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  1. #1
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    My new old tandem: Schwinn Twinn Sport 10sp

    Well, after considering a lot of advice here and elsewhere, I decided against the "new" cheapo tandem and wnet with an old one instead, suitable for 250# me and the non-250# missus. A Scwhinn Twinn Sport 10-speed tandem, in good outward condition, needs cleaning and greasing, some truing of the rear wheel, lots of cute extras. Not the kind of tandem many purists and "real" bicyclists would give a second glance to, or even a first glance, but good enough for my humble purposes. Literature posted here said this bike weighs 52#, seems about right. It's not carbon fiber, but it's not $7,000 either, or even $1,000. And one thing you can say about these early-80s Schwinns, they don't change much with age.

    The man said he was the original owner, and put maybe 1,000 miles on it. Original steel wheels, one original seat, fancy new pedals on the front, original ratcages on the back, toeclips all around. Drum brake rear hub. He replaced the front drop handlebars with some steel "up" handlebars, back before mountain bikes with flat handlebars became popular. 27x1-1/8 tires, I would guess, tread looked new but gumwalls were deteriorating, I'll probably replace them pretty quick.

    52/39 front chainwheels, probably a 14-28 on the rear, chain never jumped once in any gear, including the highest when I really torqued on it. Neither wheel spins perfectly true, but the rear is worse than the front. Origianl steel rims, the man said. When I lift up the rear wheel and spin it, I can hear that drum-brake hub rumbling. The man assured me that that was just a characteristic of the drum brake hub, it sounds louder, and it's NOT the bearings problem I thought it was, he said. My money is still on me - it sounds like bearings to me, or maybe something inside that drum brake hub I'm not familiar with. I'll put those drop handlebars back on pretty soon.

    Goodies: He still had the original drop handlebars, rear pedals, and a bunch of stuff like an original Pletscher rack, a Cateye computer (really old, might still work, needs battery), pedal EXTENSIONS he made for his 8-yr-old daughter way back when for the stoker pedals, a Zefal hp frame pump (remember those? So do I), the original owner's manual, a front pannier removable pouch, three 27xSomething thorn-resistant tubes, plus more. He threw it all in, $275 out the door. And it even fit in my Sienna.

    Aside from the steel rims, my biggest worry is that noisy drum brake rear hub. Not really noisy, but if you listen you can hear it rumbling as it spins, which you can't on a normal hub. Anybody know if those are "supposed" to sound like that? The brake seems to work quite well, and if it were just quieter I'd be very pleased with it.

    Well, what say ye? Did I do good for a 54-year-old fat guy who prides himself on averaging 15 mph around the (almost perfectly flat) paved bike path around Miramar Lake on a Sports Tourer?

    Pics:





    (Isn't that a lot of slack in that synchronizing chain, or whatever it's called?)



    Last edited by Little-Acorn; 05-05-08 at 08:17 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member brewer45's Avatar
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    Ya done real good....

    Actually, you'll know how you did six months from now when you consider how much fun you're having on the bike. If you're riding frequently, lengthening your rides, and thinking about your next tandem, you can be sure that you made a good decision.

    Best of Luck!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Consider the Schwinn a learning tool . . .
    Slack in the chain . . . that is an idler that keeps tension on the chain. Not unusual on older tandems and lower priced ones.
    Enjoy the ride; if you really like it, keep it.
    If not, it can be resold and you will not loose a lot of $$; you will be more knowledgeable about tandems
    next time you want to purchase one.
    Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  4. #4
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    The rear wheel looks WAY too far forward in the dropout. Something I would look closely at, and try to get it back further.

    Considering that I spent more than that on brake/shift levers, you did fine.

  5. #5
    Oldie, just not here! Onegun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgg3 View Post
    The rear wheel looks WAY too far forward in the dropout. Something I would look closely at, and try to get it back further.
    WHOA! Good eyes, jgg3! The real wheel is just about out of the dropout! DO NOT ride this bike again without moving that wheel back where it belongs! You'll probably find it necessary to loosen the band clamp attaching the drum brake arm to the chainstay in order to do this.

    Boy, memories, though! Did the guy have the clear map case that snapped on top of that old Cannondale h'bar bag?
    BICYCLE - [bahy-si-kuhl] - Noun :> A medical device used to correct the common geriatric condition of OFS, (Old, Fat & Slow), in a manner that does not induce brain-decaying boredom like walking or running.

    2005 Trek T2000 Tandem, 2003 Burley Tosa Tandem, Pacific Dualie beater tandem, and 6 singles including 2 fixies.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Yup had one of them C'dale HB-bags back in the 80s with snap on clear map holder on our tandem too! Our bag was yellow . . .ah, fond ole memories!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onegun View Post
    WHOA! Good eyes, jgg3! The real wheel is just about out of the dropout! DO NOT ride this bike again without moving that wheel back where it belongs! You'll probably find it necessary to loosen the band clamp attaching the drum brake arm to the chainstay in order to do this.

    Boy, memories, though! Did the guy have the clear map case that snapped on top of that old Cannondale h'bar bag?
    Actually that pic, and the closeups, were from the seller's picture he sent me before I came to see it. Since then he had pulled the rear wheel and replaced the tube, and put it back properly, seated far back into the dropouts, no problem. Great catch, though, jgg3 - I never noticed that in the picture.

    Yes, the Cannondale bag does have the original clear map holder, which he dug out of a drawer as I watched. It's not quite so clear now as it was probably 20 years ago, but hey, it works, and fits.

    And I just found out that I do happen to have a couple of new Continental Ultra Sport 27x1-1/8 clincher tires sitting around, all 116 psi of them. What a happy coincidence. Course, I've heard that they need to be on rims that are slightly bent inward where they clinch the tire bead, or else they'll take off for the moon when they go above 100 psi. I have no idea if the rims on this bike are like that. They are chromed steel, and the seller said they are the original rims that came with the bike. Guess I'll find out when I pull them. I may eventually replace them with alloys, if I can find the right kind for gentle riding on a tandem.

    I sure hope these rims aren't the notorious "Schwinn only" rims that Schwinn came up with some time in the 60s or 70s, whose 27" diameter wasn't quite the same as the 27" diameter as anyone else's wheels, and so you had to buy all your tires at the Schwinn shop. If they are, they're history.

  8. #8
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Does the noise from the rear hub happen all the time, or just when you're coasting?

    If it's only coasting, it's likely jus noisey pawls and not a big concern.

  9. #9
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Those should be standard 27" rims.
    If you end up liking and keeping it, aluminum rims would be a worthy upgrade.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Does the noise from the rear hub happen all the time, or just when you're coasting?

    If it's only coasting, it's likely jus noisey pawls and not a big concern.
    Only time I heard it was when I lifted the rear of the bike and spun the wheels by hand. Wasn't real loud, but I was listening for it specifically. I guess that equates to "coasting", or even less since there was no weight on the wheel. When I rode the bike a few times, I didn't notice it, but it was a new bike to me and I was paying attention to other things.

    Don't pawls produce a steady "click click click"? This was more random sounding. And was definitely coming from inside the hub, not from the 5-cog freewheel.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Those should be standard 27" rims.
    If you end up liking and keeping it, aluminum rims would be a worthy upgrade.
    I'm seriously thinking of doing that, especially if I can't get the rear wheels to true up by adjusting spokes. The rim is noticably un-straight. Not horribly so, but enough that it's near the top of my to-do list.

    What's a good aluminum rim for a bike like this? I won't be racing it or screaming down any steep hills. Bad news is, I weigh 260, but will usually be on the front seat. Stoker (wife, young son) weighs around 130 max.

  12. #12
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    P.S. Serial number is on the front headset tube, starts with HQ which I believe makes it an August 1979 model. Captain's seat tube is 22", stoker's is 19-1/4". But since the stem for the stoker's handlebar clamps to the seat POST above the captain's seat tube, I can only lower the captain's seat as far as a 23" frame would allow. Fortunately, that's a good height for me, no harm no foul.

    I was able to take SOME of the wobble out of the rear wheel with a spoke wrench, after a generous application of Liquid Wrench. I'll need to work on it some more, but things are looking better for the original steel wheels. I'm sure I can get them pretty nice with some time and patience. The spokes when I got the bike were nice and tight, just the right degree, no potato-chipped wheels. Just the effects of a few potholes on the rims, I'd guess.

    WD-40 got the front brake working a lot better (many shots into the cable housing from each end while working the lever), seems decent now. The rear drum brake (says ATOM on the outside) is still making the quiet noise, but one thing I was wrong on: It doesn't stop the bike worth a damn. Might still put a caliper brake on the rear.

    Most grime comes off with a shot of WD-40 and a rubdown with a folded paper towel, I've seen worse. In case I run into anything really stubborn, I have a gallon jug of Extreme Simple Green for Aircraft at home, heh heh heh... that stuff took 20 years of exhaust from bad rings and valves off my Cessna in about 20 minutes, and without even scrubbing very hard. I'm convinced it can clean anything up to and including a politician.

  13. #13
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    Just a comment: the rear drum brakes usually used on tandems aren't intended to be primary stopping brakes, but "drag" brakes for long descents, to keep the speed under control. But some of the historians here will probably have all the bits on an ATOM.

  14. #14
    Oldie, just not here! Onegun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little-Acorn View Post
    Yes, the Cannondale bag does have the original clear map holder, which he dug out of a drawer as I watched. It's not quite so clear now as it was probably 20 years ago, but hey, it works, and fits.
    Very cool! Just try and find a simple h'bar bag setup to day that is as easy to install and uninstall as the old Cannondales!


    Quote Originally Posted by Little-Acorn View Post
    I sure hope these rims aren't the notorious "Schwinn only" rims that Schwinn came up with some time in the 60s or 70s, whose 27" diameter wasn't quite the same as the 27" diameter as anyone else's wheels, and so you had to buy all your tires at the Schwinn shop.
    Keeping in mind that I've been *out* of the bicycle business for over 20 years, but I seem to remember the "Schwinn only" sizing as being in the 26" range on down, not the 27's. But they were a *lot* of fun! People who were good at math had the problem most often! See, they knew that 26X1.75 and 26X1 3/4 were mathmatical equivilants, and they also knew Schwinn's tires were twice the money of the K-Mart brand! Unfortunately, 1.75 and 1 3/4 were NOT the same tire size! Gotta love the bicycle business!
    BICYCLE - [bahy-si-kuhl] - Noun :> A medical device used to correct the common geriatric condition of OFS, (Old, Fat & Slow), in a manner that does not induce brain-decaying boredom like walking or running.

    2005 Trek T2000 Tandem, 2003 Burley Tosa Tandem, Pacific Dualie beater tandem, and 6 singles including 2 fixies.

    TampaBayCycling.com - A LOCAL Cycling Forum
    The Florida Panthers Tandem Club

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