Bob Jackson Tandem

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  • White out in Essex last week I had the idea that a tandem would be the perfect solution to me and my wife's disparity of pace. This idea escalated quickly, becoming a bit of an obsession, and now less than a week later the postman turned up with this beautiful object.

    According to Donald at Bob Jackson it was build around 1987 or 88, need to order a copy of the actual job card. Think I got a lot of bike the money - lovely matching Campagnolo chainsets, really nice wheelset too. Campag hubs on Wolber Super Champion 58. All the spokes.

    Plan is to get the contact points setup in the right place then upgrade various bits over the next month or so.

    On the list:

    • Jack Brown Mile Muchers 30mm - black/brown
    • Smooth shiny silver mudguards - suggestions welcome
    • Maybe bullhorns for the stoker depending on my wife's feedback
    • Better long drop brakes, pending testing. Do those really good TRP ones come in silver?
    • Like the idea of a Carradice Barley in green. More luggage if we do make it to touring.
    • Selle Italia SLR & Brooks B17s

    New mech & shifters - this one is a bit complicated. The hub and new looking cassette are Campagnolo 8 speed, mech is Deore, shifters are something Shimano. I've not had a chance to ride it yet to see how the indexing is. I want to go all Campag, ideally modern hood shape, but I don't really want to replace the wheelset, not yet anyway. From what I've read the cable pull of modern 10s Campagnolo shifters works with Shimano 8s. The spacing of Shimano 8s is 4.8mm. The Campagnolo cassette has 5mm spacing... might work, I guess I'll just have to give it a go. Failing all that I'll just find some old 8s Campag shifters and a mech.

    Not totally decided on bars and stem. I really don't want to go back to skinny 26mm round top bars, having ridden flat topped aero type bars for ages - which means ahead, which mean an ahead-quill adapter. My bars of choice would be PRO PLT ergo with a silver -17º ahead stem. Kinda matches the stoker stem. Looking at it now I'm not really a fan of the super skinny quill stem skinny bar combo. I want to ride it long and far, so having comfy tops trumps retro conformism. It'll have a Selle Italia SLR anyway so modern bits can't look out of place.

    It's surprisingly not that heavy, easy to lift, and not all that huge. Was worried it'd be a monster but it's really quite elegant.

    Is storing it upright like this a recipe for wonky wheels? They're 48 thick spokes each so might be ok...

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  • That's lovely, I've been threatening to get a tandem to encourage my wife out more but she hates the idea, I reckon if something like that appeared on the doorstep she'd warm to it!

    Guards - Velo Orange / Giles Berthoud / Dia Compe ene all have polished options, some stainless & others maybe alloy I think, hammered finish might look good on that for something different

  • Fettling today. Need a 70mm stem. A is gonna be pretty compact on the back!

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  • Fantastic!

  • Stainless mudguards, These look very good

  • +1 on the GB guards. I’ve put them on my tandem and personally I think they look the bees knees.

    Theyre not as simple to fit as some guards though so be prepared perhaps for some drilling and general faffing to make them fit the frame.

  • Well that's f*cking lovely.

  • Was about to pull the trigger on the PRO bars when I remembered Zipp do a silver flat-topped bar. Feels like a win. Polished silver 17º stem and slammed quill converter and this should look pretty good.

  • This is an awesome built. Please don't ruin it with a quill convertor. Just get some 26.0 handlebars instead or else a 31.6 quill stem.

  • Good luck sir

  • Did you get the long or short? 40mm wide for 30mm tyres? Seems like they need some extras not included in the package, any tips?

    These ones?

  • These's also these rather handsome looking options from Hungary. For about £45 delivered they could be worth a punt.

  • The idea is get the long ones if you use a front basket\rack, short if not. Tho tbh the long ones are useful in terms of reducing blowback whether you have a basket or not.

    My wheels are old style 590 rims so I went for the 650b 50mm size. I think for your purposes the 40mm 700c would be most appropriate, tho from the pics your clearances already look fairly tight? Presumably BJ wouldn’t have made a tandem frame that couldn’t fit mudguards though!
    Having fitted a few GB sets over the years I usually find the annoying point is the chainstay bridge. A long bolt with a few nuts to set the right distance and a p clip round the bridge usually solves it tho.

  • These looks suspiciously like a pair I bought years ago, sans packaging, for my gf. They are fine but the front was comically short. As in I have re-radiused it and it's now over a 20" wheel.

  • Hmm, good to know. I'm leaning towards smooth 'guards anyway - don't want to go too Biggles-goggle retro.

    First thing is to get out on the road and see how we like it. Measuring A's Brompton, which I set up years ago, she actually has loads of saddle setback. I've ordered one of these
    and one of these

    Gonna cut and TIG weld the post back together at an angle to make a custom super layback post. Should address the short reach of the back seat too.

    Got my new bars, and enough bits of 10s Campagnolo shifter to make a pair so I can test the Shimanolo drivetrain. Need an quill-ahead adapter. Been offered one for a fiver but the offerer has gone awol so might just buy one to keep momentum going.

    Jack Brown Mile Munchers arrived today - glad I went with brown rather than tan sidewall.

  • For about £45 delivered they could be worth a punt.

    GB are not much more and are the best mudguards ever.

  • Are you making one of these for it?

  • More like this, but with the seat clamp on the back, and nothing out the front.

  • gotcha - joking aside I always thought those old BMX layback posts were pretty elegant

  • Bit of progress today. Made the mad stoker seatpost. Hope my welds are good enough, she may end up with her bum as a drag brake otherwise.

    Need to cut down the quill converter and order a silver stem, need to dial in the hood position etc first though. Looks like I’ll need a 70 or 80mm stem. Shifts ok for such a mishmash of gears. Need to try a 10 speed campag shifter on there... maybe custom spacers in the cassette.

    Only had time to change the rear tyre but I like the look of the Jack Browns.

    Maiden voyage to west London on Boxing Day to collect some stuff, should be nice and quiet, maybe take it up the Mall and say hello to Madge.

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  • Did the maiden voyage leave on time?

  • Quill converter is super rank. Please reconsider.

  • Thanks Stupid Idiot.

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Bob Jackson Tandem

Posted by Avatar for dbr @dbr