Latest creation over the cold, wet winter. A tandem mountain bike! Built mainly using spares in the basement. Interested in how I built it? No, well worse luck….
The frame is a cheap steel tandem that you can find in many a location second hand, with different branding, but the benefit of this specific frame is it is reasonably lightweight, and can take 203 discs (A must on a tandem rear brake, as you need to drag brake for long descents). It will have parts on it. They will always be really really bad.
The wheels are a set of Force cartridge bearing hubs. Cheap but tough enough to take a beating. They have been built on a set of Spank downhill rims with DT Swiss spokes. These are really important to get right as a buckled wheel on a tandem is no joke. Any large downhill rim will be perfect.
The bike will come with a cheap tandem chainset. It will be made from horrible steel and feel all flexy so feel free to fling it on eBay, or into the fiery depths of the sun. Whichever is more convenient. Instead I went with a 1×10 chainset with the timing chain on the spider ring. Benefits, you can use a normal chainset! You will need to flip the eccentric BB holder in the front as it probably will be reversed for the original timing chain. If you don’t do this the bottom bracket will sloooooowly loosen off!
203 discs front and rear. Tandems benefit from matching rotor sizes, as unlike normal MTBs the centre of gravity doesn’t move as much. It makes for a better ride and more predictable braking. SLX brakes with an extended rear hose provides enough stopping power.