This is merely a brief addendum to the previous four parts of this tandem review, and really addresses any additions and/or modifications to the original spec of the tandem as delivered. While I think this tandem is a real tandemist’s tandem – by which I mean that the frame and component choice have been really well chosen – I do think that fine-tuning even such a high quality tandem is inevitable.
The first thing to cause problems were the stoker’s flat handlebars. For my part, I’ve found the flat bars a non-issue, but after considerable tinkering, including shortening the bars, repositioning the bars and even trying the bar-ends the “wrong way round”, we came to the conclusion that the only solution that would bring stoker wrist relief was to transfer the bars from the Super Galaxy tandem. These are actually Thorn stoker bars from about 20 years ago – I did ask when I ordered the tandem whether these were still available. Sadly not! I transplanted the bars, to nearly instant relief.
The other problem was at my stoker’s other end. We have a budget elastomer seat pin on each of the other tandems, and the absence of a suspension seat pin on the new tandem was making itself felt. I ended up ordering a Cane Creek Thudbuster ST (this is the shorter travel model), which appears to have sorted out any backside issues.
On the other hand, we seem to have accumulated a variety of clicks and creaks. certainly some of this racket appears to emanate from my saddle (Brooks B17 Narrow), but also from the stoker’s handlebar stems. Yesterday I took the stoker bars off and greased all the junctions between stem sections before nipping each bolt up tight. I also replaced the Brooks B17N with and old Brooks Swift. It’s well-nigh rock hard, but it’s never creaked or squeaked before. This morning’s commute revealed that much of the creaking had gone but that there are annoying clicks and creaks still emanating from somewhere.
We’ll shortly be taking the tandem to France, and hoped to be able to transport it inside the car rather than on a roof rack. We’ve had a trial packing, and managed to squeeze two cases, the tandem (split at the S&S couplings and with pedals and stoker bars removed, but with both wheels in place) and a time trial bike (with wheels out) in the back of a Ford Focus leaving a fair bit of space to stuff other things.