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  1. #1
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    Davinci In2ition vs Co-motion Speedster

    Hi there,

    We are attempting to figure out what kind of tandem we should buy. We are both avid singles riders and seem to be compatible tandem riders based on some test rides. We both love our Canondale singles, but are leaning towards getting steel tandem for various reasons. We've done short rides on the Co-motion Speedster, Burley Rhumba, and Davinci In2ition. This weekend we ran into the Davinci rep and got to ride an In2ition for 50 miles and liked it a lot: handled great, easy shifting and wide range gears. But I'm not sure about the need/desire for the Davinci ICS system vs standard/insynch tandem system since we do not have much experience with the standard insynch tandems. So we're going to rent a Co-motion and ride it for 50-70 miles next weekend. From my short ride on the Speedster, I like it's handling and ride the best of the tandems that we have tried. The In2ition seems to handle similarly to the Speedster, but seems to transmit more shock through the handlebars (maybe just the road and length of ride). The 26" wheels on the In2ition seem stiffer and work better on "messy" roads, but work well on smooth roads as well. The ICS system made starting/stopping/coasting very easy.

    I've gone through the ICS postings on this forum already, but I'd like to get some specific feedback and advice from experienced tandem riders ("tandemites" as we call you guys<g>) that have tried or switched to the Davinci bikes and ICS system. Has anyone compared the Co-motion steel tandems to the Davinci steel tandems ? Thanks.

  2. #2
    SDS
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    If you have read through all the posts, you know as much as I do about ICS systems. On the off chance that it is not in the posts, my recollection is that it is possible to lock up the system to keep a particular timing relationship, though it might require a minor parts change (might depend on version of ICS system), so it is not an irrevocable decision, and in fact switching back might not cost much at all.

    I would be careful to make sure whatever tandem I bought had a drivetrain that had a ratio at least as high as 130 gear inches. If you want to play around with other tandems or packs of fast single bikes, you will need that.

  3. #3
    Hej på dej!! Eurastus's Avatar
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    A little background...prior to this past April, I'd ridden tandems a few times before, being a paid bike wrench for over 10 years as a youth, but only one ride was for more than 20 miles...and that was more than 20 years ago. I've been a serious cyclist for more than 25 years now, with most of my miles on the road but significant mountain bike time several years ago.

    I bought a 1998 da Vinci Joint Venture earlier this year. Since then, I've got about 750 miles on it with several different stokers, mostly my two 8 and 10 year old children. The one adult I rode with was an absolute novice cyclist. Therefore, I have some experience with the da Vinci system, but not with an experienced adult stoker, and that might make a difference...see below. The Joint Venture is basically the same frame as the In2ition, but with upgraded components.

    I've discovered several things about the da Vinci system: First, it's great with kids. They can coast when they want, push when they want, and when I'm really spinning, I don't pull their feet out of their shoes. We almost never ride with our cranks in sync...if we do, it's by chance. On the other hand, I've never missed it either. 99% of our climbing is done in the saddle. In fact, I only stand up to give the ol' butt a break occasionally...my stoker kids stand up all the time...sometimes too often, to take a break. It seems like they always stop pedaling right at the steepest sections. But when it comes to ease of adaption to the whole tandem thing, the ICS gives us quite a bit of flexibility. It's at it's best with kids and inexperienced adults in the back. That's not to say it won't work for old-hand cyclists either; I just have no experience with it in that reguard. As a captain, I love it. Wouldn't trade the ICS for anything.

    The four chainrings are also very cool. Because the two crank chainrings are 34 teeth but the intermediate freewheels are 17 teeth, the whole middle assembly spins twice as fast as the cranks. This means that the chainrings only need to be half the size as "normal" to give the same gearing. Very cool. They're very small, and never get caught up in anything...like while loading into the van, etc. They shift faster and easier than any triple I've ever ridden. And the gear range is absolutely HUGE!! I'm currently running an 11x28 rear that gives us a 21 to 135 inch range from lowest to highest. Even with 26" wheels, you never need to worry about running out of top end...not with that 60x11 top gear. And the 24 equivalent smallest ring, with a 28 or 30 big cog on the back end is plenty low for us. In fact, it's not the lack of low gears that bother me, it's my own steering problem keeping the bike straight and not wandering all over the road at speeds under 2.5 mph that limit our steep uphill creeping speed. (Hope you followed that train of thought...I'm sure it ran off the tracks somewhere there...)

    The 26" wheels are no big deal. I found a nice tire from Soma that's 1.1" wide and only 230 grams. At 110 PSI it rides very well. We're only 225-235 lbs depending on which kid stokes, so we're a very lightweight team. For heavier pairs, there's lots of quality 26" tires to choose from. The big knock on 26" road tandems is the lack of top end. Again, a 60x11 takes care of that just fine...

    I expected some sort of weight penalty, and I'm sure there is one, but the bike still weighs 35 lbs, which I think is reasonable. Someone mentioned about the possibility of "locking-out" the ICS, which I understand is a relatively simple process. To do so, you replace the two freewheels on the intermediate bottom bracket with a pair of fixed gears, thereby "locking" the two cranks together as a traditional tandem. You still get the advantage of the smaller chainrings and 4-way front shifting. You can then switch back and forth between ICS and fixed for the price of the time needed to exchange the cogs...about 20-30 minutes (with practice), I'd guess. According to the builder in Colorado (a great guy, by the way), he very rarely has to send out the parts to do this. Most teams like the ICS better that fixed, according to him.

    Disadvantages? Well, that middle bottom bracket with the two single-speed freewheels on one side and four cogs on the other is more complicated than a normal tandem. On my bike, one of the freewheels is giving me a bit of trouble right now and needs to be replaced, but it's so much work getting into it that I haven't bothered yet. I can foresee that a strong pair of experienced adults that are more evenly matched than me and my stokers would not need some of the benefits I find so attractive, but for me, it's just the ticket. When I "upgrade" to a newer, better machine, it'll be another da Vinci, I'll tell you that.

    Any more specific question, please ask. I'll tell you whatever I can...
    Last edited by Eurastus; 08-10-04 at 09:16 PM.
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    '06 da Vinci JointVenture (Love the ICS, 12 tooth chainring, and all 40 gears!!)
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  4. #4
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Have test ridden both bikes.
    If you prefer the traditional system, go with the Co-Mo.
    If you prefer the ICS setup go with the daVinci.
    If you prefer 26 inch wheels, Co-Mo also offers a couple models with that wheel size.
    As stated in the other posts, both systems have their merits.
    We're sure you'll have your reasons on which you prefer. Both are fine machines and good companies to deal with.
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/Zona tandem

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Have test ridden both bikes.
    If you prefer the traditional system, go with the Co-Mo.
    If you prefer the ICS setup go with the daVinci.
    If you prefer 26 inch wheels, Co-Mo also offers a couple models with that wheel size.
    As stated in the other posts, both systems have their merits.
    We're sure you'll have your reasons on which you prefer. Both are fine machines and good companies to deal with.
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/Zona tandem
    Thanks to all of you for your feedback. It is reassuring to hear that we can't go wrong with either tandem. Now we just have to decide which features are more important to us. I hope that it will be clearer after we rent a Co-motion and ride it for a day. My wife could go with either one. But I'm the analytical engineer and want to make sure that I'll be happy for the long run.

    SDS,
    I was told by the Davinci rep that the ICS system can be disabled by replacing the single gear freewheels with fixed single gears like the ones that are used on fixed gear track bikes. Seems easy enough but I would probably not do that unless I really hated ICS.

    Eurastus,
    Thanks so much for your detailed explanation of your experience with the Davinci tandem. It appears that there are not many people on this forum that own a Davinci. I certainly have not seen a used Davinci advertised, but have seen several Co-motions advertised. It's good to hear that you like the Davinci so much that you would definitely replace it with another one. It does seem to be a high quality tandem and that 4 chainwheel (double-speed) front drive is very appealing to me. I experienced more than expected shock through the fork (but not the seat) over rough roads. Someone else mentioned that this might be because of the stiff 26" wheels. Do you think that a carbon fork would help reduce the shock to the wrists of the captain ?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Hej på dej!! Eurastus's Avatar
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    I really don't notice any unusual front shock or road "buzz" in my hands with the Joint Venture. It feels just fine to me.

    However, I wrapped it with high-quality cork tape, something that the In2ition might not have, I don't know. Additionally, my bike is a 6-year old model, it's serial number is in the low 100's and was therefore one of Todd Schusterman's first da Vinci frames. His frame design has gone through several "updates" over the past six years; it wouldn't surprise me if the fork has as well. I do know that our frame is more "complient" than the more recent models, this from Todd's own comments to me on what an '04 would buy me over my '98. Weighing as little as we do, I actually think the "softer" frame is just fine; it's still plenty stiff.

    The road shock I feel on the tandem is certainly less than either of my single bikes, but then again, I run about 10 PSI higher pressure on the single bikes as well. I can comment that on my Ritchey Road Logic, I definately noticed a dramatic decrease in road "buzz" when I changed out the stock steel fork (high-quality in it's own right) for the Ritchey WCS carbon fork it's wearing now. But, in my experience, a tire pressure change, or different brand/model of tire, will make more of a difference with road feel than anything short of suspension.

    Don't be afraid to call Todd and ask him for his opinion on this subject; he'll be more than happy to talk with you. It may be that the particular machine you rode was set up some funky way...

    P.S. Re-read my first post. I just added several clarifications to it.
    Last edited by Eurastus; 08-10-04 at 11:13 PM.
    '72 Crescent Professional 320 w/full Campy Record (Nostalgia bike)
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    '06 da Vinci JointVenture (Love the ICS, 12 tooth chainring, and all 40 gears!!)
    '06 Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen w/full Suntour XC Pro (Great for randonneuring and commuting)

  7. #7
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    I can't compare both, but my daughter and I ride a Co-Motion Primera.

    It took us a couple of 2-3 km rides to fine-tune our position and learn most of the tricks of synchronised pedalling. And after one single 40 km ride -- with a very gusty crosswind, mind you --, we were totally in sync, including for start ups and stops.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  8. #8
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Todd S. is a great and honest guy; if you have any questions, he is usually available.
    A carbon fork would definitely take some of the 'buzz' out of the pilot's bars.
    Also, road surface, tire pressure/size/width, cushioned bar tape, gloves or even your riding position (do you ride with elbows 'flexed' or 'straight armed'?) or even a suspension fork, all play a part in perceived/real comfort for both pilot and stoker.
    No matter what the dealers or even us folks on the internet say, you two will be the final judges on what tandem you'll choose.
    Smart to do your research before plunking the $$$ down!
    Good luck!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/ Zona tandem

  9. #9
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    Hello,

    We've had our daVinci Joint Venture for about a month now and we're very happy with it. This is our first tandem but we did borrow a Santana for about a year and test road several other brands. In the end it was Michele that decided on the daVinci. You don't really notice how much better the ICS is until you get back on a conventional tandem.

    We did have a couple teething problems due to daVinci just switching to some new components, but a phone call to Todd was all it took to get them fixed. Our bike was in the transition period so all later bikes should be fine.

    Good Luck
    Richard & Michele
    Atascadero, CA
    04 Da Vinci Joint Venture

  10. #10
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    Well we DID IT ! Last week we ordered a Davinci JointVenture with a rear disk brake and a top to bottom paint fade (speed yellow to guards red). We liked the Comotion Speedster as well but the ICS was a definite advantage for us. Since I'm going to operate the controls I decided to go with the upgraded components on the JointVenture vs. In2ition ($850 more but frames are identical). I don't know if you all understand this, but the Davinci ICS (Independent Coasting System) has 4 "chainwheels" (really cogs) in front so the In2ition comes standard with bar-end shifters. To utilize brake-shifters, one MUST use Campy Ergo brifters because Ergo lets you have many front chainring positions, while the Shimano system will not work for more than 3 front chainrings. I prefer the Campy Ergo shifters any ways and have them on my single. Since this is the end of the season, we're hoping to get our bike in 2-3 weeks, and to still ride it this season. We're in the Chicago area, so we typically stop riding by the end of October.

    As I said before, we rented a Comotion Breve in order to ride it a longer distance and to fairly compare to the 50 miles that we did on the Davinci In2ition. It was a good day and we felt strong so we ended up doing 100 miles on the Breve. Initially we were "turned off" by the Breve because the drive train was in very poor shape, but we adjusted and started enjoying it. It creaked a lot (for 1st 75 miles), but it eventually stopped creaking after we did some out of the saddle "tests" and I tightened a couple of chainring bolts. It also shifted poorly. But the most disappointing part was that the BB flexed so much that it was hitting the FD. (Dwan (at Comotion) had told me that the new Speedster frames were much improved over the Breve (approx 5 years old).) I did not like the handling all that much either. The bike had clearly been abused, and I told the shop owner that we would not have bought a Comotion if this were our only Comotion experience. We had ridden a new Speedster briefly so I knew that it was better overall and we had both liked the Speedster. During the ride we tried to ignore the poor condition of the Breve (and admittedly more flexible frame) and tried to concentrate on comparing the ICS to a standard tandem drive train. By the time we got to 80 miles and our rear-ends were getting sore, we started feeling the coasting advantage of the ICS<g>. We also discovered that my wife didn't like to pedal continuously as long as I did (she coasts more) which was not noticed when we rode with ICS.

    When we had taken our initial brief back-to-back rides on the Speedster and In2ition (and best priced Burley Rumba), we both liked the Speedster best (ride, handling, component quality, value), and were not sure about the advantages of the ICS. After we took the extended rides (in real-world conditions and hills) on the In2ition and Breve, we clearly preferred the Davinci bike, except for the cost. If you compare the Davinci In2ition and Comotion Speedster, I feel that you get more for your money with the Speedster. During the ride we tried to ignore the poor shape of the Breve and tried to compare the Speedster to the In2ition. I actually liked the handling of the In2ition as well or better (during long ride) than the Speedster and we both felt that the In2ition had a stiffer frame (dealer did not think that Davinci was stiffer). But we both felt that the In2ition was better for climbing and similar in comfort, except that I felt more through the handlebars. My wife volunteered that "we were faster" on the In2ition and I could not argue that. Not sure if the Breve frame flex or 700 wheels had an effect on this (In2ition has 26" wheels) or if it was terrain/conditions/body differences. We both felt that the 50 mile ride on the Davinci was necessary to really see the advantages, and that riding any standard tandem drive train after that was just not as good, for us.

    More specifically, when you're tired it's really nice to just coast and readjust your rear-end with the Davinci ICS vs constantly having to call coasting. The down-side of the ICS is that the stoker has to constantly re-synch the pedals after either rider coasts, but my wife found this to be natural and not a problem. Since we're rookie tandemites, I'm not sure whether we really have to be in-synch all the time any ways. Since I didn't have to re-synch (except for a brief ride as a stoker with the Davinci rep) it became a non-issue for us. On steep hills or when you're hammering it is useful to be in-synch. I'm sure that it's mandatory when standing but we're not confident enough to do much standing at this point. We were surprised at how much speed we were able to generate when we both "pushed" on the Davinci, because the frame did not seem to loose much due to flex. Another down-side to ICS is that the stoker cannot feel if the captain is braking lightly or trying to reduce speed gradually, while that is automatic on a standard tandem. So the captain has to call braking for many circumstances. We felt that this would not be a problem after we gain some more experience with ICS.

    From day 1, I was convinced that the ICS drivetrain was far superior for shifting and gear availability. We will be getting 4 front chaingrings (12, 18, 24, 30 tooth equivalent to 24, 36, 48, 60) and 9 rear cogs (11-28) which will give us 36 gears from 21 to 135 gear-inches with 26" wheels (can you believe that range). ALL 36 gears are usable because the front chainrings/cogs do not inhibit chainline angle, and the shifting is far superior to any normal crank/chainrings in front (6 tooth difference plus very small chainrings). Rear shifting is good as well. The Joint Venture uses Campy Chorus brifters and Racing-Triple FD and RD. There is an extra eccentric (3rd BB) and extra timing chain due to the ICS, so more adjustments will be needed.

    I hope that this long post is not boring and useful to some of you. I felt that it would be useful to describe our experience and decision process for future reference and to bring closure to our original query. During our decision process I spent a lot of time reading previous tandem forum threads and this was invaluable in getting me up-to-speed on tandems. Thanks so much for all your prior contributions to this forum. This forum is a real goldmine of tandem knowledge. Speaking of goldmines, Mark Livingood's detailed and practical posts and his web site (TheTandemLink.com) is utterly unbelievable for the depth and breadth of tandem info. (e.g. link to "How to use Campy Ergo shifters with Shimano drivetrain" which explains how Davinci does this.) Thanks a bunch Mark !

    Of course, we can't wait to get this tandem to see the paint job and to ride it !!!!!
    Last edited by tonyn; 08-25-04 at 03:09 PM.

  11. #11
    Hej på dej!! Eurastus's Avatar
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    Tonyn,

    This is good news. I'm sure you'll love the da Vinci; we sure do. I've already found that I'm aching for a new, better fitting, JointVenture (our present one is just a little too small for me). I'll have to see what Santa can swing this Christmas. I'd really love to get into the L/S JointVenture in a cool Viper Blue LT with Ultra White panels...

    Good to see another da Vinci will soon be on the road.
    '72 Crescent Professional 320 w/full Campy Record (Nostalgia bike)
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  12. #12
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    We got our new Davinci JointVenture on Sept 10 and have been out enjoying it, so I have not gotten around to posting a picture until now. I remembered Mark L's comment about how people come around to this forum before they buy their bikes, and then disappear. So I wanted to make sure that we were not one of those tandemites.

    The bike has the Joint Venture components with an optional rear disk brake, and a optional 2 tone paint fade from Speed Yellow to Guards Red. We wanted bright colors and that's exactly how it came out. The only thing that didn't come out exactly like we wanted is that the Shimano free wheel cassette only comes in 12-27 instead of the 11-28 that I wanted, so the top gear is 125 instead of 135. Bottom gear is already 22 so a 28 cog is not important. Over the winter I'll have to think about how important that top gear is and whether it's worth it to get a custom cassette. We have such a wide gear range (22-125) because of the innovative Davinci drive train which gives us a 12/18/24/30 front chainring/cogs, and translates into 24/36/48/60 chainring gears. That rear Avid disk brake is awsome, and am very glad that we got it. I've never before felt so much braking power in the rear. At 1st there was almost no braking until the disk/pad combination gets "bedded-in" (about 100 miles).

    The bike's absolutely wonderful and we are very glad that we went with the Davinci. So far we've ridden about 350 miles (including a hilly century). Unfortunately we've reached the end of our riding season here in the Chicago area, so we probably will only get out on it maybe 1 or 2 times more. Debbie is having problems with the seat even though she is using the same comfortable seat (Terry Sport) from her single and a suspension seatpost. So we're thinking that she may have to go to a "comfort" seat. We're also adjusting the seat height which is helping. We're not very confident with standing, so we're thinking that we need to learn to stand and shift position more, because we're in the seat a lot more than on a single. I do find that I'm very busy as the captain and have to shift a lot, because tandems accelerate and decelarate so quickly in hilly terrain. I find that I don't have time to drink and my right wrist gets stiff because I'm constantly shifting and on the brake hoods. Communication and coordination has not been a problem.

  13. #13
    SDS
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    You can take two cassettes, for example an 11-23 and a 12-27, and combine the parts to get about what you want, an 11-27.

    A Camelbak and/or equivalent may solve your drinking problem.

    Just back from the FWBA Death Ride, which had at least five tandems including a couple from Illinois (!). Pictures are not up on the FWBA website yet.

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    Yup, that sounds like the bill. I just need to get an 11-23 or something like that, and create the custom cassette. Thanks,

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    Congratulations.

    And a technical question.

    From the picture, it seems you have STI. How does the shifting work over the 4 chainrings? I thought STI was limited to 2 or 3 positions (double and triple respectively).
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon
    Congratulations.

    And a technical question.

    From the picture, it seems you have STI. How does the shifting work over the 4 chainrings? I thought STI was limited to 2 or 3 positions (double and triple respectively).
    Michel,
    I have Campy Chorus Ergo shifters and derailleurs on this bike, but the picture is not very good. You're right if it was Shimano STI then one would not be able to use all 4 chainrings. I don't know how many clicks there are on the front shifter, but it's 8 to 10, so there are plenty of positions so that I can trim the chain position extremely well with the front Ergo shifter. Normally the Davinci comes with bar end shifter for this reason, so if you want "brifters" one has to upgrade to the Veloce Ergo shifters on the In2ition model. The more expensive JointVenture model comes with all Campy shifters and derailleurs, standard. We got the JointVenture model (same frame as In2ition) because fo the upgraded components. See http://www.davincitandems.com for more details.
    Regards,

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    Thanks.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

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    The bike's absolutely wonderful and we are very glad that we went with the Davinci. So far we've ridden about 350 miles (including a hilly century). Unfortunately we've reached the end of our riding season here in the Chicago area, so we probably will only get out on it maybe 1 or 2 times more. Debbie is having problems with the seat even though she is using the same comfortable seat (Terry Sport) from her single and a suspension seatpost. So we're thinking that she may have to go to a "comfort" seat. We're also adjusting the seat height which is helping. We're not very confident with standing, so we're thinking that we need to learn to stand and shift position more, because we're in the seat a lot more than on a single. I do find that I'm very busy as the captain and have to shift a lot, because tandems accelerate and decelarate so quickly in hilly terrain. I find that I don't have time to drink and my right wrist gets stiff because I'm constantly shifting and on the brake hoods. Communication and coordination has not been a problem.
    Congrads on your new ride

    From viewing the stoker setup in your photo, there may be a couple things to consider other than changing from her favorite saddle...

    Does your wife's single bike allow her to have a lower position (ie: lower handlebars) and/or more reach? The photo shows a very upright position which moves almost all her weight onto the seat. A lower handlebar position can allow for some weight transfer to the arms instead, providing better weight distribution. Secondly, depending on how you have the Pivot Plus tuned and what your stoker prefers, there are still plusher and lighter weight suspension posts out there.

    If the riding position and post are not negotiable, then yes, a wider and cushier saddle should help disperse the (err) load.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan_Boldt
    Congrads on your new ride

    From viewing the stoker setup in your photo, there may be a couple things to consider other than changing from her favorite saddle...

    Does your wife's single bike allow her to have a lower position (ie: lower handlebars) and/or more reach? The photo shows a very upright position which moves almost all her weight onto the seat. A lower handlebar position can allow for some weight transfer to the arms instead, providing better weight distribution. Secondly, depending on how you have the Pivot Plus tuned and what your stoker prefers, there are still plusher and lighter weight suspension posts out there.

    If the riding position and post are not negotiable, then yes, a wider and cushier saddle should help disperse the (err) load.
    Bryan,
    I think that you are "right on". She insisted on the high handlebar position because she wanted a more upright position on the tandem, and closer to a hybrid/comfort bike. However her single road Cannondale is set up with drop bars, so her weight is well balanced between the handlebars and seat. On the tandem, most of her weight is on the seat (from the Cannondale) with the current handlebar position. So I will discuss this with her, and see if she wants to get a plush seat from a "comfort" bike or adjust the handlebars to put more weight on the bars. Thanks very much.

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    Congratulations on your Da Vinci!

    We purchased a '04 Co-Motion Speester Co-Pilot and we're in love with it. I think that when you considering bikes at this level, it's hard to go wrong!

    BTW, I grew up not too far from you...Mt. Prospect. I remember the battles we had in high school tennis with the Barrington fellas (I went to John Hersey H.S.).

    Congrats again.

    Abe

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    Abe,
    Thanks. I agree. Co-motion makes a very fine bike, and I'm sure that we would have enjoyed it as well. Since we both had a lot of biking experience and keep our bikes for a long time, we decided to go with one of these 2 bikes because we didn't want to have regrets. Have fun with your Speedster.

    Brian,
    We're going to try a lower position for the stoker bar, to see if that helps with the seat problem. Thanks again for the advice.

    Regards,

  22. #22
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docbluedevil
    BTW, I grew up not too far from you...Mt. Prospect. I remember the battles we had in high school tennis with the Barrington fellas (I went to John Hersey H.S.).
    It's a small world....

    Lived in Arlington Heights for a few years...
    Rolling Meadows High School - Class of '78

  23. #23
    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
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    Is that a Willy Street bikes water bottle in the cage, purchased in Madison? Just curious since it looked a lot like what we use.

    -murray
    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

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    Senior Member Zonker's Avatar
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    This forum has been a great resource as my GF and I start down the path of exploring tandem nirvana. We are looking forward to test riding both the Speedster and In2ition this weekend, so this thread was of particular interest. Any (further) comments on 26" inch wheels vs. 700C? Does it make more or less of a difference on a tandem?

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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zonker
    Any (further) comments on 26" inch wheels vs. 700C? Does it make more or less of a difference on a tandem?
    Two interesting reads on the subject:

    http://www.co-motion.com/26or700c.html
    http://www.precisiontandems.com/artbillwheelsize.htm

    Personally, if you can look past the 'image' issues that equate 700c wheels to lightweight racing bicycles and the status quo, 26" wheels make a lot of sense in much the same way many average cyclists are discovering "compact drive" (i.e., 50t x 36t and 48t x 34t chainring combos on 110mm cranks) are more practical than the ubiquitous 53t x 42t OEM set-ups that came on their road bikes.

    However, there's another aspect of practicality that a buyer must consider and that is -- despite logic that suggests 26" wheels are quite practical -- the vast majority of tandems ridden on the road at least here in the US are 700c machines. Therefore, finding a high-quality 26" road tire and narrow tubes can be a real challenge, whether its at a bike shop, from Etailers, on a SAG vehicle, or from a fellow cyclist. Looked at another way, if you do opt for 26" wheels you must plan ahead and be prepared to be fully self-sufficient by carrying sufficient spare tubes or patches and at least one spare tire. Moreover, when touring it would make sense to not only have an extra tire on your tandem but to also keep one or two more in your luggage "just in case".
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 06-29-05 at 03:57 PM.

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