home built, custom coupled carbon fiber touring tandem
I have decided to build a home built, custom coupled carbon fiber touring tandem. Home built because I have to build it with woodworking equipment in my garage. I will have to design a new custom couple for linking bike frame sections because SS couplers are not sold to home DIYer. I chose carbon fiber because it is easy to work with and no welding is required. This bike will be a touring tandem built for durability and comfort over weight saving and speed. It must be able to withstand the rigor of packing, travel, and unsupported touring. And it must also be pack-able in two airline friendly 26x26x10 cases.
Any one here with previous frame building or carbon fiber laminating experience they care to share? Love to have other inputs, advice, suggestions, and critiques as I attempt this project. Always better to have more than one view. For those experienced tandem riders, if you have a clean slate, how would you design your travel tandem? Thanks in advance for any help.
Do you intend to make your own tubing? Have you worked with carbon in order to reach your assessment that it is easy to work with?
Your simplest method for a coupling system will be a knock off of the Ritchey method.
It is easy to work with, and cheap compared to many other materials. Getting the structure right can be a challenge, while it is just another material, it is sometimes hard to anticipate how it will play with other materials. A small amount has a dramatic effect, and it is as easy to pick up too much load, as it is to actually add strength. Sometime the structure that picks up the load is stiff enough to get the job, but not strong enough to take the full load. It is amazing how many fully professional outfits have engineered structures that failed spectacularly I remember this America's cup challenger that lost it's whole bow, and on another occasion, a whole fleet of multihulls broke up when the conditions picked up. Can be tricky stuff. If you do go this route do not try for light as well as everything else. Pushing the material is not a job for a one-off.