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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 11-08-05, 09:35 AM   #1
JayB
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Ultegra triple cranks available for tandems?

Many new tandems seem to come with FSA cranks as standard. But Santana's catalogue - at least the one I have - offers Ultegra cranks as an option. Are Ultegra triple's available that will fit a new Co-Motion Speedster?
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Old 11-08-05, 10:28 AM   #2
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You can put just about any tandem cross-over crankset on the market on any tandem if you have the correct bottom brackets, i.e., square taper/ISIS/Octalink interface with the proper BB width, and axle length.

Therefore, to make the change over you're asking about I believe you'd need to change the bottom brackets as the Ultegra cranks use Shimano's proprietary Octalink spline and the FSA's used by Co-Motion use the ISIS spline.

Note: Co-Motion can provide you with the proper axle length for fitting the Ultegra cranks to it's tandems; I'm fairly sure it's more narrow than what Santana uses.
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Old 11-09-05, 12:04 AM   #3
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TandemGeek,
Thanks. I had heard that Ultegra tandem chainsets are unavailable or hard to find. I am interested in a 10 speed setup.
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Old 11-10-05, 01:19 AM   #4
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Is it specifically the "Ultegra" crankset that you want or just 10-speed stuff?

Because in the latter case, simply use the stock FSA crankset, and install a 10-speed cassette and shifters on the bike.
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Old 11-11-05, 04:12 AM   #5
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I am shopping for a new tandem and wanted to specify the Ultegra but was not sure if Shimano produces an Ultegra in tandem version at the moment. Cannot seem to find it on Shimano's website and I get different answers from bike shops.
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Old 11-11-05, 07:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by JayB
I am shopping for a new tandem and wanted to specify the Ultegra but was not sure if Shimano produces an Ultegra in tandem version at the moment. Cannot seem to find it on Shimano's website and I get different answers from bike shops.
You may need to widen your search to include Dura Ace if you're hot for Shimano tandem cranks. Contact a tandem speciality dealer and let them track it down for you, e.g., Mel @TandemsEast, Mark @ Precision Tandems, Pat/Lynn (TandemDoc) @ Tandem Cycles Works of Colorado, Rich @ GTGTandems, etc... If they're available they'll know. Also remember that 9 speed Ultegra/DuraAce can be made to work with 10 speed.
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Old 11-11-05, 08:07 AM   #7
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My new Co-Motion Speedster has Ultegra triple cranks, so I know they are available.
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Old 11-11-05, 01:10 PM   #8
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Brian,

Great! Someone with actual experience! How recently did you buy your Speedster? And did Co-Motion or your bike shop supply the cranks? Which shop did you buy the tandem from?
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Old 11-13-05, 12:04 AM   #9
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Ultegra tandem crossover crankset on Ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Shimano-Ultegra-...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 11-13-05, 03:30 AM   #10
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I recently purchased a brand new Ultegra crankset for the old Santana Sovereign that we have for only US$152 sans BB.
The FSA team issue on our new Co-motion Mocha Co-pilot does look nicer though.

Cheers

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Old 11-13-05, 11:56 AM   #11
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TandemGeek,
Thanks. Followed that link and it mentioned that it was part number 6500 Octalink. Any idea what Octalink is?
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Old 11-13-05, 01:01 PM   #12
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TandemGeek,
Thanks. Followed that link and it mentioned that it was part number 6500 Octalink. Any idea what Octalink is?
As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, Shimano uses a proprietary spline pattern called "Octalink" for it's bottom bracket axles and cranks. Several of the major players in the crank and bottom bracket part of the industry created a competing standard that they made available without a licensing fee called ISIS (International Spline Interface Standard). Unless a tandem comes with Shimano cranks, it will most likely have the ISIS splines or, if it's an older tandem, a square taper bottom bracket, neither of which are compatible with Shimano's cranks. You can read more about ISIS and Octalink here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISIS_Drive

Bottom Line: If you don't presently have a Shimano Octalink crankset and are planning on switching over to Shimano you must also factor in the cost of two new Shimano Octalink bottom brackets.

Last edited by TandemGeek; 11-13-05 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 11-13-05, 07:01 PM   #13
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I bought the bike last month, from Suncoast Bicycles in Inverness, FL. The dealer put the Ultegras on before I ever saw the bike, he just wanted to make an upgrade. If you're ordering a new bike from Comotion I'm sure they can put Ultegras on at the factory if you want it that way.
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Old 11-14-05, 08:14 AM   #14
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Brian,
Thanks. What are your chainring sizes at the front? Is it a 10 speed cassette or 9 speed? I have heard that a 10 speed may not fit on the 145 Co-Motion rear. How large is your largest rear sprocket? Most important: how do you like the Co-Motion Speedster after having it for this amount of time?
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Old 11-15-05, 01:46 PM   #15
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I'll have to look at my bike to tell you the cog sizes, they are standard, whatever Comotion lists on their website is what I have. I have a triple in front, 9 speed rear. I don't see why you couldn't fit a 10 speed cassette, but I'm no expert on 10 speed as I have no experience with it. Your best bet would be to call Comotion, they are very friendly and will answer your questions over the phone. I called when I was trying to decide on the Rolf wheelset, and they steered me in the right direction (I got the Rolf wheels). After putting about 700 miles on the Speedster, we love it! The bikes I rode in comparison were Santana and Burley, I thought the Comotion was best for us. I like steel, the ride is awesome in the Speedster frame, actually more comfortable than my Reynolds 853 road bike (Lemond Zurich). Very smooth and handles better in my opinion than the Santana, and I thought the Burley was no match at all and eliminated it from consideration. Quality of construction and finish work on the Comotion is flawless. I would highly recommend the Comotion. I will write some more when I have time, but I don't think you will go wrong with a Speedster. By the way, when I got the bike it had the standard wheelset (DT hubs w/ Velocity Dyad rims). I rode these for about 500 miles then switched to the Rolf Vigor tandem wheelset. The Rolfs blow the stock wheels out of the water, much lighter, accelerate faster, and I recommend them also. The owner of Comotion (Duan) has ridden a tandem equipped with these wheels, with Rolf Dietrich as stoker. Those are 2 big boys (reported team weight over 425) and they didnt have any problems. My team weight is about 325, and after 200 miles on the Rolf wheels they are still straight as an arrow. The only complaint I have about the Speedster is the garbage seatposts that came with it (Zoom), but I know they are just keeping the price down since alot of tandem teams swap the posts anyway. I put a couple of Thomson Elite posts on the bike. Other upgrade include; Wireless flight deck computer (a must have on a tandem - you cant see the rear cassette so its nice to look at the computer and see which gear you're in), Cateye 3000 wireless computer for the stoker, Speedplay pedals, and other small accessories.
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Old 11-15-05, 02:13 PM   #16
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Thanks. Gee, there is a lot to learn about all this!
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Old 11-15-05, 02:17 PM   #17
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Brian,
Thanks a lot for the info. Sounds as if you made a very informed choice. Direct comparison of the Rolf wheels was interesting.
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