This weekend brings about Unbound Gravel, in Emporia, Kansas and I managed to catch up with a few friends who are taking on the 200-mile route… on a tandem. It’s not just any tandem though, so let’s check it out in detail below.
Late August 2019, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Schicke Mütze, a bike shop, and cafe in Düsseldorf organized a visit of Tom Ritchey and a gravel ride together with local cyclists and enthusiasts. they let me in on that beautiful day, the following is the account of a conversation and video interview with Tom Ritchey.
Ben has been regaling me with stories of putting this tandem together for quite some time, each time he was looking for one last little bit to make it all fit together. Before we met up for coffee outside the other week, he pinged me to ask if he should bring the tandem to which I responded: “Of course, coffee and cool bikes, duh.”
I was looking at everyone’s legs. The group of 13 included professional and semi professional racers, life-long athletes focused specifically on their relationship to the bicycle. There aren’t six packs; there’s, like, eight to ten pacs. Some even have muscular faces! How is that even possible to accomplish? Seeing my own soft animal body as lesser than their impressive builds. The grass kept getting greener and greener on the other side of my eyeballs and I felt myself getting smaller and smaller. Where in my body is this discomfort living? I had three days and the grand views around beautiful Big Sur to find the site of where this discomfort lived in my body. Aside from physical discomfort from physical exertion, I came up empty. Instead, I found an interstice where feelings of awe grew and that became my saving grace.
These two have survived riding a tandem together and are getting married tomorrow! We just wanted to extend a warm congratulations as you both embark on a new stage in your life.
What a weekend! My favorite event just keeps getting better. There will be Reportage tomorrow morning, but for now, enjoy this Tandemonium photo!
… it’ll get there faster on a tandem. This video showcases Graeme and Betty as they pedal their tandem in their golden years.
Team Scrapin’s Rock Lobster Relationship Accelerator
Words by Amanda Schaper, photos by John Watson
Some people might call tandems divorcycles, but I like to call them relationship accelerators. Wherever your relationship is headed, a tandem bicycle will get you there faster.
The Lost and Found Bike Ride is always one of my favorite weekends of the year. The camping, the riding, the lake, the people, the beer…it all just makes for one heck of a good time. But this year was extra special. My fiancé Scott and I toed the line for the 100-mile gravel race on our amazing Rock Lobster tandem in the first of the Triple Crown events. We’re planning to race the full Lost Sierra Triple Crown on the tandem as our form of premarital counseling. What could go wrong, right? There was some competition in the tandem category at Lost and Found, with two other teams giving us a run for our money. After about 6.5 hours of racing and getting both wheels off the ground more than once, we crossed the line in victory! It wasn’t easy, but it was a heck of a lot of fun. Our relationship and the bike survived 100 miles of gravel grinding, and now we start prepping for the gnarly technical trails of the Downieville Classic.
It’ll fit a 27.5 x 2.4″ tire and where ever your relationship is going, it’ll get there a lot faster on the Hubbuhubbuh Tandem by Rivendell. In typical Rivendell fashion, these bikes have been designed to take on just about anything, but most importantly, to be fun. Check out all the details at Rivendell!
Our friends at Deluxe in Brooklyn take their new track tandem for a spin through Prospect Park at night. Video by Werehaus.
Designed with Clem Smith Jr, the new Rivendell Hubbuhubbuh is a tandem unlike any other modern steel bicycle. Well, maybe there’s something similar floating around, but this one’s made by Rivendell! These frames come in three sizes, are tig-welded, fit 650B wheels, come with two seat posts (29.8mm), a elegant fork and a special Nitto stoker stem for $1,600 at the time of pre-order. Head to the Hubbuhubbuh (did I spell that right?) website for ordering information.
Golden Saddle Rides: A Carbon Fiber Calfee Tandem Project
Words by Thomas “Woody” Wood, photos by John Watson
An old friend and accomplice in many of past ventures into the cycling world approached me a couple of months ago about a rather “large” project he was embarking on. At the time he was getting ready for another crack at a national championship on the velodrome. His schedule had cleared up after a very successful run of coaching our women’s olympic track cycling team to two silver medals in London. With the mind a little more free to roam, and a very fast wife to be, he wanted to do a full custom Calfee tandem. Ben had already chosen Calfee for its reputation and known ability to deliver a quality product that would meet his race ready standards. The bike had to be versatile. He wanted it to be a time trial bike and a road race bike. With the intention of racing both at Masters “old man” National Championships next year.
We both started doing some research on parts for the bike. He wanted lightweight and strong. Holding to the old aphorism by Keith Bontrager “light. strong. cheap. Pick two”. We had our work cut out for us. First was the drivetrain. Gates Belt drive and Shimano Ultegra DI2 would be a solid performer. Since the bike is a standard threaded english BB with and eccentric in the captain’s chair. Finding a modern light carbon crankset was a bit of a chore. Luckily Calfee had a couple sets of FSA SLK-SL cranks left and we were set in that department.
A big bike like a tandem requires good brakes. We went with Shimano road hydraulic disk. Once I was able to source a rear 203 IS disk adapter we were good to go. Since they are running an Enve road disc fork in front most of the braking power will have to come from the rear. Hence the larger rear disc.
Next was the cockpit. They were looking for versatility with the bar setup. So they went with the 3T Zefiro LTD option, It has a removable aero extension for use both as a TT bar and a straight road bar. And since we were using DI2 you can just unplug the climbing shifter that will be glued to the extension (the photo shows zipties), making for a quick and easy change.
Seatposts are FSA K-Force Light with internal battery holders.
For wheels we wanted durable. We have had a lot of success with the H+SON Archetype rims laced to DT Swiss 240s. The bike is thru axle and 142mm in the rear. A simple way to stiffen up the bike just a little.
All said and done this tandem is one hell of a machine. I took a couple of laps around the block on it and I must say it was one snappy bike. Out of the saddle accelerations were controlled and rather fun!
Cheers to the fun projects!
This is the eleventh layout of the Radavist 2015 Calendar, entitled “Tandemonium”. The camera and location are noted on the bottom left of the document.
3…2…1… take-off! Too bad this ship didn’t land as smoothly as it was jettisoned. Tandems are fun, both to ride and to photograph with this photo in particular getting a lot of requests for the calendar. Ask and you shall receive.
Miss this story? Check it out at Tandemonium on Lukens.
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2015 Calendar – November. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
Newton’s law of universal gravitation states that any two bodies on a tandem must be extra careful while embracing Rubber Side Up! Kyle and Robert sent the Salsa Powderkeg off a rock lip during a Ringtail photoshoot this morning and things didn’t go so well. Ok, the air photo is rad but they landed a bit off-axis and took a mean spill.
Robert suffered minor dirt rash but Kyle’s pretty banged up. Needless to say it was a long pedal back down the trail…
Just in time for Halloween, this Baum Cycles Doppio tandem sure caught my attention. For whatever reason, tandems are everywhere I look these days. Take a look at more details on this beautiful bicycle at the Baum Flickr!
Back in February, Adam from CycleEXIF and I took a ride from Sydney to Wollongong to see Tarn and Meg at Primate Frames. I met these two back in 2009 at the CMWC in Tokyo, when they were both living in Sydney. Meg was running Candy Cranks and Tarn was building frames and working as an electrician. A few years ago, they moved to Wollongong to enjoy the mountains and get away from the hustle and bustle of city living. Tarn now builds Primate Frames out of their home and their dog Shifter overlooks the operations.
Tarn’s work is unique. Bright colors, big, thick tubesets and yet, elegant when the job calls for it. He’s been a huge Brooklyn Machine Works fan for years and you can tell in his work. His yolks are fat, his swing arms are burly and he works with steel. Unless it’s a custom scooter, then he uses carbon for the deck.
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