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  1. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonP. View Post
    Received the bike yesterday and in checking things out found the fork is the RC2 model with the flip levers to secure the thru axel. The fork had 150psi and the shock was at 240psi. Seems high for our weight, I run 50/150 on my Enduro. What would you reccommend for starting pressures. We won't be taking any big hits for a while just light trail rides for now...
    240 in the rear RP23 may be a few PSI high, I don't know which version of the shock you have. This can effect the pressure and setup. Can you post a photo? As a good guide, set the base pressure for the point of stoker alone and just enough pressure for zero sag. Note the amount and if needed add in 10 psi increments until both riders gives about 3/8" sag.

    The fork and 150, well, that is a matter of accomplishing some static tests for sag. Aim for less than 20%. You will probably need to work the pressure until the fork / steering feels good.

    PK
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  2. #152
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    Don P, just saw the photos, you have a large can rear shock, that forces you to run higher pressures to minimize wallow in the mid stroke.

    PK
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  3. #153
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    We have the same shock and run it at ~175psi. Stoker weight of ~135, team weight of 340+gear. Lots of variables, but I'd think 240psi is high.

  4. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by Okayfine View Post
    We have the same shock and run it at ~175psi. Stoker weight of ~135, team weight of 340+gear. Lots of variables, but I'd think 240psi is high.
    So much depends upon stoker weight. I forgot OK do you have a small can shock or large can shock? We have run both and from experience know that WE need more pressure (about 25 psi increase) if we run a large can shock.

    The reason why is progression of the air spring. The large can has a flatter rising rate. This makes for a softer mid stroke with the bike settling lower. For us, this is bad since it corners vaguely and "drags" cranks or tubes at bad times.

    If you run a super long fork this can help but tends to make it chopperish with a long fork and low rear.

    In the end though, each team is different, and on tandems more than singles it is not always as easy to just carry across the numbers.

    I'm certain if 10 teams rode our ECDM, some would not like the ergos, some not like the tires, and without doubt, many would probably not like our suspension settings. Change the settings and what was hated a moment before may be nirvana.

    PK
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  5. #155
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    We decided we're running the big can, '11 BV version. I found I had to add 15psi over the '06 small RP3 on our old bike.

  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Okayfine View Post
    We decided we're running the big can, '11 BV version. I found I had to add 15psi over the '06 small RP3 on our old bike.
    And there is nothing wrong with this. Suspension is all about finding the best set of compromises for the application.

    PK
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  7. #157
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    Okay, did some fiddling with pressures and are feeling good at 180 psi in the shock and 100 in the fork. We plan on a 25 miler tomorrow on rolly fast fire road, I may bring the pump for on trail adjustments. I also had to rotate the shock to get access to the schrader valve as it's blocked by the left side rocker...

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonP. View Post
    Okay, did some fiddling with pressures and are feeling good at 180 psi in the shock and 100 in the fork. We plan on a 25 miler tomorrow on rolly fast fire road, I may bring the pump for on trail adjustments. I also had to rotate the shock to get access to the schrader valve as it's blocked by the left side rocker...
    Without getting in trouble, how much does your stoker weigh?

    PK
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  9. #159
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    We have a SR Suntour DURO SF9 on our Tandem. Even with the hard spring it was to soft at the beginning, but changing the elastomers to the hard (green) ones did the trick. The fork keeps up hard rides, has low flex and works like a charm.

  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmk View Post
    without getting in trouble, how much does your stoker weigh?

    Pk
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  11. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonP. View Post
    115
    Explains the lower pressure

    PK
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  12. #162
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    here is a link to my iild with the new suspension

    ECDM right side drive / lock out suspension Build

  13. #163
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    White Brothers is coming out with a Double crown version of their Loop. I'll try to get some info/time on it and report back.

  14. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trails4Two View Post
    White Brothers is coming out with a Double crown version of their Loop. I'll try to get some info/time on it and report back.
    We've been selling it for over a year now. Much improved over the Magic platform.
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  15. #165
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    Ok, here goes. New Fandango 29'r, new team, 260lbs. Experienced riders in North GA. Will spend 99% of our time on singletrack with lots of rocks and roots, quick turn-ins, etc. We opted to spec our tandem with a single-crown White Bros. Magic 100 rather than the newer dual-crown Loop as I wanted the quicker steering and handling characteristics. The fork felt great in the parking lot but was a bear to figure out on the trail.

    Initial settings were ~35-40psi, IMV somewhere in the middle and rebound - no idea.

    Initially, we had a severe topping out clunk, which I understood to be too fast rebound - I just wasn't sure how to slow it down. I eventually found the knob below the right leg and found that very small increments had a big effect on rebound. I added pressure to 50psi, but that greatly limited movement. I then went full on and full off on the IMV setting, which I now understand is essentially a compression setting.

    By the end of the ride, we were ~20psi, almost no compression and still slightly topping out. The fork is new and we only put 3 hours on it yesterday, so I expect there to be intial stiction and expect it to loosen up with more hours.

    If you're having good success with this fork, can you give me some good initial settings? I'm not at all opposed to opening it up and changing the weight of the fork oil, or amount of oil, etc; in fact, I have a new bottle of Fox 10wt green oil on the workbench.

    Thoughts?

    For the rear, my stoker is using the ThudBuster with 2 blue elastomers. She is maybe 110lbs and...is quite sore today. We messed with her position on the seat to try to find the sweet spot to activate the thudbuster, but ultimately, I think she may need to swap out a blue elastomer for a softer gray one. Do these have a break in period? Any comments appreciated.
    Last edited by mhopton; 04-28-2013 at 07:52 AM.

  16. #166
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    Magic fork

    I tested a Magic on our tandem and never quite liked the feel of it. That said, they are pretty adjustable. If you don't get any better answers here, I suggest calling them direct. They are here in town with me and are good folks who like a puzzle. As for the Thudbuster, my wife used 1 blue/1 gray. She is 114lbs. They don't really "break-in" so much as "break down"; they will soften slightly as they get used - until they get old. They do have an age limit, so if they are older they can get quite firm.

  17. #167
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    Yes, you will probably need Gray for one elastomer if not both. This may change over time, depending upon how much movement your stoker wants. The seat does float aft and down. My stoker, when we ran a Thudbuster LT on our previous Cannondales and Fandango, did not prefer a lot of movement, but did expect enough on unexpected hits.

    You can set the initial preload via tightening the long bolt or loosening.

    Gray elastomers are known to fail by splitting and going bye / bye. Blue and black do not. If you plan to ride on grays, ensure you understand how to replace the elastomer and carry a spare. Tools are simple, 10 mm box end wrench (cut down cheapy if you want) and an allen wrench.

    We have ridden with a few stokers in the low rider position. If it does happen, and an elastomer is not there to be installed, raise the seat, but realize it will be much further aft.

    As for the fork...I have heard good, heard not so good, know they can be very adjustable.

    First ensure no axle alignment concerns binding the fork legs.

    Next, it should never be setup to top out, let alone top out with a clunk. Rebound should be set first, it is easy. Run the least possible without having the bike wallow or unsettle in a corner.

    Compression, set the low speed first with IMV full open. This is based on feel to not wallow or be harsh. Once close, start adding a small amount of IMV influence, while POSSIBLY, reducing compression clicker by one or two clicks.

    As for air pressure, I would run sag not carved in stone to a specific number, but rather approximately 20% of full stroke. On pavement, see how the bike turns. Pay particular attention to wheel flop. Adjust pressure slightly to lessen wheel flop. While riding off-road, see if the tire stays planted and note how much travel is utilized.

    Setup will be different from a single bike, it should not feel soft and squishy, but rather firm and somewhat more heavily damped.

    For comparison, a single MTB bike is like a motocross or woods race motorcycle when it comes to how the bike may feel. The tandem, while still performance based, is morre like a heavier sport road motorcycle. It will feel firm on account of the additional weight and stability required. Like a sport bike compared to an MX machine, the sport bike runs proper springs with a lot of preload and reasonable spring rates. The MX bike runs a soft spring with very little if any amount of preload.

    PK
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  18. #168
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    We have owned 2 WB Magic 100T forks. One on a Fandango the other on our current ECDM. Like the others I have never been able to quite get it sorted to my satisfaction. Both of them were dual crown versions. The main issue I feel is they are over sprung for our team weight(+/- 285). WB has great customer and technical support but they simply do not sell lighter springs for this model. They do for the Loop. I run the fork without any air pressure to get it to perform somewhat. WB tech says this is OK and it has improved performance. I have dealt with Eric Prinster ( i think thats his last name) at WB and he is very helpful. I have to say that I do not have a great understanding of suspension and learned most of what I know from Paul (PMK) at a clinic he did at the last AORTA event in N Carolina. Paul has also been very helpful in helping me get this sorted. I would start without air pressure and with the IMV in the middle position then set sag from there. We dialed down on the IMV to get sag correct. Test it in the woods and make sure you are getting full travel in most situations. If you find yourself bottoming out then add air pressure to suit. Ours would not hold lower air pressures.(less than 40 psi). Other than that the only advice I can offer is pay attention to what Paul has to say. Hope that helps!
    Ed and Pat Gifford
    the Snot Rocket tandem

  19. #169
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    Great replies Ed and Paul - thank you. I spent some time on the phone with the guys at WB, read the tuning manual and talked to Alex some more after stopping by the shop yesterday. We are heading out tomorrow for a good ride to continue the trial/error of fitting the bike and I believe that we have a good starting point. Essentially, we are going to run 10psi, which gives me about 25% sag. Rebound is difficult to tell given the short stroke of the damper and the IMV setting is 5 cliks out from full soft (-). I'm getting good movement on the pavement but the test will be on the trails tomorrow - will report back!

    As for the Thudbuster, Alex continues with the theme of great service and tossed a grey bumper my way for my Stoker to test out - she's stoked.

    More to come....

  20. #170
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    As a suggestion try running no air pressure and increasing the clicks on the IMV after trying it your way .My forks would not hold air pressure that low for even an hours trail ride. Let us know how it all pans out.
    Ed

  21. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhopton View Post
    ...As for the Thudbuster, Alex continues with the theme of great service and tossed a grey bumper my way for my Stoker to test out - she's stoked.

    More to come....
    Regarding the grey bumpers, as mentioned previously, they are not as durable, so make sure that you carry a spare and the tools to replace. We carry a small "leatherman" type tool along with our trusty multitool and have been able to replace and get on with the ride.

    Depending on how flexy your stoker likes the suspended seatpost, you may want to try one blue with one grey, or possibly two grey?

    Good luck wih dialing the suspension!

  22. #172
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    On our 29er ECDM, we have been using a Fox 34 fork and float rear, both using CTD dampers since January and are very happy with it. We have the remote lever that allows me to switch compression damping in large increments on the fly for both front and rear simulanteously. I change the settings often during rides for up and down hills. I should measure, but I think my fork has travel reducers so that it is set to 110mm. Otherwise its a 120mm Float 34.

    The only thing I would change at the moment is to run the rear shock upside down since the adjuster cable moves up and down with the shock stroke. I have some different than stock reducers on the shock mounts so I can just flip them.
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  23. #173
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    That last post begs a question I'd thought of earlier...

    What constitutes a "tandem rated" fork?

  24. #174
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    One that works for me and my 95lb girlfriend. Of course!
    2 wheels == True

  25. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post
    What constitutes a "tandem rated" fork?
    A fork the manufacturer will warranty even if they know it is being used on a tandem.

    Beyond that the meaning is pretty flexible. You could say it means that the company has done the research and determined the fork is fit for tandem duty, but I don't know if that's the case 100% of the time. You could also make a case for the variety of tandem/Fox fork users giving it a defacto "tandem" rating. But since people do, IMO the only practical difference is warranty service.

  26. #176
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    If a Fox fork folds in half causing in injuries that result in a lawsuit, Fox would state that the fork is not tandem rated and that they are not liable in any way. I can live with that knowledge and still use their forks. I wouldn't use their 32mm fork on a mtb tandem.
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  27. #177
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    Ebnelson, I'm not familiar with a 34mm Fox Float for a 29'r that is 120mm travel. Or, is your ECDM a 26"?

  28. #178
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    Sorry, 140mm travel reduced. The ECDM 29er handles poorly with the 140mm length from my experience.
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  29. #179
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    Correction again. My fork measures 135mm travel. My bad. We originally had the Talas 140 and hated the 140mm setting, preferring to leave it at 110mm. I just ride what my brother sends (works at Fox). No wonder our bike feels tall! It rides well enough now, but I may try to reduce it down to 120mm.
    2 wheels == True

  30. #180
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    Ah, that makes more sense...the new 34mm stanchion options are appealing. I've spent some time researching the X-Fusion Trace RL2. It seems to have all of the desired characteristics to make it tandem friendly; 34mm stanchions, internally adjustable travel from 140mm down to 80mm (you have to open up the fork to make the adjustment - it's not on the fly), all aluminum machined parts inside, an actual damper with an adjustable shim stack and, what I think to be cool, a one-piece tapered crown. Supposed to be a lot stiffer than a two-piece. Anyway, always fun to read about new stuff!

  31. #181
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    FOX 40 Kashima is the fork if you ride a 26. Shortened to a workable length for xc, it is the best MTB fork I have ever ridden. Not perfect but very close.

    Perfect would be adding 3mm more offset to the triple clamps, and reducing the forks lower leg offset by 3mm. Same amount of trail, just more steering lock angle.

    For us, the modified ATC was the way to go on our Fandango. These forks get a bad rep, but once easily sorted out are as reliable, f not more reliable than any fork out there. Hardtail wise they are capable of the speeds, and steering precision is justified in the double crown and fork tube diameters.

    PK
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  32. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keepiru View Post
    We have a SR Suntour DURO SF9 on our Tandem. Even with the hard spring it was to soft at the beginning, but changing the elastomers to the hard (green) ones did the trick. The fork keeps up hard rides, has low flex and works like a charm.
    We also have a Suntour fork on our Lapierre tandem here in the UK, ours being the Duro FR20, 160mm of travel(coil sprung), 35mm stanchions and 20mm bolt through axle, 1.5" steerer. I've always used Fox forks with air springs on my single bikes but have been very pleased with the performance and plushness of the budget Suntour product. They also produce the Durolux, with air springs and travel adjust if you want to run it lower.

    Suspension Fork Experience - What's Working? What's Not?-lapierre-001.jpg

  33. #183
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    During conversation that didn't take place with a person who doesn't exist a couple of days ago, some information came my way that indicates White Bros may have a 34mm stanchion platform single crown 29'er fork available in the future. If so, I believe a tandem-rated version of that will also be offered. Nothing concrete yet, but I believe it's being looked at. We've expressed our interest in the 29'er version if it becomes available.
    SR/Suntour USA has not been open to the use of their forks on tandems, despite the fact that they're spec'd on euro models. Perhaps it's due to the dedication of US PI attorneys. Either way, as a business, I have to honor the manufacturer's wishes on the use of their products. Believe me, I wish we had more options!
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  34. #184
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    I've been using a Manitou Nixon Platinum fork (145mm travel, air sprung, 20mm hex thru-axle) an our tandem and its been great. The air spring and infinite travel adjust make it easy to adjust. Separate shimmed comp and rebound pistons make it very easy to revalve and the sealed cartridge damper with sprung IFP keep damping consistent even after a few hours on the trail. No doubt its not tandem "approved" but its been working well for us.


  35. #185
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    Just purchased a Manitou Marvel Pro 100mm for our recently acquired Cannondale M1000 XL/M (2006). We're about 320 combined weight. First ride and I could tell the travel was way too soft so I kept the control close to locked out. Also noticed general turning resistance that I hadn't felt when using the stock fork. Could this be due to shortened stem or just the softness of the fork? Will increase air pressure on our next ride.

    Appreciate any feedback on whether this is a good shock for the bike.

    Doug

  36. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by dstke View Post
    ...Will increase air pressure on our next ride...
    Set the pressure so you get your desired amount of sag. Start somewhere around 25% sag and then see how much travel you're using. Tweak from there.

  37. #187
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    Thanks TigWorld. Good rule of thumb. I'm on a mountain bike vacation with single bikes but will try it when I get back.

  38. #188
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    I read info on x-fusion website about their 34mm trace 29er fork. They claim their "unicrown" fork crown makes it 50% stronger in that area. Sounds like it should be strong enough for a tandem. Still I bet they won't authorize that use.

  39. #189
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    We're 340#, new team, riding a 29er Fandango, ours came with a White Brothers Loop twin crown fork. It was very easy to set up, we set the air pressure to 25% sag (75psi), set the rebound in the middle setting, then I vary the compression based on the terrain, usually middle for bumpy slow stuff and more lockout for fast riding.

    I can't really complain about the fork, it is plenty stiff, even pushing hard in tight turns it doesn't flex or get floppy, it stays on the ground and holds a steady line. I'm not sure what more we could want from a fork, maybe lighter or cheaper, but it works well so we'll keep it

  40. #190
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    Need a tandem rated fork - triple clamp 100mm? WB loop for sale. I loved it on the trail but wanted a manual lockout instead of the smart shock

    White brothers WB Loop Tandem Fork 29er 100mm like new Magura Louise disc - Buy and Sell and Review Mountain Bikes and Accessories

  41. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by switchbacktrog View Post
    We also have a Suntour fork on our Lapierre tandem here in the UK, ours being the Duro FR20, 160mm of travel(coil sprung), 35mm stanchions and 20mm bolt through axle, 1.5" steerer. I've always used Fox forks with air springs on my single bikes but have been very pleased with the performance and plushness of the budget Suntour product. They also produce the Durolux, with air springs and travel adjust if you want to run it lower.
    hi,
    i'm thinking of putting this fork in a normal hardtail frame. do you think it would work sufficiently for a single rider as well?
    how hard are the springs compared to normal forks?
    cheers

  42. #192
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    It should be OK. We have the spring wound back to its softest setting to get the right amount of sag. You might need a softer spring, but it depends on your weight really.

  43. #193
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    Wow, not much has changed in fork suspension since the late 90's or has it?

    I have been tandeming since the late 80's. My first tandem was a Ritchey Skyline, worked beautifully, stiff, little flex, put the largest tires possible for the ridged frame and fork. Went down hard one day, my stoker was leaning off the bike in a gravel turn and bam, we got up and his shoulder was broken. Ahh, great memories. Later on, I purchased a Milkelsen tandem frame and built it up in 1997, it was built around 26" wheels. I called Cambria Cycles and asked what suspension fork would work on this bike, Red told me to use the Control Tech leading link fork. I did and it worked well, it was maxed out on air pressure, but it did work well. When we were out of the saddle, you would have the whoosh, whoosh noise of the front fork moving though it's travel. But, this bike handled so well, street and off road. Yes, I could get the front end to push....in the sand. I added yet another tandem in 1997, a Ventana with a Zyzzik (kant remember how to spell it, this fork was stiff, you could hit a curb straight on and the tandem would stall for a split second then roll on. Sold all of the tandems as we had kids and most of our cycling times diminished. Now, the kids are grown, we still have student loans to pay off, but, I just acquired an old Santana Rio, early 90's and searched for an suspension fork for it. I'm still amazed that there is little out there! The problem with the early Santana Rio is that the stock fork won't allow any tire larger than a 1.9" tire. At least if I go with a suspension fork, a 2.4 should work. So, I know that most people don't want to say which fork they are using because they are not tandem specked. Whoa, my question is: Is there any 15mm axle forks out there that will work on a tandem? Thanks, Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by ds2199 View Post
    Recently I have had a few converstions about suspension forks on a tandem. I would be interested to hear people's experience with their existing set up.

    1. What fork make/model and what frame make/model?
    1a. single or dual crown
    1b. lock out?
    1c. axle type 20mm thru? 9mm QR?
    2. Team weight?
    3. Type of riding.
    4. Any feedback regarding performance, maintenance etc. (positive or negative).

    I think this type of information on this forum would be extremely valuable.

    Also, feel free to add anything that I missed. And don't be bashfull telling us if you are running a "non-tandem rated" fork. This is an informal poll - you can always hide behind your screen name...

    Thanks!

  44. #194
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    My tandem may not be of help, but a Fox 40 has been serving me quite well.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Suspension Fork Experience - What's Working? What's Not?-otter-air-2013-copysm.jpg  

    DW-DHR,VPX,SLX,SX,Stump Jumper ht.,Specialist, Bicycle Fabrications DH Tandem,Gravity Bike,Bamboo 29rs,Profile Uni,Renovo R4.

  45. #195
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    I Can't Believe Someon Used A Rock Shox Indy!

    Check out this ebay listing: Santana Mountain Bike Tandem 26" Suspension Fork Rigid Fork Shimano LX XT XTR | eBay

    The Rock Shox Indy flexed big time on a single bike, wonder how often it bottoms out? Now I would worry about fork breakage on this one!

    Mike

  46. #196
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    We are using a non-approved Fox fork that has worked very, very well for us. It is a Float 29'r set at 130mm with a FIT damper and 34mm stanchions. I notice very little flex except under very hard hits - otherwise it is very stable with the tapered head tube.

    Again, not an approved fork. We are a 280lb team and have had good success.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

  47. #197
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    White Bros Loop

    I have no affiliation with this individual, but am always looking for tandem stuff on local craigs...

    Looks like a fair price for a lightly used White Bros Loop! Applicable to this thread too!

    White Bros dual crown Loop 29er fork

  48. #198
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    Suspension on Cannondale Tandem 29er

    Absolutely love this thread. Learning a lot from those of you contributing to technical setups.

    So, I can get a killer deal on a newer Manitou Dorado Pro. Can anyone give any thoughts or advice as to how this fork would play with my 2014 Cannondale Tandem 29er? I'd greatly appreciate it. I'd like to act quickly on the fork before it's gone, but want to make sure it would be a good setup, or could be tuned to be a good setup, for our tandem.

    @PMK, you've been helpful in recent conversations with a separate thread on fitting tires with this particular bike. You seem to have a lot of experience with suspension setups.

    Suspension Fork Experience - What's Working? What's Not?-img_20141106_162539463_hdr.jpg

  49. #199
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    Once I increased the pressure to a 25% sag I've had no problems with our Manitou Marvel Pro. Note that it did increase the height slightly which was a good thing as with the stock fork the pedals would occasionally hit the ground going over short rollers.

  50. #200
    MTB Tandem Nut
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    Quote Originally Posted by iLike29er View Post
    Absolutely love this thread. Learning a lot from those of you contributing to technical setups.

    So, I can get a killer deal on a newer Manitou Dorado Pro. Can anyone give any thoughts or advice as to how this fork would play with my 2014 Cannondale Tandem 29er? I'd greatly appreciate it. I'd like to act quickly on the fork before it's gone, but want to make sure it would be a good setup, or could be tuned to be a good setup, for our tandem.

    @PMK, you've been helpful in recent conversations with a separate thread on fitting tires with this particular bike. You seem to have a lot of experience with suspension setups.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I had Manitou build us a shortened travel version of the Dorado to test out on tandems. In the end, the spring rate was way too linear, and the amount of preload necessary to hold the fork up without having more than 50% sag was well beyond the max recommended pressure in the fork. After some discussion with the folks at Manitou, it was determined that the internals weren't suited for high weight loads and the accompanying pressures. So the chassis of the fork would work, but the guts don't.

    White Bros will soon have the Stoke tandem fork out, and it's travel (100mm) will better match up to the Cannondale's geometry. There are also some other, non-tandem rated forks out there that would probably work better than the Dorado (great DH fork, but not that good as a tandem fork).

    PMK is a suspension wiz!
    MTB Tandems Inc.
    678-445-0711
    www.MTBTandems.com

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