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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Thinking about a Quad

    I am thinking about a Quad for the family (wife and 3 & 5 year old) and on occasion to be used with adults during multi-day rides such as RAGBRAI.

    I have a pickup and an enclosed trailer so I am not concerned about transportation of this monster.

    Based on my quick searches, I think co-motion is probably the company I will go with? anyone else have other manfact. to seriously consider.

    I was thinking of going with an aluminum coupled version if possible.

    9 or 10 speed?
    front and rear disc brakes?
    tire width?

    Really just looking for some things to think about when buying one of these bikes and other people's experience with co-motion or other alternative brands.
    thanks
    jay

    I have plenty of garage space and as I mentioned transportation and the extra logistics are pretty much covered. I don't anticipate traveling to exotic locations with this bike (unless you consider Iowa exotic).

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    If you haven't done so, give Mark Johnson at Precision Tandems (856-451-5104 ) and/ or perhaps Mel Kornbluh at Tandems East (913-962-8866) a call to discuss the options and what they can offer. I believe individually and collectively have about as much experience with multi-seat tandems as anyone that comes immediately to mind. Both are Co-Motion and Bushnell dealers, and Mark is also a Santana dealer. They will know if there are other options, e.g., Bilenkly, Longbikes, etc..

  3. #3
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    Santana makes some with couplers and you can take sections out making a tandem out of a triple. Probably same with quad.

  4. #4
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Alternative: 2 tandems, with an adult piloting each + stokid.

  5. #5
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    i currently have two tandems..one for wife and i and one for kids and i. the wife has no interest in being a captain.

  6. #6
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    If you haven't done so, give Mark Johnson at Precision Tandems (856-451-5104 ) and/ or perhaps Mel Kornbluh at Tandems East (913-962-8866) a call to discuss the options and what they can offer. I believe individually and collectively have about as much experience with multi-seat tandems as anyone that comes immediately to mind. Both are Co-Motion and Bushnell dealers, and Mark is also a Santana dealer. They will know if there are other options, e.g., Bilenkly, Longbikes, etc..
    Dennis Bushnell now works for R+E Cycles in Seattle; he built our Rodriquez tandem frame.

  7. #7
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swc7916 View Post
    Dennis Bushnell now works for R+E Cycles in Seattle; he built our Rodriquez tandem frame.
    FWIW: Dennis has been the frame designer / builder for the Rodriguez branded tandems for many, many, many years, while also designing and building under his own brand. It was only about a year or two ago that he made a decision to move from his own building near Seattle and set-up shop on the R&E Cycle premises near the university. When we last "chatted" a few weeks ago relative to "your builder's" comments on disc brakes, etc... (Note: we've know each other since the late '90's) he was still building to order under his own brand... and was still a third party builder for a few other brands.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 11-30-07 at 10:00 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    FWIW: Dennis has been the frame designer / builder for the Rodriguez branded tandems for many, many, many years, while also designing and building under his own brand. It was only about a year or two ago that he made a decision to move from his own building near Seattle and set-up shop on the R&E Cycle premises near the university. When we last "chatted" a few weeks ago relative to "your builder's" comments on disc brakes, etc... (Note: we've know each other since the late '90's) he was still building to order under his own brand... and was still a third party builder for a few other brands.
    Considering the production schedule at R+E, it seems that Dennis couldn't have much time available for his own brand. There is a guy named Matt Houle who claims to have been R+E's primary frame builder/painter (about 650 frames, including 50 tandems) from 1995 until about 2000. Also, it was strongly hinted to me that R+E builds Erickson's frames; do you know anything about this?
    Last edited by swc7916; 11-30-07 at 10:54 AM.

  9. #9
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    We own a Santana cabrio triplet. Having the couplers allows us to use it as our air traveling tandem. If we had more children we would not mind making it a quad (maybe the grandkids, we can always hope).... but it is already more than 10 feet long as a triplet... a quad would not fit in our full size pickup.... a quad should be about 13' long and about 80 plus lbs. Our only complaint about the triplet is that we do not use it enough!

  10. #10
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by asu_gt View Post
    I am thinking about a Quad for the family (wife and 3 & 5 year old) and on occasion to be used with adults during multi-day rides such as RAGBRAI.
    Here's my 2 cent suggestion....a Greenspeed tandem TRIKE!

    In this picture, my 13 yr old is the stoker (same inseam as Mrs Dr. D), the 6 yr old is on a seat on the rear rack with footpegs, and the twin 4 yr olds are both in the trailer. Total length? 15 feet even!

    Recently, I have been letting the 6 yr old Captain!!!
    He can steer and brake from up front, while I provide Stoker power!
    I must say that he has taken to it like a fish to water!

    At first his little sisters wailed "I don't want HIM to be Capataaaaain!"
    But they soon found him to be a worthy Captain. It's all good now!

    As a note, the picture was taken at the beginning of a ride where we managed to hit over 45 mph on the downhills!
    E ticket ride for everyone!

    The trike is also easy to transport! I use a Hollywood folding trunk rack.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swc7916 View Post
    There is a guy named Matt Houle who claims to have been R+E's primary frame builder/painter (about 650 frames, including 50 tandems) from 1995 until about 2000.
    That sounds about right.

    Quote Originally Posted by swc7916 View Post
    Also, it was strongly hinted to me that R+E builds Erickson's frames; do you know anything about this?
    It sounds like someone is getting the various histories and lineage of R&E and frame builders somewhat blurred: then again, I may be afflicted with the same problem as my knowledge of the history is one build by accident over the years via discussions with Glenn Erickson, Dennis and a few others.

    Dennis could fill you in as I believe he clearly has a better grasp of the history and the objectivity needed to get all of the facts straight. However, my recollection goes something like this: R = Rodriguez, as in Angel, E = Erickson, as in Glenn. They co-founded R&E back in the 70's and Glenn was the frame builder up and until he sold his stake in R&E in '87 to pursue his own brand working from a home-based work shop in Seattle. Angel also sold his stake in R&E and went on to pursue a variety of things, to include becoming CEO of Bikebiz and I believe he was a member of REI's board of directors in the not too distant past.

    I can't recall who bought R&E back in '87 when both principles sold-out, but they didn't last long and Dan and a few other partners -- perhaps his wife Marcie and Estelle Grey who has since faded from the R&E landscape as well -- bought out R&E in the early 90's.

    In the mean time, Dennis Bushnell had become and probably still is Glenn's tandem frame fabricator noting that building tandems -- when done right -- takes a lot of space for the very large jigs and alignment tables: something I don't think Glenn had in his home-based shop. Therefore, as an example of this arrangement, Dennis did the frame fabrication on both of our Erickson tandems based on Glenn's designs and then Glenn did the finish work (fillet-brazing, etc..) before sending it off to his painter. Final assembly, etc. was then completed by Glenn back in his workshop. I believe my Erickson single may have been made entirely by Glenn, but then again I never asked: Dennis may have done the tubing, frame fab, and alignment as well. I only know for a fact that it was Glenn's design and handwork on the fillet-brazing and carved lugs, with Tracy doing the paint.

    So, given that Dennis has moved his fabrication activities on the premises at R&E and that R&E (Dan & Marcie) are the ones now listed as contacts for "Bushnell Cycles" website, it could be inferred that there is now once again an R&E connection with Erickson, just as in the beginning. However, the connection is Dennis, regardless of what his work-relationship arrangement is with Dan. No telling how this could be 'spun' or to what end.

    Again, if you spent a few minutes chatting with Dennis he might be able to 'splain it all a bit better and give you a more current wiring diagram that connects all of the various dots.

    Bottom Line: Seattle is a great place to go if you want to have a custom-made tandem. IMHO, Erickson's designs and the finish on his tandems are unparalleled, but the Bushnell, Rodriquez, Davidson, and perhaps one or two others (is TiCycles still in business?) are also fine tandems in their own right. Were it not for my interest in learning more about carbon as a tandem frame material, I can safely say that we would have been happy as clams to ride our two Ericksons until we couldn't ride anymore.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 06-09-08 at 05:59 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    However, my recollection goes something like this: R = Rodriguez, as in Angel, E = Erickson, as in Glenn. They co-founded R&E back in the 70's and Glenn was the frame builder up and until he sold his stake in R&E in '87 to pursue his own brand working from a home-based work shop in Seattle. Angel also sold his stake in R&E and went on to pursue a variety of things, to include becoming CEO of Bikebiz and I believe he was a member of REI's board of directors in the not too distant past.
    Thanks for your detailed reply. I knew that Angel was on REI's board of directors, and thought he still was, but their website shows that he is not. I've been in Seattle since 1974 and have shopped at R+E and Davidson's on-and-off over the years. I once owned an early Rodriguez tandem that was built from a French frame that had a down-tube added at R+E. I don't know and have never talked with any of the principals, but my understanding is that Glenn was the "racing" guy and Angel was the "touring" guy. All of the early tandems and touring bicycles that I have seen from that shop had the Rodriguez name on them; the racing-style bicycles had the Erickson name on them. While shopping for my tandem, I talked to the framebuilder for TiCycles; he is in the Portland, OR area now and claims to have worked for R+E in the past. (Did everyone work there at one time or another?) Estelle Grey left Seattle and is now in the Sacramento, CA area.

  13. #13
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swc7916 View Post
    Did everyone work there at one time or another?
    I'm fairly sure that Glenn built the tandems under the Rodriguez name while still representing the "E" in R&E and didn't put his own brand on the tandems until he went solo. The racing bikes and customs with the intricate lug work were all Glenn's as well. As for everyone working their way through R&E, perhaps: is that Mark Bulgier at TiCycles to whom you're referring? Santana is pretty much the same way. In fact you'd be amazed at how many builders whose names or brands you'd recognize have a stint at Santana buried somewhere in their resume.

    An another FWIW, for the most part and with a few exceptions, most of the builders who I've gotten to know via correspondence or otherwise tend to be pretty open and sharing of their ideas: lots of cooperation and synergy under the "a rising tide lifts all boats" premise where anything that benefits the industry is good for all. Proprietary or trade-marked components, trade secrets, and backbiting, or innuendo to further their own business just isn't part of the stock and trade. Most of these guys believe in their designs and want them to sell on merit / word of mouth to appreciative clients.

    I believe that's why you'll see that builders in the Northwest in particular, and by extension some of the other tandem builders further East, have adopted many similar features and components as part of the collaboration and mutual interest process, e.g., making use of Seattle's outstanding tubing sources vis-a-vis Boeing's presence, the long and low-slung stoker compartment design that Glenn developed out of necessity only to discover that it wasn't as taboo as the status quo would suggest, etc...

    Really nice folks...

  14. #14
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    quad

    I would highly recommend contacting either Mark or Mel as noted before. I was in the same situation with a Santana tandem and a CoMotion triple and a new baby outgrowing the trailer. Mark and Precision was fantastic to work with (Mel at Tandems East is great too) and he set me up with a Santana Cabrio Quint. He even set up the child stoker, crank shortners, small seats and bars, etc., I would need. As the kids grow the adult equipment was already labeled with their names (e.g. "Hayden someday". It was all done on the internet, email and phone and it fit like a dream. We have had it two seasons now and have used it in 9 western states at various centuries, rallies and vacations. You can see some photos at http://www.tandemranch.com/web_oregon2005/05oregon.html or http://www.tandemranch.com/web_Taylo...lorsville.html. Let me know if you have any questions.

    I can't tell you how much we like the ability to configure the bike based on who wants to ride and conditions. I been at weekend events were the bike was used in a different configuration each day.

    By the way Mark recommended no disk brakes and provided justification as to how a drum brake is much better for a 4 or more person bike.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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