A brief history of our Tandeming experience!
Peter Bird designs and builds his first frame while in his final year as an apprentice goldsmith in Hatton Garden, buying the tubes from Grant and Monty Young at Condor Cycles.
Peter also designs a ‘modern’ tandem inspired by pioneering American builders to be built by Chas Roberts.
Peter organises the first ever British tandem event for the Tandem Club, “Tandem ’80” in Essex.
Prototype tandem hubs and air – cooled hub – brake are developed.
Peter meets Rob Wade and adds some extra tubes to a second-hand Gitane tandem he has just bought to stiffen it up.
Rob test rides the Swallow tandem hubs and brakes during LEJOG. Hubs, brakes and frame perform faultlessly. Peter moves from the garden shed to a new workshop and retail unit in Laindon, Essex: opening “Swallow Frames & Cycles”.
Peter became a “Reynolds 753” approved frame-builder, the youngest in the world at that time. Rob joins Peter as a wheel-builder.
Swallow tandem hubs and brakes go into production while Rob starts to learn frame-building and builds his first frame.
The “Expa” tandem frame is introduced using a unique mix of oval and round tubes to improve stiffness and allowing longer top tubes for rear rider comfort.
Handlebar stems, stoke-a-rests and reinforced brake hangers are added to Swallow components alongside the Hubs and brakes. Custom made tandem bottom bracket shells are made enabling oversized down tubes to be used and increasing frame stiffness.
The “Toucan” tandem is introduced – built as a made-to-measure frame in the ‘direct lateral’ design and set componentry. First Swallow mountain bike made from Reynolds 531 atb tubing: one option includes an elliptical top tube to gain extra stiffness.
A pair of custom ATB handlebars were made with what were later to known as ‘bar ends’, which were integrally brazed to the bars so that a customer who could not hold straight bars was able to ride an ATB. The brakes and shifters were mounted on the upper end of the ‘bar end’. About 6 months later, Onza launch the bolt-on ‘Bar end’.
Damn! We were young and knew nothing of patents.
Peter creates ‘Tandemania’, an annual event that runs for 5 years and includes led and self-led rides, a time – trial and the first tandem road race around Lake Vyrnwy.
Attended by 100’s of people from all over the World. Rob assists with neutral support vehicle.
Peter leads Tandem holidays in France and Ireland.
Peter works for a renowned UK bicycle company as a consultant improving and developing their tandem range.
Peter sets up The Tandem Experience with 7 locations around the UK supplying tandems, training and knowledge. People can book online for a day of training and ride on quality Tandems.
JD Cycles (Ilkley) now JD Tandems, MSG Bikes (Lancing) and Warlands Cycles (Oxford) are all locations for The Tandem Experience.
Peter begins developing the Landescape Tandem range, using a frame made in the Far East (to keep costs down) that can accommodate a range of different uses in one frame. A unique design feature is the ability of the frame to accept both 26” & 700c wheels using either V or disc brakes (or a mixture of the two) and to fit a wide range of riders.
Tandem Experience develops and launches led holidays in France beginning with the Loire and Languedoc areas.
Landescape Tandems are launched into the UK via a dealer network including JD Cycles, MSG Bicycles, Bicycle Doctor, Warlands Cycles and The Tandem Shop in Ironbridge.
The Tandem Experience Festival joins the Bishop Castle Tandem Triathlon as one of the UK’s most popular Tandem events.
In December, The Tandem Shop and The Tandem Experience moved to FUSION, Jackfield and The Bicycle Hub opened. Masterclasses for Bicycle and Tandem maintenance begin again.
Work starts on the new Landescape Tandem range with Duratec in the Czech Republic.
Bicycles by Design, The Tandem Shop and the Tandem Experience move across the river to the very light and sunny John Rose Building in Coalport.
The Tandem Experience and The Tandem Shop continue to develop the product with their partners around the World. E-assist becomes part of their supply as well as improved braking systems and the use of more UK manufactured parts.
The Tandem Rak was introduced in 2020 in many models to fulfil customers demands to transport their Tandems to far off places.
The Tandem Experience and Tandem Shop websites merge into a new ‘Tandeming’ website allowing customers to have virtual fits and Tandems being able to be delivered around the World.