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  1. #1
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    Fit thoughts for a greenhorn

    My son, who is visually impaired, and I are going to tackle Dirty Kanza next year and are shopping for a worthy steed. We're both 5'11" with 33 inseams.

    We've narrowed the possibilities down to the Salsa Powderkeg or the Cannondale MTB tandem. Stoker geometry between the two is quite different with 738mm horizontal top tube length in the rear on the Cannondale and 770mm horizontal top tube length in the rear on the Salsa. The Cannondale geometry is more like a large/SMALL in salsa sizing. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? For a new guy who wants to buy the right bike? So my son doesn't hate cycling because he's too cramped?

    Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts.

    Ben

  2. #2
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    I am kind of the exception on this issue, but I think that short top tubes on the stoker side of mountainbike tandems are a disservice to the rider. Not all stokers are 5'2" tall. they should be able to fit in a reasonably close to "normal" riding position. The Salsa is not bad for stoker position, remember the stem reaches back from the captains seatpost. Our tandem was made to allow my wife to have her normal riding position, When (if) we get another I hope to do the same.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMcGraw View Post
    My son, who is visually impaired, and I are going to tackle Dirty Kanza next year and are shopping for a worthy steed. We're both 5'11" with 33 inseams.

    We've narrowed the possibilities down to the Salsa Powderkeg or the Cannondale MTB tandem. Stoker geometry between the two is quite different with 738mm horizontal top tube length in the rear on the Cannondale and 770mm horizontal top tube length in the rear on the Salsa. The Cannondale geometry is more like a large/SMALL in salsa sizing. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? For a new guy who wants to buy the right bike? So my son doesn't hate cycling because he's too cramped?

    Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts.

    Ben
    Ben
    I have a large/small powderkeg and would be happy to talk with you about my experience and hiw it fits my wife and I.
    Jeff


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  4. #4
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    new powderkeg in Large/Medium

    Quote Originally Posted by Jbull View Post
    Ben
    I have a large/small powderkeg and would be happy to talk with you about my experience and hiw it fits my wife and I.
    Jeff


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    Jeff,

    We opted for the Powderkeg in L/M and found one in stock at Richardson Bike Mart in Dallas. It was like playing tetris trying to fit it in my vehicle. Ha! My son is pretty stoked and once we have pedals and some kit, we're going to start getting acquainted with it. From what I found/read it looks like L/M is right at the bottom edge of too big for me and at the upper edge of too small for him. We couldn't tackle a custom build so this will have to do.

    Ben

  5. #5
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    My wife and i have really enjoyed our powderkeg. One caution: the rear hub is really not up to the task for the torque forces two people can generate. We are an out of shape middle aged couple and have destroyed 2 Free hub bodies in less than 250 miles of riding. I just got off the phone with my local shop working on ordering a stouter hub. Salsa has been good about warranty but i think they really under spec'd the rear hub for this application. Really no other complaints about the Powderkeg. We have had a ball riding it.


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jbull View Post
    My wife and i have really enjoyed our powderkeg. One caution: the rear hub is really not up to the task for the torque forces two people can generate. We are an out of shape middle aged couple and have destroyed 2 Free hub bodies in less than 250 miles of riding. I just got off the phone with my local shop working on ordering a stouter hub. Salsa has been good about warranty but i think they really under spec'd the rear hub for this application. Really no other complaints about the Powderkeg. We have had a ball riding it.


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    Wow!! That's surprising! Do you know what hub your lbs is going with?

    Thank you!
    Ben

  7. #7
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    Rear hubs are a known issue for tandem teams. We busted three White rear hubs (and a front!) before switching over to Chris King.

    Longer stoker cockpits are a good thing. I don't know which Cannondale you're looking at, but some of the smaller tandem manufacturers (KHS, some older C-dale) had road frames they bolted flat bars on to and called it good. The C-dale stoker cockpit measurement you state seems more like a roadie setup.

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