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SRAM Tandem Team Powers Their Way To Course Record At Leadville 100

SRAM Tandem team Strictly Business took first place and set a course record at the Leadville 100 with a bike outfitted with SRAM bike components and Quarq power meters

SRAM team James Meyer and Nate Keck broke the Leadville tandem course record this weekend, setting a new mark at 7:46:04 and knocking 28 minutes off the 8:14:11 ride set by Roca Roja Rollers in 2018.

Breaking records and tackling 103 miles on a bicycle built for two requires strategy, communication, and a bike that is up to the task. Meyer and Keck chose Ventana’s El Conquistador de Montañas to power through the grueling climbs as they raced to the finish line.

Scroll through the gallery below for equipment breakdown and ride analysis.

SRAM Quarq cycling power meters placed on a tandem bike,  SRAM XX1 Quarq power meter configured with a connect iQ to allow for bicycle power monitoring, SRAM XX1 Quarq power meter configured with a connect iQ to allow for bicycle power monitoring
Top: Ventana El Conquistador de Montañas: a fitting name for a Leadville machine. Empty weight: 44lb 3oz
Bottom Left: Captain crank is a bone stock SRAM XX1 Quarq power meter. The Garmin computers were configured with a Connect iQ datafield to allow both power meters to be monitored by both Captain and Stoker. No slacking off!
Bottom Right: The drive-side timing chain allows for the use of standard SRAM Eagle carbon cranks. The Quarq power meter is custom machined to mount two chainrings. The Captain’s drive power flows from the timing chain and chainring to the 32T drive ring, isolating the captain power output. This allows the stoker power meter to measure the stoker power only.
Left: SRAM Eagle AXS rear derailleur handles the shifting. GX cassette for extra durability with double the normal power. The Leadville course demanded 1858 shifts on race day. 
Center:  Integrated TyreWiz monitored the nominal 27psi front and rear in the 2.8” Specialized Fastrack GRID tires. Gauge tire pressure increased by 2.5 psi on top of Columbine due to the reduced air pressure at 12,400 ft and a bit of warm sunshine.
Right: The team rolled on a stock Zipp Moto wheelset. Tandems are not nimble machines, making descending a pick-a-line and hang-on sort of operation. Tires, wheels and suspension take a serious pounding. 

Top Left: RockShox Lyrik fork shorted to 120mm for proper frame geometry and more front-end stiffness. 200psi and zero tokens.
Bottom Left: SRAM Code RSC calipers with 200mm rotors handle the stopping. Brake discs started the day silver but ended the day ‘rainbow.’
Right: Somebody get these guys a ShockWiz, stat!   RockShox Monarch plus RC3 at 270psi
Left: Another SRAM Code RSC calipers with 200mm rotors in the rear.   Gold Jagwire hose rounds out the package.
Top Right: SRAM AXS controllers configured for roadie style ‘eTap’ shifting logic. Bar ends and Togs provide climbing and semi-aero positions for the 103 miles of Leadville terrain.
Bottom Right: Stoker gets the road drop bars treatment. Keep it narrow for better aero and reduce leverage. Stokers should pedal, not steer.
Left: Stoker gets assigned pacing duties. He can check in on progress every hour or two.
Right Top: A rare flat stretch on Columbine
Right Bottom: The 2019 Tandem Podium 1st Place: SRAM’s Strictly Business at 7:46:04 (course record) 2nd Place: QD Racing at 8:19:53 (third fastest tandem time ever) 3rd Place: Team Doza at 9:55:04 (Leadville PR for Captain and Stoker)

Gearing chart made through SRAM AXS app connected to Quarq power meter
Gearing was a 32T front ring pair with the GX Eagle 10-50T cassette. The 10T cog got the most raw ride time with nearly 1hr 40m of use. The 36 minutes in the 50T was key in the highest effort sections & allowed the team to clean the ultra-steep Powerline climb and ultra-high altitude Columbine goat trail. (The only dab of the day was on the short ‘Brutal Bill’ pitch. The Stoker contends this was due to Captain error.)

The team averaged a combined 380 watts for the day. Leadville has 5 major climbs. Keeping the effort even for the full day was key. Average power on the climbs: -St. Kevins: 586 -Sugarloaf: 519 -Columbine: 464 -Powerline: 435 -Carter Summit: 482 Final effort was Captain at 77kg, 230 NP, 3.0 W/kg and Stoker at 68kg, 210 NP, 3.1 W/kg.