Tandem Cycling - From Ibis Touche to what?
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01-01-10, 06:08 AM
We have been riding out 2 Ibis Touche tandems the last year and have started to talk about a new tandem to buy. We are thinking about Comotion Speedster and Supremo - were impressed by the Blayleys on the web although they seem to be more interested in alu-tandems: we like crmo tandems. We like that the Ibis are not totally stiff - think that the spirit of tandeming is to handle the softness. Are the Speedster or the Supremo the right new tandems for us? And which one?
01-01-10, 07:02 AM
Do you live anywhere near one of the tandem speciality dealers who stocks tandems? Obviously, if there was any way that you could pay a visit to a tandem dealer who had a variety of tandems on hand that you could test ride you'd be better positioned to make a very informed decision about what tandem might suit your tastes a little bit better than another. Frankly, most of the recognizable tandem brands and most of the better smaller volume builders all build tandems that on a scale of 1-10 fall into the 8-10 range from their least to most expensive models... noting that an older 90's model from these same builders now occupy the 7-9 range only because of the lighter materials and components that are used today vs. what was available in the 90s.
Anyway, with regard to Co-Motion's tandems, the Speedster and Supremo use the same Reynolds air-hardened steel frame where the only difference is typically the brake mounts: Speedster uses cantilevers with bosses on the rear stay whereas the Supremo uses calipers with a drilled brake bridge. Forks are matched accordingly. The rest of the difference is specs and cost are related to the go-fast / lighter weight parts used on the Supremo to net it's somewhat lower overall weight.
FWIW, if you speak with the folks at Co-Motion who design their tandems they'll tell you that they designed their aluminum-framed tandems to have nearly the same ride characteristics as their steel frames, i.e., to have very similar, minimal deflection under load and quick handling. The primary difference between the steel and aluminum is weight: the aluminum frames are about 1.5lbs lighter and, well, the TIG welds aren't as small and tidy as the ones on their steel frames. The equipment specs for the Roadster are the same as the Speedster and the specs for the Robusta are the same as those used on the Supremo.
Co-Motion's tandems will feel quite different from your Ibis, at least at first. Your Ibis is more closely matched to a Santana Arriva with regard to how it handles and feels.
01-01-10, 05:01 PM
No matter what Co-Mo tandem you'll be trying, it will be 'a great leap forward' in available frame materials and even more so in componentry.
Co-Motions are a great choice (put 57,000 miles on one of their custom tandems ). Price considerations between the 2 models is a good 2,000 bucks depending on upgrades. Have ridden both models, both are great. Definityely try to get in a test ride.
The Co-Mo folks are great in gudiing you the right one; they really know their stuff when it comes to twicers. Have dealt with them since the 1980.
Carbon fiber is another option . . .
Pedal TWOgether on into 2010!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
01-01-10, 06:41 PM
Make certain your test ride includes some rougher roads and climbing out of the saddle. We're all careful on test rides, but if a small pothole should appear unexpectedly you'll get a good read on vertical frame flex. And standing should tell you something about torsional flex. We bought our tandem with little knowledge in hand (rode Santana, daVinci, Co-motion) and could detect differences, but not to the level of discrimination. I'm sure we would have been pleased with any one of the three (or tandem-only LBS only handled these three products). Good luck finding your next ride!
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