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Tandem Club Discussion Board

Changing chain configuration

Posted By: Mark Payne
Date: 29 July 2008

Dear all,

I have an oldish tandem here that I acquired second hand - I have no idea of its age of breeding, but we're looking at 20-40 years old, possibly french, but not really sure.

Now the strange thing about this bike is the chain configuration. The captain and stoker are linked together in the usual way on the left hand side of the frame via a timing chain. However, whereas on a "normal" tandem the drive chain runs between the stoker and the hub, on this bike the captain and the hub are linked directly by a single long chain that goes past the stoker and carries on down to the hub. Has anyone ever seen such a configuration before?

Now, I have to confess, I'm not a big fan of this setup - it seems like a lot of oily chain to have just floating around, and so I would like to switch it to a more "standard" configuration. As far as I can tell this would just be a matter of switching the crank arms on the drive side, so that the one with the chainring is at the back and the more normal one is at the front. Does anyone have any experience with making such a change? Is it a wise thing to do? Am I barking mad to try this? What pitfalls have I not forseen?

Many thanks,

Mark

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