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Vintage tandem ID

Old 07-17-22, 09:41 PM
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Vintage tandem ID

Looking for a maker ID on this frame. Serial number T3 783 . Front fork has extra bracing. Only a Wheelsmith sticker on seat tube.


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Old 07-18-22, 02:23 PM
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Couple more pictures.




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Old 07-18-22, 02:33 PM
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Wow, I have no idea, but it's pretty interesting. Maybe a custom?
What is the gizmo that's hanging by the front brake?
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Old 07-18-22, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
Wow, I have no idea, but it's pretty interesting. Maybe a custom?
What is the gizmo that's hanging by the front brake?
Cateye odometer setup that you clamp on at the quick release. No display, but the wire and disc sensor on the wheel are available and in good shape if someone needs it. I'm guessing someone had it built for a tour then left it in the garage for about 40 years.
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Old 07-18-22, 03:58 PM
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Flashes of brilliance there, excellent workmanship, with some annoyances (for me) that you might not mind so much, like the too-short rear toptube. I prefer more fork rake (lower trail) on a tandem, to reduce lean-steer. This bike will wander more than I like if the stoker doesn't sit real still, also a bit with each pedal stroke, but you can adapt and might not notice it all after you're used to it. Don't try adding rake to these blades though, t'll ruin that weird/cool reinforcement. (probably obvious, sorry.)

Those dropouts are unique, vaguely ring a bell, but nothing's bubbling up to the top of my memory...

If you're going to ride it a lot I'd consider trying to find or make a larger pulley for the rear brake. "Wire rope" passing over a pulley will fatigue and eventually fray/break if the pulley diameter is less than about 50 times the cable diameter. This is the advice from aircraft, from back when controls were done with cables and pulleys. 50 times is a pretty strict standard that no one would do on a bike, but still I would try for something a good bit larger than what's there. On the other hand, it's a very visible spot, so you will (hopefully) notice if the cable starts to fray. They don't usually break all at once without warning. Plus it's "only" a rear brake.

The Phil disk is known to fail catastrophically under hard braking (the worst possible time), but again it's "only" a rear, and a drag brake, not the one you're counting on to stop you. So I'll allow it! I know, you must be so relieved to get my blessing... not! Just clean up the damn electrical tape please, it's hurting my eyes. Since the Phil was only on the market a few years, that could help date the frame if we think it's original. I'm not sure but I would say '81 to '85 maybe? I was a custom tandem builder then, and we did use them, I even made a custom tandem for Mr. Phil Wood himself that had no canti posts, Phil disks only against my recommendation!

The cap'n seatpost is the original (French) LaPrade, the one that SR licensed and made ten million cheap copies of. The original is very light and cool, take good care of it.

Do you have any Eclipse panniers? That rack has extruded channel shapes in the sides, that the Eclipse panniers slide into, a pretty neat method. Modern panniers have locking hooks that work as well or better, but back then most competing designs had plain spring-loaded hooks that could pop off if you hit a pot-hole or cattle-crossing. Sometimes causing damage when they unhooked. So I was a huge fan of the Eclipse method. The panniers come up on ebay now and then. Oh and I might have some spares I'd let go, contact me by PM if you want me to look.

Mark B
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Old 07-18-22, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Flashes of brilliance there, excellent workmanship, with some annoyances (for me) that you might not mind so much, like the too-short rear toptube. I prefer more fork rake (lower trail) on a tandem, to reduce lean-steer. This bike will wander more than I like if the stoker doesn't sit real still, also a bit with each pedal stroke, but you can adapt and might not notice it all after you're used to it. Don't try adding rake to these blades though, t'll ruin that weird/cool reinforcement. (probably obvious, sorry.)

Those dropouts are unique, vaguely ring a bell, but nothing's bubbling up to the top of my memory...

If you're going to ride it a lot I'd consider trying to find or make a larger pulley for the rear brake. "Wire rope" passing over a pulley will fatigue and eventually fray/break if the pulley diameter is less than about 50 times the cable diameter. This is the advice from aircraft, from back when controls were done with cables and pulleys. 50 times is a pretty strict standard that no one would do on a bike, but still I would try for something a good bit larger than what's there. On the other hand, it's a very visible spot, so you will (hopefully) notice if the cable starts to fray. They don't usually break all at once without warning. Plus it's "only" a rear brake.

The Phil disk is known to fail catastrophically under hard braking (the worst possible time), but again it's "only" a rear, and a drag brake, not the one you're counting on to stop you. So I'll allow it! I know, you must be so relieved to get my blessing... not! Just clean up the damn electrical tape please, it's hurting my eyes. Since the Phil was only on the market a few years, that could help date the frame if we think it's original. I'm not sure but I would say '81 to '85 maybe? I was a custom tandem builder then, and we did use them, I even made a custom tandem for Mr. Phil Wood himself that had no canti posts, Phil disks only — against my recommendation!

The cap'n seatpost is the original (French) LaPrade, the one that SR licensed and made ten million cheap copies of. The original is very light and cool, take good care of it.

Do you have any Eclipse panniers? That rack has extruded channel shapes in the sides, that the Eclipse panniers slide into, a pretty neat method. Modern panniers have locking hooks that work as well or better, but back then most competing designs had plain spring-loaded hooks that could pop off if you hit a pot-hole or cattle-crossing. Sometimes causing damage when they unhooked. So I was a huge fan of the Eclipse method. The panniers come up on ebay now and then. Oh and I might have some spares I'd let go, contact me by PM if you want me to look.

Mark B
Thanks Mark. Yes, that tape bugs me too. I was going to wrap it with thicker plastic and then finish with silicone tape. Does that brake supposed to have some sideways play to it? As far as riding, I'm going to give it a shot, but the captain is pretty tall (64 to top of tube and I ride a 60). Everything seems to be quality. Any idea where
if the T3 gives a clue for makers serial number?

Vintage Phil Wood disc brake.
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Old 07-19-22, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Flashes of brilliance there, excellent workmanship, with some annoyances (for me) that you might not mind so much, like the too-short rear toptube. I prefer more fork rake (lower trail) on a tandem, to reduce lean-steer. This bike will wander more than I like if the stoker doesn't sit real still, also a bit with each pedal stroke, but you can adapt and might not notice it all after you're used to it. Don't try adding rake to these blades though, t'll ruin that weird/cool reinforcement. (probably obvious, sorry.)

Those dropouts are unique, vaguely ring a bell, but nothing's bubbling up to the top of my memory...

If you're going to ride it a lot I'd consider trying to find or make a larger pulley for the rear brake. "Wire rope" passing over a pulley will fatigue and eventually fray/break if the pulley diameter is less than about 50 times the cable diameter. This is the advice from aircraft, from back when controls were done with cables and pulleys. 50 times is a pretty strict standard that no one would do on a bike, but still I would try for something a good bit larger than what's there. On the other hand, it's a very visible spot, so you will (hopefully) notice if the cable starts to fray. They don't usually break all at once without warning. Plus it's "only" a rear brake.

The Phil disk is known to fail catastrophically under hard braking (the worst possible time), but again it's "only" a rear, and a drag brake, not the one you're counting on to stop you. So I'll allow it! I know, you must be so relieved to get my blessing... not! Just clean up the damn electrical tape please, it's hurting my eyes. Since the Phil was only on the market a few years, that could help date the frame if we think it's original. I'm not sure but I would say '81 to '85 maybe? I was a custom tandem builder then, and we did use them, I even made a custom tandem for Mr. Phil Wood himself that had no canti posts, Phil disks only against my recommendation!

The cap'n seatpost is the original (French) LaPrade, the one that SR licensed and made ten million cheap copies of. The original is very light and cool, take good care of it.

Do you have any Eclipse panniers? That rack has extruded channel shapes in the sides, that the Eclipse panniers slide into, a pretty neat method. Modern panniers have locking hooks that work as well or better, but back then most competing designs had plain spring-loaded hooks that could pop off if you hit a pot-hole or cattle-crossing. Sometimes causing damage when they unhooked. So I was a huge fan of the Eclipse method. The panniers come up on ebay now and then. Oh and I might have some spares I'd let go, contact me by PM if you want me to look.

Mark B
I'd bet on it being a Nor Cal builder pre-1980. Lots of experimenters there and little knowledge of tandem frame parts.
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Old 07-19-22, 10:53 PM
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That's where it is from. I have another bike built by Jeffrey Richman who built tandems locally. I've been told he often went on tangents while building. Cant find much on him either.
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Old 07-27-22, 10:19 PM
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According to the serial number, I bet that is tandem number 3 for the year, with a build date of July, 1983.
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Old 07-28-22, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bulgie View Post
Flashes of brilliance there, excellent workmanship, with some annoyances (for me) that you might not mind so much, like the too-short rear toptube. I prefer more fork rake (lower trail) on a tandem, to reduce lean-steer. This bike will wander more than I like if the stoker doesn't sit real still, also a bit with each pedal stroke, but you can adapt and might not notice it all after you're used to it. Don't try adding rake to these blades though, t'll ruin that weird/cool reinforcement. (probably obvious, sorry.)

Those dropouts are unique, vaguely ring a bell, but nothing's bubbling up to the top of my memory...

If you're going to ride it a lot I'd consider trying to find or make a larger pulley for the rear brake. "Wire rope" passing over a pulley will fatigue and eventually fray/break if the pulley diameter is less than about 50 times the cable diameter. This is the advice from aircraft, from back when controls were done with cables and pulleys. 50 times is a pretty strict standard that no one would do on a bike, but still I would try for something a good bit larger than what's there. On the other hand, it's a very visible spot, so you will (hopefully) notice if the cable starts to fray. They don't usually break all at once without warning. Plus it's "only" a rear brake.

The Phil disk is known to fail catastrophically under hard braking (the worst possible time), but again it's "only" a rear, and a drag brake, not the one you're counting on to stop you. So I'll allow it! I know, you must be so relieved to get my blessing... not! Just clean up the damn electrical tape please, it's hurting my eyes. Since the Phil was only on the market a few years, that could help date the frame if we think it's original. I'm not sure but I would say '81 to '85 maybe? I was a custom tandem builder then, and we did use them, I even made a custom tandem for Mr. Phil Wood himself that had no canti posts, Phil disks only against my recommendation!

The cap'n seatpost is the original (French) LaPrade, the one that SR licensed and made ten million cheap copies of. The original is very light and cool, take good care of it.

Do you have any Eclipse panniers? That rack has extruded channel shapes in the sides, that the Eclipse panniers slide into, a pretty neat method. Modern panniers have locking hooks that work as well or better, but back then most competing designs had plain spring-loaded hooks that could pop off if you hit a pot-hole or cattle-crossing. Sometimes causing damage when they unhooked. So I was a huge fan of the Eclipse method. The panniers come up on ebay now and then. Oh and I might have some spares I'd let go, contact me by PM if you want me to look.

Mark B
I would want a beefier crown but I like the blade reinforcements. That should be a real authorship tell.

the rear wheel tucked under will really add to the thumping on the saddle.

you should look at the flight control rigging on the Spruce Goose... all cables, no hydraulics.
if it was to become a real plane it would need hydraulics, could have used jet engines too.

Last edited by repechage; 07-28-22 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 07-29-22, 06:39 PM
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Took the brake off today and found the wobble. Spacer on hub was loose and a rubber o-ring that holds the brake in place had disintegrated. Took that tape off also, lol.




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