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70's Gazelle Tandem

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70's Gazelle Tandem

Old 06-17-20, 06:00 AM
  #1  
JaccoW
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1977 Gazelle Tandem

Right, so I just bought a tandem yesterday because... I wanted one.

It definitely needs some work but it was a mere €55 ($62) and I managed to ride it home fairly comfortably over the 9 km (5.5 miles) back home.
Some early digging doesn't turn up much information and even Gazelle's own image database of historic bikes doesn't quite show this particular model.
The frame seems to be a mix between the 1975 sport tandem and the later 1982 regular tandem with enclosed chaincase.
EDIT: Found out the bike is from 1977

The Sturmey Archer AB (the drum brake brother of the AW) hub is dated at '79 so the bike is probably from around that time too.


- 1975 tandem


- 1982 tandem


A bit of Dutch history on tandems in the Netherlands can be found here page 1 and page 2.

For future updates you can keep an eye on this thread.

The bike:







Plans for the future:
I do not plan to give this one a complete rebuild like I did with some of my other bikes but at the very least I will make it rideable again... and some new fenders... and maybe build new wheels... and have it painted...

NO, keep it simple Jacco.

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Last edited by JaccoW; 09-24-20 at 05:23 AM. Reason: Found the build year
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Old 06-17-20, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
I do not plan to give this one a complete rebuild like I did with some of my other bikes but at the very least I will make it rideable again... and some new fenders... and maybe build new wheels... and have it painted...
...and Rohloff... and Schmidt SON... and split stay with Gate belts... and water bottle bosses brazed on... Two Lepper saddles!
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Old 06-17-20, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by J.Higgins View Post
...and Rohloff... and Schmidt SON... and split stay with Gate belts... and water bottle bosses brazed on... Two Lepper saddles!
Definitely sprung leather saddles. Lepper or Brooks, whatever is cheaper to get my hands on.

I want to keep this one on drum brakes and modern Sturmey Archer hubs are relatively affordable. I have a set of 90mm ones on my SilverAce and I really like them.
But I always have wanted to build my own fabric chaincase and this would be a good bike to do it for.
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Old 06-17-20, 06:42 AM
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Nice! :-)
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Old 06-17-20, 07:13 AM
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I love the tandem Mixte frame!
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Old 06-17-20, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
I love the tandem Mixte frame!
There has been a lot of love for mixte frames during the quarantine. I think a tandem only adds to that.
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Old 06-17-20, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
Right, so I just bought a tandem yesterday because... I wanted one.
The best reason, if not the only one, to buy one.

Tandems are cool.
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Old 06-17-20, 03:32 PM
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Love the fully enclosed chain cover on a tandem. Isn't the Dutch government telling citizens to pick a partner during the pandemic? Tandems will definitely help out that policy!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...wn-coronavirus
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Old 06-17-20, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Love the fully enclosed chain cover on a tandem. Isn't the Dutch government telling citizens to pick a partner during the pandemic? Tandems will definitely help out that policy!

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...wn-coronavirus
They did, a friend of mine did something during that period. They are easing up on the quarantine a bit by now but it certainly helped when everything was closed down and they immediately set up a fund to pay businesses and employees who were affected. It essentially "paused" the economy instead of completely stopping it.

My girlfriend is kind of wary of it though, seems like lots of friends are more enthusiastic.
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Old 06-18-20, 01:44 AM
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Long time ago I went on a biking holiday with a tandem. Including my then girlfriend and a big trailer behind the bike. Including a cotton tent and a 2 pit Camping Gaz cooking set... You get the picture. Loads of fun! We even had an extra brake for the trailer because it was quite big. And we had a lot of people looking at us (and similing, too) in all the villages we passed.

We went from Meppel (more or less) to Slagharen, Almelo, Apeldoorn, Zwolle and back to Meppel. IIRC. It was probably about 30 years ago so some memories are a tad fuzzy...

Good times!
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Old 06-18-20, 10:30 AM
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Well it looks like the tandem is getting new hubs.

I scored a mismatched set of Sturmey Archer hubs on local eBay. A 90mm RXL-RD5 5-speed hub and what looks like a 70mm X-FDD dynohub. Shame it wasn't the 90mm XL-FDD but still a good deal for ... drum roll please ... €55 ($62).

I'll have to check what I plan to do with the wheels but reusing the stainless steel rims would match the bike better

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Old 06-19-20, 10:58 AM
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Took some time off today to just unwind and take a look at the tandem outside. Took the hub apart and found out why it wasn't working properly.

There wasn't a single locking nut or anti-rotation washer in place... well, there was one. But I don't think it can do its job anymore.


There were various small parts missing from the hub that should have been there. I guess that since it still brought me home these hubs are stronger than I thought.

I will be using new wheels I think, since these are old Dutch standard26 x 1 3/8, 37-590mm wheels instead of the more common 559mm MTB 26 inch wheels.
Perhaps 27.5 inch/650B (ETRTO 584mm) will be a nice alternative. Can anyone say 42mm tyres on a tandem?

Last edited by JaccoW; 06-19-20 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 06-19-20, 11:02 AM
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The 590mm rim is also known as 650A, going to 650b should allow you to reuse the brakes that are currently on the bike.
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Old 06-19-20, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
The 590mm rim is also known as 650A, going to 650b should allow you to reuse the brakes that are currently on the bike.
You're right! I didn't realize that's 650A. I haven't paid much attention to wheels outside of 700C and the occasional 650B. I don't expect many problems with the brakes though, one advantage of hub brakes.
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Old 06-19-20, 02:57 PM
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I think I have a rim in mind. The Ryde Andra 40 is one of the few rims rated for total weight up to 180Kg (~400 lbs) and the Disc version is even all black. While it does detract a bit from the C&V look I think it will look nice with some cream/whitewall tyres.

More pictures of today's disassembly and rust treatment:

Before and after of the drum brake assembly. Note the mising locknut that prevents the axle from unscrewing while riding.
EDIT: Wait a second, did I knock it off the table?




I know a punch and hammer are an acceptable alternative to the original tool... but maybe not to the point that the original tool doesn't fit anymore.


How does a spacer become warped? (Left one)


Gunky and worn bits


Last edited by JaccoW; 06-19-20 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 06-19-20, 03:03 PM
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I think Burley calls my tandem (the Zydeco) a mixte, though I'm not sure I agree. It came with a 3x7 drivetrain, and last year, I upgraded the rear to 11-speed, so I have the only 33-speed bike I've seen. And all those gears are not wasted. It's like driving a tractor-trailer, rowing through the gears on the hills here.

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Old 06-19-20, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I think Burley calls my tandem (the Zydeco) a mixte, though I'm not sure I agree. It came with a 3x7 drivetrain, and last year, I upgraded the rear to 11-speed, so I have the only 33-speed bike I've seen. And all those gears are not wasted. It's like driving a tractor-trailer, rowing through the gears on the hills here.
I think that would be considered a "kruisframe" or cross frame over here. Magneet Kruisframe tandem

And some more pics because of the 10 images per post limit.

Lots of rust (as expected) around the rear stays. But the chrome cleans up nicely, except for the rear chaincase strip. Not this mostly showed up after I treated the entire frame with an anti-rust gel.


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Old 06-19-20, 03:35 PM
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Wow... disassebling and then PROPER re-assembling a drumbrake is out of my league. Good luck sir!
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Old 06-20-20, 07:12 AM
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Hubs arrived today! Time for some measurements so I can order the rear parts to build a new rear wheel. My first foray into 650B.


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Old 06-21-20, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Millstone View Post
Wow... disassebling and then PROPER re-assembling a drumbrake is out of my league. Good luck sir!
Maybe it's daunting because the workings are invisible when you're using it, but it's a simple mechanism, not hard to work on.
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Old 06-21-20, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Maybe it's daunting because the workings are invisible when you're using it, but it's a simple mechanism, not hard to work on.
Agreed! And once you do it - like riding a bike - you never forget how!
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Old 06-21-20, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
Well it looks like the tandem is getting new hubs.

I scored a mismatched set of Sturmey Archer hubs on local eBay. A 90mm RXL-RD5 5-speed hub and what looks like a 70mm X-FDD dynohub. Shame it wasn't the 90mm XL-FDD but still a good deal for ... drum roll please ... €55 ($62).

I'll have to check what I plan to do with the wheels but reusing the stainless steel rims would match the bike better

Hey Jacco, These hubs are sweet! What is your opinion about their stopping power?
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Old 06-21-20, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by J.Higgins View Post
Hey Jacco, These hubs are sweet! What is your opinion about their stopping power?
So far I really like the 90mm ones on my SilverAce, the front hasn't been bedded in yet but the rear offers enough stopping power on its own to make you shoot off the saddle if you're only holding on with one hand. The lever feel is different from other types of brakes, if you're used to the instant grab of a rim brake or discs these might feel mushy at first. They have a self-actuating action where the brake power increases a lot more when you increase the pressure on the lever. It's different from the more linear feel that canti's offer for example.
All in all they make it easier to bleed a bit of speed for me but can still bring the bike to an impressive screeching halt. Non-conpressible cable housing helps though.

I haven't ridden the 70mm version yet but from what I've read they are perfectly adequate brakes. Not so great in the mountains but on flatlands and rolling hills they work just fine and are virtually trouble free for decades.

One thing you see manufacturers like Pashley do is a 90mm in the front and a 70mm in the rear. I think it makes a lot of sense for a lot of people.

As for the 5-speed hub, I have the older XL-RD5(w) model which shares a lot of parts with the old Sturmey Archer AW/AB hub and that one can be a bit finicky to adjust. I think I've gotten the hang of it by now but the newer RXL-RD5 should be more forgiving.

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Old 06-22-20, 09:03 AM
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Time for some wheelbuilding measurements.

So I decided to build the Sturmey Archer RXL-RD5 hub into a Ryde Andra 40 650B rim. One of the strongest rims around and rated at a total system weight of 180 kg (~400 lbs).
SA has a very usefull IGH C50 specification sheet that has all the info you need for wheelbuilding and that leads me to the following measurements and calculations:


(Link for those who want to use this data)

258mm & 260mm spokes it is. Time to order some parts.
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Old 07-06-20, 07:47 AM
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Everything in the house for a wheelbuild tonight (or this week)!

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