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  1. #1
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    The El Gran Jefe Thread

    Well now that Sherwood has made the El Gran Jefe happen (thank you Sherwood for making such awesome tandem frames!), it's time for the El Gran Jefe thread.

    I suppose we'll need to start with the usual. What's your build? Throw in some pics. Then we can add all the banter about what's working and what we plan to upgrade or change.

    Here's our build:
    Small Ventana el Gran Jefe / Raw Aluminum color
    150 / 197 thru axles
    Industry nine hubs Nextie 90 mm Wild dragon carbon rims running tubeless
    Bud & Lou tires
    11-42 Sram cassette with Wolftooth conversion
    1x10 with 28t tooth chainring Race face ride cinch cranks 190mm spacing right side drive and RF Bash guards (FR & RR)
    Easton Carbon bars low rise (FR) High rise (RR)
    Control tech Stoker stem
    Thompson (FR) & Niner (RR) seat posts
    Wtb Rocket V (FR) & Terry Liberator Gel (RR)
    TRP Spyke brakes 203 Shimano rotors, Avid Speed Dial Levers
    Sram XO Shifter
    Sram XO, type 2 rear derailleur
    10sp chains all around
    RS Bluto fork with cane creek headset, I will likely test out a rigid fork as well.

    During our ride today
    The El Gran Jefe Thread-fullsizerender.jpg

    After our first ride (night ride)
    The El Gran Jefe Thread-img_0885.jpg

    Action shots from Saturday's rideThe El Gran Jefe Thread-fat-tandem1.jpgThe El Gran Jefe Thread-fat-tandem2.jpg
    Last edited by ds2199; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:26 PM. Reason: added photos

  2. #2
    Wallowa biker
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    How is your drive train set up?
    Will a 29+ wheelset fit in the rear?
    What a sweet ride!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrusc View Post
    How is your drive train set up?
    Will a 29+ wheelset fit in the rear?
    What a sweet ride!
    Thanks!!

    I believe that a 29+ will work. Alex or Sherwood may be able to chime in.

    Regarding the drive train. I am utilizing standard Race Face Turbine Cinch with the triple spider (this is actually a modular design for the spider and it's pretty flexible as to how you set it up).

    For my set up, I have the he timing chain is in the middle position (FR & RR). I have bash guards in the outer position (FR & RR). The granny position is not utilized up front. The rear is utilizing the granny position with a 28t narrow wide chainring. As noted above, the cassette is 11-42 and the deraileur is SRAM X.0 (type 2 with a clutch).

    So far it is working very well, but we only have a few rides on it.

  4. #4
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    Bluto 100mm? Does the handling feel slow or fast? Do you think a taller fork would make it handle better or worse?

    My frame is on order, two to three weeks, the introductory price is gone, now it's $1899, so we went with a stock color: Grinch Green

    We're starting with a 650+ build, Bluto 100-120, Trax Fatty, Scraper rims (45mm id), 15x150/12 x 177, I9 or Hadley hubs, FSA Comet 100m fat bike cranks (strong, inexpensive, good BBs). The fat tire wheel set will be Large Marge and Floaters. Both sets of wheels will serve double duty with my fat bike.

  5. #5
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    The El Gran Jefe Thread-fullsizerender.jpgThe El Gran Jefe Thread-fullsizerender_4.jpgThe El Gran Jefe Thread-last-import-2.jpgHere is our build frame serial #2
    Small Ventana el Gran Jefe / Mango Tango color
    135/ 197 thru axles
    Hope fatsno hubs, sapin spokes, brass nipples
    Nextie 90 mm Wild dragon carbon rims running tubeless
    Dillinger 5 studded tires
    11-40 Sram cassette with one up conversion
    1x10 with Raceface 30 tooth chainring
    Race face ride cranks 190mm spacing right side drive
    Easton Carbon riser bars
    Control tech Stoker stem
    race face alu seat posts
    Wtb seats
    BB7brakes 180/160 may get larger rotors after we get some miles on to figure it out
    Sram XO grip shift right shifter
    Sram x9 rear derailleur
    9 speed timing chain
    907 Whiteout carbon fork with cane creek headset

  6. #6
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    What were your reasons for choosing the Whiteout fork? Would you feel comfortable riding it hard on chunk in the summer?

  7. #7
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    Oops. I meant comfortable in the sense of protecting from harm your valuable person in the stokers seat.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrusc View Post
    What were your reasons for choosing the Whiteout fork? Would you feel comfortable riding it hard on chunk in the summer?
    The choices for a tandem fat bike fork are few and far between with none actually approved or rated for tandem use. The Bluto does not have a good reputation for cold use here in Alaska, the LBS don't even try to sell them anymore it seems. I know the owners and developers of 907 bikes and components and we discussed the Whiteout fork and they felt it was up to the task. We have them on our single 907 whiteout bikes and they are pretty beefy and in fact may get a redesign to take some weight out for future production. I can see it absorb the bumps nicely but of course it is not as supple as a suspension fork. As this is primarily a winter bike for us I don't anticipate a bunch of rocks hits etc on dirt but I still think it will be fine. We have two full suspension Ventana tandems for summer use. It has the correct geometry for a non suspension fork on the Jefe frame according to Sherwood. So far the bike is a blast to ride and we are off for ride here in a few minutes after work.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrusc View Post
    Oops. I meant comfortable in the sense of protecting from harm your valuable person in the stokers seat.
    I knew what you meant, must keep those awesome stokers safe and happy. I am so lucky to have an awesome wife / stoker who likes to ride as much as I do and tolerates my really bad bike habit. Plus if we ride singles she drops me so go figure why we have tandems.

  10. #10
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    I forgot to mention, we are currently riding with around 9-10lbs of pressure on 4.8" Bud/Lou tires on 90mm Nextie rims.

    I think we can go a little lower, but I wanted to start higher and then come down from there.

  11. #11
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    Ohhh, that's nice!

    A 42T cog sounds like some rough treatment of a freehub. What does I9 say about that?

    Tandem-rated Bluto? That's a TON of [potential] braking power up front with the big contact area [if you hit a dry patch].

    BTW - for someone who asked, there are 29er wheelsets for fatbikes at, I think, thehouse and bikesdirect. Not sure if they would cut it in tandem use, but there are some available.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Ohhh, that's nice!

    A 42T cog sounds like some rough treatment of a freehub. What does I9 say about that?

    Tandem-rated Bluto? That's a TON of [potential] braking power up front with the big contact area [if you hit a dry patch].

    BTW - for someone who asked, there are 29er wheelsets for fatbikes at, I think, thehouse and bikesdirect. Not sure if they would cut it in tandem use, but there are some available.

    -F
    Yup and Yup.

    I am pretty sure there are no "tandem rated" 190/197 hubs. We'll take our chances. I wanted what I believed to be the best engagement hub.

    Yes, the fork is NOT tandem rated. I don't intend to use this bike in the same way that we would our regular mtb tandem (king hubs, 34mm fork etc.).

    It's a snow bike! I appreciate your concern. I am not advocating that others go out and build a bike with the same specs that I have. I know how I intend to use it and am prepared to deal with the consequences if parts are not up to the task.

    Cheers!

  13. #13
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    I am using a 40 tooth and a carbon single fork on ours as there are no tandem rated fat tire forks. As Dan (ds2199) and I are using these tandems as snow riding tandems I also am quite confident these will work. We both have true mountain tandems with tandem rated forks , hubs, rear suspension etc that we ride on the dirt. As this discussion and on other treads there is not one off road tandem that can do it all and the Jefe is a great ride but not a one quiver bike. IMHO YRMV

  14. #14
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    I will be running Onyx hubs, they are similar to the Stealth, but with slightly less drag.

    I don't know that anyone has run this type of hub on a tandem, so I guess we're beta testers.

    The only thing that is "tandem approved" on the Jefe is the frame.

    The fork will be fine, though the forces on a tandem fork are high, tandems also don't receive the same abuse as a solo bike; i.e. we ride slower, we don't jump, etc...

    We'll be running our Jefe mostly on dirt, so I'll let you know how the Bluto handles. My plan is to add three to four bottomless tokens so the fork ramps up faster

  15. #15
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    Interested to hear how the Onyx hubs hold up. I have some friends that ride the BMX hub and another that is building up a set of 29 wheels with them. They seem pretty solid.
    I just put in the order for our El Gran Jefe today. Planning on using Derby on Industry 9 29+ wheelset for gravel (what the wife thinks we are getting the bike for) and either 65mm Nextie carbon on I9 and/or Clownshoes for off road. Bluto seems like the safest bet for a fork.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by akexpress View Post
    Plus if we ride singles she drops me so go figure why we have tandems.
    This ensures you're always in-front of her!

  17. #17
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    Ended up with a single speed Jefe tonight. While out for an after work ride we took on some technical single track. It was icy and rutted, after we crossed a creek on a ice bridge we had a short pitch of 40 yards at probably 20% grade and broke a chain right at the top. At the same time trying to keep the bike upright I pulled apart the SRAM xo grip shift shifter. Fortunately the chain broke two links from the master link and I was able to shorten it and get us out of the woods with a single speed. In stead of riding home 10 miles in low gear we called our son for a ride. It was interesting riding the big tires in hard icy conditions on tight single track as the bike bounces a lot on the dillinger5's at 8 lbs. We had more pedal strikes then normal so it will take some more practice on the tight trials to clear everything better. Tomorrow I'll see if I can put the shifter back together and replace the chain. My wife thought it was still a good ride and an adventure,I'm so glad she loves this stuff.

  18. #18
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    AK... That sucks. Glad you made it out ok.
    What types of chains are you using (SRAM, Shimano,etc.)? Any that you would recommend over another? My plan is to go Shimano 11-sp and then 10-sp for timing chain.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacons View Post
    AK... That sucks. Glad you made it out ok.
    What types of chains are you using (SRAM, Shimano,etc.)? Any that you would recommend over another? My plan is to go Shimano 11-sp and then 10-sp for timing chain.
    I've had good luck with SRAM 10sp stuff on other bikes. I am pretty sure that we have broken a Shimano 9sp, a Wipperman 9sp, SRAM 9sp and SRAM 10sp over the years.

    I have not found any particular chain to have frequent problems for us.

    11sp has not been in the mix. I've only ridden it on my CX bike (non-tandem).

  20. #20
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    The broken chain was a mechanic's fault (me). When I built the bike it was not shifting quite as well as I wanted with the 40 tooth ring so I had added two links to the chain due to extra b screw adjustment. I had just repressed the pin instead of a master link on a SRAm chain it works ok on 9 speed but not on 10 speed as the plates are just too thin. I was just a dummy. The shifter went right back together when we got it home so no real harm just put a new chain on and away we go. It was fun seeing what we can ride in the snow and ice on the technical single track. Traction is a factor in what you can climb but the studded tires are very helpful. We are definitely putting a load on the components with two people standing to climb etc but nothing that the other mtn tandems don't go through. Is great to have a stoker who likes this as much as I do!!

  21. #21
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    Thanks for the feedback guys.

  22. #22
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    Frame shipped today, Grinch Green :-)

    Lots of bit and pieces coming into the shop, Onyx hubs are in transit, WTB Scraper 650b rims, Race Face Turbine Cinch cranks 170mm, SRAM X9 drivetrain, all the rest is typical stuff.

    We're running a 11-36/40 cassette with a Wolf tooth. I'd like to get the Praxis 10speed 11-40 steel cassette once it's available.

    Spykes calipers and speed dial levers from the Fandango.

    I'm going to use a minus one degree Angleset headset, starting a the zero (no angle) change, then see how an additional degree of angle feels. I expect well go to a 120mm fork once something burlier than the Bluto is available.

  23. #23
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    Seat post 27.2 or 30.9?

    We ordered a Thudbuster 27.2, which is the same as the ECDM, just wanted to double check.

    Hubs were delayed, the "red" hub bodies were out of spec, so they ugraded for free to a custom two tone "black with red splotches", should be interesting, shipping today, wheel build this weekend.

    Frame should arrive today or tomorrow.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Seat post 27.2 or 30.9?

    We ordered a Thudbuster 27.2, which is the same as the ECDM, just wanted to double check.

    Hubs were delayed, the "red" hub bodies were out of spec, so they ugraded for free to a custom two tone "black with red splotches", should be interesting, shipping today, wheel build this weekend.

    Frame should arrive today or tomorrow.
    30.9 seatposts.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ds2199 View Post
    30.9 seatposts.
    Thanks, we have another post coming in the right size

    My buddy has a shop, normally I'd do all my own ordering and buildimng, but he wants to do the build because he can get better prices...and because he thinks it's cool, so why not.

    The Onyx hubs arrived yesterday, they are really nice, no "clicking" in freewheel, spin is very smooth, an interesting concept if they work. The rear hub is a 170mm TA, weight was 585 gms without axle, so just a tad bit more than a typical "no brand hub" with a steel freebody.

    I'm building the wheels this weekend, then we'll start assembling our Grinch Green Jefe.

    BTW, the green color is quite nice, it's an iridescent green, lighter than granny smith, almost a lime. Fit and finish is very nice, drop out design is very well done. Essentially the Jefe is like the Gordo, but much longer

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