The Ties That Bind: Talbot Frameworks Tandem

The Ties That Bind: Talbot Frameworks Tandem

Riding a tandem is an exercise in trust and cooperation. London’s Talbot Frameworks built this one for the special team of a father and daughter, who will soon take it on an extremely mountainous European tour.

The Ties That Bind: Talbot Frameworks Tandem

For the frame builder contracted to construct a tandem from scratch, however, it will prove to be a right headache: Twice the riders, double the trouble. Extra-long tubes and a double drivetrain notwithstanding, there’s not one, but two geometries to consider.

The Ties That Bind: Talbot Frameworks Tandem

Talbot’s Crystal Palace workshop entered the tandem jungle to emerge relatively unscathed. In fact, taking into account the primary rider is the thirty-nine year-old father and the secondary his nine year-old daughter, the new bike is a jewel in the Talbot crown.

The Ties That Bind: Talbot Frameworks Tandem

And how about this: the Talbot tandem is versatile enough that with standard adjustments to the stem and seat post, it will still be a comfortable fit for the daughter as she continues to grow in height to an adult age.

The Ties That Bind: Talbot Frameworks Tandem

Custom bicycles have been made on the Talbot Frameworks site since the 1940s, an era when offering such a service was the norm for virtually all bike shops. The helm of the business was passed to Matt McDonough in 2013.

The Ties That Bind: Talbot Frameworks Tandem

He’s been doing a sterling job since: turning out a range of very contemporary bikes that have embraced modern technological advancements. The tandem is no exception, driven by a Shimano Di2 groupset and hauled up by their hydraulic disc brakes.

The Ties That Bind: Talbot Frameworks Tandem

Matthew used a tandem-specific jig for the job to fillet braze the main frame, but he still had to build a lot of custom tooling for specific tasks. Even the drivetrain is out-of-the-ordinary, a combination of Di2, Gates Carbon belt and custom Rotor chainring spiders.

The Ties That Bind: Talbot Frameworks Tandem

The chain stays are attached to a wishbone yoke — made in-house — to allow for the belt’s clearance, and the oversized boom tube — the ‘extra’ horizontal tube behind the primary rider — was formed at the workshop also, to make up for the lack of a top tube.

The Ties That Bind: Talbot Frameworks Tandem

The stoker stem was designed by Talbot and constructed especially for this bike too. BikeCad couldn’t handle the required dimensions, so the whole build was modelled and stress-tested in a ‘normal’ CAD program.

The Ties That Bind: Talbot Frameworks Tandem

What an heirloom this will prove to be, after many years of traversing thousands of miles together, learning to depend on and support each other, and gaining an intrinsic knowledge of the other’s physical and emotional levels.

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The Ties That Bind: Talbot Frameworks Tandem