Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Odd tandem for sale

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Odd tandem for sale

Old 08-09-22, 07:22 PM
  #1  
WGB
WGB
Thread Starter
 
WGB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Niagara Region
Posts: 4,731

Bikes: Panasonic PT-4500

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1478 Post(s)
Liked 1,379 Times in 930 Posts
Odd tandem for sale

This one is for sale in Welland, Ontario.

Cannot quite make out head badge (Manufrance??). Seller is a flipper with no knowledge of bikes and usually leaves bikes chained at end of driveway so I will try to get over and get photos as sales listings are terrible.
It appears to be Stronglight cranks @bertinjim believed cranks were Model 49D and that it has a 1 1/8th headset. I was drawn to the weird cross bracing under the stoker and the bracing on the fork. I can't tell what size tires from photos. $400 Canadian is roughly $310USD.
Anyone recognize it?

Per ad "400 FOR THE BICYCLE BUILT FOR TWO"

​​​​​​https://www.kijiji.ca/v-other-bike/s...0715?undefined
​​​​​

BIKES, SEVERAL ONES.

$50

​​​​​​
ROAD BIKES, MOUNTAIN BIKES, DIFFERENT KIND LADIES AND MENS BIKES MUST GO!!!? OPEN FOR OFFERS!! WE ALSO DELIVER IF NECESSARY. 400 FOR THE BICYCLE BUILT FOR TWO. OTHERS ARE 50 AND UP.

​​​​​​
WGB is offline  
Old 08-09-22, 08:03 PM
  #2  
Chuck M 
Butted Hi-Tensile
 
Chuck M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 1,285

Bikes: Hi-Ten bike boomers, a Trek Domane and some projects

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 458 Post(s)
Liked 1,173 Times in 580 Posts
I'm just curious what is up with the two vertical struts going up from the front wheel and attached to the fork.
__________________
"It is the unknown around the corner that turns my wheels." -- Heinz Stücke

Chuck M is offline  
Old 08-09-22, 08:59 PM
  #3  
WGB
WGB
Thread Starter
 
WGB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Niagara Region
Posts: 4,731

Bikes: Panasonic PT-4500

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1478 Post(s)
Liked 1,379 Times in 930 Posts
I'm just curious what is up with the two vertical struts going up from the front wheel and attached to the fork.

The whole design makes me curious!
WGB is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 04:23 AM
  #4  
Chuck M 
Butted Hi-Tensile
 
Chuck M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 1,285

Bikes: Hi-Ten bike boomers, a Trek Domane and some projects

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 458 Post(s)
Liked 1,173 Times in 580 Posts
I just fixated so much on the two vertical struts I didn't notice all the other things going on behind the captain's seat tube.
__________________
"It is the unknown around the corner that turns my wheels." -- Heinz Stücke

Chuck M is offline  
Likes For Chuck M:
Old 08-10-22, 01:16 PM
  #5  
dweenk 
Senior Member
 
dweenk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Maryland
Posts: 3,916

Bikes: Lots of English 3-speeds, a couple of old road bikes, 3 mountain bikes, 1 hybrid, and a couple of mash-ups

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 868 Post(s)
Liked 296 Times in 203 Posts
Belt and suspenders maybe?
__________________
I hope...that all mankind will at length…have reason and sense enough to settle their differences without cutting throats. Ben Franklin
dweenk is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 02:22 PM
  #6  
JacobLee 
Total Scrounge
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 841

Bikes: 71 International 72 Super Course 83 Gap

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 299 Post(s)
Liked 743 Times in 277 Posts
Needs another brake mount on those struts, then it has four sets of rim brakes.
__________________
JacobLee is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 05:05 PM
  #7  
albrt 
Full Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 326

Bikes: 1967 Dawes Double Blue, 1982 Claud Butler Dalesman, 1982 Nishiki International upright bar conversion, 1983 Schwinn Paramount Elite, 1990s Specialized Hard Rock drop bar conversion, 2014 Brompton, maybe a couple more

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Liked 172 Times in 96 Posts
Technobull sometimes used fork stabilizers that looked something like that.

https://www-g--homeserver-com.transl..._x_tr_hl=en-US
albrt is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 07:03 PM
  #8  
WGB
WGB
Thread Starter
 
WGB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Niagara Region
Posts: 4,731

Bikes: Panasonic PT-4500

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1478 Post(s)
Liked 1,379 Times in 930 Posts
I attended today and attempted an inspection. The bike is in the rear of a garage with "many" very rough mountain bikes and a Nishiki International and a Raleigh Grand Prix.

Very dark and very hard to see, it is a Manufrance. The vibe I got was late '60's or early '70's.

I tried cell camera for photos but very poor photos. Sorry for what little I got



Suntour VX rd




Stronglight Crankset





Headbadge was a sticker.



But, brazing on the fork had cracked and the bracing had broke free. No sign of a collision leading me to wonder if it was just a bad job at the factory or if had been abused.

IMHO it's a parts bike now. I may make an offer as I'd like the wheelset and few parts.
WGB is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 07:32 PM
  #9  
bertinjim 
Senior Member
 
bertinjim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Niagara Region, Canada
Posts: 1,391

Bikes: 1960s Bertin C37, 1973 Carre Bertin C 37, 1970s Carlton Kermesse, 1982 Peugeot PB 12

Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 313 Post(s)
Liked 185 Times in 121 Posts
I suspect it would be dangerous to ride. I also suspect it's a homebrew tandem made from singles. The fork brace has failed but is a two piece brazed together botch. The rear bracing stays behind the captain's BB and extending to the stocker's seat tube are made from two crimped stays brazed together. As well, there is no eccentric BB to allow chain tensioning. Finally, I think the homebrew decals say Manufearn II (to match the headbadge) not Manufrance. However, there are good bits on it and it would be worth plundering for parts.
bertinjim is offline  
Old 08-10-22, 08:12 PM
  #10  
WGB
WGB
Thread Starter
 
WGB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Niagara Region
Posts: 4,731

Bikes: Panasonic PT-4500

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1478 Post(s)
Liked 1,379 Times in 930 Posts
@ Bertinjim - I think you are right! It was just very hard to see in there and when i asked seller if it was a Manufrance he said "Sure". I think he just thought he had a sucker. Lucky for me I was broke! i agree the value is in the parts and may make an offer, a very low offer.

Last edited by WGB; 08-10-22 at 08:19 PM.
WGB is offline  
Likes For WGB:
Old 08-11-22, 09:43 AM
  #11  
madpogue 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 6,250
Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2118 Post(s)
Liked 1,258 Times in 905 Posts
Yup, those are definitely the original chainstays from the single frame that makes up the front half of the bike. See the dimple? Stays were probably just cold-set bent inward. And of course, both wheels appear to be 36-spoke. Clever use of a retired rear mech as a timing chain idler. Dude gets an A- for ingenuity, inspiration and cleverness, but at best a D for execution.
madpogue is offline  
Old 08-11-22, 11:09 AM
  #12  
merziac
Senior Member
 
merziac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: PDX
Posts: 11,397

Bikes: Merz x 5 + Specialized Merz Allez x 2, Strawberry/Newlands/DiNucci/Ti x3, Gordon, Fuso/Moulton x2, Bornstein, Paisley,1958-74 Paramounts x3, 3rensho, 74 Moto TC, 73-78 Raleigh Pro's x5, Marinoni x2, 1960 Cinelli SC, 1980 Bianchi SC, PX-10 X 2

Mentioned: 224 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3560 Post(s)
Liked 3,866 Times in 2,351 Posts
And an eF for being a Dbag.
merziac is offline  
Old 08-11-22, 12:03 PM
  #13  
WGB
WGB
Thread Starter
 
WGB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Niagara Region
Posts: 4,731

Bikes: Panasonic PT-4500

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1478 Post(s)
Liked 1,379 Times in 930 Posts
Seller is also low on food chain. I met with him and pointed out the separation between the braze on and the forks. He knew about that which meant he knew it wasn't safe.

​​​​​​I suggested that if he wished to sell it he should at least tell prospective buyers what the issues were. He shrugged and asked if I had an offer. I said it was a "parts only " bike and I offered $150 (Canadian). He brushed that off and said he'd keep the parts as he had $250 in it already and someone else had offered him $250. I said he should still tell the buyer what was wrong with the bike. I said that if he was worried I was trying to cheat him he could cut the frame in half before I left as I want the parts. Again he said no so I left.

Ps. Yesterday I asked him if the bike was French (based on the cranks) and he had replied "What is French?". Interesting to see if it doesn't sell and he grabs a standard crank puller and tries to take off those cranks😦.
WGB is offline  
Old 08-11-22, 12:21 PM
  #14  
madpogue 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 6,250
Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2118 Post(s)
Liked 1,258 Times in 905 Posts
Originally Posted by WGB View Post
Ps. Yesterday I asked him if the bike was French (based on the cranks) and he had replied "What is French?". Interesting to see if it doesn't sell and he grabs a standard crank puller and tries to take off those cranks😦.
Think he even has a crank puller? He probably assumes the cranks will just come off when you remove the bolt or nut.
madpogue is offline  
Old 08-11-22, 12:57 PM
  #15  
bikingshearer 
Crawlin' up, flyin' down
 
bikingshearer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Democratic Peoples' Republic of Berkeley
Posts: 4,769

Bikes: 1967 Paramount; 1982-ish Ron Cooper; 1978 Eisentraut "A"; two mid-1960s Cinelli Speciale Corsas; and others in various stages of non-rideability.

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 569 Post(s)
Liked 966 Times in 486 Posts
Originally Posted by bertinjim View Post
I suspect it would be dangerous to ride. I also suspect it's a homebrew tandem made from singles. The fork brace has failed but is a two piece brazed together botch. The rear bracing stays behind the captain's BB and extending to the stocker's seat tube are made from two crimped stays brazed together. As well, there is no eccentric BB to allow chain tensioning. Finally, I think the homebrew decals say Manufearn II (to match the headbadge) not Manufrance. However, there are good bits on it and it would be worth plundering for parts.
I agree that it looks like a homemade joining of two singles together. I thought that even before you pointed out the lack of a front eccentric BB, which I had not noticed. With your observation about that and about what is passing for a boom tube clinches it for me.

It's value, IMHO, is as one or both of (1) a parts donor or (2) a curiosity. It certainly is not a rider. It may hold up, but I would not be willing to take the chance.

I'd be interested to see if it has an actual tandem crankset or just parts from singles. My guess it is the latter, in which case the pedal threading would be backwards for three of the four crankarms. If that were the case, God help you if one of those three pedals had their threads seize up while riding it. It's been a (very) long time, but I have had a NDS pedal simply freeze up. The result was unscrewing the pedal with my foot strapped in. Annoying as hell, but not more than that. But if the pedal threading were backwards - at least a crash and possible nasty bone or ligament/tendon damage to the affected ankle.
__________________
"I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney
bikingshearer is offline  
Old 08-11-22, 03:15 PM
  #16  
WGB
WGB
Thread Starter
 
WGB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Niagara Region
Posts: 4,731

Bikes: Panasonic PT-4500

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1478 Post(s)
Liked 1,379 Times in 930 Posts
Getting happier I didn't get it. The Ideale saddle was in great shape though...
WGB is offline  
Old 08-11-22, 04:21 PM
  #17  
Trakhak
Senior Member
 
Trakhak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 3,417
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1279 Post(s)
Liked 1,237 Times in 720 Posts
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Yup, those are definitely the original chainstays from the single frame that makes up the front half of the bike. See the dimple? Stays were probably just cold-set bent inward. And of course, both wheels appear to be 36-spoke. Clever use of a retired rear mech as a timing chain idler. Dude gets an A- for ingenuity, inspiration and cleverness, but at best a D for execution.
I'm not sure enough to argue about it, but it seems to me that there are a few clues indicating that this might not be a home brew.

Thoughts:

I doubt that a shade-tree mechanic cobbling together a tandem would go to the trouble of sourcing a full original Manufrance decal set, which would have been needed after all that brazing or welding followed by painting. And the bike looks like far too neat a build for someone who isn't a skilled framebuilder.

The paired rear brakes, one operated by the stoker and the other by the captain: that's a novel idea, and a good one, as anyone who has had a stoker complain about excessive speed will recognize. Seems likely that only an experienced rider (or manufacturer) of tandems would think of that; i.e., not something you'd think of if you were throwing a tandem together for fun.

Setting aside the point that there would have been no reason for anyone not to simply cut off the front chainstays in building an extemporized tandem (for example, to make brazing in the boom tube much easier), the supposed repurposed chainstays are far too long to have served that function in the theoretical single bike. And the dimple is exactly where the manufacturer would put if for inner-chainring clearance for an alternative tandem setup with the captain's single-chainring cranks on the right side of the bike: maybe for a city-use tandem with two chainrings on the back, the inner one being used for the timing chain. That's how my Kuwahara city tandem was set up.

I see a few other indications that it was produced in a factory, but additional evidence is provided on the Manufrance page of Classic Rendezvous. According to that page, Manufrance's bikes (they also sold a wide variety of other products) were renowned for their innovative designs. Seems too much of a coincidence to suggest that the backyard builder was similarly given to unorthodox building ideas.
Trakhak is online now  
Old 08-11-22, 04:56 PM
  #18  
madpogue 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 6,250
Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2118 Post(s)
Liked 1,258 Times in 905 Posts
The decals say "Manufearn".
madpogue is offline  
Likes For madpogue:
Old 08-11-22, 05:14 PM
  #19  
Trakhak
Senior Member
 
Trakhak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 3,417
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1279 Post(s)
Liked 1,237 Times in 720 Posts
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
The decals say "Manufearn".
Puzzling. A search resulted in 0 hits for "Manufearn" (and plenty for "Manufrance"). And blowing up the photo in this thread, it looks like the downtube decal might have 10 characters, not 9. Still, you were there.
Trakhak is online now  
Old 08-11-22, 06:13 PM
  #20  
madpogue 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison, WI USA
Posts: 6,250
Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2118 Post(s)
Liked 1,258 Times in 905 Posts
It, uh, is clearer when you don't blow it up so much....


Sorry, I forgot about the space and character(s) following. Sure looks like either "MANUFEARN II" or MANUFEARN H" to me. The letter after the F is a little ambiguous, but I can't see how the 9th character could be interpreted as a "C". But I've needed glasses since I was 3 yrs old, so IDK.

Maybe "MANUFBARN II"?

Oh, and the dimple would still be completely superfluous even if there were a timing sprocket on the right side, since the stay goes straight back and not outward. Their length had me puzzled as well, but that could be a matter of the angle/perspective of the photo. (Or, they could be extended.)
madpogue is offline  
Old 08-11-22, 06:47 PM
  #21  
WGB
WGB
Thread Starter
 
WGB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Niagara Region
Posts: 4,731

Bikes: Panasonic PT-4500

Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1478 Post(s)
Liked 1,379 Times in 930 Posts
When I returned today it wasn't a happy conversation so I didn't take time to photo but it clearly wasn't marked Manufrance. It was marked Manufearn 11. Instead of a head badge (last photo - says Fearn"). I've since accessed Mr Google and noted that Manufrance had several different variations of headbadges but none looks anything like this one.

The name Manufrance entered into it because I was looking at the bike in the rear of a very dark and dirty garage. I asked if it was a Manufrance and seller simply said "sure" in a neutral voice. Had I pulled it out in daylight I'd have seen what it really was. It wasn't until @bertinjim pointed out the correction that I realized it wasn't a Manufrance.

The farther I get from this bike the clearer it becomes to me that it's an oddity and perhaps a dangerous one.

Perhaps I'll recontact the seller and drop my offer to $75!😜
WGB is offline  
Likes For WGB:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.