Originally Posted by pinkbikediva
In the process of picking a tandem, I have been informed that Santana is offering carbon wrapped components. Based on my best internet searching practices, it might be "hardcore carbon..." but there is little to no cyber-info about it. Since Santana's own website is useless for all but the most basic searches, I am wondering if anyone has experience with these components or other carbon wrap.....
Can you be more specific as to which components they were referring?
Santana's components can be a bit of a challenge to dissect on the Web since many of them are house-branded items made to Santana's specifications vs. more readily recognizable brands, e.g., Hardcore
and V-Max vs. FSA or Winwood. I have no idea why Santana seems to use so many different marketing names like 'Mega', Hardcore, V-Max, etc... and also seems to change them a bit over time (e.g., it was Carbon Pro Cranks a while back
), but it is what it is. So, yes, like most OEM bicycle manufacturer's web sites, you won't find much information on their components beyond non-technical descriptions. However, unlike other firms that use recognizable brand-name components, as you discovered you can't usually find other web sites that have more information on those components.
Anyway, all of that said, the easiest way to get the best answers to your questions is to ask a well-informed, authorized Santana dealer or to call Santana directly. Dealers like Tandems Limited in Birmingham, AL, Precision Tandems near Kansas City, KS, Gear-to-Go Tandems in upstate New York, and Crank-2 in the San Franciso Bay Area, etc... are usually well-informed with all the details regarding Santana's offerings. If you call Santana, the front office is small in terms of who will answer the phone and in most cases you'll get Steve Lesse or Bill McCready who will gladly answer your questions.
Again, in looking at their components I haven't seen anything that is unique to Santana. Like a lot of tandem builders, they were offering FSA's carbon cranks until FSA moved away from the Octalink interface at which point they began to use a carbon crank made to their Octalink specification by Martec, a very well-respected Taiwan-based composites manufacturer who makes a lot of parts for a lot of different brands. The Martec carbon crank arm has an aluminum skeleton and bolts to an aluminum spider and it the same crank that Calfee began offering a couple years ago with an ISIS interface when FSA was unable to keep up with production orders for tandem cranksets. If you check around you'll find that many of the carbon cranks on the market use crank arms that have an aluminum skeleton, e.g., Truvative, SRAM, earlier FSA models. I had thought Santana was going to be offering FSA's carbon cranks again so, again, you might contact one of their dealers or Santana directly if that's your biggest area of interest / concern.
carbon handlebars appear to be very similar to QBP's house-branded Winwood Road Scholar handlebars in both design and construction. The basic carbon fork offered on their tandems, the V-Max, is a dead ringer for the Winwood Muddy Cross which uses an aluminum steerer and crown. However, they also have an all-carbon house branded version of that fork + offer the Reynolds Ouzo Pro as an option.
Although there are seat posts from Wound-Up that have been offered by Co-Motion that incorporate an aluminum sleeve with carbon wrapping, Santana doesn't offer those. In fact, Santana was compelled to post and provide customers a carbon seat post clamping advisory that offers proper torque values and clamping instructions for their carbon seat posts: