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My big tandem project help/advice needed

robd75robd75 Posts: 147
edited March 2011 in Workshop
Right then, I got given a tandem the other day as I wanted a project but it needs a fair bit of work.
I have a quote and intend to get the frame and forks shot blasted and powder coated so tha that bit covered.
It had sturmy archer gears and some sort of hub braking that I'm not familiar with. The wheel are pretty rusty and I'm not sure whether to try to restore the wheels (can these be shot blasted?). Or whether to get new wheels? Would I be able to fit a rear derailleur on this do you think and run modern gears?
I think that I like the idea of restoring it to it's original spec but with maybe drop bars at the front.
So if anyone can offer any advice or opinion in regards to this project I would be grateful.
And to give you an idea of the scale of this project here is a link to some photo's



  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    maybe the shiney parts can rechrome again. make sure the frames solid with rust.
  • Hello - just going through a similar project...unfortunately the shot blasting and painting is the easy bit.
    Wheels are probably going to be more trouble than its worth to restore - spokes and rims look pretty shot and the although you probably could get parts like rims rechromed it will cost an arm and a leg, i've found it was cheaper to buy new parts as chroming was so expensive.
    You can still buy geared hubs and hub brakes easily from places like, but its not cheap - there's plenty of stuff appearing on ebay but competition is fierce and prices high.
    Advice i've had is either replace the hub brakes or weld on mounts for disc brakes - just new rim brakes won't stop a heavy tandem, although centre pull brakes may be enough if you're just cruising on the flat.
    Size of things like rear drop outs and wheels can be a problem if the bike is very old, could be older sized wheels eg 271/4 inch or 261/6inch so getting replacements is tricky.
    For mine i worked out what wheels the frame could accomodate and built up new 700c wheels from various parts and changed from a hub gear to a 5speed freewheel which was much cheaper than a new internal hub gear.

    Looks like none of the parts will be standard so it'll take a while to find bits to suit - spa cycles, sjscycles are goo for odd pats and check out the forum on the tandem club uk - i've found that really useful...inlcuding someone that gave me a wheel for the price of the postage alone.

    good luck

  • Berk BonebonceBerk Bonebonce Posts: 1,245
    Switching to derailleur gears is the obvious thing to do. A frame builder will be able to respace the rear triangle (if required) and also replace the RH rear droput (or both of them) so that the bike will be able to take a rear mech. And he will also be able to braze on the appropriate cable guides/stops.

    Tandems also have oversize BB shells to take concentric bottom brackets.

    You need to speak to a framebuilder, and not all of them have a lot of tandem experience.
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