My parents have a beautiful tandem bicycle built by the fine folks at Bilenky Cycle Works. They ride it almost every weekend, and to be honest, the maintenance needs had been building up. I
For my parents bike I swapped out a set of broken brake levers, front derailleur, installed new cantilever brakes, chain and cables/housing.
They’ve had Brooks honey leather bar tape since the bike was new, and it’s holding up well while getting some nice character. I swapped the broken Tektro brake levers for a set of classic Shimano BL-400 Tiagra levers.
The spring on the front derailleur broke, so I put a whole new unit on. It was neat to see the level of detail on the bike’s finish after I’d wiped the area clean.
This is not to say that working on a tandem isn’t fun, it just presents more challenges. The first challenge is just getting the damn thing into your work stand. You can’t simply grab it the same way that you would with a normal bike. The balance is off if you try to clamp the front seat post, so you have to really re-think things. You definitely need a lot more space, not to mention special items like extra long cables for the brakes and shifters. Getting the timing chain synchronized and tensioned properly isn’t in itself difficult, it just takes some time and finagling.
Once the project is finished, it brings a nice level of satisfaction:
That’s all for now, go out and have an adventure, and take pictures!