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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 03-21-11, 10:18 PM   #1
lodie
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Cannondale tandem 2 vs Co-motion periscope torpedo

We have a Burley mountain tandem already and searching a road tandem . Which is a better bike for the long term ? What are the pros and cons of each bike ?
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Old 03-22-11, 12:23 AM   #2
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There are no universal answers to your questions. You need to provide more info before we know what is the appropriate answer for you. For instance: What are your requirements for the bike? What type of riding? Who will be the riders? How important is price? Etc.
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Old 03-22-11, 08:15 AM   #3
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We have a Burley mountain tandem already and searching a road tandem. Which is a better bike for the long term ? What are the pros and cons of each bike ?
Cdale RT2 is a $3,549 6061 aluminum-framed tandem that comes in a single color (white) and four sizes with Ultegra components, a good conventional wheelset, FSA Gossamer cranks, Avid dual discs, etc. and is now made in Asia.
Pros, C'dale has traditionally delivered a lot of value for the money and the quality/performance of the US-made, batch-built tandems has always been excellent. Customer support has also been good.
Cons, C'dale shut down their US manufacturing factory last year and moved 2011 model-year production off-shore without moving the price-point of their now lone tandem model. C'dale dealers aren't typically knowledgeable about tandems unless you happen to buy the bike through a tandem speciality dealer who offers C'dale tandems as part of their line. Not sure if the new owners of C'dale have mucked around with the tech support centers or not, noting the tandem expertise in the tech center has diminished a bit over the years.
Co-Motion Torpedo is a $4,300 Reynolds 853 steel-framed tandem that is available in 30 different color and two sizes where both the pilot and stoker riding positions are height adjustable for a very wide range of different cyclists also with Ultegra components, a very good conventional wheelset, FSA Gossamer cranks, Avid dual discs, etc. and is hand-made to order in Eugene, Oregon.
Pros, The Periscope frames are size adjustable, which means it's a tandem that grows with families or allows a wide variety of different folks to ride the same bike without compromising on a good fit. It's available as either a 26" or 700c wheeled model, you get to pick your color, they're only sold through dealers who know a thing or two about tandems and/or supported by easily reached folks like the owners of the company who are involved in the day-to-day operation and building of the products. They're made in the US by a small number of craftsmen in Eugene, Oregon and the quality and performance is about as good as it gets. These are hand-made, not mass-produced.
Cons, it costs a few more bucks.

This is just a snap-shot of off-the-cuff stuff that comes to mind. Each of these tandems are very different in terms of what they are designed to do and will even handle a bit differently, where the true pros and cons or goodness and badness of the differences is subject to individual tastes and needs.
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Old 03-22-11, 02:38 PM   #4
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First let me say I am new to the tandem thing, we (wife and I) just built up our first. I looked everywhere for 3 months trying to find a good deal on a late model unit: we are both mtn bikers riding hard tail 29ers. So I wanted flat bars and 700c wheels with tires as wide as would fit. Armed with a desire to try a tandem and our Mtn biking experience we decided to buy a new Frame Set from Cannondale and build up or bike to our taste.

So 2 wks ago I had my local cannondale dealer order me a new 2010 unit... medium blue is size large / small.
FSA cranks, disk brakes, DT swiss 40 hole hubs, X9 9 speed shifters, BB7 disc with 203 rotors, flat bars, etc... some used parts I had others found on sale here and there. Total build was a little over $2,000 and weight is 41 lb 11 oz on my scale. Thing is the bike fits us and our riding style...

Maybe you could build your bike... starting with a frame set... for less than retail of a complete bike...

I paid $1400 for the frame-set, it came with fatty fork, seat post clamps, headset, and with eccentric BB....
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Old 03-22-11, 02:55 PM   #5
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Have you looked at the Santana Nuovo Sport. Aluminum, made in the states (I think), knowledgable dealer base, for $3000. And it can be upgraded from Tiagra components to Santana's SE (a smattering of 105, and ultegra stuff and octalink cranks) for $200. It looks like a nice value! It is more important to match your bike to your expectations. The Periscope is interesting if you want to accomidate a growing family or different sized guests.
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Old 08-17-11, 12:30 PM   #6
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It is my understanding that while Cannondale has moved production of singles to Asia they have not yet made a decision on the tandems. In 2009 they made a large quantity of tandems in the US and have them boxed and ready to ship. For example our dealer told me that they have 100 bikes in our size alone in the warehouse. When they run out they will decide whether to build tandems in Asia--this according to our local dealer.

We just took delivery of a new L/S and really like it. Virtually every tube on the bike has been formed to optimize performance and comfort. It is light and stiff with a good ride. We used to own a RT2000 which was stiff and a bit harsh so were pleasantly surprised at the good ride of the RT2. This is our 4th tandem and is the best one yet. I looked at the Co-Motion Periscope Hammerhead which has an aluminum frame and good components and only weighs about 29 lbs vs the C'dale 34.6 lbs., but the difference is prices was not worth it to us.
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Old 08-17-11, 01:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
Cdale RT2 is a $3,549 6061 aluminum-framed tandem that comes in a single color (white) and four sizes with Ultegra components, a good conventional wheelset, FSA Gossamer cranks, Avid dual discs, etc. and is now made in Asia.
Pros, C'dale has traditionally delivered a lot of value for the money and the quality/performance of the US-made, batch-built tandems has always been excellent. Customer support has also been good.
Cons, C'dale shut down their US manufacturing factory last year and moved 2011 model-year production off-shore without moving the price-point of their now lone tandem model. C'dale dealers aren't typically knowledgeable about tandems unless you happen to buy the bike through a tandem speciality dealer who offers C'dale tandems as part of their line. Not sure if the new owners of C'dale have mucked around with the tech support centers or not, noting the tandem expertise in the tech center has diminished a bit over the years.
Co-Motion Torpedo is a $4,300 Reynolds 853 steel-framed tandem that is available in 30 different color and two sizes where both the pilot and stoker riding positions are height adjustable for a very wide range of different cyclists also with Ultegra components, a very good conventional wheelset, FSA Gossamer cranks, Avid dual discs, etc. and is hand-made to order in Eugene, Oregon.
Pros, The Periscope frames are size adjustable, which means it's a tandem that grows with families or allows a wide variety of different folks to ride the same bike without compromising on a good fit. It's available as either a 26" or 700c wheeled model, you get to pick your color, they're only sold through dealers who know a thing or two about tandems and/or supported by easily reached folks like the owners of the company who are involved in the day-to-day operation and building of the products. They're made in the US by a small number of craftsmen in Eugene, Oregon and the quality and performance is about as good as it gets. These are hand-made, not mass-produced.
Cons, it costs a few more bucks.

This is just a snap-shot of off-the-cuff stuff that comes to mind. Each of these tandems are very different in terms of what they are designed to do and will even handle a bit differently, where the true pros and cons or goodness and badness of the differences is subject to individual tastes and needs.
Is the Comotion is made from 631 steel rather than 853 steel? The speedster is 631.

Wayne
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Old 08-17-11, 02:12 PM   #8
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Is the Comotion is made from 631 steel rather than 853 steel? The speedster is 631.
Speedster's & Supremo's use 631 along with their other higher-end steel bikes.

However, they still use 853 for other models as well as the coupled versions of the Speedster & Supremo (aka, Co-Pilots) and Co-Pilot single bikes.

Usual clue to 853 framesets on tandems is the frame material being described as, "Zonally-butted Co-Motion design cro-moly steel tubing".

Last edited by TandemGeek; 08-17-11 at 05:52 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 08-17-11, 04:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
Speedster's & Supremo's use 631 along with their other higher-end steel bikes.

However, they still use 853 for other models as well as the coupled versions of the Speedster & Supremo (aka, Co-Pilots) and Co-Pilot single bikes.

Usual clue to 631 framesets on tandems is the frame material being described as, "Zonally-butted Co-Motion design cro-moly steel tubing".
Don't mean to be a nerd, but even Primera and Mocha have in specs description "Zonally-butted Co-Motion design cro-moly steel tubing". I think that the clue is rather "AIR-HARDENED steel zonally-butted tandem tubing". If you have a Primera and a Speedster (not Co-pilot) side by side and you tap the frames with your nails, you can actually hear the difference. 631 has a higher pitch!
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Old 08-17-11, 05:48 PM   #10
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Don't mean to be a nerd, but even Primera and Mocha have in specs description "Zonally-butted Co-Motion design cro-moly steel tubing".
Sorry, it was a typo / transposition on my part (friggin' dyslexia). Either way works...
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