Plans for the Tandem*
So here’s where I am with the Pashley tandem I bought a few weeks ago. As I write this, it’s components are in a small box. In front of that is the frame - stripped of everything except the head tube badge. Over the weekend, I’m going to strip the paint and clean up the welds - it’s a butt-jointed steel frame, and some of the welding, while structurally tough as old boots, also looks rather like old boots. There’ll be some fettling done to make it look just so.
Then next week, I’ll drop it into a friend who just happens to have a powder coating plant, which will give the whole thing a better than new finish. Unfortunately that’ll mean losing the down-tube decal, but that’s a sacrifice worth making to protect the frame for another 30 years or so.
After that, the re-assembly starts. Naturally, all the cables will be replaced, and I’ll also be putting a modern rear mech on. I say modern - it’s aShimano 105 mech that I bought in about 1990, but that’s still aconsiderable advance on the original (which I’ll keep for a potential restore-right-back-to-original project). The chroming on the original captain’s handlebars is a little far gone (could be re-chromed . . . but that ain’t cheep), so they’ll be replaced, getting leather grips & a matching Brooks saddle.
Then the fun begins . . . I want to turn this into a cargo bike, so I’ll be building a frame to go in place of the stoker’s saddle to take some fairly large boxes. The ones I have in mind are Trofast storage boxes from Ikea. These are around 35 litres each, and I reckon I can comfortably fit two on each side, giving a total storage capacity of about 140 litres. That’s more than enough for a week’s shopping. The finished product will look something like this:
There’ll be less canvas, and more steel involved with mine, along with lockable lids on the boxes, but you get the idea. The frame will also be quick-release, and I’ll leave the stoker’s handlebars in place. That means that I can simply lift the ‘cargo module’ off, drop the stoker’s saddle back in, and off we go as a sensible tandem once more.
*This is the sort of thing that happens when engineers get bored.