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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 04-20-05, 08:25 AM   #1
pipsqueekspire
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Newbie Tandem Owner

Hello Other captains and stokers. My wife and I have been riding tandem for nearly 2 years now but we have never met or even talked to other tandem owners until last week at SeaOtter. I am trying to get an idea of what other people ride- road vs mtn? Single Track vs fireroad? suspension or none? Etc... here is a quick profile of us

Me- 6' captain
Wife 5'1" stoker
Ellsworth Witness
8inch disc brakes hope
downhill rims and tires
sherman front fork
etc etc

We ride with all of our single bike friends on almost any trail in sothern california and we love the single track as long as I dont drag my wife through bushes she's happy too.

I am also curious what the hardest trail you've taken a tandem on?

Just a curious newbie-

-pip
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Old 04-20-05, 08:40 AM   #2
machase
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Pip-
I didn't even know Ellsworth made a tandem. It looks like a fun bike, but that's got to be one hell of a ride for the stoker.
My wife and I started riding tandems over 20 years ago, but we are strictly road riders. And on our new tandem, suspension is a SoftRide beam for the stoker.
The most fun we have is riding with the local tandem club here in Seattle. www.Evergreentandemclub.org
Perhaps your local bike club has a tandem group?

Enjoy the ride,
Michael
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Old 04-20-05, 09:33 AM   #3
TandemGeek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pipsqueekspire
I am trying to get an idea of what other people ride- road vs mtn? Single Track vs fireroad? suspension or none? I am also curious what the hardest trail you've taken a tandem on?
We've been riding technical single track off-road since the winter of '99. First rig was a Cannondale MT3000 hardtail with Moto FR-T dual crown suspension fork & XT V-brakes. Second rig was a Ventana El Conquistador with Stratos FR-4T dual crown suspension fork, Fox RL 3" rear shock, and Hope 04DH downhill hydraulic discs. Our current ride (photo below) is an '02 Ventana with custom geometry, Stratos S-5T dual crown fork, and Hope Enduro downhill hydraulic brakes. The photos are a bit out of date as we've converted over to SRAM X.0 shifting and made a few other minor mods to the bike -- including quite a few dents and scratches. Most of the specs and links to additional photos are here:
http://www.thetandemlink.com/LGood/02Ventana.html

Hardest trails to date were probably around Blue Marsh Recreation Area in Berks County, PA, followed by a few sections on Bull Mountain near Dahlonega, GA, and then one or two spots at Tsali National Recreation Area, NC.

If you haven't discovered it yet -- and I think you may have just subscribed based on your intro -- I host an off-road tandem discussion forum at Yahoo Groups called Double Forte that may be of interest to you. You can find additional information regarding the group and links to the forum here: http://www.thetandemlink.com/Double_Forte.html

Last edited by TandemGeek; 04-20-05 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 04-20-05, 10:38 AM   #4
stapfam
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Only do offroad on a Dale MT2000. Set up for aggressive riding with Boxer front forks, downhill wheels, Hope Mono M4 brakes, 200mm discs and up to freeride or Downhill quality parts fitted. All up weight of Tandem is 400 lbs. If a solo can do it then so can the Tandem, except fly uphills as this thing is heavy.

Hardest trail for local single track is around our local forest with plenty of hills, lots of tight singletrack and ranging from deep mud, hard packed chalk, plenty of loose flints, and tyre gripping grass.
Each year we do a ride. The South Downs Way in one day. 100 miles offroad along single track trails. wide variety of terrain and plenty of hills, and descents. 10,000ft of climbing, only 15 hours of daylight to do it in, and the best time we have done it in is 12 hours. Only 2 tandems have ever finished out of the plenty that have attempted it. In fact of the 400 starters most years, with every grade of biker and bike attempting the ride-- less than 50% finish each year.

Couple of facts on this ride-- Our highest speed 53mph on a smoothish grass downhill, Fastest time on ride last year was just over 10 hours by a very fit accomplished enduro rider. For 2 riders, we drank 25 litres of water, eat vast quantities of carbs on the ride, And I personally gained 1lb weight on the ride- lost 8 lbs in the next week though.
New parts for this year are using 1.95 tyres to lose some of the drag from using 2.1 tyres--it works but a thudbuster is on the way.

Last edited by stapfam; 04-20-05 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 04-20-05, 12:39 PM   #5
zonatandem
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Welcome to the forum Pip!
Been riding as a duo since 1975 and do strictly on-road riding.
But, have test ridden off-road on a BATT (Berry All Terrain Tandem) back in the early 80s.
It was the first off-road (and hardtail) tandem we've ever seen/ridden. Rode stoker with one of our sons, who was an off-road mt. bike enthusiast. It was a real blast but living in the desert, sorta tough ducking all that spiny cactus stuff. Powered through loose sand that son claimed he could not get through on his single.
The custom builder, Glenn Berry from Tucson, was quite innovative but has since left
bike building to others, as most frame builders will never get rich.
Currently we are riding an ariZona carbon fiber tandem and also own a custom Co-Motion (with over 58,000 miles on the odo). Stoker does not ride any type of suspension, although we have ridden over 30 makes/models of twicers (including some that had suspension front and/or rear.
Have seen the Witness and quite impressed!
Believe it or not, there are lots of other tandemistas out there!

Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 04-20-05, 03:06 PM   #6
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We dropped by Sea Otter on our Burley road tandem (it's right in our backyard after all) and saw all kinds of wild tandems (including a Santana triple). Sorry we missed seeing yours --- an Ellsworth tandem sounds pretty interesting. We prefer riding on the pavement, but there were certainly a lot of fun looking off road tandems flying around out there. Maybe we'll have to try that sometime ....

K&M
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Old 04-20-05, 07:35 PM   #7
pipsqueekspire
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THanks for the Double Forte link! One of the teams at sea otter had those jerserys but I couldnt remember the name of the site. I went through some of the pictures there and I was very happy to see other teams trying some of the same rides that my wife and I do. I have never seen other tandems out at places like slickrock or porcupine and we just got back from 10 days of riding including the white rim trail with a BOB trailer and gooseberry mesa in Zion.... it is such a blast to be out on those technical trails and watch everyones jaw drop as we cruise on by!


Are there any events or gatherings for tandem mtn bikers that I should know about?

Thanks!

-pip
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