Hold the pressess... I've just checked the stats from the Southern Tandem Rally held last fall in Tallahassee, FL, and apparently the closer you get to South Florida the more Santana owners you encounter....
I didn't tally all of the brands, but the top five are:
06 = Trek
08 = Burley
10 = Cannondale
24 = Co-Motion
39 = Santana
Hmmm. Interesting.... The plot thickens.
I guess the only thing that I would note as truly being interesting is that Co-Motion didn't start building tandems until 1988; about 10 years after Santana Cycles was founded. To this day I still don't believe that Co-Motion has matched Santana's annual output; however, they continue to increase unit sales and production each year and could be churning out close to 1/2 has many tandems per year by now. However, given Santana's years in the biz., it still has a substantial cumulative ownership base that is somewhere around 25,000 tandems** (Note: This number is pretty soft. Santana has been using variations on how many "enthusiasts" they've put on tandems interchangably with other "hints" about total units sold over the year such that you'll see the number 50,000 appearing in some places). Regardless, Co-Motion more so than the presumed #2 (Burley) and #3 (C'dale) builders behind Santana, seems to attract a lot of what I'll call "enthusiast riders" which is what probably accounts for their higher representation with the Internet crowd and often times a very respectable showing in contrast to the other builders who've been in the game longer and who have sold more total units. Burley and Cannondale probably don't make a showing on the Internet and at rallies because they are more value oriented and, at least in my view, are more likely to have been purchased for purely recreational / family or brand-loyal customers (C'dale) who are less likely to be tandem-enthusiasts, per se. Mind you, Cannondale makes one of the better racing tandems, but that's not always what the average "enthusiast" is looking for.
Anyway, I could ramble on thinking out loud for a while. The point of these surveys is to give folks a chance to see what their peers -- that would be other folks who are hanging out on the Internet -- ride, how much they ride, and how they otherwise stack-up against one another.
The hope is that everyone will see that this very narrow, niche area of cycling is still made up of a very wide and diverse group where almost everyone can match up with folks who have similar riding interests and abilities. Far too often I see where a team will show up to one group ride and never come back because they felt they didn't fit in. Unfortunately, if they showed up a second time they would have run into another team who, like them, didn't feel they fit in either. Now, if the first team had made a repeat showing then guess what, they would have had another team to ride with.
Well, enough of all this.... Time to read my Dessauer's newsletter.