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  1. #1
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    Can Anyone Identify Who Made This Tandem?

    I bought this via Ebay in March 2002. It has early 90's Schwinn Paramount decals on it, but the people at Waterford have confirmed they didn't build it. The guy I bought it from got at a bike shop in Madison, Wisconsin.

    I'm about ready to sell it myself, and I'd like to find out what it really is. Any help would be appreciated, to include any telltale signs I should look for. The only identifying mark on the frame is the serial number "77165" stamped on the bottom bracket (other than the apparently bogus decals).
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  2. #2
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    Is the frame lugged? Looks to me like it isn't.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  3. #3
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    More detailed photos of the drop-outs, frame joints, front bottom bracket / eccentric and fork would help, as would some component descriptions if you believe it still has some of the original parts on it.

    Rear spacing would also be useful, i.e., 130mm, 135mm, 140mm or 145mm.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    More detailed photos of the drop-outs, frame joints, front bottom bracket / eccentric and fork would help, as would some component descriptions if you believe it still has some of the original parts on it.

    Rear spacing would also be useful, i.e., 130mm, 135mm, 140mm or 145mm.
    Here's the specs for you tandem detectives:

    Sugino "XE" cranks, 54-42-32, 170mm arms
    Sun Chinook Tandem rims, Suzue sealed bearing hubs
    Shimano BR-C500 cantilever brakes (likely replacements; cables and cable hardware are Suntour)
    ICON front handlebar with CODA bar ends (this is the Cannondale house brand, so they were likely added on)
    Grip Shift 400 SRT FSS shifters (7-speed)
    Kalloy 26.6mm seatposts, Sakae stoker stem, no-name stoker handlebar
    Suntour front derailleur
    Shimano Deore XT 8-speed rear derailleur (certainly a replacement)
    140mm rear dropout spacing

    I replaced a Tange Passage headset that was shot, as well as one of the bottom brackets (Shimano) which was pitted. I also replaced the original no-name freewheel with a new Shimano 14-28 7-speed model.

    It looks to me the original group was Suntour with the Sugino cranks.

  5. #5
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    More Pictures of the Tandem

    Here's some more pictures. The TIG welding is very good, as is the paint - someone who knew what they were doing put this frame together. They also put on a pump peg.

    Also, they went to the trouble to drill and tap the head tube for a "Schwinn Quality" badge.

    Finally, this one has the split front bottom bracket shell with pinch bolts. The folks at Santana say it is NOT one of theirs (either the Santana or Solana lines).

    So, anyone got any ideas?
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  6. #6
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    I'm stumped.

    I know what it's not, but can't peg any of the characteristics to a specific builder.

    I'd originally thought it could have been a Ravello or Roberts, but there are some things that just don't look quite right, e.g., too long in the stoker compartment for a Roberts and the components are too old for an early ('99) Ravello Rocket and the TIG welds don't look like what I've seen on Ravellos.

    In fact, the TIG welds are way too nice for the frame to be an off-shore, low-end product and also suggest it's not exactly an antique or frame that was made in Europe given it's apparent age, e.g., late 80's early 90's???? Just a guess.

    The double-diamond / single internal in the stoker compartment isn't all that common and the ovalized boom tube looks pretty distinctive so perhaps someone will be able to have a better recollection.

  7. #7
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    TandemGeek when I'm looking over that build, it has '91-'92 Cannondale written all over it. Obviously this isn't a C'dale, but I think someone raided a Cannondale tandem for this build. Our C'dale has a Suntour front changer, XT rear. The 140mm really makes me wonder.

    What stumps me is that ovalized boom tube (sorry, Sheldon it is what it is. RIP). However, the pinch eccentric just doesn't match the ovalized tube. One screams high end, the other amateur hour.

    I actually wouldn't assume that Richard Schwinn necessarily would know whether this was or was not built there. That head tube badge sure seems like its been there awhile.

    My favorite Schwinn tandem story:

    http://cyclingwmd.blogspot.com/2010/...teresting.html
    Last edited by mtnbke; 01-06-12 at 12:47 AM.

  8. #8
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    Weren't there a few Paramounts made in Japan?
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  9. #9
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    This is only a guess but Dennis Bushnell has done tandem frame building for other companies. Could he have built it for Schwinn?

  10. #10
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    Here's Feedback from Waterford

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
    I actually wouldn't assume that Richard Schwinn necessarily would know whether this was or was not built there. That head tube badge sure seems like its been there awhile.
    http://cyclingwmd.blogspot.com/2010/...teresting.html
    Here's what I got from Waterford back in February 2002, shortly after I bought it:

    Kirk,

    Thanks for the email. This is a curious thing. I'll tell you what I know is real, and
    we'll depart from there.

    There have never been tandems built at Waterford. In the late eighties, there was a
    Schwinn Duo Sport tandem that was built at the Greenville plant. It had lugs and carried
    a decal that said "Paramount Design Group Tubing". These were set up for the road and
    had 27" (not 700cm) wheels. To my knowledge, there has never been a Paramount tandem
    with flat bars--I can't tell from the photos what components are there. The geometry is
    not anywhere close to the Duosport, or to the 70's geometry used on Paramount tandem.

    I will forward the pictures to Marc Muller (Paramount Design Group Engineer and Waterford
    partner). However, I suspect foul play with decals here.

    Feel free to call: 262-534-4190

    Tailwinds,

    Dirk Ingram
    Waterford Precision Cycles


    I should mention the decals are not cleared, so they were applied after the frame was painted. But, this doesn't seem to be a homebrew job cobbled together from two bikes, because of the build quality, the ovalized boom tube, and the long stoker compartment.

    Appreciate your interest in this mystery. Any other guesses?

    And, if you're in the Washington DC area, are you interested in buying it?

  11. #11
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Again, I can tell you what it's not... and it's not a Schwinn (wrong building techniques & serial number sequence) or any other "brand" we typically think of when it comes to tandems, but the presence of a serial number suggests it's not some one-off job by a hobbyist. Serial numbers are typically used by folks who carry manufacturers and builders liability insurance and sell to consumers. And, while it looks a lot like a Jack Taylor, it's clearly not... wrong serial number location/sequence and building techniques.

    Someone would need to send a photo to Dennis Bushnell to see if he might know who built it, as it reminds me of something he could have pulled-off, i.e., the nice and tidy TIG welds on a steel frame that may have been built when most tandem builders were doing fillet-brazed steel frames. The ovalized bottom tube also suggests someone knew something about designing tandems. However, don't be mislead by the use of a split-shell eccentric bottom bracket: Co-Motion even used those through the 90's as did several other excellent builders. It's just another way to skin a cat.

    The component mix is interesting and does indeed at first blush remind me of what you'd find on an early Cannondale. Even the front fork looks very Cannondale-ish, but Tange oversized forks weren't unique to Cannondale and it may not be the original fork. There there are other subtle differences from the C'dale OEM spec components and, frankly... they simply represent the types of components that were available for tandems in the 90's. So, beyond the vintage of the components being a possible clue as to when the frame "may" have been made -- to include the 140mm rear spacing -- I'm not sure there's much else that it can reveal.

    Again, hopefully someone will recognize it. I'm just throwing out my impressions, so I could be full-of-hooey with what I think I've been able to deduce from the clues provided.

  12. #12
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    Did Romic ever make tandems? 77165 is Houston zip code, could of been a one off build.


    http://www-hsc.usc.edu/~rpinder/RomicConstruction.html
    Last edited by danlikes; 01-13-12 at 08:38 PM.

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