I just aquired a somewhere around mid eighties kuwahara tandem for 200.00 and am looking to make a few changes to it and would like thoughts on my ideas. It came equiped with 27" wheels shimano tourney cranks and suntour xc sport der with barends, everything works fine it just needs new tires. My wife has previously ridden a tandem at a camp for the blind and while she's a little hesitant to simply hop on with me she is willing to try it. But I need to make a few changes as well.
The initial plan is to put on 700c wheels, I checked and the brakes will reach, so I was looking at some velocity deep v rims with lx hubs built 32 hole, this does eliminate the rear drum brake so I'm not certain if the bike will stop us well enough. I could add an additional caliper brake to the rear if needed. In addition I have to put a flat bar in the back for her and probably one in the front so she can occasionally steer.
If she decides she likes riding and gets into it then I plan to upgrade to STI levers in the front, probably deore which with the better leverage will help the bike stop more, deore derailleurs and either a truevative or FSA crankset, the idea is to keep my total investment below 600.00 which will be just doable since I work at a shop, so that just in case, and in all likelyhood she decides not to do this I can recoup my investment, or if she really ends up liking it selling it for enough to get close to a c-dale tandem.
Looking for any thoughts on a better build up or suggestions for what cranks might be best, or better wheel ideas. Thanks for any thoughts.
One last thought, this bike weights in at 44lbs, the newer trek comfort version was 41, is this an average weight, is this just a heavy frame or will some of my upgrades shed some serious weight?