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Thread: Fandango Thread

  1. #151
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by strow View Post
    PK,

    Thanks for your thoughts and observations on the new frame. We've got a new one coming and are looking forward to it very much. We've already planned to take some vacation time for the shakedown rides.

    For now the road tandem will have to do.

    strow
    Are you getting a complete bike or just a frame?

    Any planned ideas for how it will be built?

    From the posted photos, you will notice many variants of building a Fandango 29r. Many owners have posted details of their builds, bikes, sometimes trails and even rider and ride impressions. Alex hasn't listed details of the bikes he has posted photos of, but it seems a good number are being built with Rohloffs.

    Not sure of where you live or plan to ride, or even your teams skill set and planned use, but I would seriously consider gearing choice. Team Judd are very good climbers and supplement feature with gearing to let them climb when others walk. Trust me, our shoes are worn. Also, make an educated choice for your area in regards to tire selection. Fandangos are nimble enough to feel definite results from various tire selections. You should be able to find a good all-around well performing tire.

    We would love a newer version frame, but currently our bike is still more than fine for us and money is a factor.

    Keep us updated to the progress.

    PK
    Last edited by PMK; 05-26-2011 at 05:50 PM.

  2. #152
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    PK,

    In answer to your questions:

    1- We're having a complete bike built by Alex.

    2- It will be a DC-9 build with White single crown, tapered fork. The stoker requested a Grinch Green frame so that's we're getting. ( Tandem Rule #1 )

    This will be our first tandem mtn. bike. We have learned much from this thread and folks like you that have taken the time to post their experiences and knowledge. A Saturday spent riding demo bikes with Alex and getting questions answered didn't hurt the cause either.

    We're located in the southeastern corner of Alabama and have a choice of riding options from fire roads to single track. The plan is to start slowly, develop our skills, and see where it leads us. ( We're a 109 yr. old team ) My parents live in the Tampa Bay area and the road tandem always goes on our frequent visits. The mtn. tandem will open up some new places to enjoy like Croom and Santos. ( used to ride motorcycles at Croom in my youth )

    As a new dirt team we have much to learn. But isn't that at least half the fun?

    We'll keep you posted...............

    strow

  3. #153
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    Sounds like it will be a nice build. Test rides are a really cool way to spend money.

    If you have read this entire topic, it probably states early on that as a team we had no intention of riding a 29r. The test ride at AORTA 2010 pretty much convinced us about the bikes performance, fit and quality. Our current Fandango is our typical bike of choice for much of the mileage we ride off-road. rides.

    Yes, you have Croom, but it is probably exactly like when you twisted a throttle...often sandy.

    For us and possibly the other Florida teams that have ridden Santos may agree that Santos is almost purpose built for a tandem.

    While in Tampa, don't forget Boyette and Alafia. We have ridden both places. As you may be aware, SWAMP, the local club does a great job with those trails. There are definite trails that are built marked and maintained for each skill level. Respect that with regards to your adventuremeter and ability.

    Just about an hour drive north of Santos is San Felasco. This is another great trail that is very tandem friendly. There are a few places that may test your switchback skills, however I would say it is 100% rideable.

    Sounds like you have a plan and purpose to travel / ride. Now the flip side, with you having a road tandem, possibly you attend road events also. Might keep this group in mind. Other Florida off-road teams, including us, also hit the pavement,

    http://www.floridatandemclub.org/

    The Panthers group is based about 20 minutes south of Santos and rides several times per week.

    If you transport by car, you may need a second rail for your roof rack when visiting.

    Give some advance warning when you plan to ride in Florida, possibly we can get a small group of several or more bikes riding Santos.

    PK

  4. #154
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    I have actually considered doing an MTB Tandems Bike porn/pic thread or something silimar, which would also include more build specs on the individual bikes, and new products if/when they come available. However, I don't want to take advatage of or abuse this forum by doing so. What say you the other subscribers here???
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  5. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemNut View Post
    I have actually considered doing an MTB Tandems Bike porn/pic thread or something silimar, which would also include more build specs on the individual bikes, and new products if/when they come available. However, I don't want to take advatage of or abuse this forum by doing so. What say you the other subscribers here???
    post em up! Maybe we need one of them "show us your tandem" threads anyway

  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemNut View Post
    I have actually considered doing an MTB Tandems Bike porn/pic thread or something silimar, which would also include more build specs on the individual bikes, and new products if/when they come available. However, I don't want to take advatage of or abuse this forum by doing so. What say you the other subscribers here???
    You can start a new topic or take the bike shots you already posted and add the details. This would keep all the Fandango stuff grouped together in one topic. I don't really see it as abuse of the forum, more sharing ideas.

    These Fandangos have been built in many different variations. Often they get ridden and modified further. I know ours has seen some changes from the original build. Team Judd has been on a ride it wear it out upgrade program and has now got a very high end machine.

    Like DS says, POST EM UP.

    The ECDM topic should be the same, show em off, it's all good.

    PK

  7. #157
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    This weekend marks the anniversary of us getting our Fandango frame.

    It took a few weeks to build it up, so the true ride anniversary is a couple weeks away.

    Last night, 07.02 was the first time this bike has not finished a ride...

    The bike has been ridden a lot over the past year. It started out with a 2x9 all right side drive, and now is running a 2x9 right and left side setup.

    The fork has been pampered a bit, and now is in my opinion a great hardtail reliable fork. It's massive and easily handles the tandems added loads.

    Not much except the drivetrain has been changed (cranks and BB's) except for wear items.

    After some tire testing, we settled on running Panaracer Rampages. We also run Slime tubes.

    This is where the first push it home came in. We headed out for a sunset / finish in the dark ride. Pretty typical, leave from home, get in about 30 miles, finish at home. We got a flat. Luckily we had cut the ride short and were headed home. The bike felt odd, and sure enough the rear tire was low. We managed to clear the woods and I gave it a fast pump up at the sidewalk towards home.

    Well, yes I could have changed the tube, but I explained to the stoker, 2 new tires are sitting at home and these two are bald, lets just get home. 1 mile from home we were on a total flat, doing our best to save the wheel and be like Lance at Leadville.

    1/2 mile out we walked.

    So for one year of total abuse, many long distance rides, rain, mud, swamps, drought sandy sections the bike has been through quite a bit.

    One DNF, which could have been a simple mosquito laden tube change is all to report back on.

    I already have the tires, planning to get some new tubes & rim strips. Rear derailleur pulleys could cut lumber so they will get replaced. Probably rebuild the Avid BB7 calipers and replace the cables. And of course some new grips. If the stoker is nice I will rebuild the pivots on her Thudbuster too.

    I have no recorded mileage for every ride on this bike, I'm speculating it's a decent amount past 2000 miles off road for the year, possibly over 3000. The bike still is our first choice for most rides...even if my shoes are worn from walking a short distance.

    Sorry for the bad report Alex, I would have thought it could go at least a year without a DNF...

    PK

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    If the stoker is nice I will rebuild the pivots on her Thudbuster too.

    PK
    Your stoker is WAAAAAAAY beyond NICE!

  9. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Jones View Post
    Your stoker is WAAAAAAAY beyond NICE!
    She enjoyed our chats with you Gail and Bandit during AORTA.

    I think my stoker smiles but cringes when moto guys get together.

    BTW, I have not forgotten about the KTMTalk topic. Just been busy.

    So your vote says rebuild the Thudbuster.

    I do need to add that all the stokers that we have been around are good people.

    PK

  10. #160
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    I did not accomplish all I wanted to while the bike was apart. It got a decent cleaning, the new pulleys, tires and tubes.

    Grips are here and will go on soon.

    We've put a bunch of miles on it since back together...

    The bike is still our most ridden machine.

    I'm sure that there are a bunch more sold and ridden since this topic started...post some photos or share some stories people.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  11. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    I'm sure that there are a bunch more sold and ridden since this topic started...post some photos or share some stories people.
    PK
    PK, would love to contribute here. We got a good number of rides on our DC-9, then decided the normal drive isn't up to the task of hard riding. (Not without requisite wrenching and replacing parts, anyway.) So we replaced it with the Rohloff-equipped Tourista. We got one ride on it last year before my babe took some overseas work, so I've had this essentially-new awesome rig sitting for a year. Ouch, man. You can bet we'll be thrashing the living sh|t out of it this fall. Yea, the check's in the mail. I'm still living through you guys, so keep rocking the Fandangos (and all brands) and we'll get up to speed in coming weeks.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post
    PK, would love to contribute here. We got a good number of rides on our DC-9, then decided the normal drive isn't up to the task of hard riding. (Not without requisite wrenching and replacing parts, anyway.) So we replaced it with the Rohloff-equipped Tourista. We got one ride on it last year before my babe took some overseas work, so I've had this essentially-new awesome rig sitting for a year. Ouch, man. You can bet we'll be thrashing the living sh|t out of it this fall. Yea, the check's in the mail. I'm still living through you guys, so keep rocking the Fandangos (and all brands) and we'll get up to speed in coming weeks.

    Cheers,

    Mike

    Get that thing cleaned and lubed...take a photo and paste it here, even if you did before. Good to hear you'll be tandeming again.

    We had an oh crap, wish we had a helmet cam on during the ride last Sunday. I typically do not mind riding rain ruts on descents. Most times not a big deal, just sketchy. Descending a narrow under 12" wide ribbon of trail on our hill trail, found me get the bike in a rut at probably 18 mph. Up ahead I see a dark spot in the trail, we have had a lot of rain recently so I knew this could be bad. Hard on the brakes, and trying to climb out of the rut, but it won't stop or jump out. I send orders to the stern "HANG ON, SIT BACK! I just released the brakes to keep some momentum. We hit a huge square edged hole. My wrists were killin' me after the impact.

    Rode the same trail last night. Knowing it was coming this time I stayed to the side of that rut. I checked out the hole going by it. Could not easily see a bottom and the distance across was easily over a foot, probably more like 16".

    Note to self, "enjoy ruts because you like to ride them and other challenges, but don't get overconfident"

    Fandango is a great bike on that trail. We rode it with CLJ when they visited last winter. I think he enjoyed it, short climbs and descents, mostly slower when headed up. It was windy the day we rode it with CLJ. We looked back at one point and wondered why they stopped...they were blown of the trail from the high winds.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

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    We've had our DC-9 for a month now and have really enjoyed getting up to speed with it. It's been on fire roads, mups, state forest trails, and some very tight, narrow, root filled single track that was beyond our current skill set. ( blood & bruises to prove it ) The tandem has not let us down or disappointed. There's always the minor adjustments and changes you make to tweak the fit and comfort, but we have no complaints with the bike.

    Coming from a road background, we're discovering the differences with every outing, learning what to take with you on the trail, the different communication needs, and handling skills.
    The Fandango has been a great platform to help us through our growing pains. The stoker always comments on how well it climbs and how comfortable it rides. ( refer to tandem rule #1 )

    Thanks to Alex for all his help and this forum for providing information to help a new team get started.

    strow

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    Great Thread Guys - I'm new on here (from the Frozen North) - Just ordered my Fandango from Alex, and looking forward to my first ever ride on a Tandem - me and my 9 year old lad! (we'll be on a 17/15).
    Cheers,
    Dave.

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    short stems and Fandangos....

    I have a small size Fandango on the way to me in a few weeks from Alex ( many thanks to this forum especially!). Me at 5'7 , and the ETT at 24.2", seems it will likely be long for me. I'm have a few 29er singles and the ETT's all hover ,quite comfortably,at the 22.5-22.7inch range with 100-110mm stems. Has anyone tried real short stems...like 60mm-70mm on a small size frame Fandango? Curious how it affects steering and especially front end traction....FYI, I'm running the single crown White Bros.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glenndandy View Post
    I have a small size Fandango on the way to me in a few weeks from Alex ( many thanks to this forum especially!). Me at 5'7 , and the ETT at 24.2", seems it will likely be long for me. I'm have a few 29er singles and the ETT's all hover ,quite comfortably,at the 22.5-22.7inch range with 100-110mm stems. Has anyone tried real short stems...like 60mm-70mm on a small size frame Fandango? Curious how it affects steering and especially front end traction....FYI, I'm running the single crown White Bros.
    I've had great luck with a 85mm stem. Have not tried anything smaller (but was also concerned about the longer ETT but it's all good!). I'm 5'8".

    If you have the luxury of trying different stems, you may want to try a few different options?

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    Quote Originally Posted by glenndandy View Post
    I have a small size Fandango on the way to me in a few weeks from Alex ( many thanks to this forum especially!). Me at 5'7 , and the ETT at 24.2", seems it will likely be long for me.
    FWIW, I don't think stem length really effects handling on a tandem quite like it does on single bikes. Quite logical actually when you think about it - weight distribution is dictated by captain + stoker & the overall reach (stem length) only plays a minor role in the captain's C.G. & none in the stoker's.

  18. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Paul Proteus View Post
    FWIW, I don't think stem length really effects handling on a tandem quite like it does on single bikes. Quite logical actually when you think about it - weight distribution is dictated by captain + stoker & the overall reach (stem length) only plays a minor role in the captain's C.G. & none in the stoker's.
    Granted there is more natural weight loading on the front wheel of a tandem. The number to "crunch" would be weight bias, or percentage of weight carried by each wheel when fully laden.

    The captain stem can alter weight bias slightly, however it is more important in regards to comfort. Almost as important is the effort to turn the bars when adding input to turn, the most important though is probably the effort of upright the bike after a corner. Some trails require little effort, while others can work you "chicken wing" muscles more than a dirt bike. The turning effort is not only a stem function, but also factors in head angle, trail dimension, bar width and height, plus the terrain.

    Find what works and don't be afraid to test beyond what others recommend or what is deemed "normal". There is no magic formula, just good basepoints that work for many teams.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  19. #169
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    After many weeks of real hot days, we finally got a break. With the heat, the Fandango has not seen the use typical of other times of the year. Crazy as it sounds, we spent many weekends on the Co-Motion, granted it has been hot, but at least we had air moving over us.

    Tonight the Fandango got a good run, a fast ride, mostly off-road for 2 1/2 hours. Rode non stop, with a 5 minute stop on the ride home to get Gatorade and candy bars.

    The heat of previous rides really slowed us down. The rides in the rain made it like riding on a mattress. Cooler temps, no rain, good dirt...just as we remembered...this is a fast bike with the reliability of a bowling ball.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

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  21. #171
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    Light bikepacking setup with off-the-shelf systems on our Tourista.




    All stock except: Ergon GX1 grips, stoker rise bar, stoker post (for bikepacking only), and some drive mods to get the ratio down to an unrecomm, er, ridiculously low bottom end.

    And dig this...it has a Fandango logo on it

    A very comfortable and capable bike...big nod to Alex N. and MTBTandems!

    Mike

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    Smile 29er tandems

    From reading your posts it looks like 26" tandems will switch over to the 29 er advantage like single mountain bikes. I do appreciate the advantages you all post. What is the widest tire a 29 er will accept with aggressive knobbies?
    I saw 4 pics of tandems from the 2011 Tour de Felasco in Florida. Maybe more tandems will make the pics this year. Let's hope so!

    Happy trails

  24. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by tndmnuts View Post
    From reading your posts it looks like 26" tandems will switch over to the 29 er advantage like single mountain bikes. I do appreciate the advantages you all post. What is the widest tire a 29 er will accept with aggressive knobbies?
    I saw 4 pics of tandems from the 2011 Tour de Felasco in Florida. Maybe more tandems will make the pics this year. Let's hope so!

    Happy trails
    2.35 Panaracer Rampage is my standard rear tire on the Fandango. 2.4 Maxxis Ardent up front, but that has nothing to o with frame clearance. I am not sure if I'd call those tires "aggressive", but they're not light XC tires either...

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    I'd guess a 2.4 would have breathing room. We're still on our stock Exiwolf 2.3s. We'll probably put a 2.4 on the rear next (good to hear, ds). On the Rohloff, inflating the tire fully after the wheel's been installed on the bike is necessary unless you want to take the chain tensioner off or remove its rear stop.

    tndmnuts, I'd say there are even more advantages to the 29er platform for a tandem than a single. Nobody gets a tandem expecting to feel nimble and flickable on the trail, so why not 29"? Bigger wheels roll through better at lower speeds and inevitable rough areas you get into while turning a longer bike. Under-bike clearance on a tandem is already abysmal, why have it worse than it needs to be? Maybe for certain riders a 26" would be better, but we haven't found any situation where I'd rather have 26" wheels on our Fandango.

    Cheers and happy new year,

    Mike

  26. #176
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    We have both, and for this household 26" is long from dead.

    Granted the 26" is a full suspension bike, but it accelerates, slows down and is far more workable on a technical trail than our 29r.

    The 29r has it's place, but it is nowhere near a perfect replacement for a good 26" bike. Single or tandem.

    The big front wheel plays with the geometry a bit for anything more than cross country type riding.

    Both platforms have merit...the trick is building the best compromise.

    PK
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    Smile 26 or 29r

    Great feedback. It looks like I will end up keeping my Ventana 26 full suspension bike and look at getting a 29r. Although a bit crazy I am still hoping to get a hard tail like the Sandman tandem for 3 .8 inch tires. For those of you who have ridden a Pugsley, or equivalent, you will understand.

    SOMETIMES SLOWER CAN BE BETTER

  28. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by tndmnuts View Post
    Great feedback. It looks like I will end up keeping my Ventana 26 full suspension bike and look at getting a 29r. Although a bit crazy I am still hoping to get a hard tail like the Sandman tandem for 3 .8 inch tires. For those of you who have ridden a Pugsley, or equivalent, you will understand.

    SOMETIMES SLOWER CAN BE BETTER
    The first part of owning the pair of tandems makes sense if the places you ride warrants the possibility of needing suspension 26 and hardtail 29.

    Recently DS, sold his ECDM 26 and stepped into a ECDM 29. Photos of where he rides makes the decision a wise no brainer.

    As for the Pugsley...I have ridden one, considered one, and pretty much decided no. FWIW, we ride a lot of sand. I deal with it a lot, and if it is so sandy that a regular tired bike can't ride it, well I'd rather spend the day at the beach metal detecting for 1715 fleet treasure or other cool stuff.

    PK
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  29. #179
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    Months have gone by with little activity on this topic about the Fandangos.

    As the OP of this topic, and one with many post into it, I wanted to update a bit. Early January we did a long ride on the Fandango. I was already suffering from an injury but rode anyway. The hardtail Fandango worked great, as it always does on longer rides.

    We completed the ride, but quickly learned my back was not well. So with months off from riding in the dirt, we sadly decided to sell our Fandango. This was tough as it was our "Go-To" bike since purchasing it.

    After having it listed for a while, the Fandango was sold to a new team in the Midwest. During the course of having the bike listed for sale, many of the inquiries were ultimately tire kickers. No big deal, and honestly had no problem recommending Alex as a source for them to buy a new bike. While we hated to part with it, when the new owner explained the type of riding he preferred, where he rode and what his other bikes were, Jeanne and I both smiled knowing the Fandango would go to a new home and be ridden as intended.

    I've have had very little correspondence with the new owner, but did receive an email from him recently. Very few words and a photo.

    To quote "Bike is rocking!"

    And the photo, tough to see on account of the small size, but the Fandango with a first place trophy resting on its handlebar.

    Made us both smile.

    PK
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    Good to hear the old tandem is doing good.........
    Here is a question was the Fandango only a 29er I never read any post on 26" before

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    Quote Originally Posted by XC Mike View Post
    Good to hear the old tandem is doing good.........
    Here is a question was the Fandango only a 29er I never read any post on 26" before
    Pat and I started our MTB tandeming on a Fandango 26er. The frame was manufactued in China and imported. A year later Alex brought the Fandango line back to being a Made in the USA frame and converted to the 29er platform. Although we loved our 26 Fandango it wasn't half the tandem that the new 29ers are. We traded up to an ECDM and are very happy with it.
    Ed and Pat Gifford
    the Snot Rocket tandem

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    Quote Originally Posted by giff07 View Post
    Pat and I started our MTB tandeming on a Fandango 26er. The frame was manufactued in China and imported. A year later Alex brought the Fandango line back to being a Made in the USA frame and converted to the 29er platform. Although we loved our 26 Fandango it wasn't half the tandem that the new 29ers are. We traded up to an ECDM and are very happy with it.
    Ed and Pat Gifford
    the Snot Rocket tandem
    Ed do you have any old pictures of the 26er?
    The more I look at the ECDM Thread the more I want one........But I do love my C-Dale it's great and when it's on the Road it's a Rocket

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    Quote Originally Posted by XC Mike View Post
    Ed do you have any old pictures of the 26er?
    The more I look at the ECDM Thread the more I want one........But I do love my C-Dale it's great and when it's on the Road it's a Rocket
    I will look. I'm pretty sure we do. If not I will take some the next time we ride with the new owners who we ride with semi regularly. I think you would find it pretty close to your Cdale. It did have a White Bros. dual crown Magic 100T fork and Magura Hydraulic discs. A pretty standard MTBTandems build. The ECDM is definately a bike to be excited about.
    Pat loves to tell the story of how I unclipped her and rode the bike out from under her on a log over that I hit a little too enthusiastically. I heard a thud and when I stopped and looked she was about ten feet behind me seated in the middle of the trail. That was on the hardtail Fandango. No such issues on the Ventana.
    Ed and Pat

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    Heres two pics of the 26 Fandango.The frame and build is still out on the trails doing what tandems do best.
    Ed and Pat Gifford
    the Snot Rocket tandem
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fandango Thread-2009-11-08-097.jpg  

    Fandango Thread-p1030030.jpg  


  35. #185
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    Nice lookin' ride Ed the one thing I wish the C-Dale had was Top Routed Cables.......
    The Red looks Sweet what was the asking price on these frames only?

  36. #186
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    Thanks Mike,
    I can't remember exactly what the frame price was but I think it was somewhere in the $6-700.00 range. We loved that tandem but a few of the places we ride are filled with rock gardens. One time riding with friends that had an ECDM we rode a section on the hard tail then he said to stop and take the Ventana back and ride the section again with the suspension turned on. Not only was it smoother and
    more comfortable but I would guess twice as fast. After that my stoker said she would never ride the rock garden areas again until we purchased a Ventana. Hey, ya don't have to tell me twice! Pics of the Snot Rocket are in the ECDM posting if interested.

    Ed and Pat
    TSRT

  37. #187
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    test

    test post

  38. #188
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    where to post tandem classified?

    Trying to sell my Fandango MTB tandem and see that MTBR has no tandem category. Any suggestions for good websites?

  39. #189
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    Place ad with MTBR and then post your link in this forum.

  40. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendye View Post
    Trying to sell my Fandango MTB tandem and see that MTBR has no tandem category. Any suggestions for good websites?
    Email me the details. I always have folks looking for used ones.
    Thanks
    MTB Tandems Inc.
    678-445-0711
    www.MTBTandems.com

  41. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendye View Post
    Trying to sell my Fandango MTB tandem and see that MTBR has no tandem category. Any suggestions for good websites?
    Having just done the same, you can use my previous ad as a guideline if you want to.

    I listed here on MTBR, paid the $2 or whatever it is. Posted the ad in the for sale section then sort of copy and pasted here as a "Paid Spam".

    This is what I ran for the add.

    Paid Spam Fandango 29r,

    You can also list it on

    Tandem Magazine Online

    Be prepared for a bunch of requests for more info and photos. We also had a pretty expensive build, this had many folks asking why they shouldn't just buy a new. I explained the cost to build a similar bike new, and also forwarded them to Alex at MTBTandems.com when it was obvious they needed a new bike with less of a high end build for less money.

    It took a while to sell, but Jeanne and I both are happy our Fandango is being ridden as it was intended and built for.

    Best of luck with the sale.

    As Alex, the Tandemnut mentioned, send some details to me also. We constantly get inquiries when riding, or even just hanging out at the local shop.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  42. #192
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    This is the Fandango thread post some pic's 26" or 29" ?

  43. #193
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    Where is the action on this topic, this is currently the best hardtail 29r offered. These bikes work, and work well. Share the love and post some stories / adventures about these bikes. Heck, brag about your machine and post the details.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  44. #194
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    Timely nudge, PK.

    Ours has been in storage for seven months while the wife worked an outa state gig. We'll be back on ours in coming weeks; just in time for hero dirt and prime weather

    Hope everybody's been too busy riding to report...

    Mike

  45. #195
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    New Fandango owners here with barely few enough miles to chime in on this thread. Although I'd rather be out riding this weekend, we have had almost 4" of rain in the past 24 hours with another 1-3" in the forecast for today, so, since I've tweaked and wrenched on every bike in the garage that I can, I figure I'll add what I can here with more to come.

    I/We have the good pleasure of living ~4 miles from the worldwide HQ of mtbtandems.com with a heck of a good local trail system smack inbetween - Blankets Creek (BC). BC has ~18 miles of tight, and in some cases, techy singletrack for a single bike much less a tandem, so it really makes for a great proving ground. The trailhead is 2.2 miles from our garage, which is a perfect warm-up ride. Thus far, this has been the extent of our adventures.

    The details:
    Size small, carbon black Fandango
    Std DC9 drivetrain w/X9 grip shift, fr/rr derailleurs
    Std DC9 cockpit bits, thudbuster, etc.

    Wheels: We have put some initial miles on a demo wheelset while our wheels were being built. The demo wheelset is a std HOPE Evo Tandem hub built around a Velocity Blunt35 rim with brass nipples and 14/15 db spokes. The wheels have remained true thus far and the wide 35mm rim does a beautiful job of spreading out the tire casing. So much that we have yet to feel the front push in the turns; likely helped with the aggressive tread pattern of the WTB Bronson. Speaking of which, the Bronson appears to be a nice mix of fast rolling and grip - durability is yet to be determined.

    I have become accustomed to having King hubs on my single bike and look for that almost instant engagement offered by the 72pt pawl. Also, it's a hub I'm familiar with working on and the ability to keep consistency in the garage is another reason to have the tandem wheels built up with Kings. That said, the Hope Evo build has been solid and true thus far and if these were our permanent wheels, I'd run them with no problem.

    Fork: We opted to skip the dual-crown Loop and spec ours with a single-crown Magic 100. Our first ride out I didn't take the time to understand the adjustments available on the fork - my fault. The second ride was much better and the fork performed very well with the adjustments made. We are on the light end of the scale at a team weight of 265lbs, so we are all the way on the end of the adjustability scale for the Magic. After some time talking with Suspension Experts in Asheville, NC, I believe that we can spend a few dollars and have them work some magic into the Magic. The fork is really oversprung for our weight and SE indicated that they have had luck using Fox springs on the fork and good success working on the damper. So, at some point, we will likely send the fork off for a custom tune. However, if it continues to feel better with each ride, there may be no need to...

    Brakes: We had the opportunity to upgrade our brakes from the Magura MT4s to the venerable Hope Vtech4s. Besides being a machined work of art, the brakes can haul down 325lbs of bike and people to a stop on an absolute dime. I'm very impressed with the brakes thus far and look forward to some rides in the mtns with long downhills and the opportunity to really heat up the system. I'm sure the braided steel lines and 203mm rotors will do a great job of dissipating heat.

    Pedals: Crank Bros Candies for Captain and Stoker.
    Grips: Ergon GS1s for the Stoker, standard for me until a new shipment of ergons arrive at mtbtandems.

    Changes we have made thus far from delivery are limted only to both the Captain and Stoker handlebars and a million and one adjustments to seating and cockpit position. I installed a flat, wide and swept back aluminum bar in favor of the narrower stock bar that was spec'd. Primarily to mirror the fit on my 29'r single bike, but also to settle down and offset the super-quick handling of the 74deg head angle. The 710mm wide bar and 110mm Thomson stem did a great job of giving a nice stable platform for slow speed crawling and a better position for railing through the woods at speed. If anything, it made me feel more comfortable and familiar to what I'm used to.

    For my stoker, we went narrower with a slight rise to mimic her position on her single bike - it made a lot of difference to her. We also swapped a blue for a grey elastomer in her thudbuster and put the blue one in the saddle bag for when the grey cracks on the trail.

    We had only an OK ride our first time out as I didn't take enough responsibility to set the bike up properly for the ride; we were excited and just went. So, we were both a bit uncomfortable and sore, but knew it could be better. We did have a great time though...

    Before our 2nd ride, I spent 2-3 hours setting up the bike's fit and front suspension to mirror both of our single bikes. Thus, our 2nd ride was all smiles and really a great time.

    As we get a few more rides, I'll update with specific ride characteristics. But for now, we love it and can't thank Alex enough for his kindness and accessibility in getting us setup. If you're reading this and on the fence, go for it! You won't be disappointed!

    Michael and Carin







    Last edited by mhopton; 05-05-2013 at 08:14 AM.

  46. #196
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    Fandango Thread

    Still raining here; I think we've had 5.5-6" of rain over the past 4 days. I did find some time to swap the WTB SpeedV seat over to my other favorite WTB saddle, the Silverado. I've been using this model saddle for the past 6-7 years and it fits my hide really well.

    In the pic below, you can see the difference in the thickness of the two saddles. The Silverado is a firmer saddle that puts me back on my sit bones where I'm more comfy for longer rides.

    Oh well, no rides to report, but will update mods as they happen.

    Last edited by mhopton; 05-07-2013 at 04:13 AM.

  47. #197
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    Am pondering getting back into a tandem. I had a Santana road back in the mid 90's, then a Santana mtn in the late 90's set up with a child stoker for my then very young son. Long since sold but on the wrong side of age 50 now I really need to get back riding. Pavement blows here in LA so dirt is the only viable option unless I want to get run off the road by some driver on his/her cell phone. My wife happily rides on the back of our GS motorcycle, so I figure she'll be ideal as a stoker (unlike my ex-wife who really didn't like the idea - there's a story or three there).

    At any rate, looking at Fandango DC-9 or a Ventana build. Mostly seems to be a question of DS or not. I'm thinking we'll be mostly fire road and probably some pavement (unavoidable). That seems to lean towards the DC-9 but comfort is king for an aging body.

    Advice/pushes either direction happily read.

  48. #198
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    ybt, welcome, and congrats on the new stoke for a big bike.

    We went Fandango DC9, then Fandango Tourista in hopes of some bikepacking missions. Meanwhile it's our tandem for local singletrack, and I have to say that it's pretty incredible on tech terrain with the Magic 100 fork and 2.4" tires.

    We see some FS rigs and think of how that would dreamify our chunk riding. But how many bikes can one own? With an existing quiver it's hard to justify every flavor.

    I'll say flatly that you cannot go wrong with MTB Tandems or Ventana.

    As always it's about what you like to ride, plan to ride, preferred characteristics, and what compromises you're willing to endure. For what you describe, I think a Fandango would be a great choice. I'm no stranger to back issues and over 50. I won't own a hardtail single bike. The Fandango back wheel is so far behind me I don't get the brunt of the feedback, and we've done numerous long day rides.

    Patrick and the other Ventana teams could shed light on the Ventanas; you might pose a similar inquiry about ECDMs in the ECDM thread.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  49. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by ybtodd View Post

    Advice/pushes either direction happily read.
    I am fortunate enough to have both! As noted, it depends on your riding. That said, our Fandango sees less daylight than our ECDM 29. Both great bikes and very capable. We have raced both bikes in 60, 70 & 100 mile races and both high quality machines!

    If you are going to do mostly fire roads, then maybe opt for the Fandango. If you think you'll tackle more rocky singletrack, go FS. My wife says that the thudbuster helps but is no substitute for FS on the bumpy stuff.

    Any specific questions? feel free to ask.

  50. #200
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    Fandango Thread

    Put some good miles this week on...well, haven't settled on a name yet, but my stoker likes, "hindsight", "bump-n-grind", and a few others, so at this point, it's the no-name tandem.

    We picked up our wheelset from Alex on Wednesday before a planned ride and dropped off the demo wheels. To recap, demo wheels were only different in hub choice, Hope vs. Chris King. I settled in for what turned into a much longer process of setting the Velocitys up tubeless than planned. For whatever reason, they were a bear, but finally succumbed (thanks Alex for letting me use your shop and tools to do the task!).

    We shod the new wheels with WTB Wolverine Tubeless tires. They are supposed to be 2.5 in width, but looked narrower than the 2.2 Bronson. The tread pattern is slightly different, smaller and closer spaced knobs than the Bronson. My seat of the pants test says they roll a bit faster, but that could also be because they are setup tubeless.



    We also opted to spec the 203mm Hope floating rotors to really do the VTech brakes justice. I think they look mean but, the brake and rotor combo sure will haul you down to a stop fast and, so far, with zero fade.



    Lastly, my stoker just couldn't get comfy on the WTB saddle and asked me to find the same saddle on her Trek Lush - a Bontrager Evoke. Well, I did, but it's white; I didn't complain because it was free! Maybe a black one will turn up on eBay. She was much, much more comfortable on last night's trail ride.

    We are starting to get comfortable with the fork as it loosens up a bit. I'm at about 15psi which gives me about 20% static sag. The IMV setting is 10 cliks out from full off (-). The fork is stable thru turns and not wallowing since finding a rebound setting that works. This is all helped, I'm sure, by running 30psi in the tubeless tires.

    Long ride, for us, planned for today as I slowly build up my stokers endurance. First I need to spend some time adjusting the fr/rr derailleurs as we finally have enough miles on the cables for them to stretch and degrade performance.

    Here we are as of today...maybe I'll remember to take a picture outside on today's ride rather than in the garage!


    Oh yeah, we also changed the cassette to a 12-36 - that jump from 34 to 36 sure is nice to have!

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