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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 02-25-14, 11:41 PM   #1
Hawkie55
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The history of my tandem bike - Solving the mystery

Hi everyone,

I purchased a much loved tandem bike a several years ago and I would like to find out more about it. I purchased it second-hand from a bike-reseller and he told me it was from France.

The metal steering handle has 'Japan MTS101' printed on the metal.
A little logo on the pedals states 'Polygon'.

I am thinking that perhaps the frame was made in France and bike parts have been added over the years?

I would love to learn more about my bike but I am not sure where to look. I'd love to know how old it is, what company made the frame and where it might have been originally built.

I wonder if the frame is distinctive? Any advice would be appreciated.

Many thanks!

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Last edited by Hawkie55; 02-25-14 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 02-26-14, 07:00 AM   #2
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Hawkie55, Welcome to BF! This is a good place to start for info but I would also post over in C&V forum. If it is more than 20 yrs old, there are a number of knowledgable folks over there. It would be helpful for a picutres of the bike componants, brakes, front and rear derailluer. Often they have a date code on them and many will recognize them and can tell date range. Some other info would be useful.
1 How many speeds? How many cogs on the rear wheel
2. Spacing between the drop outs of the rear wheel. Different spacings will help ID the bike
3. Serial Number, if you can find one. Look on the rear drop outs, seat tubes, bottom of the bottom bracket, around the head tube.
4. Any stickers on the bike and what they have printed.
5. Measure the distance from the captains crank centerline to the center of the intersection of the top tube and the seat tube. Same for the stoker.

The unicrown fork is helpful as there was a time period when they did not exist.

That is enough home work for today! I would not expect this to be a high or even middle bike in the line up of offerings but rather toward the lower end. The reason for this assesment are a couple. The timing chain adjustment to compensate for the lack of an eccentric bottom bracket, seat posts, saddles and handlebars. Looks like 26 inch wheels too.

If you really enjoy riding it, that is what counts! If you guys get serious, there are lots of used quality options out there. We recently aquired a decent tandem but it is 20 years old. For its age and our skill level as a team, it works great and dispite comments of its ride quality, we don't really care as I am the one who rides hard, not my stoker and is intended for mutual enjoyment, not team racing. We plan on visiting battle fields and do casual riding on it. Should we get more serious, we can justify the cost of upgrading to a better frame and equipment.

Get a bag for the rear rack and do picnics together!
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Old 02-26-14, 12:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
If you really enjoy riding it, that is what counts! .
+1

I'm a little concerned about the captain's seat post. Was it bent from the factory or is it just bent?
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Old 02-26-14, 01:55 PM   #4
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I noticed that too but wasn't sure if I should say anything. On second look, I too would be concerned. This may also be an indicator of quality of the bike in general.
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Old 02-26-14, 06:44 PM   #5
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Hawkie - are you in Australia? Anyway, Polygon bikes are sold here, see this website for their latest offering: http://www.bicyclesonline.com.au/pol...shimano-altus/.

Providence likely Taiwan, suggested by the Polygon website: http://www.polygonbikes.com/ww/about. Your machine 10 or 15 years old is my guess.

If it fits and it goes, it's the gear.
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Old 02-27-14, 02:37 PM   #6
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Bent seat post is SCARY.

The front brake is a linear pull (aka V-Brake) which puts it mid 1990's or newer. The rear brake is not distinct in the photos.

Definitely has the Chinese / Tiawanese looked to it.
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Old 02-27-14, 05:47 PM   #7
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That is not a 'bent' seatpost. That is a laid-back seatpost to give the captain knee room because of what seems to be a short top tube. That, however, also shortens the stoker compartment quite a bit.
Pedal seems to be set several degrees out of phase, eite by mistake or on purpose.
We happen to like pedaling 90 degrees out of phase (OOP); photo attached.
With upright mt. bike style handlebars her knees should just miss hitting the bars.
Bet it is a rather short wheelbased tandem (Measure from front to rear dropouts where the wheels go in).
Most older tandems measure somewhere in the 65" inch range to 69+ inches for bikes from 1990s and up.
It appears to be a bottom of the line bike, indicated by the way the crossover chain is tensioned.
Quit worrying about the bikes heritage and enjoy the ride TWOgether!
Pedal on!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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