Richmond Cycles Tandem
Retrofit by Kinetics

Text supplied by Kinetics

This is a 1987 Richmond Cycles tandem which we retrofitted with six S&S Bicycle Torque Couplings™. The frame splits into the front and rear triangles, with three spare tubes, and all goes into a 35" x 27" x 12" box.

The drain tube, which was originally oval, was replaced with an oversize round tube so the BTCs™ could be fitted properly. The new tube was fillet-brazed in, and the BTCs™ were silver-soldered of course.

Avid Arch Rival 50s were fitted to the front to give phenomenal stopping power - I gave myself a bit of a fright by lifting the back wheel when trying them for the first time!

A Hope hydraulic disc brake was fitted to the back. I fitted the disc brake mount (it looks and works better than one of the bolt-on gadgets). The cylinder for the disc is positioned on the front triangle just in front of the pilot's seat tube, and is driven from the drop handlebars by a cable. The cable has a separator fitted, so then the tandem is dismantled you just undo the cable separator, unbolt the cylinder (one 4mm allen key) and unclip the hydraulic hose from it's cable guides. This means you can have all the advantages of hydraulic brakes without any problems on separating.

This is the box the entire tandem fits into - it's 35" x 27" x 12" internally and has several handles and rollers to move it easily.

A comment posted to Tandem@Hobbes by the owners of this tandem:

"After 5 years mostly touring on a very basic tandem we wanted to upgrade and our wish list included S&S couplers. For the specification we wanted, we were looking at UKú3500 / US$5500. Luckily we found and bought a 12 year old Richmond custom-built Reynolds 531 tandem which fitted us perfectly. The owners had ridden for 5 yrs and then laid up the bike in a shed. Via the S&S website, we accessed their approved installers of S&S couplers and we sent the stripped frame to Ben Cooper of Kinetics, Glasgow for a complete rebuild. As well as fitting the couplers [six, to give us front and rear triangles plus three loose tubes] he added braze-ons for rear disc brake and extra bottle bosses. The frame was resprayed by Dave Yates who believed that he had build the original frame, and the bike was rebuilt, main features being 27 speed Dura Ace/Ultegra/XT drivetrain, Hope tandem hubs and rear hydraulic disc brake, Avid arch rival 50 front brake, Dia Comp levers, Mavic 217 rims, etc. A suitable box was built by a local firm with foam padding and wheels. We took the tandem to Cape Town recently which involved 5 flight sectors without a hitch. Assembly took 1 hour and repacking 50 minutes. Very little tuning was required. There is no noticeable diminution in performance due to couplers. Overall cost was about 60% of new purchase. We had the opportunity to detail/specify every component and are very pleased with the result. If you can find the right second hand frame its a good way to go."
Michael & Pippa Maclaran, Holywood, Northern Ireland


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