Thursday, August 6, 2015

Alpkit Tandem

I'm normally very good about writing up things as they happen for this blog. However, I am a bit late telling our latest news, as Tom and I have been busy either riding or tweaking the set up of a new bike, the Alpkit Tandem.

Tom riding solo.

I met Dave, one of the guys from Alpkit a while back at a party, and during our conversation I mentioned that Tom and I were planning on doing the Tour Divide on a tandem in 2016. I didn't realise at the time, but Alpkit were in the planning stage of having some bikes made to compliment their other products. Dave said that they might be able to help us by getting a custom tandem made.

Brant at helped with the design and a couple of weeks ago I took delivery of a very red tandem frame made to accommodate 29" or 650B+ wheels, and a box of parts from which I would build a bike.

My gear shifter and stoker.
The build went well except that the shifter cables I had were not long enough. This didn't stop Tom and I taking the bike out for a test ride, it just meant that when we wanted to change gear, Tom had to get off and change gear with a spanner. Longer cables were ordered, and a couple of days later, fitted.

It's too early yet to write a full review, but since it has been built up we have been out on it at every spare moment.  It is an absolute hoot to ride. It is red, and of course that means it is fast. It flys downhill, and it is just as well that the brakes are great. Tandems are renowned for their relative slowness heading back up the hill, but we've found that this bike will get up a lot of stuff that I'd not get up on a solo bike.

We'll be fitting a full set of  Alpkit luggage soon, and will let you know how it rides when laden.

Specification -

Alpkit custom frame.

Rohloff Gear 36 hole Hub with an 18 sprocket

Middleburn Chainsets 170/165mm. 38 Drive ring, 28 teeth same side timing rings.

8 speed chains.

Rockshox Pike Solo Air Forks set to 100mm

Use Vybe Suspension seatpost for Tom.

Hope Tech 3 V4 disc brakes with 203mm rotors

29" 36 Hole Halo rims (Front Hope Pro 2 15mm hub)

Tyres Continental Mountain King 2.4"

Truvativ Stem, bars, pilot's seatpost.

Weight 20.4 Kgs

Loads of Clearance.

USE Vybe Suspension seatpost.

Drive and Timing chains.

Rear end.


  1. Hi, sounds great, my wife and I just got ours and are loving it. Amazing what u can ride! Helps having had a few yrs tag a long experience too. We are TerraVenture on Fb and Twitter. Were based in central, east Scotland, and may organise a tandem rideout, Wknd in the future. So keep up the Adventuring. If your ever stuck or stranded in Scotland, get in touch. Happy to help u guys anyway we can. Regards, Keith.

  2. Hi Keith, nice one, now following you on twitter. We're up In Scotland often, we'll be in touch. Cheers Rich and Tom.

  3. Wow!! Nice one. And also great photography.