Tan-Nay-Nay the Tandem is Alive and Well

Let’s start with a thanks to:

Co-Motion Cycles (Zach and Dwan) for their advice, assistance and of course our gorgeous custom tandem bike frame. We had no idea about tandem bikes before emailling them. To read about why we went tandem, click HERE. To find out why Co-Motion were the custom manufacturer for us, click HERE.

Zeb and Ansel, our Eugene (USA) friends who helped get the tandem frame to us.

Helen and Christoph in Munich for receiving lots of bike parts to their German address over the past few months.

One of the best things about getting parts sent to Germany was that we got to spent time with good friends Helen and Christoph in Munich!

Alex K in Munich for picking up various spare bike parts for our build.

Rohloff AG (Stewart) for servicing our Rohloff wheel in record time.

Supernova Lights (Marcus) for donating a longer rear light cable for our tandem frame.

DHL and TNT (Ersin & Mehmet) freight services Istanbul for generously helping us out on the freight pricing.

The Denham family in Australia for receiving our bikes with only minor customs hassles.

Atek Cycles in Istanbul for the use of their tools, and for helping us collect parts from various bike shops for a great price.

Rasid at Anzac Wooden House hotel Istanbul for giving us the space to be able to store parts and build our bike.

Ramazan at the little supermarket next to our hotel in Istanbul for the cool music, bike holding and tea.

We would never have been able to make this operation happen without you!

How did we do it?

We first had the idea for the tandem in Croatia. Since then we have worked really hard to make this happen – it wasn’t as easy as laying the credit card down and paying for everything, there have been many sleepless nights! The custom frame process is very involved – including very specific sizing, specifications and frame mounts.

We had to think about every single part required to make this happen, and should we forgot something in Istanbul, it would delay our trip by weeks (luckily this wasn’t the case). Individual parts were sourced from all over the world and sent to Munich.

A few thousand kilometres and four to five months later and the tandem is a reality!


The build went relatively smoothly; it could’ve been so much worse. Alex thinks he spent over 8 hours alone getting the racks, mudguards and lights fitted. The total build time was a bit over two full days and was completed all on the street without a bike stand.

We had planned to have three brakes (a v-brake set and a rear disc brake) but it turns out our brake lever for Kat’s handlebar didn’t fit, and our rear mudguard setup didn’t really allow for the rear v-brake.

We also required additional spacers for our bottom brackets to get the cranks tight – Kat got dragged to a nearby bike shop to get these parts. Somehow, Alex fitted the belts on the bike and they worked out to be aligned PERFECTLY the first time – this never happens!

The build in pictures

Step one involved dismantling our existing touring bikes into individual parts. It took us six hours to get them into a box.
The reason it took so long was because freight from Istanbul is very expensive. Each extra centimetre to the length, base or height costs 7€! That adds up quick.
We jammed our 90x60x30cm box full with two bikes (minus a set of wheels) and heaps of gear. Total weight 31kg; destination Australia.
Our new tandem frame luxuriating on our purple bedspread in Istanbul!
Ramazan, the lovely neighbour to our hotel, helped out a lot with being a bike stand (and with tea)!
Fitting up the belts and spacing out the bottom brackets at Atek Cycles, Istanbul.
Alex getting close to finishing the bike!
Alex giving the bike a quick test ride – success!
Alleykat are happy campers! Thanks so much for everybody that helped us get to where we are now.


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