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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 05-22-12, 11:51 AM   #1
big chainring 
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Questions about Schwinn Twinn Sport

I hang out on the C&V forum, building and restoring bikes from the 70's. Today i picked up a Schwinn Twinn Sport. Its a step up from the classic Schwinn Twinn Deluxe. It has cotterless cranks, tubular steel fork, 27 x 1 1/4 wheels, and some other nicer quality features.

So here are my questions:
Basicly the bike is original in its frame and cranksets only. The wheels, brakes, handlebars, have all been changed out. It's a hodge podge of parts. The rear wheel is 27 x 1 1/4 aluminum rim/Shimano Deore solid axle hub.Is this sturdy enough for a tandem? Original to the bike would have been a hub drum brake and no idea if it was steel or aluminum rim.

The follow up to the above then is: Is two sidepull brakes(Shimano basic sidepulls) going to be enough to stop? I'm in the Chicago area, flat as a pancake, and this is going to be an around town cruiser. If we break 15 mph that will be fast. Although I will want to push it sometimes.

Can I use a standard quick release front wheel, again 27 x 1 1/4, or do I need a solid axle?

Thanks for the help. I have a Schwinn Twinn Deluxe that has been very dependable for years. It however is a tank. I am thinking the Twinn Sport about 15 lbs lighter may be a bit more fun to buzz around on.
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Old 05-22-12, 01:44 PM   #2
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I will take a stab at your questions:

1. Deore solid axle hub sturdy enough? Later in your post you state that you expect flat riding at or below 15 mph so I would say the hub should be ok. I assume that it is a freewheel which might subject the axle to bending if you ride a lot of miles. I would use it and see how it goes.

2. Older side pull brakes. They would make me feel uneasy. On the other hand you said that you are not bombing down hills so I leave it to your judgement. Since you are on the C&V forum you probably are aware of other options if you decide to change them.

3. All modern high quality tandems use quick release wheels front and back.

Have fun. I have added a link to Sheldon's tandem page which covers older tandems pretty well.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tandem.html
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tandem-brakes.html

Last edited by waynesulak; 05-22-12 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 05-22-12, 03:30 PM   #3
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^Thanks, much appreciated.^

I have the bike pretty much together and tuned up. It rides surprisingly "light". But then again I am comparing it to a Deluxe Twinn.

The brakes are the main concern. Very weak, but I think some new pads might improve them to where I will feel comfortable. Went down to the LBS and got a rear brake cable. They had some beautiful tandems, 10 times the price I paid for this one, and that was for a used one. If I can persuade the wife to get out and ride a couple nights a week, who knows, maybe I'll be shopping for a nicer one. But for today I had quite a nice time cleaning adjusting, aligning the front fork, all kinds of fun. Now its time to see how she rides.
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Old 05-22-12, 03:46 PM   #4
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Ready for an evening cruise.
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Old 05-22-12, 10:13 PM   #5
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I strongly recommend that you invest in some Tektro R539 or R559 dual pivot side pull brakes; you will go from scared, to comfortable with the braking performance. Double check the reach before you order.

If you push it at all, you will see way more than 15mph; Tandems are FAST. We are an out of shape 500 lbs team, and have seen 25mph of the level - no wind, very smooth surface on our heavy Trek T50.

When I was in High School, we lived in Wilmette, off Hubbard Rd on Country Lane; a couple blocks north of Lake Ave. I graduated in 1977 from New Trier West.

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Old 05-23-12, 05:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
I strongly recommend that you invest in some Tektro R539 or R559 dual pivot side pull brakes; you will go from scared, to comfortable with the braking performance. Double check the reach before you order.

If you push it at all, you will see way more than 15mph; Tandems are FAST. We are an out of shape 500 lbs team, and have seen 25mph of the level - no wind, very smooth surface on our heavy Trek T50.

When I was in High School, we lived in Wilmette, off Hubbard Rd on Country Lane; a couple blocks north of Lake Ave. I graduated in 1977 from New Trier West.
I'm thinking the same on the brakes. I know my wife and I have had our Deluxe Twinn up over 20mph. Nice to know the drum brake will stop you. So yes brakes are in the near future. The bike has some other problems as well. Its a project, and one I really don't want to put much money in. Probably will improve it as I flip other bikes and acquire some better parts, wheels, tires, etc.

I have a son at New Trier. The West campus is now freshman only, sophomore - senior at East campus.
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Old 05-23-12, 08:11 AM   #7
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Hi, have a schwinn paramount tandem 1972. the wheels should be fine. Mine came with mafac cantis and so I dont know about brakes. the dual pivot brakes may provide more power for you. 20 to 25 is easily obtainable with that bike so you want good brakes. It looks like a lot of fun and could even do for centuries.
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Old 05-23-12, 08:19 AM   #8
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My son rides my Twinn Deluxe around campus, it's a chick magnet. It's also a tank.

I agree about the brakes, that's alot of momentum...you are going to be challenged to make any sort of emergency stop.
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