Rhode Island framebuilder Brian Chapman and his wife bought their first tandem about six years ago, and it worked out really well for them. That got Brian thinking – how could he improve the geometry, handling, load carrying, components and comfort? After a good five years of research and testing, he put together a tandem that was everything he could ever want.
Here’s What A Framebuilders Very Own Tandem Looks Like:
This ‘constructeur’ tandem is littered with small details including internal dynamo light wiring, an integrated bell, a frame pump, polished parts, lugs, fillet brazing (inc. stems), hidden brake cables and even a Phil Wood drag brake. The styling of the bike is certainly on point – the Turf Green colour eloquently contrasting the polished silver parts, gumwall tyres and brown finishing kit.
The Phil Wood drag brake is a pretty handy addition to a tandem without disc brakes. This is an emergency third brake for steep or long descents where the cantilever brakes cannot provide enough power to slow the loaded tandem down. This is activated using a friction shifter mounted on the frame’s downtube.
The matching single wheel trailer mounts at the rear axle – you can see the clips which ensure that the trailer cannot slip off its mount.
There’s an eccentric bottom bracket at the front of the tandem to tension the timing chain on the left hand side. This bottom bracket section of the frame is a great place to see how meticulously the fillet brazing has been done. Smooth as a baby’s bottom!
The trailer is designed to be an alternative to rear panniers. This keeps weight off the rear wheel and allows for a greater carrying capacity than if it just had rear panniers. The trailer even has its own dynamo light which can be connected up from a cable in the tandem’s left chainstay.