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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 12-07-11, 12:21 AM   #1
Dean V
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First ride on Co-Motion

We have just bought a second hand Co-Motion Speedster Copilot. We decided it would be nice to do some flying/touring sometime in the future so when one of these came up (very rare down here in New Zealand, may be the only one) decided to get it. It has the Rolf wheels, Wound Up fork and Gates belt as well.
Just thought I would share on how it seemed compared to the 2009 C'dale we normally ride.
The gates timing belt definitely felt a bit more positive which was nice, but nothing to rave about.
Ride seemed slightly more comfortable, but not much in it.
The main difference I noticed was in stability. It was a very windy day and we definitely didn't get blown around as much as on the C'dale.
It was also more stable and easier to hold a line when pedaling out of the saddle.
So far it has only been the one ride for 1 1/2 hrs but so far we are very pleased with it and it is very nicely made.
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Old 12-07-11, 08:19 AM   #2
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Nice bike! Good luck with it. We love having S&S couplers on our tandem/triplet (and two single bikes). Makes traveling a lot easier.
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Old 12-07-11, 10:18 AM   #3
Bent In El Paso
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Sounds like the same options we have on our Speedster Co-Pilot. Once you get the hang of taking the bike apart and assembling it again, you will love that option. When we travel in our Jeep Wrangler, we just pack the bike inside and we are off.

Enjoy!!
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Old 12-07-11, 02:11 PM   #4
mtnbke
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Definitely interested in a more thorough comparison of the Co-Mo to your Cannondale. Is your Co-Motion aluminum as well? What does your stoker think of the more cramped stoker's compartment?

We have a Cannondale tandem, and I'd really like a custom someday. However, our concern is that an aluminum Co-Mo wouldn't be as stiff/strong as the Cannondale, which is an absolute necessity for our team (outliers).

If you have the chance please give a detailed account of what's different between your 'dale and the Co-mo (tires including brands/widths, cranks, components, sizing for captain/stoker, etc.). Always very interested to hear about the comparisons between a Co-Mo and 'dale.

Thanks.
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Old 12-07-11, 05:54 PM   #5
Dean V
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The Co-Motion Speedster is a steel frame. Compared to the C'dale it has the same cranks (Gossamer) but Rolf disc brake wheels vs Mavic Cosmic Elite rim brake wheels on the C'dale. Ultegra gears vs Campag Record (10sp). Wound up carbon fork vs Reynolds carbon tandem fork.
The C'dale is around 2 kg lighter and also a stiffer frame. As said previously the Co-Mo seems to handle better.
They are both the same length in the back (72cm).
I am sure Co-Motion could make a frame as stiff and strong as you want and also give you a bit more BB height to clear those 200mm cranks.
BTW we are only a very average sized team at around 320 lb.
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Old 12-08-11, 02:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
The Co-Motion Speedster is a steel frame. Compared to the C'dale it has the same cranks (Gossamer) but Rolf disc brake wheels vs Mavic Cosmic Elite rim brake wheels on the C'dale. Ultegra gears vs Campag Record (10sp). Wound up carbon fork vs Reynolds carbon tandem fork.
The C'dale is around 2 kg lighter and also a stiffer frame. As said previously the Co-Mo seems to handle better.
They are both the same length in the back (72cm).
I am sure Co-Motion could make a frame as stiff and strong as you want and also give you a bit more BB height to clear those 200mm cranks.
BTW we are only a very average sized team at around 320 lb.
Darn. I was hoping for a more controlled comparison (similar drivetrain/wheels/fork) and both being aluminum. When you say you like the way the Co-Motion handles better, that give me pause. Cannondale tandems have a very relaxed fork geometry to be very stable. Are you liking that the Co-Mo handles more quickly, or are you actually saying it is even more stable than the 'dale? That would really surprise me.

If I'm reading you correctly, why do you prefer the quicker handling Co-Mo over the stability of the 'dale? Are you a pretty aggressive team on descents? Do you really lean the bike over and blow through complex curves? Or do you just prefer not having to three point turn on a bike path? I don't know if I'm a skilled enough captain to be able to really throw the bike around in the corners on a more racy geometry. I do know I want all the stability we can get.

I'm kind of shocked that you went to a heavier steel tandem from your Cannondale. I'd have been tempted to put a Wound-Up carbon fork (which could handle your team weight) on the 'dale and rebuilt it using similar components to what came on your Co-Mo. Then again you know my love affair for the 'dales, and considering how cheaply used tandems can be found, maybe that would be just as expensive as just buying a new bike. Did you test ride any other steel tandems before buying your new (to you) Co-Mo?

Enjoy that new bike! Pictures?
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Old 12-08-11, 11:24 AM   #7
diabloridr
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I do know I want all the stability we can get.
I doubt it, otherwise you need to start doing some upper body workouts to turn your dream bike.

"Quick handling" sometimes gets confused with "twitchy" in people's minds. We hated our test ride on a "stable" Santana, but love the more responsive handling of our Speedster. I wouldn't call it twitchy, though.

More than a little of it comes down to personal preference.
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Old 12-09-11, 10:58 PM   #8
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Designed a custom Co-Mo back in the 90s for fellow who is 6'7", stoker 5'3".
Due to using custom made 220mm cranks for the captain we had the front BB raised; they now have 30,000+iles on that tandem.

We owned a custom Co-Mo for the opposite reason: to fit a very petite stoker @ 4' 10 3/4" tall. Ended up with short wheelbase of 63 1/2" with ladyback configuration for the stoker. Put 57,000 miles on that very good bike!
Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 12-10-11, 08:35 AM   #9
waynesulak
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Originally Posted by diabloridr View Post
I doubt it, otherwise you need to start doing some upper body workouts to turn your dream bike.

"Quick handling" sometimes gets confused with "twitchy" in people's minds. We hated our test ride on a "stable" Santana, but love the more responsive handling of our Speedster. I wouldn't call it twitchy, though.

More than a little of it comes down to personal preference.
I agree very much personal preference. Terms like twitchy, quick, and stable don't really describe things accurately. Like any design area there are tradeoffs and what makes it really confusing is that those tradeoffs are not readily apparent in 20 or 100 miles.

We spent our first 10,000+ miles on a Speedster and it was a good bike. We now ride Santanas with lower trail and I think their steering is better. Our #1 tandem is a Santana with a custom fork giving it still lower trail than a Santana. I feel it is more stable at lower speeds and more agile at high speeds. I use what tandem shops call too narrow 40 cm front handle bars and my very skinny arms never get tired. I think it is a superior design but it does take an adaptation period.

That said Co-Motion type steering is good and I understand why many like it. Interestingly Co-Motions steel fork tandems' trail is not the same as their carbon fork tandems. CO-Motions's steel fork tandems' trail is a about half way between their carbon fork trail and a Santana's trail. I have ridden them all and find that there are a lot of ways to build a good tandem.

Wayne

Last edited by waynesulak; 12-10-11 at 08:39 AM.
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