I chose to not try converting my trek t1000 road tandem i (see old thread) into a mnt tandem. Instead I came across a killer deal on an older Witness. It has a stratos fr4 fork and non disc wheel.
My friend and I thought it would be neat to ride the Shennondoh 100 on a tandem mnt bike race. We unpack the bike and set it up and rode out of his house. We got a few giggles from the wives and headed out. The first thing I noticed was how plush it was. For years I have been riding hardtails or rigid bikes and this was like riding a pogo stick....okay so it it probaly not set up right. To warm up we hit some roads and then went to some hiking trails. My friend was amazed at all of the smiles since he usually gets a mean look when he rides his single bike on those trails. The first challenge was a rock/rooty steep decent to the creek.We ned up making it down but had to unclip. This was scarry as hell. I fought hard to stay up since he was wiggling back an forth. After this decent I was pretty scare of the single track we'd soon hit. I did notice we'd just plow over roots without a problem. Occasionally we'd hit a pedal which reminded me of a fixed gear riding
Ater another 20 + miles in pave trails and hiking trails we hit a 10 mile single track loop. Once in we noticed that the fork was leaking oil. My buddy decided we should just continue. The first few challenges were a few hand made bridges, log stacks, and ultra tight trees.(they never seemed that tight on a single bike) One thing I noticed was how I kept driving through the turns it was almost like I couldn't turn. Later we realized that I need him to start leaning before the turn to make the tight corners.
The tall log stack almost threw us off so from there on on more medium to big stacks. After a few scary bridge crosssings I chose to push over those too. Most are 8-10 feet long and 2-3 feet wide but drop 2 to 4 feet.
The only other real problem we had was the fork was bottoming out on mainly deeper dips. I could help it by leaning way back but.....we should have checked out the fork before riding.
All in all we did 55 miles and had a blast. In some ways I wished I was in back but my stoker is way to crazy (raced moto cross and is one of the fastest down hillers around here) He kept yelling at me to lay off the brakes and go for it. I read that that is a danger of a stoker not seeing exactly what is in front of him but beileve me if he were driving it would not change a thing. I'd probably freek if he were in front which could cause a wreck. I can't see anyone else I put on the back if I were riding single track. Amazingly the climbs were a breeze.
Okay the SM100 will be longer and faster with way less tight singletrack. Some of the decents are long and fast. We may need disc brakes and may want a stiffer/lighter fork. Any recommendations? We'll need new wheels too. The one on it have deep V rims laced to canecreek hubs (non disc) We are ~ 380lb team.
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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Thread: Elsworth Witness 1st ride