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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 11-26-07, 10:19 AM   #1
joe@vwvortex
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B-Day Gift and winter restoration project Tandem Now with Pictures

So for my birthday, my wife surprised me with an old Schwinn Tandem that she picked up from someone she knew from work. She had no idea what year or model it was as it was rattlecan painted white. She also picked up a first edition book on the history of Schwinn and another paperback on old Schwinn's so I could figure out what it was. Aside from all the rust on all the chrome, wheels, chain etc. it's in good shape. So this weekend, I finally got around to disassembling it to see what year it was as it would be stamped on the crank. Of course - I didn't take any pics of it when I got it. I'll take some pics of it in it's current state when I can.

After taking the crank out I discovered it's a 1963 Schwinn Bicycle Built For Two - a model which was only made in 63 and 64 according to the sources I've found. It has a traditional cross lateral tube and top tube for the captain and just the cross lateral "mixete" style in the rear. The serial number is a bit hard to read - but it's blue under the white - and so i'm assuming it's original color was Radiant Blue. I have all the pieces right now except the chainguard - which she still needs to pick up. It was also rewelded on the cross lateral tube that mates to the stoker seatube - so I spent the day grinding and filing it down until it matched the rest of the brazing.

I spent the rest of the time removing the rust from all the parts - using a light wire wheel on my air tool grinder and my dremel. I'm shocked at how well the parts came out. There's some light pitting on the finish of the headset cups and the stoker stem, but overall all the parts came out great. I didn't touch the wheels yet - and i'm not quite sure what I'll do with them as the rims are trashed with lots of bends and flat spots.

I've searched the archives of the forums and found some good info on parts and paint etc. Not sure if i'll try and replicate the Radiant Blue - or do another one of the factory colors. I'm also on the fence about doing a full restoration vs doing a "custom" which would mix old with some new flavors.

If anyone one has some good sources of info on old tandem parts - post em up.

I'll try and post up some progress shots as I go along.

Last edited by joe@vwvortex; 12-04-07 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 11-26-07, 12:09 PM   #2
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I did a project fixing an old tandem using many old parts and a few new was fun getting everything to work together. I rode nicely after it was all done for what it was, I let people use it that wanted to go along on rides they all liked it and one person ended up buying it from me. It can be seen on my Tandem Project page. Have fun with it.
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Old 12-03-07, 08:52 AM   #3
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I'm in the middle of a similar project. I found a 1965 Schwinn Twinn on Craigslist for a price I couldn't refuse. There was considerable rust on the frame, wheels and some of the chrome. I disassembled it and sanded the frame to bare metal. I would have liked to clean up the brazing, but it was nice and smooth at the headtube and all the upper joints. The new paintjob was a rattlecan job since I have a deadline for completing the project (and a limited budget). It looks pretty good, and I'm sure I'll get it professionally repainted next year, it's so easy to take apart and rebuild.

I kept as much of it as I could. I tried to save the wheels, to no avail. All the chrome was pitted and the heavy gauge, galvanized spokes were in rough shape. I relaced the rear wheel and broke four of the spokes in the process and the vintage lbs didn't have the right length. For now, I'm using a standard Schwinn 36 hole front wheel and a SA 3 speed rear hub laced be me to a 26" mtb rim. The wheelset is temporary, just to get the bike looking clean for it's first appearance at my wedding. I'll build a real set of wheels over the winter with drum brakes, tandem specific hubs + rims, etc. Otherwise she's looking great, here's the latest pictures from this weekend's work:
First the before

A view of the old paint leftover on the fork steerer

The chainwheels shined up nicely

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Old 12-04-07, 02:40 PM   #4
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No outside pictures yet, but definiteley after this weekend.
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Old 12-04-07, 05:06 PM   #5
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Nice job! Here's some pics of it after I disassembled it and did my initial parts cleaning - like an idiot I didn't get any pics when it was all together - although I'd say it looked to be in similar condition to your 1965. As you can see the fenders are gone, and the rear bars are bent. What is odd is that the Bicycle Built for Two didn't spec the same bars as the Twinn - but rather had the same bars front and rear. Also - note the grip is white on the stoker bars - and both should have been black from the factory. I'm thinking they swapped out the bars at the dealer either before or shortly after delivery as they were both in the same condition. The stoker stem is in bad shape and i'll most likely have to get it rechromed as well as the bottom headset cup. It's also missing the AS bolt on the back. The wheels look better in pics then in person as the rear is really beat up and bent. The front isn't as bad but does have some bends as well.

I've spent the last week on eBay buying a bunch of stuff. I've managed to secure an original non "R" headbadge, correct 1080 calipers with Schwinn Approved script, a NOS weinmann brake caliper bolt and NOS pads, a full set of 72 .105 gauge spokes and a set of S-7 rims. I also got the replacement AS nut and bolt for the stem and a new AS bolt for the seat clamp, a NOS chrome fork crown cap, a set of 4 black comfort schwinn approved grips, a set of new Schwinn approved Westwind 26x1-3/4 tires, a set of new Scwhinn Approved middleweight womens fenders, and a NOS wienmann red dot lever. I still need a rear bar, and seats.








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Old 12-05-07, 08:28 AM   #6
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Wow, you went all out for the period correct components! Good luck with your project, it looks like you're well on your way to a great restoration. I'll keep my eye on this thread and hopefully you'll be able to keep us posted.

I took mine out for a test ride with passenger last night. It's work pushing all the weight, but we were able to go and stop surprisingly well and it was all done in fine style.
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Old 12-05-07, 11:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by HelluvaStella View Post
Wow, you went all out for the period correct components! Good luck with your project, it looks like you're well on your way to a great restoration. I'll keep my eye on this thread and hopefully you'll be able to keep us posted.

I took mine out for a test ride with passenger last night. It's work pushing all the weight, but we were able to go and stop surprisingly well and it was all done in fine style.
Well honestly - I really wasn't planning on it but since I found em on Ebay and they weren't really anymore expensive (well a couple items were) than new stuff - I figured what the hell.

I'm hoping to have it under the christmas tree on Christmas Day and ready for a spin with the wife.
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Old 12-12-07, 08:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe@vwvortex View Post
Well honestly - I really wasn't planning on it but since I found em on Ebay and they weren't really anymore expensive (well a couple items were) than new stuff - I figured what the hell.

I'm hoping to have it under the christmas tree on Christmas Day and ready for a spin with the wife.
Joe,

Thanks for sharing the link over at C&V. The new "Radiant Blue" powder coating is fantastic. Can't wait to see the bike built up. I acquired this '79 Twinn Sport this summer and have been slowly modifying it for climbing NH hills. I still have work to do and hope to have it on the road late next spring.

What's interesting is how the frame is very simular to your '63 (and different from the Twins and Twin Deluxes).
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Old 12-13-07, 08:33 AM   #9
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Joe,

Thanks for sharing the link over at C&V. The new "Radiant Blue" powder coating is fantastic. Can't wait to see the bike built up. I acquired this '79 Twinn Sport this summer and have been slowly modifying it for climbing NH hills. I still have work to do and hope to have it on the road late next spring.

What's interesting is how the frame is very simular to your '63 (and different from the Twins and Twin Deluxes).
Nice! As for your recommendation on the saddles - I have a lead on some originals - but I haven't heard back yet. Brooks springers could be a good way - albiet a bit exspensive - to go as well.
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