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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 05-28-05, 12:08 PM   #1
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Internal-gear hubs on a tandem?

anyone run internal gears on their tandem? any tandems come stock with them? heard good things about internally geared hubs, just wondering how they'd do on a tandem.
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Old 05-28-05, 02:25 PM   #2
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Heard of the Rohloff (14 speed internal) being specced on some custom tandems in the US.
Also, Thorn tandems in England now apparently has a Rohloff equiped model.
Rohloff's shifter is meant for upright bars only; however, apparently some folks in Germany have built a set-up to be used with drop bars (a split handlebar) or a stem with the shifter attached. There are also some other solutions to mounting the shifter to drop bars. Cost of Rohloff hub is in the $700+ range to my recollection; but, you do not need a rear der., less chain wear, no cassette, no extra chainrings, etc.
Do some browsing on the British tandem club website to look that stuff up.
Hope this helps!

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Old 05-28-05, 02:34 PM   #3
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Link to an image of one. Too big to post here.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/i...peedbild2.jpeg
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Old 05-31-05, 12:50 PM   #4
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Bike Friday equips many of their multi seaters with internally geared hubs. We have them on our double and triple. They work well. No troubles.
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Old 06-02-05, 12:30 PM   #5
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Have a bike friday tandem two'sday with a 3-spd internal rear hub. it works flawlessly and has the added advantage of being able to change gears while standing still. When you have to come to a quick stop at the foot of a big hill, this is really nice.
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Old 06-02-05, 07:51 PM   #6
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The Bike Fridays we've seen utilizing the 3 speed internal hub, usually have no front derailleur but do have a rear cassette/freewheel.
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Old 06-04-05, 08:03 AM   #7
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The older Sachs 3x7 hub and the new Sram 3x9 (http://www.sram.com/dualdrive/) hub are used on the Bike Friday (http://www.bikefriday.com/) tandems with a 20" (406) wheel. Tourque at the hub is lower with a 20" wheel then with a 26 or 700 wheel. The 3x7, 3x8 or 3x9 hubs are not suitable for tandems with larger wheels. Even when used with a 20" wheel if you tell Sram that it was mounted on a tandem they will not warrenty the hub should it fail. If the hub was mounted on a Bike Friday, you return the hub to Bike Friday and they will warrenty the hub.

Now before the flames start flying...the Sachs and Sram hubs are great products as are the bikes offered by Bike Friday. I have had both with out any problems.

The only internal geared hub that is rated for tandems is the Rohloff hub. (http://www.rohloffusa.com/frame.htm) The Rohloff hub is a very well made hub that has been used on both on road and off road tandems with sucsess. The biggest draw back to it is the price... $900 to $1050, thats for the hub and shifter only. No shifter is available for drop bars, flat bars only. You still need to build it into a wheel and in some cases you will need to change dropouts and add cable stops if your reto fitting it to a tandem, you also need to respace the drop outs as the Rolhloff hub is only offered in 135 mm spacing. It can't be used with a drum brake , but can be used with a disk brake. I've set up a coulple of recumbent tandems with the Rohloff hub and they have performed very well.

Most high end tandem builders should be willing to build you a frame set up to work with a Rohloff hub, but I know of none in the US that offer it as a standard option.

If you trying to rid yourself of that pesky front derailleur a cheapper way of doing it would be to use a Schlumpf Mountain Drive bottom bracket (http://www.schlumpf.ch/md_engl.htm) It retails for around $475.00

You should also consiter a bike built with the DaVinci (Not Leonardo..) drive system (http://www.davincitandems.com/daVinci.html)
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Old 07-04-05, 11:23 PM   #8
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this is another Extremlly expensive Option


go into the Nicolai Site and look for the "Nucleon FR tandem" to see the rest of the fotos,, somehow i can not paste the pictures here, but their work and design are incredible.

Happy dreams

Last edited by ricardo kuhn; 07-04-05 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 07-04-05, 11:41 PM   #9
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actually in Full suspension bikes, the extreme mass of the Rohloff hub increase the sprung weight at the end of the swingarm making the suspension work a little harder and don't be as reactive, reason why Nicolai Mount their "Gear box" in the middle of the frames close to the center of gravity,, actually just for FYI Porpuses take a look at the G-BoXX site you will find a bunch of "Half" bikes and so far the only tandems are the Nicolai's

If the tandem is rigid most of this issues become kind of irrelevant exept for the concentration of the mass at the rear end...

I set up this EPic for a friend with one of the 14 speed hubs and the shifting response and performance are Stellar

Note: when I took this fotos we were waiting for some parts, now she is done and rides like a dream




when i get some MO$ey togheter I'm getting one for my ibis Mountain tandem and say Bye bye to funky chain lines and restricted gear rathios
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Old 07-05-05, 12:50 PM   #10
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There is an extensive discussion of Rohloff equipped tandems on the Thorn website. These are built for St. John St. Cycles in the UK and their documentation is quite good.

St. John St. Cycles

Good luck,
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Old 07-07-05, 07:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zonatandem
Heard of the Rohloff (14 speed internal) being specced on some custom tandems in the US.
Also, Thorn tandems in England now apparently has a Rohloff equiped model.
Rohloff's shifter is meant for upright bars only; however, apparently some folks in Germany have built a set-up to be used with drop bars (a split handlebar) or a stem with the shifter attached. There are also some other solutions to mounting the shifter to drop bars. Cost of Rohloff hub is in the $700+ range to my recollection; but, you do not need a rear der., less chain wear, no cassette, no extra chainrings, etc.
Do some browsing on the British tandem club website to look that stuff up.
Hope this helps!

Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
Had heard that the Rohloff might not be able to take full torque developed by tandem cyclists (Olympiads?) and that the wheel structure is not as strong owing to relatively low number of spokes. Rohloff got quite defensive when I queried them about this. Any comment? thanks Pel.
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Old 07-07-05, 05:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pel
Had heard that the Rohloff might not be able to take full torque developed by tandem cyclists (Olympiads?) and that the wheel structure is not as strong owing to relatively low number of spokes. Rohloff got quite defensive when I queried them about this. Any comment? thanks Pel.
The link in my previous post to St. John St. Cycles has extensive discussions regarding all these issues. I don't claim to be an engineer, but their answers are well thought out and make sense to me.

Thorn, most assuredly, has some different thoughts regarding tandems. I can see how they arrived at their conclusions. Anyway, I found the information to be very interesting reading

Doc
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Old 07-07-05, 07:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocF
The link in my previous post to St. John St. Cycles has extensive discussions regarding all these issues.
Doc

Thanks Doc for the Link,,,here is the EXACT Forum that talks about the Rohloff Hubs
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Old 07-08-05, 10:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocF
The link in my previous post to St. John St. Cycles has extensive discussions regarding all these issues. I don't claim to be an engineer, but their answers are well thought out and make sense to me.

Thorn, most assuredly, has some different thoughts regarding tandems. I can see how they arrived at their conclusions. Anyway, I found the information to be very interesting reading

Doc
Thanks Doc. you have got me thinking again. was set on a Connondale Mountain Tandem but a bit concerned about the gear changing. Missing a gear on a tandem could be tricky especially with my level of expertise (10 mins in a car park). Pel
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Old 07-08-05, 02:18 PM   #15
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Well, we have a Cannondale MT800 and the Thorn has started me thinking (that could be dangerous). I know a guy who runs one of the bike liveries on Mackinac Island. Most of the rental tandems on the island are ancient Schwinns or Extremely heavy Atlas Industrial bikes. I'm trying to talk him into trying a few of the Thorn tandems with the Rohloff hub. This should be a good test of the durability.

As information, automobiles are banned on Mackinac Island. All transportation is by foot, bike or horse. Horses have absolute right-of-way, bikes have right-of-way over pedestrians. My kind of place.



Doc
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Old 07-08-05, 08:43 PM   #16
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Our Bike Friday Family Tandem has a Sachs 3-speed hub with a 7-cog derailleur. I can't say we've put a lot of hard miles on it, but it has given no trouble in commuting and short recreational rides. (The BF is a *fun* tandem.) I have the Sachs 3 x 7 on two other bikes as well. I haven't noticed a loss of efficiency compared to a front-derailleur setup, but in fact the hub runs in 2nd gear most of the time, which is direct drive. Sachs has replaced the 3 x 7 with 3 x 8 and 3 x 9 models. I see that they sell for about $160.
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Old 07-17-05, 05:23 PM   #17
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We use Rohloff drivetrains on a variety of tandems, from the ultimate high-zoot to the (relatively speaking) entry-level true off-road tandem. The hubs are proving to be bombproof, very easy to maintain, and durable over the long run. We export about 1/2 of all we sell to mucky sorts of places like the UK.

So if you can swing the initial cost, in the long run it's a good choice. What you spend up front for the expensive hub will be earned back many times over in drivetrain parts that you didn't mangle and have to replace.

Also have one on my personal single bike, and it's just as bomb-proof and reliable (I'm 250).

I believe if the cost ever comes down on these type systems, interal gearing is the future of off-road biking/tandeming. There are just too many advantanges to ignore.
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Old 08-04-08, 07:05 PM   #18
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Resurrecting this thread from the dead -

I have a 60's rollfast cruiser tandem that I am restoring. Presently, it is a single speed.
Would love to use a 3 or 5 speed hub (not a Rohloff! trying to keep this within budget) for the few hills we might encounter just out of NYC. All documentation i've come across for SRAM/Shimano does not rate the hubs for tandem use. Anyone have any experience doing what is not suggested by the manufacturer?

Does anyone have any recommendations?
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Old 08-05-08, 08:35 AM   #19
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Bike Friday equips many of their multi seaters with internally geared hubs. We have them on our double and triple. They work well. No troubles.
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Old 08-05-08, 08:50 AM   #20
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I got some raised eyebrows when I was considering using a Shimano Nexus 8 red band hub for my '65 Schwinn tandem. Shimano is very clear that it is not rated for tandem/cargo use. Pish posh, I put it on anyway. With a 185 lb captain and 160lb stoker the bike and hub have performed flawlessly. It's a heavy one but for mostly flat riding and moderate to fast pace it's been great. Don't listen to lawyers and overly-cautious engineers (I used to be one), just give it a shot.
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Old 08-05-08, 09:43 AM   #21
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Elares, if you continued to read the thread, you would've read about the 20" Bike Friday wheels affected by torque differently than 26/ 700c. Also, the BF uses Dual drive hub (cassette plus internal gear) which would add a derailleur system to my single speed. Not interested in that.

and thanks, HelluvaStella, for the vote of confidence. I'm building these wheels myself, at wholesale prices, and was not too worried about messing up a hub for the experiment.
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Old 04-30-17, 03:37 PM   #22
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I own a 1968 Schwinn Twinn single speed. I want to give it some gears. I am looking at the Sturmey Archer RX-RC5 internal with coaster brake. I have no idea what I am doing, or what it would take besides buying the hub to pull this off. I suppose I will be using the original wheel.... cutting down spokes? I have a great and skilled local bike shop. Any advice or direction would be appreciated.
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Old 04-30-17, 04:47 PM   #23
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Might be helpful to start a new thread asking about the Twinn conversion. Some folks try to avoid Zombie Threads like this one.
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Old 05-01-17, 05:22 AM   #24
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Shimano make the Alfine, 8 or 11 sp with Di2. We are considering the STEPS equipped Helios E-Bike | Circe Cycles when we are next in the UK this summer. We don't yet need it in FL, but over there it's a bit "bumpier."
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Old 05-01-17, 12:35 PM   #25
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Co-motion offers several tandems with Rohloff hubs
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