Right, we now had the chance to ride it and I took some more pics. We chose a bit of road in the redwoods for the shakedown ride, and it was gorgeous. Mighty, beautiful trees.
First impression is that the bike is amazing. Coming from a 26in tandem I was a bit worried that a 29er would be too tall or unwieldy, but the people at Co-Motion know their stuff. When we went to the factory to pick it up we had a chat with the welder (Bob, lovely guy) and he said 'oh, you guys will be smoooooth on your Java'. And so it is.
Low speed manoeuvrability is excellent, which I find super important on a loaded tandem. It's very docile, predictable and stable. Perfect. We'll still have to dial the fit a bit more, but I'm using plenty of spacers + riser stem to get the handlebar where I want it. A custom geometry would get rid of the spacers but add costs and waiting time, so whatever.
Now we take it out for a few more rides here in the US, then fly out to Japan to start our trip. The idea was to ride the Pacific Coast, but we had a few work commitments that ruined our schedule. We don't want to delay our arrival in Japan, so we're just squeezing this American leg (got to love the couplers already, we can put the bike together in 10 minutes when we want to go for a ride!)