schwinn twinn questions

Nov 21, 2008
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I have a discussion going on in the fresh finds forum about a Schwinn Twinn tandem that I have found but have not made the 2 hour drive (one way) to get it yet. I hope to go get it this Saturday. The seller sent me some pics that I'm looking at. The bike is green.The seller says it is a 1977 model. That would be nice, as my wife and I were married in 1977. It has knobby mountain bike tires on it , YUK! The wheels are probably the wrong ones too. I don't see a place for the shift lever where I would expect to see it , so I'm guessing that it was originally a single speed, coaster brake bike. I would prefer one with some gears , but I might add some during a "restoration". One question I have is about replacing spokes with heavy duty ones that a tandem should have. Would it be a matter of enlarging the holes in the rim and hub and installing the HD spokes? It seems that Twinns that were 5 speed models had the rear drum brake. I doubt if I can find a drum brake set up that would fit my budget. Some had a two speed, kickback hub I believe .That too, would probably not be an option for me.

Most of the tandem only parts appear to be there. Do the rims in the photos appear to be something I could use by swapping spokes? A pair of chrome fenders are included. I suspect they were left off because they wouldn't clear the stupid tires. Any suggestions will be much appreciated.Thanks
 
Jan 21, 2009
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For heavier spokes, you need a hub made for them, drilling out an existing hub would weaken the area where the spokes attach. I used good wheels, not heavy duty, on my 63 Schwinn tandem and had no problem. A set of alloy wheels will be strong enough, unless your combined weight is pretty high. My wife and I rode plenty of miles, she was 120 lbs and I was 230 lbs. Plus the 55 lb bike was over 400 lbs.

You''ll need a front handbrake in case the chain comes off and the rear brake won't be enough stopping power anyway.

One speed was easier for us, as the stoker (rear person) wasn't ready or always in agreement with a shift. A 2 speed auto with coaster would be good if your stoker and you get accustomed to it. There's the SA or old Bendix 2 speed you decide when to shift, or the new Sram which shifts automatically at 11 mph on a 26" bike. That might be best because you just ride and don't worry about it.

On the old Schwinn tandems, seating is a little cramped. Later on, we used a couple of laid back seat posts to let us stretch out a little and it was much more comfortable, along with larger handlebars.

 
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Nov 21, 2008
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Thanks Wildcat, that orange bike looks great. Glad to hear about the wheels/spokes. Looks like Ctaccruiser and I will make the trip to get the green tandem on Saturday.
 
Jan 21, 2009
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Mine is a Bicycle Built For Two, just about the same as a Twinn, in 63 and 64 the tandem frame had the top bar, after that they only made them with 2 step through top bars, a good idea. It was hard getting on and off mine.

From the pics, it looks to be in good shape, but check the forks that they aren't bent and the wheels spin straight. And since it isn't roadworthy, it shouldn't go for too much money. Especially since you are traveling 2 hours to get it. Every little flaw should be brought to the seller's attention. Any play in the bearings should be an issue also, even though they might be good, just need grease and adjustment. Good luck getting a fair price.

Those wheels might be good to go, just need a cleanup and a few spokes. The original ones were S5 or S6 and you would be limited to what tires you could use. The standard 26" wheels will let you choose from a wide variety of tires. 26 x 2.125 fit on my tandem easy enough, and you can get a good tread pattern for riding and looking good. I'd also recommend hand brakes front and rear along with coaster brakes.
If you get it, I'd like to see a build thread on it.

Here's what I found in the catalog. It shows the skinny 1 3/8 wheels and tires.
http://schwinncruisers.com/catalogs/1977.html#deluxe-twinn-tandem
 
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Jan 16, 2011
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I have quite a few tandems, two are Schwinn Twinns. It looks to me that the fork on yours is the larger size fork which would fit the S7's not the smaller rims that came on the bikes in 1977. Also if the green paint is original I think that was from earlier years also. Sellers often get the date codes wrong so maybe double check that if it is important to you.

It does look like all of the tandem specific parts are there to me too.

We have some with gears and some without. If you're in an area with hills the gears are handy, but we took a couple of single speeds out yesterday on a flat bike path and they are fine.

I agree with the other posts about the wheels. If your combined weight isn't too heavy they will probably be fine once they've been reworked.

Tandems are great. Way more fun to be on the bike with someone else for a nice weekend cruise.
 
Nov 21, 2008
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I got the bike home. The seller was guessing about the year. The # is MG025xxx which makes it a Dec 1971 model.The wheels are S2 and appear to be straight. However there are a few spokes missing from the rear.I'm thinking I might not do a totally original restoration on this bike , but update it a little. I'm thinking some rims and coaster hub off of a newer cruiser. Maybe some aluminum rims. I would like some kind of internal geared hub , but will probably just go with a single speed to stay within budget. I would like to install a front brake , probably a rim brake. I might do whatever it takes to get it rideable first, and redo it later. Thanks.
 
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Jan 21, 2009
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Glad it worked out. S2 wheels to boot. We rode our tandem with just coaster brakes at first. It really needs the extra braking the front brake gives. Here's the pic from the 71 catalog:
 
Sep 29, 2008
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I would have to steal those chrome S2 rims for a balloon tire bike project.:p I'd replace them with alloy rims off of a newer Schwinn cruiser that has a Nexus 7 on the rear. Gary