How tough is the El conquistador?
I've e-mailed ventana regarding this and am still awaiting a response so I thought I'd ask here.
My girlfriend and I are going to go take a long trip through Asia. I figure a tandem is the best way to go.
I also want to get a tandem that I can also enjoy on the local trails.
I love the idea of getting a El conquistador with S&S couplings but wander whether or not I'm going to find myself in some remote part of Mongolia with a dead shock / broken swing arm or dead bearings. At least a steel hardtail could most likely be repaired.
I guess i could buy a hardtail for the trip and then trade in for the ventana later but I'm usually a full sus convert and would rather make just one purchase.
What do you guys reckon?
Any help would be much appreciated,
El Conquistador has to be the toughest tandem around.
My El Conquistador with 5" rockers and a 6" fork is the only way to ride, my wife and I started on a hardtail tandem with a big fork, which works great for the captain, but the wife gets hammered on every little bump. It is way different being on the back of a hardtail tandem and being blind to the trail than riding a hardtail yourself and seeing and preparing yourself for the bumps.
My marriage is way better off having the 5" of rear travel to smooth things out for her.
Also, my ECDM has a Rohloff rear hub and it is the only way to ride a tandem, Don't mess around with the other hubs, just go rohloff from the start and have Sherwood include the rohloff specific rear swingarm. Then you can just big heavy duty singlespeed chains and not be worried about breaking chains all the time. Install a Rohloff and forget about it.
Was definately wanting to go the route of the Rohloff but was unsure of the gear ratios. What do you use as a front chain ring and does that work in all situations? I'm imagining I'm going to be wanting the lowest granny equivalent for mountains and some big ring action on the roads...
We are running a 36T chainring and a 16T cog. We are in the front range of Colorado so we wanted the low end gearing for the long climbs.
It is really low gearing, it feels about the same or slightly lower than my 22t x 34t on my full suspension mt. bike. I was initially thinking of going to a 15t in the rear, but I like having the lowest gear as a "recovery" gear. We have been doing almost all the long steep climbing in the 2nd or 3rd gear.
You may want to go with a 38x16 or 36x15 if you don't have the steep technical climbs where you live.
On the high end, my wife screams at me when I push it much over the 22 - 25 mph mark. So the high end is not much of an issue.
How tough is the El conquistador?
ours is the one on page 3 of the " setup thread "
as a starting point: our team weigh 275lbs - important to know when asking any other tandem(ers) about toughness / longevity. (if you weigh dramaticaly less or more than they do)
As the other comments rohloff are fantastic - read the reviews elesshere but we didn't have an extra £500 lying around.
Get BIG disks and plain gauge spokes 13g or fatter.
Get WIDE bars - you'll need the extra leaverage
do lots or your local trails first tandems take some getting used to.
we've had 2500+ british (read mostly muddy ;-) miles out of the bearings so far with zero play or nigles.
I'ts tough enough for:
scroll down to Gwydyr North Trail - we've done the whole of the Gwydyr trail (with the exception of some realy tight switchbacks)
for loads of tandem advise from people who do nothing but ride!
are very helpfull
mostly though our tandem is the best bike I've ever owned and has had nothing but admiring comments
BUY ONE YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO.
How tough is El Conquistador?
Well I have a pic somewhere of Sherwood lofting one off a jump at the Prarie City Races with the stoker putting a grip on the rear bars and the rubber grips squeezing through his fingers! That one caught about 3 feet of air. Same tandem did demo rides at the Sea Otter Races and no problems. Also the Downieville Downhill, out running single rider bikes to the bottom. This is a one piece frame not the breakdown model.