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I want to build a tandem bike, how do I measure?

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I want to build a tandem bike, how do I measure?

Old 11-25-16, 09:23 PM
  #1  
burnfatburn
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I want to build a tandem bike, how do I measure?

dear folks

How do I make measurement to build a tandem bike?

I have read several articles but I still don't understand, for example: how long is the length between front bottom bracket to the rear bottom bracket? and stoker handle bar? what if I planned to haul some luggage on the rear rack? what if I want to make 20inch tandem? since I'm only 5'3 and I am plan to take my wife or my sons as stoker.

I plan to buy 2 used frames, not built from scratch.


thanks
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Old 11-26-16, 08:03 AM
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Have you looked at Santana, Comotion, Cannondale and other manufacturer sites for tables of tandem stock sizes?
That would be a start. Used frames for size you mentioned are going to be sparse, as most tandems assume at
least 66-68" for the captain. Just noted your locale in Indonesia, where size availability may be different.
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Old 11-27-16, 06:34 PM
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The boom tube measurement is the most exact one when building a tandem. it has to be done in inches, because it corresponds to the chain length which is in one inch increments a short boom tube length would be 27 inches (bb center to bb center). A longer one could be 30 inches. This is all assuming it is to be built without an idler wheel to take up some chain slack. good luck
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Old 11-28-16, 12:54 PM
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5'3" .. large wheel in front becomes a Problem with overlap with your toes .. What size is your single bike

I Recommend Bike friday Tandems https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-b...family-tandem/

They are also making a Triple so Wife and son can also Ride a sectional Build you can add a section for the 3rd seat .

With the 20" wheel the Toe overlap issue goes away . and the wheel is Stronger .. Drum Brake Hub adds more stopping Power.

and they come apart to put it in your car boot.
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Old 11-30-16, 06:15 PM
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Co-Motion, Bike Friday and others build tandems to suit short riders . . . look for a used one.
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Old 12-09-16, 10:00 AM
  #6  
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Ok, noted, thank you guys.

My mountain bikes is 16' and the top tube lenght kinda short too, mostly I use folding bike for commuting these days. btw apparently a local brand, polygon, also have tandem bike. the bike even available on Australia. but Tandem bike is still uncommon here, finding a used one with proper size for me will be difficult, and I guess nothing can beat the sensation of building my own bike, am I?
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Old 12-11-16, 09:10 AM
  #7  
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Glad to hear you are building your own tandem.
Check out this link on my last build if you have not already done so.

https://www.bikeforums.net/tandem-cyc...ndem-bike.html

I am in the middle of a motorized fishing cart project for my aging dad, but am considering another home built road tandem frame once I have more time. Keep us informed of your progress.

CJ
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Old 12-12-16, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by chojn1 View Post
Glad to hear you are building your own tandem.
Check out this link on my last build if you have not already done so.

https://www.bikeforums.net/tandem-cyc...ndem-bike.html

I am in the middle of a motorized fishing cart project for my aging dad, but am considering another home built road tandem frame once I have more time. Keep us informed of your progress.

CJ
awesome

I havent started yet. I need to gather some point of view before I make scratch. This will be my 2nd frame build. the first one is cargo bike, I learn a lot from mistakes I found later
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Old 12-28-16, 07:28 AM
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I got this this nice steel frame from a friend ffor less than 12 USD.Both frame is 17 inch, but look like on the rear frame seattube angle is slacker than the steerer tube.

I think if I want to make 26 tandem, I can simply cut half the rear frame headtube and attach to front frame seattube, and then fixing both bottom bracket with boom tube.

But since I want to make 20 tandem, thats mean I need to make those bottom brackets a little bit higher than the wheelbase line.
if I am rising the front bottombracket, the steerer angle will shifted, more upright, cmiiw, this can be fixed with a longer fork.
if Iam rising the rear bottombracket, the rear seattuube will be slacker compare than the front seattube.......is this ok?
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Old 01-13-17, 02:48 PM
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You should use a head angle that is similar to the head angle on other bikes of the same wheel size.

I don't think you can make a 20" wheel tandem out of frames made for 26" wheels. With 20" wheels, you definitely want your BBs to be higher than your "wheelbase line."
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Old 01-18-17, 10:55 AM
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burnfatburn,
I think the top tube on that front frame may be too high for you.
Find a bike that you can comfortably ride, then measure its stand-over height.
That will determine the frame size that you can use for your tandem.
If you lower your bottom bracket too much you will get pedal strike.
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Old 01-18-17, 10:57 AM
  #12  
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It's really interesting topic I will follow the results...
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Old 01-20-17, 09:51 AM
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-head angle is similar to the head angle on other bikes of the same wheel size.
-With 20" wheels, BBs have to be higher than the "wheelbase line."
- the measure is stand-over height
-bottom lowering bracket too much will risk pedal strike.

ok Noted
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Old 03-12-18, 03:39 AM
  #14  
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I think I made mistake not to read this topic again on the day I start went to welder

the height of front top tube is not a problem, I see a lot of miniveloes with that size, apparently after DO height adjustment the top tube length of the front frame is a little bit longer from the rear, it should be vice versa now the bike is 'locked' to person with my size only.

before the welding I really sure that I already measure everything right, the several thing I missed like the height of rear top tube is slightly higher than the for, but is ok I think, at least that was mentioned inthe sheldon brown site. The one made me confuse is why the rear wheel is not centered? I know this is sometimes happen with old steel frame but I did the measurement with yarn and everything, visually, seems ok.

the frame haven't been painted yet. my plan now is to take the bike around to check the frame, and everything is fine then I will choose the right color.
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Last edited by burnfatburn; 03-12-18 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 03-18-18, 12:34 PM
  #15  
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I like the trussed chain stays as boob tube.
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Old 04-11-20, 07:31 AM
  #16  
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the red frame was my second built, a long tail cargo, many lesson learned.




maiden voyage. the stoker seatpost using telescopic since the seattube slightly bend because of welding heat. fortunately it bend simetrycally to the front thus it doesn't affect the bike balance.

I am using motorcycle handle bar with bmx stem for the pilot, and for the navigator and the gunner I use bmx handlebars on mtb stem



Night stroll, looking for some snack in a boring quarantine night. pictured here is a street seller, selling 'martabak', a kind of pancake-pizza
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Old 04-11-20, 09:13 AM
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Your bicycle looks good! Thanks for posting your finished tandem and enjoy.
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