Tandem and Trailer

Our loyal travel companion since 2001!


We had the possibility to buy a "no brand" tandem frame for a bargain price. Therefore, we had the opportunity to mount the parts we really wanted and trusted. Of course we could profit from our experiences we had with our first tandem and just as naturally we changed a couple of things after the first tour... Until now, our bicycle is doing a fantastic job and runs smooth apart from a few tiny flaws. A great thing from A to Z!

frameMountainbike frame aluminium, 26", incl. some special tandem parts
forkCrMo, ahead-set
  • With affixtures to mount the Lowriders.
front wheelMavic D521ceramic, 26" 36-holes, DT swiss Hügi TD hub L=100mm, DT swiss Alpine III spokes
rear wheelAlexrims Supra-V pro, 26" 36-holes, DT swiss Hügi TD hub L=135mm, DT swiss Alpine III spokes, Bob Yak axis
  • It is advisable to have a spare of the free wheel as in our case this part breaks regularly.
ahead setFSA Orbit
  • Better use a heavy and strong one than a sophisticated hightech part.
  • Supports three different positions. At the back an additional handel bar has been added (spares Patrizia from backache).
handle-bar gripHandEeze
  • Comfortable and solid handhold
rear mirror
  • An absolutely indispensably piece. Really advisable.
front light
  • We try not to cycle at night anyway, and if we have to we use the headlamps.
back light
  • LED light with big refectors.
brakesMagura HS33 incl. BrakeBooster
  • Rim brakes, absolutely maintenance-free. Maybe we would now change to disk brakes, but only because reliable heavy duty rims for conventional brakes are not manufactured anymore.
gear shiftSram Rocket
front gear shifterShimano XT
  • Well-tested and reliable technique. Many swear by speed-hubs but until now we did not meet any speed-hub cyclist who did not have to replace his expensive Rohloff speed-hub because it broke.
rear gear shifterShimano XT
  • dito
  • Special length for the rear
  • Although it's a solid rear weel stand it's not very stable. Tandem falls over from time to time. Also, the stand tends to bend under the heavy weight of the tandem. Better solution not found yet. Stabilising the front handle-bar is very helpful.
  • We would not want to cycle without them
front carrierTubus / tubus.com
  • The sturdy carriers from Tubus are made of steal tubes and almost indestructible. The company does not without reason grant a 30 years warranty!
rear carrierTubus / tubus.com
  • For shorter trips one could also use a cheaper aluminium version. But bear in mind that this carriers are usually much less stiff. If you choose aluminium make sure it is riveted and not welded.
lowriderTubus / tubus.com
  • Especially with lowriders you see many aluminium components. Especially broken ones. For bigger tours we would not suggest to use aluminium even if it is very well welded.
cranksShimano LX, Octalink, front 175mm, rear 170mm
  • It has not always to be XT only because it's a few grams lighter
pedalsWellgo 902
  • Used with "shoe-baskets" in order not to slip out in the mud.
inner bearingShimano XT, Octalink
  • Choose the better quality here
left chainShimano IG93, Supernarrow
  • For the left chain we need approx. 1.5 normal chains.
right chainShimano IG93, Supernarrow
cassetteShimano XT, 11-34
  • The bigger, the merrier - especially uphill.
front saddleBrooks B17 / brooksengland.com
  • Nothing beats a well broken-in Brooks saddle. Very solid and absolutely comfortable!
rear saddleBrooks B17 S / brooksengland.com
  • dito
tiresSchwalbe Marathon Plus Tour / schwalbe.com
  • Only one puncture every 5'000km - this speaks for itself.
inner tubesMichelin Air+
  • Together with the Schwalbe an absolute dream team. Use car valves to get air from every gas station.
rim tapes
  • Better use fibre than syntetic.


Cruising around with the Bob Yak is just perfect because you hardly notice it's following you (apart from the weight of course ;-). But there are a few modifications which are necessary to get the trailer ready for longer tours. 1. The lattice has to be covered with a mat to prevent the rubbing of the bag against it, otherwhise the material gets worn out very fast. 2. The low quality wheel should be replaced with a stronger one. 3. Use straps instead of the rubber bands. 4. The RackPack XL from Ortlieb is much more robust than the supplied bag. 5. If there is a need to carry extra water, it's a good idea to attach solid bottle holders (see picture).

trailerBob Yak / bobgear.com
  • We had to weld the first one so many times that it had to be replaced.
wheelWeinmann, 32-holes, Shimano XT 100mm, DT Swiss
  • We replaced the original wheel because it seemed not very durable to us.
tiresSchwalbe Marathon XR
  • See above.
inner tubesSchwalbe
  • To fix the big bag.
mounting for bottles
  • Do-it-yourself mounting to fix the 5l-canisters.


locksSpecialized Wedlock / specialized.com
  • Very practical and robust but also heavy.
steel ropeAbus / abus.ch
  • To lock the bike to a tree or wherever suitable.
front computerCiclosport CM 2.2 / intercycle.com / ciclosport.de
  • We had some problems with our VDO computers and Intercycle equiped us with new computers from Ciclosport.
rear computerCyclosport CM 8.3A / intercycle.com / ciclosport.de
  • With altimeter, wireless
bottle holders
  • For 1.5l PET bottles. We started our trip with ordinary bottle holders (1l). The Pet-bottle holder of 1.5l stood so far the test - really recommendable.
basket with strapsBasil
  • Very handy to carry fruits, vegetables, shirts, book, whatever …
trouser clips

Spare Parts and Tools

batteries for computers
patches for tubes
tubes26" and 16"
tires26" and 16"
spokes10 for the tandem and 5 for the trailer
  • Up to now we did not have to replace a single spoke. Hurray to Veloflick!
  • Sometimes more, depending on when we expect to find supplies.
chain rivets
free wheel
  • The free wheel is our working part number one. We had to replace it three times so far.
spring for free wheel
special grease for free wheel
  • We thought we would use the smalles pinion more often…
axis for trailer
  • We need a special axis for the trailer, and we would not find such a thing if it would break (and it cannot be fixed).
pin for trailer
bearing for trailer
Magura repair kit
hydraulic tube
break pads
Teflon grease
saddle grease
hydraulic oil
various screws etc.
cable straps
shrink hose
tire remover
pedal wrench 14/15mm
allen spanner
cassette cracker
  • A small tool to remove the cassette.
screw wrench
wrench for saddles
wrench for excenter
  • To tighten the front chain there is an excenter for which we use a special tool.
chain gauge
  • To see when the chains have to be replaced. If you wait too long it will damage the cassette.
  • In our case, the chains have to be replaced approx. every 2'000km.
  • It has to reach enough pressure (5bar).
valve adapter
  • Handy if you have to use inner tubes with other valve types.
See also corresponding paragraph under equipment

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