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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 05-14-10, 06:15 PM   #1
Sixty Fiver
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One for you all...

I knew she was the perfect girl when she said she did not want a fancy engagement ring but would really like a custom tandem which is something I'll be drawing up with the frame builder I work with and the girl herself.

He stops by once a week and it is always a little show and tell and this week he brought a few bikes for me to ogle and I had to snap a few pictures of this new frame.

Here is some raw tandem porn...

Tubes are a mix of custom drawn chromoly and Columbus, the filet brazing and powder coat are done by the builder, Arvon Stacey of Arvon Cycles.

Hope you enjoy these...













I hope to be joining you all here very soon with my soon to be stoker...

Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 05-14-10 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 05-14-10, 06:23 PM   #2
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The other tandem is another whole level of awesome and will post some pics of that down the road... it is nearly complete.
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Old 05-14-10, 07:15 PM   #3
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Congratulations on both accounts.
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Old 05-14-10, 08:52 PM   #4
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That's an awfully stout rack on the back. Are you going to be doing some loaded touring? I like the paint, I'm sure it looks better in person though.
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Old 05-14-10, 09:02 PM   #5
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This one is not ours... the lady prefers a more set back position and I prefer a pretty aggressive one so it will be an interesting tandem build.

We might have to look at a recumbent model as well...

And the paint looks much better in real life and has a very antique look about it.
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Old 05-17-10, 03:45 AM   #6
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Nice rack. I mean, yeah.. nice rack. :thumbsup:
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Old 05-17-10, 11:50 AM   #7
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Nice. Take a look at English Cycles for some ideas. Rob English just built himself a very nice single bike with integrated rack.
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Old 05-28-10, 11:02 PM   #8
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Will be building up and test driving this one through the summer... it is an Arvon convertible in that the stoker position can be adjusted for folks from < 4 to 6 feet tall.

My 10 year old daughter saw this today and said... dad... build it up... so we can ride.

Hoping the lady likes it as well as the specs are perfect.

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Old 05-31-10, 12:47 AM   #9
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My only concern with that frame is how close the rack stays are to the stoker seat tube. There's not gonna be a lot of butt room back there.
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Old 05-31-10, 12:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Amani576 View Post
My only concern with that frame is how close the rack stays are to the stoker seat tube. There's not gonna be a lot of butt room back there.
-Gene-
Have taken a good number of measurements and based on my daughter's pedal to saddle position both of them will be sitting above the rack while my better half has legs nearly as long as mine and will be well above the rack.

Have seen children as young as 4 years old riding this model and could see no issue with the rack stays and can see it serving as a back rest if it was padded...

If it was a problem I could have the stays modified when the bike goes back for more brazing and a new coat of powder.

Should have the bike built and out for test runs in about a week as I have sourced the parts I need and am just awaiting delivery of the stoker stem, rear section, and matching fork.
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Old 05-31-10, 06:55 AM   #11
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Eccentric on the rear!

What is your drivetrain plan?
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Old 05-31-10, 08:48 AM   #12
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Eccentric on the rear!

What is your drivetrain plan?
Was told that the placement of the eccentric at the rear was to add strength and stiffness to the rear bb where the loads are higher and this rear mounted bb seems to be a feature with Arvon tandems... and this is a very stiff frame. The boom and many of the other tubes are custom drawn "Mesa Oval" and Arvon jokes that he called them this because he does not mesa round. These also add stiffness and strength to the frame and the filet brazed frame also improves the frame quality... you won't find any rolls of dimes on these frames.

Some other features I like is that none of the joined tubes have any internal connection to each other so most are impervious to water contamination... the bb's are closed cyclinders and if you did get water in the seat tubes you'd have to flip the bike upside down to drain things out.

The quality of the brazing and machining tolerances are incredibly well done... I was a machinist and can really appreciate nice workmanship and the turned pieces are all done by hand and not on a cnc. The eccentric bb is hand built like the rest of the bike and is as perfect as can be... my 10 year old daughter could adjust it.

Anyways...

Will be using good old friction with Suntour thumbies (will be running a trekking bar up front) mated to a Suntour VX group and an 8 speed rear cassette... am still running the gear math in my head and will probably have to make some adjustments once the lady and I get to riding as on singles I tend to spin things out at high rpm's while she has exercise induced asthma and can't spin like a gerbil on crack.

But she has amazing stamina and great power... have not seen many people who can hammer from the saddle like she does and she is by no means a slow rider. We think that riding the tandem will allow her to do rides that are beyond her single capabilities while I have no problem hopping on a bike and riding 100 km.

Will have a 52:11 as my initial top gear so a cadence of 80, which is low for me, will still get us up to 28 mph... we are not going to be racing but will be using the bike for longer rides together as well as getting around the city as a couple and with the girls who think we already need a second tandem.

For now I am going to have to work with three stokers... my daughters are 10 and 12 and are strong riders so even with them we should be able to push some taller gears.

Will start by using the same set up as I do on my touring bike with a 28/40/52 and see how that works with a tighter spaced 8 speed and have been working out all kinds of combinations and have even been playing with using a half step and granny since I am such a curmudgeon.
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Old 05-31-10, 09:16 AM   #13
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Love the built in rack design. Nice and strong. Rear eccentric is wild man.
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Old 05-31-10, 11:40 AM   #14
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I never thought the rear eccentric was anything but a good design idea... the builder is a bit of a genius when it comes to finding solutions to problems and feel that, as a life long cyclist who once raced pro and has logged more touring and road miles than I ever will, has a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't.

He builds a lot of frames with integrated racks and they do add a little stiffness... one would not be able to spring those rear dropouts to accept anything more than what they are designed for (135mm) with your bare hands.

His S&S coupled models cannot use his oval tubes although I am sure he will figure out a solution to this and have removable racks so that the bikes can be packed.

I am looking forward to receiving the front rack for the bike as it is another original design... will have to wait until the next batch gets fabricated and will probably order two for myself as my touring bike will also get one of these.

It has been a long time since I was this stoked to be building up a bike and it is more than this as it is an engagement present to my wife to be... she did not want an expensive engagement ring but said a custom tandem would be nice.

She is my Daisy Bell...
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Old 05-31-10, 02:17 PM   #15
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