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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 07-25-10, 11:49 AM   #1
IndyTim
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Santana XL vs Co-Motion Large

I've been encouraged to consider an XL as opposed to a L frame size, and have managed to find a nice Santana Team AL in, miraculously, XL.

However, I've been unable to find any data on the Santana's geometry, and I'd like to compare the bike to another bike I've been considering, a Co-Motion Speedster in Large.

Unfortunately, all the bikes I've been considering are hundreds if not over a thousand miles away, so I have to do all I can to figure out the fit via remote control.

I've got the CoMo specs - does anyone have the Santana XL geometry lying close to hand?
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Old 07-25-10, 11:52 AM   #2
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By the way, I'm 6'3", with most of my height in my torso (33.75" inseam measured via Santana method). My stoker is 5'5", perfectly proportioned.
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Old 07-26-10, 04:52 PM   #3
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This may help if the specs are the same years. http://www.gtgtandems.com/dimensions.html
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Old 07-26-10, 09:27 PM   #4
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I just checked my c.96 Santana Sovereign and it matches the gtgtandem numbers. It should be fine for you - I'm 6'0" and run a 11cm extension very comfortably. Larger/higher are available. The issue may be the back - 54cm seat tube. My stoker is 5'7" amd we can only run a tamer suspension post (with 17mm clearance), thudbuster won't fit. I've fitted about 5'5" back there, with no suspension post, if that's OK. I have had some would be stokers that wouldn't fit at all at closer to 5'.

BTW I hate how hard Santana make it to find these numbers. It's not as if most dealers have an XL in stock.

The Co-mo L-S will fit better at the back and give more seatpost and rack options, but you'll get close to maxing out height at the front, unless you ride a very aggressive position. Co-mo rear top tube will also be longer if that's important to you.

Both bike ride very welll and are great choices, likely your best stock options.
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Old 07-26-10, 10:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for the specs. That's helpful. I think it's silly that Santana doesn't post the specs *somewhere*. I understand they may want to simplify the process, but let's be serious: a lot of people forking out the jack for a new Santana are going be pretty knowledgeable about what they're doing; a few specs aren't going to derail the deal. Why can't Santana serve both types of buyer?

Key differences to note:
- The CoMo has a longer front top tube (23.25" vs 22.8" for the Santana)
- The CoMo has greater standover clearance for my stoker: 29.15" vs the higher 30.7" for the Santana. That's key since stoker has a 31" inseam.

But how important is stoker standover clearance, particularly if she's (we're) using "The Proper Method"?
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Old 07-26-10, 10:11 PM   #6
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We ride an XL Santana Sovereign and my wife is 5'5". She uses a tamer suspension seat post and has about 1/2" to spare. I am 6'3" and fits me fine.

The Sweet 16's wheels are not durable but they are great to ride on. We just ordered our second set and Santana sold it to us for $900 with a 2 year warranty FWIW.
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Old 07-26-10, 11:54 PM   #7
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Cornucopia - what is your inseam if you don't mind? I'm 34 by Santana's method (I remeasured). Our team sizes are very similar.

Have you ridden a L Speedster? I'm wondering how they compare. With the slightly longer toptube, the Speedster would seem to be a skosch better for someone long in the torso (that's me). But the difference is slight, and I assume I could work with the stem to dial that in, anyway.

I wish I could make this selection in person....
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Old 07-27-10, 07:02 AM   #8
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The standover height should never be an issue with the "proper method" as the stoker never stands over the bike. You can use a pedal to step up. So the seat tube is what you need to get right. There's also the 4cm difference on the front. You will likely max out on spacers. I can just ride a medium Co-mo at 6'0", but the front looks a little too jacked for my taste.

While these are both good bikes, they ride very differently, especially out of the saddle. Try at least to ride one of each, even if the size isn't perfect.

You should be able to find stems that work for both, but the choice for Santana will be more limited due to the 1.25" size headset. For me, the Santana rides bigger, the Co-mo a little more compact, despite the long top tube. Handling is faster on the Co-mo, very stable on the Santana, both very good.
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Old 07-27-10, 07:52 AM   #9
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My inseam is 34.5". I never ridden a Comotion. Only a Burley Duet and Santana's Sovereign and Cabrio Triplet. The Santana is more stable and the comotion more responsive from what I have heard. If I was in your situation and the Comotion would fit, I would go for the comotion... more options and easier to upgrade.
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Old 07-27-10, 01:38 PM   #10
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Did you try calling Santana directly? I found them very helpful, as long as you have the serial number. My bike was built in '93 and they had what I needed.
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Old 07-27-10, 07:35 PM   #11
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steve - I emailed them over the weekend but have not yet seen a response.
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Old 08-02-10, 02:00 PM   #12
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Indy Tim, don't worry about your inseam and saddle height, that pretty much takes care of itself with seatpost adjustment. I'd focus on the length of the top tube. Take your current single bike and measure the total extension to the bars (i.e. length of top tube, and stem)

Then take that number, subtract the length of top tube on the tandem you're looking at, and that will tell you what size stem you'd need to make it fit. As long as that falls into an available size (such as 90-140mm) you'll be good.

For the stoker, I would be concerned about standover, even using the "perfect method". Things don't always go perfectly in actual use.

That said, a 31" pants inseam, should be ok with a 30.7 standover, particularly when you throw in shoes and cleats. 31" cycling inseam mught be a bit closer.
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Old 08-04-10, 10:42 AM   #13
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Thanks merlin, missed your follow up post. Now that I'm doing plenty of riding, I've been working to get my position and sizing dialed in on my road bike. My LBS has helped me with my setup and we've made some changes. That said, it's clear that top tube / stem reach / hbar height is where I was most off. (Way too much reach forward, and too low. I had so much weight on my palms that they were going numb 10 minutes into the ride.) Some of this seems like it should be intuitive, but I guess it's not. Or I'm slow, which is entirely possible. It's the type of thing where, the minute someone points out the issue, it's "well, DOH!".

I wish I would have focused on the top tube a little earlier in the process - I wouldn't have nixed a very nice (and much cheaper) Speedster so readily. Live and learn.
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