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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 01-12-12, 03:10 PM   #1
hartphoto 
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Another NOOB to tandems....

Just bought a used Phat 'Limo' single speed cruiser tandem to have some fun with the kids (and the wife ). Attached a pic of it (not our specific bike, but it is this one).

Got a great deal on it....already thinking of changing it to have some gears, but want to keep it as simple as possible. Already have 3 bikes ranging from Shimano Alivio to Ultegra gear sets, and have done cable replacements, cassette replacements, & many derailer adjustments over their lifetime. Not scared to DIY, IOW.

So, should I copy what Phat bicycles as a manufacturer does (go with Alivio 7 speed and derailed setup), or maybe the Shimano Alfine setup would work?

Any tips, links, suggestions or any other help on doing a conversion like this?

TIA for any and all replies!

Here's the pic:
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Old 01-12-12, 03:47 PM   #2
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Don't know anything about them, but it looks cool! Stylin' frame and good colors.
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Old 01-12-12, 03:53 PM   #3
EnzoRWD
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I don't see a derailleur hanger, so I'm not sure Alivio with work out
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Old 01-15-12, 09:43 AM   #4
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Have a few rides with it already, as well as a very thorough tune up. Tightening, checking, cleaning, waxing, re-lubing everything....and it rides very nice....much better than the test ride. It was very comfortable on a 1 hour ride yesterday with my 9 year old. ~9 miles....and she wanted more (but it was getting dark).

In some reading/researching....measurements for fitting an Alfine or a derailer setup (it does have a derailer hanger) seem to factor into what I can do. Rear dropouts (not vertical) spacing is 135mm. Handlebar is a 7/8" (22mm). Cable distance to the rear hub, following the rear brake cable path precisely, is the tough part, as it's It's 8.33 feet (100 inches including about a foot for slack/bends). The Alfine shifters (for the 8 or 11 speed hubs) only comes with a 61 inch cable. The frame does have plenty of cable hangers brazed on (one model of this bike does have a derailer shifter setup).

Will the Alfine setups work properly with a longer cable?
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Old 01-15-12, 07:05 PM   #5
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I have been trying to convince my stoker we NEED a Phat tandem for our local Freakbike Militia Chopper Night Rides. So far the answer has been a very serious NO.

These are pretty cool and can be found sometimes reasonable. Your best bet is likely building it as a Phat Limo 7 if I remember correctly. Guess my thought is on this one, why reinvent the wheel.

FWIW, there are quite a bit of chopper parts available. My goal was to build one of these into a Texas style chopper, with low bars and a long fork. Totally impractical but would be fine for chopper nights. I just asked again, same answer, NO, but now with a maybe.

Have fun with it.

PK
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Old 01-15-12, 09:11 PM   #6
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You need to get a tandem or triple length rear derailleur cable to reach.
Internal rear hub may also be another way to go.
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Old 01-16-12, 05:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PMK View Post
I have been trying to convince my stoker we NEED a Phat tandem for our local Freakbike Militia Chopper Night Rides. So far the answer has been a very serious NO.

These are pretty cool and can be found sometimes reasonable. Your best bet is likely building it as a Phat Limo 7 if I remember correctly. Guess my thought is on this one, why reinvent the wheel.
PK
I do have an old KHS with XT components I could swap, but just thinking it'd be cool to have it look the same as a single with an IGH. About $350 to do it with the Alfine 8 IGH. Bike was only $200 off of CL, so I haven't blown any budgets with it.

Have done several rides on it now. The kids beg for who gets to go first. Took my wife for a brief ride, and she says she loves it, and we need a babysitter for a longer ride! Yay. Her comment was 'it's like the exercise bikes at the gym, but it's got a live view, and much more fun.'

I may also swap the rear handlebars to something similar to the front bars to keep the cruiser 'looks' a bit more defined.

Zona, thanks for the tip on tandem specific cabling. Didn't think about that. More research to do.
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