Instructables

Duck tape two-person bicycle

How to make a two person "tandem" bicycle using nothing but two dead ordinary bikes, two sticks and a roll of duck tape!
 
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Step 1: Our target

This is what we'd like to build - twice the power, twice the danger, twice the fun!

Step 2: Supplies

These are the kind of bikes you want - we need one good frontend and one god backend between them. We'll also want a hacksaw, an adjustable spanner (wrench), a tool for splitting chains or a few master-links, a screwdriver, a hammer AND that roll of duck tape. The two bikes need to be men's style frames (with a top tube up high) and have multiple gears on the pedals - the two smallest ones need to have the same number of teeth for this to work out.

Step 3: Ripping things to pieces

Next up - ripping your chosen bikes to pieces!

BACK BIKE: take the handlebars and front fork off the bike that is going to become the back of the tandem. Tear out the cables too, as we won't be needing them. Cut of the gear-changer for the pedal sprockets, as it will get in the way later. Now remove the bearing races from the head-tube (the 'grooved washers' the ball-bearings that support the front fork ran in) by hitting them with the hammer. (the bearing races are just a press-fit over the tube) Now hacksaw through this head-tube as shown in the picture. (we're trying to make a 'cup' that will cup around the seat-post tube of the front bike) That's our back half done!

FRONT BIKE: remove the rear wheel and all gear-changing equipment. Now hacksaw off the support tubes for the rear wheel as shown in the second image - we want the lower tubes left on but without the wheel brackets and we want the upper tubes completely gone.

You should end up with something looking like the third image if you put the two next to each other.
pcanywii1 year ago
its not really DUCK TAPE. it just INCLUDES duck tape
warlord7 years ago
If you throw a few pipe clamps (worm gear clamps) on there before you start duct taping you could get a little more structural integrety. Hopefully it would keep you from having a catastrophic failure at some point while riding the bike. If you wanted it to last a long time just ride it to a muffler shop. I'm sure they'd weld it together for you for a small fee. Probably $20...
Really, you could just ask them?
I'm sure they would: extra cash for them after all. Years ago I needed a 2m length of steel pipe welded to the back of an axe head (as a hole digger for around roots, etc), so just walked up to the local motor mower repair shop who did it for me on the spot (might have done it free too - I can't remember).
otaku117 years ago
their not called "gear changers" their called deralleurs.
Thank you, captain obvious =)
youre welcome lieutenant sarcastic jk :)
Its not spelled "their", its spelled "they're". Its also not spelled "deralleurs", its spelled "derailleurs". Thank you for comments that add sooooo much.
Chillax, it is only a comment, he was trying to help and you have to put him down, not cool
A correction should simply be correct...
yes, but it doesn't have to put people down, a better way of wording this would be, "Very nice comment, but you did spell derailleurs wrong and "they're" would be more appropriate than "their", it is a good comment though", that would be a polite way to correct him.
Very nice comment, but may I suggest you go back and read the snippy original comment to which I replied? It was not necessary or constructive. Arrogance begets arrogance. Thank you again for your nice comments and valuable life lessons.
Very true, you win.
shammallamaman, you win the sincerity star, and romedeiros1970 gets a cross for services to sarcasm. Both are valuable ingredients on the internet :-)
i agree
I think sweavo is the smartest one in this debate
One thing that turns off an educated person on forums like this is the widespread illiteracy. And most of the illiterates I've seen are actually PROUD of it and think it makes them look cool and colorful.
nikkners apop516 years ago
Relax, mellow out man. Educated or not there are a abundance of other significant topics than this tandem bike post to be a literacy bigot about. Inclusively, this site of forums is for inventions explained in layman terms for the common man. This is not a site of professionalism. So deal with it or make a site that suits to your liking. You are going to have to face the fact that your comment is not going to make a dent; especially when you are dealing with cool and colorful people. Usually they are the kind of people that are not straight arrow minded as you want them to be. For the fact of all involving matters, this is how ideas and inventions evolve. The widespread illiteracy just simply proves that their minds are focused on other things than literary values. And this is coming from a girl that English is her second language.
Amir5 years ago
Hey bro, I think you're bike is super awesome. I've got one that I've started working on in the garage that's been sitting for at least 2 months. It's one of my first welding projects. Your super awesome bike makes me want to go finish mine. Thanks for the instructable, and the motivation.
Amir Amir5 years ago
I'm sorry, that's "your" bike is super awesome*.
Geordiepom6 years ago
Two apprentice welders I know ended up in hospital (1 broken collarbone, 1 concussion) after a homemade tandem fell apart on them. I can't wait to tell them they should have used duck tape instead of welding it.
check out my idea after I've finished updating!

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g170/nkevin90/BIKE.jpg

I'm using a rear axle through a front hub, bolting the things together, and basically riveting the headtube of the stoker's bike. too easy.
krazmo8 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
This instructable still shows how to make one very cheaply, you don't have to follow it exactly, and if you think it is retarded, then don't do it, don't put other people down for their ideas, in fact I believe this is a very nice idea!
markocosic (author)  krazmo8 years ago
If you look at how the tape is being loaded, you'll see that you could just as easily use rope bindings. Sure this isn't as strong as a fully welded, brazed or bolted frame but the time its lasted thus far and the way the wheels buckle before the joints fail suggest that the construction is valid. It will fall apart at some point, but looking at it I think that it'd loosen to the point you'd notice and give plenty of warning before it did. Still wouldn't call it a "good" idea - only an "entertaining" one!
heh... you don't need a good idea to be able to have something good on your hands :P Look at sharper image :P Mostly junk nowadays - but business is thriving :P What's cool is if you see your joints starting to fail -- rebuilding is no problem :P If you still have it - for a little peace of mind, you could use pipe clamps. This might kill a little flexing. I'd give this a good rating in the home built bike hacks category ;)
Maybe so... But errr... here's your proof of concept o.0
Wrong, Duct tape IS made of magic, by wizards. So there.
hunter_956 years ago
did you just put duck tape on the bike
mrxoliver7 years ago
piropos8 years ago
I've been looking all over the internet for a homemade bike tandem and this is the best and most doable I've seen so far.
Prometheus8 years ago
If you had just used right-hand cranks on the left side, you could have used all the gears on the bike instead of having to sacrifice your two-smallest chainrings to transfer the power from captain to stoke5r (front-to-back for all you non-cyclists out there :P) I agree, the ping-pong table is classy too lol...
markocosic (author)  Prometheus8 years ago
Agreed - though purchasing another right-hand crank would go against the whole two bikes and a roll of gaffer tape theme. ;-) In San Francisco you may want the two smaller chainrings but elsewhere it's not been too much of an issue
trebuchet038 years ago
Hole !@#$ !!! The stoker probably would like handlebars (to get more power to the wheels)... but man, something in the back of my head says not to take that on the road while another part tells me wooo fun! Duck Tape: By Engineers... For Engineers... --- How is it to ride and how long have you been riding it? Curious to how the tape holds up :P
darn.... I should have said how long (as in distance) :P
markocosic (author)  trebuchet038 years ago
Distance wise it's around a mile from the house to lectures, maybe 1/2 mile between lectures and a mile back 5 days a week then either nothing or lots on a weekend - say 2.5 miles/weekend average to give 15 miles/week. Riding wise the (rake?) angle for the front forks is "wrong" compared to an ordinary bike so the steering is slightly twitchier than usual. Brakes are shocking inadequate (cheap pads will smoke, melt and fall off if you try a stop from 30mph with two people on, with decent pads its ok but takes foreverto come to a stop). If the person up front really starts putting some power down the frame will flex towards the cahin side and you'll have to correct with the steering. The rear pedals are low and you have to watch dropping the bike up and down curbs and leaning it around tight corners. Essentially its bloody awful to ride and fairly dangerous - but somehow its so bad that its amusing and it seems to hold together fine! :-)
A Playboy beer pong table on cinder blocks... classy.
kenneth12478 years ago
This is awesome! Seems like it might be a bit unsafe, but it sure sounds like fun.