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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 06-26-09, 02:03 PM   #1
stocksy
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First ride on our new Tandem - it could have gone better!

Picked up our Dawes Galaxy Twin from the LBS this afternoon, very green and very shiny:



Since there is no chance of getting it in the car, I decided I would ride it solo the 25 miles home, reasoning that this would be a good opportunity to get used to the handling of the bike before we took it out for a proper ride.

Four miles down the road and in the pouring rain I hear that sound - psssssssssssssssssss... puncture in the front tyre. A small piece of wire is poking out of the tyre. At this point I find I have no patch kit with me just a spare tube, but the tube is for up to 700x28c and the tyres are 35s. Needless to say, I rode home with what can only be described as a partially inflated front tyre wondering whether the overstretched tube would blow out at any moment.

I learned my lesson: Always have the right kit with you, even brand new bikes get punctures.

Here's hoping we get some more enjoyable rides in this weekend!
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Old 06-26-09, 02:14 PM   #2
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That looks like one well built tandem. How fitting, British racing green! Enjoy!!
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Old 06-26-09, 02:36 PM   #3
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Generally speaking, I wouldn't worry about putting a 28c tube into a 35 tire for a ride home. But yes, you have to be prepared. Sometimes the best tool kit is a phone.
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Old 06-26-09, 02:43 PM   #4
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Generally speaking, I wouldn't worry about putting a 28c tube into a 35 tire for a ride home. But yes, you have to be prepared. Sometimes the best tool kit is a phone.
+1. No problem at all inflating the 28mm tube to fill a 35 mm tire. When trying to find a tiny hole in some of my 20 mm tubes I've inflated them until they're at least 10' in diameter and several inches in width.
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Old 06-26-09, 02:48 PM   #5
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Thanks all, that's good to know, I won't worry about it so much if it happens again.
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Old 06-26-09, 03:17 PM   #6
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That looks like one well built tandem. How fitting, British racing green! Enjoy!!
Yep, just like a Bentley

As you can see between this, the Dolan and the two Bromptons we like to support British bicycle companies!
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Old 06-26-09, 04:46 PM   #7
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Any of those would be quite unique here in the States.
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Old 06-26-09, 08:17 PM   #8
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Goodlookin' Dawes!
Last time we rode a Dawes was way back in the mid-70s when they were still being imported to the USA.
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Old 06-28-09, 04:21 AM   #9
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All the best with your new bike. My first serious bike was a Dawes touring bike, and I still have very fond memories of it.

The rear rack on your new tandem looks pretty unusual. Where exactly are the lower attachment points? Do you know what make and model the rack is?
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Old 06-28-09, 11:15 AM   #10
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The rear rack on your new tandem looks pretty unusual. Where exactly are the lower attachment points? Do you know what make and model the rack is?
Yes it is a little strange - the rack attaches to a braze-on about a quarter of the way up the seat stays like so:



The rack isn't stamped with a make, model or any text at all so I presume it's Dawes's own design. The website simply describes it as an 'alloy carrier' - not terribly helpful.
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Old 06-28-09, 12:01 PM   #11
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My wife and I took a test ride on a daVinci (which we eventually bought). Flatted both tires simultaneously 1 mile from the LBS! At my wife's suggestion I had my cell phone on board and was able to call the LBS. If I had forgotten the cell phone I would never have heard the end of it.

BTW, great looking bike!

Last edited by rdtompki; 06-28-09 at 12:01 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 06-28-09, 04:39 PM   #12
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Much easier/safer to put a too small diameter tube into a tire than one that's too big.
Most narrow tubes are good for 23-32mm wide tire.
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Old 06-30-09, 02:40 PM   #13
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Stoker and I finally got a ride on the bike on Sunday. Let's just say I'm not too impressed with Dawes's quality control. Firstly, it turns out that the innertube that failed was actually punctured by a spoke nipple because the rim tape supplied is far too narrow. The tyre actually did its job and the piece of wire never penetrated through the casing. I replaced the tape with some proper cloth rim tape, no problems so far.

Secondly, we got about three miles in to our ride before I noticed something badly wrong with the indexing on the rear deraileur, not such a problem since the bar-end shifters are old-school and allow the rider to change to friction shifting by moving a lever. Got home using only the bottom half of the cassette and found that about 10mm of the gear cable housing had frayed and been pulled through the cable stop on the downtube. The front gear cable outers don't look too clever either, seems like it has been cut with a pair of hedge shears or something. The LBS were great about it as usual and replaced the cable outers right away, but I still felt a bit peeved. The LBS insist that the cables came ready-cut from Dawes and I believe them.

On the plus side, I got the new cables on, re-wrapped the bars and we went out for a little ride this evening. We took the bike trailer up to the allotment and planted a few veg, the result was Bikezilla:



Here's hoping for some enjoyable and trouble-free cycling for the rest of the summer!
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Old 07-09-09, 05:21 AM   #14
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Just a quick update for anyone finding this thread looking for information on Dawes.

I wrote Dawes a letter telling them how disappointed I was with the bad rim tape, no inline adjusters on the gear cables and the badly cut housings.

Dawes sent me a reply saying that they 'take matters like this very seriously as we do not want to tarnish our reputation in any way'. They have also sent me two barrel adjusters for the gears, a set of panniers and a 200 credit note to present to the LBS for a future purchase. All of this was without even asking to see photos or any kind of proof that I had a problem.

Yep, they seem like an awesome company.
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