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  1. #1
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    Calfee Tetra Tetra vs. Santana Team Nobium

    I currently own a Santana Team Nobium purchased in May of this year. It is a very nice bike with a WinZip disc, Sweet 16 wheels, and the other parts of the Team package. However, I have now seen and ridden a Calfee Tetra Tetra tandem and love the bike. I really like the ride of the Calfee as well as its handling. I have been thinking carbon over the last month and must admit that I am leaning in that direction now. However, i have also heard that if I am going to get another bike, I should sell the Santana this fall.

    Has anyone out there had a Santana and switched to a Calfee? If so, have you been pleased with your decision?

    Also, my bike new cost $6,500 fully equipped. It is Black, has 1100 miles and is in like new condition. What do you think would be a fair price? Added Flight Deck, Cat Eye for stoker, and rack.

    Thanks for your advice.
    Counselguy

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by counselguy
    I am seriously considering selling it soon to buy a Calfee Tetra Tetra. I continue to hear that a carbon ride is more comfortable. In addition, I would appreciate suggestions on what to sell my Santana for.
    I haven't switched from a Santana to a Calfee (although I've ridden various examples of both), let offer two comments:

    1. Frame material has very little to do with comfort and handling; those attributes are more related to the how the frame builder selects the geometry and tailors the frame materials to achieve his design goals, never mind how the wheelset, tire selection, and air pressure will further alter those very subjective characteristics of handling and comfort. For example, as for stiffness, that would depend on you and your stoker's individual height, weight, and combined riding style. With that in mind, if you haven't done so already I'd suggest giving Craig a call at Calfee Design to discuss his assessment of how one of his carbon tandems would compare to your Santana, given the aforementioned information regarding your team's size, riding style, etc...

    2. As for the resale on your Santana, the original warranty expires when you sell it so -- coupled with depreciation -- assume that you are looking to take a 10-15% hit off of replacement cost. You can certainly ask for more and may well receive it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    We currently have over 13,000 miles on our Zona full carbon fiber custom tandem.
    In our opinion/experience, a properly built c/f tandem is the best ride for us.
    Yes, we've owned other custom tandems that, in their day, were the cat's meow. However, materials/needs/designs do change. Have ridden 30+ brands/models of tandems in our 31+ years of riding TWOgether (Yes, have ridden 'tanas and Calfee, and the Calfee really turned us on to owning c/!).
    Seems sad/odd that you ordered a new tandem in May and want to replace it in September?!

  4. #4
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Seems sad/odd that you ordered a new tandem in May and want to replace it in September?!
    I don't know about that. I bought our Santana Arriva in August '97 and by the following March I knew that while we really liked the tandem, there were enough things that I'd learned by then about tandems to know there things I wanted to change. I did my homework, ordered our first Erickson in June '98, and sold the Santana two weeks before we received the Erickson in December '98.

  5. #5
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    Calfee Tetra Tetra vs. Santana Team Nobium

    Thanks for the helpful feedback. Related to the comment about "seems odd/sad" to have bought one so recently , I admit I feel both reactions. However, I have not been happy with dealing with the company, and after 4 months know much more now. I don't feel it was a mistake to buy the Santana, and can certainly live with it for years to come. However, given it is worth more now than next year, and my wife and I want to take trips with the tandem on airplanes (thus couplers), I figured now might be the best time.

    I agree that fit is the most important aspect of comfort while riding.

  6. #6
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    Calfee Tetra Tetra vs. Santana Team Nobium

    Thanks TandemGeek for that advice. Your response is much like how I feel about my decision, although I have not been able to talk my wife into it yet. Given what I know now, and given that we will be riding 2,000 miles year minimally, I want to make the leap now.

  7. #7
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by counselguy
    Thanks TandemGeek for that advice. Your response is much like how I feel about my decision, although I have not been able to talk my wife into it yet. Given what I know now, and given that we will be riding 2,000 miles year minimally, I want to make the leap now.
    Yeah, I can relate to getting buy in from the spouse. Debbie was very happy with our Santana and didn't quite understand why I felt as though we could benefit from something different. She was VERY leary about me selling the Santana before the Erickson arrived as she was concerned that she wouldn't like it as much as the Santana.

    After the first ride on the Erickson she immediately "understood" why I wanted to make the change... and it was mostly for her comfort not mine. However, my mistake was not having the first Erickson fitted with couplings as I just didn't see us doing enough travelling to warrant the added expense. In retrospect -- and with two customer Erickson tandems hanging in the garage -- it was NOT a cost effective decision to omit the couplings from that "first" Erickson.

  8. #8
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    Calfee Tetra Tetra vs. Santana Team Nobium

    Sounds like our experiences are very similar. Haven't even told her yet how much the couplers are going to cost ($2500). I appreciate your comments that solidify that decision. I thought about going for the $9,000 Calfee but realized that in a few years I will be continuing to face the issue of couplers, and unfortunately, they cannot retrofit them.

    I am also getting the Calfee because of my wife's comfort, and my wanting to have a more responsive tandem. My feeling is that more responsive is safer - I don't like the way the Santana feels for the stoker - when I move it a little she really feels it. I know that is part of riding a Tandem and being the stoker. However, I have felt, and hear others say, that on the Santana, the reaction of the captain moving the front quickly to avoid potholes,etc is more pronounced on the Santana than the Calfee.

  9. #9
    half man - half sheep Doggus's Avatar
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    My wife is trying to get me to buy into a Calfee CF Dragonfly tandem. Ahhhh....the monster I've created.
    "The cycling community is so small that it is nearly inbred." - Steve Tilford

  10. #10
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    I have not ridden a Santana, but I did ride a colleague's ~2003 Tetra Tetra for a 50 mile ride with my wife, who is my regular stoker. Overall, it was a very nice ride, however I felt that there was a bit more flex to the frame during hard efforts on the hills, compared to a Co-motion Robusta we rode previously on the same hills. I have no real data regarding frame stiffness of the TT vs. the Robusta; just my perception. Stoker felt both were about the same in terms of comfort.

    We ended up buying a 2006 Robusta. I felt the Robusta was a bit more responsive and actually handled more like my single bike. I have about 1600 miles on the Robusta and I am very happy with it. I rode RAGBRAI this year on it with a different stoker each day (from PD patients to a Cat 3 racer). The Cat 3 guy was amazed at our speed and how well the bike handled.

    I really wanted to buy the Calfee, I like carbon and I like everything about the company but in the end the Robusta was a better choice for us.

    I have a Paketa frame and the components that I will build up this winter. It will be interesting to see how the Paketa and Robusta compare.
    Jay

    Quote Originally Posted by counselguy
    I currently own a Santana Team Nobium purchased in May of this year. It is a very nice bike with a WinZip disc, Sweet 16 wheels, and the other parts of the Team package. However, I have now seen and ridden a Calfee Tetra Tetra tandem and love the bike. I really like the ride of the Calfee as well as its handling. I have been thinking carbon over the last month and must admit that I am leaning in that direction now. However, i have also heard that if I am going to get another bike, I should sell the Santana this fall.

    Has anyone out there had a Santana and switched to a Calfee? If so, have you been pleased with your decision?

    Also, my bike new cost $6,500 fully equipped. It is Black, has 1100 miles and is in like new condition. What do you think would be a fair price? Added Flight Deck, Cat Eye for stoker, and rack.

    Thanks for your advice.
    Counselguy

  11. #11
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    Hi,

    We just picked up our new Calfee in Portland OR. last Thursday and have 4 rides on it.
    Our previous bike was a 99 Santana Aluminum Sovereign. For Sale soon.
    We were able to get a test ride a couple months ago and that really convinced us.
    Coming from an aluminum frame I am not sure our experience applies but one thing I learned is we have six years of tandem rides and multi day rallies over various terrain which is more than some shop people.
    I think the advice on this forum is valuable.

    We took the plunge and got top of the line parts and the Rolf wheels.
    Wow, what a difference. Part is due to the Rolf wheels which have 25mm tires. The old tandem had the 40/44 spoke Fir rims with Hadley hubs and 28mm tires.

    The bike rides much more comfortable over the rough chip sealed roads.
    Climbing is a little easier due to the lighter weight and smooth ride, but as we all know the bike only helps so much going up hill, the rest is the riders.

    Downhill is a whole new experience. The bike handles quicker compared to the cruise ship feel of the Santana. Partly due to the wheels I think. I will be very careful the first few months until we get used to it. We have the Avid disc in the rear and it works well, but I don't feel the same stopping power as I did with the Formula hydralic. I am not sure how much is my perception and how much is true stopping power. We rode up Larch Mtn. and down on Friday so maybe to much descent for the 2nd ride.

    On the flats the bike is much faster and more comfortable and steers similar to my Ridley carbon road bike.
    Tail wind flats and small rollers will be fast and fun.

    We are going on Cycle Oregon next week so we will get extensive miles and hills in.
    I can post a follow up if anyone is interested.

    Hope this helps and you can get a test ride.

    PS- A couple here in town has a Co-Mo and a light weight Paketa. The female stoker preferred the Co-MO ride to the Paketa.

    Rob

  12. #12
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    Calfee Tetra Tetra vs. Santana Team Nobium

    Yes - please post your impressions after your weeklong ride next week. Thanks

  13. #13
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    Santana vs. Calfee

    Getting back to you about your reactions to your Calfee after a week long trip? How did it do?

  14. #14
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    Hi,

    We completed the week long Cycle Oregon on the new Calfee.
    We are still married and speaking as far as I know. It was over 400 miles, between 50-90 per day thru the Blue Mountains of East Central Oregon. www.cycleoregon.com
    They changed our course on Friday due to the storm. We got rained on and it snowed on the original route. This really helped put out the forrest fires and clear the air.

    It was a pretty difficult week and we chose to not ride on the rest day (Thursday) in Union.
    There were almost 2,000 people and I heard 40-50 tandems although I don't think I saw more than twenty. One couple on a Co-Mo were really fast and smooth. I need my wife to spin more!

    The bike rode fantastic with a few new bike adjustments. We developed a creaking noise on hills while pedaling the last two days. I will have the BB and rear wheel checked this week.

    No flat tires, we were lucky!

    It was much more comfortable for the long rides and the handling is quicker which could be from the Rolf wheels or the frame and fork. Once I adjusted to the handling moving left to pass people was easy.
    I felt the bike handled much better with 115-120 psi than the lower pressure we tried one day.


    The Avid brake works well for most braking but coming down the descent from Anthony Lakes ski area I did not feel like we had enough stopping power. I used the front brake quite a bit and stopped once to let the rim cool. I am not sure it was necessary but due to the Molas Pass Coloardo incident in 2000 I was not taking any chances. The descent was steep with rough road surface and picking up speed was to easy.

    We got lots of complments on the bike and both really like it.

    Another tandem merit badge!
    We have done 2 Santana rallies, 2 NW and 2 Cycle Oregon's.


    Rob

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