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  1. #1
    ALM
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    MTB Tandem Biking for Dumbies?

    Hi All,
    This is officially our second thread. We have been riding a road tandem for 8 years but just purchased/and being shipped (first thread) a 98 Cdale MT3000.

    I/we have many questions and we have never ridden any single MTB.

    What will be the biggest difference between the two? handling?
    How are trails marked including difficulty. Are they all loops or some trails out and backs? Where to learn something about suspension fork maintenance? These are just some running thru my head..... as for my stoker....

    It looks like they wear different type of shoes! We get to go shoe shopping!
    Looks like they are wearing baggy shorts....do they have pads....we need to go to the bike shop. ME.. I am very glad she is excited. Maybe the same for all of you. Us guys are in to the tech stuff and our stokers like the "fun stuff"

    Glad to be part of the forum. Hope to be on the trails in a couple weeks at most.
    Any others here live around the Houston area? We are in Beaumont.

    Allen and Laura

  2. #2
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    Unfortunately, the answers to most of your questions consist of "It depends."

    Most of the rest of the information has been presented here in this forum under various recent threads. Trail information will be VERY localized, and at the moment I can't point you to a TX-based team off the top of my head. There's an entire suspension forum here on MTBR, as well as a Tandem Fork thread here in this forum.

    The differences between road and MTB tandems are there, but IMO not as dramatic as the shift from single to tandem riding. MTB tandem riding will offer your stoker very little view ahead, whereas on the road the stoker can generally tell where the road is going. This will increase your need to communicate, especially at first. There's a thread here that lists our various (MTBR members) different commands/verbalizations. Some of our MTB commands are the same as used on the road, some are different.

    MTB tandem will also be a much rougher ride (especially with a hard-tail MTB tandem), and a seemingly faster ride for the stoker since she can't see and will have more bumps to deal with. Again, communication will play big, as will a first-class suspension seat post for the back.

    Handling differences are there, but a tandem is a truck on the road and off it. How that comes into play depends on what you were riding for road rides, and what your trails are going to be like. I could describe MY local stuff, but that probably won't help.

    You could use your current pedals and shoes on the MTB tandem. Main difference is the added shoe tread for MTB use in case you have to walk around in the dirt/rocks - mostly the MTB shoes have the (smaller) cleats protected.

  3. #3
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    Good info from Okayfine to which I agree. I will add that one of the most important issues in off road tandeming is not to spook your stoker. If she is comfy than you will be too. When Pat and I started off road we agreed before hand that if one of us felt uncomfortable with a situation/obstacle we would get off and walk it no questions asked. It gave her a feeling of being in control of her destiny. If you have other tandem friends try the view from the stokers seat, it will open your eyes. Then try it in the woods!
    The only other advice I can offer is to choose easy trails that both of you agree on and progress only when you both are ready. Keep it fun.
    Good luck with the C'Dale.
    Ed and Pat Gifford
    the Snot Rocket tandem

  4. #4
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    Good points above.
    You guys are in for some fun!

    As captain, it is easy to forget (the first time, that is ) that your stoker's head, pedals/feet, and hands all have to follow you.

    Dodging a rock is only a good dodge if you AND your stoker's feet AND your rear wheel miss it.
    Dodging a tree is only a good dodge if your shoulder clears it AND your stoker's handlebar clears it AND your stoker's shoulder clears it.

    Get it?

    -F

    PS - wear whatever you want - you don't even have to match
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  5. #5
    "the big red train"
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    As for the trail info, I'd start off at your lbs. Your stoker can shop for shoes and shorts and you can talk to the staff about local trails. Let them know that you are new to MTB. The should be able to point you in the right direction. Start off with nice mellow rides until you both are comfortable in the dirt. Don't be afraid to try new stuff, but remember if you spook your stoker you may end up back on the road with a mtb tandem hanging in the garage. Keep it fun!

  6. #6
    ALM
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    So we got the bike completed and got our first ride in yesterday. What a good time and what a differnece in riding off road compared to road. We found our limitations very quickly. Going to try and hookup with another tandem off road couple and see if we can get some pointers and ride with them for some real visual education.

    Here is the bike with updates that included xt shifters, new handlebar/grips, boots/filters, timing rings and chain, st thudbuster for stoker, tires, brake booster, drilled out cranks on stoker to raise pedals so thudbuster would work. (stoker is 4'10" on a good day!)lol.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MTB Tandem Biking for Dumbies?-mtb.jpg  

    MTB Tandem Biking for Dumbies?-mtb5.jpg  

    MTB Tandem Biking for Dumbies?-mtb2.jpg  


  7. #7
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    Congrats on getting out and about. That's the first step, and the next steps are mostly a repeat of the first step - that is: practice. Hopefully you can find a TX tandem team. We've been riding for four years, then rode with another team once and I learned a vital skill, so it definitely helps!

  8. #8
    ALM
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    We've been riding for four years, then rode with another team once and I learned a vital skill

    Dont leave us hangingwhat vital skill???

  9. #9
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    Following Team Zibell around Santiago Oaks and its many switchbacks, I learned I could high-side some tighter switchbacks, giving me the extra width (if you will) necessary to clean 'em. Have taken that to my local trails and have nailed a couple switches that were giving me trouble before.

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