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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 08-11-14, 04:16 AM   #1
jjames1452 
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Question on First Tandem

How solid is the Schwinn DuoSport?
We purchased our first Tandem on Ebay.
(I guess I should have asked this question prior to bidding)
I got caught up in the whole Suntour barcon thing - as I love Suntour components.

The model purchased is a 1989, with supposedly 2-300 miles.
The bike will be completely serviced before riding, with new tires and tubes - and if needed - cables.
The bike comes with the original bar and seat - as the stroker was upgraded.
I am sure we will put our favorite Brooks Saddles on the bike.

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Old 08-12-14, 08:43 PM   #2
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Back in the 80s we did the test riding for Schwinn when they brought out the DuoSport.
We were quite impressed with the handling and fit/finish of the bike.
It had a rather short wheelbase (about 63" compared to the more accepted +/- 69") resulting in a tight stoker compartment. However my wife Kay (and test partner) is just under 5 foot tall and she fit perfectly.
A much taller stoker may have fit issues.
It also did not have an internal lateral tube, which we thought would affect frame stiffness; however it was plenty stiff due to the oversized tubing.
The only problem we encountered is that the front bottom bracket eccentric was difficult to turn/adjust.
That was due to the bottom bracket shell being a slightly ovalized. Had the eccentric shaved down a tiny bit in a machine shop and it solved the issue.
Have ridden 30+ tandems brands/models and the DuoSport was well worth the $1,200 cost at that time.
Schwinn never really did a good market/advertising job and the tandem.
It was built in a factory they owned in Missouri . . . if my memory serves me correctly.
That is a great looking twicer!
Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 08-13-14, 04:00 AM   #3
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Thank you much for the information. Much appreciated, since I know a bit about C&V road bikes, but zero about tandems.

My wife is 5'7" - so may have a little problem with the fit.
I am very much looking forward to getting out together on the tandem.
If we enjoy the time, but she does not like the stroker compartment, I will be back on the Forum asking what the second tandem purchase should be.
If she fits in the stroker compartment, and we enjoy the time, we will ride it until the wheels fall off.
If we go back to separate bikes, it will be a bit of a let down.
I have dreams of teaming up for distance rides with my wife like TOSRV, and an MS ride i am doing in Indianapolis the first weekend of September.
It would make the ride much more enjoyable to ride as a team.
The DuoSport is our 5th anniversary present to each other.
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Old 08-13-14, 07:18 AM   #4
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Congratulations and good luck with with looks like a very nice old machine. It seems to have all the essentials like a cross-over drive, front eccentric bb etc.

You probably don't need to exactly replicate the front-of-saddle to back-of-bars dimension of your wife's half bike because she will be protected from a lot of wind by you, but it's worth getting as close as you can. Try a stoker seatpost with a lot of setback to lengthen that rear cockpit. The stoker stem (might be a Nitto) is already pretty short. If the stoker bars are wide enough to clear your hips you can flip them forward too.

Worth reading some of the threads here on BF about getting started on a tandem if you haven't ridden one before. I found the tandem tricky when we first started, and we had to think hard and communicate clearly to improve our coordination. But it has been totally worth it!

Please let us know how you go along.

W
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Old 08-13-14, 12:05 PM   #5
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Brakes will be a problem since you only have the same 2 as single bikes & weight of 2 aboard

NB as U brake pads wear they shift the contact area off the rim and onto the tire sidewall . keep an eye on that, and re adjust.
move the pads to stay on the rim .

and the rear hub is probably a freewheel type , tend to break axles , but the axles are cheap to replace
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Old 08-14-14, 03:53 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice.
I will read the beginning Tandem cycling threads pre venturing out.
I want to make this a great experience for my wife and I. I want my wife to fall in love with Tandem Cycling from the first trip.
First impressions are important. We can take some short rides to get familiar with the Tandem.

Maybe I will plan a picnic in John Bryan State Park for our first mid-distance ride. That is one of our favorite parks. It would be cool to ride in the park, and have a picnic lunch, and ride to Yellow Springs to walk around and then cap it off at Young's Jersey Dairy! Sunshine, a beautiful park, a city lost in the '60's and ice cream - and great company. Who could want more! That sounds like an early September outing.
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Old 08-16-14, 09:46 PM   #7
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Agree, a seat post with max setback could help with the short stoker compartment. Also a set of wide stoker cowhorn bars could help stoker can lean/ride forward.
For a first tandem you could do a heck of a lot worse than a DuoSport!!!
Try the Duo for a while; if tandeming suits you-two you then will have a bit more experience if you want to upgrade to another tandem.
Oh, have ridden TOSRV on a tandem w-a-y back in 1975. One of the few years that it did NOT rain!
Pedal on! Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 09-01-14, 06:03 AM   #8
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Here is our first tandem before the maiden voyage. It is tuned, with new tires and tubes, and ready to go!
I left the rear rack, bottle cages. etc. off in case we cannot ride together, and I need to sell it.
(I pray that is not the case)

My wife informed me last night that I need to cut off the black foam from the rear handle bars and match the front wrap.

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Old 09-01-14, 07:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjames1452 View Post
Here is our first tandem before the maiden voyage. It is tuned, with new tires and tubes, and ready to go!
I left the rear rack, bottle cages. etc. off in case we cannot ride together, and I need to sell it.
(I pray that is not the case)

My wife informed me last night that I need to cut off the black foam from the rear handle bars and match the front wrap.

Looks as if you are in charge of mechanicals and your stoker is in charge of aesthetics. Hope your maiden voyage was/is fun.
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