Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    842
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Upgrade or replace?

    We bought a Santana Severeign in August 2004 and have made very good use of it. We saw an article on the Calfee Dragonfly and the Santana Beyond and our mouths started watering. Particularly when we read that the Dragon fly with pedals came in at less than 28 lbs. Our frame is an XL/MED.... but still, it came at close to 42 lbs... with sadle bag and frame pump. We love our Santana; we keep it in the living room.... What would be a smarter move: To sell the AL Santana and buy a completely new rig with light components or to upgrade our current bike? Our passion is long rides with lots of climbing.

  2. #2
    Older Than Dirt
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Reidsville, NC
    Posts
    376
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm certainly no expert (my opinion and a buck will get you a cup of coffee at some cheap restaurants). If I had the money, I would go new; you are not likely to get your money out of upgrades. You are still going to be dealing with a heavier bike. You will probably end up replacing rather than upgrading anyway.

    Good luck,
    Doc
    Say Ya to da Yoop, eh!

  3. #3
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Towson, MD
    My Bikes
    2001 Look KG 241, 1989 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp, 1986 Gatane Performanc
    Posts
    4,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    With a new Calfee or the Beyond, you are paying roughly $1,000 per pound of weight savings. For our team, liposuction would be more cost effective...

    But if you have the dough and nothing else to do with it, why not?

  4. #4
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    My Bikes
    ariZona carbon fiber tandem & single
    Posts
    10,110
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, we'd suggest to start from scratch. The frame is still the heart of the bike. Both Calfee and ariZona carbon fiber tandems have frames that weigh in at 6 pounds. Depending on components, that will translate in to way below 30 lbs for a twicer.
    Our 2-year-old ariZona tandem weighs 26 1/2 lbs; 30 lbs with our 'stuff' on it. And ariZona Tandems now has a 23 1/2 pound tandem ready to go . . . it will be at the El Tour Expo this weekend in Tucson as will Calfee and the Dragonfly.
    Agreed these tandems are not 'cheap', but upgrading is costlier most of the time and you'll still have a hefty 2-seater.
    We justify our tandem as follows: we have only one car + it is an investment in our continued good health. And besides at our age, are we going to wait 'til we get older? Naaaaah!
    . . . and Galen: Liposuction ain't cheap either! Besides at 135/110 lbs. team weight there would not be too much weight loss that could be achieved for us!
    In the long run, it is not *what* you ride that counts, it's how often you get to pedal TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  5. #5
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Towson, MD
    My Bikes
    2001 Look KG 241, 1989 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp, 1986 Gatane Performanc
    Posts
    4,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A light-weight bike is nice. However, I am sure the 23.5 lbs AriZona is sporting a set of wheels not designed for tandem use and most definitely not intended for heavier teams. So, the weight is unrealistic.

    Folks can justify anything they buy just about any way they want. Look at all the folks driving around in huge 4 X 4 SUV's that never are driven off the pavement...in climates where it never snows! Mostly the reasons don't have a lot of logic behind them. Few and far between is the team that can justify a super-light weight tandem for a performance advantage. If the both team members are not in racing shape and/or planning to compete, why bother?

    I could switch out my 48 spoke wheels for a set of sweet 16's and lop 2 lbs off the bike and we would still crawl up steep hills. Now if the Queen was intent on getting fit and took up the athlete's way of life and was successful, then a lighter bike might make a small difference and be worth the expenditure IMHO.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    842
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    A light-weight bike is nice. However, I am sure the 23.5 lbs AriZona is sporting a set of wheels not designed for tandem use and most definitely not intended for heavier teams. So, the weight is unrealistic.

    Folks can justify anything they buy just about any way they want. Look at all the folks driving around in huge 4 X 4 SUV's that never are driven off the pavement...in climates where it never snows! Mostly the reasons don't have a lot of logic behind them. Few and far between is the team that can justify a super-light weight tandem for a performance advantage. If the both team members are not in racing shape and/or planning to compete, why bother?
    We are a big team but maybe not that heavy. I am 6'3" and 175 lbs. My wife/stoker is 5'5" and 140 lbs. We are closing on 50 years of age and have been married for 27 years. Most of that time we were busy making ends meet and raising a family. No much time left for ridding, leave alone racing. Now that our youngest daughter is a freshman in HS, we have the means and the time to ride. We have not made any plans to participate in races. But do have our own personal records. More than that, we ride with a group of friends, most of them on singles but also a few tandems, all of them experienced riders and some of them retired racers. We can ride with the pack in most instances and we pull more than our fair share on the flats and almost always lead on the downhill. In the last few months we have moved from the slowest bike going up long hills to the middle of the pack. We love the thrill of a fast descent (always under 40 mph) particularly after a powerful climb. And that is where we want the bike to be as efficient as possible. We respect the opinions of a lot of the posters on this forum and will definitely consider them when we make our decision. Thanks.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    My Bikes
    Colnago C40 HP, Aegis Trident, Cannondale tandem
    Posts
    491
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If the frame fits well and is well made, you'd get more out of your dollars buying better wheels and tires. An upgraded gruppo would come next- go from the Shimano 105 stuf to Ultegra or DuraAce. If you want more comfort, carbon is great. About fit: I see people on poor-fitting "Custom Built" bikes all the time. I had my first custom built in 1979, by Andy Gilmour of Tucson. Andy is a great framebuilder, but I can't say the custom frame performed any better than an off-the-shelf model made of the same materials- it sure looked nicer. Choices of stem length and correct saddle adjustment make a stock frame in your size frame a custom fit, that's why they're adjustable. The Sovereign is an Easton tubed frame so it's pretty decent stuff. But, speaking from experience, the Shimano 105 gear on it isn't nearly as nice to ride as Ultegra or DuraAce. And the wheels that came stock on it are nice for plowing the fields but a set of Bontragers with top-line tires may give you much more improvement in handing and comfort than a new frame- ask my stoker, she' thought the wheel upgrade was the single biggest change we've made on our tandems. Spend $2000 upgrading the frame you have and learn what that bought you- you need to know this stuf anyway and talking about it isn't really the same as doing it. You wouldn't want to put 105 gear on a $7000 frame anyway, ss if you decide the frame is going you've not lost a dime. BY the way, I just did this sort of thing with my Cdael starter... changed out the gear first. Got a Co Motion frame afterwards as I'm spoiled by riding COlnagos my whole life. Still have the Cdale, with all the original 105 stuff on it, down at my winnter place. Put the upgraded stuff on the Co MO and it is a real screamer. Carbon forks are also a good way to improve. I really like the Reynolds. By the way, your current bike lists at 33 lbs. I don';t thin you can sassuem that Santana lies anymore than anyone else about weight, so youu're looking at onnly a pound or so in frame weight difference. The rest is light gear. A pound isn't worth $7000, is it? So unless fit and comfort are a real problem, keep your frame. And you can get good fit and comfort without spending $7000.

  8. #8
    Double Secret Probation R900's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Eastern Indiana
    My Bikes
    Madone 6 series SSL, Cannondale CX9, Trek TTX, Trek 970, Trek T2000
    Posts
    2,579
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't think I can add much, but assuming your Santana fits well, I can't see how much you will truely benefit from an ultra high end bike. Lots of bling, but other then a slight difference climbing, I think the money you would spend upgrading could be better spent. We made a jump from an entry level Fuji to a mid-level Trek, and I think it was money well spent, but I can't really see a lot of improvement from the Trek. Maybe disk brakes, but it's already full Ultegra with some nice Bontrager wheels. At this point I would make some upgrades if you feel there are things you might like to change about your bike, and use the balance on a long tour, maybe overseas. Again, it's up to you and what you like and enjoy, if you would truely enjoy a new bike, go for it, your Santana should have decent resale.

    John
    Time to Ride...

  9. #9
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    My Bikes
    ariZona carbon fiber tandem & single
    Posts
    10,110
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    El Rey:
    Just talked with Andy Gillmour in Tucson at the big GABA Bike Swap meet on 4th Avenue (about 5,000 participants!) this past weekend. He's still building some nice bikes, including some carbon. Have known Andy since 1978.
    In our 70s now, we are a bit past our 'go-fast and long' days. However, carbon fiber offers more than light weight. Comfort and strength are a big +! As for the price, it is all relative. $40,000 for a pickup truck? $8,000 for an ATV? $300+ for one golf club? $2 for a mediocre cupa java?
    BTW I mispoke about the ariZona c/f fiber tandem at the El Tour Expo this weekend; Bob Davis tweaked a few components (tires, seatpost) and the weight (without pedals) is now 22.9 lbs. And yes it is rideable; Bob and his stoker weigh around 300 lbs as a team and put some good miles on that particular tandem.
    However, as we stated before, whatever tandem you are happy with is just fine with us!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    My Bikes
    Colnago C40 HP, Aegis Trident, Cannondale tandem
    Posts
    491
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yea Man, 'zona, carbon is very comfortable all things being equal. I'm owned 5 different hi dollar carbon racing bikes. Some better performing than others but comfort was a given. Cornucopia72 seemed to be concerned with weight, not comfort. And the weight differential between the two frames won't be as much as the weight diference between his current equiment and the best available, especially whels. Which would be a cheaper fix. And one he should be knowledgeable of if he ever intends to go really high up in the market. I agree: the cost of a bike is always worth it. I think I averaged $10,000/year in equipment and travel costs the ten years I raced, 2/3 of which was equpment. But mine was nicer than Lance's! Having said that, I just bought steel. I like it better overall in the S&S coupler version. Have had troubles in the past with carbon to metal interfaces. Call me superstitious....

  11. #11
    K&M
    K&M is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    153
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Spending a lot of money on a lighter bike may not make much sense if you're overweight, but from what we saw of you guys at the Bass Lake Double, I don't think that's an issue for you. In my subjective and undoubtedly dead wrong experience a lighter bike (even one or two pounds lighter) can make a considerable difference on a long ride with lots of hard climbing. Putting lighter wheels, fork, etc. on your tandem would help .... but not as much as getting one of those AriZona ultralight frames. Since you're planning to do lots of long steep rides, why not? --- assuming you can afford it.

    For comparison, our Burley fully set up and ready to go with the stuff we currently have on it, weighs a little under 35 pounds.

  12. #12
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,162
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cornucopia72
    What would be a smarter move: To sell the AL Santana and buy a completely new rig with light components or to upgrade our current bike? Our passion is long rides with lots of climbing.
    OK, you've got what, about $4,900 in the Sovereign? So, if you were going to sell it today you'd optimisitically get somewhere between $3,800 -$4,000 for it. If you upgrade it with a Reynolds Fork and Shimano Sweet 16 wheels you'll shave about 2-3lbs off the bike, improve it's acceleration, and gain some aero advantage at a retail cost of about $1,330 (+/- taxes and discounts). Will the frame be any stiffer or the handling any more crisp? No.

    So, that ups your sunk cost to $6,250 for a tandem that would now be similar to a 2004 $5,995 Santana Team AL which would optimistically re-sell for about $4,500 - $5,000. Even if you put the original fork and wheels back on the tandem and resold the Reynolds fork & Shimano wheels, you're going to take a pretty big hit on your ~$1,330 upgrades, again on the order of a 30% loss which still puts you in the same $4,750 - $4,900 range as the used Team AL... remembering that you've now got over $6k into the bike.

    Now, some might suggest that you just move the go-fast goodies to a new frame. Not a bad idea, except that there is only one brand of tandem that can work with that 1.25" fork and those 160mm wheels; another Santana. Yes, you could probably get Calfee, AriZona, or another custom builder to make a frame with a 1.25" headtube and 160mm rear drop-outs, but given that you're into some pretty serious customization, is that the direction you'd want to go in IF you were spec'ing a custom tandem from scratch?

    Just something to think about. The frame is the heart and soul of a tandem and nowadays with a few exceptions (Seven, Santana's Beyond, etc...) , the frame is only about 40% - 50% of your total bike cost on a mid-level or custom... noting that on customs it's the special paint, fillet brazing, custom sizing, and all the chi-chi parts that really run up the cost. In fact, you can pretty much deconstruct a Co-Motion Supremo back to a Speedster by substracting the component option upgrade costs for the Wound-up Fork, Rolf Wheels, etc... The real break on "parts" comes when you buy a value-priced or base model tandem where the sum total cost of the frame and it's parts are usually more than the MSRP of a complete bike.

    My advice is to ride your Sovereign as is until you can get some test rides on examples of the tandems you are interested in and/or some long, very candid discussions with the builders and some owners. At the same time, run the numbers on what the difference in the total cost of a new tandem would be, less the sale of your Sovereign, and apply a value to the performance improvements and bling factor that you're seeking in your new ride to see if that's how you want to spend your money.

    Bottom Line: Upgrading a frame that you truly find exceptional isn't a bad strategy. Putting high-end components on a good frame won't make it a great frame.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 11-16-05 at 08:12 PM.

  13. #13
    WATERFORD22
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    My Bikes
    Bilenky, Co-Motion, 1969 Paramount, Waterford Adventure Cycle, Waterford rs 22, 1980 Davidson etc.
    Posts
    509
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Having bought two new tandems on EBAY in the last 5 years - one from a dealer dropping Co Motion "he sold 5 in 10 days" and another custom Bilenky from Tandems East - both averaging 50% OFF msr - you have have options. I keep track of all Tandem's selling over ebay in the last three years and you'd be amazed at the deals that come along if you are patient. This includes all the top brands sold today and many of the customs - this includes Seven's. Ti Cycles, Calfee etc. I will say I don't have a Erickson or a Santana Beyond to add to that list yet, but have seen of them very much on sale at other sites. A good of example of a great deal were the Merdian frames that were cleared out when then went out of business. It's the same thing with wheels and hardware. I must admit I like to shop and love a good deal, but the point is if you know you won't get your money out of your Santana in a re-sale market - get this same advantage on the purchase your new bike as well. I also agree with (tg) - ride every brand you are interested in, it's also nice to take a road trip to try out brands not available in your area. Then shop like hell - and also don't be shy of a demo bike which can be very much discounted.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    My Bikes
    Colnago C40 HP, Aegis Trident, Cannondale tandem
    Posts
    491
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd be real surprised if you could get 80% out of a used bike. I've bought and sold many thousands of dollars of racing gear online, and 50% is closer to the mark there. I know that there was no way I could get 80% out of my Cdale when I considered selling it to upgrade. And it was near-new. I forgot about teh Santana weirdness: you sure can't transfer the fork or wheels (new axle?) except to another Santana. But I still support upgrading your gear. You need to learn the realtive merits of these changes on your own and that can't be done by reading other's opinions. The fork and wheels will make your bike ride and handle like a new machine- for $1000!! New drivetrain will make it a lot more efficient.

  15. #15
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,162
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ElRey
    I'd be real surprised if you could get 80% out of a used bike. I've bought and sold many thousands of dollars of racing gear online, and 50% is closer to the mark there.
    The laws of supply and demand are alive and well... While I agree with your observation on used solo bikes and related gear, the far less plentiful used tandems and tandem speciality gear (like forks and wheels that no one in their right mind would spec for a 1/2 bike) have a slightly different depreciation schedule. A few years back a long-time tandem enthusiast and I put together a tool that tried to capture what we had observed over the years with regard to how tandems and related equipment lose their resale value over time. It's certainly not definitive, however it provides consumers looking to buy or sell tandems with a starting point for price setting or negotiations.

    http://www.thetandemlink.com/usedhome.html

  16. #16
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Towson, MD
    My Bikes
    2001 Look KG 241, 1989 Specialized Stump Jumper Comp, 1986 Gatane Performanc
    Posts
    4,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As for tandem resale values my I would think the low/middle of the line models would recapture a higher percentage of original price than the extreme high-end of the market. In fact, there was a local guy trying to sell a custom Calfee tandem on Ebay a while back and I don't think he got a single bid. The frame was my size and knowing that custom Calfee's are built to team weight spec, I emailed the seller and asked about the design team weight. He replied that it was 350 lbs. We are about 10 lbs over that but still, I would not spend the kind of money he was asking on something with such a slim safety margin. You never know when you might want to take somebody heavier out on a ride.

    Don't know if he ever sold it.

  17. #17
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,162
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    As for tandem resale values my I would think the low/middle of the line models would recapture a higher percentage of original price than the extreme high-end of the market.
    Absolutely… which is why the values depreciate based on a flat percentage, e.g.,

    A used 2004 model year tandem that has a 2005 replacement cost of $1,300 would fall into a notional resale range of $905 - $1,039 depending on condition, etc… about $200 - $400 in depreciation.

    A used 2004 model year tandem that has a 2005 replacement cost of $9,000 would fall into a notional resale range of $6,264 - $7,191, again depending on various factors which reflects about $1,809 - $2,736 in depreciation (ouch).

    The narrative portion of my used tandem pricing guide attempts to get into the drivers behind what warrants a high, medium, or low value, as well as other “noise” that can enter the price negotiation for a used tandem. Again, while not definitive, it attempts to quantify some of the drivers that should factor into attaching a value to a second hand tandem.


    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    In fact, there was a local guy trying to sell a custom Calfee tandem on Ebay a while back and I don't think he got a single bid. The frame was my size and knowing that custom Calfee's are built to team weight spec, I emailed the seller and asked about the design team weight. He replied that it was 350 lbs. We are about 10 lbs over that but still, I would not spend the kind of money he was asking on something with such a slim safety margin. You never know when you might want to take somebody heavier out on a ride.
    While not attempting to pimp Calfee tandems, I would make three observations here: First, I suspect the margins aren’t all that narrow on a Calfee or any other tandem for the very reason you bring-up: dealing with a range of stoker weights. In this regard, with a serial number in hand you call Calfee and find out how much weight that particular Calfee tandem was designed to handle. Second, the more interesting aspect of a Calfee, and presumably an Arizona which is fabricated using a similar process, is that the frames can be reworked and beefed up after the fact. In other words, as an original owner of a Calfee, if you find the frame is still not stiff enough to resist torsion when sprinting or climbing, Calfee will re-work the frame to make it stiffer. Third, Calfee will transfer the balance of a frame’s original warranty under their “Second Life Warranty” program for $250 + the cost of shipping the stripped frame to and from their facility in California.
    http://www.calfeedesign.com/warranty.shtml

    Me, I’d probably pass on a used Calfee unless it was an incredible deal given the recent price reduction. I figure, if I’m dropping more than $3k on a frame it might as well be exactly the way I want it as I won’t be replacing it any time soon. The latter can be one of the draw-backs of a custom tandem IF you are predisposed to periodic bike upgrades. Of course, that’s one of the reasons that custom paint is desirable; it’s sometimes easier to live with a unique looking bike than one that can be pegged as a given year model based on it’s color. Then again, a basic repaint is only about $300 and, like new wheels or a new fork, a new coat of paint can often times “freshen-up” a tandem that’s lost it sex appeal.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    842
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks everyone for their input, it is very much appreciated!!

    Our Santana came with the Ultegra components, hefty wheels, AL fork, suspension seat post, and drag brake.
    If we went the upgrade route...We could upgrade the wheels and the fork and replace the rim and drag brakes with a disc brake. Is the 315 lbs team weight to much for the front rim/ back disc brake set up? We go down on steep (<15% on places) long (> 4 miles) descents. The suspension seat post would have to stay with the AL frame. Are there any other components that we could upgrade to that would have a significant impact on performance/ weight?
    We will definitely test ride/consider the Arizona, Calfee and Santana Beyond. Is there another bike that we should test/consider?
    We like vosyer's idea of taking a road trip to test ride these bikes.

  19. #19
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    7,162
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cornucopia72
    Is the 315 lbs team weight to much for the front rim/ back disc brake set up? We go down on steep (<15% on places) long (> 4 miles) descents.
    Your descending skills and braking technique are the variables in this equation... In theory, if you are a fast descender who brakes aggressively as you set up for each turn and otherwise let the tandem run at speed, perhaps sitting up to control your speed, 315lbs is hardly a bother. However, if you find yourself using your drum brake on those descents... you'll probably find yourself with some very disconcerting noises coming from the disc brake on the descent and for a short while after as well as burning through brake pads pretty fast.


    Quote Originally Posted by cornucopia72
    Are there any other components that we could upgrade to that would have a significant impact on performance/ weight?
    The fork and wheels are the big hitters. Ultegra cranks are pretty light to begin with so dropping $500 - $600 on a set of FSA Carbon Pro cranks would be a pretty expensive way to shave a few grams. Same thing goes for handlebars and what not. You can shave 100g a piece off of the bars but the cost per gram for carbon is still fairly high.


    Quote Originally Posted by cornucopia72
    We will definitely test ride/consider the Arizona, Calfee and Santana Beyond. Is there another bike that we should test/consider?
    If you have no interest in a coupled travel tandem, take a Robusta out for a spin: it's probably the stiffest sub 30lb tandem on the market. If you're shopping Santana tandems, try their Scandium model... also very light and perhaps one of the stiffest Santana tandems. If you want to really get exotic, try to find a Paketa magnesium tandem, billed as a sub 25lb tandem.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •