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Unknown Tandem Project

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Old 01-12-18, 11:12 PM
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Chukbacca
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Unknown Tandem Project

Hi all...

I saw an ad for a project tandem, the photo is below.

Can anyone tell me what brand it is?
Roughly what's it worth? I don't need pricing necessarily, even indicating entry-level or above would be helpful.
I've never taken on a project bike before, are there obvious red flags in the picture? Are there horror stories you feel compelled to share?
Thanks!
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Old 01-13-18, 02:38 AM
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Old 01-13-18, 03:20 AM
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Given the pump hanger and the Spécialités TA cranks, I suspect it is a French brand. The offside chainstay has a braze-on for a drum brake lever, but it also has studs for caliper brakes. Interesting!

I wondered if the red bike could be a Gitane. Here is a link to a pic from the 1970 catalog: http://www.velo-pages.com/main.php?g...geViewsIndex=1

The one pictured has equipment that is not as nice as the red Tandem you are looking at, but it does give you an idea why I think it is French! If someone in the past had tried to upgrade the bike by brazing on caliper studs, that could explain why it had been repainted and why there are no brand markings on it.

Oh, I should add that I bought a 1970 Gitane Tandem project, exactly the same model and year as shown in the link, for $80.
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Old 01-13-18, 03:21 AM
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If you have no experience with a project bike build, I would avoid a tandem project as your first build, even if it only costs $50.

That photo doesn’t tell a lot, other than the owner is sick of the project. As a mixte style frame, it could be French. Missing or broken replacement parts can be hard to source and relatively expensive.

A complete guess, but a Motobecane Interclub?

https://photos.app.goo.gl/t9lHZKajiEL5xx2W2
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Old 01-13-18, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
If you have no experience with a project bike build, I would avoid a tandem project as your first build, even if it only costs $50.

That photo doesn’t tell a lot, other than the owner is sick of the project. As a mixte style frame, it could be French. Missing or broken replacement parts can be hard to source and relatively expensive.
I don’t agree with this. Looks like the only thing missing is brakes and perhaps the headset. And it is not that hard or expensive to find parts, even for old French bikes.

A complete guess, but a Motobecane Interclub?
I did an image search and see that they came with caliper brakes, at least on some models. Good possibility!
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Old 01-13-18, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post
I don’t agree with this. Looks like the only thing missing is brakes and perhaps the headset. And it is not that hard or expensive to find parts, even for old French bikes.
Buying something like this without first seeing it intact would have me worried about the frame being tweaked, the wheels out of true etc. Although it may all go together, I still think there are to many possible "gotchas" when buying it in parts and pieces.
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Old 01-13-18, 09:18 AM
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That looks like a good one upper mid level? Maybe better. Go for it if it fits you.
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Old 01-13-18, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
Go for it if it fits you.
Unless they are very knowledgeable about bike geometry how will they know if it fits?
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Old 01-13-18, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post
Given the pump hanger and the Spécialités TA cranks, I suspect it is a French brand. The offside chainstay has a braze-on for a drum brake lever, but it also has studs for caliper brakes. Interesting!

I wondered if the red bike could be a Gitane. Here is a link to a pic from the 1970 catalog: Gitane catalog (1970-1974)

The one pictured has equipment that is not as nice as the red Tandem you are looking at, but it does give you an idea why I think it is French! If someone in the past had tried to upgrade the bike by brazing on caliper studs, that could explain why it had been repainted and why there are no brand markings on it.

Oh, I should add that I bought a 1970 Gitane Tandem project, exactly the same model and year as shown in the link, for $80.
I think you're right! Thanks so much for sharing the catalog!
I'm curious, how did your $80 project turn out?
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Old 01-13-18, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Chukbacca View Post
I think you're right! Thanks so much for sharing the catalog!
I'm curious, how did your $80 project turn out?
It is still in the queue! I had the frame stripped and powder coated in a really lovely early 70’s psychedelic green, but I am waiting for spring to get it all pu back together.
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Old 01-13-18, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Chukbacca View Post
Hi all...

I saw an ad for a project tandem, the photo is below.

Can anyone tell me what brand it is?
Roughly what's it worth? I don't need pricing necessarily, even indicating entry-level or above would be helpful.
I've never taken on a project bike before, are there obvious red flags in the picture? Are there horror stories you feel compelled to share?
Thanks!
I say go for it.
Here's my tandem horror story:

I bought this 3-wheeled disaster off an add in the local buy and sell for $20 Canadian. (about $16 US). The foggy picture below was the ONLY picture in the ad and I saw the ad for a week or so before i answered. It was on a farm about 20 miles back of beyond, in rural Ontario. Mine was was the first and only reply.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/o7c6er4t1e...efore.JPG?dl=0

I figured that with Campy brake & derailleur and nice Miche cranksets it was worth the gamble.
I left the brown steel rear chariot in the field and took the rest home...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ukuvf87oxs...After.JPG?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/k7qnnhfc0p...0copy.JPG?dl=0

I have been riding it solo because my wife has better things to do than gaze at my backside, but I like it.

Binky
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Old 01-13-18, 08:02 PM
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Chukbacca
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Originally Posted by Binky View Post
I say go for it.
Here's my tandem horror story:

I bought this 3-wheeled disaster off an add in the local buy and sell for $20 Canadian. (about $16 US). The foggy picture below was the ONLY picture in the ad and I saw the ad for a week or so before i answered. It was on a farm about 20 miles back of beyond, in rural Ontario. Mine was was the first and only reply.

I figured that with Campy brake & derailleur and nice Miche cranksets it was worth the gamble.
I left the brown steel rear chariot in the field and took the rest home...

I have been riding it solo because my wife has better things to do than gaze at my backside, but I like it.

Binky

I LOVE the three wheel ...table?
I'm glad to hear it worked out!
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-14-18, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post
I don’t agree with this. Looks like the only thing missing is brakes and perhaps the headset. And it is not that hard or expensive to find parts, even for old French bikes.


I did an image search and see that they came with caliper brakes, at least on some models. Good possibility!
Also missing is stoker stem and shifters. Also rear wheel looks like a disc brake, I though these came with drum brakes. These bikes used Mafac cantilever brakes which go for serious $$ if the bike is missing them.

I'm with OJ, I would avoid. HS for old french tandems can be odd sized and somewhat hard to find.

My biggest loser ever was a french tandem. I actually have two of them right now (shame on me). I'll be parting them out to recover part of my loses and get back some room in the garage.

Its definitely above entry level. A lot of the french brands only offered one tandem, which would have been comparable to mid-level.
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