An Interesting Opportunity: Classic Blue Riband Tandem

This is neither an endorsement nor validation of the prominence of this particular tandem, but as someone who is always on the lookout for a small-size classic Singer or Rene Herse tandem, I figure that there may be someone out there looking for an equally classic English tandem, but in a larger size (noting this one won’t fit us by a wide margin)…

Readers who are interested in the history of Hobbs of Barbican and some other interesting photos of this particular tandem can be found in an EBykr article from December 2005 HERE.  You can also find a more general history article from 2002 HERE.

This came to our attention via a posting to the Hobbes list from the seller, to wit:

I have for sale this virtually one-of-a-kind vintage tandem:

Rides quite nicely of its kind.  Fast, smooth, and stable.  Much better than the usual for this type of vintage tandem.

All details at the photo link.

First $2200 shipped in CONUS takes it.  Locals pay $1995 and I will deliver within 100 miles of coastal Los Angeles.

For email address, you can find it in the original posting to Hobbes by clicking HERE. You can find a very comprehensive photo gallery at Flickr by clicking HERE.  The details from Flickr are as follows:

Virtually one-of-a-kind bike here. Ride this one to your next ride, you can be pretty sure no-one will have anything like it. and you’ll be the belle of the ball for sure.

Hobbs was famous for its fancy lugs, and this bike is the acme of that art. It presents beautifully, with its very artful pinstriping on ALL the tubes, and those lovely lugs.

This Hobbs Blue Ribband model tandem probably dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s. The round boob-tube suggest fairly early manufacture, as british tandem makers all started using ovalized boob-tubes by the late 1950s if I’m not mistaken. In any event, Hobbs ceased manufacture by 1960 or shortly thereafter.

This tandem is 57cm c-t captain. 55cm c-t stoker. 56cm stoker section (yes, it’s short), and a 58 cm c-c top tube for the captain.

It’s ready to ride, with the exception that the stoker seat shown does not come with the bike. Everything else is included, as shown. We rode it on the last Rose Bowl vintage ride, and it’s very smooth, and very fast, because the stoker rides well bent-over and can really get their big muscles into the game. Stokers who sit too upright never get the power they should into the rear wheel.

We enjoy riding it, but we have enough tandems, and this one just isn’t going to get ridden very much.

Some light corrosion on the tops of the top-tubes, less on the intermediate longitudinal tube, almost no corrosion on the boob tube. I’ve cleaned it up, and it could be polished out further. Looks worse than it is.

Brakes work well. Tandem is quite stable, and can be ridden no-hands, always a good sign. 27″ wheels have new tires. Nice GP bars and stem for the captain, criterium style bars for the stoker.

Great bike, very rare, good for riding as well as for shows.

First $2200 shipped in CONUS takes the bike. As always, I’ll consider serious offers.

My apologies to the seller for reposting here, as I’m really capturing the information for posterity.  Your historical recap and the photo gallery may come in handy for someone doing research in the future.


About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
This entry was posted in Classic Tandems, Technology & Equip., Whimsical Or Entertaining. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to An Interesting Opportunity: Classic Blue Riband Tandem

  1. Jim Burgess says:

    Nice Tandem! I have one of these also. Purchased it 3rd hand in 1961 and have done some upgrades but still original paint.
    Photos available.
    Jim Burgess
    12 Ch. Mountainview

  2. Peter England says:

    Hi I have inherited a Hobbs of Barbican road racing tandem – can you please advise me where I can get it valued

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