Well, we’ve had Casper ‘in da house’ since June 30th and have still not made time to hit the trails since our last outing at A.O.R.T.A. in Asheville, NC, back on May 21-23: good grief we’re despicable. Of course, it’s not that we haven’t been busy… as you can see by comparing the corner of the garage back in July (right) with how it looked after last weekend (Garage Redo, Part 3). And the real issue is having to pack up and drive to ride at local or more distant trails. The former eats 1/2 a day and the latter equates to an entire day consumed by cycling, neither of which typically suit our schedules. Yeah, yeah… excuses, excuses: just get out and ride moron.
Getting back to the white Ventana…
- My gut says, just buy the thing, make a few changes and be done with it: it solves the size issue with our other Ventana which is otherwise a great tandem that we’ll sell to recoup some of the cost of the white Ventana. Just riding around the neighborhood the ‘fit’ just feels good so I’ve got to think that will translate well to the trail.
- The left side of my brain and fiscal sense says, just keep the one we have and deal with the fit issue. It’s not like we actually ride it that much. Of course, that could also be part of the problem, as Debbie has never ‘felt’ as dialed in on this Ventana as she did on our previous Ventana or the ’98 Cannondale MT3000.
- The right side of my brain and ego says ‘Check out a 29er!’ as they’re all the rage. Hmmm. Well, while not exactly a slave to fashion the hard tail aspect is intriguing so long as the Cane Creek Thudbuster would protect Debbie’s spine and neck the way the Ventana’s suspension has. However, we don’t race so “going faster” isn’t something we’re worried about and we’re a small team to begin with, so do we really need or benefit from a big-wheeled off-road tandem? Probably not, although the placebo effect could be quite strong. And, again, we hardly ride off-road so why increase our sunk cost on a tandem that’s not used all that often.
I’ve shared my conundrum with Alex so we’ll see how he spins it. My guess is, he’ll push the 29er route: he’s been a huge fan of that for a long time. Of course, he IS a HUGE fan in a literal sense which skews his perceptions. Yes, there are some svelte folks out there riding the 29ers who also find the bikes to ‘feel’ better and I’m sure it’s true: bigger wheels change how a bike feels, just as high-tension, low-spoke count wheels create the sensation of significant increases in speed due to tactile and aural differences, more so than real performance changes.