We wish you 180 miles of rubber side down, good weather and otherwise uneventful riding. Go crush it!!!!
Very interested to hear how it all goes. Also - I like the frame bags, custom or off the shelf?
FWIW, not sure why the tracker still thinks we're out there but we aren't. We finished about, 8:10 am this morning.
So total time of just a few minutes over 24 hours.
Uneventful, not quite.
At about mile 55, the Lake Eaton photo spots, on boardwalk 2, I attempted to roll over a stick and the front wheel slide on the 2x6 wooden boardwalk. This stuffed my left elbow into the ribs, breaking or cracking at least one. So about 120 miles with this small ailment.
We rode decent making the Santos Landbridge trailhead before dark. This let us put the helmet lights on, but forced us to ride a few hours of the most technical portions, in the dark. Oh well.
As the night wore on, it cooled off a lot for us. After the singletrack previously mentioned, we got food and rested at the Walmart. This was a long stop.
As we continued, it became more difficult for Jeanne to contend with the cold and obviously being so tired.
When we reached the caboose, it was to cold for her to continue, plus her being so tired we hung out in a bathroom to warm up.
The next leg was the final one with a long paved stretch. Total darkness with heavy fog. As this paved stretch ended, we reentered singletrack, to the finish. This was about our best timed moment, we hit the singletrack at dawn.
Overall, the course had us start on paved roads on account of a trail closure for a controlled burn. This blended into dirt roads, that quickly turned to super soft sand with the sides of the trail lined with sticky burrs. Everyone had to push through the sand washes. This, eventually turned into forest roads. A quick stop at Silver Glenn for the mandatory photo of each rider in the water swimming, also let us get water and food. Back onto course again, had us ride mile after mile of forest service road, rolling and climbing. This went on for what seemed like forever. After some short paved sections, we rode some mild singletrack, followed by road until the Santos singletrack. The next portion had us riding shellrock rock sections that blended into grassy sections. So in the early am, we were on grass sections with grass at times 5 feet tall, coupled with heavy fog. This finally ended with a short paved section and break at a 24 hr Citgo. At this point I really questioned if we should keep going. Jeanne, while very nausious, said we need to continue. Off we went, next up was some grass levies during early morning hours. This dumped us onto a paved section that took us to the Withlacochee Rails to Trails. Here we had to get warm and rested a while. We decided to head out around 5:30 to complete the last section. This was a super boring, flat road section in heavy fog. At this point fighting her lack of sleep, Jeanne started singing to her self, but so I could hear it, 99 bottles of beer on the wall, and oddly, she doesn't drink. As the sunbegan to light the morning sky, she came alive, and kept me going through the final tight slow sandy singletrack.
FWIW, from just after the Walmart section, we came upon the race promoter in the woods with a broken spoke. Karlos is super hardcore riding a fixing rigid. His woes were he had slipped out of the pedals and broke a rear spoke. After about 45 minutes, we were able to McGyver it and let him continue. We rode somewhat together from that point to the caboose.
Time to go see why the spot is still tracking and resolving this. But we have been finished all day, and then slept. No doubt this was one of, if not the most difficult thing we have ever done on a bike. A true mental challenge for us and physical also.
Paul and Jeanne
Congrats to you both on an amazing accomplishment!
The frame bags were custom made by one of the other racers. His first set of tandem bags, and to his surprise, they were pretty small compared to a regular frame.
Originally Posted by ds2199
They worked very well. Being a first set for a Fandango or tandem for that matter, we decided at the start of the race on Saturday morning (his first time seeing the bags fitted) that he will add two of the soft sided velcro strips for the upper bag mounts. He somehow thought the upper tube was larger in diameter. No big deal and a very easy tweek to make the bag even better. I also stiffened the bag near the timing chain with a flat carbon fibre panel I had laying around so the chain couldn't rub the bag.
Idealy, the upper bag will also fit our Co-Mo. It seems very close and will be a cool addition.
Yes we had more in there than we used, but the bags were great.
This bike continues to be a workhorse.
It doesn't get 100% of the rides, but still sees plenty of use.
After we did the race in October, this bike got a couple of weeks rest.
The Fandango has now entered a new line of duties. Previously, (last year) with darkness now sooner, our after work rides were always road rides on the Co-Motion.
Since building the bike up with the lights and frame bags, the Fandango is now a great get on and go ride machine.
To explain, rather than fight all the road traffic at night, (South Florida from November to April has many bad drivers that don't like cold weather move here, aka Snowbirds), getting to areas where we can relax but ride hard, now we ride dirt instead of asphalt
Don't get me wrong, we still enjoy the road tandem, but with the race light setup, and upper frame bag only on the Fandango, this machine sits poised for action on a moments notice.
Learned from training for the race, we found some nice non technical off-road places to ride at night. Leaving from our house there is a few neighborhood streets and then a bike path to get to the dirt. Nothing crazy to ride, but rather miles of safe riding with the greatest fear being dogs.
Here's the neat thing though, previously on the road tandem, riding back to the house we might stop and eat dinner (nothing fancy), now we adjust our off-road night rides to put us near a food stop we want,eat , then continue home.
What really made the bike so good for this type stuff. Well first it is very good design for this type riding day or night, but having the frame bag preloaded with tube and pump, master links and spare batteries for the lights is great.
The other thing Jeanne and I are very happy with are the lights. The two tactical flashlights work great. Having two independent lights means you will get home with a light on. But most importantly, we do not run these on rechargeable batteries. It takes about a minute to find the spares, make the swap, and be rolling again.
I know it snows and limits riding for many of you, but if you live where you can ride off-road safely at night, try it on the tandem. Nothing stupid technical, just fun riding, it will open the next chapter.
For those following, the 2x9 is still working pretty decent. Not perfect but decent.
The front still has the ability to shift from small to large too good.
I did make a bash guard looking chainring protector and installed it trying to prevent the chain from shifting beyond the larger ring. The idea will work, but the handmade ring was to thick at 2mm, and even if I used thinner material you don't gain much in regards to space between our Shimano LX crank arms and the timing ring.
So, I have headed down a new path. Still keeping the same drivetrain 2x9, I'm going to try and limit the chains outward travel not with a crank mounted disc, but rather a frame mounted guide.
I ordered a Pauls Chain Keeper, and even spoke with them prior to ordering.
And will see if this may work with some trimming of the inner edge of the guide.
Time will tell, and I'm not giving up on 2x9 yet. As is, it is not any different than shifting a regular 3x9 front. I just want it better.
How does the stoker feel/fare with night riding? Does she have her own light(s)? Stoker's view is limited in the day - at night I'd wonder if they felt they were in a black box?
It took my stoker a few rides to adjust to night riding the tandem. I did hook her up with a light pointed backwards from her bars like Paul and Jeannies and she found that it helped even though she only turns it on occasionally. Now she does just fine.
Ed and Pat Gifford
The Snot Rocket
Toms River, NJ
Depending upon the location and terrain will determine if additional lights are used.
For additional lights, we have been running hot rodded mini mag lights, two per helmet.
This is good for around 275 lumens with both lit, one alone is more than adequate for technical singletrack.
The stokers helmet light is a huge help in turns. She is able to look in that direction, adding light where needed.
In regards to the downward aimed "cruise ship" light, it plays a big part in allowing the stoker to see the drivetrain, and also her foot clearance on stumps and rocks.
For easy rides where we don't run any helmet lights, stoker often stuffs a hot rod mini-mag in my camelback with easy access. We run normally just the longer range bar mounted light, for slightly technical stuff we burn both bar lights. The cruise ship light will only be used when riding easy stuff, when passing through trail access openings in fences, or other simple things where her knee clearance may be a factor.
I would say my stoker does pretty good, but has occasional "what was that" moments. These are good for turbo boost and about a 5 mph sustained 2 minute burst.
Important safety tip, never look back when stokers helmet light is lit.
Where is the race? What kind of terrain? When? I would go as light as possible (gear/everything)
my .02 cents on night riding on the tandem.
We ride with 2 very good lights. One on my helmet and one on the handlebar. Spot beam on my helmet and flood bean on the bar. This combo is excellent! I have been meaning to get another light for my stoker. We ride various trails some not technical and some more so.
The lights we use are these. http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...t=57645&cat=27
I'll give huge props for these lights for several reasons:
1. they are light weight
2. they are small
3. they have 3 + hour run time with a lightweight battery (I bring an extra battery for longer rides)
4. they are locally made and the guy who makes them is engineer by day, bike rider/light manufacturer by night.
PS Don't let the lack of daylight keep you off the trail!!!
2 x 9 Right Side Drive
We have got a bunch of miles on our Right Side Drive setup.
It's cool on account of crank selection, but has been at times problematic.
When we ride the bike in true xc fashion, with flowing trails, climbs, descents and typical situations the concerns are minimal.
The front shifting does not mind these types of terrain since most often you can be delicate with the shifting, similar to a single bike.
The problem of chain derailments, and subsequent binding into the chainrings and timing chain often occur during the more abrupt or when tired upshifts are made. Suffice to say we have wedged the chains pretty tight a few times. To the point of loosening chainring bolts.
Not ready to give up just yet, I designed and built what got nicknamed the Chunnel (chain tunnel). This was a chain keeper of sorts to hopefully prevent the drive chain from traveling too far outboard. We have a couple of rides now with it and it has worked so far.
So is all right side good or for everyone, yes and no. If you are a casual rider, you may never have a problem. If you desire to ride everything the single bikes do and push the equipment to do it, you may have problems.
We have a lot of miles on our right side drive setup, for now it stays, but suffice to say, before I got the Chunnel designed and built, I was ready to pull the cranks and go with tandem specific stuff.
So why will I leave the right side drive on, only if it becomes 99.9% trouble free.
Now the big question, what makes 2x9 work so good, the front can be made to shift like never before. If I do put on tandem cranks, the 2x9 will probably stay. The ability to run these crisp shifting front derailiuers is worth it for those needing fast solid shifts, and can afford to live with something around a 36/11 gearset on top.
I'll take a few more photos if needed, most were blurry, but these few should give you an idea of what I did.
FWIW, the mount plate and channel are all 7075 heat treated aluminum. The vertical mount plate is installed to replace the OEM Shimano "E"Type derailleur spacer. After some final fitting, and luck on the channel width to match the chain / chainring spacing, installation was easy. Had to trim the top surface slightly to clear the bottle.
It's hard to tell in the photos, but how close is the outer cage of the FD to the 36 tooth chainring as it sweeps over it? It looks far, but it could be bad photo angles.
May the air be filled with tires!
Originally Posted by Blaster1200
It's within a couple of mm. Tough to see but detectable in the next to last photo. The problem is it shifts too good and tosses the chain beyond the 36t. Without a bashguard or big ring it overtravels into the timing chain.
Most times we would just adjust the der end limit screw, unfortunately with 145mm spacing the problem is worse than a 135mm bike. The der is also aligned parallel to the chainring surface.
So far, just the little chunnel is enough to act as a fixed mount limiter.
The day after Christmas we got to take Team CLJ2289 on some of our local South Florida trails.
For both teams, us and them, it was very windy, and without doubt cold for us. They are much closer to the Mason Dixon line so they may be more adapted to the cold.
We had sent video (helmet cam) of one trail, Fort Pierce. We decided this would be something fun for all (or so I hoped since it was my recommendation).
First trail was Fort Pierce, a slower trail that flip flops and winds around, with roots stumps, short climbs and descents. Team CLJ put the Fandango 29r to the test. The team and machine both came away smiling. We have always ridden our ECDM there, preferring the rear suspension and smaller wheels for all the palmetto roots and side slips off roots. They christened the trail with its first Fandango. As mentioned they came away smiling and said they had fun.
Next we headed for Dyer in West Palm, this is our South Florida hill. It's not much, but gives us a place to climb. I will say, that having the ECDM for the Dyer hill is like bringing a knife to a gun fight. The ECDM will do fine, but having put in many miles of climbing on the Fandango 29r, we know how much rear grip these Fandangos have and just how well they climb. Obviously, our FS let us unload when pointed downhill, but that's just less time to rest.
My stoker and I both knew we would work for every foot we rolled. Team CLJ, hopped on the hill trail and without hesitation blasted it. We only caught and passed them on account of their kindness and apparently getting blown off the path. It was very windy in the open area and we too put some tire marks in the trails edges.
My stokers efforts had her enjoy her Subway lunch a little longer (I know TMI), so we hit the Dyer perimeter trail. This is fairly tight singletrack. While the ECDM does a great job on it, the Fandango is no slouch. We led a while, letting Team CLJ find their groove. Then we swapped and let them lead the remainder of the lap. Like old pros, they took on the challenges, testing their bike and skills, and doing it with awesome speed.
We all had a great time, (they said they did anyway), and we look forward to a Fandango trifecta at Tour de San Felasco in a couple of weeks.
Kind of nice to see another tandem ride where we do, but more importantly, to see how common it is for these Fandangos to consistently perform well with different teams.
Thanks for the visit Team CLJ.
JK & PK
We love the red rims. Makes the whole tandem look fast(and sexy).We also are "snowed in" here in NJ. Haven't been on a trail or road in 2 weeks. Way too much time on the rollers and wind trainer.
Ed and Pat Gifford
the Snot Rocket tandem
DS the bike and riding looks great.
FWIW, I'm pretty certain this was our last weekend / event on the Right Side Timing setup for us. We have rides where it works better than any triple setup, others when it's just temperamental and others it gives us fits.
We have without doubt had more miles of good performance than bad, but when it goes bad it goes bad.
Tour de San Felasco was this past Saturday. We rode the 50 miles with Monica and Chris Judd. These two laid it down and were not to be denied beer for their efforts. Albeit their own homebrew. We also did a portion of the ride with Jennifer and Jamie on their new Fandango. Two great tandem teams and 4 great people. As they say, huge props to Monica as I tried to destroy her foot in a first turn pileup. Sorry Monica.
Back to the driveline. Reason for it being the final straw is that the bumpy terrain along with the need to quickly drop to granny and then crest the hills and grab the larger ring tossed the chain a few times and wedged it tight.
Ultimately I tortured my stoker with mashing the climbs, except on sections I recalled from previous years, and with a lot of finesse gingerly made the shifts for these sections I knew were coming.
So with burning quads...and not for a lack of mechanical effort, I (we) decided to go conventional tandem setup.
The idea will work, and does work well in open terrain. We have proven that with well over 1000 miles of use. Unfortunately, we don't always ride these open areas and that's what caused the grief. You have a very good chance to get great results with the setup.
So consider us as Fandango Down until I find a Shimano Octalink BB for the stoker. Then we'll be going with Shimano cranks I kept (just in case). Need to find a New Old Stock BB since the one I need has been out of production for almost 10 years.
Ed and Pat, sorry to hear you aren't riding, I offer to you the ability to ship your bike here and get some mileage in South and Central Florida style.
DS2199, which Fox fork did you use?
Is it a Fox 32 for the 29r or did you go with a Fox 36 and modify the fork brace?
Its the 32mm for 29er. My take on it is that we're pretty light and this bike will likely be used more XC than our ECDM, so I'm ok experimenting with this fork. I'll be curious to see if I find it to be flexy.
Originally Posted by PMK
Still dreaming of the fork indudstry catching up and making a 36mm 29er fork... Could be another year or so.
FWIW, I noticed from the pics that your stoker is using a white/grey elastomer combo on the thudbuster. Although she appears very tiny a friend of ours who purchased our Fandango 26er tried that combo and the white elastomer split down its length after a few rides. She is about 110lbs with camelback. Maybe carry the other white or grey one with you as it made for a precarious ride back for her. It happened on a very open and flowy trail, nothing with big drops or logs/roots. Just a thought.
Ed and Pat Gifford
Paul and Jeannie,
Thanks for the offer. I'm hoping the weather gets better here real soon.(at least get rid of the snow cover) If not we may take you up on the offer. The pics of you guys with Monica and Chris look great. Jeannie has certainly lost a lot of weight and looks like a lean, mean peddlin' machine. Love the red, white and blue theme with the tandems.
Ed and Pat
Thanks for the tip! We already have that backup plan as one of the teams that we ride with rides the same white/grey combo and they had a "blowout" with the white elastomer on one of our rides. Decided that I need to keep a leatherman in the camebak too b/c I don't think I could take that seatpost apart with just a multi tool.
Originally Posted by giff07
So does she ride grey/grey as a result of the white failure? or do you just carry an extra elastomer for emergency use?
They only purchased a single white elastomer as an experiment since they were listed for children(I believe) but she fit the weight criteria. What was decided was to ride the grey/grey set and back completely off the preload at the thru bolt to two threads showing. It seems this gives her a suitable comfort level though not as "cushy" as the white.
Originally Posted by ds2199
Ed and Pat
Done deal, our Fandango is now sporting Shimano Octalink tandem cranks with the left side our timing chain and right side a 2x9 drivetrain utilizing the existing 11/34 and 22/36 setup. Retained the 2x9 SLX frt mech, and installed a bash guard in place of an outer ring.
I'll get photos when it's outside, next ride will hopefully be soon, stoker is a bit under the weather this weekend.
Next up is more mods to the ATC fork.
Even though we have had driveline problems, on account of my running the right side drive, this bike has still been an energizer bunny.
With a bunch of miles on both this Fandango, our previous Cannondale, and the Ventana ECDM, each bikes strong points are very obvious. Often while riding, we discuss what could make each bike better.
From the Cannondale, we would like to get the short wheelbase for close quarters handling and overall snappy handling. Unfortunately the 29r has to be longer for the wheels, plus on any bike, the added room for the stoker is better. But we still like that short wheelbase.
The suspension on the Ventana is crazy good. If this type of ride could be grafted into a 29r hardtail, that would be a dream machine. But when you build a XC hardtail, sometimes you must lift your fanny off the saddle. Thing is though, those big 29" tractor tires roll over a lot, just as folks say they do.
So knowing I can't get a shorter wheelbase bike without some other tradeoffs, and the full suspension ride will never happen on a hardtail XC bike, what would make our Fandango better?
Alex if you are listening...make the front der cable braze exit on less of a funny angle... No big deal but our cable sure comes from left to right with our setup. Might be the fact we run that Shimano SLX mult pull der as opposed to SRAM. We do a lot of front shifts with a 2x9. One other minor step to perfect, more tire clearance at the top of the seat stay. Real muddy days, we wear away the paint next to the tire. Plus, when we corner real hard, as in sliding the back or close to it, we as a heavy team sometimes flex the wheel or axle or something and hear a nano second "BUZZ" of the knobs on the seat stays.
So coming into 6 months with our bike, a lot of true XC miles, one long race, a 50 mile event, a ton of night rides, several flatted Slime tubes, rides in downpours, scorching sunshine, thru swamps, palmettos and forrests, transportation to the store and dinner on several occasions while returning home from rides, Jamba Juice Smoothies or Ritas Italian Ices or Ice Cream, and plain old having a ball on this bike...
I can only come up with two teeny tiny comments...you did good on this design buddy...and to think I wanted NOTHING to do with a 29r prior to AORTA 2010.
JK & PK