Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: SF Bay Area, California
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29"er Convertible, questions...
I've been contemplating a mountain tandem for the past couple months for my wife and I. Never one to take the easy way out, I'd like to go the tandem / solo convertible route (similar to the Rodriguez 8ball hardtail http://www.rodcycle.com/eightball.html
), but with 29" wheels.
I am presuming we'll use the bike mainly for fireroad and non-technical trails, but steep climbs and descents typical in Northern California. I also anticipate some road touring on this bike, but not epic distances. The key is a trunk-stowable, transportable bike that we (or I) can easily carry & store incognito, easing worries of theft when traveling on non-bike vacations, and getting my wife out on some trails she otherwise might not want to tackle solo on her own bike. Plus just a little bit of variety added to the normal routine.
Couple of roadblocks:
- Getting a 29" frame built seems to be no problem, but what about a fork? Are there any 29" compatible tandem rated suspension forks featuring an air spring or an air assist spring that will allow them to work with a solo rider (me @ 200 pounds) or with two riders? Or do I just go rigid with this setup?
- Any thought on the geometry issues involved with two different sized riders and a convertible setup? I typically ride a 19-20" frame and my wife a 15-16" frame. She would be the stroker, meaning when the bike is in the solo configuration, I'd be riding on her smaller half of the bike. I'm supposing that as long as I get the reach right, I'll just have a really low top tube with a whole bunch of seat post showing.
- I'm definitely planning on a Speedhub for this setup (making a single-sided drivetrain practical). I am confident in the proven 32 hole Speedhub standing up to off-road tandem duties in a 26" application, and touring in a 700c configuration, but any thoughts on a 32 hole 700c/29" wheel standing up to off-road abuse?
...and thinking Avid 8" discs are the way to go for ease of conversion (plus I use them on all of my other bikes and like 'em). His & hers Thudbusters (short travel & long travel) would round things out.