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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 12-17-06, 07:34 PM   #1
sonatageek
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Tandem with with a frame issue

A neighbor gave me an old single speed tandem. It is in rough shape and the head badge is missing. Probably a Columbia or something of that sort. One piece cranks, 26" wheels, one speed, rim brake front and coaster brake in the back.

As I was checking it over I noticed a loose headset (no big deal) and as I worked my way back I saw that the back handlebars are crushed in on one side and the down tube that the rear handlebars are in is loose from the frame. The frame design is split, mixte style in the back, and the tube runs between it.

Would this type of repair be expensive (I will try to upload pictures) and what method can I use to check out the condition of the rest of the frame.

If the frame is not a total loss I want to build up new wheels, clean and repack everything else, replace the seats and posts with something lighter and ride it for a season. If my wife and I like riding a tandem start looking for a nicer lighter one.

Any help or advice will be appreciated.
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Old 12-17-06, 07:48 PM   #2
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A single speed will not give you a good feeling of how it feels to ride a tandem. Does the frame fits you?
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Old 12-17-06, 08:15 PM   #3
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The frame is a good fit for both of us. The streets are pretty flat and the Tow Path Trail in the national park is also nice and flat. I think that there are enough places a single speed can be ridden. I am thinking short (2-10 mile) rides to see if we like the feel of riding together.
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Old 12-17-06, 08:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sonatageek
Would this type of repair be expensive (I will try to upload pictures) and what method can I use to check out the condition of the rest of the frame.
Probably not too expensive, especially if you or someone you know can braze. Posting pics would help.
One way to check would be to sandblast the frame and inspect. Primer promptly. Then apply a new paintjob and you'll be all set.
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Old 12-17-06, 09:03 PM   #5
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Probably not too expensive, especially if you or someone you know can braze. Posting pics would help.
One way to check would be to sandblast the frame and inspect. Primer promptly. Then apply a new paintjob and you'll be all set.
Here a few pictures. Not too great as my camera doesn't do close ups well.


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Old 12-18-06, 12:49 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by sonatageek
The frame is a good fit for both of us. The streets are pretty flat and the Tow Path Trail in the national park is also nice and flat. I think that there are enough places a single speed can be ridden. I am thinking short (2-10 mile) rides to see if we like the feel of riding together.
.... may we sugest to rent/test-ride a nice tandem?
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Old 12-18-06, 05:52 PM   #7
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Unless you are quite handy and like to putz around with old bikes . . .
We second the motion of renting/testing a nice tandem!
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Old 12-18-06, 06:37 PM   #8
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Fix R Upper

I see no problem if you want to take on a little project, I did you can see it here http://www.jtgraphics.net/tandem_bike_project.htm.
I bought parts when they were on sale at good price. This project was fun and didn't cost me all that much to get it to were I wanted it.
My next one will be based all on weight stand point, looking for a nice frame now.
Main thing if you take it on have fun.
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Old 12-18-06, 08:16 PM   #9
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I am looking at this as a project, for fun, with an end result of a cruiser tandem to just ride around the neighborhood. I am doing things at the local bike coop, so I can 'earn' volunteer credit to pay for any parts that I will need.

I asked and it looks like the frame weld would be about $25.00. The one seat is a mess and will need replacement, but I have a Nashbar gel seat on the shelf right now. After that, I will take the wheels off and assess their conditon. Hopfully the rims are OK and they can be sufficiently trued up. Clean and repack the bearings in the headstock and crank. Clean up the chain. New brake pads.

The second reason, outside of wanting a tandem type bike to try, is documenting the fix up process to share with our former neighbors. They were so nice to give us the bike and some other items when they moved, and I know they will be tickled that the bike is back on the road. I got the impression that they and their kids used it a lot and there are a lot of memories tied up in it for them.
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Old 12-21-06, 06:15 AM   #10
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Well a Craigslist barter posting has netted me someone to do the frame weld for a simple spyware/cleanup on their PC. After Christmas I will take wheels off and see what kind of shape they are really in....
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