Sunday, November 28, 2010

Breaking a Tandem down for Travelling

I got a new tandem from Stephen Bilenky yesterday.
My wife and I are both tall (5'10" and 6'4" respectively aka 178 cm and 193 cm) so we went custom, and I asked him to build it with braze-ons for Beckman racks so he tweaked the geometry to fit those.  He also managed to get me an Acai drum brake on the rear so the rear wheel is non-dished between that and the cluster.

He did a nice job with S&S couplers too and gave me the pieces in two standard size shipping cases with nicely labeled velcro padding.  Here's how to pack a tandem with 2 sets of S&S couplers.



The first case contains the front wheel which fits inside the shallow top lid deflated with 35mm tires -- smaller tires might fit inflated but I wouldn't ship inflated tires in an unpressurized compartment.

Visible on the left are the front fork and the front tubes with captain's cranks attached,  The captain's bars and headset are also visible and those have been removed from the fork.  In pictures below I show the details of the shift and brake cables connectors.



Detail of the first case.  The package wrapped in white cloth is a saddle.  At the far right and bottom are two tubes wrapped in velcro padding,



The captain's drop bars curve around the front tubes and you just have to route the cables where they don't get in the way.



Here you can see three white posts sticking up.  Those should be located towards the center of the box, and there are corresponding end caps that go on the other end to prevent the cases from compressing during shipping.

Closing the box requires putting the front wheel over those posts, putting the top caps on, closing the case most of the way, and then finessing the wheel into the space in the lid.



The captain's seat post and saddle goes in the first case wherever it fits.



The second case contains the rear wheel with drum brake facing up, the rear triangle and crank arms wrapped in cloth.  That thing nestled in the triangle is the stoker's saddle.  I have to swap that seatpost for a thudbuster so hopefully it all fits.



The padding has 2 extra velcro straps for the chain.  The chain that connects the captain's and stoker's cranks and the skewers are in a separate envelope.



Detail showing how the saddle fits.



The front cantilever brakes are visible here.



That's a crank arm wrapped up there.


Bilenky was nice enough to write idiot-proof labels on the padding so here are some shots of that.



Rear seat post.



Rear triangle with front derailleur and straps for chain and rear derailleur.



Cables route through padding.




Rear derailleur and cable.




The wrapping goes around the end of the S&S coupler face.



The crank arms are fitted with self-extracting bolts so I need an 8mm allen to reassemble.
The stoker's cranks are separately wrapped in cloth.
Te skewers and the transfer chain are each in separate envelopes, which fit into another envelope.



Each individual tube is wrapped.  You can see the cable guide sans-cable at the left.



The fork our of the head tube.  There are two pieces of padding that have slits to wrap around the brakes, and one for the top.  The stem is not wrapped.




The captain's seat post is wrapped as is the tube for the stoker's bars.




Detail of the padding for the fork.  Notice the slit that allows it to go around the brake.



Notice how the cables don't come out of the bottom bracket guides.  They ship inside the bottom tube padding.



Cables attach with down-tube bosses attached.




Padding for the front tubes has slits to protect the ends.



Exploded view of the padding for the front tube.



Bilenkey head badge.  Spiffy!



Yes, 700x35's with deep rims do fit in the cases deflated.