional as the tandem in the case of the Bob Jackson has 120 mm spacing on the rear with very short chainstays. I didn't want to spread the rear to 126 because of the extra stiffness of the extra tubes and the short stays and very steep angle of the stoker seat tube made it very difficult to adjust the front derailleur. I can now use ever cog with all three chainrings in front and can get by with a short cage rear derailleur, I can also shift the front derailleur without needing to rely on the stoker. The only negative is the extra weight of the chain
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Old 08-07-10, 04:38 AM   #11
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I have a bunch of those stoker handles that go in the place of the brake levers.
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Old 08-07-10, 04:42 AM   #12
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I have one in france, one in england. Both are lower end, 70's, french and blue.


On this tandem I had to upgrade spokes, rims and brake blocks this winter


I recently brought this tandem on ebay.co.uk, with stronglight cranks and normany red label hubs. My stroker is out of action for the next 9 months so there's plenty of time to work on that bike.

I do love vintage tandems, but I have yet to find a good one that is in my price range!
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Old 08-07-10, 05:08 AM   #13
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A mixte design on a tandem serves no purpose whatsoever. The already more flexible tandem frame will become even more flexible and there is no need to worry about clearance as the stoker only needs to get on the bike once and don't need to put their feet down at any time whatsoever. In fact, you want your stoker to learn to not put their feet down! I have been riding with my daughters since they were about 4 years old. We got by with a kiddie adapter when they were between 4 and about 11 at which time they should both be able to graduate to an "adult position". They both got a kick out of riding the 5 miles to their school (especially when they could invite along a friend on the triplet.)
Is this based on pure conjecture? Because I see two problems with your statements.

1: I've always understood that a mixte-style single-person frame ends up stiffer than the equivalent traditional diamond frame. Some combination of having twin stays (lateral triangulation) that go straight to the rear wheel makes for a stiffer frame with weight being the penalty. I have no evidence that this is true for tandems, but I can't imagine that a well-made mixte tandem would be floppy enough to matter in practice. You're not racing the damn thing, you're going out for a ride with your honey.

2: There are reasons to have a step through frame besides standing over the frame. Maybe you're carrying a large rear load that makes it difficult to mount traditionally. Maybe you're just old and stiff and can't mount traditionally. Maybe you're wearing a skirt.
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Old 08-07-10, 05:31 AM   #14
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Here's my circa 80 Pug...lousy pics. The problem was the persistent use of steel Rigida rims on a bike that needed the most braking power. The Atom drum brake was feeble at best.



Sold it a few years back and never missed it.
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Old 08-07-10, 06:39 AM   #15
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What's C&V to you? A 1972 Bertin? A 1989 Cannondale? I owned a couple of tandems in the 1970s, so let me talk about the tandems of the 60s & 70s..

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My daughter is bugging me to get a tandem and, of course, it would have to be a C&V version. I don't know a lot about tandems and would ride some distances with her including some hill climbs.
Oh, and it's not just going to be a wall hanger, you're really going to ride the thing?

Old tandems tended to have flexible frames - and if you've never ridden one, you won't understand. I'm talking about "not holding the front and rear wheels in the same plane" flexible. On a fast down hill curve, I'm talking about scary, snake-track handling. Fred DeLong referred to this as tandem frame "whip" in period writing.

Just slow down for the downhill curves? Ha! You haven't ridden one, have you? Braking was miserable.

Building a stiff frame & fork - even for custom builders - was nigh impossible unless they commissioned proprietary tubing, and very few did. One common technique to compensate was to build the twicer* frame very short. Old tandems tend to have small cockpits for both the steersman* and the crew*, and they're uncomfortable over any distance.

Do you know the "answer verse"?

If you cannot afford a carriage,
There won't be any marriage.
For I'll be d***ed if I'll be jamed
On a bicycle built for two."


Old tandems tended to eat parts. Brake blocks, freewheels, axles, spokes, hubs, rear bottom brackets. Some old tandems have proprietary dimensions and require special parts that haven't been manufactured in years.

When I bought my Santana in 1982 it was a revelation. It was stiff, safe, reliable and comfortable.

Keeping it on the road for 28 years has been much more challenging and required much more effort than my similar aged single bikes. After decades of robust service, I've suffered 3 mechanicals in the last 5 tandem club rides we've taken it on. Welcome to old tandem riding.

I wouldn't suggest anything older than a classic Santana for actual riding. A few other tandems from the 1980s era (barely C&V to me) might be acceptable - look for proprietary, tandem specific oversize frame tubes and forks, longish wheelbases, mountain bike derived components.

HTH,
tcs

*C&V tandem terminology

Last edited by tcs; 08-07-10 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 08-07-10, 06:40 AM   #16
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mine pictured above is for sale...just sayin
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Old 08-07-10, 06:49 AM   #17
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Is this based on pure conjecture?
No, it's based on about 50 years of collected wisdom in the tandem community.

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Old 08-07-10, 07:46 AM   #18
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Frameteam.
That's a neat Ernie Ross tandem. Is it whippy like the wise men are saying?
Whichever, I'd love to give it a spin.
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Old 08-07-10, 07:57 AM   #19
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If you're out for an afternoon ride in the park with your honey who's wearing a skirt you'll not particularly notice tandem frame flex.

If, like the OP, you want to do hill climbs (w/ associated descents) and distance work, you will.

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Old 08-07-10, 08:38 AM   #20
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I was a bit reluctant to chime in because my Santana is not really C & V, but since the discussion has touched on rigidity and Santanas, I'll toss mine into the ring. As much as I'd like a vintage road tandem, I'd rather have the ride of fairly modern unit. This one is from 1992:

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Old 08-07-10, 08:59 AM   #21
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Here's a 1970s Jack Taylor tandem that I built up for a friend of mine. For some reason it is still in my possession. Too bad it doesn't fit me.

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Old 08-07-10, 09:34 AM   #22
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My big purple CCM above confirms the typical vintage tandem experience: flexy everything, whipping around corners, poor braking etc.

Luckily that's exactly what I'd expect from a 40 year old bike with massive steel bars, shoddy welds, low-quality tubing, and a dubious braking combo of a rear coaster and a low-quality front caliper. I ride it accordingly (slowly, calmly) and it doesn't disappoint.
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Old 08-07-10, 02:21 PM   #23
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No, it's based on about 50 years of collected wisdom in the tandem community.

tcs
Ah, then thank you for addressing my concerns. I can tell you know what you're talking about!
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Old 08-07-10, 03:23 PM   #24
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When I bought my Santana in 1982 it was a revelation. It was stiff, safe, reliable and comfortable.
Is that your Santana in your link? It looks like it is Reynolds tandem tubing other than possibly the chain stays. It's hard to tell from that photo though.


I don't recall when Reynolds started selling tandem specific tubing, it was a big improvement over what people had been using. I think I built my tandem in about 1980, I was happy that Reynolds had introduced Tandem tubing.
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Old 08-07-10, 04:04 PM   #25
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Here's my 86 Santana we bought new, coverted it to 700C last year:



















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