I'm not a tandem rider, but my housemates bought this bike from a thrift store and I have to share it because I've never seen anything like it. It defies all logic and I don't know why anyone would build something like it. I'm pretty confident it's a d.i.y. homebrew.
It's a 5 speed with the brakes (just 2 center pull calipers) and shifter mounted on the stoker handlebars. The captain and stoker bars are linked by chain so that either rider can steer the bike. Yes, the stoker bars can rotate. Also, note the bar positions and grips. It's just too bad they cut off the streamers. The ancient speedometer is pretty awesome. It also comes with a slick paintjob.
I was thinking of making a fun project out of overhauling the whole bike into nice, ridable condition until I took it out of the basement and actually looked it over.
Definitely a clever home-made machine!
To confuse the public, stoker can ride this tandem solo (controls the steering from rear)!
Back in the 20's there was such a tandem built, steerable from front/rear, but it utilized a chain and cog setup. This looks a bit cruder, but simpler.
A great tandem find!
NEAT! I think if I had it I would do away with the rear steer part and make some longer cables and put the brakes and shifters up front.Dosen't look like it would take much work to have it on the road.
Steer from the rear were extremely popular from the 1890s till the 40s. Almost all bike companies made one, with Colson's being the most popular. They were designed with the principle that a gentleman should never turn his back on a lady.
I have an 1890s Sterling steer from the rear I am restoring. Mine uses rods with small springs at the front fork for its steering linkage. Yours would benefit from rods and springs because it keeps the rear steering tight and responsive.