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Picking up a vintage tandem... Phil Wood disc brake question

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Picking up a vintage tandem... Phil Wood disc brake question

Old 09-10-12, 08:58 PM
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Picking up a vintage tandem... Phil Wood disc brake question. EDIT. I GOT IT, pics!

I will be picking up my first tandem on Wednesday.

It appears to be fitted only with vintage Phil Wood disc brakes. I've done some searching on BF and found that these brakes are not safe and replacement parts are not available.

Does anybody have any experience with these?

My fiance and I are very excited to start riding tandem, but I don't want to get on the bike (especially with her on there) if it isn't safe. Do I have any other braking options? I am considering having cantilever bosses brazed onto the frame and possibly mounts for a traditional rear disc brake as well but I am not excited to lose the beautiful paint.

Here is a grainy shot from the seller. First order of business will be to figure out the braking and replace the brake levers. I'm hoping the fork crown and rear brake bridge will accept road brake calipers, if that's the case I think I will be fine.


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Old 09-10-12, 11:07 PM
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Our twenty-four year old tandem has a Phil Wood disk brake set up as a drag (third) brake on the rear. While it has given reasonable service, I would never use these brakes without another system. It's not that I am worried about catastrophic failure, that is a pretty rare event as far as I can tell, so much as it just seems to fade badly when it heats up. I'm just not inclined to go down a descent if I cannot trust my brakes to keep me safe.

I would advise you to value your stopping ability higher than a pretty paint job and put some proper brakes on.
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Old 09-11-12, 06:35 AM
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I'm no help on your brake question, but I do hope that you will share some pictures of your bike when you get a hold of it.
Any insight into the builder?
Cheers!
Henry
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Old 09-11-12, 09:29 AM
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Thanks for the comments, though the first one seems a little condescending... In no way would I ever consider aesthetics over safety.

Originally Posted by hup
I'm no help on your brake question, but I do hope that you will share some pictures of your bike when you get a hold of it.
Any insight into the builder?
Cheers!
Henry
Thanks, will do. Now hoping to pick it up tonight...

There is some info about Bill Boston here and there on the internet. Apparently he retired building in the mid 1980's but seems to have been well respected.
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Old 09-12-12, 09:13 PM
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I picked up the bike and it is beautiful.

Here is a link to the thread I started in C&V with details and pictures:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...lt-Bill-Boston

Click here for slideshow of all the pictures: BILL BOSTON TANDEM
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Old 09-12-12, 10:03 PM
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That is absolutely fabulous! Lugs + fillet brazing are, well, fabulous! I love how very unique it is. Definitely will turns some heads. I can't wait to see what you end up doing with it. Please do update as needed.

Henry

p.s. do I recognize your username from the Paceline (nee Serotta) Forum?
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Old 09-12-12, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by hup
That is absolutely fabulous! Lugs + fillet brazing are, well, fabulous! I love how very unique it is. Definitely will turns some heads. I can't wait to see what you end up doing with it. Please do update as needed.

Henry

p.s. do I recognize your username from the Paceline (nee Serotta) Forum?
I'll likely keep that thread updated with build progress. I will probably keep it mostly vintage.

And yes, most of my internet bike time is split between bikeforums and the paceline.
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