Frame - Hubbuhubbuh Tandem
Despite its comfort, the HHH isn't slow, even with monster tires. The grunting you put into it is returned in immediate speed—more so than even on a single, because you’ve got two engines. Is it a speedmaster racing-ish tandem? Happily, no. It's so much more and so much more fun.
WHERE IT'S MADE, WHAT IT COSTS: Taiwan, where manufacturing costs are lower, so we could pull out all the stops, not compromise on the number of joints required to make the frame as good as it can be. The craftsmanship is unsurpassed, and the frame / fork / headset /Bushnell eccentric costs $2,000.
You'll notice the frame is super triangulated, with more lateral bracing than most modern tandem frames. The extra bracing makes the HHH frame stiffer and stronger, but have, for the most part, been removed from most modern tandems (which used to have them) as a way to reduce manufacturing costs and make them easier to S/S couple. No, we're not putting couplers on it. You can do that here, and expect it to almost double the price.
IT'S A GOOD VALUE: The $2,000 includes—
• the best eccentric by far—the Bushnell Retro ($125)
• headset ($50 at least).
Either way, you get a $175+ value included.
MATERIALS: CrMo steel frame and fork. Tubes are ovalized vertically at the head tube and laterally at the captain's seat tube intersections to allow piercings—kind of like the way Burley did it. This allows full-length marathon tubes and high-integrity joints.
CONSTRUCTION: TIG-welded frame with investment cast seat binders and head tube reinforcement rings. These are our own design, they're good, and they say RBW on them forever.
BRAKES: V-BRAKE braze-ons front and rear. DISC-MOUNT on the rear. The cable guides are exactly where they should be, so cabling is easy.
DROPOUTS: Chunky Rivendell-designed, expensive investment castings.
ECCENTRIC: It's made for the BUSHNELL, and comes with it. ($120 value) INCLUDED IN THE $2,000 PRICE. The Bushnell eccentric is the best in the world. (An eccentric allows the timing chain to be tensioned. All tandems need something to do that, and the other styles of eccentrics are crude in comparison, and don't work as well.)
HEADSET: 1 1/8" threadless. OK, we'll include this. An FSA model. $50 value.
BRAZE-ONS: Ample for assorted racks, four water bottles, and even a kickstand plate. Tandems are sort of tricky to put a rear rack on. The chainstays are spread to 145mm, and racks made for 130-135mm. You need a tandem-specific or disc-brake specific rear rack. We don't have them—sorry, but that would be the straw that broke our back—but Blackburn, Topeak, Tubus, and others make them.
Note: If you put a rear disc brake on it (remember--it also has V-brake braze-ons, so it may not be necessary—then it's a minor PITA to find a rear rack that clears the disc stuff. They are out there, we don't stock 'em.RIDE
It's neutral, not quirky, easy to control in all conditions. It's pleasantly light-steering and easy to maneuver even for a weak captain. The stoker will be happy with the long chainstays, which put the rear axle further back, so a bump's energy isn't directed straight up at the ol' crotch. Stoker and captain alike will like the roominess and comfort.
SO I GET A FRAME AND FORK AND THEN WHAT?
Have your local dealer assemble it, and expect to pay $350+. Buy some parts there, while you're at it. We have all of the parts you need, but it's only good form to buy some stuff--accessories and SOME parts—from your in-town dealer. But make sure they've assembled tandems before. We don't want them calling us and asking questions they shouldn't have to ask--or what's worse, accusing us of spec'ing a bike with incompatible parts.
WILL YOU HAVE TANDEM-SPECIFIC PARTS?
Yes we'll have tandem specific Silver triple cranks which is the biggest hurdle. The other is stoker stems. We recommend the Controltech 29.8mm adjustable one. We won't stock it because big box retailers are selling it for less than our wholesale cost, but they're readily available. Spray paint it a different color if you don't like the black anodizing.
The timing chains on the S and M need 150 links. On the L, it's 152
The drive chain lengths will vary with gearing, but with the stock SILVER tandem triple (44-34-24) and a 36t rear cog, you'll want 122 links, or 154cm of chain plus a master link. Your shop will be happy to sell you three chains to do this-all with, or you can buy timing and drive chains for us, fairly ready to go. And they'll cost you almost as much.
Drive rings, as reported, are 44 x 34 x 24, with the smallest two steel, as they should be. Timing rings are 38T steel, and come with ring guards.
WHY SUCH SMALL RINGS ON A TANDEM?
The big 650B tires make the 44 feel like a 48 on a mtn bike; and with 11/12T rear cogs, why go bigger? The smaller big ring is more usable. When you have a 54 (as many tandems do), it's usable on descents that terrify your stoker, but for regular riding it's just a chain guard for the middle ring you're usually in.
And remember, the HHH is a fun-and-traveling tandem. It's not the bike you take to beat the fast guys on their singles. It's a terrific family bike. Even the large size fits a typical 9-year old. We've ridden a small with a 75-year old lady stoker with short legs for her height; and with 5-ft 11 riders with a pbh of 88. By the time your child or grandchild is 8 or 9--hop aboard, let's go snag some ice cream! Note that all stoker cranks have 170mm arms.
CALL OR EMAIL TO ORDER OR FOR MORE INFORMATION.
800 345 3918 or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
And here's more information, including drawings and geometry. It has long chainstays, long top tubes, and is designed for upright, sweep-back handlebars. It's not a drop-bar, skinny-tire tandem.