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  1. #1
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    2005 S-Works SR Equipped,1978 Tom Ritchie Road bike, Kuwahara Tandem
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    Thanks to you all

    I learned from my Dad to research your question before you ask it. I have used you guys and many others in the quest of buying and rebuilding my tandem bike. I use to be an avid bike rider and have an original Tom Ritchey road bike frame [1978] that I built using Campy parts. Back then there were many lawns mowed to get that kind of money and since I still have it I have found if I sold it, it would be a good investment. My son Ethan enjoys the computer and video games. Being autistic, he has virtually no friends and is getting overweight. I thought that since he has little muscle tone I thought it would be a good idea to get him to ride a bicycle. Almost a year later I finally got him to ride a bike by himself. He got me back into riding again and I found he cannot keep up with me. So that is where a tandem would be helpful. I always thought that a tandem would be cool to have. I bought a used Kuwahara tandem and used it for a few months before I thought a complete redo would be needed [actually wanted more than needed]. After completely replacing all the items [except for the frame and rear saddle] I have finally finished. I read many of posts and many problems that people had with their tandems. Many of you have not only helped them but me as well. After brazing on a front derailleur mount, replacing the rear brake bridge and brazing it on lower [to accept the 700c wheels and Campy dual pivot rear brake], stripping the paint, and repainting it is now finished. All new [or slightly used parts from eBay] components were used. It is amazing the difference and the weight loss [12 lbs]. The colors are from my first bike club Nalsima Frend in Tachikawa, Japan [in Toyko]. The red handlebar tape was chosen because my son likes red [does not match but it's his handlebar]. My son and I have had a few short rides [25 miles] but plan on doing a 50 mile ride tomorrow. Thanks for all the help from all you guys/gals.




  2. #2
    Live Everyday
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    '10 C'Dale Tandem RT2. '07 Trek Tandem T2000, '10 Epic Marathon MTB, '12 Rocky Mountain Element 950 MTB, '95 C'dale R900, "04 Giant DS 2 '07 Kona Jake the Snake, '95 Nishiki Backroads
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    Outstanding job on the bike..beautiful craftmanship. Hope you and your son enjoy many happy miles.
    I share your appreciation of all the help the people on this forum give so freely.
    Bill J.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Nice redo on the Kuwahara!
    Love the aero Campy bottles . . .
    Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  4. #4
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    Very nice refurb. What a complete custom job. Captain lightweight racer saddle, comfy stoker saddle, racer stoker position, campy record parts (it look like a campy RD).

    Out of curiousity, how much do you think you spent getting it to where it is? I've found that the money is much less important on the labors of love. Those are the bikes I remember most, not necessarily the gem in others eyes but worth more to you than you put into them.

  5. #5
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Probably the nicest looking Kuwahara I've ever seen.

    Just an observation / question: Did you check with the folks at Easton's tech dept. regarding the design limits of your particular model of Velomax wheels relative to the use on a tandem? Spoke count and rims look adequate; however, I'd want to be sure the rear hub guts / axle is strong enough for your combined weight and combined power output and that the radially spoked front hub flange is also adequate for your total weight.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by masiman View Post
    Out of curiousity, how much do you think you spent getting it to where it is? I've found that the money is much less important on the labors of love. Those are the bikes I remember most, not necessarily the gem in others eyes but worth more to you than you put into them.
    Well, cost was cheap compared to a new tandem but not cheap enough to let my wife know. My guess is that I spent under $3,000 for the complete bike [incl buying the Kuawahara on Craigslist in Seattle]. Painting was done my Bellevue Auto Rebuild. I work at the local Mercedes dealer and they are our only body shop that we recommend. I assist them a lot and they requested that they paint it for free. I brazed the items on so that saved some money too. eBay [which has always been good to me] save me a ton of money since half of the parts are used. Performance bikes helped out with the new parts.
    As for the labor of love, it is. 8 months of thinking about it and thinking of the joys I will have with my son. When I lived in Japan I had so many memories of riding my bike I hope that my son has those types of memories when he gets older.
    Today is our first 50 mile ride [if it does not rain].
    Stoker is getting a suspension post soon [next week].

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Probably the nicest looking Kuwahara I've ever seen.

    Just an observation / question: Did you check with the folks at Easton's tech dept. regarding the design limits of your particular model of Velomax wheels relative to the use on a tandem? Spoke count and rims look adequate; however, I'd want to be sure the rear hub guts / axle is strong enough for your combined weight and combined power output and that the radially spoked front hub flange is also adequate for your total weight.
    Thanks for the comments. You have been probably the most helpfull of all. You may not know how much you have helped other in their posts but all the others that read the posts [I have read all the tandem topics to gather all the information I wanted, and it is all there].
    The wheels were won on eBay and are spaced at 145mm. The previous owners were Comotion for their display tandem bike. I did not check with Easton but I did not question it from Comotion. I did check with Easton to see if they can change it to a Campagnolo freehub and they said only the newer Tempest II can be changed.
    Again, from all of us that never have said thanks, THANK YOU Tandemgeek.

  8. #8
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    For all to see, the search function and concerted research can yield magnificent results .

    One of my sons friends is high functioning autistic while the younger brother will likely never speak or write. One of the best things I have done with our tandem is to get the older brother out on the tandem and interested in riding. After that he decided to learn how to ride his single. Both his parents and I were happy the tandem gave the little nudge to open another door for him.

    I hope you and your son spend many memorable hours on your beautiful bike.

  9. #9
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    I'm humbled; sincere thanks for the kind words.

    Back to the Velomax wheels, even though they may have been used by Co-Motion for a display bike, that may not necessarily suggest Co-Motion was recommending them for general use. Again, it might be worthwhile and afford some piece of mind to check with Easton to see if there were any max load / rider weight limits associated with these wheels. Even if there is, it's quite possible that you and your various stokers may fall well within that specification. With respect to the rear wheel, I'm actually more concerned about the strength of the axle and freewheel mechanism vs. the spoke/rim network, as those are what most hub makers beef-up with steel when they make a tandem hub or wheel vs. using lighter weight parts. On the front wheel, it's simply a matter of confirming the hub is suitable for your team weight given the radial lacing pattern. If it was a 2x or 3x laced wheel, no worries, but radial lacing puts a very high demand on the flange.

    Keep us posted on your progress.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 04-10-08 at 07:35 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    I will do more research to confirm the wheel strength. Thanks for the recommendation.
    I did successfully complete our 50 mile trip, maybe not the fastest at 3 hours 5 mins but the last 10 miles were tiring. We are use to 20-25 miles trips and will have to get use to longer trips.

  11. #11
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    Butcher - I commend you for being such a great dad.

    If you don't know this, there is a webserver: http://sdcc3.ucsd.edu/home-pages/wade/tandem.html that also has tandem discussions.

    There is a frequent poster there named David Whitmon in Martha's Vinyard, Massachusetts. He has one (or maybe two) autistic daughters that he rides with all the time. He might be a great resource for challenges unique to your situation.

    Good luck in your endeavor.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Back to the Velomax wheels, even though they may have been used by Co-Motion for a display bike, that may not necessarily suggest Co-Motion was recommending them for general use. Again, it might be worthwhile and afford some piece of mind to check with Easton to see if there were any max load / rider weight limits associated with these wheels. Even if there is, it's quite possible that you and your various stokers may fall well within that specification. With respect to the rear wheel, I'm actually more concerned about the strength of the axle and freewheel mechanism vs. the spoke/rim network, as those are what most hub makers beef-up with steel when they make a tandem hub or wheel vs. using lighter weight parts. On the front wheel, it's simply a matter of confirming the hub is suitable for your team weight given the radial lacing pattern. If it was a 2x or 3x laced wheel, no worries, but radial lacing puts a very high demand on the flange.
    Well, I was a little worried but I rather be safe than sorry. I did email Easton and the original response indicated that they 'never' made a Tandem wheel. After I sent some pictures to them ,they indicated that they did make 20 wheels and they're Tandem rated. I gave them the weight of the bike and riders and they stated they were well suited for us. So, I guess I am safe as long as I use them for what they are for [just riding local without any extra baggage].
    Thanks for the question about the wheels.
    Last edited by Butcher; 04-16-08 at 03:32 PM.

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