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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 05-21-08, 11:55 AM   #1
merlinextraligh
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Co-Motion Robusta review






Just got it last night, and had a short time to work on adjusting the fit, and getting a ride in. So the conclusions are still very preliminary.

As for working with Co-Motion that all went well. The bike was delivered within the time range they estimated. (8-12 weeks.) The bike was as spec'd (except for the tires which were spec'd as 25c, and came as 28c's.) Co-Motion did ship the wrong seatpost, and left out a shim for the stoker's stem. This was discovered Monday afternoon, and replacements were Fed Ex'd and delivered Tuesday morning.

The Bike is going to fit correctly when its all dialed in, so the measuring/ordering process worked well. The only problem is the seatposts have too much setback for me (the captain), and I may have to swap out a post with less setback.

The Bike is beautiful. In my personal opinion the 2 tone fade worked out really nicely, and was worth the $100 upcharge. Unfortunately, there's a slight chip in the paint. I'm not too worked up about it. It was going to happen someday anyway. The LBS, however, is going to see if Co-Motion will do something by way of compensation.

Weight is just about what I expected at 29lbs 14oz. Co-Motion specs it at 27.7. I'm sure they measure off a 21/18, and ours is a 22/19. Considering the slight larger frame size, and adding 396 grams for two sets of speedplays (and the heavier 28c tires.) would indicate that Co-Motion's claimed weight would be in an acceptable tolerance range.

As for riding it, it is Night and Day between the Co-Motion and the Burley. 20lbs lighter and markedly stiffer, really shows up in accelerating the bike from stops and out of corners. The Burley is like a Dodge Durango, and the Co-Motion is like a Porsche.

Cornering, it definitely turns in much quicker. The combination of the Alpha Q tandem fork, and FSA bar and stem is way more stiff than the Burley's setup. The Rolf wheels also feel plenty stiff even with the low spoke count.

The Dura Ace brakes stop the bike extremely well, and I'm doubting the need for a disc now (but will reconsider that after some mountain rides.)

I tried to purposely induce "stoker wag" (jumping on the pedals, intentionally leaning out of synch) and I really couldn't get the frame to flex, at least to any degree comparable to the Burley.

So I guess this report tells you that a 2008 Co-Motion Robusta is light years ahead of a 1994 Burley Duet, which you probably could have guessed.

Perhaps after some more rides I can post something a little more insightful
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Old 05-21-08, 12:30 PM   #2
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Great looking tandem!!!!
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It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
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Old 05-21-08, 12:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I tried to purposely induce "stoker wag" (jumping on the pedals, intentionally leaning out of synch) and I really couldn't get the frame to flex, at least to any degree comparable to the Burley.
Could you do me a favor on your next ride? Stand and climb out of the saddle while the stoker is seated. Then report back. This little maneuver has told me more about tandems than anything else. And I wonder about the difference between my Primera and your Robusta.
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Old 05-21-08, 12:59 PM   #4
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Only 1 word to describe your tandem : BEAUTIFULL.
Congratulations on the color combinations and sure you are going to have great fun riding it together!

PS : I have to show the pics to my other half. She will adore it.
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Old 05-21-08, 01:52 PM   #5
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That is an awesome looking ride you have there. I bet you will have lots of fun on that.
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Old 05-21-08, 01:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Weight is just about what I expected at 29lbs 14oz. Co-Motion specs it at 27.7.
The often times overlooked stoker's boom probably added close to 200 grams vs. what they had on their catalog bike and it's quite possible that they used some Ti ISIS BB's with the pre-Mega Exo FSA Carbon Pro cranks. It's amazing how a few grams here and a few grams there add up.
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Old 05-21-08, 01:57 PM   #7
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Outstandingly nice tandem. Make them all pay on your next group ride!
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Old 05-21-08, 02:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
The often times overlooked stoker's boom probably added close to 200 grams vs. what they had on their catalog bike

I'm thinking once we have the fit dialed in, I may put on a fixed stoker stem.
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Old 05-21-08, 02:38 PM   #9
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I'm thinking once we have the fit dialed in, I may put on a fixed stoker stem.
Based on my personal experience chasing grams, the juice ain't worth the squeeze.
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Old 05-21-08, 02:43 PM   #10
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I know I'm at risk of throwing a lot of money away for very little, if any return, but I'm thinking $125 for a fixed stem (an FSA 115, which is the fixed stem Co-Motion specs) for 200 grams might be one of the things that would be worth pursuing.
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Old 05-21-08, 02:47 PM   #11
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Gorgeous bike. I agree that $100 upcharge for fade paint is well worth it. Must feel great to have a new toy!
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Old 05-21-08, 02:56 PM   #12
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Out of curiosity: What were your reasons for picking the Robusta (instead of the Machiatto (sp?)) for instance? They list the Machiatto at 24 lbs and it isn't that much more expensive.

We haven't entertained the idea of a new bike but I'm wondering about the trade-offs.
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Old 05-21-08, 03:07 PM   #13
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Our team weight is around 340. I really wanted the Macciato. However the Co-Motion rep, Gary, steered me toward the Robusta.

Given that one of our criteria was stiffness, he strongly reccomended the Robusta. Gary is about my size, and said he's getting a Robusta, and that a number of Co-Motion employees prefer the Robusta.

The Macciato is a custom build, and according to Gary, if they don't think it fits a teams size, and intended use, they have declined to build it for them.

Not being able to ride a Macciato before committing to the purchase, I decided I didn't want to risk the time and money, and end up with a bike that wasn't as rigid as we'd like
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Old 05-21-08, 03:12 PM   #14
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Good reasoning.
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Old 05-21-08, 04:20 PM   #15
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Co-Motion makes great frames. Good choice.
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Old 05-21-08, 05:09 PM   #16
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Mello-yellow fade!
Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 05-21-08, 06:34 PM   #17
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Nice looking tandem...you did good! Great colors..congrats.

bill J.
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Old 05-21-08, 07:47 PM   #18
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I’m really jealous!

I email Pete at co-motion this morning to check the progress of our new Speedster. As I suspected from reading the posts here, they are about two weeks behind schedule. I’m now hoping for delivery in mid-June. We went with the stealth look; black to pewter fade. I’ll post a picture in about a month.

- mac
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Old 05-22-08, 05:57 AM   #19
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SUPER NICE BIKE! I am somewhat new to tandeming & just learning the ropes. I ride with my 8 year old son so my 05 Burley Rumba (orange also) works well. Looking to the future your rig would be my dream bike! Good luck & enjoy!
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Old 05-22-08, 07:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgg3 View Post
Could you do me a favor on your next ride? Stand and climb out of the saddle while the stoker is seated. Then report back. This little maneuver has told me more about tandems than anything else. And I wonder about the difference between my Primera and your Robusta.
Did that last night. Tried really hammering out of the saddle, and "dancing" with the bike, while she was seated. I felt a little flex really getting after it, but dramatically less than the Burley, (and an order of magnitude less than our old Bike Friday tandem.) My guess is that the Robusta is at least as stiff as most any tandem made. However, I don't have a broad frame of reference.
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Old 05-22-08, 02:34 PM   #21
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That bike is hawt!!! What a beautiful paint job!

Looking forward to many happy ride reports.
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Old 05-22-08, 05:29 PM   #22
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The Robusta is a great riding Tandem, you guys will love it. We love our Robusta, buy the way your Robusta is very nice looking.

Take Care,
Bill G
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