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  1. #101
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    Call or email, they have most axle and widths in stock, color choices depend on stock, you can custom order. Read the Onyx Racing hub threads for more info.

    Quote Originally Posted by VeloRyan View Post
    Nurse Ben, where did you get the Onyx hubs from? All I can find on their site are BMX hubs.

  2. #102
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    Added a rack to carry a bunch of gear for a race, crammed the panniers full of food, chairs, emergency gear, it weighed a ton! It was a lot harder climbing single track with panniers, the shimmy was increased for sure, but we did it!

    The lower rack mount is attached through the sliders "tracks", but I plan on getting longer slider bolts and using the rear bolt for the rack and to secure the slider.

    For the future, I'm thinking trunk bag and bar bags for single track

    And see what pretty fat tires we have, Surly Dirt Wizrd 29 x 3", yummy!

    The El Gran Jefe Thread-jefe-rack-1.jpgThe El Gran Jefe Thread-jefe-rack-2.jpgThe El Gran Jefe Thread-jefe-29-.jpg

  3. #103
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    Got a new fork coming from Risse Racing, it's the Trixxy twin crown inverted fork. The fork is spring, air, oil.

    They just started making it with a 150mm hub spacing. The axle is a 20mm TA, but they have adaptors to reduce to a 15mm TA.

    We had them build it with a 80-120mm travel range with it preset at 100mm. Changing travel is easy, just swap spacers on the air side of the fork.

    It's a super burly fork and it's tandem rated, it's not light (6#), but at $800 it's a deal! I'll post a review once we get in some miles.

  4. #104
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    Hey guys, love the builds! My wife and I just built our El.G.J. last Wednesday and are loving it!

    We'd really like a frame bag in the b.b. - b.b. triangle just like yours, ds2199; is that a custom bag, or a stock one we could buy someplace? Thanks!

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth B. View Post
    Hey guys, love the builds! My wife and I just built our El.G.J. last Wednesday and are loving it!

    We'd really like a frame bag in the b.b. - b.b. triangle just like yours, ds2199; is that a custom bag, or a stock one we could buy someplace? Thanks!
    Custom bag. It's great to be able to put some extra clothing in there, or a spare tube (the tubes are huge!).

    I had the bag made by Joe at JPaks J.Paks LLC

    He does really quality work. He can get a little backed up at times, so inquire early! I might have him make one for one or both of the other triangles as well.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by ds2199 View Post
    Custom bag. It's great to be able to put some extra clothing in there, or a spare tube (the tubes are huge!).

    I had the bag made by Joe at JPaks J.Paks LLC

    He does really quality work. He can get a little backed up at times, so inquire early! I might have him make one for one or both of the other triangles as well.

    I'll check him out, thank you! I stuck a Surly Pugsley frame pack in there (upside down) just for giggles, and it actually fit pretty well, but the main zipper is right where the timing chain is... so, I figured a custom bag would be the answer.

  7. #107
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    Nice! I'll check him out. I figured if I wanted to put a bag there it would need to be a custom one. I did pop a Surly Pugsley frame pack in there (upside down) just for giggles, and it fit pretty-ok, but the main compartment zipper was right in line with the timing chain, so not an ideal use.

  8. #108
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    Pics and a build list or it didn't happen!!

    Seriously, no pics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seth B. View Post
    Hey guys, love the builds! My wife and I just built our El.G.J. last Wednesday and are loving it!

    We'd really like a frame bag in the b.b. - b.b. triangle just like yours, ds2199; is that a custom bag, or a stock one we could buy someplace? Thanks!

  9. #109
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Pics and a build list or it didn't happen!!

    Seriously, no pics?
    The El Gran Jefe Thread-20150713_075107.jpg


    Haha! It's July in the bike shop, so I've been pretty buried - glad I had time to build us the Jefe in the first place... will post some more photos and a build list soon!
    Last edited by Seth B.; 07-18-2015 at 01:17 PM.

  10. #110
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    Smile

    Haha! Fair enough.

    It's a busy July in the bike shop, and I'm thankful I even had time to build our Jefe at all... I'll have to post specs later, but here's a photo in the mean time. Cheers!

    The El Gran Jefe Thread-20150713_075107.jpg

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth B. View Post
    Haha! Fair enough.

    It's a busy July in the bike shop, and I'm thankful I even had time to build our Jefe at all... I'll have to post specs later, but here's a photo in the mean time. Cheers!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Okie dokie... So, build list:

    Pretty straight-forward and utilitarian...

    We had a stock Salsa hub/Surly Darryl wheel set kicking around, already wrapped in 45NRTH Dillinger 5 rubber.

    Salsa aluminum fork (will replace with new Salsa Makwa carbon fork that will have 3-pack bosses for 2016).

    SRAM X9 shifter and derailleur, SRAM 12-36 cassette, Race Face Ride cranks and b.b.'s, with 32 tooth timing rings and a 30 tooth drive ring.

    TRP Spyke brakes with 180mm rotors. We've got a new set of SRAM Guide RSC brakes to put on, but are waiting for a long enough rear hose; the Spykes are great, though, and we're not in a big hurry to swap em out.

    Mix of Salsa, Bontrager, Richey and Control Tech cockpit bits, with a Rock Shox Reverb stoker seat post.

    We've never ridden a tandem before this week, but have already really hit our stride... It's so much fun to really ride together! Local mountain bike trails and chunky gravel roads have been our haunts so far; looking forward to lots of miles and smiles as the year goes on on!

    Oh... And we've named our Jefe the Thunder Yam. Anybody else have a nick-name for theirs?

  12. #112
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    Seth... how is the tire/frame spacing with a 170mm rear and the 5" tire? Any rubbing issues?

  13. #113
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    Spacing with the 170 rear is good; wheel is fully forward in the frame with no rubbing at all, however a full 5" tire w/ 100mm rim would most likely rub, unless running it with an internally geared hub or single speed. The Dillinger 5's on 80mm rims are a really nice size.

  14. #114
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    Great to hear. I got a deal on some Big Fat Larry's for summer use and I was hoping it would clear the stays. Thanks!

  15. #115
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    Hi guys

    I have a stupid question:
    Why is the rear dropout choice given for 177x12 and 197x12? What is there the advantage? And why did you choose what you have? Is the wider the more stable? And is the frame then build wider? How about choices of hubs?

    Sorry, I am quite new in this Fat Business...

  16. #116
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    I'll break it down of you...
    Why is the rear dropout choice given for 177x12 and 197x12? 197 allows you to run a wider tire/wheel (5") if you are using a double ring on the stoker crank.
    What is there the advantage? Wider tire = better float/grip in the snow, sand.
    And why did you choose what you have? I use 177 as it has shorter Q-factor (the BB is 100mm), yet I can still run a 5" tire as I use a 1x11 set-up (one ring on stoker crank).
    Is the wider the more stable? Yes, in snow and sand. During the summer, I run a 4" tire for better agility.
    And is the frame then build wider? On the 197, yes, the yoke and seat stays will be wider.
    How about choices of hubs? 170/7 & 190/7 are becoming more and more common due to the emergence of fat bikes. I'd give the nod to 170/177 right now... but the 190/7 are catching up. You want a strong hub for a fat tandem... so look at companies like Industry Nine as they make some of the best in the biz.

  17. #117
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    Many thanks Bacons for your reply and explanations.

    So for me then it is clear I would like to go with 197x12, with 26x5. And as I would like to run with a double chain ring 2x10. But then I have the conection chain to put on the left side, correct? As far as I saw here you all put the complete drive train on the same side, at right...

    Sorry for the stupid questions, but I am completely lost in the tandem sector...

    Can you please give me an advise which components for the drive train would be suitable? I mean, the usual Shimano crank sets have the axle with the chain ring on it, and the left crank is the attached. But for the rear crank set I need on both sides chain rings...

  18. #118
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    There are a fair number of builds detailed here in this thread, have you read through from Page 1?

  19. #119
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    Yes, as far as my English allowed, I read from first post...

    But I did not find what I would like to have. The Rholoff Hub is not what I would like to have, as I would like to have different wheels ... Would be very expensive...

    What I am looking for is a 2x10, compatible with 26x5 wheels. And I do not really understand how I can achieve this, but from what I saw till now I need the coupling chain from front to rear switch on the other side. But which componets allow this? If I would run small wheels / tyres it would be clear as there are drivetrain components for tandems. But FAT is bit different, no?
    That is why I ask for your advise, hiw can I run 26x5 on 100mm rim with 2x10?

  20. #120
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    I think I got it why you made it this way. My wish to assemble 2x10 with a tandem seems quite difficult. But I can realise almost the same range of gear ratio with 1x10 by using sproket 11-42. Meanwhile I know what this Wolftooth is But it would also be possible to assemble 1x11.
    The only thing is with the 1x that it is less smooth graded. There 2x would be better.

    So I think I will go with 1x10 or 1x11...

    Crank set choices are quite rare? How about the Hope? As far as I saw, there is no Shimano available with a 100mm Bottom Bracket.

  21. #121
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    Yesterday my wife and I rode the very first time on a Tandem. We are both exceited
    The El Gran Jefe here in Mango Tango has the serial number ONE !!! Wheight is slightly above 20kg...

    We liked it a lot, and we are thinking of ordering one... Christmas is cominig soon


    The El Gran Jefe Thread-image.jpg

  22. #122
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    Great new builds!

    Sad news on the suspension fork front:

    We waited over two months on Risse to build a fat bike version of the Trixxy, and after many, many promises, the fork never arrived, so we contacted VISA (Risse would not return calls) and had the funds "retrieved".

    Since the Bluto is very noodly, we decided to go rigid until a burlier fat fork is created or we decide to bite the bullet and do a boost fork. I'd consider ordering a custom fork using one of the Manitou DH forks, but I'm not sure who I'd trust to do the custom clamp work. If nothing new comes down the pike, I am also looking at a Lefty Olaf fat bike fork... when it finally lands.

    We didn't want to spend a bunch of money on a rigid fork, so we got a Surly ICT fat bike fork, it is 1 1/8" steerer, so we had to get a special race ($12), other than that it was a quick bolt on. The fork is not heavy, it is quite stiff, and it has tons of bosses.

    First ride on the fork last night, riding 29+ Surly Dirt Wizards (great tires!!) and the Jefe was clearly more responsive and had far less "inchworm" than with the Bluto. My wife could tell the difference going from suspension to rigid, she said there was more bounce. For my part, I missed the forgiveness of the Bluto, but with the big tires it was not overly harsh, and it is was much easier to point and shoot my lines.

  23. #123
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    Either she has very long arms or she's go no place to put her head!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubberduckxi View Post
    Yesterday my wife and I rode the very first time on a Tandem. We are both exceited
    The El Gran Jefe here in Mango Tango has the serial number ONE !!! Wheight is slightly above 20kg...

    We liked it a lot, and we are thinking of ordering one... Christmas is cominig soon


    Click image for larger version. 

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  24. #124
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    You don't need 2x, fat bikes/tandems ridden at speed are not "fast", a 1 x will be fine.

    We run a 24t x 11-40, it works fine for climbing in the Cascades, anything we can't climb is a walker on most bikes.

    You can always carry extra cogs and change them out for different terrain.

    In choosing between a 177 or a 197 spacing, note that a wider spacing will compromise your chain line, this is because you are running 1x which doesn't allow you to move the chain to the outside with a second chainring.

    I think you would be okay running most 5" tires with a 177 spacing, though the tires I'm talking about are as wide as a Vee Rubber Bulldozer (actual width is 4.5"). Do you know for sure that you'll run 5" tires? Do you know what tires you are going to run?

    When I get home tonight I'll do some measurements and look at the chainstay-chain alignment on our Jefe with 177mm spacing.

    Cranks, there are lots of choices, Shimano, SRAM, Race Face. We use 170mm Race Face Turbine Cinch.

    You should look at the builds in this thread, there is enough variability that you could get all your questions answered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubberduckxi View Post
    I think I got it why you made it this way. My wish to assemble 2x10 with a tandem seems quite difficult. But I can realise almost the same range of gear ratio with 1x10 by using sproket 11-42. Meanwhile I know what this Wolftooth is But it would also be possible to assemble 1x11.
    The only thing is with the 1x that it is less smooth graded. There 2x would be better.

    So I think I will go with 1x10 or 1x11...

    Crank set choices are quite rare? How about the Hope? As far as I saw, there is no Shimano available with a 100mm Bottom Bracket.

  25. #125
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    A recent build we did with 2x10. The Middleburn cranks have been a life-saver as far as getting clearance for the 197mm rear end and still running 2x rings up front. So far, the Wren fork works good, but I don't have a lot of personal trail time on it - it's definitely stiffer than the Bluto. Really liking the Nextie 90mm rims - great spoke triangulation and spacing - should make for a pretty strong wheel.
    The El Gran Jefe Thread-img_4158.jpgThe El Gran Jefe Thread-img_4159.jpgThe El Gran Jefe Thread-img_4162.jpgThe El Gran Jefe Thread-img_4163.jpgThe El Gran Jefe Thread-img_4165.jpg
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  26. #126
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    Ben, I am thinking of doing the same thing with my Bluto (moving to rigid). Did you also look at the Salsa Bearpaw 150mm?

  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemNut View Post
    A recent build we did with 2x10. The Middleburn cranks have been a life-saver as far as getting clearance for the 197mm rear end and still running 2x rings up front. So far, the Wren fork works good, but I don't have a lot of personal trail time on it - it's definitely stiffer than the Bluto. Really liking the Nextie 90mm rims - great spoke triangulation and spacing - should make for a pretty strong wheel.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nice job with the Middleburn 2 x set up, I considered that option, but we got in a hurry and went 1 x.

    So the Wren, or shall we say "the fork of many names", what travel are you running?

    I'm in a holding pattern on forks... waiting for an Olaf or for someone at SRAM to get off the pot.

    "No Step"

    Quote Originally Posted by Bacons View Post
    Ben, I am thinking of doing the same thing with my Bluto (moving to rigid). Did you also look at the Salsa Bearpaw 150mm?
    I looked at all the forks that would easily swap with the Bluto, the Salsa was the least expensive and seemed to be at least as burly as the others. I suppose I'm nervous about aluminum and carbon because the fork does need to flex with such a heavy load; the number of cycles before failing seem to be higher with steel than other materials.

    After our ride on Sunday, banging through rough terrain at speed, hitting rocks and holes, side slipping the wheel on many ruts, I found the ICT fork to be plenty stiff and predictable. I don't want to ride the Jefe as a rigid forever, but it was certainly rideable on tech terrain and it was plenty of fun.

    The other pro about the ICT fork is it has tons of attachments for panniers and bottles, so it'll stay in the quiver for future multi-day rides.

  28. #128
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    Alex,

    I just learned a little bit more about the Wren fork. It sounds like this is a new option for fat tandems, 36mm stanchions, adjustable travel 80/100/110mm.

    I read a bicycle business news release that said you have built a few tandems with this fork.

    How would you compare the rigidity of the Wren 100mm to a Loop 100mm?

    Quote Originally Posted by TandemNut View Post
    A recent build we did with 2x10. The Middleburn cranks have been a life-saver as far as getting clearance for the 197mm rear end and still running 2x rings up front. So far, the Wren fork works good, but I don't have a lot of personal trail time on it - it's definitely stiffer than the Bluto. Really liking the Nextie 90mm rims - great spoke triangulation and spacing - should make for a pretty strong wheel.
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  29. #129
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    The Wren has pretty good stiffness compared to the Bluto. It does have that slight kick on the left leg when you hit the brakes, but all inverted forks I've ridden do that, including big beefy DH forks. As far as comparison to a Loop, it's hard to tell; the wider tire introduces such a different dynamic - the fork goes where one steers it, and doesn't seem to flex as much as others I've ridden. I'll have more time on it this Fall as we'll finally have the shop el Jefe demo set up.

    The manufacturer of this fork (Wren imports it directly, and now exclusively from the manufacturer) has approved it's use for tandems, and we've put it on a few recently; what we don't have is long-term experience with them. The customers seem happy so far. The fork is well-built and the parts appear to be well-made, and the fork is reported to do much better in super-low temps than the Bluto.

    Travel in this particular build is 80mm, I believe, due to the tire size. "normal" setup would be 100mm travel. The ride height is the same for 80-100mm travel, and it's reduced by an internal spacer that's way easy to install.

    The El Gran Jefe Thread-fat-rigid-fork.jpg

    For rigid fork options, just got this from Teresa at Ventana - Rigid fat bike fork, 150mm spacing, QR15 axle (included), lots of WB bosses, steel - MSRP $550. Knowing Ventana, it will be well-built and plenty strong for whatever loads one wants to put on it. Plus, specifically designed for tandem loads. Availability later this Fall. We'll have some in stock when they're available.
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  30. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemNut View Post

    Click image for larger version. 

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    For rigid fork options, just got this from Teresa at Ventana - Rigid fat bike fork, 150mm spacing, QR15 axle (included), lots of WB bosses, steel - MSRP $550. Knowing Ventana, it will be well-built and plenty strong for whatever loads one wants to put on it. Plus, specifically designed for tandem loads. Availability later this Fall. We'll have some in stock when they're available.
    The same pic send me my dealer here as I asked for a rigid fork option
    Sorry when I ask, but what means "WB bosses"? My Englisch / German translator give me no sense making answer...

  31. #131
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    $550 MSRP for that rigid fork? Damn. ICT fork is looking better and better....

  32. #132
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    Thanks Alex, that may be my best choice for the Jefe unless I want to build up a custom DH fork.

    Please post more feedback as you get a chance to ride it. Specifically, I'm looking to the Wren to reduce "inchworming", that awful linear bouncing resulting from the fork flexing fore and aft, which is especially noticeable on the Bluto.

    I like that the ride height remains constant with changes in travel. I may keep my AngleSet for a little while longer...

    That Ventana rigid fat fork sure is pretty, hand made don't come cheap!

    Quote Originally Posted by TandemNut View Post
    The Wren has pretty good stiffness compared to the Bluto. It does have that slight kick on the left leg when you hit the brakes, but all inverted forks I've ridden do that, including big beefy DH forks. As far as comparison to a Loop, it's hard to tell; the wider tire introduces such a different dynamic - the fork goes where one steers it, and doesn't seem to flex as much as others I've ridden. I'll have more time on it this Fall as we'll finally have the shop el Jefe demo set up.

    The manufacturer of this fork (Wren imports it directly, and now exclusively from the manufacturer) has approved it's use for tandems, and we've put it on a few recently; what we don't have is long-term experience with them. The customers seem happy so far. The fork is well-built and the parts appear to be well-made, and the fork is reported to do much better in super-low temps than the Bluto.

    Travel in this particular build is 80mm, I believe, due to the tire size. "normal" setup would be 100mm travel. The ride height is the same for 80-100mm travel, and it's reduced by an internal spacer that's way easy to install.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    For rigid fork options, just got this from Teresa at Ventana - Rigid fat bike fork, 150mm spacing, QR15 axle (included), lots of WB bosses, steel - MSRP $550. Knowing Ventana, it will be well-built and plenty strong for whatever loads one wants to put on it. Plus, specifically designed for tandem loads. Availability later this Fall. We'll have some in stock when they're available.

  33. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubberduckxi View Post
    The same pic send me my dealer here as I asked for a rigid fork option
    Sorry when I ask, but what means "WB bosses"? My Englisch / German translator give me no sense making answer...
    Water Bottle Bosses - attachment points for water bottles, and also some racks and accessories.
    US-made stuff isn't cheap, but I trust it more.
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  34. #134
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    Ben,
    I had MRP build me a version of their inverted DH fork that worked with 4.0 tires. And, unlike another company you mentioned here (I had the same experience, but with an order of 5 forks), MRP will respond in a timely fashion and builds a good product. I've planted the seed for some wider crowns to accommodate fatter tires, but as always, the best way to get it made is to order several...
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  35. #135
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    Alex, any word on if ATC will offer wide triple clamps and brace for their fork?

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

  36. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    Alex, any word on if ATC will offer wide triple clamps and brace for their fork?

    PK
    I don't know if ATC is still producing forks. They still have some replacement parts.

    It would certainly make a good platform for a fat fork wouldn't it? They don't have 15mm dropouts, but other than that, no reason why it couldn't be done...
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  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemNut View Post
    I don't know if ATC is still producing forks. They still have some replacement parts.

    It would certainly make a good platform for a fat fork wouldn't it? They don't have 15mm dropouts, but other than that, no reason why it couldn't be done...
    Yes it would be an easy set of changes if they wanted to do it.
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    I spoke with MRP earlier this year and they told me that fat crown forks were not something they were planning to add.

    What spacing did you specify on that MRP fork?

    What volume (numbers) would it require to have a fork crown and lowers cast?

    Quote Originally Posted by TandemNut View Post
    Ben,
    I had MRP build me a version of their inverted DH fork that worked with 4.0 tires. And, unlike another company you mentioned here (I had the same experience, but with an order of 5 forks), MRP will respond in a timely fashion and builds a good product. I've planted the seed for some wider crowns to accommodate fatter tires, but as always, the best way to get it made is to order several...

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    I ditched the Bluto in early spring due to excessive flex, tried to get another suspension fork built for tandem use and that fell through, so I installed a Surly ICT fork and race adaptor.

    We have a few rides now on this set up, so far so good, The ICT fork is much stiffer than the Bluto, handling is good, no complaints of being excessively jarred.

    The only time I've wished for suspension is when going over consecutive drops where lacking a means to accomodate an impact the wheel tends to squirt to one side or the other.

    I may try the fork of many names if a better fork is not forthcoming in the Spring.

    The ICT has a bunch of mounts, so it will make a good touring fork.

  40. #140
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    Fork Update:

    Ventana is working on a tandem specific fork utilizing MRP Groove legs, Ventana made clamps, ~120mm travel.

    Availability Winter 2015-16

    This would be a upside down, twin clamp, big hit fork.

  41. #141
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    Question on tire clearance. I see the 197 rear can fit a bud/lou tire. How much clearance is there? Is it possible to fit the fair bit larger Vee Snowshoe XXL? It is both wider and taller. How about on the fork?
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    Yes, there's room for 5" tires, same triangle as the Ventana El Gordo.

    The 197 spacing is for chain-tire clearance only..

    There are a couple suspension fork options now:

    The Bluto, which I do not recommend due to excessive flex and poor dampening
    The Wren inverted fork, which is looking like a great option. I have one on my fat bike.
    A Ventana modified MRP fork. Ventana charges extra for machining custom crowns. Not sure how they reduce travel...
    The Risse Trixxy, modified crowns. This is another one I'd avoid due to poor customer service.

    For me, I found 80-100mm travel to be ideal as a longer travel fork increased slack and flex, leading to poor handling.

    You can also ride rigid, Ventana has a new fork that looks burly, though pricey. We run a Surly ICT fork with a CC crown race adaptor, less that $200 and it's plenty stiff. The ride with a rigid fork and 29+ tires is not to bad. We will probably get a Wren for the Jefe.

    If you run 5" tires, I wonder whether you will want a suspension fork, that would be an awful lot of movement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Logantri View Post
    Question on tire clearance. I see the 197 rear can fit a bud/lou tire. How much clearance is there? Is it possible to fit the fair bit larger Vee Snowshoe XXL? It is both wider and taller. How about on the fork?

  43. #143
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    I appreciate the response. The thing is there are the 5" bud and lou tires that fit obviously, and then there is the new Vee rubber snowshoe xxl. Here is a link to get an idea of the size. https://fat-bike.com/2015/08/product...2xl-5-05-tire/

    I am not too worried about a fork fitting the tire because I know ones that do, and I am a ways off from looking for a suspension fork if ever. This would be for winter use and I am looking for the most float that can be squeezed out of the bike.

    Pics of clearance with a bud/lou mounted would help a lot in determining if the new crazy big tires have a chance at fitting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logantri View Post
    I appreciate the response. The thing is there are the 5" bud and lou tires that fit obviously, and then there is the new Vee rubber snowshoe xxl. Here is a link to get an idea of the size. https://fat-bike.com/2015/08/product...2xl-5-05-tire/

    I am not too worried about a fork fitting the tire because I know ones that do, and I am a ways off from looking for a suspension fork if ever. This would be for winter use and I am looking for the most float that can be squeezed out of the bike.

    Pics of clearance with a bud/lou mounted would help a lot in determining if the new crazy big tires have a chance at fitting.
    I can post up a photo of a bud & lou mounted up on 90mm rims on a 197 rear with a Bluto. I think that is the other item that you neglected to mention, what rim size are you looking at?

  45. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by ds2199 View Post
    I can post up a photo of a bud & lou mounted up on 90mm rims on a 197 rear with a Bluto. I think that is the other item that you neglected to mention, what rim size are you looking at?
    That would be great. I am thinking 90mm is the most narrow we would go for a rim. Your tubeless right? (which stretches out the tire more). I don't need to know about the bluto because their are plenty of shots I can find of that AND I know the Vee tire DOES NOT fit it. If you posted clearance pics of the rear I would appreciate, thanks!
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    I guess another question I should ask is if you all found the bud/lou or the Dillenger 5 tires have been enough for most use in the winter. I would be looking at snowmobile trails primarily. I am afraid with all the weight event the bud/lou may not be enough.
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    Bud & Lou tire on 90mm rim - 197mm rear spaced El Gran Jefe

    Quote Originally Posted by Logantri View Post
    I guess another question I should ask is if you all found the bud/lou or the Dillenger 5 tires have been enough for most use in the winter. I would be looking at snowmobile trails primarily. I am afraid with all the weight event the bud/lou may not be enough.
    We have had good results with the Bud/Lou combo on the 90mm rim (tubeless). As you probably know, the performance or fat bikes on snow (tandem or otherwise) is highly dependent on conditions (moisture content of snow, amount and type of traffic, depth of fresh snow vs. packed snow underneath etc.). I have not felt the need to go to a 100mm rim or wider tire. There are times that we struggle in certain conditions, but others on single bikes are also struggling as well. So it's tough to say if it is "enough". For reference, we are about 270lb team

    Here's a couple of photos to show the rear clearance
    The El Gran Jefe Thread-img_1643.jpgThe El Gran Jefe Thread-img_1644.jpg

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    Thanks for the info! Pretty confident the new Vee tire would not even come close to fitting.

    Next question: gearing.

    Most everyone is going 1x and I understand why. Seems like you are around the 26-30 range for a chainring. Doe this seem to work well? Especially climbing? I would be planning on a 1x10 with a Wolftooth giant cog to bump it to a 42 (don't trust 11 speed cassettes to be strong enough)

    Thanks.
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  49. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logantri View Post
    Next question: gearing.

    Most everyone is going 1x and I understand why. Seems like you are around the 26-30 range for a chainring. Doe this seem to work well? Especially climbing? I would be planning on a 1x10 with a Wolftooth giant cog to bump it to a 42 (don't trust 11 speed cassettes to be strong enough)

    Thanks.
    Yes, 1x10. I think it's 28t chainring with the 10sp 11-36 with Wolftooth 42t . It works well for a low gear but sometimes I wish we had a bigger gear (not frequently though).

  50. #150
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    1 x 10 is fine (or 1 x 11), we run a 24 or 26 x 11-40 (40t Wolf), for us climbing is the hard part, coasting is easy, no need for speed on a tandem, so this set up works fine. I'd skip the 42t add a cog, it's more prone to shifting problems and you don't gain much over a 40t.

    The new GX1 is worthy and reasonabley priced, there is also the Praxis and Suntour wide range 10sp (11-40) cassettes, the Praxis is steel and aluminum, the Suntour is all steel.

    I look at tires a little differently when thinking tandem. Sure, there is more weight with a tandem team, so in theory more tire would make sense, but because you're on a tandem, that alone dictates what you can ride more so than the conditions. In other words, beginner trails are intermediate, intermediate are expert, expert are double black.

    In terms of flotation, if you try to take a tandem on bottomless snow, you will be walking. You need a bottom, tandems will plow no matter what you do because you cannot unweight the front end. Traction on a tandem is generally better than on a solo bike because you always have a bunch of weight over the rear wheel.

    Having a tire that will support your weight without collapsing in teh sidewall, this is very important. A floppy tire will require more air, which increases bounce and decrease traction. Think burly sidewall. If you like Vee Rubber tires, the regular Snowshoe would be fine.

    We run tubeless on all of our wheels except the fat tires. I would be concerned with having a burp at low pressures that would unseat the tire, leading to a walk out or having to change a tube in the cold. Since tandems are already so heavy, the savings from tubeless are insignificant. Tubes are not going to be a problem for pinch flats on a tandem since you are riding snow and traveling at low speeds.

    Be very careful on ice, going down on a tandem by losing your front end is ugly. You do not want to crash your stoker, they don't like that.

    On the whole, the Jefe is a great tandem that opens up new terrain and offers a lot of wheel variations for year round riding. We have three sets of wheel for the Jefe: 29+ Dirt Wizards, 27+ Trail Boss, and 26 x 4 Floaters. Fav set up for dirt is the 29+.

    Quote Originally Posted by Logantri View Post
    Thanks for the info! Pretty confident the new Vee tire would not even come close to fitting.

    Next question: gearing.

    Most everyone is going 1x and I understand why. Seems like you are around the 26-30 range for a chainring. Doe this seem to work well? Especially climbing? I would be planning on a 1x10 with a Wolftooth giant cog to bump it to a 42 (don't trust 11 speed cassettes to be strong enough)

    Thanks.

  51. #151
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    Suspension Update:

    We have been running a Surly ICT rigid steel fork, it is adequate, though not a suspension fork, it is an improvement over the Bluto in that it is more responsive and it has less "inchworm" when working through tech terrain or riding at speed. Being a rigid fork, it does have it's limitations, so we are looking at other suspension fork options.

    I have recently installed a Wren fork on my solo fat bike. The wren is an inverted single crown fork with 36mm stanchions. It is a revised version of the "fork of many names" (FOMN), having been beefed up in the crown, stanchions, and the addition of keyways to reduce leg twisting. I have not ridden an FOMN, but reviews suggested issues with flex and twisting on solo bikes, making it an unlikely candidate for fat tandem use.

    The Wren is a totally different beast from the Bluto. With a beefy build and solid dampening, it has great potential for use on a fat tandem. The fork can be adjusted for travel and A to C length using the included and easy to change "travel clips". What this means is that you can set up as needed from home, without having to change air shafts or complete a fork rebuild.

    My preliminary experience with the Wren suggests a very damp fork that is as stiff as a dual crown, but far lighter weight; the Wren weighs ~1# more than the Bluto. If the Wren works out with my solo bike, I will likely add one to the El Jefe

    I believe Alex at MTB tandems has installed the Wren on a number of El Jefe's, so maybe he'll chime in with some feedback?

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    Hi, I am new to this forum and have been reading this thread with much interest as I am planning on ordering my first tandem, after much reading I have decided to go with the VEGJ as most of my riding is on trails , living in the UK we don't have that much snow so will not be going for super wide tyres, probably max 4", the posts on this thread has already given me a lot of good ideas, I have just a few questions which I would appreciate some guidance,
    1, I notice in one of the associated threads on wheels that the Stan's Hugo was not recommended, why is this? Any thoughts on the DT Swiss BR710?
    2, Do you have any real live feedback on 11 speed, does it hold up to the extra grunt of a tandem.
    3, On the brake front I am thinking of Hope's tech 3 E4 with 203 rotors

    Thanks in advance for any

  53. #153
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    Hugos are not that strong and tandems are not that agole, so you will be plowing through everything in your path, as a result your tandem rims will take a lot more full impacts than on a solo bike. Get a burly rim and you can't go wrong.

    11sp will be fine, though it's probably not worth the expense as there are some wide range 10sp systems for a lot less. The weak link for 11sp is the thinner chain and large aluminum cogs.

    Hope makes good brakes, but you don't need 200mm rotors, the larger rotor is not going to substantially cool your brakes, and large rotors are prone to becoming bent and then they rub.

    For tires, you want one that has a lot of sidewall, that way at lower pressures you still get durability and support while having a cushy ride. For 26 x 4" tires I'd suggest the Jumbo Jim Snakeskin.

    You may want to consider going 27.5 on the wheels because you will then have a wider choice for tires, from 2.8" to 4"; the wider 27+ tires are a new thing, it would give you the best of both worlds. We typically run 29+, but have 26 x 4 wheels, and 27+ wheels.

    If you won't be going wider than 4", then get the 177mm rear hub spacing.

    Have you decided on a fork?

  54. #154
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    @Clev...

    The new Shimano XT M8000 1x11 set-up is VERY nice and not nearly as expensive as the XTR version. I also like the 32-37-42t cogs are on the same spider... resulting in better coverage on your free hub.

    Wheels... I moved my carbon rims to my Bucksaw. So I now use Industry Nine hubs mated to Sun's MuleFüt Rims (80mm). The combo has proven very strong, reliable and allows me to run 4" or 5" tires with ease (and plenty of room with the 177 rear spacing).

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    Thanks Nurse Ben and Bacon for your advice, where do I start, I've been deliberating over wheel size for ages, my crew weight is on the generous side coming in at 360 excluding kit and because of this I'm thinking rigid forks (Ventana's own) and the smaller wheel size (for overal strength) but with 4" tyres for that little bit of cushioning (jumbo Jims are my preferred option). That's also why I was thinking about the larger rotors, do you think I still need them? I was also thinking 11 sp xt, always found it reliable enough not to stump up the extra for xtr. With regards to the forks, do you know much about Ventana's own, all I've seen is a couple of pictures, they appear to be premium priced compared to some suspension forks and carbon ones.
    Any advise on the above and anything else you can think of would be greatly received.

  56. #156
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    I run 203 rotors front and back. Mated to Magura MT5's. I didn't think I'd like them (I run Shimano XT's on all my other rigs), but I have come to love them. Great brakes! (rider weights between 320~350lbs total).
    Been running a Bluto fork, but am always looking for something less flexy... Ben nailed it in his description of that fork.
    Tires: I run 45Nrth Vanhelgas in the winter, Surly Big Fat Larry's in the warmer months (yes, those 5" tires do clear the chainline/chainstays in the 170mm rear with 1x11 set-up). When the BFL are used up, I will give the Jumbo Jims a try.

  57. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clev View Post
    Thanks Nurse Ben and Bacon for your advice, where do I start, I've been deliberating over wheel size for ages, my crew weight is on the generous side coming in at 360 excluding kit and because of this I'm thinking rigid forks (Ventana's own) and the smaller wheel size (for overal strength) but with 4" tyres for that little bit of cushioning (jumbo Jims are my preferred option). That's also why I was thinking about the larger rotors, do you think I still need them? I was also thinking 11 sp xt, always found it reliable enough not to stump up the extra for xtr. With regards to the forks, do you know much about Ventana's own, all I've seen is a couple of pictures, they appear to be premium priced compared to some suspension forks and carbon ones.
    Any advise on the above and anything else you can think of would be greatly received.
    I bailed on the Bluto and went with the least cost option, a Surly ICT fork ($150) and a Cane Creek adaptor race. This fork is plenty stiff and it was an immense improvement over the Bluto, but I still would prefer to have a suspension fork to help with steering and to reduce impact.

    Ventana makes great stuff, but their rigid fork is ~$500, so given the choice I'd spend that money on suspension, either a Wren 110mm travel fork (reduceable to 90 or 80) or the pending Ventana Modified MRP Groove. If you want a rigid fork option, or you just want to try rigid first, get a Surly ICT.

    Your team is not that heavy, we're 350# plus gear.

    The El Jefe is a much more robust frame than the Fandango, possibly due to the machined stays and the rear through axle. When combined with fat tires, it is a great big team ride. The only frame I would prefer would be one that is fat tire compatible and has rear suspension; I dream big

  58. #158
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    Are there any news on the MRP-Ventana Fork? Are there any pictures available?

    And, a lot was spoken here that the Surly ICT rigid fork would be a good and cheap choice. But how does it look like on the El Gran Jefe? I know how frame and the fork looks like, but have never seen a picture where it was assembled. Also the rigid fork from Ventana, I have never seen a picture of a fork mounted in the frame...

    Hope to see here some more pictures

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    I know this fred.

    But that is just one part of my question or request ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubberduckxi View Post
    I know this fred.

    But that is just one part of my question or request ;-)
    Last week I spoke with Theresa at Ventana, she said that Sherwood didn't like how the 15mm TA to 20mm TA adaptors worked; "too much flex".

    So Sherwood is looking at specing a 20mm x 150mm hub/axle to the fork.

    No timeline, but it'll get done, the triple clamps are ready to go.

    It'll be a burly fork for sure.

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    I just ordered a painted to match Ventana fork for our Jefe this morning... we should have it here and installed in a week or two & I'll post a photo. We're currently using a black Salsa fork, and it doesn't look too out of place on the bike, but I am excited to see a beefier, Mango Tango fork up front (not to mention looking forward to much more stiffness in the front end than our current, very flexy fork).

    We're in the same boat as Bacons - we've got a 170mm rear end, and are running a 1x10 drivetrain that clears a Dillinger 5 tire on an 80mm rim.

    Also, for what it's worth, after trying 2 other sets of brakes, we settled on Sram Guide RSC's with 200mm rotors and they're awesome!

  63. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth B. View Post

    We're in the same boat as Bacons - we've got a 170mm rear end, and are running a 1x10 drivetrain that clears a Dillinger 5 tire on an 80mm rim.
    How tight is that Dillinger 5 on an 80mm rim? I we run Bud and Lou on a 90mm rim, but on the 190mm rear end. I have a friend looking to get a frame and wondering what the max is on the 170mm rear end? Could you run a 90mm rim? Likely not a 100mm rim, I'd guess.

    Thanks!

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    I think the Dilly 5 on an 80mm rim is as big as you can go in a 170mm frame... it's pretty snug, but we haven't had any issues with it yet. The big rubber was really nice to have over the winter, and any extra cush I can provide my super stoker with, the better!

  65. #165
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    Per Theresa at Ventana, the Ventana/MRP fork needs a 150mm/20mm TA hub, whcih Ventana is sourcing, once the hubs and axles are available, the fork will be available for sale.

    Available travel is 120mm, but I believe you can order a custom length.

    We're riding a 120mm Wren on our Jefe and it's not overly slack.

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    Hi all, I built the bike over the Easter weekend and have been out on it many times since, using it 3 times a week to commute on plus riding the local trails, so far really happy with the setup and how it handles, really please with the forks, rock solid with precise steering and feedback, ridden round a local trail centre blue route with a mixture of rock, roots and berms and all was fine.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The El Gran Jefe Thread-img_2683.jpg  

    The El Gran Jefe Thread-img_2742.jpg  

    The El Gran Jefe Thread-img_2790.jpg  


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    Nice El Gran Jefe! Have to say, the color is really nice!

    Can you give some details of your build? What rear spacing did you choose? With DT Swiss I guess 12x197 (Big Ride hubs are 15x150 and 12x197...). What about cranks and gears? Brakes?





    Quote Originally Posted by Clev View Post
    Hi all, I built the bike over the Easter weekend and have been out on it many times since, using it 3 times a week to commute on plus riding the local trails, so far really happy with the setup and how it handles, really please with the forks, rock solid with precise steering and feedback, ridden round a local trail centre blue route with a mixture of rock, roots and berms and all was fine.

  68. #168
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    Hi, spec as follows,
    Large frame in Mercedes blue 177mm spaced rear
    Forkzilla's in black
    Hope tapered headset, spacers and head doctor
    Thompson trail bars, elite stem & seat posts
    Control tech oversize stoker stem
    Selle Italia gel flow his & hers saddles
    Ergon gp1 grips
    DT Swiss dr710 rims, silver spokes & nipples
    Hope fatso 150mm front, 177mm rear hubs
    Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 4" tyres
    Hope external 30mm bb, cranks (175mm front & 165 rear), chain rings (rear 32t inner (drive) 34t to 34t) & pedals
    Shimano XT 11 sp (11-40), brakes (with home made rear hose) 205mm rotors
    Blackburn outpost rack & Brooks bricklane panniers

    To finish,
    Klean kanteen water bottles, standard front & growler on the rear
    Big O manufacturing fenders (in the post)

    When it is all together I will clean it up and post some more pictures.
    Any questions let me know. :0)

  69. #169
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    Clev,

    That's a great looking rig (love the color, also!)... and a smiling stoker is the best! Happy trails!!!

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    Fatzilla!

    The El Gran Jefe Thread-20160505_115805.jpg


    We finally got our painted to match Fatzilla fork installed today, along with a much needed tune-up, cleaning and new orange rim tape after winter and a bit of a messy spring. Looking forward to a ride tomorrow!

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    Hello all!

    I have been combing this thread for a while and it is a great wealth of information!
    My father-in-law asked me if I was interested in building a fat tandem to leave at their condo in florida for beach riding and just plain fun and I was all in! I just sourced and ordered all the parts I could with a quick turn around, as I am going to be in Florida next week and am hoping to be able to build it while I'm down there! I was hoping that someone who has more experience than I could share some insight or wisdom on things I might have missed, this being my first foray into tandems and all.
    The primary use will be crusing around town and the beach, no real hard trail riding or snow (while it stays in florida that is). Here is my build list of parts I have on order (and most on the way to Florida as we speak):

    Ventana El Gran Jefe Large 170/177 in Carbon Black from Alex @ mtb-tandems. (Thanks again for all the help with the quick turn around Alex)

    Rock Shox Bluto RL Solo-Air 120mm
    Planning on running 5 tokens

    Cane Creek 40 44/56 Headset

    Wheels:
    Rear Wheel 26" 177mm x 12mm Novatec D102 / Surly Rolling Darryl

    Front Wheel 26" 150mm x 15mm 32h Hope FatSno / Surly Rolling Darryl

    Surly Larry Tires 26 x 3.8" 27tpi (should run about 4" with the Darryls from what I've read)

    Drive Train:
    A pair of Race Face Turbine Cinch Fatbike Cranks*
    ***Black, 170Mm, 100Mm Spindle, 170Mm Rear

    Race Face Cinch Chainring Spider*
    ***Black, 2X, 104 Bcd

    Race Face Turbine 10 Speed Chainring*
    ***104 Bcd, 32 Tooth

    Race Face Turbine 10 Speed Chainring*
    ***64 Bcd, 24 Tooth

    Race Face Cinch Narrow Wide Chainring*
    ***Black, 32 Tooth

    Race Face Bsa 30Mm Bottom Bracket*
    ***100Mm Width, 30Mm Spindle

    Shimano Xt M780 10 Speed Shifter*
    ***Black, 10 Speed Rear, Right

    Shimano Xt Rd-M786 10Spd Rear Derailleur*
    ***Black, Long Cage

    Qty (3) Shimano Hg54 10 Speed Chain*
    ***Silver, 10Speed

    Sunrace Mx3 10 Speed Cassette*
    ***11-42T, Black/Red

    Brakes:
    Front - TRP SPYKE Mechanical 2 Piston Disc Brake
    Black, 180mm

    Rear - TRP SPYKE Mechanical 2 Piston Disc Brake
    Black, 160mm

    Avid Speed Dial 7 Levers*
    ***Gray, Pair

    Cockpit:
    2x Race Face Atlas Special Edition Bar*
    ***Monster Green, 785, 1.25" Rise, 31.8

    Race Face Half Nelson Lock On Grips*
    ***Black

    Race Face Chester Stem
    Black, 50mm, 31.8mm, 1.1/8"

    Control Tech Tandem Stoker stem, (31.8/31.6) 215-255mm

    Race Face Respond Dh Seatpost*for the pilot
    ***Black, 30.9Mm X 350Mm

    Cane Creek Thudbuster Lt Seatpost*for the stoker
    ***Black, 30.9Mm X 400Mm

    Race Face Chester Composite Flat Pedal
    Green

    Any wisdom is greatly appreciated!

  72. #172
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Rubberduckxi's Avatar
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    No wisdom, but asking for A LOT OF PICTURES

  73. #173
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    Will do! Looks like Wednesday or Thursday will be the build day!

  74. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddallesandro View Post
    Hello all!

    I have been combing this thread for a while and it is a great wealth of information!
    My father-in-law asked me if I was interested in building a fat tandem to leave at their condo in florida for beach riding and just plain fun and I was all in! I just sourced and ordered all the parts I could with a quick turn around, as I am going to be in Florida next week and am hoping to be able to build it while I'm down there! I was hoping that someone who has more experience than I could share some insight or wisdom on things I might have missed, this being my first foray into tandems and all.
    The primary use will be crusing around town and the beach, no real hard trail riding or snow (while it stays in florida that is). Here is my build list of parts I have on order (and most on the way to Florida as we speak):

    Ventana El Gran Jefe Large 170/177 in Carbon Black from Alex @ mtb-tandems. (Thanks again for all the help with the quick turn around Alex)

    ...Snip...

    Any wisdom is greatly appreciated!
    Seems like a good build to me. We've really been digging our El Gran Jefe in the snow this season!

  75. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubberduckxi View Post
    No wisdom, but asking for A LOT OF PICTURES
    Finally got back up North and can post. The build was awesome and I'm super happy with how it turned out, the carbon black is an awesome color. The only hick-up was installing the front brake, didn't have an adapter bracket for the 180mm rotor on the fork posts. That didn't stop us from trying it out for the morning, doesn't stop so well with just a rear brake but we weren't going too fast anyway. I was able to source one from the 4th local bike shop I tried and installed the front brake the next morning. The first couple pictures are less front caliper installed, the few after are when the bike could actually stop!

    The El Gran Jefe Thread-img_4971.jpg

    The El Gran Jefe Thread-img_4989.jpg

    The El Gran Jefe Thread-img_4978.jpg

    The El Gran Jefe Thread-img_4982.jpg

    The El Gran Jefe Thread-img_5011.jpg

    The El Gran Jefe Thread-img_5008.jpg

    The El Gran Jefe Thread-img_5009.jpg

    The El Gran Jefe Thread-img_5012.jpg

  76. #176
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    Reputation: Rubberduckxi's Avatar
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    Nice looking El Gran Jefe!!!

  77. #177
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ds2199's Avatar
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    Looks great! Have fun on the fat tandem!!!

  78. #178
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    Has anyone tried a Mastodon fork.

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