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  1. #1
    Bill G Bill G's Avatar
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    New da Vinci Joint Venture 700 How did our average speed compare to our other tandems

    Note Below question Originally Posted by Bornco on original review of our new da Vinci Joint Venture 700

    ( QUOTE question was...Thanks for the review!! How did your average speed compare to your other tandems? I've had some people tell me they are less mechanically efficient and thereby slower for the same effort.)

    I said I would get back with you Bornco on the question above when you ask on the original review I posted. We have ridden several of our regular routes and have found no real diffrence what so ever in average speeds between our regular tandem(Co Motion) the da Vinci tandem breezes right along.

    I do not find the da Vinci ICS system to be less efficient and slower as some people have said I think these folks are only making assumptions about the set up because of the extra jack shaft & freewheels involved in the ICS system but they have really never ridden a tandem with the ICS system. The ICS system shifts great, nice and smooth our speeds are good and the tandems seems to handle the rolling terrain with ups and downs very well with the ICS gear ratios. We have not climbed any big hills yet but I think the da Vinci is going to do real well in this area.

    Ride Safe All,
    Bill G
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  2. #2
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill G View Post
    I do not find the da Vinci ICS system to be less efficient and slower as some people have said I think these folks are only making assumptions about the set up because of the extra jack shaft & freewheels involved in the ICS system but they have really never ridden a tandem with the ICS system.
    I'll admit to my only knowledge of the ICS system is watching other people riding with it.

    That said it has to be less efficient than a conventional system. The additional cogs and chains are adding some level of mechanical drag. OBviously it's debateable about whether its enough to matter.

    Also all else equal it's going to be heavier, than a comparable bike with conventional gearing. Again you can debate whether that's relevant.


    More importantly, if you're actually using the independent coasting you're going to be slower because one team member is coasting, not producing power. So if the goal is to go fast, I don't get it.

    If the goal is to accomodate different riding styles and strengths between the team members, then it obviously is working for a number of folks.

    I've never seen an ICS bike raced, including Masters nationals, State TT championship, or the Co-Mo Classic. I think the reason for that is that the design has disadvantages, albeit small ones, in the go fast department, and no corresponding advantage if the priority is speed.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Certainly, if my wife and I were 40+- y/o we'd be riding a double, DI2, Gates belt and based on what we were doing at that age, 1/4 century ago, we'd be pretty fast. ICS provides a function that some teams find worthwhile, certainly we do. We seldom use ICS to permit one of the team to literally coast, other than for a few seconds for rear end relief. We like starting with the ICS especially on steeper pitches. Setting aside the measurables such as weight and efficiency, the only area where we feel disadvantaged is standing; we can stand, but it needs to be at a reasonably low cadence; when we try to stand at a higher cadence my wife and I can't coordinate our weight transfer and she can get out of sync. This doesn't turn out to be much of a limitation for us - just can't ride the daVinci the same way I might ride a single.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    I'll admit to my only knowledge of the ICS system is watching other people riding with it.

    That said it has to be less efficient than a conventional system. The additional cogs and chains are adding some level of mechanical drag. OBviously it's debateable about whether its enough to matter.

    Also all else equal it's going to be heavier, than a comparable bike with conventional gearing. Again you can debate whether that's relevant.


    More importantly, if you're actually using the independent coasting you're going to be slower because one team member is coasting, not producing power. So if the goal is to go fast, I don't get it.

    If the goal is to accomodate different riding styles and strengths between the team members, then it obviously is working for a number of folks.

    I've never seen an ICS bike raced, including Masters nationals, State TT championship, or the Co-Mo Classic. I think the reason for that is that the design has disadvantages, albeit small ones, in the go fast department, and no corresponding advantage if the priority is speed.
    I agree 100%.

    I have heard that they have been raced in long mountain bike races. I can see a possible advantage off road where each rider can handle pedal clearance over logs and other obstructions.

  5. #5
    Bill G Bill G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    I'll admit to my only knowledge of the ICS system is watching other people riding with it.

    That said it has to be less efficient than a conventional system. The additional cogs and chains are adding some level of mechanical drag. OBviously it's debateable about whether its enough to matter.

    Also all else equal it's going to be heavier, than a comparable bike with conventional gearing. Again you can debate whether that's relevant.


    More importantly, if you're actually using the independent coasting you're going to be slower because one team member is coasting, not producing power. So if the goal is to go fast, I don't get it.

    If the goal is to accomodate different riding styles and strengths between the team members, then it obviously is working for a number of folks.

    I've never seen an ICS bike raced, including Masters nationals, State TT championship, or the Co-Mo Classic. I think the reason for that is that the design has disadvantages, albeit small ones, in the go fast department, and no corresponding advantage if the priority is speed.
    As stated by me before, in theory you are right. The extra weight is in the jack shaft and freewheels, not the chains. It takes the same amount of chain give or take on a regular tandem set up if you really look at the system you will see that. With that said, we have over 13 years of riding experience on a conventional tandem and have had none of the issues you stated about the stoker coasting or free floating during riding. She is locked in strong and believe me you know if the stoker is not. (We have experimented here to find out how that feels with the ICS system) again not an issue for us.

    I find the system not to be sluggish or slower than our regular tandem as you made mention of. I have the riding and mechanical experience to make this statement. I did not post this to debate the perceived inefficiencies of the ICS system with folks that don't care for it or have not ridden a tandem with it. I only posted it to answer the question asked by Bornco about how we felt about our personal experiance concerning speed averages on our normal routes that we ride between our Co Motion and the new da Vinci Joint Venture 700.

    I did not buy the da Vinci to race so I do not care if they are raced in any National Races or not or any other race for that fact. As stated in my original review, if a team wanted to race or go fast all the time I would go for a traditional set up on a tandem but felt the ICS system would be great for touring and long distance teams or teams with big differences in ability between the captain and stoker. (we love the wide range of gears for climbing)

    Again I will state that I personally find not a whole lot of difference in average speeds for our riding style (Note we are not racers) between the standard set up on our Co Motion and the ICS system on our new da Vinci Joint Venture as it pertains to the original question asked by Bornco to me in the original review posting of our new da Vinci Joint Venture 700. This statement is based on our experiance and riding style only and this may be diffrent for other teams riding the same equipment.

    Ride Safe All,
    Bill G
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  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Have ridden a multitude of different brands/models of tandems, including the daVinci.
    Felt that the daVinci is great for folks that like/want the ICS option.
    We pedal OOP and have been doing so for decades. That is our personal preference. So the daV ICS did not appeal to us.
    We felt that the daV front shifting (with its 4 'chainrings') was by far the smoothest of any mechanical shifting we've ridden.
    As far as extra weight, yes an additional BB/jackshaft would add a bit.
    The daV folks build a very innovative machine with superb/quality workmanship.
    Would not suggest that the daV is a 'racing tandem', but a strong duo could race it. After all, the motors do count!
    Just our input.
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  7. #7
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
    I have heard that they have been raced in long mountain bike races. I can see a possible advantage off road where each rider can handle pedal clearance over logs and other obstructions.
    With limitations. Yes I am posting a bit out of line since I have no experience with ICS off-road. There have been some that swear by it. We ride non ICS off-road and with the captain able to SEE the possible feature, he can position pedals as needed to get through technical features or over items. In my opinion, off-road, the stoker is doubly blind compared to road riding. Seldom do stokers feet / toes become a concern on the road. Off-road one mis-timed stump can end a ride. Granted in open terrain with minimal tree cover or windy singletrack, the stoker can look around. Possibly a good captain can call out every item of concern. I try and still there are surprises.

    Bottom line, if you can't see it, you'll have a hard time knowing where to put the pedals / cranks. We communicate a lot when technical riding, even with that and my positioning of the pedals, sometimes the stokers enthusiasm or my misjudgement still wears away the ends of our cranks.

    ICS on this trail linked below could possibly be a disaster or have the captain working 90% of the load. Just too much happening to quickly, it's about communication via the pedals.

    (looking for the proper video, might need to upload it, sorry)

    Not knocking ICS, would even like to try it some day on the road.

    PK
    Last edited by PMK; 11-21-12 at 05:47 AM.
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  8. #8
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill G View Post
    Again I will state that I personally find not a whole lot of difference in average speeds for our riding style (Note we are not racers) between the standard set up on our Co Motion and the ICS system on our new da Vinci Joint Venture as it pertains to the original question asked by Bornco to me in the original review posting of our new da Vinci Joint Venture 700. This statement is based on our experiance and riding style only and this may be diffrent for other teams riding the same equipment.

    Ride Safe All,
    Bill G
    I wouldn't doubt that at all. My bet would be same team, same effort, otherwise equal bikes, the difference between an ICS bike and a traditional drive train would be very small, likely a matter of seconds in a 40k TT, perhaps a bit more in an uphill TT.

    What I question is the assertion that there is no efficiency loss in the system, which just doesn't make sense given the added complexity of the drivetrain.

    And all that's not to dismiss the ICS system; it obviously has advantages that work for some teams.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
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  9. #9
    PMK
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    Supplementing my previous post with the video

    https://vimeo.com/54014646

    Not sure how well ICS would be under these off-road conditions where the stoker is almost blind to upcoming features. She even unclipped at the crest of one climb / drop thinking we were going to stall and tip over.

    PK
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  10. #10
    Bill G Bill G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    I wouldn't doubt that at all. My bet would be same team, same effort, otherwise equal bikes, the difference between an ICS bike and a traditional drive train would be very small, likely a matter of seconds in a 40k TT, perhaps a bit more in an uphill TT.

    What I question is the assertion that there is no efficiency loss in the system, which just doesn't make sense given the added complexity of the drivetrain.

    And all that's not to dismiss the ICS system; it obviously has advantages that work for some teams.
    I totaly understand your assertion & question here and will say again in theory about there being a slight power loss your 100% right. My assertion was we did not feel the diffrence at all for our riding style. So for us the loss is very small if any if we did not notice any diffrence being an experianced team coming from a traditional tandem set up.

    Ride Safe,
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  11. #11
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill G View Post
    I do not find the da Vinci ICS system to be less efficient and slower as some people have said I think these folks are only making assumptions about the set up because of the extra jack shaft & freewheels involved in the ICS system but they have really never ridden a tandem with the ICS system. The ICS system shifts great, nice and smooth our speeds are good and the tandems seems to handle the rolling terrain with ups and downs very well with the ICS gear ratios. We have not climbed any big hills yet but I think the da Vinci is going to do real well in this area.
    Good first-impression / owner feedback, particularly since you have vast experience on an upright tandem with a traditional drivetrain. This is useful for others considering a daVinci with ICS for any one of a number of very good reasons.

    As for off-road use, I would defer to the daVinci Wrecking Crew and others who have been using ICS off-road. I would agree that there are probably teams / terrain where non-ICS might be prudent.

    As for racing, if a strong team were so-inclined to compete on a daVinci with ICS I'm sure they'd do just fine. However, I suspect buyers who are inclined to find a daVinci with its ICS drivetrain attractive are far less likely to be found on a daVinci at the Masters nationals, State TT championships, the short-lived Co-Mo Classic for a variety of reasons, nearly as many reasons as there are daVinci owners... which is not insignificant. Frankly, I've seen more high-end "racing tandems" sitting under teams who are clearly "not" racers than I've ever seen at hotly contested tandem events... which also says something about tandem consumers.

    Great looking daVinci, by the way....

  12. #12
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Frankly, I've seen more high-end "racing tandems" sitting under teams who are clearly "not" racers than I've ever seen at hotly contested tandem events... which also says something about tandem consumers.

    Great looking daVinci, by the way....
    We have a portion of the events under our wheels that you have attended, and yes there are some very nice race tandems happily ridden by their owners on casual events. And no doubt some very casual tandems traveling at above average speeds.

    PK
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  13. #13
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    My earlier post on the original thread at

    (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...00-Ride-Review)


    pointed out the possible losses due to additional drive train complexity. Merlinextralight's point that the losses would be small is a good one as my post pointed out a possible estimate is 1% of stoker's power which in most cases would be less than 0.5% of total power. For most of us this in so little power that not only can we not feel the difference but it can't easily be measured. The stated error on commercial power meters is much larger than that.

    To me this is similar to a small weight difference. Sure one saddle may weigh more than another and that extra weight will definitely slow us down but to us it is not significant compared to the utility of the more comfortable saddle. We ride a 36 lb tandem because we want the features that result in that weight and happily pay the cost in speed that weight brings. I think it is great that ICS is out there for those that want it just like 24 lb tandems and tandems with S&S couplers. Choice is a great thing.


    Wayne
    Last edited by waynesulak; 11-21-12 at 12:06 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    We have a portion of the events under our wheels that you have attended, and yes there are some very nice race tandems happily ridden by their owners on casual events. And no doubt some very casual tandems traveling at above average speeds.

    PK
    I learned playing golf long ago to estimate a player's score by looking at the player's swing not the clubs. I think it is the same with bikes. If you want to guess a tandem team's speed, look at the riders not the bike.

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    This thread reminds me of when I bought my CF single years ago. I was commuting on my 1976 Motobecane 10 speed. That bike weighed maybe 26 lbs. I decided to take the plunge and buy a new 18 lb Trek 5200 with 27 indexed gears. My commute was about 17 miles round trip with 600 feet of climbing, and on the Motobecane it reliably took me a total of around 55 minutes plus or minus 3 minutes depending on conditions,etc. After I got the Trek, the commute now took me ... 55 minutes plus or minus 3 minutes! Yet I was happy with the new bike because it was fun to ride and inspired me to ride much more than I had been doing before I got it.

    I've never had any strong interest in ICS simply because the traditional setup works for us, and if it isn't broken, don't fix it. Undoubtedly there is a penalty in weight and possibly frictional loss with this system, but I expect that penalty is vanishingly small and certainly negligible to anyone who is not racing very seriously. For most of us the much greater impact is due to how much the bike inspires you to spend time in the saddles. Bill G and his wife obviously are happy with the bike and it is certainly a beautiful machine, so I call that an unmitigated success.

  16. #16
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
    I learned playing golf long ago to estimate a player's score by looking at the player's swing not the clubs. I think it is the same with bikes. If you want to guess a tandem team's speed, look at the riders not the bike.
    I can relate...so if you happen to notice a team with a near perfect spin and are sporting Carmichael training water bottles, it might be worthwhile not to go as hard as they do early...then again, there are some fat or older teams that can rip like they both have three lungs.

    Learned long ago not to base it all on the bike and ride with the moto "it ain't the arrow, it's the indian"

    PK
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    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it. For what it's worth, we're not racers either. We like to ride metric centuries and we're already towards the end of the group. We didn't want to get any slower and keep the volunteers waiting!!

    One last question for the DaVinci riders. My wife rides 130mm cranks because anything longer irritates her knees (she's had surgery on both of them). Because of this we are a high cadence team usually riding 100 rpm's or so. Have you found high cadence riding to make the bike feel a little squirrely since you're both not locked in synch? We'd love to test ride one, but even one test ride with 170 cranks would put my wife's knees in some pain, so we really appreciate everyone's input.

    Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving,

    Jack

  18. #18
    Bill G Bill G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bornco View Post
    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it. For what it's worth, we're not racers either. We like to ride metric centuries and we're already towards the end of the group. We didn't want to get any slower and keep the volunteers waiting!!

    One last question for the DaVinci riders. My wife rides 130mm cranks because anything longer irritates her knees (she's had surgery on both of them). Because of this we are a high cadence team usually riding 100 rpm's or so. Have you found high cadence riding to make the bike feel a little squirrely since you're both not locked in synch? We'd love to test ride one, but even one test ride with 170 cranks would put my wife's knees in some pain, so we really appreciate everyone's input.

    Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving,

    Jack
    Hello Jack,

    Well for me and the wife your question is not an issue for us due to the wife placing us in sync (she adjust as needed if I coast or if she does or after we take off from a stop, it only takes a second for her to do)

    We ride locked in together and do not find any real diffrence in the feel between a regular tandem set up. We do not experiance any float due to the wife being a pretty strong stoker. Also she has a really smooth cadance so she is pushing right along with me all the time.

    We have experimented a little with the ICS system riding out of sync on purpose and find the more you get toward 180 out of sync is when you start feeling things starting to get a little out of wack. When we where out of sync or riding oops we did not feel anything out of wack or squirrely.The wife has ran ahead of me not in sync and behind me not in sync on purpose with no ill affects to speak of.This held true in our testing of the ICS system as long as she did not let us get way out of sync or way past oops or a true 180 out of sync from each other.(This all could be a diffrent experiance for another team on the same tandem based on there riding ability and riding style on the same tandem.)

    da Vinci offers all sizes of crank arms so you can get what you need. I talked with Todd about this and my wifes crank arms are a hair shorter keeping her cadance up a hair faster than mine therefore in theory keeping the drive train tight to avoid any float between us.This theory of shorter cranks to keep the stokers cadance up higher than the captains has a lot of merrit to it with the ICS system. (One could conclude here that they could fine tune the stokers cadance with the ICS system if the stoker was a weaker rider and a team was having trouble with float between the captain and stoker) The shorter cranks needed for your wife and the higher cadance may be to your advantage with the ICS system.

    I would suggest to you that you call and talk with Todd at da Vinci about your concerns around your wifes limitations and the ICS system and how it may or may not work for you guys.You might be supprised what you guys come up with concerning your particular situation and requirements.

    Best of Luck & Happy Thanksgiving ..

    Ride Safe,
    Bill G
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    Last edited by Bill G; 11-25-12 at 02:20 AM. Reason: spelling/Re-worded same info for better explanation
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  19. #19
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    I agree with Bill G. If the stoker is at all smooth somewhat out of sync probably won't even be noticed and my wife finds it very easy to sync up. The one time I had my son on the back in his pre-Cat 2 days (he was still very strong at that point) he didn't bother getting into sync and I really couldn't tell. I think this would be especially true at the higher cadence.
    Rick T
    --------
    Volagi - Triple"ized" and Tubeless
    daVinci Joint Venture

  20. #20
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    Although we didn't ride a conventional tandem before our da Vinci ICS I can tell you that after just two years of riding we have improved dramatically in our speed, but it's due to riding 13000 miles in two years. With the da Vinci, we can zoom past weaker teams who ride less no matter what kind of bike they have, yet our stronger friends can zoom past us easily even if they are riding a "clunker" tandem that they use for winter off-road riding. I also have a different perspective about off-road riding with the ICS. We didn't know if we even wanted to do any off-road riding but we happened by a house that had a for-sale sign on a KHS tandem (cheap price) so we bought it and put "dirt" tires on it and have done a few rides off-road. We tried it on single-track and steep dirt service roads. My observations (as stoker) so far are that (1) we could sure use the gearing of a da Vinci to get up these steep roads, (2) we could use the additional ground clearance of the da Vinci when going over rocks, etc., and more importantly I believe that I would be more comfortable when we are around lots of bigger rocks if I could put my cranks in the position I want them in to clear the rocks the best way, while the captain is watching what's ahead. I think that by the time we have the rocks/obstacles on the rear of the bike the captain is positioning his cranks for the next obstacle at the front but I would still have time to reposition my feet at the back if only I had the ICS. Having said this, we have not ridden the same terrain on a da Vinci but it seems obvious to me so far that I would prefer that so if we continue with any off-road riding we'll surely seek out a 2nd da Vinci for this purpose (flat bars, thudbuster, etc.).

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