2

Hopefully a simple question (?!). I'm wondering if you could help me with a simple answer.

I have a 30 year old UNIVEGA tandem frame that my family and I love to ride. The problem is, with a baby-seat on the back, it really needs a sturdy centre mounted kickstand. The frame doesn't have a factory-welded centre mount. So I'm trying to find out if it is wise to have a kickstand plate welded on. I can't seem to find anything despite many hours of research. I've previously had the "clamp-on" style centre kickstands, but noticed that they began to damage the chainstays. I really don't want to ruin a beloved bike.

Any advice on welding a kickstand plate to an "after market" frame?

Thanks,

Jason

Tandem in full action Previous chainstay damage Stock image of same frame

6
  • 1
    Pictures of your tandem please. It will help us understand more about your bike and what options would be best.
    – David D
    Aug 25, 2022 at 15:48
  • 1
    Thanks David, I've added a few pictures to help understand the need as well as the frame better. Love to hear your ideas on welding a centre-mount kickstand plate
    – Jason
    Aug 25, 2022 at 16:12
  • 1
    Have you looked at adapting a stand from rollingjackass.com? They don't appear to have a tandem model, but are modular enough that you could likely rig up a properly supportive clamp. The cable actuation from the cockpit is a big help when you have a load on the back.
    – RLH
    Aug 25, 2022 at 16:32
  • Thanks RLH, I just had a look, but fear that the stand's aluminum base might not fit between the rear wheel and the BB.
    – Jason
    Aug 25, 2022 at 17:09
  • Welding anything to the frame is going to ruin it much more than dings or scuffs from a clamp-on style. Aug 26, 2022 at 6:03

2 Answers 2

4

It's not clear whether you've yet tried using a double-legged kickstand, i.e. the ESGE/Pletscher one. That's the natural solution for an application like this. That can work with or without a plate, but if so far you've only used kickstands that require leaning the bike, you should probably just get that first.

Chainstay damage tends to either be the result of the kickstand being way overtightened, or of it coming loose due to being undertightened/underlubricated to begin with. It can also result from chainstays that are too thin to have a kickstand clamped on, but with a bike like this that's unlikely to be the case.

Yes you can have a kickstand plate brazed or TIG-welded on. Brazing is the superior choice here, since welding has no advantage and the disadvantage that the effect on rear end alignment and need for subsequent correction will likely be more severe. Really either would be fine though as long as it's done in the hands of someone that knows what they're looking at. Adding a plate is the kind of joint that requires a good feel for when the tube part is reaching active temperature, since tubes soak up heat from the torch while the edge of the plate will get there much faster. It's not rocket science but it's also not level one. Don't be optimistic that it can be done without the need to check and correct the rear triangle alignment, and also likely removing the stoker BB.

Edit: On second thought, adding a double-legged kickstand to the chainstays probably doesn't actually make any sense here, since what you really want to do is load up the child seats with the bike standing up and well-supported, then have the captain get on and kick the kickstand back. Once the kids are on, the front of the bike will be floating and the ground contact spots on the rear end will be relatively close, which is not very stable. You should have a framebuilder put a plate behind the captain BB on the boob tube. That does everything you want. That way the load is going into the rear wheel where it belongs and the kickstand legs are stabilizing the bike but with little load themselves. You'll need to get the chain clearance worked out first, but the ESGE kickstands are made to be good at that.

1
  • Thanks for your detailed response. I found your final idea/paragraph especially interesting and am not aware of this kind of set-up. I'll certainly look into it. Thanks also for the welding tips. This is something of which I know very little and I welcome your suggestions and warnings. I'll keep in mind to ask people about brazing before rushing into a weld option.
    – Jason
    Aug 26, 2022 at 15:32
2

I would contact a framebuilder about this. The bottom bracket is a highly stressed area, and excessive heat will weaken it.

I've seen custom tandems with a threaded insert in the middle of the "boob tube" that some kickstands can screw into.

3
  • Thanks! The idea of a stand mounted to the "boob tube" (how did that epithet get there?) is unfamiliar to me. I will certainly look into it. Thank you. I have also recently corresponded with a framebuilder who seems unperturbed by my idea and is confident that it could be done. Unfortunately his business is in the USA and I am in China.
    – Jason
    Aug 26, 2022 at 15:37
  • I was looking into your "boob tube" mount idea before I bumped into an excellent explanation on the etymology of the term. Here's a link if you are interested: precisiontandems.com/artbybilltandemterms.htm
    – Jason
    Aug 26, 2022 at 16:12
  • I had not seen that before, thanks.
    – Adam Rice
    Aug 26, 2022 at 19:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.