Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tinkernation: Let the Fun Begin

My first Tinkernation post is online!  I'm pretty stoked about it.  Also, now that the cat's out of the bag, I can unveil the project that I'll be working on for this 3-part series:  rehabbing an old Columbia Twosome tandem.  My first post is pretty short and sweet; I just wanted to introduce the project bike and say a few things about my humble background as an amateur bicycle mechanic and blogger.  Though I think all of my posts will be pretty brief.  I don't want to seem long-winded, and I'm not a very skilled photographer, so I'll only be including the images necessary to illustrate the main points of each post.

For loyal readers of this blog, here's a little inside scoop to accompany the Tinkernation post.  First off, when I started searching out a tandem, an upright, cruiser-style bike is not what I had in mind.  I was more interested in finding an old Burley mountain tandem or something along those lines.  But one thing I learned very quickly is that tandems are expensive.  Plus, I was working on a bit of a deadline with the launch of Tinkernation looming.  I found this Columbia Twosome on CraigsList, and after exchanging a few emails with the owner, decided that I was getting a good deal on a great-looking bike.

Astute observers may have noticed that the tandem has a rear fender, but is missing the front fender.  Funny story; I tore that front fender off trying to get the bike loaded onto my car to bring it home.  I decided to take the front wheel off before throwing the bike on top of my car.  But the washer that should've been between the axle nut and the fender strut, which allows the axle nut to turn freely, was instead between the fender strut and the hub.  So when I turned the axle nut, the fender strut turned as well, bending it until the axle nut finally broke free.  By that time, the fender struts were ruined.  So when I got the bike home, I just threw the damn thing in the trash.  Inevitably, this was the case with the rear fender was well, so it took a trip to curb on trash day too.

My next Tinkernation post should be posted in about a month or so.  Again, I'll be sure and link to the post on this blog when it goes up.  Until then, I'll be continuing with regular updates of the non-tandem-related variety.


  1. I have this crazy double tandem in my yard right now. It is actually two Burley tandems welded together side by side. Instead of rear seats there is big double decker metal grating based platform with a pole sticking out. So at the riders head level on the pole is welded a recumbent seat platform. The idea is that a keg and sound system ride on the lowest layer, and the next layer is for the back recumbent seat riders feet while they pour beers. This allows two people to drive the thing and one to party. I am thinking of putting the recumbent rider to better use by installing a pedal powered soundsystem and skip the weight of the keg. There is quite a big difference between our "restoration" projects, but I thought you might enjoy trying to imagine what the heck I am actually describing.

    1. Hey Lucas - Your quad sounds like heaven on wheels. Though the thought of doing away with the keg is disheartening. Surely you would at least have room for a cooler...

      Are there any images of this behemoth floating around out there on the web? I'd love to see it.


  2. Cody, that shirt is awesome. Your dedication to cycle-handiness continues to fill me with envy. On the other hand, my couch rarely gets flat tires.