1967 Schwinn Tandem Help
I just bought a 1967 Schwinn Twinn 5 speed tandem on E-bay and need some input, as my wife and I are new to tandems. The bike was advertised as being in great condition, and suffice to say that it is something less than that. It does appear to be ridable, and if I am to keep it I would like to upgrade some components. I was attracted to the fact that the bike was made in my hometown (Chicago) and has the chrome fenders, etc. My wife and I will probably ride only casually (perhaps 10 - 20 miles per ride). Does it make any sense to put money into this bike (replace wheels, chain, drum brake assembly, etc) or would I be better off buying a new inexpensive tandem. I am told that parts are not available. Could I upgrade to modern day components? I am trying not to start off with a 2k investment. All help is appreciated.
I'd say just clean it up, adjust it and enjoy it for what it is. You'd likely be able to get your money out of it that way if you decide to get more serious about tandem riding. I'm guessing that you paid in the vicinity of $300 for the Schwinn. For a bit over $600, you can get a new Raleigh Companion with much better design and components...or be close to a used bike that's a bit better.
Originally Posted by drmike5
We almost went the Schwinn route and decided that the Schwinn would be either too limited or too costly for what we might end up doing. Already, we're finding that our plans for 10-20 mile rides have transformed into a day of RAGBRAI.
Learn the ins-and-outs of tandeming on that '67 Schwinn; if you like the twogetherness, then rather than upgrading/fixing the Schwinn, buy a newer/modern tandem. That would be a lot more co$t effective . . . and easier to pedal!
That Schwinn is in the 60+ pound category and will be a bit tough to pedal, but yes, if you persevere you can do a 20 miler on it. However you'll get a good work out!
Rudy and Kay/Zona tandem
Sounds better than our first tandem. We started out with a Schwinn Twinn coaster brake bike that I rebuilt several times and eventually turned into a 60 pound 10-speed. At the time it was all that we could afford so my wife and I rode it all over including several hilly 50 miler rides.
My advice is to keep it stock and enjoy it for what it is. You can spend a ton of money trying to upgrade that bike but you'll always be hampered because it has a water pipe frame that probably doesn't fit either one of you well. If you and your wife get the bug, turn it over and buy yourselves a better bike.
You might check out the VeloSwap in October or other bicycle swap meets to pick up some new/used wheels and other non-tandem specific parts for a few bucks. Aside from that, it is what it is.... Clean it up, have fun with it, and consider upgrading to a more expensive tandem IF you find that you and your really enjoy the activity. I would note, at least for us, the better the equipment fits and works has a direct relationship with how much we enjoy our rides. An uncomfortable, inefficient, or problem plagued bicycle or tandem can really undermine the riding experience.
Thank you all for the great advice! I am going to clean and adjust the bike and do exactly what all of you suggested: just enjoy it and determine if we like it enough to invest in lighter, newer technology.
Originally Posted by drmike5