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  1. #1
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    why all the Santana Bashing???

    Hello:

    I am knew here. I "found" this site a week or so ago. [I bet you did not know it was missing ] I have been doing some back reading to get a feel for the place and who was here. One thing I have have found disapointing is the Santana bashing. I myself find it rather unprofessional, unnessisary and at times somewhat juvenile.

    For example in my recent thread on zero gravity brakes... tandemgeek starts going off on Santana sales "stuff". How was that relevant to my question?

    I stated I had DuraAce brakes and I was looking for feedback on zero gravity stuff. In this case the Santana bashing does not serve any purpose.

    Yes I do own a couple of Santana's. Yet I think I would be bothered even if I did not. I currently own 3 tandems. I have owned 2 others..and have "experience" to many others.

    My first tandem was a Franklin. [handmade from Ohio?] I bought it used in the mid 80's. Yet I am not sure it had ever seen the road. It was beautiful bike [but definately old school]. For financial reasons I had to let it go.

    In the early 90's I had a boss [at a bike shop] that had promised me a raise... and did not follow through. he felt bad and to make it up...offered to buy me a tandem [great boss] At that time who was known for building good tandems? I knew Santana's reputation... but really did not know a lot about some of the others out at that time.

    We ended up getting the new aluminum version of the Sovereign. We absolutely loved it.

    A couple of years later... we wanted to try tandeming off road... but was not sure.. how we would do... or like it. My sales person at Santana assured me that the rio would be better than any non Santana bike for what I wanted to do.

    It was not. It was a great bike.. in some ways.. but for technicle off road it was horrible. a couple of issues.. I would not own a single mountain bike with a BB so low.. and the biggest tires I could fit were 1.95 spec. ground controls. These tires at max pressure were still bottoming out... and they would pick up small stones in the tread.. hit the bottom of the fork...and momentarily cause the wheel to lock up [it would be just for a split second.. but it was very unnerving]
    I expressed this to them... and ended up talking to Bill...he offered to take the bike back and build and build me what I wanted.

    Because I did not know exactly what would work.. for bb bracket height for example.. Bill did not recomend anything other than what they used.. I ended up searching elseware.

    Through a friend a custom builder offered to build me a bike cheaper for the feedback I could give. Again not knowing what was best...I wanted someone who had experience... so I kept searching. I ended up with Jeff Shugg in Calgary. He knew my terrain... and raced tandems offroad himself. We did a lot of talking and came up with a design that was perfect.

    A couple of years ago I was looking to upgrade the Sovereign.. I did not know of Calfee or Paketa.. the only other one that was really on "my" list was co-motion. I have never even seen one before much less ridden one. I decided to play it safe.. and go with someone I know. Santana.

    I was at first looking and their performance aluminum bikes... they mentioned if I was not buying it that day.. that they had a new scandium bike coming out.. so to wait before deciding. Then I was looking at maybe the Ti... I was told to either stay with the scandium.... or go to the ti/carbon.

    When asking questions like "why are you not using the new 31.8 handle bars"... I was told they still had a lot of the other sized stems to use up first.. very direct and honest.

    Would I have like the co-motion better... perhaps. I had no way to know.. and at this time I did not want to gamble on that big a purchase. I like Santana's yet know there are other great products out there. I know Bill is very opinionated.. and I do not agree with all that he says. Yet there are things about them I like.

    Freehub bodies...Santana talks about the need for tandem specific ones... and many builders used single bike parts.[a few years back] Maybe many people have used them with no troubles... I perfer the better ones. Someone that I ride off road with .. they have a cannondale ... they were breaking a freehub body at least once a season. I have yet to have one fail.

    My sovereign [I know road use is more gentle] is 16 years old.. and has 10's of thousands of miles.. I was just replacing some tired ti spokes and showed the hub and freehub [edco] to a co-worker.. they felt better than most new ones do.. they were incredible.

    I like Santana but obviously am not a blind follower. while I find openly discussing the pros and cons of different "way" to me the needless bashing is a turn off.

    glenn

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenlason
    One thing I have have found disapointing is the Santana bashing. I myself find it rather unprofessional, unnessisary and at times somewhat juvenile. For example in my recent thread on zero gravity brakes... tandemgeek starts going off on Santana sales "stuff". How was that relevant to my question?... I like Santana but obviously am not a blind follower. while I find openly discussing the pros and cons of different "way" to me the needless bashing is a turn off.
    I responded to YOUR question in my first paragraph, to wit: "Don't waste your money; DuraAce is about as good as it gets for calipers on tandems."

    My second paragraph responded to "t4mv" who appeared to be citing chapter and verse from Santana's marketing literature.

    As noted in my follow-up post to t4mv...

    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek
    Just to be clear, had the poster's original comments not so closely parroted what is likely in the '07 Santana Tandems & Tandeming catazine (received mine yesterday but haven't read it yet) and/or what Bill has previously posted to Hobbes over the past year, they would not have caught my attention.

    Here's the deal: Santana is a fine company that makes fine bikes. Bill McCready is an industry icon, someone I admire and consider as a friend (not a foe). However, the marketing literature which flows from Bill's hand has been called out for being over the top, questionable, and devisive on the internet since 1993 when the Hobbes list was born. I suspect that the 2007 Tandems & Tandeming that I just received continues that tradition and embodies many of the "trial balloons" and comments that Bill has shared with the Hobbes list over the past year on the subject of brakes, wheels, disc brakes, and frame design. Tandem design and equipment is NOT a zero-sum game where there is only one correct approach and all of the others are therefore wrong.
    If you'd really like to get a feel for what high-grade Santana bashing is all about I'd invite you to visit the archives at Tandem@Hobbes. A simple search on "Santana AND Bashing" will yield 173 postings, the first from 1994. There are earlier criticisms, but they don't invoke the now ubiquitous "Santana Bashing" label.

    Bikeforums.net's tandem forums, on the other hand, occasionally "drifts" into commentary on Santana and even then it is comparatively warm and fuzzy vs. past threads at Hobbes. In fact, a similar seach on "Santana bashing" at Bikeforums.net yields only five threads, two of which are the ones you started today. I would note of the other three, one has nothing to do with tandems or criticism.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-09-07 at 12:32 PM.

  3. #3
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    ok.. perhaps an apology.. I see now that you answered me... and then were commenting on someone else's post.

    From what I am hearing.. that Bill is in someway "earning" his bashing. He is pretty outspoken. I recently was talking to him about gearing... and he basically said I was nuts for wanting anything other than his 11-34 cass. So while I still may not find it particularly pleasant.. i better understand

    glenn

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    oh and on the brakes... perhaps I can get one of my customers to try them first..

  5. #5
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    Fenlason,

    Santana (or Bill) Bashing is rare here but quite prevelent at Hobbes. I choose not to post on Hobbes and get my kicks here instead. Having talked to, and ridden with Bill on a few occasions, I find the confidence he has in his products to be very reassuring. He builds and uses the equipment that he feels is best and he is willing to explain why he feels that way.

    I have found it easy to ignore the "bashers," while still reading the posts by those who disagree with Bill in a well thought out manner. As in all things, "success breeds contempt." Enjoy the Beyond and give us a ride report or two after you put some miles on it.
    I'm old enough
    To know the score.
    But I'm young enough
    To holler More, More, More

  6. #6
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    My second paragraph responded to "t4mv" who appeared to be citing chapter and verse from Santana's marketing literature.
    Just for the record, folks, I DON'T own a Santana (I have a Michael Johnson old school w/ Phil ovals), and I don't ride tandem often enough to get caught up in the "Santana literature" so I'll just say that two Mafac cantis and a Phil disc are enough to control the speed of our tandem, thank you very much.

    Yeah, the Hobbes people...I almost forgot about them....too bad.

    Fenlason, this is not an attempt to 'jack your thread. Thanks.

  7. #7
    BudLight
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    Been on this site for more than six months and it has been very professional and respectful of just about all comers. I have not noticed any Santana bashing per se. In fact, I have noticed that a couple of Santana owners complained of bashing that was not there. A rather curious sensitivity – akin to that of the guys that drove those old Nash Motors bathtubs in the ‘50’s.

    Heck, we love everybody. In fact, ole ElRey here apparently has a tough time telling the difference between a tandem – any tandem – and a woman. So you see, we’re very tolerant of all kinds of deviant behavior. Welcome.

  8. #8
    Captain - 2nd in Command djsincla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjberner
    Been on this site for more than six months and it has been very professional and respectful of just about all comers. I have not noticed any Santana bashing per se. In fact, I have noticed that a couple of Santana owners complained of bashing that was not there. A rather curious sensitivity – akin to that of the guys that drove those old Nash Motors bathtubs in the ‘50’s.
    The bashing is around - Most recent was in the Paketa thread and gregm's dig with the Homer cartoon because Santana does sell a bike with no lateral tube. Many posts are negative towards the rear spacing on Sanatana's yet I have never seen a post from a Santana owner with problems with their rear wheel spacing.

    I like Santana. I like Trek. I like Raleigh 20's. I like my lateral tube and I like my rear wheel spacing. You certainly will not hear me bash other people's machines or manufacturers.

    ps. I also like Toyota/Lexus and of course the LA Dodgers!

  9. #9
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, Fenlason!
    Have know Mr. Bill since 1978.
    He has his opinions, and we have ours. They don't always run on the same track.
    Yes, have put a couple thousand miles on Santanas: Team, Sovereign, Arriva, Ti. Have never personally owned one.
    Since 1975 have owned: Follis, Assenmacher, Colin Laing, Co-Motion and ariZona tandems. All but the first one were custom. All of our custom tandems we rode for a minimum of 56,000+ miles before designing a new one.
    A good quality tandem is money well spent. We consider it an investment in our continued good health.

    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  10. #10
    half man - half sheep Doggus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjberner
    Heck, we love everybody. In fact, ole ElRey here apparently has a tough time telling the difference between a tandem – any tandem – and a woman. So you see, we’re very tolerant of all kinds of deviant behavior. Welcome.

    WRONG!!! The one thing we won't put up with around here are Stokers with opinions.


    I'm kidding of course
    Last edited by Doggus; 01-11-07 at 08:40 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by djsincla
    The bashing is around - Most recent was in the Paketa thread and gregm's dig with the Homer cartoon because Santana does sell a bike with no lateral tube.
    Yes, that was me. (Didn't you mean to write "Santana does NOT sell"?? AFAIK, they do *not* sell such a bike, and, if they are, they're keeping it a secret by not showing it on their Web site. I think you just had a typo, is all.)

    As TG described, Bill McC. has quite a history of... interesting posts to the T@H e-mail list. Among these are posts where he takes condescending digs at other (successful, innovative, experienced) tandem manufacturers who choose different approaches to design, materials, and techniques.

    However, the read-between-the-lines impression from his posts is that Santana will poo-poo and attempt to discredit others' innovation... with perhaps no real reason other than Santana doesn't sell a similar product.

    Certainly Santana makes high-quality tandems and has more years of experience than most any other builder around. Folks who have met Bill in person generally speak highly of him; too bad that he can come across as such a heel in his e-mail posts to T@H. It does a great discredit to him, his company, and his bikes.

    And if Santana does come out with a no-lateral tandem, I would not be surprised to see a T@H post where Bill does the tandem world a huge favor [sarcasm] by explaining how all of the other (successful, innovative, experienced) no-lat tandem builders were really getting it wrong all along, rather than admitting (there's your "D'oh!") that Santana was behind the curve...

    -Greg

  12. #12
    Bill G Bill G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregm
    Yes, that was me. (Didn't you mean to write "Santana does NOT sell"?? AFAIK, they do *not* sell such a bike, and, if they are, they're keeping it a secret by not showing it on their Web site. I think you just had a typo, is all.)

    As TG described, Bill McC. has quite a history of... interesting posts to the T@H e-mail list. Among these are posts where he takes condescending digs at other (successful, innovative, experienced) tandem manufacturers who choose different approaches to design, materials, and techniques.

    However, the read-between-the-lines impression from his posts is that Santana will poo-poo and attempt to discredit others' innovation... with perhaps no real reason other than Santana doesn't sell a similar product.

    Certainly Santana makes high-quality tandems and has more years of experience than most any other builder around. Folks who have met Bill in person generally speak highly of him; too bad that he can come across as such a heel in his e-mail posts to T@H. It does a great discredit to him, his company, and his bikes.

    And if Santana does come out with a no-lateral tandem, I would not be surprised to see a T@H post where Bill does the tandem world a huge favor [sarcasm] by explaining how all of the other (successful, innovative, experienced) no-lat tandem builders were really getting it wrong all along, rather than admitting (there's your "D'oh!") that Santana was behind the curve...

    -Greg
    My feelings exactly about Bill and Santana, even though they make a good quality top notch tandem......

    I do not personally care for 160mm wheel spacing myself. I don't personally buy the sales pitch from Santana about the superiority of 160mm hubs and spacing over a good 145mm spaced wheelset.

    Take Care all..
    Bill G
    Last edited by Bill G; 01-10-07 at 10:04 PM.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    While Santana has done plenty for the tandem market, including some innovations, they by no means are the only ones with good/better ideas, frame materials and designs.
    Lots of choices out there!

  14. #14
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek
    If you'd really like to get a feel for what high-grade Santana bashing is all about I'd invite you to visit the archives at Tandem@Hobbes.
    And that's why I quit subscribing to Tandem@Hobbes. I was there in the early 90's and dropped out when the other so-called tandem authorities, not just Bill, would get on their high horse and steamroll people. I would come back every 6-12 months or so and try it again but always ended up unsubscribing after a few days.

    And yes, that's a diamond red 2003 Sovereign in my avatar.
    Dennis T

  15. #15
    BudLight
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    I think we need to separate Bill Mc. bashing from "Santana bashing". Santana's are great tandems and worthy steeds. Anyone who postulates otherwise is not separating the two.

    It sort of reminds me of Steven Jobs and Apple. A lot of people don't care for Steve's mannerisms and, at times, unabashed arrogance. But no one can dispute that Apple has some great products with any credibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjberner
    I think we need to separate Bill Mc. bashing from "Santana bashing".
    ....It sort of reminds me of Steven Jobs and Apple....

    Santana without Bill? Why, that would be like Apple without Steve Jo.... oh.

    Nice comparison, but imho I think it actually serves to support the opposite point!

    -Greg

  17. #17
    BudLight
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregm
    Nice comparison, but imho I think it actually serves to support the opposite point!
    How so?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjberner
    How so?
    What would an Apple without Steve look like?
    What would a Santana without Bill look like?

    The individuals and the companies are not "identical" -- a person is not an organization -- but, in each case, this one person is driving force that characterizes just about every action and product of the company. Take away the one individual, and, in each case, I'll bet that you've got an entirely different organization.

    -Greg

  19. #19
    BudLight
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    I hear what you're saying, but I'm struggling with the logic. We've already seen what Apple was like when they fired Steve, and it wasn't pretty. If Bill left Santana, it could be good; it could be a disaster. Who knows; who cares; so what? It is what it is.

    Are you saying that you wouldn't touch a 'tana as long as Bill is there, or you wouldn't buy an iPod as long as Steve was in charge? It's a connection that baffles me.

  20. #20
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    Ugh, moving on to another thread...

  21. #21
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    It's a minor detail, but to be fair....

    Santana Cycles Inc. = Bill McCready: He's the founder, president, CEO and sole proprietor. Therefore, you can try to parse the two, but in reality they are inseparable.

    Apple, Inc., on the other hand, is a publicly traded company. While Jobs is a co-founder, CEO, and the face of the company, he only owns .6% of its stock and must answer to a board of directors and shareholders. Interestingly enough, he's on the Board of Directors of the Disney Co, where he is the single largest shareholder with 7% ownership... acquired when he sold Pixar Films to Disney .

    Of course, at the end of the day, I'd venture a guess that less than 5% of the people who have purchased a Santana know anything about Bill McCready beyond seeing his name in the annual Catazine and that outside of the world of cycling almost no one knows who he is. Jobs, on the other hand, is something like one of the 25 most recognizable figures in the world.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-14-07 at 07:31 AM.

  22. #22
    BudLight
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    So, summarizing this noxious thread (thanks Fenlasen) perhaps we can end it here and join hands around the campfire and sing Goom-bah- yah:

    1. We’ve been pretty good doobies here – there has not been a great deal of Santana (Bill) bashing here and hopefully there won’t be.

    2. There are some passionate haters of Bill Mc. out there and they wouldn’t unscrew his neck and urinate down his throat if his belly was on fire (much less purchase one of his tandems). Okay, got that……..again.

    3. Santana tandems are good to great products on an (arguable) par with the other stuff on the market. I like my _________; you like your ‘tana. Fine by me. If I liked my __________ any more than I do, there would be two of me.

    So what’s the problem? Let’s drive on.

  23. #23
    half man - half sheep Doggus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjberner
    So what’s the problem? Let’s drive on.

    Correction - pedal on. Driving is for wusses.
    "The cycling community is so small that it is nearly inbred." - Steve Tilford

  24. #24
    GO Floyd Landis, Go! Linda & Lew's Avatar
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    Freehub bodies...Santana talks about the need for tandem specific ones... and many builders used single bike parts.[a few years back] Maybe many people have used them with no troubles... I perfer the better ones. Someone that I ride off road with .. they have a cannondale ... they were breaking a freehub body at least once a season. I have yet to have one fail.



    Boy I sure hope your not bashing my Cannondale!
    R 300 Cannondale
    Early 70's Free Spirit Tandem
    2006 Cannondale Tandem

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    No I was not "bashing" your Cannondale. I have never "met" your Cannondale.
    I was stating an issue...that was not just opinion.

    I have probably sold more Cannondale tandems than all others combined. Although I am not sure we have sold any since their change of ownership.. and we are no longer now a Cannondale dealer.

    glenn

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