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Thread: New Co-Motion

  1. #1
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    New Co-Motion

    After a ~6-week wait we headed to southern New Jersey on Friday to visit Mel at Tandems East. We had a great experience with Mel and are very happy with the new ride. The hardest decision was picking a color but we couldn't be more pleased with the outcome.

    Hopefully I can add a new picture to the happy couples thread sometime soon.

    Enjoy!

    -Dave

    Cannondale R800se: Butta!
    Surly LHT: Personal tank
    Fisher X-Caliber: off the paved path
    Co-Motion Speedster: double your pleasure

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    Grats! As a fellow CoMo owner, double grats. But that has to be the highest stack of spacers on the stem that I have ever seen. And, didn't I read somewhere that having spacers well in excess of the tube diameter is not recommended? Did CoMo approve that?

  3. #3
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgg3 View Post
    ...didn't I read somewhere that having spacers well in excess of the tube diameter is not recommended?
    There are typically max spacer stack heights for forks that use carbon steerer tubes that can be as small as that, but not something you'll usually find on something like a tandem-specific chomoly fork with a 1.125" threadless steerer like the one on our friend's Co-Motion.

  4. #4
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Did the people at Tandems East do the fitting? What size is the frame? Given the amount of seatpost extended for both captain and stoker, and the length of the stem, It would appear that you could go with a bigger frame, get the same drop from seat to bar, same extension, and not have to run so many spacers.

  5. #5
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    Congrats on a beautiful bike...outstanding decision on the choice of color combinations!
    We're looking forward to the 'happy face' photo's.

    Bill J.

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wxlidar View Post
    ... we couldn't be more pleased with the outcome. Dave
    That's the most important, if not the only thing that really matters...

    Congratulations and ride the heck out of it.

  7. #7
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Did the people at Tandems East do the fitting?
    From an earlier thread before & after their first visit to Tandems East:
    First tandem, what should I know?

    Given how many tandems the folks at Tandems East have on hand at any one time (70+ assembled and rideable... no kidding, we visited their Expo on Saturday), being size-limited / constrained by inventory or available sizes and brands (e.g., Co-Motion, NOS Burley, Cannondale, daVinci, KHS, Calfee, Seven, Bushnell) for test rides isn't an issue. In fact, there was a dark silver Bushnell with some orange Deep-Vs and Orange/White bar tape and a Red Co-Motion Triplet both in our size that were both screaming "Take me Home!" I'll post further details over the next day or so, but it was breath-taking to see THAT many tandems in one place all assembled and ready to go.

    We've seen several tandems and a Co-Motion quad that had similar spacer stack heights when needed to tailor a fit. It's not a common sight, but if you see enough tandems many things that don't look the way you might expect don't come as a surprise.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 03-31-08 at 11:28 AM.

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    Thanks for the positive comments.

    As far as fit, yes, this is what Mel set us up with. The number of spacers is a bit odd but could be remedied using a stem with more rise. Mel left the fork un-cut so I could adjust the fit as necessary. Also, we didn't want to go with a custom frame in case we didn't stick with tandems and wanted to sell the bike. This is the Large/small frame (I'm 6'3" and my wife is 5'2").

    When I was shopping for my single bike I automatically started looking at 63cm frames because this is what I used to ride. After some discussion with the bike shop folks I tried a 60cm and I fit. I never realized I could be so comfortable on a road bike. I was too stretched out on the 63cm. The top tube on my single and the Speedster are the same length. Standover is a ~5cm shorted on the Speedster.

    We also had to go with the shorter stoker size so we could fit a Thudbuster seatpost.

    -Dave
    Cannondale R800se: Butta!
    Surly LHT: Personal tank
    Fisher X-Caliber: off the paved path
    Co-Motion Speedster: double your pleasure

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    Well, you guys got me thinking about the fit of my bike so when I got home from work I placed my single beside my double and took this picture:



    To be honest, I was shocked by the difference in handlebar heights. The seat heights are identical, the bottom bracket is an inch or so lower on the single. But the handlebars are at least five inches higher on the Speedster. I find the C'dale to be somewhat aggressively positioned but not too much. More importantly, I find the C'dale comfortable. Mel asked me what the height of my handlebars are on my comfortable bike and used my Surly commuter as a reference. However, I think the Speedster geometry is closer to the C'dale than the Surly.

    So, I think as time goes on I will probably lose at least two of the five spacers using the same stem.

    Aren't bikes fun!?

    -Dave
    Cannondale R800se: Butta!
    Surly LHT: Personal tank
    Fisher X-Caliber: off the paved path
    Co-Motion Speedster: double your pleasure

  10. #10
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Better to have a steerer too long than too short: it's easy to cut them down, adding material back is an entirely different story.

    I lucked-out on my last bike as I left the steerer a bit long and a few weeks into it the factory-provided epoxy used for the carbon steerer insert de-bonded. It gave me a second chance to trim-off that extra 10mm before putting another insert in with good-old JB Weld. Shoulda never used the factory stuff in the first place, but I'm glad I did.

    Again, you'll get it all sorted out after a while.

  11. #11
    Senior Member joe@vwvortex's Avatar
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    Nice CoMo - we love ours. My tandem fit is slightly different than my roadbike. My stem and top tube combo on the tandem is a bit shorter - since a 120mm stem would have put me about 5mm over what my roadbike is and because of this - I tend to ride a bit more upright as well which is fine. While my bar height is also a tad higher - you might find that you like riding a bit more upright on the tandem then your roadbike.
    Administrator and Contributing Editor - Vortex Media Group

  12. #12
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wxlidar View Post

    .

    So, I think as time goes on I will probably lose at least two of the five spacers using the same stem.



    -Dave
    You can move the spacers above the stem as your getting your fit dialed in. Then cut the steerer and remove the extra spacersafter you're sure of the way you want to keep it.

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    Dave ...FWIW....if I put my mid 90's road bike next to our tandem the differance in bar heights would look a lot like your's.
    If I mixed in my '07 Cross/touring bike it would be about mid way between the two. Almost all other measurements are near identical on all three. It seems that as the years have gone by and with my multi-sport days long gone, I find myself enjoying the higher bars a lot more particularly on the tandem. While I still ride each of these bikes at least weekly and enjoy them hugely, I do spend very little time on the road bike drops unless the headwinds put me there......to me, unless you are racing these things, there are no absolutes on the height...it is just what ever keeps you riding happy and injury free. Have fun.
    Bill J.

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    When my tandem was ordered, the frame size and stem size were chosen based on what my road bike currently was. When the tandem arrived, I noticed that the stem had been set in the positive rise position and that even with the stem flipped over, I was still about one spacer higher. I flipped the stem and put one spacer above it. The first long ride on the bike, I quickly noticed that the bar dropped at an angle slightly, meaning when I was on the hoods I was actually about one 5mm spacer lower than the actual measurement from the center of the stem, so I moved the spacer back below the stem.

    I rode the tandem a few more times with this configuration and eventually came to the conclusion that I should run the stem up instead, so it's back to how it originally came. I wouldn't be surprised if you found that most people you questioned had at least a slightly higher stem rise on their tandem then they do on their single bike.

    One thing you might want to consider trying on your single, possibly the next time you tape your bars is to have the levers moved up higher on the bar and the bar rotated down so the bottom of the drop is a little bit closer to level. This will make it easier to use the drop but will still give you a comfortable position on the hoods. If you look at the way your tandem is set up, you'll see that it has been fit this way, although I tend to set the bar even closer to level. The added bonus is it also gives you better reach on the brakes while in the drops.

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    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Yup, cheaper to use spacers than to to pay for custom sizing!
    Our last 3 customs tandems we had the headtube extended to allow for more upright position without having to utilize a stack of spacers.
    Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

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    Oh, we need a new thread! Comparative pictures of single and tandem positions. I have struggled with this myself and would love to see what the average "solution" is.

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    TWilkins
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    Quote Originally Posted by specbill View Post
    It seems that as the years have gone by and with my multi-sport days long gone, I find myself enjoying the higher bars a lot more particularly on the tandem.
    I also run the steering tube little higher on the tandem than on my single. I initially thought it was "just a tad" higher, but upon closer inspection this spring I realized it was at least a couple of spacers. The only time I notice it is when I transition from riding the single exclusively in the winter to beginning to ride the tandem in the spring, and after a couple of rides I don't notice it again.
    Tracy Wilkins
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    I can relate with the comments about bar height increasing over years of riding. I used to ride a 63cm Trek 1000 road bike. My handlebar/seat height difference was similar to my current C'dale but the cockpit was longer. This caused neck and elbow discomfort to the point that I thought there was something wrong with my neck. I spent the following 1.5 years in the recumbent world which was fun but I missed the simplicity of an upright. I'm happy with the results of a proper fitting.

    When I was building up my Surly I read a lot about riding position and how manufacturers have forced us into a race-like position over the years. A large amount of seat-to-bar drop is not conducive to long duration comfort. Rivendell's website has several articles on the subject. As a result my Surly is set up with the bar height even with the seat.

    I can see myself ending up somewhere in the middle with my Co-Motion. A little lower than it is now but not as low as the C'dale.

    FWIW, on the one ride I've done so far I haven't noticed any detrimental effects with the 'long neck' in terms of handling.

    -Dave
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  19. #19
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgg3 View Post
    Oh, we need a new thread! Comparative pictures of single and tandem positions. I have struggled with this myself and would love to see what the average "solution" is.
    I don't understand why you want different positions on the tandem than on your single bike.

    If you've got a position dialed in on your single bike, that's comfortable, aerodynamic, and in which you can produce power efficiently, why wouldn't you want to replicate that on the tandem?

    I suppose if your intended riding was going to be different (i.e. you race the single, and the tandem is a beach cruiser) I could see setting things up for different priorities.

    However, if they're used similarly, I'd want the position to be as close to identical as possible.

  20. #20
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    I don't understand why you want different positions on the tandem than on your single bike.
    FWIW: A lot of captains -- particularly those who are old enough to warrant membership solicitations from AARP -- use a more relaxed riding position on their tandems.


    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    ... if they're used similarly, I'd want the position to be as close to identical as possible.
    Fortunately, we are all afforded the luxury of setting up our various bikes any way that suits our various riding needs.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 04-01-08 at 02:38 PM.

  21. #21
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgg3 View Post
    Oh, we need a new thread! Comparative pictures of single and tandem positions. I have struggled with this myself and would love to see what the average "solution" is.
    Here 'tis: Photo Comparison: Tandem & Personal Bike Riding Positions

  22. #22
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Been an AARP member for 25 years now . . . yup, raised the bars a bit throughout the years.
    Gues our aggressive ridin' days are behind us!

  23. #23
    Co-Mo mojo
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    No one commented about what I think is the most obvious good news: a Co-Motion tandem took only six weeks! This is very good news that Co-Mo may be clearing their backlog. I just got an Americano (half bike) two week ago that had been ordered on October 10, and my LBS got a tandem at the same time that had been ordered the same week as my Americano.

    That's a very pretty Speedster!

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    Thanks DBC Steve. A note about the six week wait: The frame was already built up when we placed our order. I don't know all the details but I believe the frame was initially going to someone else but plans changed. So we ended up with the frame. We still got to pick the color.

    So I wouldn't use our experience as an indicator of the wait time on a Co-Motion.

    -Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by DBC Steve View Post
    No one commented about what I think is the most obvious good news: a Co-Motion tandem took only six weeks! This is very good news that Co-Mo may be clearing their backlog. I just got an Americano (half bike) two week ago that had been ordered on October 10, and my LBS got a tandem at the same time that had been ordered the same week as my Americano.

    That's a very pretty Speedster!
    Cannondale R800se: Butta!
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  25. #25
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post

    Fortunately, we are all afforded the luxury of setting up our various bikes any way that suits our various riding needs.
    I understand that you may want to set up a bike differently based on its intended use.

    However, I don't see any reason to set up a tandem differently, just because its a tandem.

    In other words, there's nothing intrinsic to a tandem that would favor a more upright position for the captain.

    If you want it more upright because you find that comfortable, that's fine. I'm just saying if you had a good position on your single, you'd want that same position on your tandem, unless, your intended uses for the tandem vary from the single.

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