We hit the road for Lake Pueblo State park, if you haven’t been, you should check it out. 56+ miles of fun flowing singletrack with some technical moves thrown in and best of all it’s dry most of the year. For more info check out Lake Pueblo Trails .org. We usually travel during the week because destinations are less busy, but temperatures in the mid sixties lured us out on a weekend. It was fun to see so many people out on their bikes. We saw kids as young as four learning to ride the trails and groups of much older people ripping it up. Bikers are some of the nicest people.
Now lets talk tech. The new tandem handled beyond our expectations. Our last tandem handled well but the new geometry of this bike is more to my liking. The Knards gripped the trail and even loose, steep climbs were no problem. The big rubber smoothed out trail chatter and even moderate bumps like butter. I had them set up tubeless on Velocity P35s and wasn’t sure how well they would work. Surly tires fit a little loose and p35 rims fit a little loose compared to Stans rims. I added an extra layer of 10mil tape to tighten the interface and the tires “popped” onto the bead as they should. The Knards did burp (mostly the rear) on techie off camber rocks. So we added some more pressure and the problem was diminished but we still got some small burps. I have at least one more trick up my sleeve to help the burping, I’ll update later.
We had never ridden with a rigid fork on a mountain tandem before. It was great for smoother, flowing trails, but found it a little harder to handle in bumpy corners at speed. The front tire wanted to bounce and I ended up cornering a little slower than with suspension. If you lose control of the front end on a tandem you go down really fast and hard, not fun! It did make standing somewhat easier without any bobbing. I think I will put the Maverick Duc fork on for singletrack and use the rigid fork for bikepacking.
The Rohloff hub was another first. It shifted so smooth and fast we weren’t sure that it shifted, but it did. There was a learning curve though. I’m used to shifting while pedaling, while Tammy was powering up the climbs, I was trying to shift, it won’t shift under full load. The Rohloff shifts best w/o load, it only takes a split second to stall pedaling load and there’s the shift, instantly, no grinding no delay… beautiful. By day two we had it down and never stalled on a climb again. I think part of it is breaking the hub in, it got noticeably quieter and smoother as the miles went by.
We tried to get some good pictures but it’s hard when you are on the same bike. Tammy got some fun ones of the dogs running behind us. We hope to do some bike packing with the dogs this summer, so we have them in training, note the doggie boots in the pics. Overall it was a great trip, shorts/t-shirts, lots of riding, swimming dogs and some Dale’s at the end of the day.