A new tandem

Last year we cycled through the Eiffel precisely in the period that would end with the major floods there and in the Ardennes and Limburg. It was a nice trip, partly because we often found direction signs for cyclists that pointed in the direction we wanted to go. Those cycling routes were often on more or less unpaved roads through nature, which was wonderful, because the German roads where cars can come are generally too busy to enjoy. Those unpaved roads only turned out to have a disadvantage. Somewhere (we don't know how) we bent our middle leaf for. Once we found a bicycle repairman who also had blades in the dimensions we were looking for, our chain was worn out! It was just a year and less than 1000km old. That's when we decided to buy a new tandem. One with belt drive and a Rohloff hub. And then also wider tires, so that off-road driving becomes less exciting.

An acquaintance of Tessel's father had just started his own bicycle building company and sometimes wanted to build a tandem. So we went to work with a list of wishes and especially sketches of what the frame should really look like.

frame sketches

We took our 1-person touring bikes as a starting point and a bit of common sense. Then we ran into a whole battery of preconditions due to available items such as front fork and belt sizes. Extensive googling about corners and sizes and even more variants …

After many afternoons of puzzling and sketching we came out and then he went to work (in his shed, because he does not have his own business premises).

Last Sunday we were able to make our first test round. Tomorrow we make a longer ride and on Friday we take it to the Morvan (by train, always an adventure) to cycle back home in 3 weeks.

about the technical details of the bike I will report more another time.

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