This is the first tandem I’ve made, an opportunity gifted to me by two of my closest friends. That Matt and Naomi trusted me to make a kind of bike I’d never made before, and one that they wanted to take on a John o’ Groats to Lands End trip in only a few months time, was a pleasure and privilege. We assembled the finished bike in my sweaty little workshop in the middle of a British heatwave, and took it out for a dusty shakedown ride the weekend before their big ride.
Matt and Naomi are close in sizing, so we made it so they can take it in turns to be the Captain. We used 650b wheels, with big old 2.5″ tyres for the off road tracks they’re intending to ride, and made the geometry long and stable, with a fairly slack head angle to make for confident off road handling.
I used a mix of Reynolds 853, Columbus Zona, and T45, with through axle dropouts from Bear and Paragon. I really enjoyed getting to play with all these extra tubes, and shaping a sleeve to support the front seat tube and the diagonal. The tubes are all oversized, as we wanted the bike to be really torsionally stiff and confident even when loaded up.
I made a full set of custom racks, with removable low riders for their kit, and there are bottle bosses for nearly 5l of water if they need. The custom stems get them in a comfortable upright “smell the roses” position, with the stoker getting a brass bell too.
This was such a fun build, what a treat.