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using a threadless stem instead of a tandem stoker stem?

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using a threadless stem instead of a tandem stoker stem?

Old 08-05-12, 12:31 PM
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using a threadless stem instead of a tandem stoker stem?

I got a nice tandem but the seller couldn't find the stoker stem. No hard feelings, because he gave me an awfully nice deal overall.

Is it crazy to use a threadless stem? I've done so, using a thick shim. I see I need a thicker and taller shim to make it really safe. Should I fork out the big bux to do it by the book? I'd rather be frugal.

I could post this in the tandem section or the mechanics section, but you folks are my friends.
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Old 08-05-12, 03:13 PM
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Should I fork out the big bux to do it by the book? I'd rather be frugal.
Or grow some love handles of your own?

I'd say, go with the shims until your sure the "Captian & Stoker" are happy riding as a team....then spend the bucks.
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Old 08-05-12, 03:23 PM
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Aw, shucks...
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Old 08-05-12, 04:08 PM
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I did just that. Shimmed a 25.4 stem to clamp to the 25.0 captain's post on my Lejeune tandem. Works fine. Did take some time to find what I needed.
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Old 08-05-12, 04:17 PM
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If it works fine, then continue using it.
What brand/model tandem?
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Old 08-05-12, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I got a nice tandem but the seller couldn't find the stoker stem. No hard feelings, because he gave me an awfully nice deal overall.

Is it crazy to use a threadless stem? I've done so, using a thick shim. I see I need a thicker and taller shim to make it really safe. Should I fork out the big bux to do it by the book? I'd rather be frugal.

I could post this in the tandem section or the mechanics section, but you folks are my friends.
In the tandem forum they'd probably tell you to spend the bucks. But a threadless stem properly shimmed works great as a stoker stem, actually more robust than a purpose-built stoker stem. (Control-Tech specifically tells you not to attempt to use their stoker stems in the safety-critical front position on a tandem or a single bike.) The challenge you will face is finding one with the right combination of length and angle to place the stoker's handlebars exactly where she wants them. Most stokers on most tandems will want the stem to be angled above horizontal -- 10-15 degrees is a good place to start. The shorter the stem extension, the steeper it needs to rise. You will need one with 30 or 40 degrees of rise angle to compensate for the typical 72 degrees angle of the seatpost -- remember you are attaching the stem "backwards" so your usual 7-degree stem would end up pointing down.

On our now-secondary tandem, we use one of those fugly (but cheep!!) adjustable threadless stems with the big knuckle in the middle to get the necessary length and height without it fouling the rear end of the captain's saddle. It goes horizontal for a few centimeters then bends up abruptly once clear of the saddle. Works great.

You've probably figured most of this out already if you've already got one installed, but fussing around to get the stoker's position perfect is well worth the effort in getting the tandeming relationship off to a good start.
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Old 08-05-12, 04:58 PM
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You know what, conspiritemus, I knew all that, but it's great that you said it all. It clarifies what needs to be forefront in the mind.

The bike is a Burley Zydeco Mixte.
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Old 05-01-16, 09:06 PM
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I finally solved this today. I had the LBS order me a tandem stem. It's a nice one with adjustable reach. But it had a 29.2mm inner diameter where it clamps the front seatpost, and the seatpost is 26.6. The LBS made a shim for me by splitting a seatpost and cutting to the length of the clamping area of the stem. That was too large in diameter, so I clamped it to the seatpost and turned it against my bench grinder. I never milled anything down to a smaller diameter before, but I got it working.

Now my next challenge is to get my wife to try it. She seems skeptical that she'll like tandeming.
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Old 05-01-16, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Now my next challenge is to get my wife to try it. She seems skeptical that she'll like tandeming.
Just saw this post.

I picked up a Burley Bossa Nova frame and a set of wheels from a guy who was giving up on a project and completed the build. I only rode it a few times, trading off short rides with my twin daughters. It's been sitting gathering dust, the a couple of weekends ago I talked one of my daughters into doing the Portland Tweed ride with it. It ended up being 30 miles round trip. She liked it enough that we rode 32 yesterday. I think I've got a new stoker.

I had a tandem a few decades ago, went through two stokers (girlfriends). Had lots of fun with it.

Tips on being a successful captain if needed...
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Old 05-01-16, 10:52 PM
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Where would Mr. Owner have put it?

26.6 seems like a weird size
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Old 05-02-16, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Where would Mr. Owner have put it?

26.6 seems like a weird size
It doesn't matter. I bought it four years ago. I'm moving forward.
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Old 05-02-16, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I finally solved this today. I had the LBS order me a tandem stem. It's a nice one with adjustable reach. But it had a 29.2mm inner diameter where it clamps the front seatpost, and the seatpost is 26.6. The LBS made a shim for me by splitting a seatpost and cutting to the length of the clamping area of the stem. That was too large in diameter, so I clamped it to the seatpost and turned it against my bench grinder. I never milled anything down to a smaller diameter before, but I got it working.

Now my next challenge is to get my wife to try it. She seems skeptical that she'll like tandeming.
If you let her be Captain, I bet she will do it.........
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Old 05-02-16, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
If you let her be Captain, I bet she will do it.........
Not guh' happen. She is 110 lbs (50 kg) with little muscle mass. I'm almost 50% heavier. We both might like her to captain, but oh well.
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