A couple of years ago, I got a Raleigh Companion tandem frame and fork. Thought was, I could put it together with spare parts I had laying around or picked up inexpensively on eBay or Craig's List. As it turns out, these rigs can be pretty expensive. Seems it takes two of most everything.
When it comes to riding, I will only use it to get my wife out for spin. She is not much of a cyclist and not athletic at all. I ride over 3000 miles a year on a couple of road and mountain bikes. I imagine we will only take brief rides around the neighborhood or on a local rail trail.
To save on cost and to keep things simple, I am thinking of building with a single speed drive train; therefore, no shifters, no derailleurs, no cassette. I will likely use a standard mountain bike rear hub with a Performance Bike Forté Single Speed Conversion Kit.
This ride will have 26 inch MTB wheels with rim brakes. I am looking for advice on 1) where to get tandem-specific parts (eccentric bottom bracket mount, rear handle bar stem, tandem cranksets, chain) and 2) other thought on how to keep the cost down.
Question: For cranksets — Can I go with simple single-speed square taper cranks and buy three sets, using two of the drive-side crank arms for the rear crank and one of the drive-side crank arms for the front? Would this be cheaper than a tandem-specific set? Thanks in advance.