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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 03-02-07, 02:13 PM   #1
Sammyboy
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Just bought an aged tandem......

Any of you who frequent the C&V forum will know that I buy and sell a lot of bikes, and have quite a stable of my own. I'd been after a tandem for a while, to make riding with my son or my girlfriend more fun, and today, I bought one on eBay. I know in advance that this is not the sort of tandem most of you ride, but the price was right, and I'd been wanting a 3 speed. If we love it, maybe we'll save for a modern tandem, or at least a Double Galaxy.

We were planning a trip to Austria in the summer, but decided we couldn't afford it. My g/f is looking for an alternative adventure, and suggested that I get a bit more serious about finding a tandem, and we go cycle-camping. The idea is to throw a front rack on this thing, mount panniers front and rear, hook up my grocery trailer, and head 50 miles down the coast, where we can lay on the beach to our hearts content. I'm really looking forward to a car free holiday, but I think there's a learning curve for us on riding the beast first! Any thoughts on my purchase?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...6015&rd=1&rd=1
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Old 03-02-07, 03:26 PM   #2
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There will be a learning curve as you will find out

Now for the bike- Hopefully everything works or if not- you will be able to fix it. If parts have to be replaced- remember that there will be a lot of weight on this thing- And hopefully not from the GF. Do not go for lightweight parts for replacements. Well done on finding a sensible bike for your first Tandem. Most of us may have better machines to ride- but there is always the doubt when you start as to whether Tandemming is for you. If more Tandems like this were available- then a lot more would be prepared to give them a try- instead of spending $$$$'s to get started on what may not be for them. As to the thought of doing 50 miles to your campsite-It should be possible to do it. Perhaps not with ease and definitely not as one of your early rides. My first ride on a Tandem was around 1963 on my cousins tandem- and it took me another 38 years to get one. Well done on finding the bike.
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Old 03-02-07, 04:04 PM   #3
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Could be a f-l-e-x-i-b-l-e ride. We got an old Gitane tandem last summer and got to the point of being scared to ride it due to the enormous frame flex as compared to modern single bikes. Of course, people rode these kind of bikes for many, many miles, including PBP (coming again this August).

The photo could be deceiving, but it looks like the cranks are slightly OOP. That may indicate either bad eyes on my part, or some sort of problem or "opportunity" with the drive train or crank axles.

In our case with the Gitane, we still had enough fun fixing it up and riding it to confirm that we could make a good tandem team. This was followed by many test rides, an assessment of finances, more test rides, another financial assessment, an order to Co-Motion, and lots of fun miles since then. Although we sold the Gitane for what we had into it, it would be an interesting experience to ride it after spending so much time on the CoMo. Let us know how the first few rides go, and of course whether this bike fits.
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Old 03-02-07, 04:06 PM   #4
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They do look slightly out of phase. I'm looking forward to fixing it up (I do a lot of that), and I'm sure the crank thing is just a synch chain issue.
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Old 03-02-07, 07:51 PM   #5
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For a first tandem you get what you can afford without going overboard as you don't know if you'll like riding TWOgether.
Agree pedals are a couple degrees out-of-phase, but not really a big issue. As stated, the frame could be a bit flexy, especially with a touring load and riding the hills and dales.
Suggest not to put a lot of extra cash into it; if you enjoy tandeming then look for a better 2-seater and sell the 3-speed.
Enjoy your car-free holiday and the beach!
Pedal on TWOgether!
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Old 03-03-07, 04:33 AM   #6
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I definitely won't put much money into it. If I pimp it a bit, it'll be with stuff from my parts bin. I can see a case for better seats, and better pedals, but that doesn't have to cost me anything! The other thiing is, I can't quite determine what the brakes are. They're either side or centre pull calipers, and if they're side pull, I might be swapping them out either for double pivot side pulls, or for centre pulls.
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Old 03-04-07, 06:41 AM   #7
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Congratulations! Good idea to get a cheapie first.

After a year on our AUD$350 MTB tandem we've decided it is for us and are looking to upgrade.

Our bike is pretty low on the pecking order, but the decision to go cheap was the right one - we now know we like riding tandem, and know a bit more about what to look for in a better bike.

I think the 3-speed hub will work well (as long as you don't run out of gears); the main problems with our bike are (1) rear axle bending on old freewheel hub; (2) synch chain is a bastard to adjust; (3) difficult gear adjustment, with chain line not working despite derailleurs in apparently functional condition; (4) frequent chain drop on the front derailleur. (We are so ready for a new bike!)

Watch the downhills with those brakes and rims, make sure you can slow/stop in time for curves. Also, you can overheat the rims on downhills.

Read the various info articles on keeping the stoker happy!
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Old 03-04-07, 07:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cave

Read the various info articles on keeping the stoker happy!

Links? Regarding descending etc, this is initally intended for quiet rides through the local forest (on roads). No big descents at all. Even the 40 miles to where we plan to camp in the summer is fairly flat. I don't think we'll be attempting the alps on this particular bike!
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Old 03-04-07, 11:52 AM   #9
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Congratulations hope you enjoy it.
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Old 03-04-07, 12:20 PM   #10
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If the rims are steel I advise going alum.A sturmey/archer 3 speed would be a good city type tandem--light/fun riding---good find.Also would advise taking a look at the rear cog---a large cog would help with the limited gears--I know we rid a 1936 3 speed.Taylor the gears a bit low,you will not ride as fast but you'll be able to walk the next day.We added 50 lbs to ours one time and my knees started acking in 3 miles!---sam
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Old 03-04-07, 01:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammyboy
Links?
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tandem/index.html

http://www.thetandemlink.com/LearningCenter.html

Somewhere online there was a really good/interesting/funny article on how to keep the stoker happy, but I can't find it any more.
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Old 03-04-07, 01:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frameteam2003
If the rims are steel I advise going alum.A sturmey/archer 3 speed would be a good city type tandem--light/fun riding---good find.Also would advise taking a look at the rear cog---a large cog would help with the limited gears--I know we rid a 1936 3 speed.Taylor the gears a bit low,you will not ride as fast but you'll be able to walk the next day.We added 50 lbs to ours one time and my knees started acking in 3 miles!---sam
Hehehehe, I've hauled more than on my solo bikes a few times! It will need to be a leisurely trip down the coast though. G/F is already talking about "maybe we could tandem through France next year". Encouraging!
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Old 03-05-07, 09:53 AM   #13
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Cool sammyboy! I am doing the eaxact same thing as you and looking out for an old tandem for me and my girl to do up and ride! I was watching that same tandem and wondered who got it. If a manage to find one at the right price and aera for collection (you went a long way Southampton to Cambridge) we should meet up. My fokes live in the New Forest and I could try and take my yet to have been bought tandem down for the weekend.
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Old 03-05-07, 10:45 AM   #14
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I have to go to an office near Cambridge once a week, so that was easy for me. Less easy for anyone else!
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Old 03-05-07, 11:17 AM   #15
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I often drool; over Ebay uk tandems---this Rogers would be a good Vintage tandem
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/1940s-RODGERS-...QQcmdZViewItem
it has the same frame as my Russ , most likely built from a brown bros frame kit.Add a set of sun rims and it would be a good ride(modern hubs and brakes and it would be a great ride)
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Old 03-06-07, 06:40 AM   #16
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Yeah, I've had an eye on that one too, but Sheffield is too damn far to pick up from, and it'd need all sorts of parts. I was more tempted by this, which I've let go by twice now. If it comes up a third time next month, I might not be able to resist. I wonder if the local track (Calshot) would let me take it out there?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...0507&rd=1&rd=1
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