Dawes Twocan

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by davek, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. davek

    davek Guest

    So, to paraphrase another thread, I says a kiddyback tandem would be too
    expensive, to which Simon Brooke says no it wouldn't. Maybe you have a
    point, says I.

    I looked into it a bit further, and sure enough the Dawes Twocan looks
    almost affordable. And I've found somewhere that's selling last year's
    model at a knockdown price, so it's /possible/ I may be able to persuade
    the bank manager that we need one.

    Does anyone have any experience of these bikes? Any good? Or would it be
    a false economy over a pricier model?

    And supposing I were interested in buying such a machine second-hand,
    where would I look? (Have tried ebay, will keep trying ebay, but any
    pointers to other likely sources would be appreciated.)

    ta,

    d.
     
    Tags:


  2. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    davek wrote:
    > So, to paraphrase another thread, I says a kiddyback tandem would be too
    > expensive, to which Simon Brooke says no it wouldn't. Maybe you have a
    > point, says I.
    >
    > I looked into it a bit further, and sure enough the Dawes Twocan looks
    > almost affordable. And I've found somewhere that's selling last year's
    > model at a knockdown price, so it's /possible/ I may be able to persuade
    > the bank manager that we need one.
    >
    > Does anyone have any experience of these bikes? Any good? Or would it be
    > a false economy over a pricier model?


    Given that it has been custom designed by a company with years of
    experience and I bodged to gether Igor with zero bike design experience
    and barely more ability in metalwork, and Igor is absolutely fine for
    the job, and crappy compared to a real tandem.

    Go for it. You won't be disappointed.

    > And supposing I were interested in buying such a machine second-hand,
    > where would I look? (Have tried ebay, will keep trying ebay, but any
    > pointers to other likely sources would be appreciated.)


    Tandem club?

    ...d
     
  3. Tosspot

    Tosspot Guest

  4. davek

    davek Guest

    I wrote:
    > the Dawes Twocan looks
    > almost affordable.


    Just been looking at the archive and seen Chris French bought one only a
    few months ago. So, Chris, if you're listening - are you (and the
    offspring) still enjoying it several months down the line? Any regrets
    about your purchase? Has the management been convinced it was a wise move?

    d.
     
  5. PD

    PD Guest

    Worth looking at the website of St John Street Cycles. Their own brand
    Thorn tandems are excellent. They do good part exchange deals and are
    very knowledgable on the fiddly aspects of tandem ownership (eg rack
    fitting on kiddyback's etc etc) www.sjscycles.com/ ..follow link to
    the 'store' for used bikes.

    Specialist kit for keeping children cycling does feel expensive but if
    you look after it well, you'll often get quite a lot of your money back
    selling it on. This seems to work better for respected brands.

    We've been through trailers, trailerbikes, kiddyback tandems, a triplet
    and several serious kid's bikes, some new, some used - the money spent
    has always been very much offset by decent selling on value.

    Go for it - you will not regret it.

    PD
     
  6. PD

    PD Guest

    Worth looking at the website of St John Street Cycles. Their own brand
    Thorn tandems are excellent. They do good part exchange deals and are
    very knowledgable on the fiddly aspects of tandem ownership (eg rack
    fitting on kiddyback's etc etc) www.sjscycles.com/ ..follow link to
    the 'store' for used bikes.

    Specialist kit for keeping children cycling does feel expensive but if
    you look after it well, you'll often get quite a lot of your money back
    selling it on. This seems to work better for respected brands.

    We've been through trailers, trailerbikes, kiddyback tandems, a triplet
    and several serious kid's bikes, some new, some used - the money spent
    has always been very much offset by decent selling on value.

    Go for it - you will not regret it.

    PD
     
  7. daren

    daren Guest

    davek wrote:
    > So, to paraphrase another thread, I says a kiddyback tandem would be too
    > expensive, to which Simon Brooke says no it wouldn't. Maybe you have a
    > point, says I.
    >
    > I looked into it a bit further, and sure enough the Dawes Twocan looks
    > almost affordable. And I've found somewhere that's selling last year's
    > model at a knockdown price, so it's /possible/ I may be able to persuade
    > the bank manager that we need one.
    >
    > Does anyone have any experience of these bikes? Any good? Or would it be
    > a false economy over a pricier model?
    >


    Have cycled a couple of thousand miles on mine with the boys.

    Be aware they came in two sizes S/M and M/L. If you are anything over
    6ft then even the M/L will feel small. I am 5 11" and the M/L fits fine
    with a longer stem. Originally sold for ukp 500, not 575. Shops bought
    them and couldn't sell them on. Fear of unknown and cheapness of
    tagalongs me thinks.

    What can I say, made for only two years, designed by Pete Bird, they
    are a unique frame design. Pretty heavy cromoly (10kilos more than my
    super galaxy tandem). Spec is fairly modest, ordinary MTB wheels (with
    Scwalbe Marathon bombproof tyres). Shifting is Alivio but works
    perfectly, brakes are V without a drag brake (useful for long descents
    to save the rims). Paint finish on mine is poor (top coat).

    Handling is very stable, even at speed, even with a Burley Piccollo
    attached. We have regularly seen 40mph. A tagalong is to a kiddyback
    what an artic is to a pick-up truck. Both have handling quirks, but one
    is just vastly superior. I have regularly cycled home from school
    without stokid and handling is completely unaffected.

    Value-wise, I consider it better than the more expensive Thorn, as it
    has a longer rear top tube. Mine has therefore been ridden by small
    adults and very small children with just a flick of a pedal spanner and
    allen key.

    After purchase I added:
    Crank shorteners - essential as rear cranks are adult 170's (about 50
    pounds you could bargain with shop for reduction in price).
    Longer rear adjustable stem for easier reach. (Should have had one in
    picture, but you can kludge one with an existing stem)
    Rhode gear baby seat and low riders. Only a rack-mounted baby seat
    fits, and then you need the Blackburn lowriders. (this may be a
    consideration if you have more than one child).
    Smaller velo rear saddle (nice to have)
    Large horn, 2x computers and T'Bird 2 sqeaky horn (obvious reasons).

    The bike draws crowds, it's not called "The flying Banana" for nothing.
    Everyone at the boys' school have ridden it. We give rides at the
    School Fete. I could sell it tomorrow for what I paid for it, given the
    level of parental interest now they have been shown the light.

    We rode London-Oxford, when Thomas was only 6! About 60 kilos of
    luggage, a very hard day, but very satisfying. Needs a lot lower gears
    for serious hill work.

    So in summary, if you live somewhere relatively flat, have a child of
    at least three, think 5 miles is barely warming up, and love to ride
    and chat, this is your bike. Buy it now, you will _never_ regret it.

    Any questions, just ask or search for "daren" and "kiddyback" in google
    passim.

    kind regards,
    daren
    --
    remove outer garment for reply
     
  8. davek

    davek Guest

    daren wrote:
    > Be aware they came in two sizes S/M and M/L. If you are anything over
    > 6ft then even the M/L will feel small.


    Hmm, worth knowing as I don't know how I'd be able to try one before
    buying...

    > After purchase I added:
    > Crank shorteners - essential as rear cranks are adult 170's (about 50
    > pounds you could bargain with shop for reduction in price).


    Eek! Presumably any pair of shorter cranks would fit? I mean, BB axles
    are standard sizes, right? And I assume it would be a square axle, yes?

    > (this may be a
    > consideration if you have more than one child).


    No, just the one - probably a good thing with the cost of bike kit.

    > Large horn, 2x computers and T'Bird 2 sqeaky horn (obvious reasons).


    :)

    > I could sell it tomorrow for what I paid for it, given the
    > level of parental interest now they have been shown the light.


    Hey, now, that's really good news - I'll have to show that line to the wife.

    > So in summary, if you live somewhere relatively flat


    Well, we've got a few hills but it's not exactly the Dales.

    >have a child of
    > at least three,


    He's seven - won't be too big?

    > think 5 miles is barely warming up,


    check

    >and love to ride
    > and chat,


    check

    >this is your bike. Buy it now, you will _never_ regret it.


    You've completely sold me on the idea - I was half hoping someone would
    say it was a load of rubbish so I would have an excuse not to spend the
    money, but now it's moved straight to the top of my bike wish list, even
    ahead of the folder. Bugger.

    > Any questions, just ask or search for "daren" and "kiddyback" in google
    > passim.


    Thanks for all the excellent information. Very useful.

    d.
     
  9. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    davek wrote:

    > > After purchase I added:
    > > Crank shorteners - essential as rear cranks are adult 170's (about 50
    > > pounds you could bargain with shop for reduction in price).

    >
    > Eek! Presumably any pair of shorter cranks would fit? I mean, BB axles
    > are standard sizes, right? And I assume it would be a square axle, yes?


    You need the stoker cranks for a tandem.. So you can't just put
    anything on there.

    > >have a child of
    > > at least three,

    >
    > He's seven - won't be too big?


    Ideal. My 7yo is a bit of a dead weight on the back. The near 9yo
    however makes a distinctly positive contribution to forward progress.
    The nearly 4yo hasn't been on the tandem yet.


    ...d
     
  10. davek

    davek Guest

    David Martin wrote:
    > You need the stoker cranks for a tandem.. So you can't just put
    > anything on there.


    Oh yeah, good point.

    > Ideal. My 7yo is a bit of a dead weight on the back. The near 9yo
    > however makes a distinctly positive contribution to forward progress.


    This idea just sounds better and better. Still need to do some work on
    convincing my wife, though...

    d.
     
  11. daren

    daren Guest

    davek wrote:
    > daren wrote:
    > > Be aware they came in two sizes S/M and M/L. If you are anything over
    > > 6ft then even the M/L will feel small.

    >
    > Hmm, worth knowing as I don't know how I'd be able to try one before
    > buying...
    >
    > > After purchase I added:
    > > Crank shorteners - essential as rear cranks are adult 170's (about 50
    > > pounds you could bargain with shop for reduction in price).

    >
    > Eek! Presumably any pair of shorter cranks would fit? I mean, BB axles
    > are standard sizes, right? And I assume it would be a square axle, yes?
    >


    Square axle, but you need tandem cranks (spider on both sides), so
    really you need crank shorteners, or can have the cranks drilled and
    machined by Highpath. On a tandem, only the Rear drive side crank is
    "normal" the other three are not.

    > > I could sell it tomorrow for what I paid for it, given the
    > > level of parental interest now they have been shown the light.


    Remember it was fear of the unknown that limited sales, that and 50quid
    tagalongs that are perceived to do the same job (they don't). My Burley
    Piccollo cost 70% of the Dawes, but still less that Guy's U+2.

    > Hey, now, that's really good news - I'll have to show that line to the wife.
    >
    > > So in summary, if you live somewhere relatively flat

    >
    > Well, we've got a few hills but it's not exactly the Dales.


    If it's near OX13 (Abingdon) you can come and try mine. Drop me a line.

    > He's seven - won't be too big?


    At seven (if big), you might try an MTB tandem. They have a lower rear
    top tube and you may find that such a design is suitable. I really
    needed the kiddyback for 4 and 1yo boys. I still really need it for the
    now 5yo. Of course if you and your wife are similar sizes, she will be
    able to ride it too. That isn't possible for me (>6" height
    difference").

    > >this is your bike. Buy it now, you will _never_ regret it.

    >
    > You've completely sold me on the idea - I was half hoping someone would
    > say it was a load of rubbish so I would have an excuse not to spend the
    > money, but now it's moved straight to the top of my bike wish list, even
    > ahead of the folder. Bugger.


    If you want rubbish tandems, there are a few around, but much has
    fallen by the wayside. Even the Konekt ones on ebay now have Alu
    frames. The Dawes branding ensures it won't be rubbish. But it isn't a
    CoMotion/Santana either :)

    > Thanks for all the excellent information. Very useful.


    Pleasure

    regards
    daren
    --
    remove outer garment for reply
     
  12. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    daren wrote:
    > If you want rubbish tandems, there are a few around, but much has
    > fallen by the wayside.

    And my one is literally made out of rubbish:
    http://www.compbio.dundee.ac.uk/~dmamartin/igor.html

    Despite the rather dubious provenance, there is no way we are goint to
    get rid of it, except to replace with a 'proper' one. And seeing as
    this one works fine, there is little justification to spend lots of
    money we don't have on a new beast.

    ...d
     
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