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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 08-07-08, 08:35 AM   #1
KendallF
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"New" tandem: Our restored 90s Burley Duet

I picked up an early 90s Burley Duet tandem a couple of months ago for a great price, albeit needing some work. (Thank you original owner; I know you'll probably read this.. ) The goal was to strip it down and rebuild it inexpensively, with some updates from my parts collection. The frame had a fair amount of rust starting, the wheels needed a rebuild, but everything was there.

I took it apart down to a bare frame and had the frame stripped and powdercoated in what President Bush would probably call "Nucular Green" My wife picked the color and I knew it was going to be an attention getter, at least!

I didn't like the steel fork and funky double quill stem setup, so I got a new tandem fork from Chuck's Bikes and a modern stem. I reused the cranks and BBs with a set of triple chainrings that were on a 70s Fuji someone gave me. It now has 9 speed Ultegra shifters, a rear XT derailleur and 11-32 cassette.

I stripped the wheels down, rebuilt the front hub, used new nipples and some new spokes, and rebuilt them. I also removed the rear drum; I've kept it but figure we won't need it for the sort of riding we're doing (the MS150 in Sept., for starters).

So, final total investment looks to be around $350 plus some parts from my stash. We've got about 200 miles on it so far and my wife especially loves it. She says she's never going to ride her single bike again.


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Old 08-07-08, 09:34 AM   #2
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There is nothing like doing it yourself...nice work.......and super cost effective!

Bill J
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Old 08-07-08, 10:19 AM   #3
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Nice job!

We, too, got a used Burley Duet, looks like the same style frame as you got there. Say, do you mind sharing the serial no on your frame (ours: 1219)? Just trying to figure out when ours is from--I'm guessing late 80s. What components were on it before you upgraded--derailleurs (ours: SunTour XC Pro)? Wheels 700 or 27 (ours: 27)? Color (ours: metallic dark blue with yellow/white pinstriping)? Rear cog setup (ours: 6sp freewheel)?
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Old 08-07-08, 10:21 AM   #4
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It's an amazing improvement. I'll have to find a "before" pic to post.
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Old 08-07-08, 12:22 PM   #5
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Nice!

I love my rebuilt 91 Santana.

However, I am envious of your 1-1/8" head tube.

I'd have a nice AlphaQ if I did.
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Old 08-07-08, 04:40 PM   #6
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the before pic. Doesn't capture the full extent of how badly it needed repainting.

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Old 08-07-08, 05:00 PM   #7
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Heh. Before before. I've got pretty much the same bike, but mine came out of the box only about 3 years ago.

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Old 08-07-08, 05:23 PM   #8
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Nuke Green?! Very nice re-do!!!
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Old 08-07-08, 06:19 PM   #9
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Nice job. I have a couple extra Burley vinyl decals I had made when I had a Bossa Nova powder coated in burgundy. Any interest? They are the word BURLEY in white done in the BURLEY font. PM me.
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Old 08-07-08, 07:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Nice job!

We, too, got a used Burley Duet, looks like the same style frame as you got there. Say, do you mind sharing the serial no on your frame (ours: 1219)? Just trying to figure out when ours is from--I'm guessing late 80s. What components were on it before you upgraded--derailleurs (ours: SunTour XC Pro)? Wheels 700 or 27 (ours: 27)? Color (ours: metallic dark blue with yellow/white pinstriping)? Rear cog setup (ours: 6sp freewheel)?
I don't mind sharing the serial, but I'm too lazy to go out and look for it right now. I don't know what all was original on this one, as I think I remember that it had a freewheel originally, but it had a seven speed rear cassette, older Shimano SIS derailleur, Shimano bar end shifters, and 700c, 48 spoke Sun rims. Merlinxtraligh has posted a pic of the "before" color below.
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Old 08-07-08, 08:00 PM   #11
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And that isn't quite original. The OEM wheel had a six speed freewheel. When the axle broke on that hub, we replaced it with a cassette hub. The original derailleur was Suntour. The original wheels were 700c.
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Old 08-07-08, 08:05 PM   #12
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Here are a couple of "before" frame close-ups..I actually had to weld up a couple of pinholes at the bottom of each seat tube. I was surprised that it cleaned up and powdercoated as nicely as it did.


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Old 08-07-08, 08:23 PM   #13
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Too late to negotiate for a refund.
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Old 08-07-08, 08:31 PM   #14
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Too late to negotiate for a refund.


I'm super happy with it; the clean-up was no big deal. I have to weld things occasionally or my wife starts to ***** about that huge TIG welder taking up garage space anyway.

Wait a few weeks until I post before and after pics of my new "grocery/commuter" bike. Talk about UGLY.
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Old 08-07-08, 11:57 PM   #15
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Great resto job!!!! Congrats on bringing if back to life. Here's wishing you many safe and fun miles.


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Old 12-21-08, 01:07 AM   #16
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Very nice restoration. I don't know how you were able to buy a tandem, new fork, powder coat and other stuff for a total investment of $350. My hat is off to you for a very frugal job.

I just picked up a 1987 Burley Duet but I guess I paid too much at $200. I checked around and powder coating cost 160 and up in my neighborhood. The bike was missing the left bar end shifter but I picked up some old Suntour bar end shifters for $10. I need to clean up and repack all the bearings. Basically it needs a thorough detailing.

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Old 12-21-08, 12:05 PM   #17
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Serial #1219 would indicate it was likely a 1989 model.
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Old 12-21-08, 06:54 PM   #18
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Nice Job Kendall. Enjoy your new ride.
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Old 12-21-08, 08:49 PM   #19
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Serial #1219 would indicate it was likely a 1989 model.
Hi Zona,
How do you convert a Burley serial to a date? Our duet is 3221....

Thanks!
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Old 06-13-12, 09:34 PM   #20
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Our serial number: 1453




Our Burley Duet: Original owner approximated the year as 1994 since this was when his folks purchased the bike [presumably new]. Wheels 27. Rear cog setup with 6sp freewheel. Same color, metallic dark blue. Suntour Barcon Bar End Shifter Accushift shifters and a SunTour 4050 XCE front derailer. The rest of the component Group is comprised of Shimano Deore LX components. A Shimano expert may be able to date the Deore LX group. To keep material costs down, its conceivable that Burley used an older Shimano Group (i.e. the Deore LX). Some sources suggest the Deore line appeared as early as 1982. Modern versions of the Deore group extend into the 2000s. In May 2008, Bicycling Magazine stated, In 2006 Shimano upgraded its Deore LX rear derailleur with the XT source: www.bicycling.com/gearfinderproductdetail?gfid=11589

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Nice job!

We, too, got a used Burley Duet, looks like the same style frame as you got there. Say, do you mind sharing the serial no on your frame (ours: 1219)? Just trying to figure out when ours is from--I'm guessing late 80s. What components were on it before you upgraded--derailleurs (ours: SunTour XC Pro)? Wheels 700 or 27 (ours: 27)? Color (ours: metallic dark blue with yellow/white pinstriping)? Rear cog setup (ours: 6sp freewheel)?
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File Type: jpg Serial Number2.JPG (54.5 KB, 17 views)

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Old 06-07-13, 06:52 PM   #21
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Hey, what happened to the Burley pics! I wanted to see them
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Old 06-07-13, 07:50 PM   #22
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Our Burley's vintage was about mid 1990's. We loved it. Brings back great memories. Same color as yours too. Seems the Burley is still pretty popular. Bulletproof too.
Enjoy the heck out of it.
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Old 06-07-13, 08:49 PM   #23
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That was our first tandem as well, 89' vintage. Lousy pic of a pic.

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Old 11-27-13, 10:47 AM   #24
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I recently purchased one and need decals. I emailed Burley but they don't have any of this vintage, although they do have some. East Tandem doesn't have them either, but do have newer ones. Mine as purchased:


I think it is as stock and spent most of its life at the beach unused. The bearings were all in great condition and packed either with Lithium grease or Campy. More likely the former. The rear hub was packed with what looked like Phil Wood grease. Although the hubs are Suzue Sealed, the Sealed part refers to seals around the cup and ball assembly. Don't know if cones are available. I am checking with YJ that sells rear axles sets with cones for $20.

Decals? Anyone? Decals? Oh and a head badge decal too (2)
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Old 11-27-13, 06:29 PM   #25
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Hey, what happened to the Burley pics! I wanted to see them
That happens with Zombie Threads. I was wondering, too, till I noticed the dates.
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