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I was browsing over at another tandem forum and saw an MB1 post that included a quick mention of a Cuevas tandem. Did you met with Francisco in New York/Queens when you ordered it? What era was that?

Francisco Cuevas fitted and built my first custom pro bike when I was around 19. I drove down from Boston to meet him, patiently waited for about six weeks, then drove back down to pick the frame up. IIRC it was around $750. Gorgeous black and chrome 531 steel, built her up with Campy NR... Wrecked by a crazed taxi driver in Cambridge later that summer.

Even after all these years, I hadn't forgotten a picture on the shop wall of a tandem he'd built, a quint. Haven't really thought about that picture since then.
 

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It was back in the early 70's when I was still living in Hawaii and working in a bike shop. I had met him at a trade show and we might have been his largest dealer-he built it for me as a favor.

I put it together with Zeus parts as pure tandem stuff was rare indeed at the time. The brakes sucked and since I was running tubulars keeping them from melting off on the long steep downhills was an issue.

A year or two later Bill McCready offered me a job at Santana running the assembly department and doing some purchasing so I sold the Cuevas. It got destroyed a couple of years later in a house fire.

Likely it wasn't that good of a tandem in modern terms but you never forget your first........
 

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about Cuevas

From True Sport

True Sport said:
2/7/2005 By: Fernando Cuevas

Dear Cyclists,

This past Friday January 28th. 2005, Senor Francisco Cuevas SR. died in his home in Barcelona, Spain after a brief illness. He would have been 90 years old this July.

Francisco was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1915. By the time Senor Cuevas was 14 he began an apprenticeship as a frame builder. He built his first frame at the age of 18 and started racing his creations.

By 1937 politics in Spain were very bad. As a result He then went to war against Franco in the Spanish Civil War. He married in 1940 and had two children, my dad Paco in 1942 and my aunt Maria in 1946.

By 1951 the political situation in Spain had become even worse. So he set off to Argentina were he would start his life all over again. He built frames in Mendoza, Argentina and was the trainer and coach for the National Cycling Team. In 1955, he and his wife had another son, my uncle Andres.

By 1970 Argentina was in a terrible economic state, especially after the death of President Juan Peron when Argentina became a Military State.

Senor Cuevas and my dad set of to the USA in 1971 and started to work in the bike shop
business for Metro Bikes.

In 1977 Mike Fraysse and his dad the late Vic Fraysse hired my Grandfather and Andres to build frames for them and their team under the Paris-Sport line.

In 1984 Grandpa and my uncle Andres started their own frame shop in Astoria, NY and built about 200 frames a year.

In all, I believe that grandpa and his sons have built about 5000 frames in three continents.

Senor Francisco Cuevas was a plain man who took his craft very seriously, spending hours making every frame as if it was for himself. He was the one that would take me to races and would go on training rides with me. He was one of my greatest heroes and mentors.

I will really miss him and will try to follow in his foot steps.

Francisco is survived by his wife Maria, his sister Isabel, his three children, me and my brother Diego.

May his torch continue through everyone he knew and those he influenced in our great sport.

Thanks,

Fernando Cuevas

Editor's Note: The "Cuevas" name is legendary in the racing world. Francisco's custom frames were some of the most sought after bicycles in the 1980's and are considered collectors items. Francisco's grandson, Fernando, carries on the Cuevas name for the next generation. He is the team director of the NECSA/Cuevas Junior & Espoir Development Team and owns Cuevas Cycles in Queens, New York.
 
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