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  1. #1
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    Good/bad kidback candidates?

    Keep in mind that I've never ridden a tandem, just read about them online, but I've been looking at pictures of some different drive configurations and can't visualize how a kidback would link in to some of them. Are there some tandems that are difficult/impossible to put a kidback on for some reason? Don't limit the discussion to newish stuff, since I've been eying a 1960s EF Schwinn on our local Craigslist for $350!

  2. #2
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    Starting to figure it out ... I think ....

    Hm. Just spent some more time reading about tandem drivelines and kidback setups:

    http://www.bikexprt.com/bicycle/tancrank.htm

    http://sheldonbrown.com/tandkids.html


    So I guess the usual kidback arrangement, if there is one, is to add an extra chainring on the port side of the stoker crank on a crossover-rear-drive tandem driveline, and chain that to a kidback crank with the ring on the port side. Sheldon also suggests, if the bike is to be used exclusively as a kidback, ditching the normal stoker crank position entirely and running the kidback chain diagonally to the port side of the captain's crank in a crossover-front-drive configuration.


    I'm not noticing any explicit mention of how to put a kidback on a bike equipped with single-side drive, however. This could be a slight problem, since the bike I'm considering is equipped with both single-side-drive and one-piece cranks ...



    ... plus, the default DIY arrangement in John Allen's article linked above, using two complete solo three-piece cranks instead of a dedicated tandem set or mix-and-match arrangement, is also single-side drive.

    I'm kind of guessing at this point that, especially in a fulltime-kidback arrangement with nothing in the stoker BB shell, it may be possible to convert to a single-side-front-drive arrangement, and run the sync chain directly to a kidback chainring on the starboard side of the bike ....


    Actually, wait a minute. I'm an unobservant cretin. A closer look at these pictures ...




    ... make it pretty clear that at least one single-side-front-drive setup was not only constructed but also taken on tours. Not sure how available the exact parts used there actually are, but I guess that kind of answers my initial question!



    (Obviously, it's supposed to be pretty easy to convert the Schwinn to modern cranks and use one of the recommended crossover drive arrangements, but that level of effort and extra $$/$$$ would make it silly to start with an outdated bike for cheap in the first place.)

  3. #3
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    I don't think you're going to be able to put a kid stoker setup on that schwinn without swapping to 3-piece cranks. IMO, it's a poor candidate for conversion.

    I would keep looking. If you want a hybrid/MTB style tandem, you should be able to find a lower-end modern model from a major brand (Trek, Cannondale, Raleigh, KHS, Burley) that will suit your needs better.

    In my experience, riding with a kid is a ton of fun. Good luck!
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  4. #4
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    I was surprised when I looked at a new T-900 at a local dealer, there's no place to put the kidback crank without hacking off a cable guide, but the saleslady mentioned that since the stoker seat tube is so short, they've put kids on the back of them with no mods other than crank shorteners and a non-boingy rear seatpost. Might take my kid by for a test-fit just for the sake of argument. Actually, that particular T-900 is slightly tempting despite my prejudices against aluminum and threadlessness just because the captain seat tube might be short enough for my wife to be able to captain it if she wished. Even has a 40-spoke front wheel (should be super-strong in 26") and mid-fork rack eyelets.

    I do like the concept of the KHS Tandemania Sport, especially since there's a dealer within walking distance of home ... should call and ask if they ever have one in stock. There's a Raleigh/Bianchi dealer in the area too, so I should probably check them as well before buying.


    I also discovered that the Santana I'd seen for sale locally is back on CL ... a '93 Vista (not sure exactly what that is) that includes a kidback crank and aftermarket rear drum brake, and appears to be already equipped with bar-end shifters and such. Though, since it's a road-ish bike, for it to work for me it'd pretty much have to come with something other than 27" wheels since I'm sick of being unable to find fat tires for my old tourer! Guessing my wife wouldn't be able to captain that, though.

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