Tandem Build

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

Tandem Build

Postby grantw » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:54 pm

I picked up a tandem frame recently (thanks to the ebay thread :-)) and have commenced the stripdown and build up.

It appears to have been made out of two seprate frames but it is straight and looks to have been brazed by someone who knew what they were doing so should fit the bill for leisurely cycleway adventures to swimming holes during the summer.

Here is the frame as collected

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tandem1 by _granty, on Flickr

And after a pleasant afternoon with a few spanners - it came apart very easily, nothing was seized in.

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Tandem by _granty, on Flickr

And as collected this morning from the powdercoaters

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Tandem - powder coated by _granty, on Flickr

I'm quite pleased with the transformation :-)

The current plan involves some new TA Specialities Zephyr cranks from Peter White and an assortment of parts out of the spares bin to build her up.

edit: oh and I really have no idea what I'm doing here so any advice will be gratefully received!
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by BNA » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:24 pm

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Re: Tandem Build

Postby ironhanglider » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:24 pm

Nice, what's the OLD at the back? If you can get it to 130mm then you can easily use cassette hubs, 135mm will get you into MTB hubs which are plentiful, and will give you better dishing and therefore a stronger wheel. Will your dropout allow you to get a hub with a cassette on and off easily?

Look up Ghost Chainrings. They work the best for chain tensioners IMO.

Look up Sheldon and his mate John Allen for drive-train ideas. Single side drive allows you to use regular cranks.

Don't be afraid of the weight of deep Aluminium rims, the weight is irrelevant, they are cheap, strong and easily available.

Cheers,

Cameron
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Re: Tandem Build

Postby Typhoon Ken » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:39 pm

If you have no idea Grant then what a fun way to learn. Looks like a great project.
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Re: Tandem Build

Postby WyvernRH » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:33 pm

That looks suspiciously like one of the batch of tandems that was made under the Abeni/Europa labels back in the late 80's early 90's. They were built by professional builders out of quality tubing but who were more adept at solo's than tandems. However, all solidly built and (AFAIK) no two were exactly alike. Yours has no eccentric bottom bracket for tensioning the crossover chain at the front which argues for one of the first if I am correct.
Closeups of the middle joints would be helpful?

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Re: Tandem Build

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:25 am

ironhanglider wrote:Look up Ghost Chainrings. They work the best for chain tensioners IMO.


I just learnt something new. Ta very very much. Very Much.
Ours is not to reason why...merely to point and giggle
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Re: Tandem Build

Postby grantw » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:59 am

Cheers Guys,

it's been fun so far!

There is a cog mounting to tension the synch chain so I won't need a ghost, but they are a great idea!

I'll take some photos of the joining pieces Richard, as it would be interesting to know what species of frame it is. Both bottom brackets had different serial numbers which is why I believe it was constructed from two separate frames
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Re: Tandem Build

Postby koen » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:05 pm

Great job! You'll have fun.
Depending on where you plan to ride you may run into issues with braking performance. I raced for a couple of years on country roads with a standard caliper road brake. One day my friend and I were in Brisbane and riding around roads and bike paths. Having to stop unexpectedly was heart in mouth stuff and I had rear disc. Then I got a front disc!
(rear brakes are very effective by the way because they are weighted more than single bikes)
You may look out for an old fork with cantilever mounts and you can use v brakes. They work as well as cable discs on the right wheels.
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Re: Tandem Build

Postby ironhanglider » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:54 pm

grantw wrote:Cheers Guys,

it's been fun so far!

There is a cog mounting to tension the synch chain so I won't need a ghost, but they are a great idea!

I'll take some photos of the joining pieces Richard, as it would be interesting to know what species of frame it is. Both bottom brackets had different serial numbers which is why I believe it was constructed from two separate frames


Suit yourself, I found the tensioning cog noisy and draggy.

As for brakes, I have good performance from my dual pivot calliper on the front of my bike and I know of several other tandems running them front and rear here in Canberra and coping with some significant hills as well. I ran mine with John a few times and the braking performance for 220kg was not stellar, but it was ok. Good "compression less" brake cable housing makes a big difference. These are similar to gear cables but with a wire mesh around them to stop the strands splaying. With your ability to have two rear calliper brakes you could run a third brake off a thumb shifter, or bar end shifter to use as a parking brake. (not a drag brake or you'll get cook-offs with your rear tyres.

As per koen I agree that well set up V brakes work as well as anything going. We exchanged them for discs on the heavy tandem after a cook-off incident though.

Good cable housing is also important for your shifter cables too particularly if you want to use brifters. That being said I run a DT front shifter, which at least forces you to think about the front shifts, which is always desirable.
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Re: Tandem Build

Postby grantw » Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:33 am

I'm viewing it as an opportunity to experiment so watch this space. I'm liking the idea of a v-brake or disc on the front if I can find a suitable fork.
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Re: Tandem Build

Postby grantw » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:29 pm

And here are the details of the middle lugs and brazing -

Pilot Seat post
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Tandem by _granty, on Flickr

Stoker bottom bracket

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Tandem by _granty, on Flickr

Pilot bottom bracket

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Tandem by _granty, on Flickr
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Re: Tandem Build

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:20 pm

For V brakes it should be pretty easy to find some nice solid rigid MTB forks to do the trick, the forks would probably clear the larger wheel and tyre and then you would just need something like the Paul Motolite to adjust the pads.

http://www.paulcomp.com/motolite.html
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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Re: Tandem Build

Postby WyvernRH » Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:59 pm

grantw wrote:I'll take some photos of the joining pieces Richard, as it would be interesting to know what species of frame it is. Both bottom brackets had different serial numbers which is why I believe it was constructed from two separate frames


Yes, two frame numbers pretty well assures it of being a two bike join. The rear bike appears to have Nervex Pro lugs, it is/was probably a pretty good frame.
Hard to tell with the front one.
<edit> Actually. I've changed my mind they are Haden Firefly lugs, still probably a pretty good frame, just not quite so classy as Nervex Pro :wink: <edit>

A word on brakes from someone who has ridden tandems for (cough! cough!) years now. If you are going the caliper brake route remember that continuous braking, especially on the front wheel, heats up the rim. It is possible to blow the tyre off the wheel due to overheating - not good.... If you are not going to be screaming down any long hills then probably not a problem. Also, careful fitting discs to a front fork that is not designed to take that sort of strain, especially with all the extra mass of a tandem acting on it. Back in the old days when tandems had drum braked front forks the forks were made beefier, bigger headsets etc; the extra braking power you get with a modern disk could cause structural problems - also not good. Stick one on the rear by all means although a drum might be cheaper?
A pair of modern MTB forks would be ideal although it looks like you have a standard 1" headset so they probably wouldn't fit

Cheers

Richard
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Re: Tandem Build

Postby drubie » Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:43 pm

The tandem I pilot has good old cantilever brakes, they use the right pull ratio for road levers and once set up offer plenty of stopping with a heavy crew. Downside is the setup. I think a set of modern CX can't I brakes would be perfect but the alloy period Shimano ones are good, better than even dual pivot callipers.
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but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Tandem Build

Postby landyacht » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:58 pm

weve had no braking issues on the few hills in our area, with just regular caliper brakes. i did fit new longer pads throughout though. you will notice that your stoker doesnt have a lot of room and has very low bar hieght, so you may need to consider fitting some bars that raise up significantly. re the cassette rear end. its certainly worth spreading the rear to take a cassette(130mm0 . however i bit off more than I could chew going to a 10 speed with brifters. the sheer length of cable means there is a delay/lag in the shifts so you only get 9 gears. the solution would be to use a heavier cable , but filing down a BMX cable end to the size of a gear end has proved too fiddly.
we aare sticking to 9 gears at rear for now.
we started with a 700x28 on the rear but have gone up to a heavier rim (double wall,riveted) and a 32mm tyre on a 25mm wide rim. the difference in comfort and rolling resistance is really noticable. with this setup ive dropped 10psi too without it slowing me down
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I should have read sheldon first but now i know that i didnt need to chop and weld pedals arms to get the threading right
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Re: Tandem Build

Postby grantw » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:22 am

Nice job there Landyacht.

Just by way of update, it's now got wheels and is inching closer to completion. It's coming together nicely and will hopefully be done for summer

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Tandem by _granty, on Flickr
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