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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Tandem Standards - Noob Question

    I'm looking to get a tandem for limited use, basically for special trips when one person is limited in ability, or just needs the insurance that they can make it back if they wear out.

    I see tandem bikes listed for sale, but am unsure whether any particular one is in the condition I'd be able to use it. For other bikes, I know enough about the standards to know whether something's an easy replacement or upgrade, and whether I can use parts I have handy. But for tandems I'm really not sure.

    I'm thinking specifically about wheels, hubs, chainlines, cranks, bottom brackets, and such. I think I have noticed some tandems having both chains on one side, and some one on each. I've wondered if I could just use standard cranks, but with the rear rider having a chainring on each side and the front rider having theirs on the left. I know that a wide hub standard exists, but question whether it's actually used universally.

    A key requirement I have is that I need a good gearing range, because the whole purpose of having a tandem is for one person to be able to pull two if need be. A 3x5 or a 2x8 would be fine though. Nothing needs to be high end, just functional and not flimsy.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    a lot of your questions are answered here: Tandem Bicycle articles by Sheldon Brown -- Harris Cyclery

  3. #3
    ALM is offline
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    If you are looking for a used tandem I have my MT3000 Cannondale for sale. I have left it at MTB Tandems in Georgia. We purchased a new Fandango. It is a 98 model in great shape. Call Alex at MTB Tandems | Home to get more info.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Not all that much that is unique to a modern mountain tandem aside from the cranks. Most of the rest of the parts varied with the norms from when the tandem was built, and for the most part not something you need to really deal with unless you're building a tandem from spares you have laying around.

    Best bet is to find a solid, ready-to-ride tandem, such at the C'dale above. Something like that will retain most of the value you might buy it for, should you end up wanting to sell it on.

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