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Thread: Fandango Thread

  1. #201
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    We are in the market for our first tandem, trying to decide whether we need need FS, but the biggest question we have is whether the De Vinci system is worth the extra $$.

    I ride off road unis, haven't ridden a bike for years. I ride anything from XC to DH. My wife is a novice biker, she can handle intermediate trails on her FS bike, but she runs platforms due to a hx of crashing clipped in.

    We have extensive experience paddling tandem whitewater and flatwater, so we are not concerned about our compatibility.

    I am a strong rider, so I expect to be the motor, my wife is a cruiser and is happy taking in the sights and smelling the flowers. I like to get a workout, I ride hard; I mean why else are we riding

    Since I am perfectly happy riding unis, the real purpose for getting a tandem is so that my wife can keep pace and we can ride together. I believe my wife would ride more often if we had a tandem; I ride three times a week, whereas she rides once or twice a month.

    So, if we are going to keep things on double track and flowing easy single track, for example: Bent Creek, NC or Enterprise, TN. Is a hardtail like the Fandango an okay place to start.

    I don't really want to get into a pros-con debate over ICS, but looking at De Vinci, if we are riding mellower stuff, does it make sense to splurge for the De Vinci?

    We are planning a trip to GA to test ride tandems...

    Thanks!

  2. #202
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    Hi Ben,
    Kinda hard for me to say but I will give it a shot. Pat and I also paddle tandem surfskis here in NJ and ride both road and MTB tandem. Our situation was very similar to yours when we started.( w/o the unicycle part). We have owned a 26er Fandango and have ridden Bent Creek on it. Tried the 29er when they first were available and its an awesome, versatile and capable tandem. We traded our Fandango for a Ventana ECDM at Pats request for comfort reasons over the occasional times we ride rocky terrain. We are very pleased with our choice. We ride with friends who ride a DaVinci. There are 2 schools of thought here....If you do not want pedaling in time with each other to be an issue than go for the DaVinci. The other advantage is being able to move the cranks independantly in tight, technical terran but that doesn't seem to be an issue for you at this time. On the other hand, we have never had an issue about pedaling linked together and it makes the bike handle more predictably at speed for us.
    All that being said I personally would decide on the Fandango, its a great ride. In rocky or logover/ drops type terrain the full suspension works for us.
    Either way off road tandeming is a blast and riding it with someone you care about makes it even better. I hope this helps.
    Ed and Pat Gifford
    the Snot Rocket tandem

  3. #203
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    Great to hear you're considering a tandem. There are many teams on this forum that can provide opinions and insights to the questions you've raised, but you're already making the best move you can by going to test ride the tandems.

    A test ride will answer most of your questions and raise a few you hadn't thought about.

    Besides, who doesn't like a road trip to sample a new ride?

  4. #204
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    NB, by your description, a hardtail would suit well. Add a thudbuster, and if needed, an extra plush seat out back. I reco it, not bc it's what we own, but because of the versatility of the bike. We ride technical trails as much as cruisers, and I'm still not feeling the burning FS need like I do on singles. You could equip a fandango easily for gravel grinding, bikepacking, etc.

    As Alex pointed out (and I believe), your stoker really can't see what's ahead to time pedal strokes. You can, and you can time hers to large degree. And I have to mention service/responsiveness. DV never responded to my email inquiry. Conversely, Alex spent copious time on email and phone to be sure that all details were addresses and we felt confident with the purchase. My only regret is not getting the Rohloff first, but aside from that small detour we are super stoked.

    Have fun with the process!

    Mike

  5. #205
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    Alex will explain it all to you. He also has a very cool test track near the shop...you may know it as Blankets Creek.

    About the closest we have ever come to a DaVinci is a derailed timing chain. We have spent thousands of miles on a Fandango 29 and an ECDM 26. Two great machines. Both capable of serious abuse and hardcore off-road riding.

    Test ride all that you can. Take notes if needed. Make the bikes you test as equal as possible...same pedals, saddles and positioning if possible.

    Welcome to mountain bikings best kept secret.

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

  6. #206
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    We both ride flats now, me on muni and her on FS, it's my preferred modus and for her it has been safer and more confidence inspiring.

    So now for a crazy question: does anyone pedal tandems with platforms?

    I realize this could be dangerous for synched pedaling, but how about with the De Vinci?

    Also, I am a big fan of internal geared hubs, have ridden them on bikes and unis. Is it worth the extra cost in terms of improved gearing and durability/reduced maintenance?

    We may be heading to Atlanta this weekend, just need to make the call...

    Then it's just a question of justifying an expense of $3-7k

  7. #207
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    Flats: Check. Never used clipless on a mtn tandem, never want to. Too many sudden stunts jumping over the bars, et cetera.

    Think of how much two decent MTBs cost. Fandango's a bargain.

  8. #208
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    I went over to one of our LBS and spoke to "Tim", he's a long time tandem rider, he set me straight on a few "misconceptions", so I feel like we're getting closer to balancing want with need.

    The Fandango is a lot of tandem for the money, and though we'd like to spend more, the reality is that a new sport and our future in the sport need to be tempered in the begining, esp because there are two of us who need to be happy.

    I do want the Rohloff, I'm pretty sure we'll add that on for all the reasons discussed (durability, maintenance, ground clearance, shifting ease). Build wise, I want to keep it simple and inexpensive, so mechanical brakes, mid grade components, a suspension post for her.

    So, in comparing a CoMotion Java to a Fandango, minus the suspension fork, how do they compare in terms of handling, flex, ride quality? Is the aluminum frame stiffness a plus or will it ride "hard"? Is the suspension fork any more necessary for a gravel cruiser than a suspended rear?

    What color makes my butt look bigger, white or black

    Time to call Alex.

  9. #209
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    NB, a couple thoughts...

    Rohloff will have an overall narrower range of gearing than 3 or 2 by 9 or 10. A stock Rohloff setup will not have a super low granny, unless you mod the drive yourself by swapping out chainring(s). This will likely result in a range out of mfr specs. We've had no trouble with ours, and I cannot tell you at the moment what gearing we ended up with. It's silly low. Despite how high on Rohloff I am, I will say that if a team does not plan on really mashing the pedals and wants to save some $, a typical geared setup should be fine. Especially if that team takes care to somewhat soft-pedal the shifts.

    I might shave $ on some components/build, but not on brakes. Too much valuable cargo aboard, and if you end up riding looser terrain you'll be better set for rear brake-heavy technique that'll keep the front from washing out.

    Can't speak too much for the brand/model comparison you pose. Alum will have inherent stiffness of course, but can be mitigated with suspension, tires, seat post, seats, grips. I would say buck up for a susp fork even though it might be of marginal benefit on smooth terrain. You'll get more good (fun) out of your bike if you can grow your repertoire with the confidence from a well-suited build.

    Have fun getting tooled up!

  10. #210
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    Great comments by She&I. We opted for the stock Fandango DC9 with a few changes, specifically wheels and brakes. As noted, brakes are an important piece of equipment that I've learned to really trust as an integral piece of equipment. Our tandem has Hope hydraulics and 203mm rotors in the front and back. I have spent some time on the BB7s on a single bike and, in my opinion, it wasn't hard to overwhelm the brakes with half the weight.

    As for the Rohloff, I don't have any experience with that setup, but I like the idea of it. That said, our stock 9sp SRAM X9 with twist shifters has been flawless for the last 500 miles of hard riding; we are about ready to replace our drive chain. Our gearing is 22/32/42 in the front and the rear cassette is an 11-36; thus, we have a really, really low gear for climbing. It's nice.

    I have ridden the Co-Motion Java that Alex has setup as a demo at his shop. It's really a neat bike, but a totally different bike than the Fandango. It is a steel frame vs. the Fandango's aluminum frame and the geometry is completely different, too. The head angle is quite a bit slacker and slower turning vs the steeper, quick steering fandango. I think the Java would be a great rails-to-trails bike with touring gearing that would be capable of an occasional smooth dirt path, but not much more. Whereas the Fandango is a true mtn bike that could be run with a narrow, slick tire on paths, or full on knobbies for a trail ride.

    Additionally, I think you got some good advice about getting a suspension fork for the front and a thudbuster for the rear. A good fork will have a lockout that will be ideal for smoother path riding but have the ability to absorb bumps on the trail. Further, the inability to lift the front wheel while riding on a tandem might make having a suspension fork a smart idea on any tandem other than a road only tandem.

    Anywho, have fun shopping. Alex is a great guy to work with and will take all the time necessary to figure it out. If you want to read about our buying experience, or at least some of it, check out our fledgling blog - tandemramblings.blogspot.com

  11. #211
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    We do not ride flats. Off-road has been Shimano DX on the ECDM and some LX level Shimano when we had the Fandango.

    In your opening post, you mentioned riding Bent Creek. Having ridden there, I would suggest staying with a more off-road focused machine such as the Fandango.

    Then again, if you only desire less technical trails, and most double track, the Fandango is a overly capable.

    The downside in all of this is that if you do step away from a proven and well regarded performer like the Fandango, the Co-Mo may be a lot less used.

    Co-Motion builds a high quality product. Just be sure the product is designed for the task you are asking it to accomplish.

    In my personal opinion, discounting handling, a gusseted headtube to frame downtube is very important off-road. If the Co-Mo lacks this detail, it would be a pretty basic off-road machine or touring bike in this house. But that is us and how we ride.

    On an off-road tandem, the tube cluster at the lower headtube is stressed from impacts. Suspension fork or not.

    Alex will listen and steer you in the best direction.

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

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    So now for a crazy question: does anyone pedal tandems with platforms?
    We ride platforms. I grew up on BMX and never switched to clipless. On the offroad tandem we both ride platforms, and I feel it's saved our bacon a number of times. On the road tandem I still ride platforms (easier to deal with stop-and-waits at signal lights and the like, and I did try clipless there for a bit) up front but my stoker rides clipless, as she's used to it on her road singly.

    Virtually every other tandem team rides clipless. I ride what works for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Is the suspension fork any more necessary for a gravel
    cruiser than a suspended rear?
    The question you should ask, and PMK is suggesting: Are you only EVER going to ride this on gravel? If you guys enjoy the tandem experience on gravel, how long will it be until you look to dirt? And then singletrack?

    The money is well-spent. Our ECdM was more capable than we were for a long while. Then we got better/faster and have even more fun.

  13. #213
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    If you buy a tandem for easy cruising on gravel paths and rail trails, you will inevitably want to take it on sweet singletracks in the future. Make sure you buy something that allows you to use it on whatever you might graduate to in the future. Hardtail is fine for most especially with a thudbuster. Stoker can't see all the bumps. Front suspension is highly recommended. We have been satisfied with bb7 brakes. We ride mostly singletracks so speeds are lower, but we do have long downhills (we live in Park city UT).
    I do believe good hydros would be even better but we haven't had any issues. 8' rotors a must. Aluminum frame should be fine. the length of the bike and the weight of the riders will negate any harshness. Enjoy shopping Alex is great to work with.

  14. #214
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    We got a large Fandango, basic edition, changed tires to Ardent 2.4', added some ergo grips, opted for the Thudbuster, and went with TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes.

    Alex was hesitant to try the Spyres as they are new and untested on tandems, but I was willing to ba guinepig

    My wife loves it, she's actually looking forward to our next ride, probably hit up Bent Creek next weekend.

    And, a Tandem will fit inside an Element with the front wheel removed!

  15. #215
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    Congrats on pulling the trigger, NB! Enjoy the courtship...

  16. #216
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    Been away from tandems for awhile..............I'm Baaaaaaaaaack.

    Hi all. New to the forum, not to tandems. Had Santana mountain and road tandems for years. Enjoyed the road but loved the off road. Living in SoCal at the time there was no shortage of great riding spots. Now I know some of you guys think you have great stokers, but I had the best. If we failed to clear an obstacle I could expect to hear "Re-do". And since I thought of my stoker as 'She who must be obeyed', we would try again. If I messed up a shift to the 'little' ring she would power us through on the 'middle' ring. Madeline and I were riding our single bikes in the San Bernardino Mtns with a group of friends and she went over the edge and suffered a spinal cord injury. She passed away a year later from complications. When I think back, some of my most cherished memories are of the time we spent together on the tandem we called 'the Evil Twin'. When I receive the Fandango Alex is putting together for me, the first thing going on it is the 'Evil Twin 2' sticker. Fandango Thread-100_1885.jpgFandango Thread-100_1886.jpg

  17. #217
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    Welcome back! Sorry to hear of your loss.After 42 years of marriage my stoker and I are quite inseparable. I hope you receive a lot of enjoyment and good memories from your new tandem.
    Ed and Pat Gifford
    the Snot Rocket tandem

  18. #218
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    steady-P, power to you for enduring that unimaginable loss. Way to lead by example.

    And, welcome back to the big bikes. ET2 sounds like a nice hat tip to your old sidekick. Salute!

    Mike/Moria

  19. #219
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    We are gradually refining our basic Fandango set up, wider bars (740mm) and shorter stem (75mm, 7 deg) for me, Mary bar and snack bag for the stoker. I also bumped the Thudbuster from blue/blue to gray/blue with a 1/4" preload, it seems it wasn't springing up when she did the thigh death grip when standing, so she was bouncing us down the trail

    We are riding stuff that is waaay harder than I anticipated, kind makes me think we should have sprung for the Ventana, BUT the stoker isn't complaining and the big wheels stick to the ground just fine. Maybe someday...

    I really like the WB Twin Loop fork, though it was a bit stiff at first with 100psi, I have gotten comfortable with 80psi which allows me to use the full range of compression settings. I don't feel that we are overly soft and we have not bottomed out the fork. I'd say that with the flex we got from this fork, I'd not want to run a lighter weight single crown fork.

    Ardent 2.4 EXO tubed front and rear, I know them well from my muni riding, had considered Hans Dampf Pacestars, but the Ardents we available, so far they are doing the job. We're running ~28psi and this seems to be a nice balance, no tire rolling of consequence, but still soft enough to grip rocks. I had condidered tubeless, but I don't see the need unless we ride where there are thorns. Tubeless save 150gm per tire and increase the sidewall flex, so you end up running higher pressures, so I say that if ain't broke, no need to fix it. So far we have not come close to a pinch flat.

    Against everyone's advice we are riding flat pedals, Nuke Proof Electrons (same as Deity), nylon low profile, wide base, with socket screw pins, I add nuts to the pins to make fauz studs. We both ride flats exclusively, me on unis and her on FS bikes, so it doesn't feel wierd. So far we haven't had any problems, she's lost her foot a couple times and it was no big deal.

    I would not hesitate to recommend riding flats, it is a whole lot easier to start and stop, no finding the cleat and also no cleat to rock slippage. We have done some major rock crawling and longish (fiteen to twenty minute) single track climbs, not once did we wish we have clips. I ride Teva The Links and she rides Five Ten Impacts.

    I am still playing with bar height, raised the stem last night and flipped it to positive rise, I gained ~30mm, so I'll see this weekend if it relieves the pain between my shoulders and in my hands. I realize some shoulder pain and hand pain is from getting into shape for biking; uni riding uses different upper body muscles.

  20. #220
    PMK
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    NurseBen

    As a team, you need to find what works for you. Bike setup, whether pedal style or bar position really does matter most to the person logging the miles. I have seen road tandems, mountain tandems, and singles that were convincingly setup by owners and badged as the ultimate setup. Myself, without even swinging a leg over or turning a pedal I would be hard pressed to find comfort. So again, find your best setup, I doubt the people that post here are setback by you not heeding their advice. They want you to enjoy what you have.

    I would not have buyers remorse about a Fandango. It is a very good machine that runs fast and handle well.

    The Ventana is a capable ride also.

    Both are different with each having strong points and less strong points.

    Have you had the opportunity to enjoy some riding with another tandem team yet?

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

  21. #221
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    Re: Fandango Thread

    Hey Ben, how close are you to the Chattanooga area? There are a couple of pretty good teams local within a few hours of you. Once we are back on the tandem (my stoker just had a double hernia surgery repair) in a couple of weeks, we will happily drive up and meet you guys for a ride!

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

  22. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    We are riding stuff that is waaay harder than I anticipated...we are riding flat pedals...
    I see the connection here

    Nice work getting dialed in, NB. It comforts me that you guys are diving into tech terrain and having fun. Rubber down, grins up!

  23. #223
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    Hey Ben, how close are you to the Chattanooga area?
    We live in Knoxville, so close enough to Chattanooga to meet for a ride at Raccoon Mtn or Enterprise, just give me a hollar by PM and we can exchange contact info.

    We would love to ride with other tandem teams, but the ones I know are mostly focused on road riding, though there is a team in Maryville that I can probably meet for a ride at some point.

    Last weekend we rode with some biking friends, they trashed us, riding tech trails, we just couldn't keep up unless the trail was climbing and fairly smooth.

    They did stop to watch us, esp when we were attempting a steep rocky climb

    This weekend we're heading to Asheville for a munifest, but we'll squeeze in a tandem ride or two at Bentcreek, NC.

  24. #224
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    If you get the chance this weekend, take the tandem over to DuPont. Way cool trails for tandems there!
    And let us know when you ride Enterprise. If it's a Sunday, we might join you (Sundays are our only day off).
    MTB Tandems Inc.
    678-445-0711
    www.MTBTandems.com

  25. #225
    PMK
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    All this Southeast US, but 10 hours North of us makes me want to move...I so tired to convince the stoker we needed to get out of Florida.

    If only I had those winning powerball numbers...a nice big corporate jet, bike racks in the back to pick you folks and your gear up at a local airport, and then we fly west to kick the butts of the west coast teams, until we can't breathe, fall over and gasp for air.

    I asked about the possibility for Jeanne and I to spend Thanksgiving as a riding weekend in North Georgia / NC / SC. Her answer, "it's end of month closing for the accounting department". Where is her priorities!

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

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