Hello all, I have been considering getting a tandem for my other half and I, but you have guessed it, I have some questions that I would like some help with. I have been looking at different options am thinking of buying secondhand, but don't know enough so my first set of questions are mainly mechanical. I have reasonable level of mechanical knowledge (I have been building up bikes since I was a teenager, I can build wheels, paint frames, but of course I only have knowledge about bike I have worked on) but I do not keep up with the trends of the latest group sets e.t.c
I shall start at the front.
1. Front I guess is standard, just well built.
2. Headset. I notice on Sheldon's site that 1 1/4” headset are used on tandems. Is this standard or just some manufactures like it.
3. Chain rings. The left hand side with the pacers chain is straight, so do these chain rings tend to be single speed rings. If not why not. What size chain do they tend to run 1/8” or 3/32”? These chain rings seem to be the same size from what I can tell. If the two people have different optimum cadence do people some times gear the chain rings to allow from this. I realize this will mean that the pedals will go in and out of sync as you go along, does this matter? Would that make it harder to ride?
At the back do people tend to run road triples to get good high gears even on mbt tandems
4. Bottom brackets. Eccentric bottom brackets seemed to be used to adjust the tension on the sync chain. Is this always the case. Should tandems without and eccentric bottom bracket be avoided? Do normal bottom brackets fit with in a special removable eccentric shell, with in an over sized bottom bracket shell or is the bottom bracket a complete unit with in an over sized b.b. shell, or are they special b.b which fit in a standard iso sized b.b shell? I presume the rear b.b is standard iso.
5. Rear hub. I have herd that tandems have extra wide spaced hubs to reduce dishing, again is this true of all tandems, or are many on a 135 mm mbt spacing.
6. Brakes. Clearly you need good ones, I read a bit about drag brakes, are these common? Are they expensive?
7. Material. Should alu frames be avoided at the lower end of the market? Or is it all fine.
8. Any other mechanical things I should look out for when buying a second hand tandem, things to avoid in terms of design e.t.c?
Lastly any useful tandem storage tips? They are big after all.
Sorry for the long list.