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Thread: T2000 or Arriva

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    T2000 or Arriva

    I do a fair bit of cycling (Trek 2200) and my wife wants to start cycling. We believe a tandem is our best bet. We went to Matthews bikes in Indianapolis recently and looked at the T2000 and the Santana Arriva. We could purchase the T2000 for about $3200 and the Arriva for $1000 more. We will probably bike about 50 to 60 miles a week. Suggestions are appreciated.

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Test ride both bikes if at all possible.

    The T2000 is an excellent value and, assuming it's a 2006 model, it should have all of the go-fast goodies -- Bontrager wheels, Bontrager carbon fork, Bongrager carbon cranks, Ultegra 9 speed, etc. If memory services, it may be a bit stiffer and with the new carbon fork a bit more lively in the handling department than the Arriva. The Trek also has a longer stoker compartment (28.5 - 28.8 depending on which size frame vs. Santana's 27.75")

    The Santana Arriva is a solid performer; we had one as our first tandem back in '96. A very nice steel frame that is designed to be a bit more compliant than most of the other premium tandems with an eye on comfort and reduced fatigue. No go-fast goodies but no junk either and I'm pretty sure the '06 model comes with Santana's exclusive 10-speed "mega-range" tandem gearing. Overall, the handling of the Santana is really excellent but, again, will probably be different feeling than the Trek in back-to-back-to-back test rides.... and I really do endorse doing several test rides on each bike.

    First impressions when test riding tandems are usually not accurate as you'll be doing a lot of adapting and learning during the first ride. The second tandem you test ride will almost ALWAYS feel "better" and inspire more confidence than the first but that has more to do with having come up the learning curve while test riding the first. If you go back to the first tandem you rode later in the test ride session you'll probably find that it handles better than you remembered from the first ride.

    Bottom Line: Both tandems are excellent, but they have their differences. Only you can decide if the Santana is worth the additional expense.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 09-19-06 at 06:53 AM.

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    Bill G Bill G's Avatar
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    I would take a hard look at the Co-Motion Primera, retail price of $2995.00. I personaly think it is a better tandem over all than both mentioned for a little less than the Santana Arriva after doing a carbon fiber fork upgrade for around $500.00 bringing the price up to around $3500.00 for the Co-Motion. I feel the Co-Motion tandems are a lot better tandem than the Santana.

    Good luck,
    Bill G
    Last edited by Bill G; 09-18-06 at 07:28 PM.
    Co-Motion Custom Primera Tandem (AKA The Marrage Counselor)
    da Vinci Custom Joint Venture 700 Tandem (AKA The Marrage Therapist)

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    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Agree with Mark's assessment of Trek vs. Arriva. Our opinion: For the thousand bucks difference, you can buy lots of cycling stuff! While the Arriva is a 'good' tandem, we personally feel Santana is over-priced.
    And . . . if you have $$ burning a hole in your pocket, agree with Bill G that Co-Motion's Primera would be an excellent alternative to the Arriva.
    Do the test riding and try and get in a 10 to 20 mile ride on each tandem to see how each bike handles.

    Ultimately, it's your $$ and you'll decide.

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill G
    I would take a hard look at the Co-Motion Primera, retail price of $2995.00.
    Let's talk apples to apples here....

    Steel / Best Value: Santana Arriva SE = Co-Motion Primera similarly equipped (105 grade), both for about $3K
    Aluminum / Best Value: Santana Sovereign SE = No similar offering from Co-Motion (105 grade), for about $3.7k

    Steel / Premium: Santana Arriva = Co-Motion Speedster similary equipped (Ultegra grade*), both for about $4K
    Aluminum / Premium: Santana Sovereign = Co-Motion Roadster similarly equipped (Ultegra Grade*), both for about $5k

    * Carbon fork, carbon cranks & low spoke count wheels available as upgrades for about an additional $1.4k

    For comparison purposes, the Trek is essentially on a level playing field with the Sovereign and Roadster with the carbon upgrades and with some puts and takes on components, e.g.,. XT vs XTR rear derailleurs, Bontrager branded components vs Shimano or FSA. The Trek's T2000 design and geometry fall right in between the Co-Motion and Santana designs, noting that the Bontrager carbon fork has less rake than their T1000 and earlier steel fork equipped T2000 models. As for the tubeset, Trek uses a bicycle-specific proprietary tubing called ZR9000 (the number is meaningless) developed by Gary Klein that features Trek's version of double/triple/zonal butting: I've not seen any deflection test data and still haven't had a chance to do any personal back-to-back test rides so I'm at a loss to offer more on the Trek's handling and performance qualities but I suspect they are very good. In terms of weld quality and finish, again Santana and Co-Motion turn out some of the best frames you'll see and Co-Motion's TIG welds are a near art-form; therefore, you'll have to let your own eyes make the call on that one. Trek has outstanding mass production capabilities and turns out an excellent product.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Co-Motion's products and people and Santana also makes a great tandem. They don't have the economies of scale that Trek does or the huge cost break that it gives itself by using its own Bontrager-branded components and that's primarily what allows Trek to pummel Co-Motion and Santana -- who are more like overgrown custom builders than they are mass-production houses -- on cost.

    Me? I'd have to spend some quality time riding the bikes and giving them a good going over with a critical eye before making any decision on which one I'd spend my $$ on. Again, I tend to be a bit biased towards the Co-Motion because of the handling qualities (super-stiff frames in any material and more aggressive steering geometry) and I also like to support the smaller tandem-speciality manufacturers like Co-Motion, Santana, Bilenky, Rodriguez and custom builders like Bushnell, daVinci, Erickson, etc... because they truly are the heart and soul of the tandem market.

    However, hats off to Trek who, after they ceased production of steel tandems back in the 90's, did their homework and listened to their in-house tandem enthusiasts when they developed the T1000 and T2000 aluminum tandem models. Trek continues to follow the lead of Co-Motion and Santana by offering more go-fast goodies to make its tandems more competitive and appealing to the hard-core tandem enthusiasts who are also loyal Trek owners as well as cost-sensitive buyers.

    Ride, then decide. That's my .02.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 09-19-06 at 06:57 AM.

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    We have had a Arriva for 6 years, and have about 12 thousand miles on it. I keep on thinking "perhaps we can upgrade?" but I cannot find a reason to do so !!! It is a great bike, with just a couple of nicks to the paint!! We are a large team,, We have had NO major mechanical problems with the bike... Heck,,, I have NEVER even had to tighten a spoke on the front wheel !!!!

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    Bill G Bill G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    While the Arriva is a 'good' tandem, we personally feel Santana is over-priced.
    And . . . if you have $$ burning a hole in your pocket, agree with Bill G that Co-Motion's Primera would be an excellent alternative to the Arriva.
    As far as Santana gos I agree they are over priced, I dont care for old Dollar Bills marketing style and the hype that he spouts. Yes Santana is a good tandem but I do not care for the 160mm wheel spacing and a few other Santana specific things that old Bill preaches as being superior ( pure hype ).

    Good Luck,
    Bill G
    Co-Motion Custom Primera Tandem (AKA The Marrage Counselor)
    da Vinci Custom Joint Venture 700 Tandem (AKA The Marrage Therapist)

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    While the Arriva is a 'good' tandem, we personally feel Santana is over-priced.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill G
    As far as Santana goes I agree they are over priced,...
    Are you sure about that? If you had asked me that question in 1996, I would have agreed; however, over the years the gap has narrowed and if you work out the puts and takes on each comparative model, I'm pretty sure the price difference between Co-Motion and Santana is almost nil. Ergo, if Santana is overpriced then it could also be inferred that Co-Motion is overpriced... and I certainly don't believe that to be the case if I bear in mind they are niche builders who cater to the enthusiast market.

    FWIW: Some interesting data points on historical prices from the pages of my Tandem Magazine archives:

    1995 Co-Motion Custom Ti $6,395
    1995 Santana Ti-700 $7,905
    1996 Santana Sovereign: $4,195
    1997 Santana Arriva: $3,295
    1997 Co-Motion Double Espresso $4854
    1997 Santana Noventa $4,995
    1998 Co-Motion Speedster $2,895
    1999 Co-Motion Big Al (now the Roadster) $4,125


    Santana - Co-Motion 2000 Catalog Comparisons:

    Santana Visa $2,795 = no equivalent Co-Motion model
    Santana Arriva $3,695 = Co-Motion Speedster $3,295
    Santana Stowaway $4,695 = Co-Motion Co-Pilot $4,495
    Santana Sovereign $4,395 = Co-Motion Big Al (Roadster) $4,495
    Santana Ti-700 $7,995 = no equivalent Co-Motion model


    Santana - Co-Motion 2003 Catalog Comparisons:

    Santana Arriva SE $2,995 = Co-Motion Primera $2,850
    Santana Arriva $3,895 = Co-Motion Speedster $3,620
    Santana Stowaway $5,095 = Co-Motion Co-Pilot $4,700
    Santana Sovereign $4,595 = Co-Motion Big Al (Roadster) $4,650
    Santana Team AL $5,995 = Co-Motion Robusta $6,565
    Santana Ti-700 $7,995 = no equivalent Co-Motion model


    Santana - Co-Motion 2006 Catalog Comparisons:

    Santana Arriva SE $2,995 = Co-Motion Primera $2,995
    Santana Arriva $4,195 = Co-Motion Speedster $3,995
    Santana Stowaway $5,395 = Co-Motion Co-Pilot $5,270
    Santana Sovereign $4,895 = Co-Motion Big Al (Roadster) $5,055
    Santana Team Scandium $6,895 = Co-Motion Robusta $7,575
    Santana Ti-700 $8,995 = no equivalent Co-Motion model
    Santana Beyond $10,595 = no equivalent Co-Motion model

    Mind you, I'm not pimpin' for Santana. However, setting aside my personal biases, I think consumers need to go in with their eyes wide open on this stuff armed with all the information they can and the numbers "are what they are" when it comes to pricing.

    Bottom Line: Tandems can become like high-end cars where the differences between similarly equipped and priced Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, and Cadillac automobiles is often time more about "perceived" value, quality, and prestige than can be quantified with objective data and facts.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 09-19-06 at 06:58 AM.

  9. #9
    Bill G Bill G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek
    Are you sure about that? If you had asked me that question in 1996, I would have agreed; however, over the years the gap has narrowed and if you work out the puts and takes on each comparative model, I'm pretty sure the price difference between Co-Motion and Santana is almost nil. Ergo, if Santana is overpriced then it could also be inferred that Co-Motion is overpriced... and I certainly don't believe that to be the case if I bear in mind they are niche builders who cater to the enthusiast market.

    FWIW: Some interesting data points on historical prices from the pages of my Tandem Magazine archives:

    1995 Co-Motion Custom Ti $6,395
    1995 Santana Ti-700 $7,905
    1996 Santana Sovereign: $4,195
    1997 Santana Arriva: $3,295
    1997 Co-Motion Double Espresso $4854
    1997 Santana Noventa $4,995
    1998 Co-Motion Speedster $2,895
    1999 Co-Motion Big Al (now the Roadster) $4,125


    Santana - Co-Motion 2000 Catalog Comparisons:

    Santana Visa $2,795 = no equivalent Co-Motion model
    Santana Arriva $3,695 = Co-Motion Speedster $3,295
    Santana Stowaway $4,695 = Co-Motion Co-Pilot $4,495
    Santana Sovereign $4,395 = Co-Motion Big Al (Roadster) $4,495
    Santana Ti-700 $7,995 = no equivalent Co-Motion model


    Santana - Co-Motion 2003 Catalog Comparisons:

    Santana Arriva SE $2,995 = Co-Motion Primera $2,850
    Santana Arriva $3,895 = Co-Motion Speedster $3,620
    Santana Stowaway $5,095 = Co-Motion Co-Pilot $4,700
    Santana Sovereign $4,595 = Co-Motion Big Al (Roadster) $4,650
    Santana Team AL $5,995 = Co-Motion Robusta $6,565
    Santana Ti-700 $7,995 = no equivalent Co-Motion model


    Santana - Co-Motion 2006 Catalog Comparisons:

    Santana Arriva SE $2,995 = Co-Motion Primera $2,995
    Santana Arriva $4,195 = Co-Motion Speedster $3,995
    Santana Stowaway $5,395 = Co-Motion Co-Pilot $5,270
    Santana Sovereign $4,895 = Co-Motion Big Al (Roadster) $5,055
    Santana Team Scandium $6,895 = Co-Motion Robusta $7,575
    Santana Ti-700 $8,995 = no equivalent Co-Motion model
    Santana Beyond $10,595 = no equivalent Co-Motion model

    Mind you, I'm not pimpin' for Santana. However, setting aside my personal biases, I think consumers need to go in with their eyes wide open on this stuff armed with all the information they can and the numbers "are what they are" when it comes to pricing.

    Bottom Line: Tandems can become like high-end cars where the differences between similarly equipped and priced Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, and Cadillac automobiles is often time more about "perceived" value, quality, and prestige than can be quantified with objective data and facts.
    Well sir you are quite the informed guy about tandems, tandem trivia and all the ends and outs about tandems, I quess we can not argue or debate with that.

    Take care,
    Bill G
    Co-Motion Custom Primera Tandem (AKA The Marrage Counselor)
    da Vinci Custom Joint Venture 700 Tandem (AKA The Marrage Therapist)

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    The emperor with no clothes

    I think the best suggestion offered on this thread is to do several test rides of each bike you're interested in (this can be a difficult proposition, however, considering that tandems aren't your common bike shop floor item). It can be tough to make some purchasing decisions - like tandems - based on real-life experiences and testing. To many consumers end up buying on 'name' or marketing hype. I would also listen closely to the opinion of other riders whose opinion you know you can TRUST, and have no ulterior motives or agendas.
    Mike

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    Thanks all

    Thanks for the responses. While there was not a definitive answer, I feel comfortable that there is not a bad choice in this decision. I did want to conclude that neither model had a fatal flaw. I will try both out. Given that we will only (probably) ride 50 miles a week, I am leaning toward the T2000. Again, I appreciate your comments. JF

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    That's some very good advice from experts with much more experience on a lot of different bikes.

    FWIW we've been very happy with our Trek T2000.

    My wife/stoker was not a rider before we started on an old Burley Duet, just to see if she would like tandem riding. In just a month or two we knew this was a fun thing and wanted to upgrade. Shortly, we found a 2001 model that had previous owners but was barely used at all and was just too good a deal to pass up. These are the only two tandems we've ever ridden.


    I was slightly concerned about possible ride harshness from an Aluminum frame. This is a non-issue, as the larger frame size adequately absorbs enough road shock to be comfortable. I find it somewhat softer than my Ti single and far stiffer than the Duet that seemed incapable of replicating any semblance of acceleration.

    When we're in the groove and doing our Saturday and Sunday club rides regularly, we can usually hang with the "B" group on the flat routes, maintaining 20-22 in a paceline of single bikes. It's different on the big bike, and that's part of what makes it so much more fun. It takes a little more skill, awareness and perception to become adept at avoiding the inevitable "squirrelly" types and matching the group's accelerations/ decelerations.

    It took some practice and communication in the beginning, but I find the Trek to be as solid and as nimble as we could possibly expect for any Tandem in this price range/ class.

    Good luck!

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    Trek 2000 vs. Arriva

    Hi Joe,
    Just wanted to put in my two cents worth. I would agree with several of the responders that you should also check out the Co-Motion tandem. It handles differently than the Santana, so trying them both out should give you two types of handling - Santana more for stability and Co-Motion for quicker handling. Both have equal quality and price points are very similar. There are a lot of opinions about aluminum. My view is that Steel is better than Aluminum for vibration. However, you and Nancy can be the judge. Try to take each out for at leatst 30 minutes though. Good luck!
    John

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