Taking regular care of your tandem will extend the service life of your parts, reduce friction while riding, and prevent mid-ride breakdowns. The proper process for maintaining your drive-train varies slightly based upon components and setup but the basics are all the same.
Before Every Ride
- Wipe old grease from your chains, brush the cassette and chainrings, and then reapply your lube of choice.
- Check tire air pressures and visually inspect tire casing and tread for signs of damage or wear.
- Test brakes for functionality and inspect hoses and fittings (on hydraulic brake setups) for leaks or cracks.
- Physically twist and pull every bolted part on your tandem including, but not limited to, handlebars, seats, wheels, fork, and cranks. Any abnormal movements should be addressed immediately.
After Every Ride
- Wipe frame clean of sweat and road grime
- Note any strange noises and their general source for future inspection
On Regular Intervals
- Check torque on eccentric and crank arms.
- Remove and check bearings on bottom brackets
- Clean cables and housings
- Inspect seat-posts (notably the captains post) for signs of fatigue or cracking
To service a tandem drive-train the only real difference is the addition of a second chain line and associated parts. The additional torque tends to prematurely wear bottom brackets and the rear cassette. The chain-rings generally wear in a normal lifespan.
Maintaining a regular maintenance schedule will ensure that your tandem is ready to ride when you are.