Tandem thoughts

By Brendon:

We have had the Hase Pino (Falkor) for just over a week now and are loving the ride.  From our first test ride we could immediately feel we would need to change the gear ratio of the front chain ring.  I have done a lot of research on the Hase Pino, and came across another tandem team that had solved the different pedal ratios of the pilot and stoker, by adding a 48 sprocket chain ring to the front cranks.  This is up from the standard 36 sprockets, and it had an immediate effect on our ability to choose gears that we could both contribute to in comfort.

One down side to this, the chain now drags on the chain guards that will not fit in the factory mounts as they can not be adjusted.  For the design and expense of this bike I reckon this is a pretty big flaw that could easily be addressed by the manufacturer.  Looks like the old cable tie and electrical tape is going to be the solution at this stage.

The new chain ring with 48 cogs. Note distance from mounting bracket to chain guard.

The new chain ring with 48 cogs. Note distance from mounting bracket to chain guard.

New cog with cable tie to try & stop chain drag on chain guard.

New cog with cable tie to try & stop chain drag on chain guard.

At this point though, after 150 km or so, & a few minor modifications, we are pretty stoked with our choice.  It is an amazing machine to share this type of bike touring on.  The biggest advantage for us would have to be the fact we get to experience everything as it happens in front of us and can easily talk about what is working and what needs some attention.  We get to the top of hills together and can stop when we both need a rest.  It does however, take a bit to get used to how often we need to gear change, the bike slows really quickly into hills, and this aspect does put a lot of stress through the drive chain and gear cables.  Something that I think will need some close attention in maintaining the bike over the long run.

The only other down side to the limited set-up option of the bike at purchase, would have to be the seat that comes as factory standard.  I guess it is ok for city travel, but it’s no way near what is required for touring.  I already knew this from reading other Hase touring blogs and have purchased a Brooks B66S saddle to be put on this weekend.  It is a shame we didn’t have the option to add this type of seat on ordering or have the bike delivered without a seat.  It would seem that Hase could provide a little more flexibility with the orders to satisfy individual specs. Considering it is a touring bike, it would be nice if they provided for these type of necessary touring options.

Pretty much loving the overall set up though, and with only these minor adjustments, the important running gear that is factory-standard, is quality gear.  We are looking into adding an emergency V- brake to the front end to try to avoid any overheating of the front disk breaks on some of the longer descents.  As a touring bike with the extra load, we feel we may need this extra breaking power.

Will see how the modifications work out in the coming months.

Further Thoughts and Obstacles

–  We have spent a lot of time trying to fit a V-brake to the front of the bike with very little luck here in Canada.  The V-brake mount has been delivered minus the shims to fit the bolts into the frame which attaches to the brake arms.  Not a difficult fix, just that no bike shop has the correct parts to make this work.  Have found out some handy tips to keep our disc brakes working better if we over-heat and glaze the disk surface.  Apparently, a rough-grade sand paper will clean the surface and keep the brakes working fine, so maybe no need for the extra weight of another brake.

– A bigger problem that has come up is the mounting of my new brooks saddle.  I decided on this saddle (B66S) because it had some great reviews from other tourers.  Great looking saddle, lots of springy bits for a soft ride.  Major issue, as my Canadian mate said, it is like fitting Dodge parts to a Chevy engine.  It is never going to be a straight forward 10 min job.  The issue is the specialised suspension seat post from Hase.  Not a standard gauge diameter or mounting bracket.  The brooks saddle is not loving it.

Original Hase seat mount & suspension seat post. Note narrow-gauge seat post

Original Hase seat mount & suspension seat post. Note narrow-gauge seat post

Brooks B66s saddle. Note standard pole mount size

Brooks B66s saddle. Note standard size seat-post mount

Only 2 options

1- try to fashion a mount and keep the added comfort of the suspension seat post.

2- find a new standard seat post and fit the new saddle.

Will see how all that works out today.

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2 responses to “Tandem thoughts

  1. The joys do tinkering with bikes! You might find the comfort factor improves over time as your ass gets used to the rigors of day to day life of bike riding! I’ve found sticking with standard issue always works best.

    Good luck and looking forward to hearing the next installment.😊

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