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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 02-23-07, 03:44 PM   #1
frameteam2003
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new vintage tandem

The wife and I fine the new tandem to a lot smoother than the 30s model---nice to have a few more gears to go to for the grades.

Still need to do fine tuning.Nice to get out and ride---sam
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Old 02-23-07, 04:27 PM   #2
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Enjoy the Sterling . . . nice machine!
Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 02-23-07, 06:51 PM   #3
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Very nice looking tandem.
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Old 02-23-07, 07:44 PM   #4
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Does your stoker have a brake?
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Old 02-23-07, 10:23 PM   #5
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Does your stoker have a brake?
yes.The araia drum(drag brake)
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Old 02-23-07, 11:38 PM   #6
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Describe the circumstances when your stoker would use the brake?
I have two tandems, and would not consider allowing my stokers to control the brakes.
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Old 02-24-07, 10:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frameteam2003
The wife and I fine the new tandem to a lot smoother than the 30s model
Bilenky = plush and lovely workmanship.

That looks just like a Bilenky Sterling that we fawned over at Tandems Limited back in '97; same nifty paint scheme and yellow lettering. Love the hammered mud guards and still think that most bikes look more complete with them than without... alas, we only mount clip-ons when it's raining as our front forks can't even support the use of a true mud guard. Only disconcerting things I see are the seatposts being buried into the seat tubes which suggests the frame is a snug fit and disproportionately long cranks for a very short stoker. I'm assuming your stoker is left-handed given the positioning of the the Arai drum brake control? Do you both ride on platform pedals without clips and straps?

Final note on aesthetics. In addition to trimming that zip-tie on the drum brake cable near the stoker's stem boom, have you considered running your stoker's computer pick-up to the front fork? It appears as though it would be a shorter and cleaner run. Also, to eliminate the zip-ties you could use a strip of black vinyl electrician's tape to attach the wire to the underside of your top tube. Photos here: http://www.thetandemlink.com/article.../computer.html

Last edited by TandemGeek; 02-24-07 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 02-24-07, 11:41 AM   #8
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Shorter stroker cranks would be a real plus for the wife.The fit is a bit tight for her.My post will need to come up a bit and adjust the seat a tad too.Thanks ,TandemGeek for that hint.
Her pedals are good quality BMX pedals and she likes them so I guess they're fine ---mine will get toe clips and straps.Neather of us ride with the new clip-ins.Maybe some day our riding will be up to modern standards---(smile)---and the wife(stroker) is right handed --never though of putting the lever on the right---guess I need to move it.And I'll check out your wiring tricks too---this is a great place to get the tricks of tandeming!---sam
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Old 02-24-07, 11:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by frameteam2003
Shorter stroker cranks would be a real plus for the wife.
St. Johns Street Cycles in the UK (www.sjscycles.com) has been a reliable source for affordable 160mm and 165mm stoker cranks from Dotek and Thorn. Sugino previously offered a 165mm rear tandem crankset but I haven't seen those offered in quite a while. Surprisingly, FSA has started to offer their Gossamer MegaExo tandem cranks with a 165mm rear stoker option. However, you'd need to replace the bottom brackets and would most likely want to change the front since their cranks are black. Frankly, black cranks would look pretty nifty on your Sterling given your dark rims, brakes, bottle cages, XTR rear derailleur and racks but $400 for new cranks -- while not extravagant -- ain't chump change. And, of course, there's always the creme de la creme crankset$ from Specialites TA and daVinci that come in 165mm lengths but at a princely sum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frameteam2003
the wife(stroker) is right handed --never though of putting the lever on the right---guess I need to move it.
Might want to even consider using an older-style MTB thumb shifter for the drum brake if you anticipate that it would need to be applied for prolonged periods of time. You can usually find all sorts of shifters for not a lot o dough by "googling" on "friction thumb shifter" that will work as a 'set and forget' drum brake control, e.g., http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...+Shifters.aspx

If she'll just be applying it occasionally and for short periods of time on the steepest parts of a descent to take some of the load off the rear rim brake, now worries.

Last edited by TandemGeek; 02-24-07 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 02-24-07, 12:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemGeek
Also, to eliminate the zip-ties you could use a strip of black vinyl electrician's tape to attach the wire to the underside of your top tube. Photos here: http://www.thetandemlink.com/article.../computer.html
I don't mean to hijack this link, but I from what I can tell, you're just running the computer wire under a single strip of electrical tape running underneath the length of the top tube. It would look slick, but I'm concerned that the tape would begin peeling over time. Will a single strip of tape hold up to time and use? Are you using something other than $.98 electrical tape from the hardware store? Any special tricks to ensure it sticks?

I've never been thrilled with the appearance of my zip-tied version, but at the same time, would hate to be 40 miles from home and have the stoker's computer wire start drooping down in the way of everything.

Last edited by twilkins9076; 02-24-07 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 02-24-07, 03:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by twilkins9076
Will a single strip of tape hold up to time and use? Are you using something other than $.98 electrical tape from the hardware store? Any special tricks to ensure it sticks?
Yes, a single strip holds up rather well... up to a year between changings. $1.19 as best as I can recall and it comes in a rainbow of colors. Yes, there are a few tricks.

1. Best results come when you work with the tape at temps above 70 degrees.
2. Flip the bike upside down to do the work so that gravity works for you, not against you.
3. Clean the tube with a mild polishing compound then wipe it down with isopropyl alcohol to remove any of the fillers and polish left over from the polishing compound.
4. If you have paired wires make sure you straighen out any twists so that they'll both lay flat down the length of the tube.
5. To keep the signal wire centered as you put the tape down, temporarily tape-down or zip-tie the wire at either end of the tube. Make sure you don't have the wires pulled too tight coming in from the stokers handlebar or running out to the fork or stays end to keep them from pulling away from the frame once the zip-ties are removed.
6. Pull off a little more tape for the length required and then let it hang there for about 20 seconds so that it "shrinks bacK" to it's static length. Make sure it's about 2" longer than it needs to be then cut it, being sure to handle it by the ends that will eventually be cut off.
7. Carefully lay your strip of tape down on top of the signal wire, but not yet touching the tube: don't stretch the tape as you lay it down.
8. Run your thumbnail or a fingernail down one side of the wire to "tuck" the tape down tight against the side of the wire and tube: you want the tape to be tight against the wire and tube without any air pockets.
9. Run your thumbnail or a fingernail down the other side of the wire to get that side tucked in tight.
10. Trim off the extra tape at either end of the tube and press down the remaining ends, making sure that there aren't any openings or gaps where the signal wire exits out from under the tape.

That should do it for some time to come. It's riding in the rain, washing, and the like that will eventually cause the tape to lift at either end and you'll have lots of fair warning as to when you'll need to trim off the cruddy ends and put down some fresh tape and/or if you choose, to replace the entire length of tape. You'll want to use a rag coated with WD40 to remove the residual tape adhesive before repeating the installation process.

Debbie now uses a wireless Polar S720i but I still use tape to attach my HAC4's cadence signal wire to the down tube of our travel tandem. The downtube installation takes a real beating with all the dirt and grime being kicked up by the front wheel and I replace ends of the tape about once every 2,000 miles or so.

Last edited by TandemGeek; 02-24-07 at 04:04 PM.
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