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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 08-16-10, 08:35 AM   #1
IndyTim
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Bought a Co-Mo Speedster from Tandems East

My increasing desire to own a tandem met the downward-trending optimism that I'd find a used one to fit, and so we bought a new Speedster from Tandems East. Mel worked the Wound-Up carbon fork into the deal. That lets me do Rolfs or whatever if I decide I must have racier wheels, and then I'll still have the originals for training/backup. (That's in lieu of buying the $1300 Performance Package from Co-Mo).

I was about ready to order a custom bike from Co-Mo, when someone from my local club suggested I call Tandems East to see if they had anything in stock that they'd be willing to deal on. I did, and they did. The bike is a 3-color fade, in Metallic Silver / Pewter / Black, which should look nice.

I broke my new policy about riding the bike before we bought it, in buying the Speedster from T.E. But I managed to borrow a 23/20 Robusta from my LBS last Saturday, and we put 25 miles on it during the ride. There are no geo differences on paper between the chromo Speedster and alum Robusta models, so I'm hopeful the sizing is fine. I'm also keeping finders crossed that the Speedster offers the right compromise between stiffness and comfort. I'd rather have it a bit stiff than too compliant/flexy.

Looking forward to receiving the bike.
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Old 08-16-10, 08:46 AM   #2
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Congratulations! Co-Mo are fine tandems about which I don't recall ever seeing a bad word hereabouts. We don't have a Co-Mo, but our steel daVinci handles our 350 lb. team weight just fine and yet the ride is great. So good I don't even want to ride my Al single. I would expect anything less from Co-Mo.
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Old 08-16-10, 10:43 AM   #3
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My wife and I have had our new Speedster Co-Pilot for 3 weeks now. We love it!! After 500 miles, we continue to be amazed at the comfortable ride and the responsiveness of this bike. You really do feel like you are on a single.

I am sure you will enjoy it.
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Old 08-16-10, 10:50 AM   #4
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I can't tell you how much you are going to like that bike. My wife and I bought a used one a couple years ago. It's a touch big for me but fits her perfectly which is much more important ;-). Nicest bike I've ever been on.
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Old 08-16-10, 11:15 AM   #5
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You will love your Speedster. My wife and I bought ours 8 years ago from Mel and have put over 23,000 miles on it - it is a beautiful metallic pewter to black fade. We have upgraded over the years to a Wound-Up fork and Bontrager wheels. We have recently bought a second tandem, a Calfee, but have no plans to part with the Co-Motion. Buying a tandem was one of the best things we have ever done as a couple. We tried a Robusta before we bought the Speedster, but liked the ride of the steel frame much better.
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Old 08-17-10, 05:12 PM   #6
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Congratulations, Bent on the new bike!

ReedCycle - you followed the same path we did, in trying a Robusta first. I hope we prefer the Speedster as much as you did. I actually haven't ridden a steel tandem yet (or any steel-framed bike since I've been paying attention). So I don't have any reference with which to compare our rides on Sovereigns, Robustas, and Cannondales.

Ours is nearly the same color as yours - Silver/Pewter/Black. Some things never go out of style, I guess. ;-)
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Old 08-17-10, 08:46 PM   #7
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I just wanted to add that you won't find a better dealer than Mel at TandemsEast. A true enthusiast, not just out to make a buck.
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Old 08-20-10, 02:52 PM   #8
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The bike arrived this morning via FedEx Freight, after an amazingly quick trip halfway across the country. Mel did a great job with prepping and packaging the bike, and re-assembly of wheels, bars and posts only took about 45 minutes from stapled box to standing bike.

And here she is, probably as good as she'll ever look:



One unanticipated advantage of the Speedster over the alum models like the Roadster and Robusta: for the same sized frame, the Speedster's slightly smaller-diameter tubing allows a bit more room for water bottle access. My own oversized bottles were an awfully tight squeeze on the Robusta we rode last weekend!



A better view of the paint fade. Technically it's Silver/Pewter/Black, but I'm not artsy enough to really notice the Pewter transition. If I had my 'druthers (and for the same money!) I'd get one in HOK TruBlu. But this bike was too good a deal to pass up...



... And I already have a question: I'm wondering if I can remove the rear brake posts at the wiggly orange line - I'd have to break the paint with a razor, then probably touch up the bosses. Does anyone know how everything to the right of orange line comes out? Or if it should? Are they threaded or pressed into the bosses? Not a big deal, but I'd like it to be cleaner. This is an '09 which did not come with discs standard - Mel already had a rear disc on it, and we went ahead and did the front disc as well, along with the Woundup carbon fork. And no, I'm not going to sweat the machined rims!


Last edited by IndyTim; 08-20-10 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 08-20-10, 03:04 PM   #9
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Btw, I took the bike out sans-stoker, and was impressed with both the stiffness as well as lightness of the frame. Really looking forward to getting my stoker out for a road test!
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Old 08-20-10, 05:36 PM   #10
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IndyTim: A nice looking bike - Mel does a great job! Here is a picture of our Co-Motion taken in the fall near Williamsburg.
ReedCycle Co-Moti&.jpg
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Old 08-20-10, 07:22 PM   #11
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Youre gonna like it
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Old 08-20-10, 08:32 PM   #12
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Wow! What a beauty! Love the paint job, envy the disks and fork. Looks totally lovely. Ride, ride, ride, then tell us about your ride(s).
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Old 08-20-10, 09:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReedCycle View Post
IndyTim: A nice looking bike - Mel does a great job! Here is a picture of our Co-Motion taken in the fall near Williamsburg.
Attachment 165705
Thanks for the nice comments - we both like it so far, looking forward to a ride tomorrow!

Reed - nice bike in a lovely setting! Fall near Williamsburg sounds really great.

Last edited by IndyTim; 08-20-10 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 08-21-10, 07:30 PM   #14
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We just got back from our first ride. It was short but sweet!

My stoker said she likes the Speedster better than any bike we've ridden - that was music to my ears! I love the bike - my expectations were high, and I'm happy to say they've been exceeded. I love the steel frame - it's supple but not flexy, and it's quiet as a ghost when we're motoring down the road.

In every way, fit / component selection / ride quality / handling quality / looks, this bike is a winner for us.
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Old 08-21-10, 07:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyTim View Post
We just got back from our first ride. It was short but sweet! In every way, fit / component selection / ride quality / handling quality / looks, this bike is a winner for us.
Excellent news and congrats...

If you haven't gotten any good answers on your brake boss question, you might want to ask Mel. AFAIK, most bosses can be removed, but it may take some heat as I believe most removable bosses are set in place with Red Loctite. But, again: I just can't recall with any certainty if Co-Motion's are removable. I want to say they are. IF they are, you can typically plug the bosses with one of the black rubber boss plugs sold by various retailers.
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Old 08-22-10, 04:13 PM   #16
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Excellent news and congrats...

If you haven't gotten any good answers on your brake boss question, you might want to ask Mel. AFAIK, most bosses can be removed, but it may take some heat as I believe most removable bosses are set in place with Red Loctite. But, again: I just can't recall with any certainty if Co-Motion's are removable. I want to say they are. IF they are, you can typically plug the bosses with one of the black rubber boss plugs sold by various retailers.
The bosses on out Santana just screwed out with a lot of oomph on my part and just went to the hardware store and found some plastic plugs that fit in nicely for a flush look.
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Old 08-24-10, 03:36 PM   #17
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I checked the rear brake bosses on our CoMo and it needs to be sawed off. The bosses pictured earlier look identical to ours.

I've replaced steel canti bosses with ti bosses on other bikes but no go on our CoMo. There is no flat surface to wrench the bosses off nor will an allan key work as the id is round.
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Old 08-25-10, 12:10 PM   #18
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Really, no hex key provision on the inside of the bosses for removal? That's surprising. I'd give Mel a call, definitely, or the Co-Mo factory. I'd be surprised if there wasn't some way to remove them.
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Old 08-25-10, 05:57 PM   #19
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That's a beautiful bike!

Yeah, I'd suppose they can come out even if you have to sacrifice the post. But, if they are actually welded in, then, i'll say that they really don't look so bad. At least they're angled to go nicely with the rim arc as my eyes pass over the bike. Maybe you'll throw a rack on one day and then it won't be noticeable.
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Old 08-25-10, 06:29 PM   #20
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As they say in the building trades "if you can't fix it, make it a feature!" I suggest bolting a tail light to both sides.

BTW great looking bike. I have a speedster that just got back from a long term loan. I was looking at it the other day and continue to be impressed by the quality of the welds and and frame details.

Last edited by chichi; 08-25-10 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 08-25-10, 06:49 PM   #21
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Great looking bike! We purchased a new Burley from Mel 3 years ago, Mel and the crew at Tandems East are the best in the business!
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Old 08-26-10, 05:03 PM   #22
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Looks like a fine ride. Congrats!
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Old 08-26-10, 07:07 PM   #23
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I heard back from both Mel @ Tandems East, as well as Mike @ Co-Motion. The posts can't be removed. Mel suggested they're a feature as Chichi mentioned, since one of the Old Man Mountain racks uses them as attachment points.

So that gives me an excuse to get the rack sooner rather than later.
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Old 08-26-10, 07:10 PM   #24
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I took the Speedster out with my 175-lb son tonight, just to see how it handled. While he has significantly more horsepower than my wife, I much prefer her lighter weight!

It was a good learning experience - now I know why my wife complains when I stop pedaling without warning her. (I'm still working on that!)
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Old 08-27-10, 11:03 AM   #25
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We have a similarly attached Old Man Mountain rack on our daVinci and although we don't tour the rack looks like it could hold 100 lbs - great design. I must say that as we do tougher organized rides and our improvement rate is converging on our aging rate I'm considering removing the rack for some rides.
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