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  1. #1
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    New Santana catalog

    Just got the new Santana catalog, and read it with interest, particularly in light of the Santana bashing thread.

    It's interesting that the Catalog is postured like a magazine, and you have to get into just a bit to realize its a Santana catalog.

    They really do make a strong (over the top?) case for the Santana way of doing things, i.e. 160 mm spacing, 1 1/4 steerers, oval S&S couplers, Santana 10" disc brakes, isogrid CF.

    Have to say after I read it, I really wanted to pull out the credit card and order a Beyond.

    Then I come back to all the posters who say that Co Motions ride better.

    So the dillema to me appears to be 1) buy a Santana with all the arguable technical advantages, or

    2) get a Co Motion will be crisper handling more agile bike.

    I guess we should ride them both and see. Perhaps a bike custom built by Santana to Co Motion geometry with 160 spacing, 1 1/4 steerer, oval couplers, and and a 10" Santana disc brake?

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    This is what is referred to as "opening Pandora's Box".

    Here's the deal: Test ride and then decide. Co-Motion, Santana, Cannondale, Trek, etc... all make excellent products. They each subscribe to their own theories and approach when it comes to frame design, geometry, components, and marketing and at the end of the day it usually comes down to a few key discriminators:

    1. Availability & Support
    2. Cost / Perceived Value
    3. Aesthetics / Perceived Quality
    4. Fit / Dealer Expertise
    5. Comfort & Performance / Completely Subjective
    6. Other Intangibles, i.e., Brand Recognition, Material, Components, Prestige, Peer Influence, Vanity, Insider Pricing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
    I guess we should ride them both and see.
    Now that sounds like a plan. Neither one sucks. Why not own the one you like to ride?

    Speaking of Santana vs. Co-Mo, for as long as Santana's been around, and for as many bikes as they must have sold, I seem to see more Co-Mos than Santanas out and about on the road on the weekends around here. What are others' impressions in other areas?

    -Greg

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregm
    What are others' impressions in other areas?
    Brand visibility is highly skewed based on region and rider demographics.

  5. #5
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    When I do a CRABS or CRABS/WABBITS ride there is quite a variety of bikes. Two of the fastest teams ride a Santana aluminum and a Co-Motion steel framed bikes, respectively. I have to bust my butt to keep up with either team. If there are 15 teams, there is likely to be a lot different brands represented. Beside the two mentioned there will be Treks, Cannondales, a Moseman (on the hard rides) a Calfee, I have seen one Paketa, a Bruni and usually several recumbents and a recumbent trike. Plus, our lowley KHS of course.....

  6. #6
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregm
    Now that sounds like a plan. Neither one sucks. Why not own the one you like to ride?


    -Greg
    True, just a logistical headache to find a Santana Beyond, Santana Team Al, Co Motion Robusto, Co Motion Macciato, all in stock in even the same city, much less locally.

    then if you add in Zona tandem Davis Double, Davinci Joint Venture, and Calfee, then you're really getting complicated.

    This may involve a few trips.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregm
    Now that sounds like a plan. Neither one sucks. Why not own the one you like to ride?

    Speaking of Santana vs. Co-Mo, for as long as Santana's been around, and for as many bikes as they must have sold, I seem to see more Co-Mos than Santanas out and about on the road on the weekends around here. What are others' impressions in other areas?

    -Greg
    The people that we know in Central CA ride:

    Santana: 7
    Burley: 4
    Erickson: 2
    Co-motion: 1
    Seven: 1
    Tsunami: 1
    KHS: 1
    Camondale: 1
    Bike Friday: 1

  8. #8
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    More brand comparison stuff from the archives:
    Brand popularity

  9. #9
    Co-Mo mojo
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    A quick scan of tandems we are aware of reveals that red bikes are fastest -- despite the brand. Sadly, we do not have a red bike.

    How many times do we need to read things like:

    1. Ride the bike and make your own decision

    2. These companies all make good bikes

    3. Make sure the *$&W^#W# thing fits!

    4. Go back to #1 and repeat until the message sticks.

    Personally I think it's great that we have such a fine choice. Just wish red bikes weren't so fast.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Getting your hands (and butts) on various tandems can pose a problem.
    After 3 decades of riding tandems these are the brands we have ridden . . . some for a short spin, others for hundred or even thousands of miles. Some you may never even have heard of!
    Assenmacher, Berry, Borthwick, Bruni, Burley, Cannondale, Co-Motion, Counterpoint, Calfee, Colin Laing, Dawes, daVinci, Fastab, Follis, Fuji, Gilmour, Gitane, Greengear, Gottfried, GT, Ibis, Jack Taylor, KHS, Kuwahara, Lippy, Montague, Motobecane, Micargi, Osell, Peugeot, Raleigh, Roland, Santana, Schwinn, Serotta, Trek, Velo Schauff and Zona (and possibly may have forgotten a few).
    Some of these brands we have ridden several models and some were from small volume builders.
    Have ridden several Satana models: Arriva, Team, Sovereign and Ti and one of their 26" wheeled road models (can't remember the model).
    Have also ridden several Co-Motion models including Periscope, Speedster, Supremo, Robusta and our own custom Co-Mo.
    A quick generalization for comparison between Santana and Co-Motion:
    Santana is a great limo-type ride with slower type handling + we had difficulty with 'instant' acceleration.
    The Co-Motion was quicker handling, more like a sports car, and great 'instant' accelleration.
    Have not yet ridden a Beyond or a Macchiatto.
    Have ridden steel, alu, ti and carbon fiber, but not yet magnesium (that's on the radar screen!).
    Our current personal twicer: custom Zona carbon fiber. Flawless execution of our design, great handling, very comfortable ride and very light weight. Currently have 13,000+ miles on the odo.
    Your choices/ideas/needs may vary greatly from ours.
    . . . and for the record, have never owned a red bike!

    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    to answer Greg first:

    I agree with what has been said... what is seen around for bikes... is a regional thing. I live in central Maine. I have never seen 1 co-motion. Yet I also do not see that many Santana'a either. In a place like Maine... you do not even find bikes like Santana's stocked by dealers. We used to sell a lot of Cannondales.. some Treks. Another shop had sold a lot of Cignals.. Yakota's. In the area we have Burleys, Bilenky [sp] Davinci, Bill Grove, Gitane, schwinn, a rare Merlin, bike friday. a few tandem recumbents, my previously own Franklin, and my Coggs.. there are probably others that I am forgetting at the moment.

    Merlinextraligh.. I do have the beyond and am very happy with it. One thing to say about it.. it is so much better looking in person. [yeah I know subjective] Those that have seen it say the pictures don't do it justice. [I am talking aboutthe carbon weave]

    I have not ridden a comotion.. so while I am very happy with what I have... perhaps ignorance is bliss.

    Zonatandem... I understand how there can be a handling difference between the co-motion and the Santana.... but I am surprised about the accerlation difference. I guess it depends on which two you were comparing at the time... Where the wheels the same or similar?

    glenn

  12. #12
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    A quick generalization for comparison between Santana and Co-Motion:
    Santana is a great limo-type ride with slower type handling + we had difficulty with 'instant' acceleration.
    The Co-Motion was quicker handling, more like a sports car, and great 'instant' accelleration.
    Have not yet ridden a Beyond or a Macchiatto.
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
    Hence the dillema: I tend to buy some of the Santana marketing regarding the superiority of some of their design techniques, but we're definitely looking more for the sports car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenlason
    tZonatandem... I understand how there can be a handling difference between the co-motion and the Santana.... but I am surprised about the accerlation difference. I guess it depends on which two you were comparing at the time... Where the wheels the same or similar?

    glenn
    We own a Santana Soverign Aluminum and went from a 40 spoke 700x28 stock wheelset to a sweet16 700x23 front and 700x25 back... a world of difference in acceleration and handling particularly while cornering... still a very stable ride which makes the ride more comfortable.

  14. #14
    BudLight
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
    Hence the dillema: I tend to buy some of the Santana marketing regarding the superiority of some of their design techniques, but we're definitely looking more for the sports car.
    What are the geometry differences between Santana and CoMo? Can't find geometry data on Santana's website.

  15. #15
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
    Hence the dillema: I tend to buy some of the Santana marketing regarding the superiority of some of their design techniques, but we're definitely looking more for the sports car.
    Let me simplify the Co-Motion vs. Santana differences by using exaggerated single bike references...

    Santana = sport/touring geometry + compliance for comfort and easier handling.
    Co-Motion = racing geometry + stiffness for performance and that familiar single racing bike "feel".

    As consumers, very few who buy single bikes with racing geometry ever need or truly benefit from the stiffer frames or aggressive steering geometry... yet, that's what consumers believe they should want. This has been the case since the lightweight european racing bikes began to show up in the US domestic market during the 60's and 70's, supplanting the easier to ride and more comfortable fat tire and skinny tire upright touring style bikes. Therefore, the vast majority of Boomers who took up road cycling either in their youth or as adults have purchased and become accustomed to the fit, feel, aches, and pains associated with drop-bar racing bikes.

    IMHO, having ridden many of the more current makes and styles of tandems, Co-Motion has carried that familiar "feel" into the design of their tandems which is what makes them "feel" like the single road bikes that many consumers are comfortable with. Santana, on the other hand, has detuned the more aggressive frame designs to make their tandems more user-friendly: they are easy to control at the slow speeds during starting and stopping which is a big plus for a first time tandem captain AND stoker as they help to quickly build confidence. In fact, if a dealer puts a new team on a Co-Motion first followed by a Santana, chances are they're more interested in selling Santana's because they've stacked the deck against the Co-Motion. The only two brands of tandem that go even further than Santana with respect to "detuning" the racing characteristics of road bikes is Bilenky and KHS. Santana also builds its frames to resist torsion flex, but to still be somewhat vertically compliant for added comfort. Co-Motion being true to it's performance branding designs their tandems to be very stiff in both planes, and I wouldn't be surprised to find that a steel Co-Motion has less frame deflection than a Santana Soveriegn or Scandium frameset.

    As for how those different characteristics manifest themselves "down the road", any captain who spends (or pre-tandem who spent) most of their riding time on a single racing bike will usually find the Santana's to be less spirited than the Co-Motion tandems, aka., somewhat sluggish and nose heavy. Conversely, someone who doesn't have sharp bike handling skills, who doesn't ride aggressively, and who has a stoker that isn't all that smooth or who moves about will likely find the Co-Motion tandems to be "twitchy" and grow fatigued over the course of a long ride.

    Therefore, Santana's marketing literature is probably correct when it says that a team "could" be faster on a Santana because they'll be less fatigued at the end of a long ride. But, that's hardly objective as there are just too many factors that influence how any given team will actually perform, and many of them are controlled by the psyche. This is the same "factor" that you'll hear me referring to as the "placebo effect" that seems to create or amplify perceived performance improvements gained via lighter weight or more aerodynamic frames and components.

    So, what does all of this gibberish mean? It means consumers are still the ones who must decide what works best for them. So, do your homework, recognize your biases, and if at all possible do some test rides. Frankly, it's really hard to screw up too badly when purchasing a premium quality brand of tandem. They all handle quite well, afford very similar performance (noting that the riders are the largest performance variable on any bicycle or tandem), quality, and value with all other things being equal.

    The biggest opportunities for making a really bad purchasing decision are:

    1. Fit: No matter how "good" a tandem is, buying one (or being sold one) that is not properly sized for the captain will either require a pre-mature subsequent tandem purchase OR could simply be so unenjoyable that the tandem sees little use. Stoker fit is pretty subjective and the only REAL mistake that could be made is buying a tandem with a stoker compartment that's simpy too small for a larger than average stoker. After all, tandem teams routinely put small children on the backs of full-size tandems so having a stoker compartment that's too big is truly a non-issue unless you're concerned about stoker dismount issues and contact with the top bar (as is zonatandem and a few others).

    2. Non-Racers Buying Racing Tandems: You can't buy speed and performance; you must earn it through hard work and time in the saddle. An out of shape, non-racing couple will derive no benefit (other than feeding their egos) from the purchase of a high-end, superlight, racing tandem with aggressive steering geometry. While it's sometimes hard to resist "the best there is" when you're disposable income is as vast as your ego, you'd be better off spending that money by having a custom frame built that is truly tailored to your dimensions, mass, and riding style. I'd rather see a great team having a great time on Bike Friday than some wanna-be racerboy in XXL spandex weaving all over the road with a tolerant but sea-sick stoker struggling to hang with the pack on their $10k uber tandem.

    3. Trying to make a Silk Purse out of a Sow's Ear: There are entry-level tandems and then there are "tandem-shaped objects". TSO's are fine for testing the water with non-cycling spouses and kids, for family fun rides, and bike paths but that's about it. It's also important to remember that the frame is the heart and soul of any tandem. Hanging expensive components on a medocre frame is no different than trying to "soup-up" a Kia with 20" chrome wheels and low-profile tires. Save your upgrade dollars and buy the best frame you can get wrapped with a good set of components. The right frame will outlast many different wheelsets, component upgrades, and teams.

    Just my .02. It's time to go ride.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-13-07 at 06:06 AM.

  16. #16
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    ^^^^

    I ride a 2007 Giant TCR Team Advanced (stiff, aggressive geometry), and race Masters 45. My stoker rides a C'dale. The thing we don't like about our Burley (in addition to its deteriorating condition at 14 years old) is that it isn't as fun to ride as our single bikes, because it feels sluggish and heavy.

    So my bias, without riding either leans toward the co motion geometry.
    Last edited by merlinextraligh; 01-12-07 at 08:36 AM.

  17. #17
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjberner
    What are the geometry differences between Santana and CoMo? Can't find geometry data on Santana's website.
    Interestingly enough, the frame geometry is about the same. It's the fork rake & steering trail that's different.

    Santana has defined 55mm of fork rake with a 73* headtube as the tandem standard. Burley, Trek, and others have also adopted this as their "standard". This yields something like a nominal 1.9" of steering trail.

    Co-Motion uses 50mm of fork rake with 73* as their standard for tandems fitted with their chromoly forks which yields more steering trail, something like a nominal of 2.125". The Wound-Up forks are built with 45mm of rake but are also a bit shorter which nulls out some of the added steering trail more on the order of 2.25" - 2.3" of steering trail.

    It's noteworthy that Trek has been paying attention to consumer trends and also has a tandem enthusiast in their frame design team who has been influencing the design of their T1000/T2000 tandems. This past year Trek introduced a Bontrager carbon tandem fork on the T2000 that uses 50mm of rake. Before it's withdrawl from the tandem business, Burley had also introduced a True Temper CX tandem fork for use on their Racing kits that featured 48mm of rake (but also somewhat shorter) that afforded consumers "Co-Motion - like" handling.

    At the other end of the spectrum is Bilenky 57.7mm fork rake and 73.5* head tube angles to achieve a nominal 1.65" of steering trail. This is the geometry that John Schubert, author of "The Tandem Scoop" had at one point advocated for tandems. You can see their geometry tables at their Web site: http://www.bilenky.com/tangeom.html I believe KHS uses very short steering trail as well.

    Cannondale splits the difference by using 53mm of rake with a 73* head tube for 2" of steering trail.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-12-07 at 08:58 AM.

  18. #18
    BudLight
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek
    I'd rather see a great team having a great time on Bike Friday than some wanna-be racerboy in XXL spandex weaving all over the road with a tolerant but sea-sick stoker struggling to hang with the pack ...........
    Okay TG, where exactly did you see me ride? Huh?

    Hmmmmm......great piece on the zen of tandem buying, a classic. I'm not entirely sure what a "racing tandem" is, except one (any one) that is being raced. But I get your message.

    You there Zona? As a guy who has ridden every pony out there (except the Paketa), and, I'm assuming, retired from racing by now, why are you riding a $10K + carbon uber tandem?

    Follow on question: Of all the steeds (and miles) you've ridden, which one(s) are in your Hall of Fame, and why? Honestly?

  19. #19
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    I find it interesting that more trail on a tandem = 'race handling' and less trail = 'touring handling'. The exact opposite is true on single bikes with touring bikes having more trial than general-use road racing bikes having more trial than crit-racing specialty bikes having more trail that true track bikes which have hardly any trail. In a single bikes case, the less trail the quicker the handling or turn initiation.

    Somehow, the trail measurement when applied to the long wheelbase of the tandem must manifest itself differently than on a single bike.

    Just my own guess, having not ridden a Co Mo but possibly the longer trail measurement + the stiff frame = a more stable high-speed ride thus inducing the team to push the envelope a little more on fast turns?

    I know on my own bike, when I am descending briskly and negotiate a tight left-right turn combination, I can feel the frame and fork flex which leads to a wallowing sensation similar to driving an old Cadillac Eldorado around a turn to fast... But, I have learned to just disregard this sensation and press on!

  20. #20
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    I have a 2006 Burley Paso and I feel that it is sluggish and heavy as well. The Co-motion Robusta is so much more fun to ride. Previously we had a Trek T-2000 and while we liked it, the co-motion out handles and performs the Trek hands down. My single bikes are a Kestrel Talon SL and Tarmac SL; with a trusting stoker I can corner on the co-motion nearly as well as the kestrel. Not enough miles on the Paketa to make real comparison.


    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh

    I ride a 2007 Giant TCR Team Advanced (stiff, aggressive geometry), and race Masters 45. My stoker rides a C'dale. The thing we don't like about our Burley (in addition to its deteriorating condition at 14 years old) is that it isn't as fun to ride as our single bikes, because it feels sluggish and heavy.

    So my bias, without riding either leans toward the co motion geometry.

  21. #21
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    Somehow, the trail measurement when applied to the long wheelbase of the tandem must manifest itself differently than on a single bike.
    Howz about that... double the wheelbase, double the mass, shift the center of gravity a few feet and you end up with a different handling package?! Who'd of thunk it?

    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    Just my own guess, having not ridden a Co Mo but possibly the longer trail measurement + the stiff frame = a more stable high-speed ride thus inducing the team to push the envelope a little more on fast turns?
    Sort of, but not quite. It's just basic steering geometry: longer trail is more sensitive to bike lean which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Good if you have a team that spins a high cadence, rides clean with a low center of gravity, and has a captain with good bike handling skills who knows how to carve an aggressive but smooth line through corners. Bad if you have a team that mashes pedals, that rock, bounce or otherwise sit high on the bike and/or who shift their upper bodies around, and have a captain who hasn't fully grasped the mechanics of countersteering. The Santana/Burley/Trek bikes can be ridden fast and will corner well, but it takes more positive handlebar input to initiate the turns, i.e., they understeer or push a bit when driven hard into a corner. It's subtle, but it's ultimately why these different tandems "feel" the way they do. Neither approach is right or wrong, they're just different and it's up to each captain and team to figure out which they feel most comfortable with. There are clearly trade-offs for both but, to be fair, we're really splitting hairs on all but the tandems with the longer steering trail, e.g., Co-Motion with Wound-Up forks, Calfees, Ericksons, and perhaps a few other customs.

    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    I know on my own bike, when I am descending briskly and negotiate a tight left-right turn combination, I can feel the frame and fork flex which leads to a wallowing sensation similar to driving an old Cadillac Eldorado around a turn to fast... But, I have learned to just disregard this sensation and press on!
    Yup, that's pretty much a given with the KHS. They are notoriously "whippy" when pushed hard or saddled with heavy teams. Smallish, lighweight teams like ourselves or zonatandems can pretty well ride anything without pushing the limits of the frames. But, knowing that you're a pretty tall guy and that your stoker is also a bit taller than average, the "stoker lag" you are feeling is what I'd expect. You REALLY owe it to yourself to arrange a demo-day ride on a Co-Motion at either TandemsEast or Mt. Airy just to contrast the differences to your KHS. Having ridden with y'all, you are one of the teams that would benefit from a stiffer frame, although you would need to figure out if either a bit more trail (Santana, Trek, C'dale) or a bit more than that (Co-Mo chromo), or even a lot of trail (Co-Mo Wound-Up) would provide the best handling for your team.

  22. #22
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    TG

    That is some good info..all well said. thank you for sharing.

    Not that I still might love a co-motion... your comparision made me feel better about the choice I have made.
    I found my Sovereign to be laterally as stiff or stiffer than anything else I have ridden. Yet as you say it is vertically compliant. It is quite comfortable. The beyond even more so... in both regards.

    It was actually quite odd at first. All so often in the "old days" efficiency stiffness meant loss of comfort. It is weird to have something so responsive to pedal input to be so comfortable at the same time.

    Merlinextralight: Even though they [Burleys and Santana's] may have the same geometry.. I myself do not see the feel of my Santana's anywhere like the Burleys I have ridden.

    The burleys I have ridden [older ones] were rather noodley compared to the Santana'a I have owned. That would make handling and acceleration... feel sluggish compared to something with a more solid foundation.

    Weights of stuff affect all that also. The geometry of my Sovereign and the Beyond are the same.. yet it took some adjusting and quite a few hundred miles to be able to ride the Beyond it a straight line. I had a bit of front end wobble on it, and I am far from a beginner.

    The biggest "problem" seemed to be that the front of the bike was several pounds lighter than my older bike. It ended up coming with a stem shorter than what it should have had. I forget sizes.. I tried the next size up.. it fit better and felt better. I went up another size to the current 120mm and that with miles helped. [another difference from the previous bike was a wider handle bar... which I am keeping]

    I had so many miles on the other bike... it was almost all that I rode on the road for about 15 years... I really had a hard time switching. It is now easier to switch back and forth.. I will put a wider bar on the old bike to match the new. [a good excuse to upgrade the bars on the new bike.. to put the orginals on the old bike]

    TG I am open to any "corrections" to anything I have just stated.

    glenn

  23. #23
    Co-Mo mojo
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    [quote=TandemGeek]Trying to make a Silk Purse out of a Sow's Ear: There are entry-level tandems and then there are "tandem-shaped objects".QUOTE]

    Great responses to the Co-Mo vs Santana debate, but my favorite comment applies to many of those bikes sold on Craig's List: tandem-shaped objects. +1

  24. #24
    All or nothing
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek
    Let me simplify the Co-Motion vs. Santana differences by using exaggerated single bike references...

    Santana = touring geometry + compliance for comfort and easier handling.
    Co-Motion = racing geometry + stiffness for performance and that familiar single racing bike "feel".

    As consumers, very few who buy single bikes with racing geometry ever need or truly benefit from the stiffer frames or aggressive steering geometry... yet, that's what consumers believe they should want.
    Interesting comment about many folks getting racing bikes but not really benefitting from the frame style. I rode thousands of miles on my 31 lb Specialized Expedition touring bike in the 1980s (Markleeville Death Ride, Davis Double Century, self-contained XC ride, etc.) and certainly knew about racing bikes but never had the chance to ride one. I finally got a racing bike in 1989 and marvelled at the amazing performace impact (8 lbs lighter, steeper frame angles, shorter wheelbase) on my very first ride (hills of Berkeley,California).

    When we bought our first tandem in 1997 I lusted after Co-Motions, but found a used Santana for about half price so we never even tested a CoMo. I was so excited to finally have a tandem and it seemed so awesome compared to the others we tested (Burley). In 2001 the kids got so big we "needed" a second tandem, this time getting a Bike Friday Tandem Traveler XL for the versatility.

    After 1000 miles of Santana-only tandeming in a 2-month period 2 springs ago and then getting on the Friday, I was astounded at the noodle-like consistency of the Friday's ride. I had never noticed it earlier when alternating short cycles between the two tandems. Except for two springs ago, family life limits most of my tandeming to 20-50 mile rides with various stoker configurations of two kids and wife.

    And now I'm hoping to experience a transition once again, preparing to buy a new lightweight tandem (Calfee/Zona/Santana carbon? CoMo Robusta? Paketa?) that will give wife/stoker Margaret the ride quality of the Friday and give me the performance of the Santana.

    So, just observations on what I've experienced in ride quality between different frame types in singles and tandems... with more to come, I hope.

    Don

  25. #25
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek
    Howz about that... double the wheelbase, double the mass, shift the center of gravity a few feet and you end up with a different handling package?! Who'd of thunk it?
    I hear what you are say Mark, but the effect of steering trail on a single-track vehicle remains unchanged. A Harley with an extended front end, super-long wheelbase and enormous amounts of trail wants to go strait. Reduce only the trail measurement and the same bike will turn easier.

    What is 'trail' and how does it effect steering? 'trail' is the distance measured horizontally between the steering axis extended to the travel plane (the road) and the center of the tire contact patch. The center of the tire contact patch 'trails' behind the steering axis. Trail is what keeps the bike going strait once underway. The longer the trial measurement, the more the bike wants to go strait. Additionally, faster the bike is moving, the more pressure on the bars it takes to move the contact patch out from under the center-line of the bike causing it to lean. A bike can be built with zero trail and the bars would have to be held constantly to keep it going strait. It would be difficult to ride.

    Therefore, all things being equal, the bike with the longer trail will resist turning ('slow steering') more than the bike with the shorter trail (quick steering).

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