The surge of amazing tandems builds showing up recently here on LFGSS and Theradavist among others, made me wanting to ride one for myself. So I checked out Marktplaats to see if there were any affordable tandems up for grabs here in The Netherlands.
On one of my first searches I stumbled across an Dutch Empella racing tandem. At first I didn't think much of it, until I noticed the Mecacycle-like split stoker seat tube. Having always lusted for a Mecaclye (on the few bikes I have lusted for, but never got to ride) this feature really spiked my interested. The size turned out to be pretty much spot on for me and the wife, so I pulled the trigger and picked it up.
Considering the age of the bike (it was probably built in the 1990's) it is in pretty good nick. There are hardly any chips in the paint. There is a little bit of rust showing through, but I can live with that (for now anyway).
The plan is to turn this into something of a retro touring tandem. Not sure how exactly, but we will see how it goes.
Updates so far. New wheelset, saddles, and stem. Removed the front rack.
Yikes that’s nice. Any chance of a pic of the rear seat tube please?
Not sure I understand why they built it that way (any reason to shorten the wheelbase on a tandem?!) but it’s pretty cool.
Nice! Before this last update’s pic loaded, I’d wondered if you were going to source an Atlanta rim for the rear : )
Some minor changes. Fitted some bottle cages (Rose) and changed the pedals.
I'm not sure if I the wheels are a keeper. The bladed spokes together with the spline hubs are maybe a tad to flashy for the frame. So I bought a new wheelset that will be delivered next week (Dura Ace 7800 hubset with Ambrosio Excellight 36H rims).
If things go to plan I should also take delivery of a pair of Nitto handelbars (2522's I believe) next week or the week after.
I read here they actually raced these back in the days, so a short wheelbase would have made sense I suppose.
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