Page:The Cycle Industry (1921).djvu/39

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25
TANDEM BICYCLES

arrangement meant that the front rider had handles to hold but was not expected to do any steering or balancing, or she interfered with her partner’s control of the machine, and by ignoring the instructions might cause a spill at a critical moment.

The early frame designs were rather crude, as might be expected, and consisted of a strengthened dropped front frame attached to a rear quadrilateral terminating in the usual rear fork. The rear rider’s pedal crank axle was connected to the front crank axle by a chain, so that the thrust of each rider’s pedals were communicated to the rear road driven wheel.

The frame described above was weakness itself, and much binding of chains and bearings caused the machine to run rather hard.

It is difficult to say who first introduced the lady back tandem, as the modern type is described, but tandems for two male riders had been in use for a long time before the dropped part of the frame was placed at the rear. I believe the late P. L. Renouf made one of the first lady back tandems, at Humber’s Coventry works, but doubtless others may claim the title of first.

The design of G. P. Mills, when at the Raleigh Co., Nottingham, was regarded as the most scientific type of tandem frame for years, in fact it remains unbeaten to-day. This frame is triangulated from front to rear and can be ridden by two women, wearing skirts, by a man and woman, or two men.

The tandem has got a bad name as a roadster because so many imagine that it requires harder pedalling uphill than a single. I do not agree absolutely with this opinion, and I think it has arisen chiefly because tandem pairs do not practise together sufficiently often to acquire the unity of action that is required to make