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  1. #1
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    Elsworth Witness 1st ride

    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.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Long Live Long Rides
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    upgrades

    For a big ride with descents you will certainly want disc brakes and a better fork. The Stratos is good but very hard to get parts for. You would probably do better to get a Marzocchi that is tandem worthy. The disc brakes will really help on controlling the descents. As for the wheels, at 380lbs I would be wary of taking them on a long hard ride. That said you could keep training on them and see how they hold up. Is the frame disc-compatible?
    Last edited by Trails4Two; 03-29-2010 at 10:21 AM.

  3. #3
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    The wheels are not disc. We got a great deal on a Maverick DUC32 fork which came with a wheel maverick 32 spoke laced to a stan 355 rim. We also got some avid 203 bb7 brakes.

    Right now the plan is to ride it witht the 355 until it craps out and replace with a sun mtx. We still need a disc rear wheel space 135mm that will hold us. Anyone got a wheel? Since the maverick is a 32 front hub does anyone recommend a diffent rim other than the mtx?

  4. #4
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    355 is a lightweight race rim. It's what I use on my single bike. I would replace that sooner as I wouldn't want it to collapse on me. MTX is a good strong rim. With only 32 spokes, you'll want as much rim as you can get. For the rear, you could try shimano xt, just be prepared to replace the freehub if you are a powerful team. Stronger tandem hubs are King, White Industries, DT Swiss. Some have also used Hadley and Hope, or Phil Wood. I'd try the XT just buy the extra freehub now so you don't find out in the middle of a trail.

    Also check with Maverick about modifications to the fork for tandem use.

  5. #5
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    What are some recommendations on strong 36hole rims? Anyone?

  6. #6
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    big rims

    Sun MTX or mammoth, DT Swiss FR 600, Mavic 823, possibly Sun Rhyno lites

  7. #7
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    How about XM819 or F519 rims?

  8. #8
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    C=Dale tandem on Craigslist

    I was scanning craigslist last night and I spotted a pretty cool Cannondale Mtn tandem for I think around $1000. It was in the So Cal> inland empire>bikes if anyone is interested.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eischman
    How about XM819 or F519 rims?
    The 519 might be suitable with 36 spokes and a good build. 819 is really more of a single bike rim and I would stay away from that since you're pushing 400 lbs.

    I second the MTX and FR 600...

  10. #10
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    overbuild stuff...its the only way to go

    I can not comment on specific components, but I have to say that I feel much better on overbuilt wheels and folks. We have a pretty stock setup on our bike, its the TIO model of the Fandango 29er, with a few upgrades. The wheels are very stout. The White Brothers Magic 100T fork looks and feels very solid. One may feel tempted to build the tandem up light, but I wouldn't have it build any different than we have it, and we are a 260 pound team. There is nothing like having the confidence to lean into corners without having to worry about wheel flex. I also like bombing over logs and not worrying about my fork being up to snuff.

    Just my two cents.

    -Chris

  11. #11
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    +1! breaking stuff during a ride sucks

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