Does Tandeming Destroy Tandems?

You might think so! But not really. Tandems perform mightly hard work, and they need attention, adjustment and TLC, especially after hilly brevets.

We’re taking the weekend off from long rides to get caught up on sleep and take care of things at home. We are also enjoying virtual randonneuring via our pals at the Shenandoah 1200K. Alec Burney (who works at Velo Orange) is Tweeting his ride with Paul D. at his feed @AlecBurney. Go Alec and Paul!

That’s not to say we didn’t ride at all. Today MG and I took the Metro to College Park, Md. to retrieve the Co-Motion at College Park Bicycles. I dropped it there last Monday to address a couple of problems that cropped up during the 600K last weekend.

The first was a broken spoke on the rear wheel. We didn’t realize it was broken until we finished the ride and I heard the spoke nipple rattling around in the rim. I suppose that’s one value of disk brakes; we did’t have any rubbing noises or other indication of a problem. The wheel was fairly true even with one less spoke — maybe due to the end-of-days Velocity Chukker rim.

Close-up of wheel with broken spoke.
Still 81 miles to go on the 600K. Glad I didn't know about the broken spoke.

We also had more rear shifting problems. The chain would jump around in the smallest four cogs. Then, the chain started skating on the middle ring when we shifted from the large ring while in a smaller cog. That usually happened at the base of a hill, leaving us spinning madly until I shifted to larger cogs.

We asked Phil at CPB to check the chainline, and he moved the crankset out a bit by adjusting the Phil Wood bottom bracket cups. It shifted perfectly on the way home today. Whew! I might be a decent captain again, at least when shifting.

Close-up of the crankset shifted to the outside. Better shifting!

Tomorrow we’re going to go for breakfast somewhere and take it easy. We have plans to ride lots of miles the next two of three weekends — time now for a little recovery.


One thought on “Does Tandeming Destroy Tandems?

  1. Thanks for the great post Ed. I’ve always wondered about maintenance issues with tandems. You’ve got to figure all the parts take double abuse with two riders.

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