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View Full Version : Upgrading A Vintage Bike...Question



Prairiedog
05-23-2006, 06:00 AM
I am considering buying a 1970 model tandem bike. This bike is a single speed. My question is...I should be able to convert this bike to say a 5 or a 7 speed bike shouldn't I?

bcipam
05-23-2006, 07:15 AM
Uuuuhhhh, do you already have all the parts (wheels, cassette, front and rear derailleur, shifters, brakes etc)? Was this bike built as a single speed or was it originally a geared bike? Biggest problem is finding vintage components in good working shape. There are websites devoted to upgrading bikes but you will need a good mechanic to do the conversion. It's not just as easy as trading out the wheels...

Prairiedog
05-23-2006, 07:39 AM
Oh no, I wouldn't do it myself, that's for sure! I was actually hoping new parts could be put on this bike. I'm not concerned about keeping it vintage, just want to be able to ride it up and down hills with more than one speed.

maillotpois
05-23-2006, 07:48 AM
You need to take the bike to a LBS to see if it can be converted. If it was built as a single speed it is entirely possible you cannot change it. If you can change it, you will need a complete build kit (derailleurs, shifters, cranks, chainrings, cassette, new hub possibly, cabling, etc.) which may cost almost as much as a new bike.

You do not want a single speed tandem, so if you cannot convert it, it won't be worth much.

Prairiedog
05-23-2006, 08:22 AM
A friend of mine had a tandem like this bike when we were kids and we rode that bike everywhere! But...both of us were pedaling which makes all the difference. I don't think I could pedal a single speed tandem up our hills with 50# of child on the backseat who is not pedaling!:eek:

Especially considering this bike is probably steel. I think I'll still go take a look at it for old times sake. If we lived in town and always rode on pavement I wouldn't hesitate, it is a cool looking bike.

Prairiedog
05-23-2006, 08:52 AM
Ohhh, now I'm excited. My LBS called me back and said they can make the bike a 7/9 speed for around $300. They would use a Nexus internal gear system. :D

maillotpois
05-23-2006, 09:23 AM
Well that's very cool!

snapdragen
05-23-2006, 09:38 AM
Ohhh, now I'm excited. My LBS called me back and said they can make the bike a 7/9 speed for around $300. They would use a Nexus internal gear system. :D

I was going to suggest checking Sheldon Brown's site, I think he did somthing similar to a Bianchi San Jose. Sounds like you may end up with a fun toodle around tandem!

Prairiedog
05-25-2006, 12:55 PM
I didn't end up buying that bike. The owner decided that after 30 years of the bike collecting dust it was worth $500. Forget that. Glad I didn't have my heart set on it but it sure put a damper on my fond teen memories. So the search for a tandem continues...