Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Oakland, CA
Bikes: 2005 Bianchi Freccia Celeste, 2006 Salsa Dos Niner, 2011 Niner Jet 9, 2012 Marin Team CXR 29er, 2013 Rocky Mountain 950 Element, 2013 Jamis Coda Comp, 1993 Santana Rio, 1996 Santana Sovereign
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Is There A Tandem In The Past That You Wish You Never Sold?
Just thinking back a few years of a few tandems that I wish I never sold off to move on to newer and greater bikes.
My first great tandem was a 1988 Ritchey Skyliner, I purchased it in 1989 from the shop owner in San Francisco. I was new to tandem's in 1989, my main bike shop I went to back in the day was Sharp Bicycles in Richmond Ca. The lead mechanic had worked for Santana and had built his own tandem in the mid 80's. I did road test his tandem in the parking lot with my brother, and this thing felt like a wet noodle, I couldn't make this thing go straight with both of us cranking down. I talked to the bike shop in the city, me and my brother drove across the Bay Bridge to the city from Oakland. The bike shop owner let us take the Ritchey Skyliner out for a ride, wow, I thought, this bike cranks, no flex what so ever! Yes, $2500. and it was mine, all 18 speeds.
I rode it with my brother a few times, then with another friend. This guy was a hammer head, on steep climbs (off road), his head would push into my back. We did the Redwood Park loop one evening and he wanted to go out again because he thought we could be faster. We went out again and on our way back corning on a fast gravely trail, he was way off the bars in a lean, but the front end went out (good old Ritchey 1.9 tires). We got up, my riding gear shredded and I had much trail rash, his shoulder is hurt and is hanging slightly down. We needed to walk back to the truck. He ended up with a broken shoulder and I with a nasty trail rash on my thigh and butt. The next weekend, I did a ride called Hills To Bills, from Berkeley to Hayward with my brother as the stoker. I had a hard time at first pedaling as the scabs on my thigh/but were breaking open with every pedal stroke. We did finish the ride, we were the only tandem but still did not get any trophy. Oh well, it is sill a great memory.
The other tandem that I wished I never sold was a custom made by Mikkelsen in Alameda. I found this frame from a local bike shop in Castro Valley in 1997. It had a cool metal flake orange paint job and had decals on the bottom tube which looked like widows of an airplane with animated faces in them. I purchased it and built it up. I called down to Cambria Bike Shop and talked to Red on what type of suspension fork would work on a tandem. He recommended the Control Tech Lawell leader fork. I did what he recommended and I was amazed on how this fork did not flex with a 300 lb team. Yes, you would get a whoosh, whoosh noise from the fork when both riders were out of the saddle, but, it never bottomed and never flexed on or off the road when pushed hard.
Here is a poor picture of the tandem on the Flume Trail up at Lake Tahoe in 1997,
Last edited by 1speeder; 03-18-14 at 12:48 PM.
Reason: picture added