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  1. #1
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    Mountain/off road tandeming

    Can anyone share info about mountain/off road tandeming? We have a lot of state parks and trails around here. Wife and I thought it would be different to ride some trails on a tandem.

    I am curious how difficult a tandem would be to handle on trails.

    Would like to see some mountain tandems, what brands, etc.....

    Any info or some past threads to read appreciated. Did a search but did not see to many used mountain tandems for sale.

    Thanks all, this forum is always a wealth of info!!!
    Allen

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Our "old" off-road tandem site (not maintained) with links to the Double_Forte off-road tandem mailing list at YahooGroups; not all that active either given the "old" Email-based format.
    http://www.thetandemlink.com/Double_Forte.html

    This is the site where most of the serious off-road tandem teams post up information these days:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/tandem-mountain-bikes/

    Your one-source for new off-road tandems -- at least ones intended for single track and other epic terrain -- would be MTB Tandems
    http://www.mtbtandems.com/

    Riding tandems off-road is like any type of off-road riding: you just gotta take it one step of a time to establish your limits. Some folks find their limit on double-track, others are only thwarted on the most gnarly of technical single track when there's just no way to make that frame bend around a REALLY tight hairpin / switchback or clear an obstacle.

  3. #3
    Senior Member colotandem's Avatar
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    TandemGeek pretty much summarized it fir you. The MTBR tandem section has some great information. Alex at mtbtandems.com is the best source of information for purchasing a MTB tandem.


    Here' a link to a few photos of off road tandems. FWIW, we started on a road tandem and a few years ago decided to try off road tandem riding, it did not take us long to become hooked. Now we rarely ride the road bike...



    https://picasaweb.google.com/dan.orl...eat=directlink

  4. #4
    PMK
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    We prefer to ride off-road as compared to road. Off-road tandem riding is as Tandemgeek explained. Overall it is in this teams opinion a lot of fun and can be as difficult or easy as you make it.

    Yes we have photos,some are posted on MTBR.com in the tandem section.

    If you want to see, and the videos really do not show the intensity at times, you are welcome to check out the videos here.

    https://vimeo.com/search/page:1/sort...paul%20knudsen

    Only the tandem videos are ours, not sure where the others came from.

    As the others mentioned, Alex at MTBTandems.com is a great stocking dealer for off-road tandems or parts when needed. Overall good guy also.

    For us, some of our best adventures have been with an off-road tandem rolling beneath us.

    PK
    2006 Co-Motion Roadster, flat bars, discs and carbon fibre fork, size 22 / 19
    2006 Ventana ECDM full suspension mountain tandem
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  5. #5
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    We started 100% road tandem, and now 50/50, going towards more MTB tandem. It is fun but more difficult than pavement. You'll find your limit on the trail much quicker than the road, you or her's, and try to stay within that.

  6. #6
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    Thanks to all of you. The info you provided is great and much help. I have placed a wanted add on craigslist for houston/austin. Maybe something will come available. Not wanting to drop a lot of cash into this as we are both know nothing about trail riding. Just sometimes would like to be able to ride some of the local trails/state parks/gravel roads where we would not dare take the road tandem.

    I am afraid we could become addicted also. Just saw a 78 year old couple still riding and racing single mountain bikes and they live in Waco. They were on the local PBS (channel 8 houston) on the Texas Parks and Wildlife show. We are 50/46 so not young but it gave us inspiration to try something different.

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonwalker View Post
    Thanks to all of you. The info you provided is great and much help. I have placed a wanted add on craigslist for houston/austin. Maybe something will come available. Not wanting to drop a lot of cash into this as we are both know nothing about trail riding. Just sometimes would like to be able to ride some of the local trails/state parks/gravel roads where we would not dare take the road tandem.

    I am afraid we could become addicted also. Just saw a 78 year old couple still riding and racing single mountain bikes and they live in Waco. They were on the local PBS (channel 8 houston) on the Texas Parks and Wildlife show. We are 50/46 so not young but it gave us inspiration to try something different.

    Thanks again!
    Younger than us...

    BTW, you will likely be looking at a used Cannondale MTsomething, with a price range of $800 to $1200

    PK
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  8. #8
    Senior Member CaptainHaddock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    For us, some of our best adventures have been with an off-road tandem rolling beneath us.
    PK
    PMK, thanks for the videos, it's a lot of fun to watch!

    Then a few questions, during the video titled "Tandem MTB @ balm boyette ridgeline" there's a lot of banter between you and your stoker. I can't entirely make it out, but it sounds a lot like you're both providing some instruction on when to hold-on/provide power, and also reassuring her. Is that what's going on? Is that part of how you make it work for her, when she's scared / nervous?

    Then, during the video titled "AORTA 2011, (Tandem Bike FTF) Dupont Ridgeline trail", there's a hard tail single in-front of you who is hopping over various jumps where as it looks like your bike is simply rolling over them, is this a function of your full squish, or that it's a tandem, or both?

    Finally, in that line, are you able to jump/bunny-hop over obstacles with the tandem?

    thanks!

  9. #9
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonwalker View Post
    We are 50/46 so not young but it gave us inspiration to try something different.
    Heck, y'all are younger than most folks we know and ride with, on road or off. There are probably as many late 60's / early 70's teams as there are teams in their late 20's / early 30's.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainHaddock View Post
    ...there's a lot of banter between you and your stoker. [...] there's a hard tail single in-front of you who is hopping over various jumps [...] Finally, in that line, are you able to jump/bunny-hop over obstacles with the tandem?
    Paul will surely answer for himself, but I'll throw some wood on the fire to keep the dialog going....

    Some teams talk a lot, others not so much. Those who talk include captains that share ton's of information on what's coming up so their stoker can anticipate bike movements from bumps, dips, hard stops, dodging trees, etc. Some captains already have a habit of doing a lot of communicating on the road that carries over to off-road, including power up/power down, stand/sit, etc.. Then again, there are some teams -- like Larry & Brenda -- who just do a lot of chit-chatting while bombing down a trail at 30 mph, as was captured in a video they shot at AORTA 2010 while riding on our rear wheel. I only tend to call out the really significant things. As for stoker chatter, there are some who are into chit-chat like Brenda, and others who tend to be quiet until moved to offer suggestions, i.e., "slow down" or "warn me next time".

    As for "show boating" a tandem on small berms to get air, you can do it but it takes a bit of practice and close coordination of captain / stoker movements. For us, the risks aren't worth the rewards and mimizing impacts and wear/tear on your equipment and bodies is the rule of the day when we ride.

  10. #10
    PMK
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    Overall. on the road tandem there is far less communication, and many times it may be a hand gesture to increase or a head nod to decrease. We do talk when needed though.

    Off-road, for control of the bike, with us there is a lot of communication on technical trails. On more open terrain it is less.

    I do need to confess that my wife is extremely afraid of heights. However, most times, if she knows the trust to ride it is there. There is one video we have, where I explain whats coming up, we are climbing a narrow ridge, and she says "don't tell me, just do it".

    Brenda and Larry are great fun to ride with, both road and off-road. Brenda is less chatty on road rides because the pace is there and Larry may flog her for low efforts. Seriously though, like TG, we have had some great rides with them.

    Now, about the Dupont video. First off, let me mention that the video does not reflect the true speed. We were not bunny hopping or double / double those sections. In fact I only recall one time fully launching a tandem airborne and suffice to say Pearl Izumi stock went up.

    I don't know if that helped.

    BTW, how about the shoe video.

    PK
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    Younger than us...

    BTW, you will likely be looking at a used Cannondale MTsomething, with a price range of $800 to $1200

    PK
    Hey PMK, Thanks for the videos. Now I am really getting the itch to try this.

    I was really hoping to find a Cannondale for that price but seems all I find are $1200 to $1800. Seems a bit high for a mid 90's tandem or am I wrong? Most I have seen do not have any suspension at that price range also. Did not think finding a used mountain tandem would be this rare so I guess I will just have to be patient and check daily so not to miss out.

  12. #12
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonwalker View Post
    Hey PMK, Thanks for the videos. Now I am really getting the itch to try this.

    I was really hoping to find a Cannondale for that price but seems all I find are $1200 to $1800. Seems a bit high for a mid 90's tandem or am I wrong? Most I have seen do not have any suspension at that price range also. Did not think finding a used mountain tandem would be this rare so I guess I will just have to be patient and check daily so not to miss out.
    Entry level stuff is out there, as you mention you need to keep an eye open.
    https://www.craiggers.com/#!/posting/DEALGBX

    PK
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  13. #13
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    PMK, I need 50 post

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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  16. #16
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    you

  17. #17
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    a private

  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    sorry for this but got me to 50.

  20. #20
    PMK
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    I got your PMs

    PK
    2006 Co-Motion Roadster, flat bars, discs and carbon fibre fork, size 22 / 19
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  21. #21
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    Just thought I would update this.

    After what seemed like days of endless searching a craigslist ad popped up for a 98 mt3000. I called almost as quick as the ad appeared. The seller would not ship and he was located in Miami and I am in Texas near Houston. Without the kindness and help from PMK we would not have been able to make the purchase but it worked out. The buyer agreed to deliver to PMK, and then an unexpected/unplanned vacation to Orlando quickly happened. We were able to drive down and meet Paul and his stoker/wife Jeane. Yes we could have had shipped but a family vacation was on order. Paul did a tremendous amount of work on the tandem before we arrived and had it washed, lubed and waiting for us when we arrived.
    Paul had this exact tandem when they started so he knew it inside and out and has just been a wealth of knowledge to us for answering questions about this bike.

    The bike is now at House of Tandems getting a few more minor things done. New boots, changing from twist to xt trigger shifters. Hoping to pickup the bike early next week and FINALLY get to take it for a test ride. We only paid $650 for it so felt like we got a great price. After the work and upgrades we will have a little over $1000 in the bike but feel it is still a deal and will be a good tandem to see if we like offroad tandeming.

    So here are a few pics of the bike from the seller. I will post some more as soon as we have it back in our hands.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by moonwalker; 08-01-12 at 05:02 PM. Reason: spelling

  22. #22
    Senior Member colotandem's Avatar
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    Nice find!! Enjoy the new bike!

  23. #23
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    If I found that bike for $650, I'd snatch it up too.

    BTW, you might want to reconcider the out-of-phase cranks. Riding off road sometimes requires you to possition you pedals to miss rocks, logs, etc, and not having the stoker's cranks in the same possition as the captains, would seem to cause problems.
    '97 Nashbar TweeTee
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  24. #24
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by bike00 View Post
    If I found that bike for $650, I'd snatch it up too.

    BTW, you might want to reconsider the out-of-phase cranks. Riding off road sometimes requires you to possition you pedals to miss rocks, logs, etc, and not having the stoker's cranks in the same position as the captains, would seem to cause problems.
    I told my stoker, if he didn't buy it, we would and flip it. As for the cranks, the owner never rode it off road, I had the cranks and BB's out for clean and lube for corrosion protection, so it went back together setup for off road in phase. HOT is finishing the few things I couldn't finish since the parts weren't here.

    PK
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    2006 Ventana ECDM full suspension mountain tandem
    Some single bikes and a couple of KTM's
    And most important, someone special that enjoys them with me (except the KTM's)

  25. #25
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    Finally, our first ride!

    After almost a month of anticipation we finally got to hit the trails for the first time with the completed bike upgrades.

    We found out that there is a big difference from riding road to riding trails! We have ZERO experience on mtb. Started out on some wide gravel roads, then some nice smooth single track and all was good. We then began a trail with some ups/downs, major tree roots, and narrow at times. We found out that were are beginner level on this trail quickly. It was a blast though and after wearing ourselves out we decided we better try another day to hone our skills!!

    Here is a pic of the bike completed. Not sure but almost could swear I heard our road tandem say "what are you doing bringing that trail trash home!!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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