Originally Posted by BloomingCyclist
It's nice that enough is happening in Santana's business in bikes and trips that they needed to have this mid-year publication.
It's always interesting to compare the most current sales catalog with the prior edition just to see what prompted the change, and for clues about what else may be in the works. I want to say this is the first time I've seen a "season" like summer called out in the title, as previous editions I still have sitting here on my reference shelf were:
- Annual Gear & Trip Issue [2002 Buyers Guide]
- Year 2001 Advanced Technology Guide
- 2002 - no subtitle, just Tandems & Tandeming
- 2002-03 Ultimate Getaway Guide
- 2003 Preview Issue
- 2004 Gear & Trip Guide
- 2006 Gear & Trip Guide
- 2007 Gear & Trip Preview
- 2008 Preview
The biggest driver for this edition are the firmed-up pricing and dates for the '09 international tour, the addition of the 3 US domestic tours, and pre-sale for 2010! Clearly, the touring business is going strong.
On the two-wheeled product front, most of the pricing changes came out in the 2008 Preview edition and the only real new-news here is a move to a new house-branded source for what I must assume is a caliper brake equipped carbon fork... a similar step to Santana's previous switch to a house-branded carbon crankset. As one might expect, the Reynolds Ouzo Pro's ala carte price went up from $479 to $579 and the new Santana Team carbon fork now occupies the $479 price point. The Sweet 16's look to be about $50 more, but that's about it for pricing changes. I suspect the fork changes, perhaps some upcoming changes in wheels, and disc brake refinements may have been the driver behind omitting those 'chapters' from this edition of the catalog.
The only thing that I've found somewhat interesting with each passing year is how the one-time highly visible competing brands of tandems that appeared in the catalog photos have disappeared. Frankly, it always struck me as being a bit odd that a manufacturer would have someone else's products depicted in their sales catalog but it did give it a more generic "tandem guide" look given the covers have always been devoid of Santana branding and for a while even had Shimano ads on the back cover.
Anyway, and overlooking some of the heavy-handed marketing spin, as an enthusiast I've see Santana's publication as one of the most effective tools for drawing folks to learn more about and even take up 'Tandems & Tandeming' than any other individual, firm, or organization has ever developed and for that I'm thankful. I can still recall pouring over every page of the '95 edition and, as you'd expect, our first tandem was a Santana. So, hats off to Santana for investing the time and effort in creating an advertising instrument that goes well beyond selling a product and, instead, sells all aspects of the tandem lifestyle.