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  1. #1
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    My Nashbar MTB tandem

    (Continuation of http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...3#post15656483 ... seemed time to make a "my bike" thread instead of dragging the "should I buy this?" thread on forever!)

    Just a newish offbrand tandem I scored for cheap so I can ride with both kids instead of just one. Finally got some pics of the bike in its current state. Changes since I got it include:

    - 40mm tires
    - Profile Design "Stoker" stoker bar
    - Pyramid/Falcon/Sunlite thumbshifters (I can't stand grip shift)
    - Planet Bike fenders
    - Velo-Orange "Porteur" kickstand
    - Bell baby seat
    - Solid stoker seatpost (for maximum droppability)
    - Pedals (platform MTB front/toeclip rear)
    - Crank shorteners

    All the parts so far except the shorteners have been from my stash, so at least the outlay at this time hasn't been too huge. This has gotten it sufficiently rideable for some test/training rides, though I'm awfully uncomfortable bent way over with the straight bars. Parts on order that should arrive next week include:

    - Nitto/Riv "Bosco" handlebar (swept design with 4" of rise!)
    - Mirror
    - Bell
    - Civia "Market basket" front rack (should hold a large pizza with zero hassles)

    I'm guessing I may also spring for a wide springy saddle, and barend shifters will hopefully enter the picture somewhere down the line. Cost of the extras has hurt a little, but it should go a long way toward comfort and utility for the bike's intended use, which is basically a car alternative for in-town errands with my 5-year-old stoking and my younger kid on the way back. With luck, more pics will be forthcoming once the rest of the junk arrives and gets installed!
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    Last edited by 1987cp; 05-28-13 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Spellcheck doesn't underline if it's a real word ....

  2. #2
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new-to-you tandem!
    Enjoy the rides with the kidz!

  3. #3
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    Thanks! The boy and I rode it to a nearby diner yesterday, and I was pretty impressed with it (other than the low straight bars creating much vacuum). He thinks it's neat to be able to pedal on a big bike, and is learning a little about derailer gearing.

    I'm sure comparing to a Burley or Santana would show up more of its faults than I've noticed (mostly cost-savings measures like offbrand brakes and riveted chainrings), but it's fun when cheap can still be pretty decent.

  4. #4
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    I think it looks GREAT! The right tool for the job. Post pics of your updates when you make them. Many happy miles to you all!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Paul J's Avatar
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    I don't remember what you paid but the drag brake was a find in and of it's self, looks great! We had an old Gitane tandem in the 80's and our oldest daughter rode on the back and we pulled the younger dautghter in the Burley tailer.
    1982 Merckx Campy Super Record, 1995 Merckx Campy Centaur 10, Bushnell Tandem

  6. #6
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    That frame was originally made for Yokota's "Twin Peaks" tandem. The Yokota spec was for TruTemper tubing and mid range Shimano components (LX and XT mix) For the Nashbar spec they used a mix of Cromoly and HiTen steel. We have a 1992 Yokota twin peaks (purchased new) that we still ride regularly.

  7. #7
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velonomad View Post
    That frame was originally made for Yokota's "Twin Peaks" tandem. The Yokota spec was for TruTemper tubing and mid range Shimano components (LX and XT mix) For the Nashbar spec they used a mix of Cromoly and HiTen steel. We have a 1992 Yokota twin peaks (purchased new) that we still ride regularly.
    No kidding! I noticed that the design looked just like Yokota pictures I'd seen, but didn't know if it was a superficial similarity.


    ** EDIT **

    I've found stickers on both seat tubes reading:

    TrueTemper
    FRAME TUBE Chr-Mo
    MADE IN U.S.A.

    On the rear "downtube", a small sticker reads "Made in TAIWAN"

    On the headtube, a horizontal sticker reads "Made in Taiwan ROC"


    Can't seem to find any stickers on the fork except for a lengthy warning explaining why you should close the skewer before riding. Since the bike apparently came with an exposed-cam skewer, the fork has those irritating "lawyer lips" to do the job of actually keeping the wheel on, but I intend to swap in a normal skewer at some point.
    Last edited by 1987cp; 05-30-13 at 11:46 PM. Reason: Looked @ frame more closely

  8. #8
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    Recommend pulling out the Captains seat post to make sure it is a really long one. You would want it to go down into the seat tube to the depth of the lateral tube. Otherwise, you might break riding with the seat up that high. I found really long seat post on Amazon in the $10 price range so it wouldn't be a hugh hit to fix.

    Re the frame; The very short headtube puts some real limits on the overall strength. On such a small frame, designing it to use a smaller diameter wheel would have been a good idea or using a stepped top tube to get the rear toptube down low like it is without requiring the front top tube to be so low which led to the small headtube, etc. The down spec'ing for Nashbar sales (at a lower price point) from the original full chomo tube Yokota spec's probably achieved by downgrading the top tubes, rear stays and the lateral tube from chromo to hi-tensile steel, thus leading to the quasi-marathon design and the crossed/overlapped lateral tube. Hopefully the folk is chromo....

  9. #9
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
    ... you might break riding with the seat up that high.
    The captain's seatpost terminates immediately above the intersection of the diagonal crossbrace with the seat tube, and is inserted to 2" above the minimum insertion mark, if that's what you're asking. You don't specify what it is that you expect to break ... my concern would be the seatpost bending or breaking, having bent cheap posts before.

  10. #10
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    Civia Market Basket rack received and installed! I discovered to my slight disappointment that the dimensions I found for it are slightly incorrect - I read that it was 14.5" x 15.5". Measurements of my specimen are app. 15-5/8" x 14-1/8" on the outside of the rails and more like 14-7/8" x 13-3/8" on the inside. It's still plenty useful, but it doesn't actually hold a 14" pizza fully inside like I'd hoped.

    I'm undecided on whether to mount the pair of cool bamboo sides that same with it. It'd seem a little more logical to have a panel on all four sides ... still, I got this NIB on eBay with the sides included, and sold new it doesn't include the sides, so I could maybe sell them and pretend I got the rack a bit cheaper.
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  11. #11
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    Bosco bars arrived yesterday and were installed.


    Random notes: I can kind of understand Riv's suggestion to trim the ends of this bar a bit if they just come too far back for comfort, but I'm thinking I'll be happier adding a longer stem (even more so if I find someone who'll let me try out a few!). For now, I've slid the controls forward an inch or so to give more hand-position flexibility.

    I've never had a mirror on a bike before, so learning to use this one will take some time.

    Now I need to tape the stoker bar, at least temporarily, to convince the boy that he really wants to have his hands on tape instead of bare painted metal. And see if I have another matching set of corks that looks right as bar-end plugs ....
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  12. #12
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    "Market Basket" proves awesome!

    I've taken a couple of rides with a more-or-less full load, and the Civia basket works really well! For one short ride I bungeed our diaper bag underneath the side of it and my son's ATA bag across the top sideways, and it felt very stable. Front wheel floppage-whilst-parked is of course an issue, so I twined the fork-crown strut thing where it likes to contact the frame. Granted, my previous front rack arrangement was quite heavy and not terribly stable (a cheap rear rack with homemade fork-crown stud and collapsible baskets stuck to the sides), but I'm just really impressed with this one so far. The "Irish" cargo strap from Rivendell is surprisingly handy as well.


    Probably the worst point about the bike so far is that the wheels need truing. Truing takes me forever and is never much better than "acceptable" when I'm done, so I'm considering actually having a pro do it this time ....
    Last edited by 1987cp; 06-16-13 at 12:43 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    We have utilized mirror mounted on our glasses frame for decades; less hassle than one on the handlebars.

  14. #14
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    We have utilized mirror mounted on our glasses frame for decades; less hassle than one on the handlebars.
    ditto on the glasses/helmet visor mirrors.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  15. #15
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    So far I'm adapting to the bar-mount mirror pretty well. I'd probably forget to bring a glasses-mount mirror, or more likely, lose it.

    Today I drove the star nut down the steerer a bit and began experimenting with the ~140mm (my measurement) chromoly quill stem from my '91 mountain bike. So far, so good. Will definitely be trying to add bar end shifters sometime soon ....

  16. #16
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    I have almost the same tandem except mine came with "pretzel" trekking bars and twist grip shifters for the captain and a flat bar with bar ends for the stoker. Based on frame design and the component spec the 98-99ish Nashbar tandem appears to be a relabeled KHS Tandemania Sport.
    Thanks for the kickstand info since I found this thread while looking for kickstand recommendations. Have you had any issues with the V-O kickstand and stability? Personally I have been looking at a Pletscher double stand but I'm a littl concerned about clearance around the drum brake anchor.

  17. #17
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowJoeCrow View Post
    I have almost the same tandem except mine came with "pretzel" trekking bars and twist grip shifters for the captain and a flat bar with bar ends for the stoker. Based on frame design and the component spec the 98-99ish Nashbar tandem appears to be a relabeled KHS Tandemania Sport.
    Thanks for the kickstand info since I found this thread while looking for kickstand recommendations. Have you had any issues with the V-O kickstand and stability? Personally I have been looking at a Pletscher double stand but I'm a littl concerned about clearance around the drum brake anchor.

    Neat info. It's a good bike, even if I haven't gotten quite the use out of it I'd hoped. I may have mentioned early on that this bike also came with grip shifts, but I hate grip shifts, so they were the first component to go.

    Unfortunately, I've decided that the Bosco bar (especially with the barcons I bought for it last summer) might not have been the best handlebar solution for me due to lack of knee clearance at low speeds and whilst mounting/dismounting - and in my town I spend a LOT of time at fairly low speeds, and mounting and dismounting too. I'm also not nuts about the long reach down to the center section of the bar.

    So, my new bright idea is to try the Velo Orange "Milan" bar mounted in the original 90mm threadless stem, atop a Delta Stem Raiser Pro. I think this arrangement will provide about the same grip height I have now, but with nothing to hit my knees. I might talk myself into getting VO's thumbshifter mounts so I can keep using the nice Suntour ratchet shifters from my fancy barcon setup, and I definitely need to get some new cables in any event. I haven't actually ordered anything yet, though.

    As for the VO Porteur kickstand, it works well on this bike. When I tried it on my solo bike, I had continual chain-interference issues with the right-hand leg that I solved partly by swapping to a short-cage derailer and partly by adjusting the retraction stop on the stand so the legs didn't come up very far. The mount also sticks down far enough that I couldn't put that bike on my super-cheap work stand that supports the bike under the BB shell. However, on this bike it's been basically no trouble at all. It is possible to retract the Porteur just by rolling the bike forward, which I find convenient - not sure if that's possible with the Pletscher or Copenhagen stands. I may have read somewhere that this stand is actually stronger than the twin-leg Pletscher, but I bought it mainly because it's the cheapest twin-legger that retracts a bit side-to-side. One oddity is that the leg-adjust set screws don't seem to actually do anything, so there's always the slight chance of a leg changing length unexpectedly, but in practice I've rarely had that happen.
    Last edited by 1987cp; 05-05-14 at 07:30 AM.
    Raleigh (USA) Alyeska: 38-622 tires, Albatross bar, barcons, Axiom folding baskets
    Nashbar MTB tandem: Albatross bar, Stem Raiser Pro, stem shifters, Market Basket

  18. #18
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    Now, what is going on here? Looks weird, right?

    So yesterday I received the Delta Stem Raiser Pro (advertised to raise your threadless stem up to 4.6", though after running around with the Bosco bar with its 4" rise that's not as much as it sounds), and the Velo Orange Postino handlebar, so I drove the star nut out the bottom of the steerer, re-bent the tabs, and installed the raiser and bar with the old 90mm/15 degree "Power Tools" stem that came with the bike.

    So far, so good. Except that now there's nowhere to mount my nice bar-end shifters! I tried installing some nice old thumbshifters upside down like this, only to find that with my shifters and brake levers, when the shifters are in what I think will be a convenient position, the shift levers hit the heads of the brake lever clamping bolts! So I'm guessing that arrangement only really works if one is using what I'll call a low-profile brake lever, which gains more clearance by putting the clamping screw opposite the lever itself. I also mocked it up with the thumbshifters outboard of the grips, which could probably work but looked likely to be rather annoying.

    THEN, a weird thought occurred to me. I have two sets of old stem-mount shifters, if only there were a way to mount them. And people have figured out various gizmos for mounting junk on top of a threadless steerer ... if only I could mount something that my stem shifters could hook to ..... like maybe .... a quill stem? Surprisingly, I found that the ID of the threadless Delta Stem Raiser is about right to fit a 22.2mm stem quill, so I stuck one in and mocked up some stem shifters. My nice new Jagwire Slick shift cables arrived today, so I'll likely be giving this odd-looking arrangement a go soon.

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    Last edited by 1987cp; 05-14-14 at 03:16 PM.
    Raleigh (USA) Alyeska: 38-622 tires, Albatross bar, barcons, Axiom folding baskets
    Nashbar MTB tandem: Albatross bar, Stem Raiser Pro, stem shifters, Market Basket

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Those stem shifters bring back memories of the 70s and 80, although the stem on a stem looks a bit bloody minded. The mirror on the basket is really clever though.

  20. #20
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    It does look pretty daffy, doesn't it? A better solution along these lines might be to cut up a disused quill stem to make just a stubby little shifter adapter that sticks up no farther than the top of the shifter mount. Yet another weird alternative might be to stick a short piece of 23.8mm handlebar into a second stem and insert my bar-end shifters into that, so that they stick out sideways, but that'd probably be weirder still. (I blame Sheldon Brown's personal bike gallery for getting me thinking of weird ways to mount stuff.)

    Another stem-shifter alternative I thought of is that it might be possible to get one of the older stem shifters that installed as part of the headset stack, but I'm a little skeptical whether those could be enlarged enough to fit the 1-1/8" steerer. I also saw an Origin8 brand downtube shifter adapter that some Amazon review said s/he had installed on the headset ... I assume that must have been in combination with a separate cable stop.


    (I was a little surprised last summer or thereabouts to read that stem shifters are apparently acceptable again!)
    Last edited by 1987cp; 05-15-14 at 12:17 PM.
    Raleigh (USA) Alyeska: 38-622 tires, Albatross bar, barcons, Axiom folding baskets
    Nashbar MTB tandem: Albatross bar, Stem Raiser Pro, stem shifters, Market Basket

  21. #21
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    Update: I may have found a respectable solution to the added-quill funkiness. Suntour ratchet Powershifters on a modified Huret downtube mount that happens to fit the Stem Raiser pretty nicely. No clue why this mount had cable stops, but I'm willing to take advantage of its versatility.



    This mounting solution isn't as nice as the fancy IRD stem mounts for traditional quill stems, but it allows the levers to clear the clamp-on stem and so far seems to work nicely. There's no over-travel stop for the levers, but I don't think that'll be a problem in practice.



    Raleigh (USA) Alyeska: 38-622 tires, Albatross bar, barcons, Axiom folding baskets
    Nashbar MTB tandem: Albatross bar, Stem Raiser Pro, stem shifters, Market Basket

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    That setup looks a lot more elegant. I think Huret put cable stops on the band because that's the way the French do it. I've seen a similar setup on the old Simplex plastic shifters, including an oddball single sided number on a 70s Peugeot that had a braze on mount for the rear derailleur and and a clamp on for the front derailleur because Peugeot used the same frame for both5 and 10 speed bikes.
    Have you considered getting thumb shifters or trigger shifters? The Falcon 7 speeds are kind of nasty but Microshift makes nice looking Rapid Fire style shifters and some very nice thumb shifters or you could get conversion mounts for your bar ends.

  23. #23
    Albatross bars are cool!! 1987cp's Avatar
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    Thumbshifters were actually my first idea. I think I'd like this sort of arrangement since recent experiments with shifters on top of the bar have been kind of annoying, but I wasn't able to make that work with the shift and brake levers I have. Looks like I may have to get the Tektro FL750 or VO City levers to really make that work, and I think that'd in turn mean converting to cantilever brakes ... not that I'm not sort of considering that anyway, but all that may be a bag of worms for sometime in the future!


    EDIT: Scratch that about having to swap brakes if I get low-profile levers - I hadn't known about the Tektro CL740 brake lever, which is the same design but for V brakes.
    Last edited by 1987cp; 05-23-14 at 02:52 PM.
    Raleigh (USA) Alyeska: 38-622 tires, Albatross bar, barcons, Axiom folding baskets
    Nashbar MTB tandem: Albatross bar, Stem Raiser Pro, stem shifters, Market Basket

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Bit of a thread bump, now that I have done some mods to my Nashbar and have some pictures. I believe I am the third owner and the second owner just swapped pedals and saddles so the pretzel bars, Specialized captain's stem and the stoker's bar ends are down to the first owner, along with the rather kludgy rear rack. My mods were aimed a better braking and nicer seatposts, plus the essential fenders. This overall shot shows the double leg kickstand (Ultracycle brand but the same basic part as the Velo-Orange). The area around the chainstay bridge is very tight and I had to replace the fender bolt with a zip tie to make room for the kickstand, chain clearance is also tight but the conveience is worth it. The black single bolt seatposts in place of the silver straight posts (Nashbar for the stoker, Kalloy for the captain) and the new stoker post is at least a pound lighter which makes up for the weight of the kickstand.. I also upgraded the brakes with Koolstop Salmon/Black pads (more progressive than Salmon) and some minor drum brake tweaks I'll put in the next post. I also swapped the Terry stoker's saddle for a Bontrager part since my daughter wanted more padding.
    IMAG0381_640.jpg
    Last edited by SlowJoeCrow; 06-15-14 at 09:30 PM. Reason: extra info

  25. #25
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    The rear drum got a Tandems East quick disconnect cable anchor, and an Allen head bolt in place of the original Phillips head for the brake torque arm to make rear wheel removal easier. You can also see the big Phillips head screw for the rack where somebody hogged out the eyelets from M5 to M6, except for the left fender stay.
    IMAG0382_640.jpg
    Next items on the list are to replace the bar tape with Grab-On foam grips, get a WTB saddle for the captain and maybe some Microshift 7 speed triggers to replace the Shimano twist grip shifters. Not shown in are the circa 1978 Cannondale panniers that haul our stuff, and the Detours handlebar bag on the stoker's bars for odds and ends.

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