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  1. #1
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    Fandango as a roadie?

    I'm sorry if this topic has been discussed previously, but I was unable to find such a thread.

    I would love a Fandango 29er tandem or something very similar designed specifically for off-road riding. However, I also do a bunch of on-road riding and I expect that to continue for a while. My wife and I both captain tandems (C'dale RT3000 & Co-Motion Speedster) with our two young boys stoking and we love doion long distance road rides and touring as a family. We ride 50-60 mile rides pretty frequently, usually averaging around 18 mph. I don't want that experience to change much but I would like the option to take my son on some singletrack trails we have in our area. I cannot justify the expense of another tandem so I would likely sell the C'dale and buy a used Fandango, if I can find one.

    Does anyone have experience setting up a 29er, Cannondale mountain, or something similar as a mostly road going machine? I would imagine having a second set of wheels with a narrow rim, 700x25 tires, possibly a different rigid fork, and bar ends for multiple hand positions. I'm just trying to figure out how much of a compromise a mountain tandem would be on the road. Personal experiences would be great to hear, thanks.
    Our Stable: Yeti ASR-5, Yeti Big Top , Yeti ARC-X, Orbea Diva, Co-Motion Speedster, C'dale Road Tandem & Strider

  2. #2
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    The only compromise will be your lack of aero position on the handlebars, which is actually a bigger source of resistance than your tires.

    If you are talking 29er mountain wheels, check out a tire like the Forte Tsali. It is a great off-road tire for hardpack and dry conditions, but it works great on pave and path, and in the rain on pavement. A change in air pressure is all that is required to make it more road-friendly.

    If you are really hooked on having a road tire (but I think you then are limited in your choice of route) it would be easy to use 29er mountain wheels in the 25-30mm width range so you could switch from off-road 29er tires to a 700x32 road or CX tire on the same rim.

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

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info Fleas, but my choice of route when road riding is going to be limited by my wife's road tandem regardless of what tires I'm running on my tandem. I've been pulling a Chariot trailer for several years behind my cross bike with tires between 23-35mm so I understand the slight differences there.

    I've never used bar ends, but I was hoping with bar ends, ergon grips, and flipping/slamming the stem I would be able to somewhat mimic an aero road position. Although when touring I suppose being more upright isn't such a bad thing.

    The tire really is not a main concern of mine. My main concern is regarding the higher bottom bracket and slacker ht angle. I just want to know if anyone else has ridden long road miles on a mountain tandem and how they felt doing it.

    I can calculate the gear ratio differences and see how they compare so I'm also not too concerned about the gearing.

    Does anyone have a personal success story regarding road riding with a mountain tandem? How'd you have it setup?
    Our Stable: Yeti ASR-5, Yeti Big Top , Yeti ARC-X, Orbea Diva, Co-Motion Speedster, C'dale Road Tandem & Strider

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean20 View Post
    . My main concern is regarding the higher bottom bracket and slacker ht angle.
    To start off, I have not chased down the Geo numbers for the Fandango, but wouldn't a lot of your concerns for these two items be mitigated by the rigid fork? Especially a non-suspension corrected A to C fork? Walt at Waltworks bikes makes some NICE custiom forks if there isn't something readily available for a reasonable (for custom) price.

    Just some food for thought.
    -Aaron G.

    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

  5. #5
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    I did a 3 week tour last summer with my daughter (age 10 at the time) from Boulder to Telluride; it was about 2/3 off road, 1/3 on road with our Fandango. The bike is set up with a rigid steel fork-- a Voodoo Zombie 500, which I should note is NOT officially tandem rated, but we're a pretty light team and the off-road sections were on jeep roads rather than techy singletrack. I have Salsa Woodchipper drop bars on the bike, which have a good deal less drop than real road bars, but still some. For the longer road sections, I just put on road touring tires. Even with the skinnier tires, the bike was noticeably slower than our road tandem (coupled steel Burley Duet), even though it's a bit lighter. I think the more upright position and mountain wheels probably had a lot to do with that. That said, it was more than adequate for road touring and quite comfortable. The rigid fork with the woodchipper bars and fat tires (2.4 Conti Mtn Kings) also did great on the nasty loose jeep roads. The versatility of the Fandango is really fantastic.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by durist View Post
    fat tires (2.4 Conti Mtn Kings) .
    I would think the main difference you saw was due to the tires and the roads you traveled. I have a custom Walt Works rigid fork but it is way over kill for roads. I too have toiled with getting rid of my road tandem and putting road tires on my Fandango and using it for some of the long charity rides with the kids. My biggest concern is the gearing since we often top out on the road tandem

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean20 View Post
    Thanks for the info Fleas, but my choice of route when road riding is going to be limited by my wife's road tandem regardless of what tires I'm running on my tandem. I've been pulling a Chariot trailer for several years behind my cross bike with tires between 23-35mm so I understand the slight differences there.

    I've never used bar ends, but I was hoping with bar ends, ergon grips, and flipping/slamming the stem I would be able to somewhat mimic an aero road position. Although when touring I suppose being more upright isn't such a bad thing.

    The tire really is not a main concern of mine. My main concern is regarding the higher bottom bracket and slacker ht angle. I just want to know if anyone else has ridden long road miles on a mountain tandem and how they felt doing it.

    I can calculate the gear ratio differences and see how they compare so I'm also not too concerned about the gearing.

    Does anyone have a personal success story regarding road riding with a mountain tandem? How'd you have it setup?
    Higher BB and slacker HTA? I am not seeing what impact this has on road riding.

    We have gone as far as 70mi. on our MT1000 with Surly Instigator rigid fork on nothing smaller than old 26 x 1.95 Specialized Rockster tires, although our comfort distance is 40-50. Even with no aero mods our avg. speed at that 40-50 mi. distance is fast in the realm of recreational biking (most of the road tandems ended up behind us). We've done 25-40 towing the Trail-a-bike on road (organized ride, lotsa hills, more moderate speed with the child in tow - good test of brakes) and path, and we've done ~20mi. on/off road with the Trail-A-Bike and 2.35 Kenda Nevgal/Maxxis High-Rollers.

    My wife (and #1 stoker) has a good feel for the wind coming around me. At a certain speed she will lean forward, or duck a little bit and pretty much gets no wind. That is a pretty good chunk of the wind drag eliminated right there. At lower speeds (~<18) it doesn't seem to matter much.

    The biggest impact was whether or not our daughter was helping on the climbs.

    I give you credit for trying to optimize your enjoyment, but the returns may not be worth all the mod efforts. If your controls are easy to swap, maybe a low handlebar set up with bar ends like bull horn bars might give you what you want, but for us it has been unnecessary. I will say that those chunky Nevegals are a real drag on pavement, and High Rollers wore out really fast.

    Now hurry up and go get a Fandango before the weather starts to get better and they're all gone!

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

  8. #8
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    Thanks. I don't see what impact it's going to have either because I've never ridden a road bike set-up that way. My mountain bike single has never been on a 40-50 mile road ride and I don't plan on doing that anytime soon.

    Your experience confirms what I was hoping. I can calculate the gearing differences and with road tires/wheels there is no difference to rolling resistance. What I couldn't figure out based on my experience is the geometry and rider position differences. I didn't know if high speed handling would be extremely awkward or if there might be some other odd sensations due to the different frame geometry.

    I'm ready to make the switch like you suggest, but I need used. I can't afford a new one, and I'm struggling to find a quality used one nearby! Do you know of one somewhere close to Indiana? I found this one on craigslist but I think the price is a little high, Cannondale MT2000 Tandem Does anyone have any thoughts on that one?
    Our Stable: Yeti ASR-5, Yeti Big Top , Yeti ARC-X, Orbea Diva, Co-Motion Speedster, C'dale Road Tandem & Strider

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean20 View Post
    ... I found this one on craigslist but I think the price is a little high, Cannondale MT2000 Tandem Does anyone have any thoughts on that one?
    That's pretty nice, and barely touched, but that price might still be a bit high. As you alluded to, that IS a pretty tall drink of water for road riding. I see where if you compared that to ours you might feel some handling differences. Def. needs a test ride to see if the steering is flip-floppy at low speeds. Also, hard to tell, but the big ring looks about 44T. That should get you into the low 40 mph's on road tires unless you guys spin really fast. If that fork had adjustable travel and maybe a lockout, (or if you just swapped it out for rigid on the road) you'd be in really good shape.

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

  10. #10
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    I have an older 26er Fandango, which I've used both on road and off. Mostly off with my 9yo son. I have tried it with both 26" wheels rim brakes with 1.25 slick tires and also run 29er wheels with 700x28 tires. There is enough clearance. I can swap out the fork to a Vicious Cycle rigid or Marzocchi double crown, along with everything else (various gearing front 55/42/32 or 44/32/24, 32/42T timing chains, mtn/drop handle bar, etc.) Basically everything can be swapped to have road drops with Ultegra STI with cantelliver brakes or mtn bars with SRAM 9sp grip shift and magura discs . Biggest challenge is getting the road front derailer to shift well. We don't do much road as we do more single track riding now. It is possible, just takes time to switch over and its never optimal for road. Love to just get a road tandem altogether, sell the hardtail fandango and get a 29er ECDM.

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