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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 01-04-10, 10:32 AM   #1
jim_pridx
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New bike for Christmas!

Hello all! This is apparently my first post, but I've been lurking around here for quite some time. Anyway, our new custom-built Bob Brown tandem was finished recently after about a two-year waiting period and, needless to say, we're very excited about it. The downside is that we live in WI, and with the sub-freezing temps along with about a foot of snow on the ground, we probably won't be able to ride it until late March or April..... Still, after riding the same old "tank" of a tandem for the past 25+ years, we decided a while back that it would be nice to treat ourselves to a new bike. It's essentially a new frame with a few new components, but we transferred many of our older components over to the bike as well (drivetrain, wheelset, saddles, etc.). I'm not sure if the same rule applies here as it does on another guitar forum I visit - "it doesn't exist unless you have pics" - but here it is:







Just gotta say.....it's nice to be here, and hopefully I'll have time to post a little more often. Hope everyone had a great holiday season! We certainly did!

Jim
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Old 01-04-10, 05:23 PM   #2
Ritterview
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...our new custom-built Bob Brown tandem was finished...( Still, after riding the same old "tank" of a tandem ... it would be nice to treat ourselves to a new bike. It's essentially a new frame with a few new components, but we transferred many of our older components over to the bike as well (drivetrain, wheelset, saddles, etc.).
So, your old non-coupled steel frame was a tank, and this steel frame, with the same components but with 6 couplers (about 2 lbs) is going to be non-tanky? What with 2 lbs of couplers, is this frame going to weigh significantly less than your old frame? It will have better tubing, and nice lug construction, but I am just wondering if this is enough on its own to free you from the years of tandem tankiness you've endured.

Just as rock soup is enhanced by the addition of vegetables and beef, so too your frame might have even more of those qualities you anticipate if it had a carbon fork.
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Old 01-04-10, 06:03 PM   #3
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I dont know about the weight issues, but that is a great looking bike...enjoy it
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Old 01-04-10, 06:50 PM   #4
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Hello all! This is apparently my first post, but I've been lurking around here for quite some time. Anyway, our new custom-built Bob Brown tandem was finished recently after about a two-year waiting period and, needless to say, we're very excited about it.
Congrats and you have every reason to be very excited. It's a great looking tandem that was built to order and is unlike any other made. I'm sure it will handle like a dream.

Welcome to the forum. We looking forward to hearing more once the weather affords you and yours some time on the new Bob Brown.
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Old 01-04-10, 08:36 PM   #5
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Sweet.
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Old 01-04-10, 08:56 PM   #6
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Bee-youtie-full! Enjoy enjoy enjoy!
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Old 01-04-10, 09:36 PM   #7
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That is a great looking Tandem. Congrats on your new ride and welcome to the forum.

Bill J.
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Old 01-04-10, 11:34 PM   #8
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Congrats on the B.B. tandem. Nice lugwork too!
Don't get any chain lube on that white couch!!!
Fly it to Tucson for a test ride . . . was only 72 degrees here this afternoon.
Pedal on TWOgether!
RUdy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 01-05-10, 03:59 AM   #9
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So, your old non-coupled steel frame was a tank, and this steel frame, with the same components but with 6 couplers (about 2 lbs) is going to be non-tanky? What with 2 lbs of couplers, is this frame going to weigh significantly less than your old frame? It will have better tubing, and nice lug construction, but I am just wondering if this is enough on its own to free you from the years of tandem tankiness you've endured.

Just as rock soup is enhanced by the addition of vegetables and beef, so too your frame might have even more of those qualities you anticipate if it had a carbon fork.
You have a good point there! I will point out, however, that the old "tanky" frame was constructed of straight-gauge aircraft steel tubing, so the frame alone weighs somewhere around 15 pounds heavier than the new one, and this includes the side-braced tubing that isn't used much today. While it was considered a nice tandem bike frame in its day, it's very heavy by today's standards. The new steel-framed bike with the couplers, lugsets, as well as with the 48-spoke wheelset weighs in at just over 40 pounds, so while it may be a relatively heavy bike in some respects, it's by far lighter than the one we've been riding for the last 25 years. Between new components and reduced frame weight, it's nearly 20 pounds less, so that doesn't seem like such a bad thing. Above all, I just can't wait to ride it!

And, thanks to all for the nice comments!
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Old 01-05-10, 10:11 AM   #10
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Beautiful bike.

Don't know your team weight, or your intended uses, but I think a second set of nicer, lighter, wheels might add to your enjoyment of the new frame.
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Old 01-05-10, 10:47 AM   #11
Ritterview
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... the old "tanky" frame was constructed of straight-gauge aircraft steel tubing, so the frame alone weighs somewhere around 15 pounds heavier than the new one, and this includes the side-braced tubing that isn't used much today. While it was considered a nice tandem bike frame in its day, it's very heavy by today's standards. The new steel-framed bike with the couplers, lugsets, as well as with the 48-spoke wheelset weighs in at just over 40 pounds, so while it may be a relatively heavy bike in some respects, it's by far lighter than the one we've been riding for the last 25 years. Between new components and reduced frame weight, it's nearly 20 pounds less, so that doesn't seem like such a bad thing. Above all, I just can't wait to ride it!

And, thanks to all for the nice comments!
Wow, that is tanky! My 1991 Burley Rock "N Roll is around 45 lbs. and can be described as tanky, but your old tandem sounds like a refugee from the Battle of Kursk. Interesting to see what 24 years in advances in steel metallurgy, tube construction and frame making have wrought. That is a very beautiful and graceful frame, interesting that the couplers serve to ornament the look.
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Old 01-05-10, 12:12 PM   #12
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Thanks for the nice comments! And Merlin, we are indeed planning on having a new wheelset built sometime soon, for the wheels we now have are quite heavy.

Regarding the old frame, the guy that built it did framebuilding work as a hobby, and if I recall correctly, he had access to a fairly large supply of straight-gauge steel aircraft tubing. In all, I believe he built two tandems (he owns the other) and about five single bikes, then he quit building. I will say, though, that the old bike certainly served its purpose for quite some time, and it was literally "bombproof." It was also an unusual bike in the sense that the builder placed the eccentric ring on the rear of the bike as opposed to the front. He did this so that the crankset would be placed in the front while allowing better lateral movement of the chain. Of course, this required a very long chain, so we eventually placed the crankset on rear. Anyway, here's a photo of the tank:

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Old 01-05-10, 01:02 PM   #13
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................, we are indeed planning on having a new wheelset built sometime soon, for the wheels we now have are quite heavy.
Just an FYI, for our Burley Rock-n-Roll we had a new Aeroheat wheelset, on our old Shimano hubs, built up by this gentleman. Suddenly, it was like a new bike in ride and handling.

http://www.youngwheels.com/

Since he was only a couple of hours away I also had a chance to pass a very pleasant afternoon listening to him talk about "aero wheels", Rivendell, Ritchey, and other things. Very enlightening.

Did I mention the new wheels made it like a new bike?
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Old 01-05-10, 01:21 PM   #14
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Just an FYI, for our Burley Rock-n-Roll we had a new Aeroheat wheelset, on our old Shimano hubs, built up by this gentleman. Suddenly, it was like a new bike in ride and handling.

http://www.youngwheels.com/
He has an interesting website, and thanks for the "heads up!" I may just have him build me a set.
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Old 01-06-10, 08:12 PM   #15
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Wow! Beautiful bike and thanks for posting pictures. I know that you will enjoy your new bike.

Sheldon
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