This Tandem Is In Danger Of Getting Out Of Hand
So last September I bought a tandem from Ebay. £50 for about a late ’70s Pashley beauty. It needed some tender loving care, so I . . .
- Dismantled it to the bare frame
- Stripped the paint by hand, and rubbed the frame down to the bare, shiny metal.
- Had a word with a friend who owns a factory making parts for JCB, and he nicely ran the frame down his powder coating line, so it came out JCB yellow with a paint job good enough to survive riding through salt water if need be.
- Re-assembled the tandem with . . .
- A Brooks B66 Saddle (£65)
- A new set of front handlebars (£10)
- Leather handlebar grips front and back (£15 each)
- New mudguards (£25)
- New cables throughout (£10)
- New tyres (£19 for the pair)
- Replaced the derailleur mech for a Shimano 105 unit from 1992 that I just happened to have in a drawer (Free!)
Which means that so far, my £50 tandem has cost £209.
And now I need a new wheel on the back after the disaster a couple of weeks ago. It’s an old size (26″ x 1 3/8″), and I have two choices - either a simple alloy-rimmed replacement, which is about £22, plus two pairs of brake blocks for the double rear callipers - say, another £12.
OR . . .
. . . a nice man at a local bike shop will build me a new wheel, with a Sturmey Archer XRD5 hub. Five speeds, and an internal hub brake that’s got a big block of aluminium around it to dissipate all the heat generated from stopping a tandem. He’d include the thumb shifter, all the cabling, big chunky stainless spokes and a nice rim too. And all for about £150.
So there are my choices - take the price of the tandem to £241, or all the way up to £358.
Is it just my imagination, or is this getting slightly silly?