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  1. #1
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Custom tandem builders

    We are considering ordering a custom tandem with couplers and are looking for a custom builder. I have looked into Comotion, Santana, DaVinci, Calfee, Bilenky and Rodriguez. Any good recommendation of others? Individual builders might be best.

  2. #2
    Senior Member chojn1's Avatar
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    Add Kent Ericksen to your list if you are interested in a titanium tandem that is a little different from everybody else's. They're a little pricey, but we're very happy with ours.
    CJ
    Last edited by chojn1; 07-31-14 at 01:12 PM.

  3. #3
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    We made a visit today to check out Panda88's new carbon Landshark.

    I found it most impressive in many telling details. I put my carbon tandem next to it, and no matter which way I looked, I could see that the Landshark was more modern and refined in its construction.



    image upload

  4. #4
    Member tstansbury's Avatar
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    We're thrilled with our coupled Ti Seven. Design process was personal, thoughtful, and thorough, and produced a bike with lots of built-in flexibility that should suit our needs for years. Yeah, it's high dollar, but we feel like we got high value, as well as a work of art.

  5. #5
    Senior Member joe@vwvortex's Avatar
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    Steve Rex in Sacramento will do custom steel tandems.

    That Landshark looks great. For $6500 for full custom everything frame it definitely has my interest.
    Administrator and Contributing Editor - Vortex Media Group

  6. #6
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    Examples?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    We made a visit today to check out Panda88's new carbon Landshark.

    I found it most impressive in many telling details. I put my carbon tandem next to it, and no matter which way I looked, I could see that the Landshark was more modern and refined in its construction.



    image upload

  7. #7
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    Paketa Custom Magnesium Bicycles :: Tandem bicycles colorado::Road Racing Bicycles :: Mountain Bikes:: Tandem bicycles denver colorado :: paketa cycles website
    Don't forget Paketa, who support this site via advertisements! Do the others? Maybe only Comotion?
    Our custom Paketa (coupled D2R) was a great thing on Corsica this summer!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tstansbury View Post
    We're thrilled with our coupled Ti Seven. Design process was personal, thoughtful, and thorough, and produced a bike with lots of built-in flexibility that should suit our needs for years. Yeah, it's high dollar, but we feel like we got high value, as well as a work of art.
    We too have loved our coupled Ti Seven built to our specs. They worked with us and our bike shop, including a couple of small re-do items in the frame, over the first few months.

  9. #9
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    Ti Cycles is another custom builder. We are very happy with out custom, coupled, titanium tandem.

  10. #10
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the suggestions.

  11. #11
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    I have been wondering since this thread started...

    What constitutes a "custom" tandem builder? Frame tweaks? Component selection? Choosing paint/scheme?

    Most of the tandem builders seem pretty custom compared to the mainstream bike market.

  12. #12
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrooom3440 View Post
    I have been wondering since this thread started...

    What constitutes a "custom" tandem builder? Frame tweaks? Component selection? Choosing paint/scheme?

    Most of the tandem builders seem pretty custom compared to the mainstream bike market.
    That is a good question since most makers offer some customization. I should have worded it a little more specifically to indicate I meant tandem builders that are not discussed often in this forum.

  13. #13
    PMK
    PMK is online now
    Senior Member PMK's Avatar
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    I have spoken with Scott at Quiring about a custom MTB Tandem. Pretty certain he is qualified from his riding abilities to build road tandems also, he does have photos of them.

    Tandem Frames | Quiring Cycles

    Check out the rest of Quiring site, in person the frames are very nice.

    PK
    2006 Co-Motion Roadster, flat bars, discs and carbon fibre fork, size 22 / 19
    2006 Ventana ECDM full suspension mountain tandem
    Some single bikes and a couple of KTM's
    And most important, someone special that enjoys them with me (except the KTM's)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    We made a visit today to check out Panda88's new carbon Landshark.

    I found it most impressive in many telling details. I put my carbon tandem next to it, and no matter which way I looked, I could see that the Landshark was more modern and refined in its construction.



    image upload
    I actually prefer the appearance of the Calfee. But hey I own a Calfee.

  15. #15
    Hopelessly addicted... photogravity's Avatar
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    Custom tandem builders

    Davidson.
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    Ridding the world of derailleurs, one bicycle at a time.

    46 Hercules Roadster, 49 Hercules Kestrel, 50 Norman Rapide, 51 Hercules Lion, 52 Hercules Windsor, 56 Hercules Royal Prince, 61 Fiorelli Tandem, 67 Carlton Super Race (IGH), 70 Schwinn Collegiate (IGH), 71 Hercules, 71 STF Hercules, 72 Peugeot PX-8 (IGH), 76 Raleigh Sports, 77 STF Raleigh Sports, 77 Jack Taylor Tandem, Early-80's Mike Appel SC, 84 Davidson Tandem, Late-80's Alpine, 10 Bilenky "BQ" Signature Tandem

  16. #16
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaddleSoar View Post
    Examples?
    Okay, I'll give an example of the rear seatstay, chainstay and brake mount. With the Landshark you don't know if you are looking at a modern cyclocross bike or a tandem. The seat and chainstays are coherently joined, the disc mount is fully integrated, forming a bracing triangle with the seatstay and chainstay. The chainstay is oblong shaped for stiffness in a vertical direction, not just a tube.

    In contrast, the Calfee's chainstay is a round tube, that extends out and then connects to the metal dropout with carbon wrap. The dropout mounts the brake, seemingly because that spares the designer from having to integrate the mount with the simple carbon tube chainstay. The seatstay is likewise a simple straight tube, and these are joined by a bolt. That bolt joining would appear to simplify the manufacture, but can hardly be the lightest or stiffest technique. I don't think you'll find too many modern half-bikes with this sort of construction, which appears little changed in many years.






    EDIT:

    Here's an example of a high-end, modern road disc Specialized Roubaix SL4. Looks a lot more like the Landshark than the Calfee.

    Last edited by Ritterview; 07-31-14 at 10:13 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    Okay, I'll give an example of the rear seatstay, chainstay and brake mount. With the Landshark you don't know if you are looking at a modern cyclocross bike or a tandem. The seat and chainstays are coherently joined, the disc mount is fully integrated, forming a bracing triangle with the seatstay and chainstay. The chainstay is oblong shaped for stiffness in a vertical direction, not just a tube.

    In contrast, the Calfee's chainstay is a round tube, that extends out and then connects to the metal dropout with carbon wrap. The dropout mounts the brake, seemingly because that spares the designer from having to integrate the mount with the simple carbon tube chainstay. The seatstay is likewise a simple straight tube, and these are joined by a bolt. That bolt joining would appear to simplify the manufacture, but can hardly be the lightest or stiffest technique. I don't think you'll find too many modern half-bikes with this sort of construction, which appears little changed in many years.






    EDIT:

    Here's an example of a high-end, modern road disc Specialized Roubaix SL4. Looks a lot more like the Landshark than the Calfee.

    I all ways thought that Calfee's rear triangle at the seat stays and chain stays at the rear dropouts was rather funky.

  18. #18
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    Co-Motion Macchaito approach to the rear drop out area.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    The Landshark has a very refined look. Some people really seem to like the Calfee designs but they have always appeared functional but a little unfinished to me. We are really talking about personal taste to a large extent. I don't personally like seeing the carbon wrap joints or the metal inserts going into the carbon tubes and would rather have those covered and painted. On the other hand the Calfee method shows the quality of construction and that there are not voids in the carbon filled with filler.

  20. #20
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    I've been looking at Duratek from the Czech Republic. Don't really hear of many in the US, but several EU race teams use them. You lose on the "go and visit" aspect, but the staff there has been great at answering questions and they offer much more customability than I can find on their site.

  21. #21
    Senior Member trayraynor's Avatar
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    An excellent custom tandem frame builder located in San Diego, CA is Victor Chang of Concept Technology: view his webpage here:
    Concept Technology's Home Page

  22. #22
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    There are some great builders out there.....My recommendation is to narrow to 3-4 bike makers.......ride them, determine your comfort with each manufacturer by material ie, carbon, TI, Combo TI carbon etc.....then determine which of those bikes you like the best...

    We did a test rides on several tandems, decided the Carbon was the best for us and our style of riding and chose Calfee for customization.

    Good luck.

  23. #23
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    Wayne; Noting that if you are stuck on a buying from a "custom frame builder", then I would pick Rodriquez or Belinky or Calfee as they are OMG beautiful....I have wasted a good number of hours in the garage just looking at them and marveling! For a "production tandem" that can be ordered immediately from stock most times; probably a Santana especially if wanting a Chromo frame (my favorite material generally). But, imho, you would be incredibly happy with a Santana, a DaVinci, a Calfee, a Bilenky or a Rodriguez in any of the available materials as they are effectively state of the art of riders. If all were lined up side by side, I am not sure I could choose just one!

    /K


  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Another thing to consider is what kind of warranty does the builder offer? Our Calfee has a 25 year warranty.

  25. #25
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    Here is a Bio on Craig Calfee: Product design, prototyping, manufacturing and repair in composites. Expert witness in bicycle frame and component failure modes.

    I have talked to several bike owners / shop owners who have sent their frames to Calfee for repair with nothing but high praises. I believe that the load path through the Calfee titanium bracket sends the braking force into the seat stay, One thing about the Calfee drops is that they are replaceable and can also be straightened if necessary. The Landshark drops would require extensive refabrication in the event of a failure. The Landshark looks very nice but IMO the Calfee is more practical.

    Wayne


    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    Okay, I'll give an example of the rear seatstay, chainstay and brake mount. With the Landshark you don't know if you are looking at a modern cyclocross bike or a tandem. The seat and chainstays are coherently joined, the disc mount is fully integrated, forming a bracing triangle with the seatstay and chainstay. The chainstay is oblong shaped for stiffness in a vertical direction, not just a tube.

    In contrast, the Calfee's chainstay is a round tube, that extends out and then connects to the metal dropout with carbon wrap. The dropout mounts the brake, seemingly because that spares the designer from having to integrate the mount with the simple carbon tube chainstay. The seatstay is likewise a simple straight tube, and these are joined by a bolt. That bolt joining would appear to simplify the manufacture, but can hardly be the lightest or stiffest technique. I don't think you'll find too many modern half-bikes with this sort of construction, which appears little changed in many years.






    EDIT:

    Here's an example of a high-end, modern road disc Specialized Roubaix SL4. Looks a lot more like the Landshark than the Calfee.


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