CONVERTING A TANDEM TO MULTI-SPEED
June 16, 2008
Back to questions
Can you tell me if it is possible
to add a Shimano or Sram internal-gear hub to my old '70s
Schwinn tandem without any major modifications? It is just
a single speed. My wife and I love riding it but as we get
older it would be nice to have a few gears to help with
the uphill part of the ride.
I think your project certainly qualifies
as a “major modification.” However, I’ve
not attempted it with any kind of bike—but the late
Sheldon Brown, tinkerer extraordinaire, has. Brown’s
site contains his step-by-step description of a single-
to multi-speed conversion.
Unfortunately, his conversion involves
a single-rider bike, not a tandem. But I suspect that you
can apply much of it to your situation.
I also suspect that, given the do-it-yourself
seen in long-time tandemites, you can get some detailed
advice by posting a query on an on-line tandem bulletin
board. I recommend the one at Bike
forget that many tandemites love to one-up each other. Once
you stop biking uphill on that single-speed, you’ll
lose the bragging rights. Tho you might save your marriage.