As you may or may not remember, the first time we publicly talked about our tandem project was way back in October of 2010. We wanted to show it to get ideas, feedback, thoughts, rants, appreciation, love, hate, and all-around opinions on what a tandem from Salsa could possibly look like.
Introducing Powderkeg...our 29er Mountain Tandem...
Since then our tandem prototypes have seen thousands of miles from the Dirty Kanza 200 to local singletrack trails. Salsa sponsored rider Kurt Refsnider even took one of the prototypes across America in the Tour Divide Race. Impressive! We tweaked geometry, created a rigid fork for it, added features, tested the living hooey out of it. Much of that was far more difficult than you might think.
Destination Antelope Wells, New Mexico...
Back in 2010 we had created two tandems, one based off our Fargo geometry and another based off our El Mariachi geometry. Both were fun to ride but once the dust settled more of us liked riding the El Mariachi version. This allowed us to move forward and create the three geometries Powderkeg now uses.
Further iterations of prototyping went on and we set out looking for a good rigid tandem fork…but couldn’t find one. We finally decided to do our own. Pete Koski, another of our engineers, went with the biggest tubes we’ve ever used on a fork because of the extra weight and “ungraceful flight” a tandem duo achieves.
Powderkeg fork...100% beef...
That was still just early in the whole process however as we carried on with a lot more tandem work. During the coming years, many things changed…repeatedly. For example, geometry: Let’s just say some riders were sitting a little too close together, much like an awkward backward hug on wheels. Heck, we even started making jokes like: “Lick my back”. Features also changed. And then there was the testing. There was an incredible amount of stringent testing applied to this product.
That is the short version of a really long story, but what really matters in the end is that the Powderkeg is now a reality for MY2016.
All The Details
Powderkeg Complete Bike - U.S. MSRP $3999
Powderkeg Frameset – U.S. MSRP $1999
As they say, it’s a bicycle built for two. In this case, actually a mountain bike built for two, and we think that offers up many new, unique riding opportunities for the adventurous. Whether you decide to take on some challenging singletrack (take note! it is not easy!), explore some backroads, race a gravel event, or just go for a ride with a good friend, Powderkeg offers a new way to roll.
We hope you enjoy creating and sharing some new experiences aboard Powderkeg.
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Sean 'Mailman' Mailen
I was born and raised in the hills of Tennessee. I decided in high school I wanted to design the best bikes and parts possible; I’ve been following my dream ever since. I love about every possible mode of cycling, mountain biking is the most fun, but if I’m on two wheels I’m happy.