Custom Bike - 6~8 weeks
Bike Repair - 1 week
For the last couple of years my kids, ages 8 and 10, have been riding their own bikes more, so the triplet doesn't get used as much as before. But when we do go out, the trips are longer. The kids weigh about 130lbs total, so our team weight is now similar to an average adult tandem team.
5 years into ownership and there is still great appreciation for the machine; there is 100% satisfaction and the performance is gratifying. There were a few kinks I had to work out of the drivetrain. The last refinement came about last summer when a visiting friend and his wife, from Singapore and arriving on a tandem, suddenly chose to drag race us, on an uphill slope after a right turn (slow roll) with no warning when we were accompanying them on their way back from our house to a ferry terminal. Due to the ferocity of the effort, the final drive chain collided with the sync chain in front of it (single side drive) but we were able to limp home on a twisted link after winning the drag. Now the chains are spaced a little farther apart and the bike has been running really well. My wife no longer rides it since about two years ago. The kids are too heavy to haul up hills when they're tired or otherwise don't feel like working.
Last Monday just for fun we rode 15km to the nearest city for an evening group ride. Now that the kids have gone clipless, and have some weight and power, there are lots of grins to be harvested on rolling terrain. There were times I felt that if the handlebars weren't steel I would have ripped them in half, such was the force put in while mashing up the hills to keep pace with the leaders. All of my best efforts over the years have been handled by the frame in a way that I don't notice it, which is ideal, and I'm looking forward to many good times ahead with this bike.
Although the drivetrain arrangement is a factor, it's a testament to the build and design of the frame that I am so pleased. So a big round of applause to the people involved for getting it right ... I would like you to pass this on to Dennis or anyone else that matters. You may know I am not the easiest to please or impress. Indeed it is rare to see comments like this coming from me.