Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

A Story of Joy and Tears -and Tandems

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

A Story of Joy and Tears -and Tandems

Reply

Old 05-04-13, 06:30 PM
  #1  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
Thread Starter
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,741

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1022 Post(s)
A Story of Joy and Tears -and Tandems

Our Schwinn Triplet has roamed the streets of Philadelphia for three years now. From Olney to Pattison avenue...on gravel, cobbles and pavement. Most of the time it has only two riders and it frequently needs work and difficult to find parts. Getting it in and out of the house is a challenge and its range is limited by one gear. One something goes wrong, you're walking it home; it won't fit in cars and lacks QR wheels. My wife has been hinting for a few months that she'd like something more dependable, lighter and geared. I looked at a Holdsworth which Auchen and Jet offered help with, but my wife veto'd it in the end.

Today we went and looked at one Tom found at trexlertown. My standard were high - eyelets, OS tubes, aesthetically appealing. What I most wanted was a Bilenky, but without paying for one. Part of me was hoping we wouldn't find one that was perfect because my heart will always be taken by the triplet. Remember - we even passed on that beautiful NOS Holdsworth. It's exactly what I most wanted - even a Bilenky. It couldn't be more perfect. It's bittersweet for me - I will love this bike and we'll ride it together for decades, but I know its arrival means that the triplet will now be relegated to special occasions.

It needs a little work - new tires, rack, different rear bars, wheels trued and maybe a Nitto Technomic. The beauty of the paint isn't really coming through.

Say hello:















An old friend:

KonAaron Snake is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-13, 06:57 PM
  #2  
toytech 
Senior Member
 
toytech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: san leandro
Posts: 1,453

Bikes: enough bikes to qualify for Hoarders......

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Nice! I was kind of sad to see our Sterling Bilenky go. It had similar paint in dark green, really stunning. As far as steel tandems go, they don't get any better than a Bilenky in my opinion. Especially for a touring set. Mine even had extra spokes on the chainstay.
__________________
"Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day."--Harry S. Truman
toytech is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-13, 07:24 PM
  #3  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
Thread Starter
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,741

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1022 Post(s)
Heh - mine has that feature too...it's really perfect for us. The paint is insanely nice - nicest* I've seen.

Last edited by KonAaron Snake; 05-04-13 at 08:05 PM.
KonAaron Snake is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-13, 08:01 PM
  #4  
Ex Pres 
#39
 
Ex Pres's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mountain Brook, AL
Posts: 7,054
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 324 Post(s)
Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Heh - mine has that feature too...it's really perfect for us. The paint is insanely nice - incest I've seen.
better to look away
Ex Pres is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-13, 08:06 PM
  #5  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
Thread Starter
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,741

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1022 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Ex Pres View Post
better to look away
Worst typo ever. I have humiliated my village.
KonAaron Snake is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-13, 08:25 PM
  #6  
gomango 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: STP
Posts: 14,795
Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 636 Post(s)
Gorgeous!

I've got an extra Nitto Techno that was on my Bruce Gordon if you'd like it.
__________________


Bikes and stuff

https://www.flickr.com/photos/36270004@N06/
gomango is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-13, 08:27 PM
  #7  
smoothness 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Hub of the Universe, MA
Posts: 500

Bikes: Centurions, Shoguns, and Stumpjumpers

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 56 Post(s)
Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Worst typo ever. I have humiliated my village.
That's okay - based on your typo, they're all family anyway! *rimshot* But seriously, nice score. The paint is great - it's like...gold fleck...with COLOR.
smoothness is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-13, 09:39 PM
  #8  
auchencrow
Senior Member
 
auchencrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Detroit
Posts: 10,327
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Congrats Aaron, on obtaining your desideratum.
It's nice to know it was made right there in the City of Brotherly Love too.
__________________
- Auchen
auchencrow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-13, 11:17 PM
  #9  
flash2070
Senior Member
 
flash2070's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Orlando, Florida
Posts: 624
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
It definitely is beautiful.

Flash
flash2070 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-13, 11:27 PM
  #10  
Henry III 
is just a real cool dude
 
Henry III's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Thumb, MI
Posts: 3,163
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Very cool bike. I've only rode a tandem once and that was just a Schwinn Twinn quite a few years ago.

Looking at one photo and maybe I'm looking too far into it. Is the paint just cracked on the seatpost clamp for the captain right behind the binder bolt?
Henry III is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-13, 01:56 AM
  #11  
Vonruden 
Gold Member
 
Vonruden's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ocean County, NJ
Posts: 2,850

Bikes: Confente, Rene Herse, Alex Singer, JP Weigle, Bruce Gordon, Ebisu and a few others

Mentioned: 58 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 282 Post(s)
What a lovely Tandem...awesome stuff.
__________________
"My biggest fear is that when I die my wife will sell my bicycles for what I told her they cost."

Get on your bikes and ride!

https://instagram.com/norseamerican/
Vonruden is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-13, 05:08 AM
  #12  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
Thread Starter
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,741

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1022 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Henry III View Post
Very cool bike. I've only rode a tandem once and that was just a Schwinn Twinn quite a few years ago.

Looking at one photo and maybe I'm looking too far into it. Is the paint just cracked on the seatpost clamp for the captain right behind the binder bolt?
Good eye! Just checked - scared as heck. No damage to the metal, just paint.
KonAaron Snake is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-13, 05:46 AM
  #13  
photogravity
Hopelessly addicted...
 
photogravity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Central Maryland
Posts: 5,008

Bikes: 1949 Hercules Kestrel, 1950 Norman Rapide, 1970 Schwinn Collegiate, 1972 Peugeot UE-8, 1976 Raleigh Sports, 1977 Raleigh Sports, 1977 Jack Taylor Tandem, 1984 Davidson Tandem, 2010 Bilenky "BQ" 650B Constructeur Tandem, 2011 Linus Mixte

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Aaron, that is one hella score and the paint on it is way cool. I can't wait to see it after you've re-worked it in your own special way. One thing I'd get rid of immediately are those godawful looking V brakes, but I'm guessing you've already slated them for removal.

Do you have any indication what year it is?
photogravity is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-13, 05:54 AM
  #14  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
Thread Starter
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,741

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1022 Post(s)
You know - the v-brakes are ugly, but they work GREAT! I'm not sure I'm changing them - they really have what I want for a tandem like this; power! If I do change them I'd probably spring for Pauls, unless cyclotoine has another set of 982s. I have a set of Mafac cantis in reserve, but I think the Pauls are likely stiffer.

On year - I think it's mid-90s from the parts, rear spacing and tubing diameter. I saw some others labeled Sterling, and this looks like a later one based on the shaped tubes and paint. I think 99' was the end of the Sterling label for Bilenky, so no later than that.

The things I know I'm doing are changing the tires and putting on a rear rack. I might go front as well...we have a tradition of taking the tandem to brunch and shopping in the Italian market afterwards. Sometimes we end up with a lot of food.

Dallas - you've ridden the triplet...was that thing flexy or what?

Last edited by KonAaron Snake; 05-05-13 at 05:58 AM.
KonAaron Snake is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-13, 06:32 AM
  #15  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 36,723

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 398 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5156 Post(s)
Before I spied this tandem for you, I spied the tandem pictured below. I was going to send you this picture while I was at the swap meet, but I got too distracted with the Sterling.

__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-13, 06:36 AM
  #16  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
Thread Starter
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,741

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1022 Post(s)
I think I'll keep the Sterling
KonAaron Snake is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-13, 08:55 AM
  #17  
photogravity
Hopelessly addicted...
 
photogravity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Central Maryland
Posts: 5,008

Bikes: 1949 Hercules Kestrel, 1950 Norman Rapide, 1970 Schwinn Collegiate, 1972 Peugeot UE-8, 1976 Raleigh Sports, 1977 Raleigh Sports, 1977 Jack Taylor Tandem, 1984 Davidson Tandem, 2010 Bilenky "BQ" 650B Constructeur Tandem, 2011 Linus Mixte

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
You know - the v-brakes are ugly, but they work GREAT! I'm not sure I'm changing them - they really have what I want for a tandem like this; power! If I do change them I'd probably spring for Pauls, unless cyclotoine has another set of 982s. I have a set of Mafac cantis in reserve, but I think the Pauls are likely stiffer.

On year - I think it's mid-90s from the parts, rear spacing and tubing diameter. I saw some others labeled Sterling, and this looks like a later one based on the shaped tubes and paint. I think 99' was the end of the Sterling label for Bilenky, so no later than that.

The things I know I'm doing are changing the tires and putting on a rear rack. I might go front as well...we have a tradition of taking the tandem to brunch and shopping in the Italian market afterwards. Sometimes we end up with a lot of food.

Dallas - you've ridden the triplet...was that thing flexy or what?
There is no doubt that V brakes work very well, but there is no reason a pair of cantis that are set up properly won't work as well as V brakes. You'd be able to get rid of that silly looking multiplier and utilize that braze-on at the rear of the bike. After all the bike is designed to use cantis.

As far as the triplet being flexy: YES. It was sort of like riding a pogo stick with me in the middle position. I have a ton of fun riding that triplet!
photogravity is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-13, 09:02 AM
  #18  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
Thread Starter
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,741

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1022 Post(s)
I'm sorry we can't make Cirque...you know you're always welcome here and you get your choice of the stable

The rear does look odd - I know it. I might keep the v in front and move to a rear canti. The vs are easier to set up.
KonAaron Snake is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-13, 10:12 AM
  #19  
toytech 
Senior Member
 
toytech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: san leandro
Posts: 1,453

Bikes: enough bikes to qualify for Hoarders......

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I would keep the v-brakes it is not just the extra power they have it is the mechanical advantage allowing for less hand fatigue on a descent. I had Paul cross tops on mine, but the XTR are about as good as v brakes get. Tandems are hard enough to stop as it is
__________________
"Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day."--Harry S. Truman
toytech is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-13, 10:27 AM
  #20  
fender1
Senior Member
 
fender1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Berwyn PA
Posts: 5,962

Bikes: I hate bikes!

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
You know - the v-brakes are ugly, but they work GREAT! I'm not sure I'm changing them - they really have what I want for a tandem like this; power! If I do change them I'd probably spring for Pauls, unless cyclotoine has another set of 982s. I have a set of Mafac cantis in reserve, but I think the Pauls are likely stiffer.

On year - I think it's mid-90s from the parts, rear spacing and tubing diameter. I saw some others labeled Sterling, and this looks like a later one based on the shaped tubes and paint. I think 99' was the end of the Sterling label for Bilenky, so no later than that.

The things I know I'm doing are changing the tires and putting on a rear rack. I might go front as well...we have a tradition of taking the tandem to brunch and shopping in the Italian market afterwards. Sometimes we end up with a lot of food.

Dallas - you've ridden the triplet...was that thing flexy or what?
Nice score! FWIW, stay with the V-brakes. The Paul Neo-Retro are overrated and a PIA to set up compared to the existing brakes. Plus they don't stop as well as the V-brakes. I am using Tektro dual pivots on my tandem and they work great. Canti's are fine if they are the only option. Since you will ACTUALLY RIDE this bike and want to be able to stop quickly & safely in traffic, be able to make a minor adjustments on the road and not have to think about your brakes again, screw the style police and stay with the XTR brakes.

Have you shown it to Stephen yet?
fender1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-13, 10:28 AM
  #21  
fender1
Senior Member
 
fender1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Berwyn PA
Posts: 5,962

Bikes: I hate bikes!

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Oh and that triplet was mega-flexy when we rode it.
fender1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-13, 10:47 AM
  #22  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
Thread Starter
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,741

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1022 Post(s)
Steven CDM? Not yet...he'll see it. I think you're right on the brakes, and this will get ridden all around the city. I love that triplet - I know it's impractical and it can be annoying, but it's probably the bike I most love. That said, this is obviously a better tandem for us.

You only rode it for a few blocks! Dallas did around 25 miles on it with us.
KonAaron Snake is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-13, 02:37 PM
  #23  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 36,723

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 398 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5156 Post(s)
V brakes are ugly, but they are extremely practical. All brakes are fine for most applications. It's the leverage that makes us think V brakes have more power. They have a lot of leverage.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-13, 08:19 PM
  #24  
rootboy 
Senior Member
 
rootboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Wherever
Posts: 16,594
Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 478 Post(s)
Cosmic camo paint. Very interesting. I wonder how they achieve that effect. Cool double Aaron.
rootboy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-13, 05:06 AM
  #25  
KonAaron Snake 
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
Thread Starter
 
KonAaron Snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 16,741

Bikes: Two wheeled ones

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1022 Post(s)
Thanks rootboy - I think it needs a leather saddle bag

The paint's depth and beauty isn't really showing well (and the photos suck, I'll try to do better). It was apparently an option Bilenky offered from Fresh Frames in Ephrata. I'd say the paint is a bit nicer than the Vanilla to be honest.
KonAaron Snake is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service