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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 02-20-11, 10:58 PM   #1
AngelGendy
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Craigslist find; Borthwick Tandem what did I buy?

We just got our first Tandem bike off Craigslist and I can't find any info on the bike builder.

Specialized cranks with Suntour derailers, Shimano cantilevers, and Specialized 48 spoke hubs.

The frame says Borthwick and nothing else...

Also my "Stoker" is on the short side and just barely fits, what can I do to remedy this? I only need about 1" less height.


http://albuquerque.craigslist.org/bik/2222488534.html

Last edited by AngelGendy; 02-20-11 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 02-21-11, 02:57 AM   #2
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My understanding is Gordon Borthwick no longer builds frames, but was based in Iowa. From the internet archive, http://web.archive.org/web/200212240...m/bp_borth.htm


"Borthwick Framesets Inc.
Builder Profile



About Borthwick:

Borthwick Framesets was established in 1986 when I turned a hobby into a full time business. I build only custom frames and during the last several years, approximately 80% of my business has been custom tandem framesets.
I like to think that the primary requirement of a custom bicycle frame is that it be worn like a tailored piece of mechanical clothing--

optimized to fit our bodies
optimized for overall appearance
The Bicycle Torque Coupling System is really well designed and allows all the benefits of a custom frame--plus, the ability to travel with your custom bicycle in a regular size piece of luggage.
Products and services available utilizing BTCs.

We sell frames and complete bicycles.

Standard frames

Not Available
Custom frames

Road Racing
Touring
Hybrid
Off Road
Tandem
Weeks wait 12
Retrofitting services

Only on frames originally manufactured by us
Weeks wait 12
Construction methods

Lugged
TIG welded
Fillet brazed
Frame materials

Steel
Purchase from

We sell through retailers but will sell direct in areas where we aren't represented.
Contact Information

Borthwick Framesets Inc.
628 Park Street
Grinnell, Iowa 50112
Phone: (641) 236-0968

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Framebuilder list | Cases | Packing | Photos | Reviews | Comments | Retailer list | Installation | Specifications | Cost | Retrofit or new? | Travel adventures | e-mail
S and S Machine, 9334 Viking Place, Roseville, CA. 95747
TEL. 916-771-0235 FAX 771-0397
e-mail: steve@sandsmachine.com"
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Old 02-21-11, 07:36 AM   #3
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That is a great looking frame.
My wife is 4'11". We were in the same spot as you in terms of saddle height. Our LBS gave us one of these setups


If you rotate the rail clamp 180 from the picture it gets you an extra inch or so. You can also do some saddle shopping and find one with a lower profile from the rails to the top of the seat. This worked fine for us but ultimately we found another bike that fits us better.
Good luck!
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Old 02-21-11, 09:30 AM   #4
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How exactly does your stoker not fit? Can s/he not reach the pedals with the seat down as far as it will go, or is it a case of not being able to stand over the top tube? If the latter, don't really worry about it, as standover height isn't as big of a factor for a stoker on a tandem. If the former, there isn't much you can do to make a frame fit that is too big. You can try a different seatpost that might give you the 1" you need, even perhaps a basic straight post rather than a standard microadjust post.

$600 was a great price for that bike, from the looks of it. But, only if it's the correct frame size for you both. A bad fit will make your stoker miserable, and may ruin any future chances of getting him or her interested in tandeming again.
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Old 02-21-11, 09:31 AM   #5
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Hup's suggestion above is exactly what I was talking about. Somehow I didn't see that before I posted!
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Old 02-21-11, 10:19 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies! So far I have found a lower profile seat taken off another bike, and my road bike has a seatpost just like the one Hup has pictured, hopefully the post is the right diameter.

Hill and Dale, I hadn't found that much information about the framesets, just a little blurb about them being custom! Thanks.

I think between the new seat and seatpost we will be right on the money! We aren't taking it out until the stoker is comfortable even though I'm anxious to get out there!!!!!!!!!

ohh and we got it for $395 The seller seemed cranky about the final price and the reasons for selling (former stoker) so I didn't ask him as many questions as I would have liked to....

It really has quite a few nice features I didn't expect, it even has mounts for a cycle computer brazed on the frame, and mounts for 2 extra spokes on the chainstay.

Last edited by AngelGendy; 02-21-11 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 02-21-11, 10:32 AM   #7
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Borthwick was a very meticulous/exacting builder in his day!
He was on our short list to get a new custom tandem back in the 80s.
Ridden and talked with the Borthwicks several times at tandem rallies back in the midwest.
Heck the wheels are worth the $395 you paid for it!
Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 02-21-11, 03:13 PM   #8
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The wheels may be worth what you paid for the bike, but don't sell them as you are going to need them
However, you might be able to get your investment back by selling the C Record water bottles on eBay.
I had some back in the day they were gorgeous and unique, they also leaked and made a mess of my shifting.
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Old 02-21-11, 08:29 PM   #9
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Borthwick built both tandems and singles although I have seen many more tandems. He is well respected as a builder and a good guy.
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Old 02-21-11, 11:17 PM   #10
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Those C-Record water bottles may be very aerodynamic. . . but yes, they leak!
You could sell the cages and bottles . . .
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Old 02-22-11, 08:50 AM   #11
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Within reason, you can make a bike that's too small work for a taller person, but you can't shrink a bike that's too big. I can't figure why you bought this unless your "stoker" is growing.

Anyway, besides the C-Record bottles and cages, the Arai drum brake is probably worth at least $200 by itself.
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Old 02-22-11, 12:58 PM   #12
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The seatpost and clamp did the trick, the bike fits well now, I figured I could find a way to get that seatpost lower otherwise I wouldn't have bought it.

Good to know about the Campy water bottles, I was just going to take them off and throw them in the parts box, I didn't know they had a following. they just look ugly to me....

So far she looks to be timed well and we'll be taking our maiden voyage tonight after work!

The bar end shifters appear to be friction only, and there is a 6spd freewheelon the rear.

Does anybody make a 165 crank for tandems?
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Old 02-22-11, 01:26 PM   #13
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$395!!! Wow, that's a steal. Congrats and have fun!
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Old 02-22-11, 04:09 PM   #14
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daVinci makes 165 mm cranksets.
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Old 02-22-11, 04:34 PM   #15
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ohh looking at DaVinci now..... This bike could turn out to be very expensive!
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Old 02-23-11, 11:51 AM   #16
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Aren't there some kind of adaptors that can be added to cranks for kids to use? They'd probably be on ebay often, since kids grow up. Something like this would let you enjoy the bike while looking for the perfect set of cranks.
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Old 02-23-11, 10:24 PM   #17
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You can also pick up a set of crank shorteners that would give you the extra inch and more. I had a similar problem with my 6 year old and solved it with crank shorteners and a special seat I made by epoxying a seat post so the underside bottom of the seat so it would sit just on top of the sear tube. Together that gave me an inch and a half so I could stick in a gel seat pad. The gel pad made it a lot more comfy for the stoker because they never know when bumbs are going to hit.
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Old 02-24-11, 10:39 AM   #18
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So far the only shorteners I have found look bulky, and add about 1" plus to the distance the pedals are apart.

I called DaVinci and may be ordering a new set of crankarms, the guy I talked to was very helpful!
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Old 02-24-11, 02:46 PM   #19
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This guy on the Web also does crank shortening of existing cranks: http://bikesmithdesign.com/Short_Cranks/shorten.html

Might be a good way to keep the cranks you have on there now and make them work.
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Old 02-24-11, 02:54 PM   #20
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It just occurred to me that you could move the pedals closer to the seat by turning the eccentric so that the bottom bracket is at the top, rather than the bottom.
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Old 02-24-11, 09:43 PM   #21
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It looks like this frame had the eccentric on the front but not the back. I had never seen that type of bottom bracket, what is the purpose of it?

Those Shortened cranks look good, but the ones I have now taper past the eye, and aren't good candidates
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Old 02-25-11, 10:37 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelGendy View Post
It looks like this frame had the eccentric on the front but not the back. I had never seen that type of bottom bracket, what is the purpose of it?
Sorry, my suggestion was exceedingly dumb; eccentrics are always on the front, not the back. My new bike has two eccentrics because I don't have derailleurs and I guess I was picturing that configuration.

The eccentric is used to adjust the slack in the timing chain. You don't need one in the rear because the derailleur takes up the slack.
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Old 02-25-11, 07:51 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swc7916 View Post
Sorry, my suggestion was exceedingly dumb; eccentrics are always on the front, not the back. My new bike has two eccentrics because I don't have derailleurs and I guess I was picturing that configuration.

The eccentric is used to adjust the slack in the timing chain. You don't need one in the rear because the derailleur takes up the slack.
Been there done that, after you get to know me you'll find I'm full of dumb suggestions! Don't ever let it slow you down!
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Old 02-25-11, 09:53 PM   #24
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Well so far here she is, I'm searching for a couple extra sets of eggbeaters so I can have them on all my bikes....

I did discover the small chainring is a biopace, and is a little too small for my liking, and of course I need a couple of Brooks saddles, and the Wife wants pink bartape on her bars....





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Old 02-25-11, 10:30 PM   #25
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Looks sweet!
..... I'm digging your "kickstand"

Enjoy!
Henry
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