June 16, 2008

    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 Web 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 inclination I
ve 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 Forum.
t forget that many tandemites love to one-up each other. Once you stop biking uphill on that single-speed, youll lose the bragging rights. Tho you might save your marriage.

Mr Bike

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