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  1. #1
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    Elisworth, Vantana or ?

    Hi, new to this group and looking for comments on MTB Tandems. Iím not new to mountain bikes or tandems, itís just been awhile for the tandem, our last was a Fisher about 10 years ago. Plus I would like some comments from the girls about being the stoker because this is my wifeís idea and I want it to work out cuz its going to be a blastÖ any help is appreciated! Thanks, Rik

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    The Ellsworth is only produced in one size; 19/16. If you need something larger or smaller, I think you've narrowed the field.

    So, with regard to ??? what's your budget, what type of terrain will you be using the tandem on, and how aggressive will you be? The ??? would include the "rest" of the off-road tandems which, by and large, are all hardtails with a few exceptions/customs.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    daVinci, Burley, Co-Mo, Satana all sell "mt tandems" but if you are looking for "full suspension" the field narrows a bit.

  4. #4
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    I would like get a fully suspended if possible, but comfort is a higher priority. My wife has not ridden with me on a tandem since I jumped our last with her on the back, weíve overcome our differences. But a hard tail is not out of the questionÖ. The budget is 4k per the wife, but she knows me too well, its actuality 5k or a little more. Thanks for the feedback its valuable! Oh yeah, the size is L/S aka 19/15.5 or somewhere in the range.

  5. #5
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rikiden
    I would like get a fully suspended if possible, but comfort is a higher priority. My wife has not ridden with me on a tandem since I jumped our last with her on the back, weíve overcome our differences. But a hard tail is not out of the questionÖ. The budget is 4k per the wife, but she knows me too well, its actuality 5k or a little more. Thanks for the feedback its valuable! Oh yeah, the size is L/S aka 19/15.5 or somewhere in the range.
    Send an Email to: Alex@MTBTandems.com

    See what he can do for you. He's an Ellsworth dealer as well as Ventana's top dealer and also offers his own brand of hardtails. Short of a second hand bike or a Cannondale MT1000, you probably won't find a better source... and who knows, he may even have access to some Ventana "blems" or have some spring specials on the drawing board that could get you what you need and within your wife's budget.

  6. #6
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    Hey TandemGeek,
    Thanks for the to advice. I actually gave Alex a call on the phone and he was very helpful and made some knowledgeable recommendations. Now I'm looking for advice on componentsÖ I think itís going to be a great spring for riding! Rik

  7. #7
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rikiden
    Now I'm looking for advice on componentsÖ
    What did Alex suggest?

    For shifting I changed over from Shimano XTR to SRAM (X.0) and wish I'd have done it years ago; IMHO it's ergonomically superior to lever shifters for tandems used on technical singletrack. With Rapidfire lever shifters my index fingers and thumbs would often times get fatigued from all the shifting action whereas with the gripshift, it's a simple "throttle-on/off" rotation of the much larger hand and wrist muscles that leaves your thumbs and first two digits planted on the handlebars where they belong.

    On brakes, discs are the way to go. I've had Hope 4 pots since '00 on two different tandems and, as good as they are, I'd probably look to Magura's brakes if I had to do it over. I've had an annoying brake squeal issue with the Hopes on my '02 Ventana that just won't go away that I don't often "hear" is a problem with the Magura Julie-Ts or Gustav Ms.

    Forks are pretty subjective... I'm a big fan of dual-crown forks with a solid axle for the optimum in front wheel stability/control. The Stratos forks have been good to us but, again, if I had to build a tandem today their cost might drive me to an ATC T-5 or whatever else Alex suggested was the "hot ticket" for tandems.

    Wheels and hubs: Chris King is the top of the food chain, but White and a few others offer some very durable hubs for a lot less $$; it's all about the price point. Rims are all over the map. Velocity makes some good ones, as do Sun & Mavic. Hard to make a big mistake on the hoops.

  8. #8
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    Good Morning TandemGeek,
    Youíve straightened me out on one of the questions in my head about the shifters. Iíve been a XTR user for years moving my way up from the days of the first Deore. My experience with Grip Shift of past was OK but not precise. Now it seems to be a viable choice and I appreciate your recommendation. As for the brakes Iím looking to go with the Magura, had good success in the past and present. My thoughts with the fork are like you to take the hit of the weight and have the security and stability of the triple clamp, besides it looks cool. Iím thinking the White Bros TM10, any thoughts? And lastly, I wish the Kings could fit into my financial plan, but itís not possible so the highly capable Whites are going to spin on this ride. Thanks for your comments!

  9. #9
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    Well,

    Me and my wife looked at all the options out there. We also talked to ellsworth and ventana. So, the first thing that I will say, I would never give ventana a dime. They were very rude to me and tried to make it seem like he was doing me a favor for buying his product. Also, I ordered one and 3 months later he still didn't start on it. I don't know if he was ever planning to. His product is good, but his bussiness manors are horible and he really upset me and my wife.

    Ellsworth was very nice and respectful of all my questions. The only down fall that they have is the one size deal. It happens to work for us. Also, the frame was quite a bit ligther then the ventana. I know it is a tandem but why carry the extra weight.

    Also, Have to give white bros a thumbs up on their fork. I have been working in shops for 8 years and have yet to run into a company that takes care of there customers like they do. They built me a 150mm tandem fork and shipped it out to me quickly.

    Hadley also seems to be a great company. I have been a king fan for years and own several pairs. The Hadley's seem to be the same quility for less money. They do use a different engagement system, and it seems to be working very well.

    I tracked down some old 4 piston xt brakes and we have been enjoying them. I wanted to run dual control. So the rest of our parts are xt with race face cranks.

    I hope that this helps.

  10. #10
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atbhaack
    So, the first thing that I will say, I would never give ventana a dime. They were very rude to me and tried to make it seem like he was doing me a favor for buying his product. Also, I ordered one and 3 months later he still didn't start on it. I don't know if he was ever planning to. His product is good, but his bussiness manors are horible and he really upset me and my wife.
    Sorry to hear you and Sherwood didn't click. I've had a pretty good relationship with him as well as Theresa since January of 2000. He's not a warm and fuzzy guy, but he knows his craft.

  11. #11
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    Hi atbhaack,
    Iím also sorry to hear about your bad experience. I feel people in the bike industry donít sell bikes, they sell fun, and should it should be that way for the consumers that support the industry. I canít comment on the manners of Sherwood, but from what Iíve read heís an artist of metallurgy. Iím hoping to meet him in the future being Iím an avid fan of what he does. Thanks for the comments on the White Fork, thatís good stuff and Iíll be selecting the White. Now you have me checking out the Hadley Hubs. The comments from you, TandemGeek, and the others is helping to build what I think is a cool ride! ThanksÖ

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