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  1. #1
    J
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    The story of my tandem, or post pics of yours!

    Hi, if you read no further, hit reply and post a pic of your tandem! I didnt see a post your tandem thread, so hopefully people will do that here. Otherwise, this is the story of Molly, my tandem, and I hope you enjoy it.

    I started off as a stoker in Belmont, CA. Charles from Passion Trail Bikes had a tandem, a steel hardtail with a Risse fork. It had a gravity dropper in the back so I could get down low and pin turns, like a sidecar. Anyway, I really enjoyed being in the tandem scene around Norcal. I posted the vid of the tandem freeride invitational, great fun. I just never had one of my own. Theyíre expensive, and I had something like 6 bikes already.

    Anyway, I moved back to Austin TX. A few weeks after I arrived, I got a call from a friend. She had asked if I was into tandems. I told her that I was. She told me she had something for me to look at. This girl was probably one of the last people that would have a tandem, much less a mtb tandem, so I figured this had to have been good.
    I go to her place, we open the garage door. The exchange goes like this:

    Me: Wow
    Cody: Yep
    Me: Let me guess. There was a guy...
    Cody: (nods head)
    Me: ....thatís not around anymore...
    Cody: (nods head)
    Me: .....aaand he thought this would be a good id-
    Cody: (furrows brow, shakes head slowly)
    Me: Gotcha
    Cody: Get this thing off my crafts table, I want to do stained glass

    Turns out itís a 90ís-ish Specialized tandem made in the USA. I take it home, basically beef it up. It had an old Rock Shock dart on it, straight bar, and an old mechanical disc.

    I give her $600, tear it down and put the front fork, wheel and dual piston hydro brake from my DH / FR bike. I mean, itís not like Iím going to be riding a 7 inch travel single pivot bike in Central, TX, so why not?

    Itís too big for me, yes (I'm 5'9), I have no standover and itís interesting having a 160mm fork on a bike that was probably made for 80-100 Yes, the steering is a bit floppy going uphill, but itís not really that bad since the fork does sag a bit when you get on it. The Fox 36 is amazing on this bike. Apparently, the frame is unique, and you certainly don't see a whole lot of tandems with indexed 7 speed Suntour thumbies It's still got a canti on the back, which is fine and enough. When you straddle this thing and get going, it's such an amazing feeling, it's so solid. I do envy you guys with the Ventanas, but this thing is neat!

    It gets a lot of attention, and is fun to take around town. People go ďoh a tandem...oh my God, thatís a...MOUNTAIN TANDEM?! Most everyone that's ridden on it thinks it's a hoot.

    I named her Molly, as with mtb tandeming, it is often that youíre Flirting With Disaster.

    Here's a few pics.





    I included this one of it on the car to illustrate that a tandem can fit on a single tray receiver hitch rack. That and hey, cute stoker.



    Aries navigational module:



    I'm so happy to have stumbled upon this and to have found a use for my 36! It's amazing riding mtb tandem, as what's always an individual experience (cycling) you get to experience together. All of a sudden, a small off camber root becomes challenging again. It's basically a giggle machine, you guys know how it is.
    Last edited by J; 07-24-2011 at 12:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Cool ride, nice find! and yes, cute stoker!!! I am not too keen on the V brakes in the rear and I would order a Thud buster to keep that stoker smiling. Pics of our ECDM are in the ECDM thread started by PMK. Best of luck with it.
    Ed and Pat Gifford
    the Snot Rocket tandem

  3. #3
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    Sweet Ride J but that rack sticks way out............You need a sign that says Wide Load!

  4. #4
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    awesome tandem. I want to get one someday.

  5. #5
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    American Bicycle Manufacturing

    It was built by American Bicycle Manufacturing that was located in St. Cloud Minnesota who's now defunct. I've built them up before. Cool classic ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by J View Post
    Hi, Turns out itís a 90ís-ish Specialized tandem made in the USA.
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

  6. #6
    J
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    No kidding, so it wasn't built by Specialized? I don't really care about that so much, but would be interested to know more if you do. I bought some parts from Tandems East a while back, and when described he said it was a bit of a unique piece. Unique in the way the rear crosstube (sorry, what's it called?) goes from the bb up to the stoker seat.

    Edit: just found this http://mombat.org/American.htm Its like you solved a mystery.

    I would like to see other tandems in this thread, so post them up if you want.

  7. #7
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    tandem manufacturing

    I don't really keep up with the 1/2 bike industry, but I don't believe Specialized has ever owned there own manufacturing facilitates. They contract out everything they sell, like most of the smaller bike companies do. Having said that, the tandem world is very much dominated by the US. We sell Da Vinci which are made in Denver CO with Easton tubing. Many of the components are made state side. Of course this doesn't make a bike great or poor.

    The tube that runs diagonally through many tandem frames is called the diagonal tube. What American did with your frame, if my memory serves me well I believe is called the double diamond frame. Its easier to manufacture, not necessarily better. All frame configurations have been tried for many years before Specialized dabbled in the market.

    Hope that helps

    Quote Originally Posted by J View Post
    No kidding, so it wasn't built by Specialized? I don't really care about that so much, but would be interested to know more if you do. I bought some parts from Tandems East a while back, and when described he said it was a bit of a unique piece. Unique in the way the rear crosstube (sorry, what's it called?) goes from the bb up to the stoker seat.

    Edit: just found this http://mombat.org/American.htm Its like you solved a mystery.

    I would like to see other tandems in this thread, so post them up if you want.
    Arly a tandem Nerd, Who rides them, loves them, so we sell them. superiortandems.com

  8. #8
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    With that in the car or if they fine you if,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, not??

  9. #9
    Schipperkes are cool.
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    Deja Tu is the name. I have 2; one off road and the other commuter'd up. Install a Salsa brake booster on the rear brake (could be SE Peterson caliper) to help stiffen up the stays. I have Avid Arch Rivals with Avid Speed Dial levers with boosters and have no need for a disk off road with a White Brothers DCS90 triple clamp fork-it is floppy as these frames were not suspension correct'd.
    Custom Bicycles from Rodriguez - R+E Cycles - Home of Rodriguez Custom bikes, Women's Bicycles, Tandem Bicycles, and Accessories. rodriguez custom bicycles women's bicycles tandem bicycles has the correct derailleur hangers for the Specy/AM/Rodriguez. "Other stuff we make".
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.

  10. #10
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    cool story! some nice tandems.

  11. #11
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    heres an early pic of mine

  12. #12
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by freerider1 View Post
    heres an early pic of mine
    Very nice ride.

    Very similar to how our bike came to us.

    This photo shows how it is built now, AORTA 2011 Dupont photo. The ATC fork was swapped to a modified FOX40 with Kashima fork tubes, the original rear RP23 was revalved and works very well, but ultimately was removed and replaced with a Fox DHX5.0. We don't have the MTX rims or hydraulic brakes either.

    PK
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The story of my tandem, or post pics of yours!-img_1289-copy.jpg  

    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  13. #13
    J
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    Love the pics. Thanks for the link to the hanger and the advice on mine.

  14. #14
    Shop Owner/Frame Builder
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    Jay- thanks for starting this thread. Its a good read.

    Jay and I both live in Austin, so its refreshing to see another mtn tandem out and about. I've been on a bit of a riding hiatus lately due to multitude of circumstances. But I plan to get out and join him sometime.

    I've got an older Santana mtn tandem that I've put a Surly Big-dummy fork on. Once I started really riding the bike off road, my goal was to raise the BB up a bit and also put a 29er front wheel on it. The big-dummy fork was a middle ground to accomplishing both of these things. (while adding a front disc brake too).

    Here's a photo of me and one of my buddies racing the bike in a TX Cup Marathon event. We did 85 miles and 8+ hrs on the bike that day.

    Here is a link to a post about everything leading up to the event. There's also a race report and more pics.

    I've got a case of the crazy's

    www.HammerheadBicycles.com
    Austin's dirty little secret

    www.TrueFabricationBicycles.com
    Texas Born; Texas Bred

  15. #15
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    Well this one is a mtn tandem, sort of, it does have 26" wheels, and old XT components. I originally found the thing locked up to a bike rack in an apartment complex that I lived in. It sat there rusting for about 2 years. One day while in the building manager's office I asked if she knew who's it was, she didn't but one of the other tenants that was there did. Turns out the former owner had moved out about a year earlier. I was told "if you can get it unlocked from the rack you can take it". About 15 minutes later I had it back in our apartment.
    I think it was an old Rollfast model, it was a single speed coaster brake when I found her. I striped the old paint off, added an extra cross bar in the back, rattle can repainted it and changed it over to some newer more updated parts (gears, better brakes, etc). It's a fun bike to ride, my 7 year loves how fast we can go and we get a lot of looks on it.

    Here's a side view.

    A close up of the "internal routed cables".

    Cables exiting frame

  16. #16
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    Those internally-routed cables are awesome.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Okayfine View Post
    Those internally-routed cables are awesome.
    Thanks. Considering I had to run housing the entire length, it seemed like the best solution. However, even running super smooth cables to that drum brake on the back-end doesn't do much to slow us down It's not that big of a deal though, because it's usually just me and my son riding down the crushed rock trails in the area - so not real "off road" riding.

  18. #18
    FunTimeRider!
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    We're rocking a 2010/2011 cannondale road tandem 2, however the clearance is big enough for cross and possibly full-sized 29'rs (haven't tried yet). I don't know if we'll ever take it on serious single-track, but we've already taken it up into Forest Park here in Portland. leif erickson trail is an old fire-road that is primarily gravel and so has gotten quite muddy over the years.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The story of my tandem, or post pics of yours!-webdscf1209.jpg  


  19. #19
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    Ventana El Testigo

    Have'nt ridden it for a little while, wife had a serious foot surgery. Im working on adapting it so my 9 year old son can be my stoker
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The story of my tandem, or post pics of yours!-tandem-1.jpg  


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainHaddock View Post
    We're rocking a 2010/2011 cannondale road tandem 2,
    Get your stoker a suspension post, stat.

  21. #21
    FunTimeRider!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Okayfine View Post
    Get your stoker a suspension post, stat.
    Yeah, my thought was the "Thudbuster" but I'm not sure which version. Opinions?

  22. #22
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    For off road riding I would say the LT or long travel. We had one on our Fandango and Pat really loved it( until I made the mistake of taking her on a full suspension Ventana) There is some adjustment for weight by changing the elastomers and the thru bolt gives a sort of compression/preload adjustment. We do not have any experience with the ST model. We felt the Thud buster was a quality product and the manufacturer to be service oriented should any problems crop up. IMHO.
    Ed and Pat Gifford
    the Snot Rocket tandem
    Last edited by giff07; 03-06-2012 at 05:13 AM.

  23. #23
    PMK
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    Thudbuster LT.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  24. #24
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    Your tandem is bada$$. It looks like you put a lot of hard work into it and paid off. That has to be one of the coolest tandems on this forum.

  25. #25
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    1993 Yakota Grizzly Peak.

    Here's my recently (last week) acquired 1993 Yakota Grizzly Peak.
    1993 is the coincidentally the year I purchased my first mountain bike. I remember seeing a mountain tandem in the shop at the time and thinking it looked pretty cool. About a year ago I started thinking about looking for a tandem and really wanted a 90s era rigid steel mountain tandem. Started scouring Craigslist and have to say I was really discouraged by what I found. Very few tandems, most were old (or cheap new versions of) neighborhood cruisers. An occasional road tandem, and an occasional mountain tandem that was way outside of my price range.

    Last week this one popped up and I snatched it up the next day. Not perfect, but probably the closest thing I was going to find to what I wanted. Crappy shifters, derailleurs, and brakes, but the more important parts (frame, cranks, and wheels) were pretty decent. I needed a bike for a short stoker so this 18"/16" frame was just the ticket. I typically ride 18"-19.5" Mtbs, so it's within my range up front. It is a bit small for an 18" and especially the unusually short headtube makes bar height a challenge, especially when you factor in a high BB height. The former owner had a shop install that monstrosity of stem adaptors and converters (1 1/8"quill to threadless adaptor with a separate steer tube extender). Eventually I hope to come up with a cleaner option.

    As I'm new to tandems, I'm avoiding spending any more money on it until I'm sure that one or both of us don't hate it. So far I just tuned and lubed it, and swapped some parts I already had (tires, pedals, wider bar, longer stem, seat). It's got a funky gearing setup with 28-44-54 chainrings that I don't think were original. The result is the RD can't take up all the chain slack if you use the granny, so they added a chain tensioner hanging from the chainstay. As soon as I know we're going to keep it, I'll do something with the chainrings and put on a new deraileur, shifters, and brakes (or at least some Koolstop pads).

    This thing will see mostly crushed-stone bike path rides, but I absolutely want to try some singletrack with it. I may have to do it solo though because my local singletrack is a bit on the techy side and my stoker isn't diggin it, but we'll see.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The story of my tandem, or post pics of yours!-yakotatandem01.jpg  

    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

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