Golden, Colorado

Getting ready for 24 Hours of Old Pueblo

Getting ready for 24 Hours of Old Pueblo

Lisa and I ride a fair amount mostly on our 1/2 bikes, Lisa about 5k-6K per year and I get in about 8k-9k of mostly MTB miles. Most of our miles on our tandem are at events, S.O.O.R.T.A, races… I always feel like our bikes are neglected. Either from just riding them day after day or in the case of the tandems, we ride them hard and then put them away wet. Literally, in the case of our Fandango. We took a Santana Trip to Italy back in October and on the last day it rained really hard. Hard, as in long stretches of 1-2 ft of water on the road. We finished the ride, packed the bike and I didn’t look at it again until getting it ready for the S.O.O.R.T.A trip to Tuscon AZ in January. Even then I continued the neglect. I was only bringing it as an extra tandem, so I just made sure it would ride around the block. Our Ventana had been ridden some since the Breck Epic but had received no maintenance. By the way, The Breck Epic has an official Tandem category this year, so come out and join Lisa and me. I figured the Ventana was ok for the trip to Tucson since I had an extra tandem.

Fast forward to this last week and getting ready for 24 hours of Old Pueblo. We are really looking forward to this year’s event. We have repeat teammates in Bob and Brenda Fletcher, and several new teammates: Jon and Missy Kearley, Bryant and Marianne Hafler, Jeff Colbert and Pam Nielsen. Jeff and Pam very kindly agreed last minute join us as Wolfgang Peti broke his elbow a few weeks ago and he and Rebecca Page needed to find substitutes. I made a last minute decision to put 1X12 speed SRAM (36X10-50) on the Ventana since that was what was on my experimental Ti hardtail tandem. I am not sure I will stick with this as it does not have the same range as the 2X11 Di2 setup I took off. I am running the 36 after looking at last year’s Strava, It seems the slowest speeds are ~8mph and the fastest sustained at ~25mph with an average of about 16mph. 24HOP lap. I struggled with the what tires to run on the Ventana, I have 27.5 2.8 Maxxis Rekon’s on it but might but on 29″ 2.35 Ikon’s. Currently, those are on the hardtail. I just got a set of NOX 29″ Kitsuma 32 hole rims from Alex at MTB Tandems built onto a pair of DT Swiss 240 Hubs. Somehow I screwed up the order for the hubs and got a rear hub with the new XTR 12 speed freehub. Luckily I had another wheel with an XD freehub I could steal and I just got a new Cannondale Scalpel from Big Ring Cycles which has the new XTR 12 speed. Now I have an extra wheel for that bike so that kinda worked out. I mounted the Maxxis 2.35 Ikon wheels on these new rims. These are probably as narrow as I would want to go with a wide + size Kitsuma rims (36mm internal width). I usually have Wade at Bike Fit Colorado build my wheels, he really spends the time to do them right and has a ton of experience and he lives just down the road.

The weather in Denver has been not so nice for riding, both cold, and snow. Today Lisa and I took both bikes out for a short ride. I need to fix the seat and handlebar position on the hardtail. The Ventana is ready to go. I have a pile of lights and batteries that I still need to test. I got them all charged last week but want to run each of them for 1.5-2 hours just to make sure they batteries will last at least a lap.

A side note on the Ti Tandem–it’s an experiment. I am working on sourcing custom and production frames from overseas and doing finishing work in the U.S. What I am not interested in is being a tandem retailer. If you want a tandem, talk with Alex and MTB Tandems. I’ll happily help spec. and build a bike for you, Ventana, Fandango, Ti, custom,… and go for a couple riders with you to make sure all is working for you and give you some tips. You will need to buy the tandem though MTB Tandems.
Alex just posted some pictures of a Ti Fandango, so give him a call.

The Ti tandem I had built was an experiment, There are several things I wanted to try. The stoker TT is shorter compared to a Ventana, I wanted Lisa to be closer to me and keep this overall length similar. The head angle is relatively slack and it has high BB for a hardtail. Based on our short ride on snow- and ice-covered bike paths, the bike seems to want to be ridden with a more aggressive cornering style.


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