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  1. #1
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    Our New Lamborghini!

    Perhaps the only good thing about getting old is that you often have to opportunity to do or get some of the thing that you always wanted to do or have, but never quite got around to it. Maybe it's a bit of self indulgence, or "scratching an itch" that's been gnawing at you for years. In any event, Joy and I decided to indulge ourselves on the occasion of our 35th wedding anniversary this month and buy Lamborghini! It's a sexy little white two seater, a Viaggio in fact. We took it for a little spin, and I'll say it's fast, fun to drive, corners well, and a little scary at times. It's easy to overdrive the brakes!

    Of course, it is a tandem bike. Not a great one, mind you, but a great starter I believe.

    The bike arrived Sat 8/1, and the carton was undamaged. A good sign. Further inspection proved nothing was damaged indeed. Assembly was simple but not very straight forward. I will admit it. I heard the directions were poor, so I didn't even bother reading them. Amazon has a lot of posts on the product with generally favorable comments (i.e.: value for the money.) This is an upscale "box store" bike, NOT an LBS bike. Don't think that it is. None the less, I think it is an excellent way to try out tandem. For some one that is interested in "serious" involvement in tandems, an alternative method is to rent some "real" bikes to see if you are really interested, and then find a good used one that "fits." I'm not interested in that. Just want to be able to ride with the wife, son, and grandson. The bike won't be an exact fit for any of us, none the less; it will adequately fit all of us.

    The directions and the brakes are two of the items that get "bad press". I found that to be the case. Other items regarding poor packaging, derailleur alignment, out of true wheels, and a few other complaints were not problems for me. Due to the way the front wheel is packed, many have reported broken spokes, but I did not have that problem.

    I have assembled a few other "bikes in a box" and this was typical, except for a few unique factors.

    The directions are very generic for "Road Bikes" and cover every possible option except for some of the tandem specific options.

    The seat tubes are 27.2mm but the captain's seat post is 25.2 and requires a shim. This is not noted anywhere, nor are the seats labeled in any way. For some reason the stokers stem, which attaches to the captain's post, it 25.5, hence the requirement for a 25.2 seat post for the cap't.

    No where is there any mention of the stokers stem, nor is it labeled.

    In any event, I unpacked the bike and 2 seats on posts, and 2 boxes. The front wheel was strapped to the frame with the right front crank protruding through the spokes. This was the cause of the broken spokes, but several zip ties held the wheel tight in my case. Too bad, because one owner reported a $100 discount from Amazon for their troubles.

    I had the bike stripped of the cardboard tubes that covered every stay and tube, and had the bike "assembled" in about 45 min. I pumped up the tires, but failed to check the that the tires were properly seated, and while putzing around with an add-on speedo, the front tire blew out. It was my own stupid mistake, and after changing my shorts and going to my LBS for some new tubes, the final adjustments continued.

    I was pleased to see that the 8 speed 3 range Micro-shift shifters were working perfectly. The specs on Amazon are a bit confusing. It mentions a "24 speed" but the rear freewheel part number is a 7 speed. Also the crank is a 4 bolt internal BB with a 48/38/28 set up. With the 14/28 rear gearing I'm afraid that my son and I may run out of gears before we run out of steam. Upgrading to a 53T front or 11 or 12 T rear may not be possible.

    The rear derailleur worked flawlessly, but the front struggles to get on to the big ring. Time will tell if a better FD is required.

    As reported, the brakes suck big time. The bike borders on being "unsafe at any speed" in traffic with the stock brakes. I spent a lot of time trying to get them as close a possible so we got some braking power. They tend to squeal like a stuck pig. I finally got them close enough to do some neighborhood rides. I have Avid 7s and Koolstop pads, a $60 upgrade, on order. We'll limit our riding until those upgrades are completed.

    I was glad to see the seat tubes are 27.2mm. I'll be able to pull my road bike seat and post and pop in into the stoker position when I ride with my son. The stock seat post will adjust enough to fit me at 6' and my son at 6'4". The stock quill stem is fine for me, but may be too low for my son. I'm checking on a longer quill for him.

    The stock wheels are 700 x 35 semi-aero with nuts (not quick release) and extended Schrader valves (hard to find.) The wheel bearing are loose ball and cone Joy techs. Very heavy. So long as they run free and hold true I'll live with them. We don't do a lot of climbs here in So Fla, and I don't expect to do a lot of sprints.

    I guess I played around with it for about 2 hrs adjusting, lubing, adding lights, bags, changing the stoker seat so the princess doesn’t feel the pea. It was finally ready for a solo shake down ride. A few trips around the block got my seat dialed in, things tightened up, and allowed me to get used to the Microshift brifters. The bike is very heavy compared to my 17 lb carbon road bike, but on par with my Diamond back hybrid. The difference in a solo ride is all that weight "back there." And those lousy brakes.

    Shakedown ride done, it's now ready for the "maiden voyage" with my (former) maiden, now spouse of 35 yrs. We go over some ground rules, thanks to the BF Tandem forum. The most important is "the stoker is always right" (at least when we're on the bike.)

    We mount the bike, and we're off to a shaky but exciting start. We make several loops around the neighborhood, and much to my pleasure, my wife says "this is fun!" Whew! Handling is very different than a "half-bike" and her every move back there adds a dimension that I'm not used to. It' very weird having the pedals turn when you are not doing anything. The importance of communication becomes very apparent.

    Our second trip was to an neighborhood grocery store. Not very long, but we felt a lot more comfortable even thought we are in some real traffic. Had to plan well in advance for any stops due to the brake situation.

    The next challenge will be to swap out the stoker seat and put my son in the captain's position and see what this baby will do. We'll pick a nice open and safe route since braking is compromised. We can go 28 or so solo, so it will be nice to see what we can do together, top speed and high speed cruising. If we can keep up with the A group in the club on the tandem (which we can do solo for most of the ride) I'll be very happy.

    I also want to be able to put my 6 yr old grandson into the stoker position without any major changes or investments. He's pretty tall for his size, but I don't think he'll fit the 16" rear seat yet. He's pretty "stoked" about riding the new bike (named "Jazz" by him) and worst case is I'll put the removable Kettler child seat on a seat tube.

    Thanks for sharing my thoughts and experiences, and if your considering a tandem, I hope this will help you come to a more informed decision.
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    BT
    '09 Motobecane Immortal Pro, with lollipops
    '09 Fuji Aloha 1.0 TT build. with lollipops
    '09 Lamborghini Viaggio Tandem
    '06 Mongoose Commuter
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    "Oh, to be 60 again!"

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  2. #2
    Newbie but oldbie
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    bobthib, nice work. Thanks for re-living the experiences we all had when we started out.

    Good luck with your new tandem. It sounds like a perfect ride!!

    Andy

  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    The honest evaluation of the Lambo tandem is refreshing!
    It is what it is; brakes . . . what brakes?!
    Sounds like you ordered this tandem with eyes wide open and were not surprised at some of the shortcomings.
    Get it fixed up to your liking and enjoy the ride TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  4. #4
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    The honest evaluation of the Lambo tandem is refreshing!
    It is what it is; brakes . . . what brakes?!
    Sounds like you ordered this tandem with eyes wide open and were not surprised at some of the shortcomings.
    Get it fixed up to your liking and enjoy the ride TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
    1+. Avid 7 brakes and Koolstop pads on order. Should be here in time for the Sat AM club ride with my son. If so, we'll test the "high end".

    I'm happy that the stoker seat tube is 27.2 so I can quickly swap out my road seat and post for those rides. I just ordered a 27.2 to 29.2 shim so I can fit her seat back on her hybrid for solo rides.

    Meanwhile the bride and I are enjoying comfortable rides on the local bike routes. We just got back from an nice sunset ride, and Joy proclaimed "we need to do this every night!" This is working better than I thought.
    BT
    '09 Motobecane Immortal Pro, with lollipops
    '09 Fuji Aloha 1.0 TT build. with lollipops
    '09 Lamborghini Viaggio Tandem
    '06 Mongoose Commuter
    '02 Diamondback Hybrid
    "Oh, to be 60 again!"

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...c/exercise.png

  5. #5
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    Yes, the brake is not working well and very noisy too !
    I'm going to change it to Avid 5

  6. #6
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    Well, after much fiddling and fussing, and a quick tutorial on adjusting linear pull brakes, ( http://www.exchangecycletours.org/V-brake.htm ) I now feel the bike is safe to ride in traffic. I did have to true the wheels to perfection, and then followed the tutorial, and guess what? I can really stop the bike! The were a bit noisy at first but several hard stops seemed to work that out. I'll still install the avid 7s with Koolstop pads when they arrive friday.

    I also found that the front derailler was bent slightly (in shipping) and a minor adjustment with the pliers, and now no ticking on the big ring! I had not been riding the big ring since my wife and I didn't need it, and when I finally was able to shift to it, the noise was annoying. I thought it was the limit adjustment but it turned out to be the bent derailleur.

    I have ordered a Control Tech Tandem Stoker Stem (adjustable) so no matter who is the stoker I can fit them. Also got a 400mm seat post for my son (6'4")

    I'm looking forward to tonight's ride with the bride. Now that we cans safely venture out into traffic, we'll be able to expand our horizons a bit. Perhaps we'll cruise down to the strip for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I think we may turn a few heads. I don't recall ever seeing another tandem in town.
    BT
    '09 Motobecane Immortal Pro, with lollipops
    '09 Fuji Aloha 1.0 TT build. with lollipops
    '09 Lamborghini Viaggio Tandem
    '06 Mongoose Commuter
    '02 Diamondback Hybrid
    "Oh, to be 60 again!"

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...c/exercise.png

  7. #7
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    Your son is 6'4 tall, then how tall are you?

  8. #8
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    6' He favors the wife's side of the family. She's 5'10". Her dad is 6'2".
    BT
    '09 Motobecane Immortal Pro, with lollipops
    '09 Fuji Aloha 1.0 TT build. with lollipops
    '09 Lamborghini Viaggio Tandem
    '06 Mongoose Commuter
    '02 Diamondback Hybrid
    "Oh, to be 60 again!"

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...c/exercise.png

  9. #9
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    WOW! That's about all I can say. WOW. Got the new AVIS 7s linear pull brakes today and put them on. Also upgraded to the Koolstop MTB black/salmon brake shoes. WOW! What an incredible difference. These baby's stop!!!! I was pretty happy with the stock brakes once I trued the wheels and adjusted the brakes but they were just ok. Now I can really STOP!! I'm not sure I'd want to coast down Mt Haleakala with them (which we did in Feb on special rental bikes) but for So. Fla. these are more than adequate. This is a $60 upgrade that is not only worth it, but as a safety factor, needed. I no longer have any question about riding this bike on the road in any weather.

    I opted for this over the Travel Agents based on some of the reviews. The Avid 7s are about 1" longer than the stock brakes and provide more leverage and are more stiff, and with a better adjustment screw. The Koolstop pads are much longer than the stock pads, but the same as the stock Avids. The avids had a shoe with a replaceable pad,but it was stapled in place, unlike the Dura Ace shoes on my "half bike" that are held in place by a small set screw.

    The stock avid pads were unremarkable, and may have worked just fine, but I read too many good things about the Koolstops. And I've been very happy with them on my other bike. The squealed bad the first few times, but then they when hush. I didn't even have to adjust them with a toe-in.

    As I mentioned early, the Koolstops are a composite pad, about 1/3 black (for dry conditions) and about 2/3s salmon for wet. A good choice for So. Fla. The Koolstops were $10 a wheel (inc in the $60 above) but are not a "Shoe with a pad" When the unit is worn, you replace the whole shoe. That's good, since if you loose one of those little concave/convex washers, your screwed.

    As the bike sits now, it's good to go. I have a 400 mm seat post for my 6'4" son who will captain for me, and I'll pop off my 350 mm 27.2 road seat and post from my half bike for our rides. I'll also put my Speedplay LA "lollipops" in the stoker position for our father/son club rides. If he get's into this, he'll get shoes and "lollipops" too, and we'll keep them in the captain's position. I don't think the wife will be ready for anything other than platform pedals any time soon.

    I have an adjustable stoker stem on order that will accommodate every one in the rear positions from my 6 yr old grandson to me. As with any accommodation, it ain't perfect for anyone, but every one will be comfy for the usual rides.

    Looking forward to tomorrow with my son and our first 35 mile club ride. Should be fun.
    BT
    '09 Motobecane Immortal Pro, with lollipops
    '09 Fuji Aloha 1.0 TT build. with lollipops
    '09 Lamborghini Viaggio Tandem
    '06 Mongoose Commuter
    '02 Diamondback Hybrid
    "Oh, to be 60 again!"

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...c/exercise.png

  10. #10
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    We'll my captain (my son) when out a little late and partied a little too much to get up a 6 for the club ride. Kind of a good thing. When I went out to get my other bike I noticed that the front tire on the Lambo was flat. After a nice 50 mile club ride, I got around to fixing the tire. Turns out I should have listened to another report that suggested replacing the stock rim tapes. Ended up repacking the wheel bearings with Phil Wood grease, adjusting them properly (they were too tight) and putting on some 700x25 tires. Rides a little harsher, but a lot faster.
    BT
    '09 Motobecane Immortal Pro, with lollipops
    '09 Fuji Aloha 1.0 TT build. with lollipops
    '09 Lamborghini Viaggio Tandem
    '06 Mongoose Commuter
    '02 Diamondback Hybrid
    "Oh, to be 60 again!"

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...c/exercise.png

  11. #11
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    BT:

    I'm seriously thinking about getting a Viaggio to toodle around with my kids (5, 9 and 11) and possibly my wife. You mentioned going out with your 6 year old. Are you going to need to make any mods to do that (e.g. child stoker kit or crank shortners)? My youngest is pretty big for his age, but I don't think he be tall enough.

    Unfortunately, the bikes are sold out at Amazon. I hope they come back. Seems like a great way to get into tandems.

    SHP

  12. #12
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    SHP, Thanks for asking. I wish I could answer your question, but the sad fact is that my grandson is still in the hospital. He was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, and after a 7.5 hr operation the got all the tumor but had to take one kidney. He just finished 5 months of chemo, but has been hospitalized with a fever for the past week. The good news is that they think he is in remission, and won't need radiation. Soooo, I hope that in about a month he'll be healthy enough to ride.

    Meanwhile I'll have time to fit him. We got him a 16" bike and it fits him with some pedal blocks. If I still can't get the seat low enough for him to pedal, I'm going to rig up some stirrups to keep his feet up away from the pedals and give him stability and balance. He's pretty tall, and just turned 6 on March (happy bithday, you have cancer ) I though about a stoker kit, but I don't think he'll need it long. His feet are so big, I think he will sprout up as soon as he's been off chemo for a while.

    BTW, you can get the Lambo on ebay buyitnow. About 10% more, includes free shipping. If amazon doesn't restock, that may be your only option.
    BT
    '09 Motobecane Immortal Pro, with lollipops
    '09 Fuji Aloha 1.0 TT build. with lollipops
    '09 Lamborghini Viaggio Tandem
    '06 Mongoose Commuter
    '02 Diamondback Hybrid
    "Oh, to be 60 again!"

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...c/exercise.png

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    BT:

    I sure hope your grandson will be in the saddle soon!

    Thanks for the info about ebay.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Hey, it doesn't have those silly doors!

  15. #15
    Duo
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    Does your bike have an eccentric for the timing chain tension? If so does it work good?

    I had trouble with my timing chain falling off and ended up with a big derailleur gear to replace it(took the little tension gear off and put a big one on, just to get the thing tight). This is my beater tandem; my other tandem has an eccentric and what a difference. Don't think i would go back to a timing chain external tensioning device. Makes the bike sound like blank.....
    Last edited by Duo; 08-24-09 at 10:31 AM. Reason: edited for clarity

  16. #16
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    Duo, this bike is a "department store" bike, in essence. It has a tension idler midway between the timing chain sprockets. The BBs are standard internal square BBs. No room for an eccentric BB.

    I plan to put on an old 105 or Ultegra RD at some point as a tensioner, but I dis-assembled and repacked the idler sprocket in the mean time. It quieted it down a lot. It was dry as a bone.
    BT
    '09 Motobecane Immortal Pro, with lollipops
    '09 Fuji Aloha 1.0 TT build. with lollipops
    '09 Lamborghini Viaggio Tandem
    '06 Mongoose Commuter
    '02 Diamondback Hybrid
    "Oh, to be 60 again!"

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...c/exercise.png

  17. #17
    Duo
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobthib View Post
    Duo, this bike is a "department store" bike, in essence. It has a tension idler midway between the timing chain sprockets. The BBs are standard internal square BBs. No room for an eccentric BB.

    I plan to put on an old 105 or Ultegra RD at some point as a tensioner, but I dis-assembled and repacked the idler sprocket in the mean time. It quieted it down a lot. It was dry as a bone.
    No grease. hmmm can relate; that is how i got into wrenching. My beater tandem started squeaking after we got serious riding the thing. Figured i would open the front wheel hub and see what was going on. In a word, basically nothing. Guess they just don't wanna put grease on some wheel bearings. The bearing system was worn out because of a lack of 5 cents worth of grease (makes cents ).

    That's what got me to learning how to repair everything myself. Got a book and a bunch of Park tools, reworking stuff from front to back. As a kid, about all we would do was oil a chain a few times, so i wasn't privy to maintenance.

    A week ago, got my wife a bike and now know better. All bearings are checked, cleaned and greased as able. The bike was basically new, but didn't matter, check anyway.

    When you put on your new tensioner derailleur, post a picture. That is something that i need to do, but not sure how or where to mount the thing.

  18. #18
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duo View Post
    When you put on your new tensioner derailleur, post a picture. That is something that i need to do, but not sure how or where to mount the thing.
    Got the idea for another forum. Did a search for "Idler pulley" or something and got a hit in the MTB forum I think about some guy who out an old derailer in place of a idler pulley on his MTB. Mine is now quite now, I'm in no hurry to change it. My next quest is regarding putting a 140mm hub into a 135mm aluminiuminum drop out on our tandem. I can't cold set it, but will just stretching it 5mm cause problems?
    BT
    '09 Motobecane Immortal Pro, with lollipops
    '09 Fuji Aloha 1.0 TT build. with lollipops
    '09 Lamborghini Viaggio Tandem
    '06 Mongoose Commuter
    '02 Diamondback Hybrid
    "Oh, to be 60 again!"

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...c/exercise.png

  19. #19
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duo View Post
    No grease. hmmm can relate; that is how i got into wrenching.

    When you put on your new tensioner derailleur, post a picture. That is something that i need to do, but not sure how or where to mount the thing.
    FYI - I was looking for a better used rear derailer pully to fit. This one is a cheap bearingless 10t pully. Can't find a 10t pully with bearings to fit an 8spd chain. So I took the pully off, packed it in grease, and re assembled. Quieted it down a bit, and gives me time to find what I want.

    I can get a Dura Ace pully for $12 but I'm not sure it will work. Are the chain links the same length? So long as the pully isn't too big to fit in the drop, it should work if the lenghts are the same.
    BT
    '09 Motobecane Immortal Pro, with lollipops
    '09 Fuji Aloha 1.0 TT build. with lollipops
    '09 Lamborghini Viaggio Tandem
    '06 Mongoose Commuter
    '02 Diamondback Hybrid
    "Oh, to be 60 again!"

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...c/exercise.png

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    Just out of curiosty, I was wondering if you could replace the BB of the Lambo with one of those eccentric BB that are supposed to fit in standard size frames (e.g. the Exzentriker or the one by forward components http://www.forwardcomponents.blogspot.com/)?

  21. #21
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobthib View Post
    I can get a Dura Ace pully for $12 but I'm not sure it will work. Are the chain links the same length?
    I've never heard of any chain that didn't have standard length links. The standard chain "stretch" measuring methods wouldn't work if chain link lengths varied. It does strike me as odd that with practically everything else on the bike being metric, chain links are still 1" apiece. But change that and you have to change everything.
    Last edited by WebsterBikeMan; 09-04-09 at 08:17 AM. Reason: typos

  22. #22
    Oldie, just not here! Onegun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHPBike View Post
    Just out of curiosty, I was wondering if you could replace the BB of the Lambo with one of those eccentric BB that are supposed to fit in standard size frames (e.g. the Exzentriker or the one by forward components http://www.forwardcomponents.blogspot.com/)?
    The short answer is no, since neither will work with triple road cranksets. That's the deal killer right there. They are also both limited to outboard bearing systems as well, but I have no idea what the Lambo utilizes.

    Another facet of this issue is ... a $175, (Forward Components, shims, tax & shipping), or a +$300 (Exzentriker) "upgrade" on a sub-$500 bike?

    But I gotta say thanks, SHPBike, for posting this! These were originally designed for guys to make fixies out of current day vertical droupout frames, and they are neat! First I've heard of them!
    BICYCLE - [bahy-si-kuhl] - Noun :> A medical device used to correct the common geriatric condition of OFS, (Old, Fat & Slow), in a manner that does not induce brain-decaying boredom like walking or running.

    2005 Trek T2000 Tandem, 2003 Burley Tosa Tandem, Pacific Dualie beater tandem, and 6 singles including 2 fixies.

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  23. #23
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onegun View Post
    The short answer is no, since neither will work with triple road cranksets. That's the deal killer right there. They are also both limited to outboard bearing systems as well, but I have no idea what the Lambo utilizes.
    Humm, I'm not sure that would be a problem as the eccentric would go in the front crank, which is only the timing chain ring. The bigger problem is that it is limited to outboard bearings. The Lambo is old fashioned loose bearings with square taper cranks. A better idler pulley is a lot cheaper and easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Onegun View Post
    Another facet of this issue is ... a $175, (Forward Components, shims, tax & shipping), or a +$300 (Exzentriker) "upgrade" on a sub-$500 bike?
    Bingo!
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  24. #24
    Oldie, just not here! Onegun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobthib View Post
    Humm, I'm not sure that would be a problem as the eccentric would go in the front crank, which is only the timing chain ring.
    hehe! You're absolutely right, of course. I was just reading their literature, and not even thinking about the actual application!
    BICYCLE - [bahy-si-kuhl] - Noun :> A medical device used to correct the common geriatric condition of OFS, (Old, Fat & Slow), in a manner that does not induce brain-decaying boredom like walking or running.

    2005 Trek T2000 Tandem, 2003 Burley Tosa Tandem, Pacific Dualie beater tandem, and 6 singles including 2 fixies.

    TampaBayCycling.com - A LOCAL Cycling Forum
    The Florida Panthers Tandem Club

  25. #25
    Duo
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobthib View Post
    FYI - I was looking for a better used rear derailer pully to fit. This one is a cheap bearingless 10t pully. Can't find a 10t pully with bearings to fit an 8spd chain. So I took the pully off, packed it in grease, and re assembled. Quieted it down a bit, and gives me time to find what I want.

    I can get a Dura Ace pully for $12 but I'm not sure it will work. Are the chain links the same length? So long as the pully isn't too big to fit in the drop, it should work if the lenghts are the same.

    My LBS gave me a bigger pulley (used 15 tooth from an old deraileur), it had to be ground down to fit widthwise in the tensioner. Now my chain does not fall off. He also got me a half link to tighten up the chain a bit more. Haven't tried it yet, but think it will work just fine.

    The real answer is figuring out how to put a chain tensioner on these type of bikes. i have seen them in kits for making bikes to single speed.

    i don't like the noise that comes from these cheap tension devises. Tried buying a new one and packing it with grease but the same thing. The ultimate answer was to buy a used tandem cheap with an eccentric in it. My Schwinn Duo Sport from the 80's is like a rocket ship in comparison to this department store bike.

    We ride our tandem almost daily, so having two of them is a blessing. Just having one to ride while repairing the other is worth it all. i put some mtb tires on the beater tandem and rides great on mild trails; another reason for having a cheap beater.

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