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  1. #1
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    Index shifting for Old Schwinn Twinn?

    I bought an old modified Schwinn tandem late this summer to see if we like tandeming, and the good news is that we do! The tandem we bought is a 1970 Schwinn frame to which someone added 10-speed capability. While I am able to shift without indexed shifting, it's too much for my wife and daughters, and I'm wondering if I can add index shifting to this bike.

    I don't know if the rear derailleur is original -- it's a SunTour AG -- tied to a 5-gear cassette that ranges from 14 to 38 teeth. Currently there's a flat bar handlebar on the front that looks like it came from a kids BMX bike, but ideally I'd also like to upgrade that to something like my Trek hybrid. Thus grip shifting would be nice, but not necessary. One thing that might cause a few chuckles out there -- the shifters are currently mounted on the stoker's handlebar. I've never seen or heard of that before!

    And here's the cherry to top it off: I can't put much money into this, so replacing the entire cassette and derailleur is not an option.

    Any thoughts? Any additional info that would help?

  2. #2
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    It would really help if you could post some pictures. Are you sure it's a '70? What are the first two letters of the serial number? It could be a Twinn Sport, but they didn't start to make those until 1979. Twinn Sports were 10 speed, with 27" tires (Twinns & Deluxe Twinns had 26" tires).

    If you were to move the shifting to your position, would your stokers be happier?

    The truth is, you could find a decent used, more modern tandem, for less than it would cost you do modify this one.

    Rick
    I'm old enough
    To know the score.
    But I'm young enough
    To holler More, More, More

  3. #3
    Senior Member Stray8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamTi700 View Post
    The truth is, you could find a decent used, more modern tandem, for less than it would cost you do modify this one.
    Ditto.


    Quote Originally Posted by woodbuda View Post
    And here's the cherry to top it off: I can't put much money into this, so replacing the entire cassette and derailleur is not an option. Any thoughts? Any additional info that would help?
    What is your budget? What type of tandem riding do you do with your wife/daughter (e.g. tooling around the neighborhood)? There are also inexpensive low end new tandems that are more modern (i.e. indexed shifting) that could be had for less than the cost of a component upgrade. Wouldn't be compaqrable to your Trek, but might still be enjoyable to ride Two up.


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    Last edited by Stray8; 10-24-09 at 07:56 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I doubt that anything is going to index with an Alpine Gear freewheel. My advice is to try to love it the way that it is.

    If you happened to acquire that bike in the St Louis area please PM me. If that's the case, I'm probably the one that's responsible for recreating it. If you're interested, I'll tell you the long story of how it came to be.

  5. #5
    Duo
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    We bought an old Schwinn Duo Sport this summer that was fairly beat up. The former owner put flat type of handlebars on the thing with an indexing thumb shifter. The wheel was an old steel wheel, so i replaced that and put on a new 6 speed Shimano freewheel and it indexes just fine with a 6 speed Shimano thumb shifter. The drop out measured 128 mm and i use a spacer so everything fits snugly.

    The LBS just says to come on in whenever i want to upgrade the thing. We are thinking of a 7 speed cassette now or maybe trying a 700c wheel. If it doesn't work then he will just throw the part back on the shelf. The old Schwinn Duo Sport is probably the best kept secret in tandem riding affordability. Originally built as a premium bike and now can be had for cheap. Hard to get info about the bike, so i had to learn bike mechanics myself to get the thing on the road.

    If you can find an old timey type of LBS i am sure they can help you out a bunch. Let us know what you do, it may inspire me to further mod this ole bike. Finding quality indexing thumb shifters is getting tougher to do, but i found that talking to the LBS many times they have stuff sitting on the back shelf.

  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Have seen a Gitane tandem with all shifting done by the stoker back in 1975 on TOSRV.
    It makes for shorter der. cable runs, but pilot has to tell stoker when to shift as he has best view of the terrain uphead.
    Agree with Duo the Schwinn DuoSport was an affordable tandem ($1,200 new); we did the test riding for Schwinn for 3 months on one of the prototypes and it was lotsa bang for the buck at that time.
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  7. #7
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    Thanks for input

    Thanks all with your input. Retro Grouch, you comment was what I was worried about. I think I'll end up selling this Schwinn and looking for something during the off-season this winter. Here in the Chicago area, the market for tandems is pretty good in the summer for anything above the Micargi/Kent/etc. internet bikes. I paid $250 for this in August. To make it more marketable, I may just move the existing shifters up to the captain position.

    For those that want to take a look at this beast, here are some shots taken this afternoon:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/woodbuda...eat=directlink

    For TeamTi700, the serial number prefix is HF, which I think translates into a 1970 frame. I can see on the frame where there was once a lever shifter for a 5-speed.

    Anyway, thanks to all of you for your help! While I used to do a fair amount of riding myself, the tandem riding will mostly be with my daughters, who won't ride with me if I'm on my own bike. My wife doesn't ride at all, but I think she's intrigued with the tandem concept (i.e., shared pedaling, close enough to talk, etc.).

  8. #8
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I don't think that's my old bike. That looks like factory paint and I repainted mine. I also installed an aftermarket fork that's much different from the one shown.

    My wife and I rode ours for about 8 years including some quite hilly 50 milers. At the time it was the best that we could afford. A few people skoffed openly but we were together and we were on the road having fun. I eventually sold it to a family who had a totally blind daughter. The daughter would ride a bike around and around their cul-de-sac. The dad wanted a tandem so he could do longer rides with her but they didn't have very much money. We worked it out. I still have fond memories of that bike.

  9. #9
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    "HF" is August of 1970. It started life as a "Campus Green" Deluxe Twinn. It looks like the only original parts are the frame(but not fork), stoker's stem, and chain tensioner.

    I would invest in moving the shifters to the captain's position and leave it at that.

    Enjoy!

    Rick
    I'm old enough
    To know the score.
    But I'm young enough
    To holler More, More, More

  10. #10
    Senior Member Stray8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    At the time it was the best that we could afford. A few people skoffed openly
    There seem to be a-holes everywhere sometimes...

    Glad that you had fun on it together despite the leers, and glad for the blind girl...




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