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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 08-12-13, 08:58 AM   #1
pathdoc
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Getting a second cheap tandem. Question about rear derailleur upgrade

Hey everyone, been riding my original tandem (frame from Chucksbikes, a Tsunami 26 inch wheel built up as a road bike) since 2008. Absolutely love my tandem. I usually travel with an attached Burley Piccolo so I can bring at least one child with me.


Recently I remarried and with that came 5 year old triplets. I want us all to be able to travel on 2 bikes so I searched for a second tandem my lovely wife could captain. She could take one of the triplets and I could take 2. Found an incredible deal on a 2001 Univega Sport tandem.


The Univega is obviously an entry level tandem. The total weight on this tandem will be sub 200 lbs so I don't suspect we will have any problems with broken spokes. That was the complaint I read about while searching for reviews on this model. I have an old Shimano Ultegra 8 speed rear derailleur
that I think might be compatible. The Univega comes with a Shimano C201 Rapid-Rise. Does anyone know if my Ultegra 8 speed road bike derailleur is a compatible replacement? My Ultegra derailleur was purchased new in 1997 and has very few miles. I probably have a good quality 8 speed cassette hidden away as well. Here is a link to the specs on the Univega.
http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...t#.Ugj2w-BdVSU

Thanks for looking. The reasons I'm looking to upgrade components are twofold. One, I love to work on bikes. Second, why not use better components if I have them sitting in a box in my garage. I would rather the cheaper components be sitting in a box in my garage.
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Old 08-12-13, 09:00 AM   #2
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BTW, got the Univega for $100 from a very nice seller.

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Old 08-12-13, 09:12 AM   #3
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Think I've answered my own question. They don't appear to be compatible.
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Old 08-12-13, 02:10 PM   #4
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The Rapid Rise are nice derailers for inexperienced riders if the bike has lever shifters. Harder and easier are the same direction on both Avoids the discussion of, ok to make it easier in the front, you push on the left side barcon and pull on the right side barcon
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Old 08-12-13, 08:05 PM   #5
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Just picked up bike, got it for $50! Incredible deal. Let the cleaning and adjusting begin.
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Old 08-12-13, 09:44 PM   #6
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New seats, all cleaned up and ready to go. Shifts and rides surprising good.
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Old 08-13-13, 10:29 AM   #7
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Wow, how can you go wrong for $50?

I don't see why the Ultegra RD wouldn't be compatible. Rapid Rise is a function of the RD, not the shifters. Rapid Rise has the spring set up to pull the RD to the largest cog, whereas regular RD springs pull them to the smallest cog. I've retrofitted several bikes that had XTR Rapid Rise RDs with regular rise RDs without changing shifters. It looks like you have grip shifters, so the only thing that might be different is that the marked numbers will be reversed (e.g., whereas "1" probably is the easiest rear gear now, it will be the hardest if you switch).

I wouldn't be surprised to find that your rear "cassette" is actually a freewheel. A lot of times they cut corners that way. Hopefully it's a cassette for future compatibility and ease of service.

All that being said, my take would be "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Putting the Ultegra RD on might add a bit of bling, but other than that isn't going to do too much for this tandem's rideability.
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Old 08-13-13, 10:35 AM   #8
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I have to agree, after seeing and using the original derailleur I can see no point in changing it. It functions just fine. Probably is a freewheel.
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Old 08-13-13, 08:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briwasson View Post
I wouldn't be surprised to find that your rear "cassette" is actually a freewheel. A lot of times they cut corners that way. Hopefully it's a cassette for future compatibility and ease of service..
It is an absolute certaintly that it is a freewheel and not a cassette. It isn't a matter of "cutting corners" on a bike like that, it just is what it is. And future compatibility etc. is exactly why I have no complaints when people buy "entry level" or even "cheap" but modern bicycles built after Y2K over some really high quality but seriously vintage iron from the early 80's... even the early 70's. Bikes like that a are a nightmare to make play nice with modern parts.

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