Please help me identify this tandem bicycle. Here's what I know:

  • I'm pretty sure it's not a Schwinn, as all Schwinn bikes had straight frames without curves.
  • From what I can tell, Hawthorne used the same skip-tooth sprocket on Hawthorne bikes until the early 1950s.
  • It has lines like a Colton, but I can't find out if Colton made a tandem that front steer only.
  • The serial number has been painted over/obscured.
  • Seats not original.
  • It has fenders, not shown.

(Not for sale at the moment.)

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  • That rear fork looks very unusual, that may well be the deciding factor in identifying a manufacturer... though to me that does suggest chopper or home made. Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 22:56
  • Definitely old -- likely prior to 1950. The frame layout does suggest that the bike was modified to be a tandem, vs being that way from the start, but if that were the case there would probably be awkward things about the drive train layout, and it looks fairly clean (from here). (But examine closely that rear bottom bracket area for signs of modification.) Commented Jul 7, 2018 at 0:13
  • 1
    The frame is also missing the triangle shape in the rear, it really doesn't look that sturdy at all. Better not ride it with two heavy persons i'd say...
    – MadMarky
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 11:03
  • More clues would help. On the brake arm is there anything stamped? Rims? Anything anywhere else?
    – David D
    Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 1:27
  • Did you buy it from, or sell it to, this guy? (Reddit thread about a tandem that's a Hawthorne in the front and a Schwinn in the back)
    – shoover
    Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 13:09

2 Answers 2


This is a little crazy but here goes.

I think it's the front of a Hawthorn men's bike
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With a Hawthorne ladies bike wielded on for the back half
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The rear stays of the men's bike are removed. The head tube on the ladies bike is removed, the top and bottom tubes are wielded to the seat tube on the men's bike. Both bikes have the correct skip tooth front sprockets.

The connecting tube between the "top" tube and the "bottom" tube on the ladies bike is no longer parallel with the ground on the tandem because the seat tube angle is not the same as the head tube angle.

An extra tube is wielded between the bottom brackets on the two bikes.

The ladies bike is listed as being a 1941. The men's bike is listed as "pre-war".

Here is a good discussion on dating a Hawthorn bike.

Hawthorne used three different chain rings on their full size prewar balloon models, the ?snowflake? the ?speed-comet? and the ?torque-star? (my names). The torque-star chain ring didn?t appear until 1940 so if it is original to your bike that would date it to 1940-1942.


It looks similar to 1936 BSA T64. I am not an expert, obviously, but according to the pics you gave and the pics I found of the BSA at the time, that looks like the match. The only other one I found was made in 1897 and then after finding this one, I could not find the one from 1897 anymore. But the frame looked like the one from 1897 and the gears and tires looked like the 1936

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