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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 05-28-08, 01:17 PM   #1
Little-Acorn
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Bikes: '72 Schwinn Sports Tourer, '73 Schwinn Super Sport, '79 Schwinn Twinn Sport 10sp tandem
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Really old tandems

I saw several antique tandems on Ebay, was wondering if anyone can identify them more than their descriptions give.

Item number 150250215641 is a picture of a Tandem bike racing team, apparently from the late 1800's. Scroll down and click on "larger picture". Check out the headbadge on the bike. Is that a Schwinn? Did they even have headbadges that size and shape, back then?

Wilbur and Orville Wright of aviation fame, were bicycle mechanics and owned a bike shop before their flight experiments of the early 1900's. And they were heavily into bicycle racing. I heard one rumor that they were the ones who invented the downswept or "drop" handlebars. The bike in the picture appears to have such bars, though they look like simple "up" handlebars turned over. The typewritten note in this auction, mentions the team of "Morgan-Wright". The sponsors, I gather, not the riders.

If not a Schwinn, could this be a Wright-designed bicycle?

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Item number 260241985024 is an antique tandem, rebuilt and maybe modified. The seller is trying to guess its age and manufacturer, says it might be from as far back as the late 1800's again. Says it might be a Columbia. Single-speed, steer from both the captain's and stoker's seat. Does anyone know what vintage and make it might be?

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Item number 350063945144 is some pictures of a VERY old tandem. Front and rear steering again. No info on manufacture, seller is guessing 1850s for the year. Anyone have any info on this one?

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Item number 310054498599 is a picture of another old tandem. Hard to tell the age, cars in the background look 1920s or 30s, though the bike could be older. This one seems to resemble the second one I mentioned above. I can't see any rear-steering connections, though my eyes aren't that great.

Does anyone have any info on any of these oldies but goodies?
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Old 08-27-08, 12:44 PM   #2
Little-Acorn
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bump?
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Old 08-27-08, 11:09 PM   #3
CapTandem
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Really hard to identify anything in the pictures that are still available on e-bay. Some close up pictures would be a big help. Take a look at the comments on the thread for 'Antique Tandem Bike, Need Help Identifying'.

I had a lot of fun searching the web for antique tandems. Had my best sucess on the web with auction sites, bicycle history, and motorcycle history museums. Appears that tandems made between 1890 and 1910 were created by joining two single bikes in male-male or female-male combinations. A non-continuious top tube was typical of these with distinctive double link chains and matching chain rings. Rear steering connected to the front fork appears at the same time and continued into the 1930's. It appeared to me that high wheel bikes were typical between 1870 and 1890. I would tend to doubt the e-bay seller dated tandem team photo as being in the 1850's.

Hope to see y'all on the road!
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