Things wanted.
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140 mm rear hub w/drag brakes & a 5 cog cassette

Katharine Lazenby2020-10-21 17:10:56

Hello! We have a 45yr old Globetrotter tandem, bought this summer via this website in fact! We want to replace the wheels with new strong touring wheels, front and back, so that we can take the bike touring. 

We live in London and have been trying to find somewhere that will help us build new wheels and we're having some difficulty! One place has told us that they could build the wheels for us if we can source a rear 140mm hub. We need one with drag brakes and a 5 cog cassette. Is anyone able to help point us to a good supplier or offer us any guidance at all? We are pretty new to the tandem world. Alternatively if anyone can recommend a London tandem specialist who might actually be even more suitable in helping us get the wheels we'd like then that would be brilliant. I think most places where we take our old tandem are a little taken aback by it and seem reluctant to help. 

Any advice or assistance would be much appreciated and if you have the part we are looking for that would be amazing!

From Katharine and Byron

Chris Peachey2020-10-21 18:11:27

Your best option is JDTandems in Yorkshire or any of the suppliers advertising on the club's website.


I doubt if anyone in the London area would have a suitable hub. The only tandem specialist in London was Chas Roberts who has now retired so you need to look much further afield.

What rim/tyre size do you have? 27" has almost dissapeared so an upgrade to 700c would be a good idea BUT note that 700 is slightly smaller and the brake blocks would need to be dropped down to suit.

I assume by "drag brake" you mean a screw-on drum brake.

If you have 5 cogs that sound like a screw-on freewheel. The new hub would take a 8/9/10/11speed cassette requiring appropriate gear levers.

This could prove to be quite an expensive upgrade so do some research and talk to one of the tandemm specialist shops.


Katharine Lazenby2020-10-22 11:02:44

Thanks very much for your response Chris, it was extremely helpful. We have made contact with JD Tandems and are now getting advice from them. We're going to send them some pictures of our rear wheel so they can let us know the options avaiable to us. Apologies for my slightly inept post with incorrect details, I am a total bike novice! Completely in love with our old tandem though so hoping we can sort her out. Sadly our rear wheel is causing us some problems, with spokes that keep breaking, so we do need some kind of upgrade. We havent got a huge budget though so we'll have to be mindful of costs. Anyway, thanks very much for your advice and for pointing us in the direction of JD Tandems. 


John Farby2020-10-23 11:32:49

Posts on spoke breakages on older tandems would fill a book sadly so I won't go there. You definately need a decent rear wheel whether or not you decide to go off touring. Would be good to copy some wheel pics on this post and of your Globetrotter so we can see what you have. Depending on how robust your frame is, whether it's a ladyback with twin lateral tubes or a hefty double gents, or one of their open frame models they made, you may want to consider towing a trailer, a BOB Yak or similar, instead of loading heavy panniers over your back wheel. I'm sure there a hundreds of folk who've toured with similar age machines without too many problems with lots of sound advice to offer. Also, like myself, they'll have hubs and rims squirreled away in their sheds which will help you on your way.