Chinese Bosomworth tandem bicycle – Frank Clavis – pressed steel dropouts

bosomworth tandem 258506665

Eddie Bosomworth was a well known New Zealand builder of custom bike frames. His ambition was to make bikes good enough to be used at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

An industry source said that Bosomworth sold the “Bosomworth” naming rights to Frank Clavis, currently at Velomaster. You can check Frank’s reputation elsewhere. My summary, which I’m happy to be corrected on, is that Frank is probably a better frame builder than businessman.

Anyway, my same industry source says Frank then imported a couple of hundred Chinese-made tandems and put the Bosomworth label on them. Charming.

These tandems are junk. The wheels buckle over the first bump and have non-cassette hubs (so the axle bends more easily too). The cranks are one-piece kiddies style. The drop outs are thin pressed steel. They have six or seven gears and the chain drive is all on one side. You don’t usually go touring on a tandem like this.

If you want a cheap simple tandem bike to ride gingerly then this might be the bike for you.

One industry guy said a strongly laced tandem wheel with a cassette hub will make a lot of difference, but I don’t know enough to judge this. Another industry expert I respect said that would be ok but you are left with the problem of “flimsy pressed steel dropouts”. He couldn’t say how long they would last. If you know, let me know!

My wife summed it up: “So you can’t really call them a Bosomworth, can you?”

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