Tandem Bike Cafe

How to make a tandem bicycle from two bikes! No welding, no fancy tools needed other than a power drill. You're going to need: -crescent/ adjustable wrenches -chain breaker -extra chain -electric drill -bolts/ nuts -two bicycles, nothing fancy (possibly a smaller frame for the stoker if you'd like, and if you're picky and want certain cranks, go with frames with square/ taper BB's) -crank puller (optional) -allen keys -basic bike tools -probably some other stuff I can't remember right now. This doesn't necessarily need to be in any particular order, in when you do this, but on the rear bike, we're going to need to drill at least two holes through the headtube and through the steerer tube of the fork. Drill holes corresponding with the size bolts you're going to use. I also wouldn't recommend smaller bolts, considering that we're going for strength here. This drilling is going to prevent the frame of the rear bike from turning like the cargo of a semi-truck, which could be catastrophic if it happens on a left turn for the drivetrain.

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MAKE SURE THAT WHEN YOU DRILL, THE FORK IS LINED UP PERFECTLY STRAIGHT WITH THE FRAME. I don't think I need to explain why. It might be easier to check this with a front wheel mounted, or if you particularly don't care about it, clamp it in a vice as I did. So you should have a front bike without a rear wheel, a rear bike without a steering set of handlebars and three rods bolted through its steerer tube. Splendid. Take the rear bike and set it up with that front wheel with the rear axle, and using whatever combination of nuts you can get a hold of, make sure the fork tightens so that the dropouts of it are closest to the axle. Try to get the rear dropouts of the front bike on over the axle. Now of course, it depends on what fork you're using, what your rear dropouts are like, etc, but if for some reason your fork doesn't fit with whatever configuration you're using, stretch it. Yes, if it's a steel fork, it should stretch pretty easy, as mine did just put your foot on one leg and slowly bend it. Make sure it fits over the rear dropouts, as opposed to inside of them now, and bolt that middle wheel on as tight as you possibly can! I figured I'd give the stoker something to do, (okay, realistically, gear cables don't run this long! ), so I installed a shifter on the rear bike's set of handlebars which control the gears for the bike, though I found out that they honestly don't help so much anyway. Ha haa. And as far as brakes: if you want, you can install two, but they have to be controlled by the captain, because you don't want the stoker doing anything stupid. I highly recommend a front brake, and on the middle wheel, you can install a back brake for the front bike, or a front brake for the back bike. Bottom line is, even as heavy as the thing is, it works fine for me with just one brake. And no bike shop would ever condone this, but if you, like myself, have a nicer deraileur and are lacking horizontal dropouts, get a cheap deraileur hanger and stick it in between the hardware and tighten the hell out of that wheel! It's proven to work fine, but looks pretty bad in my opinion.

That's it? What? ! Yep. It's that easy. Just make sure everything's tight and the hand - controlled parts are properly tuned up, and it's ready for a ride! So how do you ride it? Yeah, there are three wheels and it's pretty difficult to turn (I say it turns like a semi-truck going through the drive-through of mc donald's) but trust me, it's not that bad once you get the hang of making really wide turns. I recommend having the captain get on first, support the bike completely and have the stoker mount themselves on the pedals, then take off with as little horizontal movement as possible. There might be some play in the rear bike's steering, as why I cut them down to size, considering that the stoker will have less leverage as a result, and it's proven to be effective. I'd cross streets by walking the bike and never take turns too quickly. Also, think about getting a higher pressure middle tire, just because the wheel has twice as much weight on it as it normally would. There is no reason not to keep the back wheel and have 7 separate drive systems. Of course, if it's side by side then it's not in tandem. But for a realization of that concept,. Look what I dug up in the old photos box, from the late 85's. After a benefit ride, Aramis and Clinique, two Estee Lauder brands, gave these away as Drawing prizes, Hope they show. LOL! Yeah, I was searching for the right term.

Tandem hook

Then I thought, to be that technical, is a tandem cycle, usually with three or four wheels, even a bike or bicycle? Buddy bike does kind of say it, I suppose. I was picturing more of a four wheel configuration, but this is intriguing, too. Back in the day I used to weld a washer onto the dropouts and spread the fork blades and slide one fork over the rear wheel of another bicycle and make no additional modifications. This way, the bicycle would bend in the middle in turns and not require 95 acres and skidding the tires through turns. The fork would quickly work its way out of the axle of the front bicycle without the 865 degree retention provided by the washer welded to the fork dropout. The chain that is connecting the two bicycles together in this example is completely unnecessary. It is not only not necessary to prevent the rear fork from pivoting in turns, but quite undesirable. Both forks should be able to pivot. As another poster here discusses, I used to string 8 or 9 bicycles together by this method. I never tried more than 9. FYI: Tandem refers to the arrangement of one in front of another not to quantity. Mother duck and all her little ducklings following along behind her are in tandem. True I know your comment is old and I hadn't really ever gotten around to replying to it, but my goal was to make a connected-drive tandem, as most real tandems are. It did take a lot more effort to set this particular version up for something that turns less efficiently than what you described, but this had more of a genuine tandem feel (minus that third wheel) than simply stretching out the fork on a beater bike and attaching it to another. At any rate, if I build another one, it probably will have independent drivetrains! Hey! It's a very nice idea!

I'll try to make one as soon as possible, congratulations! If I may? It steers like a truck because it can't flex around the middle wheel. Back in the middle of the last century (ok, I'm an old coot ), we used to chain as many as 65 bikes together by hooking the fork of one over the axle of the bike in front, usually for parades. Watching them snake thru the floats was wild as all the riders usually dressed up as clowns. Each bike kept it's own chain drive and coaster brake (pre-ten-speed era), but the lead guy decided where you went. . And no arguing about it. Take the bolts out, disconnect the rear bike drive from the front bike and you'll find it works a lot better. BuddI just thought I should let you know, a side by side is usually known as a sociable, because you can chat: ) Check out http: / TinyURL. Com/TandemEquivalent It shows another solution to the same problem which is arguably simpler and more manuverable. The reason that you have to make really wide turns, cross streets by walking the bike, never take turns too quickly, and the whole bike is difficult to turn, is the fact that you've bolted the head tube, preventing the bike frame from pivoting in a turn. However, a bike with three (in-line) wheels MUST have a pivot point to turn properly. While (I agree) this would be catastrophic for the drive train that you've built, it would work fine if each bike were to keep it’s own (independent) drive train. What I mean is, why not just connect the front fork of the rear bike, to the rear axle of the front bike, and be done? And best of all, this way you wouldn't need to splice a super-long chain together, or deal with complications of trying to share the drive train. Old Man Mountain uses super long axles with their axle-mounted racks.

Might be able to get some from them and perhaps use some ideas from their mounting. Hey Kevin I didn't know you were a member of instructables though I kinda thought you were. It's Vincent from South. You know the kid who doesn't know what to cut on the frame. I'm sure there's a way to make it bend in the middle, you just would have to have two different drivetrains. Maybe you would need to change the angle on the rear steering tube. After all, these things work fine: doh I was just thinking - if both riders leaned different amounts, there'd be some serious twisting stresses on that joint. I'll never make one, but I do like the look of it. I wonder if this would work as a modular thing - each bike powers its own back wheel, but you can fix loads together. Imagine the chaos that could be caused on one of those reclaim the streets events. Everybody arrives, takes off their front wheel and they build one single vehicle, three blocks long. It would be the world's longest, narrowest flashmob. Well if you're an awesome rider, go completely straight and you're fine. Carve it off an inch or two to the left, the chain will stretch beyond your wildest dreams and most likely explode. Go off to the right, and it'll probably fall offprobably wouldn't hurt, but it's been on a few rides so far, and no problems to date. The flexing actually helps with turning a little bit. Excellent execution - I've had a very similar idea on the back burner for some time now: ) More along the lines of independent drive trains though:

)craptastic the diagram didn't workk in the post, but did in the preview. Hopefully you can see what i mean! Sweeet. I was thinking of pretty much the same idea but gave up when the forks didn't fit over the back dropouts, I didn't want to have to bend them.

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