Dithering for Two: Tandem Dithering

make a new thread so i don’t keep cluttering up shartqs.
We are trying to figure out what exactly we want in a tandem, and who we want to build it. I started a google doc that you can view here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xwj7ZI2XSpujm2q6R2Lfk2olDcFx-UCVvcrjjUm9uKk/edit?usp=sharing
but I’m trying to decide mostly between Rodriguez, Co-Motion, and Rock Lobster. then there’s lots of actual dithering on the frame choices, but some of those are limited by the choice of builder.

Frame requirements:

Must Haves:

  • 1 ⅛” threadless stem
  • 26” x 2.5” tire
  • Rear rack mounts
  • Disc mounts
  • Room for stoker thudbuster

Would Be Nice:

  • Thru Axles
  • Dropper post for captain???
  • V Brake mounts w/ removable studs
  • Front rack braze ons
  • Cool Paint
    • Purple, metallic, fade, etc
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Rigid fork provided by frame manufacturer or?

Does the 1-1/8" steerer requirement need to be a straight steerer, or would tapered be OK as long as you can use a 1-1/8" stem with it?

Any particular BB eccentric style you are partial to?

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Rigid fork, probably from the same frame builder. Would consider wound up or other carbon options, but they’d have to be explicitly tandem-rated.

Tapered is fine, just want a 9/8" stem. Not sure what the tapered options are for tandem.

i dont really care enough to have a preference on EBB.

Ohhh I’m here for this thread as my wife and I are also planning on buying a nice tandem in the next year. I think at this point we are leaning towards a Co-Motion Mocha.

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this is what we currently have. would probably look to replicate it pretty closely. definitely keeping the swept back bars and the thudbuster. It would be cool to have a braze-on that would let the wheel alignment spring attach directly to the frame instead of the big ugly mount.

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That is awesome and I’m sure whatever you put together is going to be sweet.

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we love it so much, and that’s been a big part of why we haven’t tried to replace it, yet.

We have an old Raleigh pursuit tandem and it is getting to the point that it will soon need a major overhaul and we decided that we would rather put money into a brand new ride than fixing up the Raleigh. Here is an old picture from when we rode up to and took the ferry over to Washington Island, WI. It is basically the same now with a few updates.

For that build I’d say look at a small Riv Hubbuhubbuh, but they’re sold out.

have you seen one in person? they are like 15 feet long.

I own one

i dont think we could get it into our apartment without taking the wheels off


considered and rejected. we were concerned about frame flex bc my wife is fat.

have local framebuilder install couplers?

Sticking with swept bars opens up the sizing/handling range significantly

What are your desired and required standover requirements? i.e. is your wife getting by with the slammed thudbuster, and how much could you give up?

Her thudbuster is a little lower than it really needs to be, and we’ve actually brought it up a cm since that picture. She is not at all a confident bike rider, so we’ve been slowly getting more towards a normal fit.
Her inseam is about 30" and mine is about 33" and the Sterling is 29" standover front and rear.
I dont know if you can tell from that picture but the EBB is at about 12 o’clock, so my seatpost could come down a lot if i moved it to 6 o’clock, and actually that’s something i should do anyways. I always feel like i am vaulting off the saddle when we come to a stop.

i’m kinda moving towards the co-motion after talking it through a bit more. i do like the idea of putting the couplers in a tubing that is specifically designed for it, versus a retrofit.

We talked about it tonight and agreed that it’s very unlikely that we would ever take it on a plane in the next 5-10 years. But that a fully couplered bike would fit better in the car especially if we also have Noodle with us.

I think the major goal is to get something that isn’t completely built of shims (even though these have been mostly problem-free knock on wood) and has some accommodation to become more compact that isn’t also 20" wheels. I’d been thinking that disc brakes were a must have, but i’m not so sure after being kind of disappointed with the hydros on my Gunnar. but also couplered bike is going to have to have at least one cable disc, becasue i dont want to mess with a hydraulic splitter and i definitely want a drag brake.

also, this is the only way tandem can come in or out. hopefully the video shoes how tight the turn at the top of the stairs and from the hallway to the living room is.
We don’t usually have 2 sofas and a dozen bags of cardboard in the living room either.

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the trick is to just take the IS adapter off the frame mount

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Shit that is tight. I’d be arguing for every mm of reduced wheelbase I could get.

This is definitely old anecdotes, but when I used to sell tandems at an LBS 99% of tandem owners with a couplered tandem just used one of those extra-long roof rack trays.
They basically reported that the hassle of assembly/disassembly took up time they could be riding, and the couplers were only used for boxing for serious travel.

I know your situation is different b/c you don’t have a nice garage to just roll it out of, but wanted to offer that.

Would it be absurd to have a set of 16 “or 20” wheels for it, not for riding but just to swap on for bringing up the stairs and storage?

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