Author Topic: New bike  (Read 2603 times)

Blodwyn Pig

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New bike
« on: August 05, 2023, 01:33:30 pm »
Hi all, I think i'm about to buy my first tandem, and my first Thorn.  After reading the online splurgge file, it appears to me that Thorn are the Volvo  of the cycling world.  The bike I'm thinking of getting is (I think) a Discovery tandem, in L/S flavour, I'm 6'2" and madam is 5'5"(and not a cyclist).  I heard the tales of relationships , divorce and tandems, we've been together 23 years, but only been married a month, so I told her that we can't get divorced, we haven't been married long enough. ;D 
Looks to be in excellent condition, but red unfortunately, never mind.  It's got hydraulic rim brakes, and a disc brake as well. Reading the 'splurgge' again, I diidn't realise that the disc was the main rear brake, and the rim brake is the secondary parachute. Its got a schmidt dynohub, and the bike appears to have had little use.  I think £250 is a reasonable sum for a first tandem, and we are hoping to get used to it quickly, and take it to the Loire valley in 4 weeks time. Hope to take the wheels off and put it in the back of our Volvo XC70 . We were going to hire one for a couple of days, but that's in the region of £25 a day. So we reason if we only use the tandem 10 times, we've broken even. My lovely is terrified on a bike, but seems quite happy if someoone else is in control and does all the stuff! We'll see.

Bit quiet on here it would seem, where has everyone gone.?
« Last Edit: August 09, 2023, 07:16:51 am by Blodwyn Pig »

flocsy

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Re: New bike
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2023, 06:33:48 pm »
If I was living in the continental Europe or in the UK and had the space to store it inside my house I would already have bought it. Don't worry about the color. In one of the broshures I read last week it was argued that having a non black bike makes it harder for thieves to sell them and not get spotted.

lewis noble

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Re: New bike
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2023, 08:18:48 pm »
Good luck with this, Blodwyn!!  We had a Thorn Discovery a few years ago, and had good trips on it in Scotland and Finland, but we ended up preferring solo-ing, and it went to friends on 'loan' - they're still using it!!  I think my wife felt I was too fast downhill - I probably was. 

Re transport on car . . . on our campervan holidays, we took the tandem on the back of our VW van.  Wheels off, fork turned round, and I made a cradle for the bare-as-possible tandem frame to sit on our bike rack.  Cradle was made of wood, secured to the bike rack, with two boat rowlocks on top of the cradle to support the frame.  This worked well, the bike rack we had was a Thule fold down sort - i.e. fixed to the van tailgate, the bike support folded up / down when not in use/ in use.  Everything secured by straps etc.  Thinking about it, quite why I didn't just use the folded-down platform as a base to lay the frame down on flat, I don't know - perhaps my tendency to find solutions that are more complicated than they need to be!!  Or perhaps there was too much overhang.

If I find the cradle in the dark corners of my garage, I will post a photo, but I have a feeling it's gone. 

An alternative might be the sort of rack that is two prongs out of the back, secured onto the tailgate, might work better, but that type could not be fitted to the van.

The length of the stripped -down frame was just within the width of the van if I remember rightly, and I guess a XC70 is also a fairly wide vehicle.

I have seen tandems on roof carriers, but as the carriers usually only have one 'frame support' upright, I would be concerned about them flexing a lot - never tried that. 

Or would the frame fit in the back of the Volvo??  Leave the rest of your kit at home?!

Good luck anyway.
 

mickeg

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Re: New bike
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2023, 10:03:02 pm »
Does it have S&S couplers?  If so, are you familiar with them?


Danneaux

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Re: New bike
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2023, 10:07:58 pm »
My own tandem (produced locally here in the upper-left corner of the US back in 1989 by a now-defunct company, pic below) measures 8ft/2.4m in length and carries nicely on my car using a fold-down hitch-mounted rack employing an adapter I made. I simply got a length of 1.5in square tubing from the local metal supply house, Tig-welded an upright at one end pierced by a piece of drilled round stock to lock the fork onto with a q/e skewer, and bolted on a meter-long rear wheel tray sourced from one of the car-top rack makers. The whole adapter then secures...securely...to the wheel tray on the hitch rack using u-bolts, sitting widthwise across the car. The whole adapter and clamps cost me less than $40 to make and the entire tandem fits within the outside edges of my Ford Focus sideview mirrors. It overlaps the sides of the car but if the mirrors fit, it will too. I'd be happy to provide a photo of the adapter if you'd like to make/have one made; it is hanging in my garage rafters at the moment, as I detached it to use the carrier for friends' two single bikes; the swap-over takes about 5 minutes and a deep-well socket to accomplish.

If you go ahead and buy the tandem, I think you'll be in for a lot of fun. My regular tandem partner (stoker) is my housemate-sister, who after a dozen years has still not recovered fully from a horrendous back surgery. Despite our different fitness and strength levels, we cycle happily together and I get a good workout while she can enjoy the scenery at an output she's comfortable investing. It is so nice to enjoy conversing as we ride, made easy by the proximity of captain and stoker and we always arrive at the top and bottom of hills together and at the same time. We've taken the bike solo and while fully loaded with panniers and one of my own-made trailers and it has never let us down.

Speaking of trailer, you may wish to invest in one if you regularly go camping in a self-supported way, as the bike itself has the same luggage capacity as a single but will have to carry gear, clothing, water, food, and sleeping systems for two. The trailer makes that easy and mine is waterproof and lockable, a bonus while in camp or stopped for supplies.

Just remember to swing wide in corners -- especially around bollards -- to spare the stoker's knees, as the rear wheel describes a tighter arc than a single due to the longer wheelbase. Also, the captain may have the best view and the controls, but the stoker is ALWAYS right! Remember that and take care of them and both parties are likely to have a wonderful time. Forget it at your peril. You'll soon learn to feel each other's efforts through the timing chain that connects both sets of pedals, so you can learn when to pour on the coal..and when one party is in need of a rest.

All best wishes for a terrific and fun adventure if you go for one of these tandems; Thorn has surely made some of the finest.

Dan.

Blodwyn Pig

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Re: New bike
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2023, 12:01:58 pm »
@ Dan, looks like thirsty work.  :-\  Thanks for the advice all. Hoping to pick it up next week. Interestingly, it is fitted with Magura HS66 hydraulic rim brakes with drop bar levers. These are quite rare, all sought after by those that want them for a retro 90ís mtb to drop bar gravel bike conversions.

Blodwyn Pig

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Re: New bike
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2023, 03:04:01 pm »
Just noticed that the bike has 40h rims, are these rare,can't seem to find any online

mickeg

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Re: New bike
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2023, 04:46:53 pm »
Just noticed that the bike has 40h rims, are these rare,can't seem to find any online

Almost no solo bikes use a 40 hole rim anymore but they are out there for tandems to use. 

Example, Velocity in USA has these.
https://www.velocityusa.com/product/rim_applications/tandem

I am in USA, I do not know what is sold in UK.  But I would assume that SJS would still stock 40 hole rims.

Sun Ryhno Lite might also be available in a 40H.

Blodwyn Pig

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Re: New bike
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2023, 04:59:49 pm »
none listed on sjs or any where else.

mickeg

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Re: New bike
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2023, 06:32:03 pm »
I assume you are in UK.  Contact SJS.  Maybe a special order is needed.

Or, the rims on the tandem you are looking at, if you know the brand and model, do an internet search to see if there are any UK sellers.

If there are any retailers in UK that sell Velocity rims, check them out. 

This surprises me.  Rims are in a big box, to have them shipped from USA would probably be a very expensive shipping charge.


hendrich

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Re: New bike
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2023, 12:49:15 am »
Wow! Without knowing the particulars, that price for a Thorn tandem is a great deal. Coincidently, my wife of 6 months and I have also been together for 23 years. We have been touring on tandem all that time. When we bought our 2nd tandem 5 years ago, our choice was between Thorn and a Seattle bike maker. The Seattle bike won out based on sizing and shipping costs. However, my knowledge of what to look for, and the construction and components of our new bike was greatly influenced by the extensive commentaries of Andy Blance.

SJS is your source for components. Probably the bike has Ryde rims, so the best. Get them trued and you should be good for a long time.

My experience is that couples that do well on a tandem have both come from previous pleasant single bike experiences. But not the rule. I assume you are the captain. The initial rides are critical. You must listen and adjust as needed to all her concerns. She is putting much trust in you and it will take much time to develop that trust to a point where she is having fun.