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1938-1940 Sunbeam tandem frame for 1970 Twenty: Yay or nay?

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1938-1940 Sunbeam tandem frame for 1970 Twenty: Yay or nay?

Old 03-31-20, 12:22 AM
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cudak888 
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1938-1940 Sunbeam tandem frame for 1970 Twenty: Yay or nay?

I may have the opportunity to pick this beat frameset up - but a very interesting beat frameset. If the seller is correct, it is a '38, 39, or 1940 Sunbeam Model U. Unfortunately, just about everything is missing...and that's an Ashtabula front fork in front.



Seller will trade for a green 1970 Raleigh Twenty that I have here, which is somewhat of a duplicate in the stables. It also has factory grips on it now and a proper front tire:



The fork is the big issue. I could have a rough facsimile of the original made in the meantime.

Assuming there's no major frame damage (bare metal spots seem to be OK), would you guys say this is worth it, or a waste of a good Twenty from my stables?

I'm justifying it to myself from the point of view that a Twenty can be had anytime; the Sunbeam is a much rarer beast. Plus, I have a neighbor a block away who can shoot it in proper gloss black for about $150-200.

Given that I'm dealing with a frameset, it's probably restomod territory in the first place, so components...a big question mark.

Thoughts?

-Kurt
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Old 03-31-20, 05:24 AM
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I agree, 20's are easy to find. I've got a free 531 fork for you if you go for it. And more.
Weird 5 pin cottered crank, wot?
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Old 03-31-20, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
I agree, 20's are easy to find. I've got a free 531 fork for you if you go for it. And more.
Weird 5 pin cottered crank, wot?
Appreciate the fork offer, but said fork has to support the weight of two riders and a hell of a drum brake up front. Is it a former tandem fork?

The rear crank has two rings; the 5-pin system holds the second ring on.

-Kurt
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Old 03-31-20, 08:55 AM
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Or put a truss on the front end as part of your retromod.
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Old 03-31-20, 10:10 AM
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The tandem is a cool project if you actually have an interest in finishing it up. I know I sometimes pick up projects and then move on to new ones. So my new year's resolution was to not buy any more bikes until I dealt with my old inventory. Well that didn't last long. I picked up a '68 Schwinn Paramount and a 70s Mercian this year.
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Old 03-31-20, 10:31 AM
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I wouldn't.

Though if one has a pile of contemporary cruiser parts ready to go (period or era correct are costly), has the time, and doesn't want to deal with buying elsewhere, add dealing with shipping, etc. we'll then, have at it.

Disclaimer:
I too have a nice Raleigh Twenty and tandem. I can relate to the fun- Cheers
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Old 03-31-20, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by crank_addict View Post
I wouldn't.

Though if one has a pile of contemporary cruiser parts ready to go (period or era correct are costly), has the time, and doesn't want to deal with buying elsewhere, add dealing with shipping, etc. we'll then, have at it.

Disclaimer:
I too have a nice Raleigh Twenty and tandem. I can relate to the fun- Cheers
I get it - here's my own pro and con list which I refuse to listen to :
  • Pros:
    • I've got my pick of 35 pairs of black, modern 26x1-3/8 hooked bead wheels waiting for me at the Spin warehouse. Even if I don't go original, proper EA3 rims won't be an issue, and I dare say I can find some obscure drum brakes for it. I dare say even some modern Sturmeys ought to do the trick for the time being.
    • I have never really owned or ridden a proper, quality tandem.
    • I love old English bikes. The older, the better. This would become the oldest thing I have, next to a '49 Schwinn (which I wish would go away) and my multitude of '51 Raleigh Sports.
    • I have some black track handlebars from the '90s which actually look similar to the original combo...if you squint from a distance
    • I really don't think it'd be difficult to build it up respectful of its original appearance even if the parts aren't original.
  • Cons:
    • Damn missing fork.
    • I don't really have the room for it.
    • The repaint automatically makes it a money pit. Sure, I've got a neighbor who paints well, but it adds up.
    • I have no reason to own a tandem. I don't ride with anyone else. COVID-19 or otherwise.

FYI, this thing is local, so no shipping $ to deal with either way.
-Kurt
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Old 03-31-20, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Or put a truss on the front end as part of your retromod.
Seems like something I'd expect on an old ballooner, not one of these:



-Kurt
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Old 03-31-20, 07:55 PM
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Do it! Old tandems are a lot of fun.
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Old 04-01-20, 05:33 AM
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Yes I was being a little flippant and I scoured pages looking for an example of one but couldn't. Old tandems and other work bikes sometimes had oversize steerers as well. I think I'd trust an early twin plate mtn fork if you find one with enough rake. My old Pug had a cool fork crown.
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Old 04-01-20, 03:56 PM
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This tandem money pit turns your other money pits into smart moves!
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Old 04-01-20, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
This tandem money pit turns your other money pits into smart moves!
Don't get me started on my latest idea - "how to recycle e-scooters."



Thankfully, the idea would be to donate 20 of these, so I'm not doing diddly until some micromobility company throws scooters my way

-Kurt
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Old 04-02-20, 07:06 AM
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That Orangesicle looks like no monstrosity I've ever seen! That rear fender! The drive wheel! The battery/electronics unit! The umbilical cord! What a mess!

I say go for the Sunbeam Tandem! Build it with what you have! It is the perfect "Date" bike, for a C&Ver, such as yourself --- even in this strange and uncertain time!
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