What a nice and long honeymoon for Sandrine and Florent riding their VAGABONDE TANDEM over the world. Together from now more than 6 years, living in Provence (South of France), they have left their country (FRANCE) in August 2015 and they plan to be back home a year later in August 2016 after what should be around 20.000 kms. What a great trip on a steel tandem !
Let’s go for a world tour !
Florent and Sandrine wanted to travel before starting a casual life by buying a house and founding a family. They are not new in cycling, they already did a part of the road Eurovélo6 with around 80km per day.
Why a world tour ? To change of view everyday ! To go and meet different cultures, to break the "routine" and not to know where you will end at night and even less the day after.
They have chosen to ride a tandem because with a camping-car the cost is too high, by foot it is too slow... The tandem ride quite fast, they can decide to ride or not, and it cost only their own energy. It is also a way to share the effort and to stay together while riding. If you check out their pictures....water is the key ! They are all the time carrying 5 water bottles and 2 extra XL water bottles on the Tubus rack.
They bought an extra trailer because the tandem cannot carry the equivalent of 2 bikes.
How many times...how many kilometres ? They have planned, with a start on August 2015, to do the trip in 1 year and 20.000 kilometre, meaning that with an average of 50 kilometres each day they should be back in August 2016. They are going across South America, Asia, Europe, Pacific and Transsiberian.
THEIR FEEDBACK AND TECHNICAL ISSUE
Sandrine and Florent have given me their technical feedback about the tandem and its components :
The tandem is very easy to handle and stable, easy to drive in the traffic, between cars, in the climb or downhill : they really enjoy it. Of course when the road is full of rock or sand they have to push the tandem but it is the same for every riders on those roads with a tandem or a regular bike. The BOB trailer is just perfect in addition of the tandem, it just perfectly follow where the tandem goes.
For now, they only had to change the rear chain after about 6000km, the front chain is still ok. Front disc brakes pads have been change after 5000km and the rear one 5600km. They have change the front wheel fixing bolt that was damaged....just before starting the "downhill of the dead" at "La Paz" in bolivia...!
How many flat tires from now ? Only 10...4 at the front, 4 at the rear and 2 on the BOB trailer, it mostly happened in the desert in Argentina...so many cactus ! Tires, Schwalbe Marathon Tour Plus Smartguard, really needs to be change, especially the rear which is almost at the blue bland, they ll have the opportunity to change them at Lima (Peru) in 700kms.
- Step 1 August - December 2015 : Rio de Janeiro (Brésil)/Buenos Aires (Argentine)/La Paz (Bolivie)/Lima (Pérou)
- Step 2 February - June 2016 : Bangkok (Thaïlande)/Phnom Penh (Cambodge)/Vientiane (Laos)/Pékin (Chine)/Oulan-Bator (Mongolie)
- Step 3 June 2016 : Oulan-Bator (Mongolie)/Moscou (Russie) by the transsibérian
- Step 4 June - August 2016 : Moscou (Russie)/Paris (France)
Take some news about their world tour (and great pictures !): http://www.tour-du-monde-en-tandem.com
They are helped by sponsors :
MR WEB for their website : www.mrweb.fr
VAGABONDE for the Steel Tandem : http://www.vagabondecycles.com/
IN MECA : http://www.im-meca.com/
And the city of CABRIES (Provence) : http://www.cabries.fr/mairie.html
MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE VAGABONDE STEEL TANDEM
Well, we can say that they have ring the right door bell. VAGABONDE has knowledge and logic for preparing and design with expertise bikes for a world tour. It is very simple : they tell you what you need to have to complete what you want to do : so it means that for a world tour they will not equipped your bike with fancy last technological product...because who is able to replace or repare it in the middle of nowhere ?
So I went to met VAGABONDE based not far from my office. This is not the first time that i met them and it is always a real pleasure to visit the team.
The tandem frame is made of Cromo 4130 for the rear triangle only and Reynolds Tandem 853 and 631 for the main body (fillet brazin). Those set are thicker as the tandem carry a big charge when loaded, it must be really rigid. The fork is 1"1/8 fully made of Reynolds steel.
The frame has a specific double clamp on the front seat-tube : because the seat-post is also the handlebar of the stocker, it allow to tight it correctly with few strength.
It is designed for 26"wheels with Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour Smartguard , you can find 26" wheels sparepart or tires everywhere in the world. The rear wheel is equipped with a Rohloff gear hub. The Rohloff hub is a rear internal gear system placed in a permanent oil bath contained in a sealed body from outside elements. The front hub is a dynamo hub Busch & Müller, both rims are from DT Swiss 36 spokes.
The transmission is only mount on the right side of the tandem because it allow an easier start when the tandem is loaded. Also it prevent both bottom bracket from an excessive torsion. Bottom bracket are Shimano BBUN55 square...because you can find everywhere this kind of spare-part or a crank fitting it. They are mount in 2 eccentrics so you do not need any sliding dropouts. It provide a better security, there is zero risk that the rear wheel slide.
The average price for a VAGABONDE Steel Tandem is around 4800 euros with a Rohloff hub. The weight is around 20kgs.
VAGABONDE Website : http://vagabondecycles.com/tandem/1-tandem.html
- Frame : VAGABONDE TANDEM Reynolds 853 - 631
- Fork : VAGABONDE TANDEM Fork Reynolds.
- Crank : SUGINO 5 arms
- Bottom Brackets : Shimano BBUN55 (square)
- Front hub : Dynamo hub Busch & Müller
- Rear Hub : Rohloff 500/14
- Tires : Schwalbe Marathon Tour Plus Smartguard 26"
- Rims : DT Swiss
- Brake : BB7 - rotors: 180 203mm
- Rack : Tubus