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Tandem Conversion

Old 02-13-08, 09:26 AM
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Tandem Conversion

Found an old Schwinn 5 speed tandem in good shape for $100.
Do you think that removing the rear seat and running a long custom rack would make it a good candidate for a Hauler?
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Old 02-13-08, 11:08 AM
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Should be possible to do as far as I can see from the picture, would be much like a "Big Dummy". That is if the gearing is ok for your use (or can be modifyed). Maybe you could do it withouth cutting pieces of the frame ? My heart is bleeding ewery time a good or special frame is "lost" . I know from my own eksperiments that sometimes I just give up or change my mind, and then regret the "chopping", especially if it is a special frame.

I just made "Freeloaders" for my "homemade x-trabike", I`ll post pix soon. There is a "computerdisaster" at the moment in my house so making the pix the right size for posting is a problem just now.
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Old 02-13-08, 12:42 PM
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I've got an old Huffy tandem that I'm planning on doing that with.

On the Huffy, the front pedals have a smaller gear than the one that connects to the rear chain. I'm planning to use that with a long chain direct to the rear wheel, which should make it lower geared than it was orginally. (It's a single speed).

I would never cut up a bike that had any value as an antique or classic; there should be enough old worthless beaters out there to cut up.

On the Huffy frame, the front pedals are very near the front wheel, meaning your toe can clip the front wheel. And the bike is just all around unimpressive, even if it was in better condition. And frame size is smallish. The moral is, you can't start with a $100 tandem and expect to build a $2,000 dollar Big Dummy out of it. You start with a $100 tandem and build a $110 Frankenbike out of it.
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Old 02-13-08, 04:13 PM
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Pix later on of both the "dummytandems" plse!
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Old 02-13-08, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by badmother View Post
Pix later on of both the "dummytandems" plse!
Weerrrrrd! Bring on the pics!
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Old 02-13-08, 10:43 PM
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It'll be a couple of months before I start on that project. The bike is in the garage right now, but I need to finish up my Arpan Low Gravity bike first.
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Old 02-15-08, 09:13 AM
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Use the rear seat post to attach your racks. It's made for carrying weight, after all.

I'd never do this with my 1985 Santana, but a $100 Schwinn would have me thinking along the same lines as the OP.
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Old 02-18-08, 08:36 AM
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I don't think that I'd cut anything on the frame...just remove the back seat and install a long rack/deck.
I was thinking about being able to still use it as a tandem by reinstalling the seat on the rare occasions that my wife would like to ride with.

Kind of academic now as someone beat me to this bargain.
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Last edited by Jtgyk; 02-19-08 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 02-19-08, 03:32 PM
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i have a tandem , heavy as hell cruiser , but i'm planning on doing a similar thing, make a deck that fits over the rear , with some saddle bags, i plan to make an attachment that allows me to tow other bikes if needed at a drop of a hat.

^^^^
Which would also be good for bike polo, because then i could carry my polo bike, mallets and cones!
Maybe along with a lunch and few beers
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Old 02-19-08, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Metricoclock View Post
i have a tandem , heavy as hell cruiser , but i'm planning on doing a similar thing, make a deck that fits over the rear , with some saddle bags, i plan to make an attachment that allows me to tow other bikes if needed at a drop of a hat.

^^^^
Which would also be good for bike polo, because then i could carry my polo bike, mallets and cones!
Maybe along with a lunch and few beers
Now I have to find another cheap tandem so I can fulfill this dream.
Post a pic when you get this ride built.

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My nice new Nashbar Touring Build AKA "The Flying Avocadooooooooo!"
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1995 Trek 1220 AKA "Jimi"
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Old 02-19-08, 11:01 PM
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I tried to get that tandem too. Sweet deal. Had visions similar to yours, cargo rig quickly convertible back to tandem. Meaux
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Old 03-05-08, 02:23 PM
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I started sketching ideas for something similar. I have an old Schinn Twinn that I recently built up with a Shimano redband 8 speed hub. My idea is to remove the rear saddle+seatpost, stoker bars and pedals and fabricate some sort of metal tubing rack that would fit into the stoker handle bar clamp in the front and have a seatpost welded onto it to fit the stoker seat tube. Once I take measurements I'll make some proper drawings.
My first thought is the clearance issues from the spinning stoker cranks. I imagine I'll specify some bend in the tubular rack to allow the cranks to turn behind it.
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Old 03-28-08, 11:00 PM
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Please somebody do it and post photos. If I ever get a cheap tandem I will instantly bolt milk crates to it and/or whatever I can figure out.
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Old 03-28-08, 11:45 PM
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i could swear that in years past, I had seen something like this...
but i never seem to find it.

its a great idea.

same gig... use stoker bar, and seatpost, to secure a big rack or basket...

i think its an awesome idea!
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Old 03-29-08, 10:52 AM
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If it's a Schwinn Twinn, those things are terrifyingly flexy, at least with two riders! You can actually see the bike twisting as you ride... yeesh. Maybe it's just me!
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Old 03-29-08, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Metricoclock View Post
Which would also be good for bike polo, because then i could carry my polo bike, mallets and cones! Maybe along with a lunch and few beers
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Old 03-30-08, 10:59 AM
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I went the other way.

I started to built my "Little Genius" as a cargo bike (about a year before the "Big Dummy" was conceived). Before I finished the rack, I realized with a few changes it could temporarily be used as a tandem till my great-grandson got big enough to ride on his own. Seat and cranks take about 5 minutes to remove. Next year it will be completed as a cargo hauler.

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Old 03-30-08, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by MnHPVA Guy View Post
I went the other way.

I started to built my "Little Genius" as a cargo bike (about a year before the "Big Dummy" was conceived). Before I finished the rack, I realized with a few changes it could temporarily be used as a tandem till my great-grandson got big enough to ride on his own. Seat and cranks take about 5 minutes to remove. Next year it will be completed as a cargo hauler.
Magnificent! True utility, make it what you need now. My hat is off.
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Old 04-02-08, 06:10 PM
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Before there was an XtraCycle, Ralph Galen spent two years touring 13, mostly unpaved, countries, solo on a tandem. He wrote a book titled "2 Wheels, 2 Years, & 3 Continents"

IIRC some Brit did a long solo tour about 30 years earlier on a Jack Taylor tandem.

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Old 04-03-08, 11:56 AM
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From flickr, a bike born here in Pennsylvania:

Looks pretty straightforward. Remove rear saddle and post, grind off cranks, strap on double Wald double baskets. Nice!
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Old 10-12-22, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by HelluvaStella View Post
From flickr, a bike born here in Pennsylvania:

Looks pretty straightforward. Remove rear saddle and post, grind off cranks, strap on double Wald double baskets. Nice!
Looks cool but I think he is looking back there trying to figure out why his bike is Soooo heavy.....
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