I've had in my possession for about 2 years, a 30 year old, heavy, Schwinn Twinn Sport. I found it on CL for a deal, and I couldn't resist.
I'm in the process of customizing this tandem into a fully upright bike, to enjoy rides with my wife or daughter. I live in the mountains. I don't tend to have long descents, but I often come upon steep, short to medium ones, which inevitably have a stop sign at the bottom. Braking is a key factor, not just for the stopping, but also for modulation, in order that I don't scare the-you-know-what out of my stoker.
So I've decided on four brakes, two center pull rim brakes, and two internal hub drum brakes. My question is what is the best way to actuate the brakes? I've read Sheldon Brown's advice on this (although he really only covers 3 brakes, two rim and one rear drag brake). His advice is to actuate the rim brakes with traditional levers, and the rear drag brake with a ratcheting thumb shifter. This is how I'm currently set up (mounted on the top tube), and I find it less then satisfying.
So here's what I'm considering: First using levers which pull two brake lines. My tendency is to go with the right to actuate the center pull rim brakes, and the left to engage the drum brakes. If I go this route, is there any advice on making one brake (front or rear) engage before its mate?
My other option is to use two ratcheting thumb shifters mounted on the handlebars just above or below the lever mounts (I will use Suntour barend shifters for the gear changing, so no confusing the two).
Have any of you tried this? Can I learn from your experience? Thanks for the guidance.