Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Bikes: '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer, '73 Schwinn Super Sport, '79 Schwinn Twinn Sport 10sp tandem
I'm starting out on tandems too, and just picked up a 1979 Schwinn Twinn Sport 10-speed tandem, found on Craig's List here in San Diego. It's not the lowest-end tandem Schwinn made, but it's certainly not a superbike by any means. My bathroom scale says it weighs 52 pounds, which seems to agree with Schwinn literature of the period. Better tandems weigh in the 40s or 30s, and I've heard of a few supertandems that weigh in the upper 20s. Prices vary accordingly, of course.
The older one-speed and five-speed Schwinn Twinns weighed 64 pounds, I believe, had 26" wheels, "up" handlebars, and had step-thru frames ("mixte") for front and back both. The Twinn Sport I got, is step-thru only in the rear, has 27" wheels, "down" ("drop") handlebars on the front with "up" on the rear, and weighs 52 pounds.
Schwinns are heavy, of course (except for Paramount tandems maybe). If you intend to do long hillclimbs, racing, or other such "serious" riding, a Schwinn like the one I got is probably not a good choice for you. But if you are just doing what I'm doing - riding around the park with wife or kid, mostly level, mostly paved, then I highly recommend the Schwinn Twinn Sport 10-speed. Schwinns are very consistent, and they don't break. And the Twinn Sport is pretty versatile with its somewhat-lighter frame, 27" wheels and changeable rear cluster. I paid $275 for mine, in nice shape but needing grease & oil etc. I'm going to be putting alloy wheels on it, and possibly a 13-34 freewheel, possibly 6 or 7 speeds to make it a 12- or 14-speed bike.
There's a ton of knowledge on this forum. The people here have already helped me quite a lot. Most of them are far more "serious" bikers than I am. Ask and ye shall receive.
Last edited by Little-Acorn; 05-12-08 at 12:23 PM.