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  1. #1
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    1988 Santana Arriva S replacement fork

    Another newbie here!

    This fall we took the plunge and purchased our first tandem: a 1988 Santana Arriva S with a modern 9sp drivetrain. We've put a few hundred miles on it (despite the cool mornings), and are thoroughly enjoying ourselves. In fact we've ridden together more in the last couple of months than in the last 20 years. I wish we had done this sooner.

    The 'S' was the racing model of the Arriva. One of the consequences of that is very little tire clearance with the front fork -- it won't fit 700x28 tires. Santana also considers this fork unsafe since it's an old 1" fork. So I need to replace it.

    Santana sells a 1" threadless replacement fork, so that's the obvious choice (although I lose my snazy Nitto Technomic stem). I'll probably also do some exploring with local SF Bay Area frame builders on options for a custom fork. I haven't found any other options for a tandem rated 1" fork.

    Has anybody else out there replaced the fork on an old Santana? Any other recommendations or options I should be considering?

    Thanks!

    A picture? Why of course:

    tandem2.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I had a 1989 Visa and bought the chrome replacement fork from Santana. I also bought a Chris King headset from Tandems East. You will have to get a new stem and maybe even new handlebars which is what I did. That bike has been replaced with a new Calfee but it served us well for nearly a year.

    Wayne

  3. #3
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    Be careful that any new fork has the same or close to the same rake and axle to crown length. I notice that your present stem is long enough for your handlebars to be level with your saddle. You will need a long steerer tube on a new fork to keep the handlebars in the same place.

    Sheldon

  4. #4
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    I would suggest going with the 1" fork from Santana, so at least you'll know that the geometry is right. You will, of course, need a threadless headset. As Sheldon says, make sure that they leave the steering tube long, so you can reclaim at least some of the height with stack washers/spacers. There are positive angle or adjustable angle stems, such as those made by Oval. I use the Oval stem in the stoker position, and it works quite well.
    Steve
    Santana Visa
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  5. #5
    Live Everyday
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    ...I spent a great deal of time chasing a 1 inch fork for my first generation C'dale a couple of years ago. Do yourself a favor and just get it from Santana.
    I'm not saying that a custom build is not possible, but I will say that I chased a lot of leads and talk with some names that might surprise you, but at the end of the day it was a waste of time. The folks that built your Tandem know it the best and have an image to protect so they are the most motivated to put you on the safest option available. That is nice leverage to have so take advantage, you are fortunate to have it.
    Good luck.
    Bill J.
    Last edited by specbill; 01-25-12 at 09:50 AM. Reason: typo

  6. #6
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    It's a 1" and not a 1-1/4" (threaded)? Interesting. I had a 1989 Santana Rio (first tandem) and it came with a 1-1/4" threaded steerer. I guess that's around when they started switching over.

    So how is their new 1" fork safer than the one you have? Santana's take has always been that the larger steerer tube of 1-1/4" is necessary for it to be "tandem rated." Unless they know of a history of problems with the fork that you have now, I'm curious why they are saying to swap it out for one with the same size steerer. If you are a light team, I'd probably just stick with what's on there, assuming you have inspected it to make sure there are no cracks or other issues (i.e., pull the fork from the frame and look at all parts of it). [A re-read of your post shows the tire clearance issue, so I guess that's what is motivating you?]

    I'd also check with some of the tandem dealers to see if they might have one kicking around in a parts box somewhere. Might be a lot cheaper than buying from Santana. Try Precision Tandems, Gear-to-Go, etc.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by briwasson View Post
    It's a 1" and not a 1-1/4" (threaded)? Interesting. I had a 1989 Santana Rio (first tandem) and it came with a 1-1/4" threaded steerer. I guess that's around when they started switching over.

    So how is their new 1" fork safer than the one you have? Santana's take has always been that the larger steerer tube of 1-1/4" is necessary for it to be "tandem rated." Unless they know of a history of problems with the fork that you have now, I'm curious why they are saying to swap it out for one with the same size steerer. If you are a light team, I'd probably just stick with what's on there, assuming you have inspected it to make sure there are no cracks or other issues (i.e., pull the fork from the frame and look at all parts of it). [A re-read of your post shows the tire clearance issue, so I guess that's what is motivating you?]

    I'd also check with some of the tandem dealers to see if they might have one kicking around in a parts box somewhere. Might be a lot cheaper than buying from Santana. Try Precision Tandems, Gear-to-Go, etc.
    I went through the same process back in July of 2010 and as I remember it, Santana believes that a fork that old with who who knows how many miles and pot holes it has hit COULD fail due to metal fatigue.

    I bought the fork from Santana and never gave it another thought. It fit great and was much stiffer than the original fork which made the old bike handle better.

    Wayne

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the advice. I'll likely drop my romantic idea of getting a custom built fork and go with the Santana replacement. It's good that they are still making a fork for their older models.

    As to the safety of the old fork, DubT is correct. Santana's recommendation is based on a combination of the age of the fork plus the fact that it has a 1" steer tube. The word I got from Santana is that they consider the safe lifespan of my original fork to be about 15 years - I'm way past that.

  9. #9
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajoe View Post
    Thanks for all the advice. I'll likely drop my romantic idea of getting a custom built fork and go with the Santana replacement. It's good that they are still making a fork for their older models.

    As to the safety of the old fork, DubT is correct. Santana's recommendation is based on a combination of the age of the fork plus the fact that it has a 1" steer tube. The word I got from Santana is that they consider the safe lifespan of my original fork to be about 15 years - I'm way past that.
    Santana's continuing support of their product after such a long time is nice to see. Santana gets attacked a lot on the internet but that is much better support than you would get from many companies.

    Wayne

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Our experience/input is a bit different.
    Replace a 1" fork after 15 years . . . ?
    It is more an issue of mileage/use/abuse than the actual age of the Santana fork.
    Have used 1" steel forks on a few of our custom tandems.
    Fork #1 lasted 64,000 miles and was on the bike when we sold it.
    Fork#2 was an experimental fork and broke after 13,000 miles; replaced it with #3 and that one lasted another 43,000 miles and was still on the bike when we sold it.
    Fork #4 lasted 57,000 miles and was on the bike when we sold it.
    Current c/f tandem has a 1 1/4" carbon fork with 33,000+ miles on it.
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  11. #11
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    Cajoe, No one seems to rival zonatandem in mileage and experience. His experience seems to bear out the sturdiness of 1" purpose built tandem forks. I have, through the years, seen several Santana road tandems, dating back to the mid-80's, change hands within our club and continue to soldier on with updated components. I have a newer ('93) Visa, with a 1 1/4" quill fork. Santana has, in my humble opinion, always built a very robust product. If they are willing to sell you a new fork for your frame, and I were in your shoes, I wouldn't hesitate.
    Steve
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  12. #12
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    Speaking of Santana forks, I have a Santana OEM 1-1/4" threadless fork available if anyone is interested. It's from a small frame size, so the steerer would fit best on a similar frame size. I'll sell it pretty cheap if you are interested.

  13. #13
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    Our 90 Arriva broke it's fork, and we got the Santana 1" threadless.

    Heavy, but damn solid. Felt much nicer than the old fork, especially under braking in the twisties.

    See this thread --> http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...Fork?p=8812452

  14. #14
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    Yow. OK -- after seeing those photos I think I should proceed with a replacement sooner than later.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajoe View Post
    Yow. OK -- after seeing those photos I think I should proceed with a replacement sooner than later.
    Cajoe, I know this thread is getting a bit stale. But if not too late SOMA bikes sells a head set called the Quillinator that allows you to use a 1'' threadless fork and keep your quill stem. Will admit though I have the new Santana fork and the Quillinator I haven't put them on the bike yet.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by briwasson View Post
    It's a 1" and not a 1-1/4" (threaded)? Interesting. I had a 1989 Santana Rio (first tandem) and it came with a 1-1/4" threaded steerer. I guess that's around when they started switching over. So how is their new 1" fork safer than the one you have? Santana's take has always been that the larger steerer tube of 1-1/4" is necessary for it to be "tandem rated." Unless they know of a history of problems with the fork that you have now, I'm curious why they are saying to swap it out for one with the same size steerer. If you are a light team, I'd probably just stick with what's on there, assuming you have inspected it to make sure there are no cracks or other issues (i.e., pull the fork from the frame and look at all parts of it). [A re-read of your post shows the tire clearance issue, so I guess that's what is motivating you?]
    I'd also check with some of the tandem dealers to see if they might have one kicking around in a parts box somewhere. Might be a lot cheaper than buying from Santana. Try Precision Tandems, Gear-to-Go, etc.
    Regarding the 1989 start for a Rio with 1.25" threaded steerer.

    My primary rider is a 1995 Santana Rio (XL) and it has a huge Tange branded threadless headset. Looks about the same size as the 1.25" Stronglight on the Jack Taylor...

    Thus huge headset use started for Santana at least in 1989 and sometime later but before 1995 they moved to threadless.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by briwasson View Post
    Speaking of Santana forks, I have a Santana OEM 1-1/4" threadless fork available if anyone is interested. It's from a small frame size, so the steerer would fit best on a similar frame size. I'll sell it pretty cheap if you are interested.
    Briwasson did you ever sell your fork?

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