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New Landshark Tandem with WAY too much Flex?!

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New Landshark Tandem with WAY too much Flex?!

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Old 07-21-18, 01:16 PM
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woodcycl
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New Landshark Tandem with WAY too much Flex?!

Hey there folks. I posted several things back when we were spec'g our new Landshark tandem a few months ago. Thanks for all the feedback!

We've had the tandem now for just under 2 months and about 1,500 miles. It is absolutely beautiful to say the least!!

However, we've had several issues we have been dealing with since day 1. One of those three things was mostly resolved by swapping out the 11-36 SRAM cassette with a Shimano 11-34 (moving from 34 to 32 cog would constantly skip, delay, etc. not matter what was done). The other two issues are:

1. Programming on the RD for gearing constantly needs re-programmed. Basically, over time / miles, the gearing slowly loses it's adjustment. In other words, gear changes are fine for a few rides and a few rides later they are a little noisier with slight delays, jumps, etc. then a few rides later those issues are pronounced, etc. Take it back to the LBS and they say that basically, the RD needed to be reprogrammed again to allow smooth shifting. This has happened 4 times in 1500 miles. Very frustrating. LBS stated they may need to contact Shimano. Ugh.

2. Biggest Issue ... frame flex is totally out of control and so much that other cyclists are offering to video us from behind and in front to show how much the frame flexes which cause my stoker and I to actually move opposite one another due to flex and we lose our efficiency and performance. At first, I just thought it was me and needing to get used to the carbon, different bike, carbon wheels, etc. But, after many folks in-the-know who ride tandems have mentioned to us there is a problem w/ the amount of movement and flex, we are now convinced there is way too much flex in our frame. Not sure what in the world to do about this. We plan on contacting John Slawta about it ... and have already contacted Mel at Tandem's East.

For $15k ... neither issue above is okay, especially #2 given #1 and the RD can be replaced easily if needed.

I read somewhere someone stated they heard that John S. at Landshark changed up the type of carbon tubes he uses or something to that affect. I don't recall the details. But, with all this flex ... I wonder if that is the issue.

In a nutshell, we were faster on our 2005 Cannondale ... performed much better given the frame had little flex and we were able to take our energy and effort and turn it into moving "forward" instead of my stoker and I swaying and moving laterally. Not sure how to proceed or what to expect. Definitely want to remedy the problem with this kind of expenditure!!!

Thoughts? Insights?
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Old 07-21-18, 04:50 PM
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Our Calfee does not have any noticeable flex and yet rides super smooth.
I am wonder what your weight is? Our combined weight is 260 lbs.
I would definitely not accept the bike if it is flexing that much, kind of defeats the whole purpose of using carbon.
i would think that John would make things right.
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Old 07-21-18, 06:10 PM
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I would be a squeaky wheel, sooner than later. A $15,000 bike should be something better than perfect!
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Old 07-21-18, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
Our Calfee does not have any noticeable flex and yet rides super smooth.
I am wonder what your weight is? Our combined weight is 260 lbs.
I would definitely not accept the bike if it is flexing that much, kind of defeats the whole purpose of using carbon.
i would think that John would make things right.
Hi jnbrown. Definitely not as light as your team. However, we aren't exactly heavy at 290 lbs.

Well, not knowing what to expect or have other tandem bike experiences other than our old 05 Cannondale, we didn't realize how much it was flexing. As we discussed it, many others started paying attention and talked to us about exactly how much it is moving.

Of course, we've already accepted it after riding it for 2 months. I hope John does make it right. Look forward to seeing how he works with us on it.
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Old 07-21-18, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by 124Spider View Post
I would be a squeaky wheel, sooner than later. A $15,000 bike should be something better than perfect!
Yes!! Most definitely 124Spider!
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Old 07-22-18, 12:51 AM
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whippy landshark

At first I want to state that I really feel with you having bought such a dream of a bike obviously turning into a nightmare.
This is something you buy to enjoy for the rest of your live.
If that works for at least one decade you probably even forget about the ridiculous pricetag. Probably...
Even if you -as you stated- can not compare the ride of the landshark with many other tandem experiences:
You should definitely feel good, save and comfortable on that thing.

As hard as it is, for me there's no alternative but a clear statement towards your dealer that your bike is just "unrideable" for your team. I mean, what else can you do? There's no possible adjustment coming to my mind to fix a 'noodle frame'. In best case, the Landshark guys (or whoever is finally in charge of the lamination and baking process) just did something wrong in the layout of that individual frame. In worst case -and I'm not the one to judge that- they exaggerated the design and made something that wouldn't work properly in what configuration ever. My technical eye is always missing the lateral tube in those frame designs but there seem to be builders out there who are able to master that accordingly.

If I would be the manufacturer of such a bike, customer satisfaction would be definitely one of my biggest concerns.
Those frames/bikes are not sold by the hour and a failure of one of these known by the public has a decent danger of damage to reputation. I hope they react accordingly and bring this story to a happy ending for you guys.
I wish you all the best for that.
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Old 07-22-18, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcycl View Post
... frame flex is totally out of control and so much that other cyclists are offering to video us from behind and in front to show how much the frame flexes which cause my stoker and I to actually move opposite one another due to flex and we lose our efficiency and performance. At first, I just thought it was me and needing to get used to the carbon, different bike, carbon wheels, etc. But, after many folks in-the-know who ride tandems have mentioned to us there is a problem w/ the amount of movement and flex, we are now convinced there is way too much flex in our frame.
Did you notice the frame flex when you did your first ride? Has the frame become more flexy over time? Did you carefully inspect the frame for any mfg defect or shipping damage? You should have someone videotape you (preferably on a moderate climb) and post it here. It's hard to believe that a properly built carbon frame would have some much lateral flex.
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Old 07-22-18, 08:38 PM
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I wonder if your shift issues are related to the flex. We have two carbon tandems and 3 singles with DI2 and never have had to reprogram a derailleur. Shimano should take care of that. Hopefully Landshark helps out with the frame .
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Old 07-23-18, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by akexpress View Post
I wonder if your shift issues are related to the flex. We have two carbon tandems and 3 singles with DI2 and never have had to reprogram a derailleur. Shimano should take care of that. Hopefully Landshark helps out with the frame .
I was thinking the same. The shifting issues are likely a symptom of the flex. It sounds like there is something wrong with your frame. Is it cracked somewhere? That kind of flex is not inherent to a carbon (or any other kind of) frame. We have never had to reprogram our Di2 either.
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Old 07-23-18, 11:58 AM
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Could there be a wheel issue that is causing the feeling of frame flex? I would just try a different set of wheels. Is that is not the case and it is the frame I would be on the phone with the builder.

Our 7 year old Calfee Tetra is rock solid and comfortable!
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Old 07-23-18, 01:09 PM
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Broken axle?
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Old 07-23-18, 01:49 PM
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Does your tandem have a lateral tube ?
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Old 07-23-18, 06:09 PM
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Have a Zona c/f custom tandem with over 45,000 miles on the odometer. No flex issues.
Asides from your weight (we weigh in at 132/95 respectively) we also pedal 45 degrees out-of-phase (OOP) which canl reduce frame flex significantly.
Give that a try.
Pedal on TWOgether!
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Old 07-23-18, 08:42 PM
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Wondering if your two issues are related. If the rear wheel is not seating firmly into the dropouts for some reason, thus moving slightly, it might cause both symptoms.
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Old 07-24-18, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
Does your tandem have a lateral tube ?
...refer to:
Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Tandem Cycling
>

Our new Landshark Tandem!


...so there is no lateral tube...
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Old 07-24-18, 12:09 PM
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On a group ride maybe 20 years ago, I was climbing behind a young tandem team who were out of the saddle. I was astonished at how that thing flexed, like it was hinged in the middle. I'd guess 4" of total flex between the tops of front and rear wheels. Never saw anything like it. Friends who ride behind us on our 2003 steel Speedster say no visible flex. Which may say more about the experience of the 2 teams than about the bikes, but still . . .

When we climb standing, Stoker rocks the bike. I just follow her lead, trying not to pry on my bars.
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Old 07-24-18, 12:25 PM
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We ride many miles a year with friends with carbon bikes 4 Calfees and 2 Santana Beyonds and have not seen frame flex like you are describing. A simple test is to push laterally on the bottom bracket areas and see how much defection takes place under that small load. A tandem manufacturer set up a test stand to measure that lateral defection at a tandem rally. He stated the Calfee's were the stiffest laterally but he never released the results and gave no direct correlation to that measurement and ride characteristic. Not entirely scientific but using your foot to push laterally gives some idea of the flex of the frame.
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Old 07-24-18, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by lichtgrau View Post
...refer to:
Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Tandem Cycling
>

Our new Landshark Tandem!


...so there is no lateral tube...
We have two tandems without lateral tubes. Neither have flex problems.
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Old 07-24-18, 05:20 PM
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Sorry to hear of your flex issue. We currently own a 2017 Land Shark Carbon coupled tandem and have absolutely no undesirable flex issues and absolutely LOVE it. When we had the bike built we worked with John. First and foremost, I had him design the rear triangle to be stiff. You will notice in the images that we are using Paragon Poly-drop drop-outs.
These innovative dropouts do two things, they provide a super stiff thru axle mount 142x12mm and a strong stiff inboard brake caliper mount. The combo yields the following, shorter chainstays which increase
power transfer from pedal input and shortens the moment arm of the carbon chainstay. It also provides the optimum disk to caliper force transfer and great disk alignment with the thru axle.
We also have custom seat stays designed to again stiffen up the rear triangle. We increased the Boom Tube diameter to 55mm. Stoker and captain top tube is a consistent diameter of 48mm.
Captain down tube is 50mm. The ride is compliant with great feel and response, and NO unwanted flex. Our bike as pictured with pump pedals and Garmins weighs 29lbs. Our Team weight is 300lbs

I am sure John and Mel will work with you to get this resolved! Good luck
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Old 07-24-18, 07:59 PM
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Thanks to everyone for your replies and responses. I appreciate it. If you'd like to communicate more or inquire, please PM me. Otherwise:

** OP Update: Mel has asked me to cease all internet communication in regard to this topic. I didn't realize or think about a possible negative impact on anyone involved such as Landshark or Tandem's East. And, for my lack of consideration of this, I apologize. Mel has asked that I send back the tandem in full minus the wheelset and our money will be returned. So, everyone involved has been very professional and have done everything they can do to remedy the situation. We LOVE our Landshark tandem and actually I'm quite sad about the outcome. Wishing there was a way that we could all agree on to resolve 'our' unique experience on the bike in regard to flex. Thanks Mel and to John for working with us.
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Old 07-25-18, 02:08 AM
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Respect

That shows great professionality. If I were them, I could also live without that kind of advertisement. The fair and open discussion of those issues in a forum like this sometimes even helps to come to such a conclusion.

A company that’s innovative in trying out new things and at the same time is reacting properly on problems that can easily occur in this “high end”-business will always be on my list of new projects. My appreciation…

…and we’re all waiting for the new thread named “My New Perfect Landshark Tandem” ;-)
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Old 07-25-18, 08:44 AM
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Kudos to the seller(s) for the refund.

But it kind of mystifies me that that was the resolution, rather than trying to solve the problem with the bike; I would think that the seller(s) would be very interested in figuring out what went wrong, and that everyone would be happier if the buyer ended up with a beautiful bike that worked properly, and the manufacturer figured out what was wrong.
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Old 07-25-18, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 124Spider View Post
Kudos to the seller(s) for the refund.

But it kind of mystifies me that that was the resolution, rather than trying to solve the problem with the bike; I would think that the seller(s) would be very interested in figuring out what went wrong, and that everyone would be happier if the buyer ended up with a beautiful bike that worked properly, and the manufacturer figured out what was wrong.

Woodcycl may have set a record for turning a "dream" bike into a "lemon". Unfortunately, we're left to speculate because so many basic facts are unknown:

-Did the Landshark frame actually flex excessively ("out of control")?
-Was the Landshark frame improperly designed (for their team weight), improperly fabricated, or damaged while in transit to Tandem East?
-Did the Tandem East mechanic damage the frame when building up the tandem?
-Did Woodcycl do a test ride before accepting delivery?
-Did Woodcycl damage the frame when installing or adjusting components (eg. over-torque the front derailleur clamp)?
-Did a wheel or other components cause excessive flex?
-Did Woodcycl crash the Landshark or hit a really large bump?

Now that Woodcycl has started the two thread, it's too late to go silent and let potential buyers rely on speculation. Landshark and Tandem East are not doing themselves any favors but by failing to discuss the frame "problem" (if there was one) and the remedies. Did the frame actually require repairs and will it be resold "as is" to another team? Consumers and regulators expect sellers to acknowledge product deficiencies and take prompt, corrective action (eg. Samsung Note 7, Specialized Allez forks)
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Old 07-25-18, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mtseymour View Post
Woodcycl may have set a record for turning a "dream" bike into a "lemon". Unfortunately, we're left to speculate because so many basic facts are unknown:

-Did the Landshark frame actually flex excessively ("out of control")?
-Was the Landshark frame improperly designed (for their team weight), improperly fabricated, or damaged while in transit to Tandem East?
-Did the Tandem East mechanic damage the frame when building up the tandem?
-Did Woodcycl do a test ride before accepting delivery?
-Did Woodcycl damage the frame when installing or adjusting components (eg. over-torque the front derailleur clamp)?
-Did a wheel or other components cause excessive flex?
-Did Woodcycl crash the Landshark or hit a really large bump?

Now that Woodcycl has started the two thread, it's too late to go silent and let potential buyers rely on speculation. Landshark and Tandem East are not doing themselves any favors but by failing to discuss the frame "problem" (if there was one) and the remedies. Did the frame actually require repairs and will it be resold "as is" to another team? Consumers and regulators expect sellers to acknowledge product deficiencies and take prompt, corrective action (eg. Samsung Note 7, Specialized Allez forks)
Exactly! If I were in the market for a high-end tandem, Landshark/Tandem East would not be on the list until I knew what happened here. I suspect it's something simple, but we are left to speculate.
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Old 07-25-18, 03:52 PM
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I am disappointed in the outcome of this issue. There is an issue with this bike. I would have liked a rep from Landshark or Tandems East to have made arrangements to visit the owners and the bike. I would of wanted Landshark to determine the problem and build the owners a new frame.

Stopping, open, public communication about the issue tends to make one think there is a flex issue with the frame design. Determining and solving the problem would have been a win/win for everyone. Landshark should have dropped everything and built the OP a new frame.

Now what will the OP team do?

we bought our Calfee based on the extensive review by the tandem geek. He was right on, we are extremely pleased with our bike. If I was in the market for a new bike, I would not be looking at the Landshark.
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