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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since we now own and have a maiden ride, I was thinking why not start a topic showing these bikes and the builds.

It's for all the Fandango's rolling around out there.

Here's how ours is currently built, stems and tires are on loan to help me sort it out for best fit and grip / turning.

Build specs
Fandango 29'r size large
ATC fork
Shifters XO
Rear Der XO long
Front Der Shimano SLX 667 made for 2x9 (22/36)
Timing rings Shimano Tandem 32t
Cranks Shimano LX 175mm both positions (Hollowtech II)
Drive chainrings 22/36 Shimano
BB's LX
Chains SRAM 850 timing, 991 rear
Cassette, Shimano LX 11/32
Brakes Avid BB7
Rims, Sun MTX 33
Hubs, rear DT Swiss 540 tandem, 40 hole 145mm with 6 bolt is, front DT Swiss 440 36 hole
Spokes, DT Swiss Alpine III, 13/15/14 with brass nipples, black
Discs 203 mm cleansweep front, roundagon rear
Bars Easton EA50 25.4, flat, 5 degree, both positions
Stem, Thomson 100mm, 25.4, 15 degree
Stoker stem, Coda, 25.4, trimmed to allow further forward adjustment
Captain seatpost, Kalloy
Stoker seatpost, Thudbuster LT with dust boot
Captain saddle, Terry Fly ti
Stoker saddle, Terry Butterfly ti
Tires, Kenda Nevegal 29 x 2.2
Tubes, Pyramid

PK
 

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Congrats on getting it to the trail.

The 3rd pic above showing the driveline looks really slick and I've got questions.
Do you have any pictures looking straight down on the stoker chain rings? (w/ chain on 36 and 22 rings)
Any spacers on the timing ring?
Any reason why 32T? Looks like it is the smallest that would fit on the spider.
Did you alternate the direction that the bolts pass through the 36 and 32 rings? Never seen that. Any technical reason?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
bme107 said:
Congrats on getting it to the trail.

The 3rd pic above showing the driveline looks really slick and I've got questions.
Do you have any pictures looking straight down on the stoker chain rings? (w/ chain on 36 and 22 rings)
Any spacers on the timing ring?
Any reason why 32T? Looks like it is the smallest that would fit on the spider.
Did you alternate the direction that the bolts pass through the 36 and 32 rings? Never seen that. Any technical reason?
I wish the build didn't take as long as it did, but the bike is being ridden and delivers.

I have a photo looking down, but only showing it on the 36, with the timing chain on it's 32. FWIW, when in the 22, there is no concern at all.

The stokers 32t timing ring is shimmed outboard approx .75mm (.030"). I used some chainring spacer washers I had here. Without the shims, when going from 22 to 36, sometimes the chains would touch and lift the chain on top of the outboard chain. Keeping it simple and less likely to see a problem, I may install a thin bash guard, then spacers, then timing ring. The alignment will be acceptable with the front since it will be getting a bash guard also.

Why 32t timing rings, ground clearance. Also I had them here from the MT800. Even with 32t timing rings they still scrape on the stuff we ride over.

Yes I did alternate the chainring bolts with heads inboard and outboard. The nuts were not quite long enough to engage the timing chainring with the shim installed. The nuts are more capable of maintaining proper centering and alignment of the chainring, but more importantly, can take the shearing load without the chainring contacting the threads of the bolts. Basically better centering and less chance of the ring shifting or loosening.

PK
 

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MTB Tandem Nut
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Speedub.Nate said:
How big a pain in the ass are those rims for getting the tires mounted up? I've sworn no more Sun rims -- been down that road too many times -- but I still don't have a good 29er tandem-worthy rim in mind.
What tires are you using? I can mount WTB and Kenda kevlar and wire bead tires on the MTX's (26" and 29") by hand with no tools. More importantly, I can also remove them by hand if necessary. Even when I don't eat Wheaties.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Speedub.Nate said:
How big a pain in the ass are those rims for getting the tires mounted up? I've sworn no more Sun rims -- been down that road too many times -- but I still don't have a good 29er tandem-worthy rim in mind.
As Alex mentioned, mounting was easy with no tools. So far with a couple of rides on them, they have not needed removal yet.

Probably pull the front tire and try something different. Was able to borrow a stack of 29'r tires from a friend. His words, try them all if you want, let me know your thoughts on what works well for you. Not sure how transparent the comparison will be from tandem to single.

PK
 

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PMK said:
I have a photo looking down, but only showing it on the 36, with the timing chain on it's 32. FWIW, when in the 22, there is no concern at all.

The stokers 32t timing ring is shimmed outboard approx .75mm (.030"). I used some chainring spacer washers I had here. Without the shims, when going from 22 to 36, sometimes the chains would touch and lift the chain on top of the outboard chain.

Yes I did alternate the chainring bolts with heads inboard and outboard. The nuts were not quite long enough to engage the timing chainring with the shim installed. ..... the shearing load without the chainring contacting the threads of the bolts.

PK
Didn't figure that the chain would be a problem on the 22T ring, just wanted to see what the 0.75mm spacers did to the gap. No worries about taking a pic if you don't have one. I assume when the chain rode up over the timing chain it just binds before throwing everything off toward the crank?

Short nuts, got it. Do they make longer ones and you just didn't have any on hand or are you maxed out with what is available?
 

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TandemNut said:
What tires are you using? I can mount WTB and Kenda kevlar and wire bead tires on the MTX's (26" and 29") by hand with no tools. More importantly, I can also remove them by hand if necessary. Even when I don't eat Wheaties.
Probably due as much to the no-name slicks I was using as the WTBs were not so problematic mounting up the the 26" MTX rims on the C-Dale. Busted, bloody knuckles.

But yeah, my Suns have always been a bigger pain in the butt than any other rim I've built. Probably no chance of a blow-off, though.

Sorry to derail the thread. The Fandango is a beaut, PMK. I've barely been riding, tied up with the house 'n stuff, but that's coming to an end soon and I want those dang big wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So a quick update.

The few rides now on the bike have had me getting the riders fit sorted out. The 2x9 has worked spot on.

The 36t up front is right on for flowing trails. It does handle the slow technical stuff, but with an 11/32 is a bit more effort to keep the pedals turning. An 11/34 would be good but wasn't what was new and laying around. Avid brakes are bedding in.

Still want to try a different front tire. The Kenda Nevegal isn't bad, but I'd like a bit more front grip at times.

As for performance, without sounding too much like an advertisement, the bike is fast. Obviously the best test is a stopwatch. No I have not and likely will not get that in depth. I do know that on the open areas and flowing singletrack this bike is very quick.

I will post a more detailed ride report after the newness is worn off...about 20 more miles.

PK
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
benwitt11 said:
I so badly want something like that. I have a set of Turbine tandem cranks and a Rohloff just laying here.... tempting to say the least.

Honestly, we have no buyers remorse at all. Heading in, we were both very hesitant. Putting miles on our own Fandango makes the test ride truly a small sample. If your budget can swing it, and a hardtail fits your terrain, this frame / bike should easily make your short list to choose from.

PK
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The bike has now been ridden on three different trails local for us.

The first ride was a very technical singletrack trail with many logovers, some palmettos, a lot of deep sand.

The second was singletrack a more flowing singletrack, with a few slower sections, less palmettos, and far less sand.

Our third outing was on very open terrain double track. Some sections were "firmed up" with fillers to minimize sand, most of the ride is pine needle on decent base, some sections of grass, and a few hundred feet of really soft sand.

First off, so far the 2x9 is working very well. I have been working tire pressures slightly, still running Nevegals front and rear. Captains compartment is good excepting a slight saddle tilt change is needed. Stoker section needs the bars up a little bit. Stem is as high as possible, so some slight risers may need to get this done. Ironically the risers that should go on this bike went onto the ECDM since I feared snapping a carbon bar when we clip trees. Overall though it fits pretty good.

So where does it stand? For the really technical singletrack, the non granny gearing is ever so slightly to much, it's ridable but needs a little change. For more normal trails, especially the double track we typically ran the thing in 4/5/6 with the chainline virtually straight onto the cassette.

The bike works the trail very well. It has unbelievable grip (traction) on everything from loose stuff to wet raised roots. Compared to out 26" hardtail, there is more grip, a smoother ride, with the added benefit of the tire getting over stuff less abruptly.

Speed wise, on the technical singletrack trail, this bike is every bit as fast. Sections or features that caused the 26" to scrape or not ride clean have been ridden almost easily by the Fandango. This is a trail we have ridden 100's of times and have the lines, and features committed to memory. The ground clearance and larger tires proved their worth. We have even ridden our ECDM a bunch of times on this same trail. Comparing the Fandango to the ECDM lets the more rooty sections be smoothed by the ECDM, but the larger roots, or logpiles at these speeds let the Fandango easily roll over them. The open sections, which are almost always soft sand, give the nod to the 29'r. Like any hardtail, if we had to ride this same stuff for any hours straight, the suspension would let the stoker stay fresh longer. Initially, I had concerns about the Fandango front tire not holding traction as long as I preferred. After a followup ride on the ECDM, the steering traits for when they loose grip is very similar.

On the more open trails, both bikes, the ECDM and Fandango have been there. They both work very well. Again for the rougher stuff the ECDM smooths it, while the Fandango gets through more smoothly than our previous 26". You do feel some of the bumps, but it is a hardtail. The open sections, both firm and soft let the big wheels roll. Both bikes are fast. Our 26" hardtail got through fine also, but it is apparent to us that it was slightly slower.

So what to change next? I was looking for a seatpost shim in the spares for the Co-Mo today and found the CO-Mo original XT cassette, 11/34. So with luck, we can try some lower gears and hopefully not fold the cassette. Captains saddle will be tilted a bit more nose down, and the stokers hand position is heading up about 3/4 inch or so. I still plan to try a different front tire,

So kind of a short review with something to compare to. I don't want this to sound all gushy about the Fandango, it is however a very capable platform. We still have no fault with the 98 MT3000 Cannondale, it's a very good bike. Our ECDM, which we have not had long, is also a great ride. The Fandango is right there too. If anything they are all great bikes, with each having little niches they do better than the others.

PK
 

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TandemNut said:
You're a bicycle dealer? I can help with that...
Yes sir. I may call you next week. I need to borrow a tandem up here to try with my wife first. She is not opposed to the idea, but she is not an experianced rider and is a bit hesitant. Honestly I've not ridden a tandem for any kind of distance, but this seems like a heck of a way to work together while riding. I think a friend said it bes when he told me the other day that he has never arrived anywhere before his wife while riding their tandem. That's basically what I'm hoping to look forward to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Today we took the Fandango to Camp Murphy trails at Jonathon Dickenson State Park.

https://www.clubscrub.org/

https://www.clubscrub.org/images/jd_map_new_names_12-8-08.jpg

The weather was hot but there had been some rain yesterday that helped firm the trails a bit. This entire trail is sand, with a few sections of palmetto roots, some short sections of wooden slats to minimize erosion, and the typical trail learning stumps and roots common on almost any trail. Additionally, this place has logovers ranging from no problem to get off and walk. We rode what we could, walked others and scraped on some. Today there were also several fallen trees that required dismounts and carry the bike over.

We got there later than we wanted, hitting the trail around 10:45.

The trail is ridden counterclockwise, and today we rode all except the root section of Osprey, and Bunker Hill freeride section which we never ride. So we put in approx 8.2 miles.

We had ridden our previous 26” hardtail here a few weeks ago, so we had some idea of comparison.

As the ride began, it became immediately obvious that we had brought a gun to a gun fight. The softer terrain would have caused the 26” wheels to sink and riders to work more, where as the 29” handled the sand and flowing terrain easily. This bike easily climbed sections that gave the 26” bike fits. The downhills, unless improved with wooden slats require you to pedal down them. The Fandango tracked straight in sections that would have caused the 26” to waiver back and forth. The palmetto root sections, some which we had never ridden before without a “dab” on the 26”, we conquered with no “dabs” on our first try.

The entire day was not perfect though. For some reason after a longer steep sandy climb, we got chainsuck on the downhill side. The pedals locked. I was able to pull the chain out, but not without some missing powdercoat and a bent front large chainring. Being a 2x9 this had us finish in the small front chainring. No big deal but made for some good comparisons of the gearing between large and small.

We continued on, riding all palmetto sections clean except one where I stuffed the front wheel in a bush. The remaining sandy climbs were not a problem in the smaller front ring. These root sections and climbs were always misery on the old hardtail, never ridden clean and heart rates headed towards 100% on the climbs. Not the case on this Fandango. We had more for the climbs, but the soft sand wouldn’t hold the tire. The bike never sank in the soft terrain, and launched to the top with little effort.

As we were about finished with our lap in this sauna of a trail, some of the stokers comments were “are we at the end already”, “this is an excellent bike for this trail”, but most important, she commented that she was tired but easily had enough left to do another lap. This would have never happened on the 26” hardtail.

Also, when we ride, if she is able to talk, I know her asthma is not acting up. As we discussed trail features and how the bike was working for her, not once did I notice any shortness of breath for her.

This trail which flows more typically of others we have ridden on the east coast let the Fandango 29r far exceed our expectations and easily outperformed our 26” hardtail. Our 26” bike took a long time to dial in and get set up for us. It worked very well. The fits and ergos were carried over to the Fandango, letting us know this bike works that much better.

Jeanne and I have decided that this will be our race bike for the few events we enter. I am trying to talk her into this one. Last year on the 26” was definite no. With a couple rides on the Fandango, she said tell me more about this race.

https://www.singletracksamurai.com/p/cross-florida-inidvidual-time-trail.html#let-int

Next we need to make a road trip to know how much better this machine is on flowing trails like Santos, I’m suspecting Co-Mo performance with dirty tires.

https://omba.org/

https://www.omba.org/images/stories/Maps/spider2b.pdf

Things that were changed between last ride and this ride…
Replaced stoker bars, installed risers to raise them about 30mm (this proved big for her)
Tilted Captains saddle nose down slightly
Worked on the ATC fork, adding rigidity while making it have no notchy feeling as it compressed and extended.
Increased fork travel without adding length.

Things to work on…
Better front tire.
Getting the front drive chainring issue 100% reliable. Shouldn’t be too bad. Surly SS chainring.
Front BashGuard
Glideplate for the frame.
Convert fork to air spring with external adjusters.
Get bike weight sub 40 pounds - ready to ride.

I’d love to see or hear more about what others are or have done with theirs, that’s why I started this thread. I know it sounds like a commercial, but if I was on the fence deciding, and we were up until a test ride at AORTA, I would want some honest feedback to help decide. Had we not test ridden one back to back with our 26” hardtail, I doubt we would have followed through on a Fandango.

We are convinced this bike will see a lot of miles, it’s that good.
Fast, predictable and smooth.

PK
 

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Paul,

Since I have a vested interest in the Fandango, I shouldn't be involved in this thread (which, of course, didn't keep me from posting about tires previously:D )

One of the great things about MTBR, and this forum in particular, is that folks can post real-world info that gives others who may be intersted in the products some insight on the real performance of the products. For off-road tandems, that's a huge service, since many potential customers can't actually see/ride one prior to buying it.

From my standpoint as a dealer/product guy, I can tell you that detailed posts like yours are invaluable as a resource for product improvement and future design goals.

As a consumer and enthusiast, I consider posts like yours as a great addition to, and balanced reality check of info presented by the manufacturer's brochures and websites, etc.
In fact, your idea of a model-specific thread for each of the current off-road tandems available is a great one; that way owners can post their experiences and thoughts and prospective owners can get info and ask questions on whatever they may be looking at.

So I would like to THANK YOU! for your detailed posts and description of your progress through the creation and tuning of your Fandango.
 

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Great info Paul and Alex. As a Fandango and Ventana owner its fun to read others experience and insights. Its also helpful in getting my tandem set up in the optimum configuration. Keep it comin" , both of you!
Ed Gifford
Toms River, NJ
 

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It's been decided. My wife signed off on this bike as a worthwhile experiment for the two of us. As soon as I hear from Alex I'll have one on it's way. We'll go with a black large with the White 100T on his recommendation, and the bike will be set up with the Rohloff I have. Should be a really nice set up. Not bad for a starter bike. I hope it will work out as well as I think it could.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
benwitt11 said:
It's been decided. My wife signed off on this bike as a worthwhile experiment for the two of us. As soon as I hear from Alex I'll have one on it's way. We'll go with a black large with the White 100T on his recommendation, and the bike will be set up with the Rohloff I have. Should be a really nice set up. Not bad for a starter bike. I hope it will work out as well as I think it could.
A great choice. You should enjoy many happy miles on a great machine. The Rohloff will make the build clean, and opens many options for driveline components.

Don't forget to take care of the girl that said yes, buy her a Thudbuster LT compliment those easy rolling wheels.

PK
 

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For the drive train I'll use the set of Isis Turbines that I have already. We aren't planning anything other than gravel for true offroad use at first, so I'll run three 38t Shimano tandem rings I have for timing and drive gear through a 16t Rohloff cog. I'll use a Rohloff DH chain tensioner as I have one around already.

I do have a Thudbuster for my wife, and I'll set it up with her preferred model of Saddle from Brooks. Bars will be Jones J bars front and back, as we both prefer large sweep bars on our singles. I will build the wheels with Salsa Gordo rims as I have them already. I will relace to MTX's if we have any issues with them. My Rohloff is leaking more oil than it should, so while waiting on the fork and frame I will be sending it in to be serviced and have the seals looked at. Hopefully it should all come together in about three weeks time.
 
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