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Good starting place for building a tandem

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Good starting place for building a tandem

Old 11-21-22, 02:49 PM
  #26  
Freerojo
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I would go with Schwalbe Marathon at 35mm if they fit or 32mm. WAY smoother ride and probably better flat protection.
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Old 11-21-22, 04:06 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Freerojo View Post
I would go with Schwalbe Marathon at 35mm if they fit or 32mm. WAY smoother ride and probably better flat protection.
Oh thanks for the tire tip. I have never used a Schwalbe tire so I went with what I knew. I am sure a 35 would fit I have lots of clearance with these 32's installed. I got the Gatorskins because they were on sale for 36 bucks and I know they have decent puncture resistance at the cost of ride quality. I'll look into these next time I need a set thanks!
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Old 11-23-22, 09:05 PM
  #28  
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If you are riding strictly on the road, Schwalbe Pro One tire are great.
I use 28mm tires but they come wider.
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Old 11-24-22, 01:18 AM
  #29  
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Just a FYI: I've been checking out craigslist for the last couple of years (for bicycles, in So. Cal.) and it seems to me that they can hardly give tandems away. They typically stay posted for weeks and weeks and weeks at what seems to me to be very good/rock bottom prices. Like right now there is a choice 1984 Santana Sovereign on sale for 250 USD. I mean the parts alone are worth more than that. I have been sorely tempted but don't have the storage.
​​​​​​https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/bik/7559595396.html
Of course if you're far away from southern California that's not much help. Not sure what my point was.
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Old 11-24-22, 09:56 AM
  #30  
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Schwalbe Marathons are tough and wear like iron but the ride quality is pretty awful. Lots of vibration and any road gaps are punishing. If you can get by with a high quality road tire like GP5000, I would do so. Also, the biggest tire you can fit is a very good way to go. Carbon bars help a ton with damping road vibration as well.The alum fork/stem/bars combo makes for a ton of road buzz.

I'd also consider a bump buster type seatpost for the stoker too. They can't see what's coming and anything to take the sting off of impacts is important.
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Old 11-24-22, 03:27 PM
  #31  
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Schwalbe Marathons are tough and wear like iron but the ride quality is pretty awful. Lots of vibration and any road gaps are punishing.

I respectfully disagree about the Marathon ride quality, I am amazed by it on our aluminum Cannondale. Good stiff sidewalls so you don’t feel like the tire is “rolling” off the rim.
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Old 11-25-22, 09:40 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by HelpSingularity View Post
Just a FYI: I've been checking out craigslist for the last couple of years (for bicycles, in So. Cal.) and it seems to me that they can hardly give tandems away. They typically stay posted for weeks and weeks and weeks at what seems to me to be very good/rock bottom prices. Like right now there is a choice 1984 Santana Sovereign on sale for 250 USD. I mean the parts alone are worth more than that. I have been sorely tempted but don't have the storage.
​​​​​​https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/bik/7559595396.html
Of course if you're far away from southern California that's not much help. Not sure what my point was.
I noticed tandems are sometimes pretty cheap but there werenít any out here when I started. There was one early 80ís Burley for sale locally and cheap but it was a bit neglected and so I pursued the slower route of building one. Iíve enjoyed the process and have learned a lot. Cost wise I would have done fine except for shipping the big parts here. A set of wheels is about 150 to ship to my house and the frame and some bits was around 450 to ship, which is silly money to admit but once I started itís all part of the process. Outside of that Iím doing pretty good cost wise and I enjoy researching what I need and then looking for the parts. Almost finished with that. I messed up with bottom brackets and now have a couple extra sets that I will never need but now I know more about bottom brackets than any person on Earth! Lol
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Old 11-25-22, 09:49 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by pipeliner View Post
Schwalbe Marathons are tough and wear like iron but the ride quality is pretty awful. Lots of vibration and any road gaps are punishing. If you can get by with a high quality road tire like GP5000, I would do so. Also, the biggest tire you can fit is a very good way to go. Carbon bars help a ton with damping road vibration as well.The alum fork/stem/bars combo makes for a ton of road buzz.

I'd also consider a bump buster type seatpost for the stoker too. They can't see what's coming and anything to take the sting off of impacts is important.
thanks for the tip on bars. Iíve got a few sets of those laying around from building my road bike so I might try a set out if the vibrations are a bother. My frame came with dual tamer seat posts so Iím going to start with those and see how they do. A concern of mine is finding a seat that my stoker will be happy with but that will be trial and error after I get the cabling all done. That is all that is left.
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Old 11-26-22, 12:41 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Kevinti View Post
I noticed tandems are sometimes pretty cheap but there werenít any out here when I started. There was one early 80ís Burley for sale locally and cheap but it was a bit neglected and so I pursued the slower route of building one. Iíve enjoyed the process and have learned a lot. Cost wise I would have done fine except for shipping the big parts here. A set of wheels is about 150 to ship to my house and the frame and some bits was around 450 to ship, which is silly money to admit but once I started itís all part of the process. Outside of that Iím doing pretty good cost wise and I enjoy researching what I need and then looking for the parts. Almost finished with that. I messed up with bottom brackets and now have a couple extra sets that I will never need but now I know more about bottom brackets than any person on Earth! Lol
Hey Kevinti
It's all good. Like I said I wasn't really sure what my point was, but thanks for reminding me that the journey is also very important. You are adding to your body of knowledge that is part of your growth as a self confident fully realized DIY person. Any extra costs you might incur is just tuition in the school of life. As a great sage once said: "A$$, gas or grass, nobody rides for free". And with the added experience who knows where that might lead.

I too enjoy the thrill of the hunt as all my bikes are 30 to 45 years old and parts aren't exactly falling off trees, so I can totally dig what you're doing.
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Old 11-27-22, 01:09 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Kevinti View Post
Nice project, thanks for sharing.

Looking at this last picture posted, I'm just wondering if this was the typical welding quality of Santanas frames from the 90's. Since I "lost" a steel frame due to poor welding many years ago I'm probably a bit traumatized here. Even when my conditions were different (steel, 'home made' welding), some bonding issues of the joints in the picture are visible and I would have a look at it.
On the other hand... if the frame had really been used during the last twenty years, I wouldn't actually panicking...

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Old 11-27-22, 10:53 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by lichtgrau View Post
Nice project, thanks for sharing.

Looking at this last picture posted, I'm just wondering if this was the typical welding quality of Santanas frames from the 90's. Since I "lost" a steel frame due to poor welding many years ago I'm probably a bit traumatized here. Even when my conditions were different (steel, 'home made' welding), some bonding issues of the joints in the picture are visible and I would have a look at it.
On the other hand... if the frame had really been used during the last twenty years, I wouldn't actually panicking...
Thanks for feedback! Thin wall material around "odd-shaped" tubes is very difficult to weld (without a robot!) My background is aerospace and defense systems. If a low volume sub-contractor sent me this as their best effort early in the 1990's it would fly! (and it would be protecting us!)
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Old 11-29-22, 05:28 PM
  #37  
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Looks like I am the proud owner of a functioning tandem! Just had my first test ride to see if I got all the mechanicals right and she passed! Interesting feeling for the first bit on such a long wheel base but started to feel fine after about a mile. I still need the bar end shifter for the disc brake and a cable for that so I can't wrap the front bars yet. The Gevenalle shifters are a real problem solver and a nice piece of kit. I need to clock them better but they work awesome and I can change to a 10 speed cassette in the future and keep the shifters so that is a big win! Thanks to all who helped so far!








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Old 12-01-22, 04:43 PM
  #38  
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Just had a test run with my stoker, maybe about 4 miles. She did great but then as I have read here having an enthusiastic yet unskilled stoker can be a blessing. She's an experienced motorcycle pillion though so that is a plus. I am not much of a spinner either so I think that helps. I rarely get over 70 rpm. Pretty good gearing I must say. Our flat track test with only one small hill was entirely in the big chainring too so I am hopeful that we can handle all the terrain around our area! Friction shifting was a little off a few times which was annoying and I got to experience that feeling where we are not on the same page and the bike moves around a bit! Felt really good when we were in sync though. We're going to have to figure out a seat for her she didn't appreciate the small race seat I started her off with.
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Old 12-01-22, 07:41 PM
  #39  
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Put a regular touring saddle on there. And maybe even clipless pedals. Your stoker will be glad you did.
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Old 12-01-22, 11:37 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by DangerousDanR View Post
Put a regular touring saddle on there. And maybe even clipless pedals. Your stoker will be glad you did.
I am hoping we can get to clipless at some point. I am a fan. I have some nice Cinelli foot straps that I will soon be introducing and then after she sees the benefits of that I will present the clipless but we have a ways to go first. Touring saddle I will look into thanks.
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Old 12-02-22, 01:39 PM
  #41  
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That Stoker saddle looks about as far back as it can go. That is bound to be painful. I'm not saying a wider, flatter, saddle isn't a good idea, but I don't think all the comfort potential of the present one is being exploited. I also think the nose of the saddle could come up a few degrees. Level at least, and a couple of degrees nose up isn't painful if the saddle is forward enough. Centered on the rails is a good starting point but slammed forward is a safer error than slammed back. I hear such good things about the Selle SMP TRK that I bought a pair. I always buy saddles in pairs for Tandems. I haven't tried them yet (but they have arrived) but look at the reviews, there's something there. Bontrager and Terry have gender specific, but matching models for real his n' hers specialization. For a bike like that, the Terry Falcon and Falcon XY or Bontrager Affinity and Affinity Women's would look sweet.
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Old 12-04-22, 05:40 PM
  #42  
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It looks to me like the stoker's seatpost has quite a setback and perhaps then the clamp is in the middle of the rails? If this is not the case and the clamp is at the forward end of the rails, then a possible solution would be to substitute a Specialized CG-R seatpost which is a decent shock absorber and has a good setback. Those can still be found on ebay.

Another possibility for a saddle would be the Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow. Several female stokers I ride with have that saddle so it seems well liked. Ours has been tested on double centuries.

We are using 53-39-26 chain rings. The 53 and 39 are 10-speed chainrings. The big ring is usually used with a double, and the 39 is a triple ring. Those have been easier to find as rings wear out, and the shift up from the 26 goes well. We use the 53 quite a bit, which is the reason we have worn out 2 of them and more middle rings over the years. I had to put on a 10-speed brifter and front derailleur to use those rings as they differ slightly in width from the 9-speed versions, but with the OP's shifters, I doubt that makes a difference. We used a 12-34 cassette until we were about 70. when we went to an 11-40 cassette with a Wolf Tooth suspending the rear derailleur. We use Shimano 9-speed MTB rear derailleur which works well with the large difference in tooth count on the crankset. Presumably you already have either these components or analogues of them.

I encourage the OP to work on gradually increasing the cadence over time. We find somewhere in the mid-80s on the flat and the high 70s when climbing to be good numbers. Higher cadence is harder on the lungs and heart, but easier on the legs, which combo increases endurance.

We have found that having 2 indoor trainers and riding those trainers together when we didn't feel like going out on the tandem was a great benefit to the team. I don't know where the OP is, but here there are more days here when it's best to ride indoors rather than out. Whether that's the case in the OP's area or not, riding the trainers together has been a huge help to us as a team. We concentrate on cadence first, and speed second. On the trainer, we've found that getting results from trainer rides starts at about 45', though we do have many years of riding together. So that's possibly aspirational.

IMO the stoker really needs to be clipped in. I think it's a danger for her to ride flat pedals, as the pedals will go around whether her feet are on them or not. Ouch. The stoker is always clipped in when she is seated on the bike. The captain's pedals are less of an issue though clipless are also best there for the same reason. One of the really wonderful things about a tandem is that it's possible for the stoker to move the bike by herself, which makes it possible to start, even on a hill, more easily than on a single - of course providing that the captain had selected the correct gear before stopping!
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Old 12-04-22, 08:23 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
It looks to me like the stoker's seatpost has quite a setback and perhaps then the clamp is in the middle of the rails? If this is not the case and the clamp is at the forward end of the rails, then a possible solution would be to substitute a Specialized CG-R seatpost which is a decent shock absorber and has a good setback. Those can still be found on ebay.

Another possibility for a saddle would be the Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow. Several female stokers I ride with have that saddle so it seems well liked. Ours has been tested on double centuries.

We are using 53-39-26 chain rings. The 53 and 39 are 10-speed chainrings. The big ring is usually used with a double, and the 39 is a triple ring. Those have been easier to find as rings wear out, and the shift up from the 26 goes well. We use the 53 quite a bit, which is the reason we have worn out 2 of them and more middle rings over the years. I had to put on a 10-speed brifter and front derailleur to use those rings as they differ slightly in width from the 9-speed versions, but with the OP's shifters, I doubt that makes a difference. We used a 12-34 cassette until we were about 70. when we went to an 11-40 cassette with a Wolf Tooth suspending the rear derailleur. We use Shimano 9-speed MTB rear derailleur which works well with the large difference in tooth count on the crankset. Presumably you already have either these components or analogues of them.

I encourage the OP to work on gradually increasing the cadence over time. We find somewhere in the mid-80s on the flat and the high 70s when climbing to be good numbers. Higher cadence is harder on the lungs and heart, but easier on the legs, which combo increases endurance.

We have found that having 2 indoor trainers and riding those trainers together when we didn't feel like going out on the tandem was a great benefit to the team. I don't know where the OP is, but here there are more days here when it's best to ride indoors rather than out. Whether that's the case in the OP's area or not, riding the trainers together has been a huge help to us as a team. We concentrate on cadence first, and speed second. On the trainer, we've found that getting results from trainer rides starts at about 45', though we do have many years of riding together. So that's possibly aspirational.

IMO the stoker really needs to be clipped in. I think it's a danger for her to ride flat pedals, as the pedals will go around whether her feet are on them or not. Ouch. The stoker is always clipped in when she is seated on the bike. The captain's pedals are less of an issue though clipless are also best there for the same reason. One of the really wonderful things about a tandem is that it's possible for the stoker to move the bike by herself, which makes it possible to start, even on a hill, more easily than on a single - of course providing that the captain had selected the correct gear before stopping!
Thanks, that's a lot of good info. You are right about the seatpost setback, I did move the seat up a 1/2 inch though so it's maxed fwd for now. I will get the pedal straps mounted ASAP. I was worried it would be too much for her to worry about but I think she'll be fine since she can get all set before we start off. My foot slipped off forward on our first try and I did not enjoy that but it was low speed and caught it. Weather permitting we will be able to put a few more miles on this week
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Old 12-05-22, 01:41 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Kevinti View Post
Thanks, that's a lot of good info. You are right about the seatpost setback, I did move the seat up a 1/2 inch though so it's maxed fwd for now. I will get the pedal straps mounted ASAP. I was worried it would be too much for her to worry about but I think she'll be fine since she can get all set before we start off. My foot slipped off forward on our first try and I did not enjoy that but it was low speed and caught it. Weather permitting we will be able to put a few more miles on this week
Every once in a while, I miss the clip when the first pedal comes up, but Stoker handles it fine. Maybe complains a little but handles it anyway. It's hard to be perfect. That said, it's good to have pedals with which it's easy to hit the clip. You'll have to see if toe straps are as easy to use as a double-sided SPD pedal. I think the captain should always have double-sided pedals if they're clipless. Of course with flats and toe straps, you can use either side of the pedal when starting and mess with the toe strap later.
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Old 12-08-22, 01:08 PM
  #45  
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Second Test Run with completed bike and we tried out the foot straps. The bike felt a little better having us both be more connected to the pedals. We did 5 miles this time and one 7% hill. I forgot to test the drum brake though.



The cockpit and front end is a busy place with dinger, bar end drum brake and bar end mirror and cables going all over the place.The mirror worked so well I am getting one to try on my road bike!



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Old 12-08-22, 11:47 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Kevinti View Post
Second Test Run with completed bike and we tried out the foot straps. The bike felt a little better having us both be more connected to the pedals.
They usually do. I have to tell you though, those ... those 'footstraps' ... the ones you bought are for 12 year old BMX show offs arsing around in half-pipes and/or Bunny Hopping the curbs of residential sidewalks! They are too restrictive for Road use tightened fully, and they are next to useless loosened enough to get out of in an emergency. That's not that much different for the classic Toe Clips and Straps that came on nearly every 80's 10 speed road racer replica. At least the toe cage provided some foot location even if you didn't dare tighten the straps as tight as a banked track event would require. And few knew that without the proper cleats, any benefits from Toe Clips and Straps were mainly imaginary. No, my good man, what you be wantin' (IMO) is these if you are not yet ready to come to the Dark Side. I noticed the SMP TRK. What does she think?

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Old 12-09-22, 01:54 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
They usually do. I have to tell you though, those ... those 'footstraps' ... the ones you bought are for 12 year old BMX show offs arsing around in half-pipes and/or Bunny Hopping the curbs of residential sidewalks! They are too restrictive for Road use tightened fully, and they are next to useless loosened enough to get out of in an emergency. That's not that much different for the classic Toe Clips and Straps that came on nearly every 80's 10 speed road racer replica. At least the toe cage provided some foot location even if you didn't dare tighten the straps as tight as a banked track event would require. And few knew that without the proper cleats, any benefits from Toe Clips and Straps were mainly imaginary. No, my good man, what you be wantin' (IMO) is these if you are not yet ready to come to the Dark Side. I noticed the SMP TRK. What does she think?
I've been using those Cinelli foot straps for a couple years on my single speed and they aren't as bad as you are reporting. I size them for a slip fit so it's not a total connection to the pedals but you can work a more complete pedal stroke if you want and they are comfortable. She is still just pushing straight down on the side headed down and that's the pedal power range for her! lol

I used to run those straps you referenced in the early mountain biking days. I didn't know they were still made or I would have tried them first! I still might but we'll run these a while. We have a long way to go plus I have a lot of bucks tied up in this build so I'm not quite ready to shell out another 400 or so considering two pairs of shoes and two pairs of pedals!

Thanks for the seat mention. She was more happy with it so that is the good part. She isn't super patient about discussing the pedal stroke or "adjustments" and talking about them so I am staying reserved and ready. Santa claus is going to bring her some cycling shorts so I'm hopeful that will kick us a little farther down the road too.
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