Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    93

    "Mountain-able" or not, that is the question

    I've been trying to get my wife on a mountain bike for way too long, Im thinking (bet this sounds familiar) that I can FINALLY get her on the trail if she's on the bike with me. Problem is that if she's not into it, I don't want to have sunk a dime into the thing.

    To get to my question, how do I know if a tandem is a good candidate for some knobbies and maybe an 80mm fork?

    A lot (see:most) of the tandems I see for sale on craigslist are Cro-mo and look like MTB frames with 1.9 slicks. I'm thinking I just pick one up, throw some decent wheels and a fork and get going. Anyone have any enlightening comments and or horror stories? Can these "hybrids" handle a MTB treatment or am I going to end up on my ass holding the front end of the bike in my hands?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Old School Legs
    Reputation: JokerW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    139
    You can make some of those C-List bikes work... sort of.
    I've put some effort into making our old KHS a better mtb, but we started with it in '95.
    It's an okay XC tandem, but nowhere near as nice as the full squish modern bikes.
    Like most anything else, it's always a tradeoff between what you're willing to spend, and what your willing to put with, in the way of short comings with the budget build.

    Also, remember that riding a tandem is NOTHING like riding your solo bike, 'cept maybe that you're in the dirt.
    Dirty Sheet, or refurbishing that ol' ride
    I'm eating Lean Cuisine for lunch, so I can have beer for dinner

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    93
    Hey thanks for the reply-- A KHS, Micargi, Univega or something along those lines is what I'm considering. We've done quite a bit of tandem riding on the street, and this would likely be mostly fire roads and some light singletrack riding. Im mostly curious if these lower end frames can hold up to the stress of light off-roading and if they're even worth upgrading.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    518
    Quote Originally Posted by duderidesabike View Post
    and this would likely be mostly fire roads and some light singletrack riding. Im mostly curious if these lower end frames can hold up to the stress of light off-roading and if they're even worth upgrading.
    It depends. Aside from the frames, you're generally dealing with low component levels and, in the case of many of the KHSs, mixed-and-unmatched parts between road and mountain. We had a KHS initially, to see if we liked the off-road thing (we previously had been riding road tandem) and neither we nor a variety of shops could ever get the stock components to shift well. Flat bar shifters with drop bar mechs never meshed. And the gearing! 53T big ring? ....Okay Then there's the hubs and wheels to worry about, etc.

    Your best bet from a money-vs-capability equilibrium is to find a Cannondale MTB tandem. Upgradable, and retains most of it's value if you find you want/need to sell it on. Dumping money into a Univega or Micargi would be hard to realize the gains if you had to try to sell it on. KHS? I bought a lightly used KHS Tandemania bike for $600, put about $600 into it, and solid it for $1000 when we upgraded to an ECdM. Not likely, but possible.

  5. #5
    ALM
    ALM is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    101
    My wife and I have been road tandeming for 8 years. We started because of her being dropped on singles.
    We just purchased a 98 cannondale mt3000 for $650. I had to look non stop for days on craigslist, ebay, u name it. Deals are out there. Off road will be new to both of us. We are having some work done on the bike now at House of Tandems but hope to get it early next week and take our first ride. It had slicks on it but we are putting some knobbys. It had never been ridden off road.

    If you go to bikeforums.net I started a thread about mtb tandeming. PMK posted some great videos of tandems on the trail and some other good info for mtb tandeming.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails "Mountain-able" or not, that is the question-cannondale-1.jpg  

    "Mountain-able" or not, that is the question-cannondale-2.jpg  


  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    403
    Quote Originally Posted by duderidesabike View Post
    I've been trying to get my wife on a mountain bike for way too long, Im thinking (bet this sounds familiar) that I can FINALLY get her on the trail if she's on the bike with me. Problem is that if she's not into it, I don't want to have sunk a dime into the thing.

    To get to my question, how do I know if a tandem is a good candidate for some knobbies and maybe an 80mm fork?

    A lot (see:most) of the tandems I see for sale on craigslist are Cro-mo and look like MTB frames with 1.9 slicks. I'm thinking I just pick one up, throw some decent wheels and a fork and get going. Anyone have any enlightening comments and or horror stories? Can these "hybrids" handle a MTB treatment or am I going to end up on my ass holding the front end of the bike in my hands?

    Thanks in advance!
    Here is one in Burbank not that far from you........I talked to this guy a few weeks back I was going to pick it up and flip it but other things came up from what he said it's in good shape

    Cannondale Tandem

  7. #7
    PMK
    PMK is online now
    mtbr member
    Reputation: PMK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    2,241
    The CL Cannondale is a good deal. The red Cannondale is also a good deal. That is your most economical way to get dirty. Find a used Cannondale of the proper size, put on some tires and go ride. Might need saddles too. Almost everything else are simple upgrades, excepting the forks. The Cannondales tend to hold their value also. While you won't always make money, often you break even or sell for slightly less than you paid, but need to factor in the price of smiles.

    Buy that Blue Cannondale and go ride.

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

  8. #8
    PMK
    PMK is online now
    mtbr member
    Reputation: PMK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    2,241
    Quote Originally Posted by ALM View Post
    My wife and I have been road tandeming for 8 years. We started because of her being dropped on singles.
    We just purchased a 98 cannondale mt3000 for $650. I had to look non stop for days on craigslist, ebay, u name it. Deals are out there. Off road will be new to both of us. We are having some work done on the bike now at House of Tandems but hope to get it early next week and take our first ride. It had slicks on it but we are putting some knobbys. It had never been ridden off road.

    If you go to bikeforums.net I started a thread about mtb tandeming. PMK posted some great videos of tandems on the trail and some other good info for mtb tandeming.
    I was involved in Allen getting this bike. Very nice bike at a very good price. The money he saved is allowing him to go through the bike, freshen it up, upgrade a couple of items then ride the wheels off it.

    The greatest obstacle on the old Moto forks is parts availability. Even in a worse case, while not free, the entire front fork / wheel / and brake can be upgraded if needed.

    Get that bike finished and get it dirty.

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

  9. #9
    ALM
    ALM is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    101
    Here is another in Cali. I use searchtempest.com to bring up all the craigslist ads nationwide. There are several in Cali. for sale. Another is a mt2000 and says 2000 year model for 1100. It is same color as this one.

    Cannondale Tandem Bike

  10. #10
    ALM
    ALM is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    101
    Paul, I did see the video of y'all on the your Cdale. It was the Santos video and you guys deciding what line to take. Tandemgeek had some video from AORTA and I noticed another couple riding the same mt3000 that was same color.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    93
    Hey everyone-this has been very helpful. It looks like I'll be at about the same investment (maybe even less) picking up a cannondale...I think I'll go down that road. I did find a pretty slick Santana down the road but it was somewhat outdated for its $800 price tag and has no suspension. I do like that it's a 20" captain as I'm 6'. Haven't seen a whole lot that size.

    Santana Rio MountainTandem Bike

  12. #12
    ALM
    ALM is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    101
    If your wife needs some "convincing", show her this video. Looks like a simple but fun trail and they are having a blast together. Isnt that what it is all about anyway.

    Tandem Mountain Biking - YouTube

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    403
    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    The Cannondales tend to hold their value also. While you won't always make money, often you break even or sell for slightly less than you paid, but need to factor in the price of smiles.

    Buy that Blue Cannondale and go ride.

    PK
    So true......... I picked up the 99' (Red) for $750 and sold it one year later for $1200 to a San Diego road couple then I got the 2003 for $800 that was a Great Deal it had to have less then 100 miles on it

    Like I said I was going to pick up the Blue just to clean it up and find it a new home after seeing all the emails I got for my 99' you just don't see C-dale Tandems for sale everyday

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    403
    Quote Originally Posted by ALM View Post
    If your wife needs some "convincing", show her this video. Looks like a simple but fun trail and they are having a blast together. Isnt that what it is all about anyway.

    Tandem Mountain Biking - YouTube
    Sweet angle from under the bike

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    93
    Talked to the wife, shes on board now to find a tandem attachment for the roof rack! Damn things cost that of a whole bike!

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    518
    Quote Originally Posted by duderidesabike View Post
    Talked to the wife, shes on board now to find a tandem attachment for the roof rack! Damn things cost that of a whole bike!
    I have a tandem rail for some bike rack or other. Might be able to adapt it for what you need, and I'm in Thousand Oaks.
    Last edited by Okayfine; 08-07-2012 at 11:21 AM.

  17. #17
    ALM
    ALM is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    101
    That's great. If you have a truck no need for a rack, or put inside van. Many use racks on the back of car/van. We have a draftmaster but it was big $$ when I bought it 6 years ago.

    You will get fixed up with help from everyone here like Okayfine.

    Our bike will be ready Thursday. Cant wait to try it out.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    93
    Quote Originally Posted by Okayfine View Post
    I have a tandem rail for some bike rack or other. Might be able to adapt it for what you need, and I'm in Thousand Oaks.
    Right on, I've got a Yakima.

    I work in T.O. and ride the MTB a couple times a week, maybe we can get a ride going sometime.

    Thinking I'm probably going to start the Mrs. off on sycamore cyn road and progress onto Sin Nombre/Two Foxes. I would think that's pretty good practice for a tandem MTB?

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    93
    Quote Originally Posted by ALM View Post
    That's great. If you have a truck no need for a rack, or put inside van. Many use racks on the back of car/van. We have a draftmaster but it was big $$ when I bought it 6 years ago.

    You will get fixed up with help from everyone here like Okayfine.

    Our bike will be ready Thursday. Cant wait to try it out.
    Awesome, should be a blast

    I've got a small crossover SUV and an even smaller compact hatchback, either way the thing would REALLY stick out on each side. When we were riding our street tandem I would just take it to the other side of town to the Ojai path by carrying it in the normal carrier with the BB sitting in the tray on a rag. Not something I want to attempt on the highway though LOL.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    518
    Quote Originally Posted by duderidesabike View Post
    Thinking I'm probably going to start the Mrs. off on sycamore cyn road and progress onto Sin Nombre/Two Foxes. I would think that's pretty good practice for a tandem MTB?
    Since you both have road tandem experience, the transition to off-road will be much easier. Same advice applies as mentioned in other recent "I'm new and want to tandem with my wife" threads - keep her happy and buy the best suspension seat post you can.

    As to the route, if you both can climb back into NP from the canyon, Sycamore to the beach and back is a great intro route. I'd suggest adding Two Foxes long before Sin Nombre. Two Foxes is flatter and in much better condition. The recent trailwork on Sin Nombre has really changed that trail, and not for the better IMO. Aside from the iffy conditions, it's also much faster going down, and more work going up. It's a natural step up from Two Foxes, but I'd make sure she's happy on TF first, before adding SN to the mix.

    After that, so many trails open up to you...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •