No, we haven’t bought a new Ventana off-road tandem… but one of our Double Forte list members has and it’s spectacular. The photo at right is what Sherwood Gibson has up on their El Conquistador de Montanas S&S Webpage at the moment and is hot-linked to that page. I’ve also lifted off the description of the Ventana S&S El Conq below, just for convenience.
However, the impetus for this update was the pricing on the S&S model, which I still find amazing. Alex Nutt at MTBTandems.com had quoted the S&S option as being about $1,500 higher than a standard Ed Conq frame but that included a pair or cases!! I found that hard to believe just based on what the going rate is for coupler upgrades on most road tandems. From a posting I made on the subject and in reply to Alex:
FWIW: Coupler upgrade on other builder’s tandems, cases NOT included:
- Santana / chromoly frames = 1,500 (Note 1)
- daVinci / chromoly frames = $1,600 (Note 2)
- Co-Motion / chromoly frames = $2,000 (Note 3)
- Santana / Aluminum = $2,000 (Note 1)
- Calfee / Carbon frames = $2,495 (Note 4)
- Santana/ Ti or Carbon = $2,800 (Note 1)
- daVinci / Carbon = $3,000 (Note 2)
1 – 4 S&S + 1 pr of Santana boom tube couplers. Cases priced from $300/ea
(soft/backpack, 2 needed) to $950 (Santana SafeCase, only 1 needed)
2 – 4 large S&S couplers. Includes Easy-split cable separators, frame
pads, Teflon Grease, and pedal/spanner wrench, cases $385 – $585/ea… 2
3 – 6 S&S couplers. Includes Easy-split cable separators, Teflon Grease,
and pedal/spanner wrench, frame pads $129, cases $360/ea… 2 needed.
4 – 4 large S&S couplers. All S&S accessories / options priced ala carte
Well, son of a gun… based on Julian’s recent purchase it REALLY is just a $1,500 upgrade: the S&S 26″ ECdM retails for $4700. That is ~$1500 more than the 26″ non-S&S frame, but includes two cases, cable splitters, wrenches, and padding. Now, bear in mind… the S&S version of the Ventana El Conq is fabricated from 4130 steel instead of 6061 T1 aluminum tubing and the different material + the couples makes the S&S frame about 3-4lbs heavier than the aluminum models, and most of that is the weight associated with the couplers.
Anyway, the point is… in the big scheme of things a $1,500 coupler upgrade that includes cases, splitters and frame tube padding is one heck of a deal and these days, being able to travel with your off-road tandem has the exact same appeal as travelling with road tandems given the added logistics headaches that sometimes come with putting a full-size tandem on an airplane. Moreover, it also allows folks to stuff their tandem into a small, fuel-efficient car or in the back of their full-size 4WD, which can also be pretty desirable.
“The Mountain Conqueror”
The world-renowned features of our El Conquistador are also available in a 4130 Steel, S&S coupled version for easy traveling. The advent of S&S’s Bicycle Torque couplings allows us to do what we do best…design and build our ultimate off-road fully suspended tandems and lets S&S elegantly tackle the task of separation, packing, and reassembly. Their couplers are beautifully finished, brushed stainless steel lugs, which we silver-solder to our 4130 Chrome Molebdenum steel chassis at separation points. With our revered FS tandem technology and S&S’s BTCs, now you can go anywhere, anytime in elegance and style without making any compromises with fit, parts spec, or performance.
Oh yeah, and if all of that doesn’t make yet another frame upgrade all that tempting, here’s a list that Sherwood posted to the Ventana home page of changes he’s planning to make in 2011..