In about a week, I expect to take posession of a very early Santana tandem. While gathering whatever data I could about the bike, I checked in with Santana to see if they had any infomration regarding year built/model etc. I got the following response:
After an extensive search of the internet, I have found no reference anywhere to fork failures for this model. I further had a discussion with Santana who would only vaguely reference "their engineer," and the person on the phone could not pin-point the failure point/mechanism, only that "it is the entire fork". He also rambled a bit about brinnelled headsets. I found another forum post (another forum) where they recently gave the same warning to someone lse with a Tandem of similar vintage. They are happy to sell me a chrome unicrown replacement fork for $300-400.VERY IMPORTANT:
Santana recommends for safety that the old fork that it is on this
bike be replaced before ANY RIDING is done on this machine; DO NOT
ride the bike with the fork that you purchased the bike with. While the
original 1" steer tube fork that your bike has was the strongest fork available
back in the 1980s it is only good for a maximum of 15 years of average usage.
Please contact our customer service for information about the purchase of a replacement fork for your bike.
As an engineer and impresario frame technician, all I can say bu#@sh%$.
The bike appears to have low miles, and I do intend to fully inspect it and monitor it for any issues. However, the possibility exists that at some point I may have to replace the fork, and I am certainly not going to used anything chromed or incorporating a unicrown. The issue is, after perusing the usual frame-building supply houses, that I cannot find any cast crowns that would seem to be suitible for tandems, fork blades, or heavy-duty steerer tubes.
Any ideas for possible sources??
Picture or the existing fork: