Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: West San Fernando Valley, CA
Bikes: Santa Cruz Superlight 29, Novara Ponderosa 29
Newbie with questions on newly acquired Trek T200
I just bought a Trek T200 off of Craigslist. I am pretty sure it’s in very good condition. It is from the early 90s. It has the original tires on it with some slight rust on the bolts. The main drive chain to the rear derailer had surface rust on it and it was dry as a bone. It had been sitting in the guys garage for a long time. It came with a kids stoker crankset as well and the chain that comes with it. I have some questions about it.
I am new to tandems pretty much. I had bought a beater tandem off of craigslist about 2 years ago, added new tires, a new rear axle and two new seats. We bought it for my 15 year old son who has balance issues and can’t ride a bike. We recently moved and the tandem was stolen at the new house while we were away. It was a standard heavy one with 26” knobby tires on it and bad brakes. Yet we had fun with it.
Several weeks ago, I started looking on Craigslist and found one in a garage sale ad. He was asking $375. I had a budget of $225 and that’s what I got it for. I told that the guy and he took my offer. I was wondering if I got a good deal. The crankset teeth show little wear. It came with lowrider front racks and a rear rack as well. Wheels are true.
I have several questions that I need advice on.
The tandem does not have a tensioner pully(if that’s what it’s called) on the chain that connects the captain to the stocker. It has an elliptical bottom bracket which I am not familiar with. How tight should the chain be and are the elliptical bottom brackets hard to work with? I rode it around the neighborhood with my 6 year old yesterday, and I had no problems with chain jumping off.
How tight should the chain be to the kid crankset. I pulled it up on the frame to as tight as I could get it and then tapped it down a bit to get a little movement in the chain. It didn’t rotate stiffly. So I think I got it right. Also, does the kid crankset have to be removed for an adult to ride it, or can I just remove the pedals? I am thinking no, because the crankset is rotating.
I mounted the kid crankset, but it didn’t sit directly above the stocker chainset (left side of bike). The kid crankset has a fat shaft that sits in a press. I loosened the shaft and moved it to the left until the chainring was just over the lower stoker crankset. Seems to me the pedals for the kid would then be no longer centered below the kid. My son didn’t seem to mind. I just wonder if I adjusted it right. Maybe it’s just supposed to be that way. If I center the shaft in the press, the offset from the lower stoker crankset is off by at least 3/8”. Moving it left got it much closer, but not exactly over it.
It came with curved racing handle bars and a handle bar stem that is too long for me. Does anyone know what the size of the shaft of the handlebar stem is? I want something shorter and also angled upward to give a more relaxed riding position. It came with bar end shifters which shift very nicely.
The tires came with presta valves. I have always used shraeder valves on my bikes, just because of the availability of pumps at gas stations if you need air. I wanted to switch to shraeder valved tubes, but that means I have to drill out the current valve stem hole. The rims are quite narrow. They are a sort of dark gray. Can I drill out the hole on this narrow rim? Is it cheaper just to get a good hand pump, or switch out to shraeder?
I wanted to go with a larger tire. I am thinking of a 700C x 38 or even 29er tire. But I think there might be some clearance issues with the frame with a 29er tire. I have never liked the narrow tires, because I always I believe it’s easier to get flats on the narrow tires than maybe a wider tire. I am not a weight weenie, btw.
We plan on just using the tandem for around the neighborhood and maybe putting it on the car and taking it to the beach for a short bike ride now and then.
Just some observations. The Trek handles so much more nimbly than the old beeter tandem I had. It’s much lighter and can be moved in and out of the garage with ease compared to the old one. It shifts so much more smoothly. Everything is Shimano Deore. Brakes are so much better as well. I am loving it.
Last edited by teachndad; 01-09-10 at 09:25 AM.
Reason: missed question mark