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Thread: Carbon forks

  1. #1
    Senior Member transam's Avatar
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    Carbon forks

    Since we have recently discussed decreasing the weight of our tandems using lighter wheels, like the Shimano Sweet 16's, maybe it's appropriate to discuss further weight reductions. Our '04 Santana has the Santana 700c CroMoly MegaSize fork and I'm sure we could cut a pound or two off by going to a carbon fork. Has anyone out there done this? Any problems? Would it be better to go with caliper brakes or stay with cantilevers? Thanks!

    Gary & Carol
    Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed.

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    Yes, I have. I stayed with cantilever brakes on a Reynolds Tandem fork: lost a few pounds and increased performance and comfort. You get what you pay for, so expect to pay.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Santana is a bit out of step with the rest of the tandem world: Headset size and rear dropout spacing on the Santana is larger than other mainstream tandems. So therefore you could be rather limited in choices of carbon fiber forks, wheels, etc.
    Good marketing on Santana's part . . . gotto get back to one of their dealers!

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    Our Co-Motion originally came with a steel fork which we upgraded to a Woundup carbon . The difference was noticeable immediately. I can't say we noticed any difference in the weight once it was on the bike but the reduction in the amount of road vibration was significant. If tire size is not an issue I would use sidepull brakes as opposed to V-brakes. If I remember correctly Santana offers two different carbon forks. One is setup for v-brakes and the other is a Reynolds Ouzo Pro set up for sidepull brakes.

  5. #5
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Santana is a bit out of step with the rest of the tandem world: Headset size and rear dropout spacing on the Santana is larger than other mainstream tandems. So therefore you could be rather limited in choices of carbon fiber forks, wheels, etc.
    To Santana's credit, they adopted the 1.25" headset right after it was introduced and while the 1.125" standard was still being sorted out and others were still using 1" headsets on tandems. They simply stuck with the 1.25" and most others adopted what became the more common steerer/headset, the 1.125". You can find my brief history of headsets here: Tandem headset sizes

    Regardless, Santana's 1.25" headset / fork steerer standard can be addressed to open up fork options by using Chris King Devolution Headset, designed allow the use of a 1.125" steerer tube fork on a frame with a 1.25" headtube. More info here: http://www.chrisking.com/headsets/hds_devo.html. Price is about $140 in most places. Cane Creek offers a less expensive headset called the Double XC that can often times be found on sale, e.g., $77.95 at Cambria. http://www.cambriabike.com/Shopexd.asp?id=9445

    As for wheels, even though 160mm has become just about unique to Santana, the availability of hubs with 160mm axles remains quite good including Shimano, Phil Wood, Chris King, Hadley, and White Industries just off the top of my head. Santana's introduction of the Sweet 16's and previous offerings fo the 5 spoke composite AeroSpoke wheels has also addressed that aspect of the market.

    Bottom Line: While I'm not a fan of 160mm rear spacing or 1.25" headsets and understand the gist of the post, I really don't believe Santana's customers are left high-and-dry on fork or wheel options.

  6. #6
    Senior Member transam's Avatar
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    TG, I've been looking for information on adapting the 1.125" fork, specifically the Alpha Q, to the Santana 1.25" headtube. Your links and info are helpful. Thanks.

    BTW were you at the GTR last year?
    Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed.

  7. #7
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by transam
    TG, I've been looking for information on adapting the 1.125" fork, specifically the Alpha Q, to the Santana 1.25" headtube.
    I was hoping to avoid this dirt road but... FWIW, adapting a True Temper / Burley Alpha Q CX model or a Wound-Up to your Santana will significantly alter the handling of your tandem. If you haven't taken a Co-Motion tandem with a Wound-Up fork or a Burley with the True Temper fork for a test ride I would do so before doing anything else. The handling of those two tandems would be "similar" to what you could expect from installing those forks on your Santana. You might find you like it but, then again, it could be problematic. As for the True Temper Alpha Q X2, given that it is a full 21mm shorter than your stock Santana fork it would also alter the entire frame's geometry and, for that reason alone, I would recommend doing a lot of homework before heading down that path.

    Personally, if I had a Santana and needed a carbon fork, I'd be quite happy with the Reynolds Ouzo Pro; it retains the stock handling, while heavier than the Alpha Q X2, it's nearly 1/2 the weight of your stock steel Santana fork, its very robust (I've seen them on Santana's triplets), and the size is proportional to Santana's oversized aluminum frames. If you're looking to change your Santana's handling... put on the knobbies as you'll be heading down a dirt road.


    Quote Originally Posted by transam
    BTW were you at the GTR last year?
    Yes.... we were there. I'm the guy straddling the tandem in the white/yellow/blue kit with Debbie sitting up behind me; we're nestled in between the teams in Green kits.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 11-28-05 at 02:44 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member transam's Avatar
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    TG, My wife and I were at GTR also, but don't have a pic to share. I thought you might have been there. I guessed you were the team on the Litespeed, DH and Christen. Looking forward to being there in '06.

    Gary & Carol
    Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed.

  9. #9
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by transam
    I guessed you were the team on the Litespeed, DH and Christen.
    Close, but no cigar. We were on a white to silver to plum fade Erickson... most likely being dropped by DH & Christen, noting that we fell off the training regime this past year and suffered dearly.

    We are fortunate to count David & Christen among our close friends and were even out doing the off-road tandem thing with them this past Saturday. As for the mistaken identity, although we're both geeks off the bike, David & wife Christen are way above our level when on the bikes...

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    By no means bashing Santana or Mr. Bill, just pointing out some of the limitations of being 'out of step' or 'unique.'
    With our pesonal tandems, have been out of step/unique more often than not.
    We have known Mr. Bill since 1977 and yes, have logged several thousand miles on Satanas too, among other twicers.

    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

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