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  1. #1
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Help with a Classic Santana

    I was given what I believe is a 1982 Santana this week by the original owners who purchased it new in 1983. I started a thread in Classic and Vintage, and also a new page on my website. More pictures are located in these two places.

    The reason for presuming it is a 1982 is the use of Ishiwata tandem tubing. From what I've read, Santana switched to Columbus tubing in 1983.



    Today I located what I believe to be the serial number on the rear bottom bracket shell. Does anyone know if the serial number conveys any information such as date of manufacture or anything else? The number is "SE954."



    Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

    Visit my websites:
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    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Here you go:

    The best way to contact Santana is to call them at (800) 334-6136 or (909) 596-7570, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time. They love talking to cyclists, and have found that a phone call is usually the fastest way for you to get the right answer.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Nice story with the vintage 'tana!
    Funny, in 1975 for our 25th wedding anniversary we bought our very first tandem: a shiny silver/blue 10-speed Follis.
    By 1977 we ordered our first custom tandem built by Matt Assenmacher in Michigan.
    Components were then: Mafac cantis with Scott/Matthauser pads; Phil Wood 36H hubs, Phil BBs and even Phil pedals; TA triple cranks and Dura Ace derailleurs.
    Put 64,000 mile on that tandem!
    Now on tandem #5 . . .
    D1.jpg
    Enjoy riding TWOgether!
    Pedal on!Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  4. #4
    Senior Member obrentharris's Avatar
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    Impressive! Judging from the cobwebs and the beautiful condition of the chainring teeth the spiders got more use out of that bike in the last 30 years than the humans.
    Brent

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
    Today I located what I believe to be the serial number on the rear bottom bracket shell. Does anyone know if the serial number conveys any information such as date of manufacture or anything else? The number is "SE954."
    Beautiful bike! Yes, that is the Serial Number. I suggest calling Santana too, but my experiences talking with them a couple of times a few months ago when we bought our vintage Santana Elan (a year or two newer than yours) didn't go so well. First off, they will tell you that because the fork is over 15 years old that you must replace it with their ugly chrome threadless Tange unicrown and tell you not to ride it until you do so. This is probably good advice, don't get me wrong, and it is good they offer this retrofit, but the price is a bit staggering at $300 (in fact a local very well known Santana dealer I spoke with couldn't believe a Tange unicrown fork is that much either). Anyway, Santana was not much help dating the year from the serial number (ours is EL309 which I think means 1983 Elan #9, but who knows?). They thought maybe '83 or '84. In any case, you have a very well made fillet brazed beauty there! Enjoy it!

  6. #6
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msvphoto View Post
    Beautiful bike! Yes, that is the Serial Number. I suggest calling Santana too, but my experiences talking with them a couple of times a few months ago when we bought our vintage Santana Elan (a year or two newer than yours) didn't go so well. First off, they will tell you that because the fork is over 15 years old that you must replace it with their ugly chrome threadless Tange unicrown and tell you not to ride it until you do so. This is probably good advice, don't get me wrong, and it is good they offer this retrofit, but the price is a bit staggering at $300 (in fact a local very well known Santana dealer I spoke with couldn't believe a Tange unicrown fork is that much either). Anyway, Santana was not much help dating the year from the serial number (ours is EL309 which I think means 1983 Elan #9, but who knows?). They thought maybe '83 or '84. In any case, you have a very well made fillet brazed beauty there! Enjoy it!
    Interesting guess on the serial number. In this case mine (SE954) might be a '79 model which sat in the factory or in the LBS showroom for a few years. When I emailed they did not say anything about the fork. I can't imagine that my fork is bad and needs to be replaced.

    Quote Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
    Impressive! Judging from the cobwebs and the beautiful condition of the chainring teeth the spiders got more use out of that bike in the last 30 years than the humans.
    Brent
    It has hardly been ridden. The original owners took it around the NJ town they bought it in a few times, and then they rode it a few more times when they moved to TX. It has probably not seen road time in the past 20-25 years. They have lived here in NH for 15 years and not ridden it once.

    So far the bearings all seem to be good to go, grease wise. I still need to pull the BB and sync the cranks. I'll probably lube the chains as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Here you go:

    The best way to contact Santana is to call them at (800) 334-6136 or (909) 596-7570, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time. They love talking to cyclists, and have found that a phone call is usually the fastest way for you to get the right answer.
    I've emailed Santana a few times. I've had one response, which told me to look under the BB shell for the serial number. The email did say that they didn't begin keeping records until 1989. Seems kind of odd. I've sent a couple of pictures and asked about the tubing and "Marathon Style" frame (I don't know what this means).

    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    Nice story with the vintage 'tana!
    Funny, in 1975 for our 25th wedding anniversary we bought our very first tandem: a shiny silver/blue 10-speed Follis.
    By 1977 we ordered our first custom tandem built by Matt Assenmacher in Michigan.
    Components were then: Mafac cantis with Scott/Matthauser pads; Phil Wood 36H hubs, Phil BBs and even Phil pedals; TA triple cranks and Dura Ace derailleurs.
    Put 64,000 mile on that tandem!
    Now on tandem #5 . . .
    D1.jpg
    Enjoy riding TWOgether!
    Pedal on!Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
    By any chance do you have a recommendation for new canti brake pads?
    Last edited by pastorbobnlnh; 06-22-12 at 06:13 PM.
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

    Visit my websites:
    FreeWheelSpa.com orpastorbobnlnh.com

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    Great story, on your webpage. I am sure this very nice bike fell in the right hands! Enjoy and please let us know when you have some post-restoration pictures!

  8. #8
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    I will post pictures afterwards. Although it is amazing how clean it already is. Shouldn't take too much soap, water, polish and wax to bring the finish back to full glory. So far all I have found are a few scratches along the top tube.
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

    Visit my websites:
    FreeWheelSpa.com orpastorbobnlnh.com

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    Very nice!
    When we picked up our '84 last year (from the original owners, less than 1000 miles), we contacted Santana with the serial number. This is the response we got:

    "Thank you for riding a new to you Santana Arriva! The numbers from the bikes built in the '80s do not tell us much about the bike, I can tell you that it was built in the '80s...but I can not ID the exact year or other info for you."

    Enjoy that ride. I see it's a "grown up" size frame. = )
    B. Gross
    SoCal

    '96 Cannondale MT1000 "Los Dos" Tandem
    '84 Santana Arriva Tandem
    '87 Specialized Rockhopper
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  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    PastorBob:
    Would suggest to keep using those Scott Matthauser pads. By far rhe best we've ever used.
    Ours lasted for 64,000 miles with only the rear ones showing lotsa wear but still functioning 100%.
    Using Tektro Mini V-brake in rear with KoolStop pads and Shimano calipher up front with Shinmano pads on our Zona tandem. Replaced the KoolStops once in 34,000 miles; Shimanos are still original.
    Your mileage may vary . . .
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  11. #11
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgross View Post
    Very nice!
    When we picked up our '84 last year (from the original owners, less than 1000 miles), we contacted Santana with the serial number. This is the response we got:

    "Thank you for riding a new to you Santana Arriva! The numbers from the bikes built in the '80s do not tell us much about the bike, I can tell you that it was built in the '80s...but I can not ID the exact year or other info for you."

    Enjoy that ride. I see it's a "grown up" size frame. = )
    Thanks for the editional information. I received basically word for word the same email. Here it is in all its helpfulness:

    Congratulations on your new to you 1983 Santana! Serial number will either be on the
    front bottom bracket or on the rear dropouts. This was pre computer and the #s did
    not have much info in them and we do not have a record of the #s of bikes that
    were built before I started working at Santana in 1989...
    As it turned out the serial number was on the rear bottom bracket. I responded back with two more brief questions and the promise to send a picture or two to help ID the year better. So far no response. I guess I could call, but I thought email could be answered when they had time, not when I interupt something.

    Would you mind posting your Serial # and even pictures? It might be helpful in determining now whether mine is an '82 or even an older model that went unsold for a few years.

    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    PastorBob:
    Would suggest to keep using those Scott Matthauser pads. By far rhe best we've ever used.
    Ours lasted for 64,000 miles with only the rear ones showing lotsa wear but still functioning 100%.
    Using Tektro Mini V-brake in rear with KoolStop pads and Shimano calipher up front with Shinmano pads on our Zona tandem. Replaced the KoolStops once in 34,000 miles; Shimanos are still original.
    Your mileage may vary . . .
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
    ZT, Thanks for a recomendation on the Scott-Mathauser pads. I did find a a source for new S-M canti pads. But they are out of stock. I'll see if I can revive the originals and dail in the braking for better performance.
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

    Visit my websites:
    FreeWheelSpa.com orpastorbobnlnh.com

  12. #12
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that Santana's support wasn't all that helpful.

    As for dating your Santana, it's definitely earlier than '83 from what I'm seeing, e.g., the tubing you already mentioned, the marathon frame design, and the "Santana" branding that lawyers for the band Santana finally took exception to and encouraged Santana the bike company to change.

    I'd still recommend calling Santana and asking to speak to Bill McCready if you want your best shot at a definitive answer. Those early tandems were all very special to Bill and I don't think he'll need computer records to peg the production year with the serial number or if he can look at some photos of certain features on your tandem.

  13. #13
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Thanks TG, I believe I will give Bill McCready a call next week. Sounds like the best plan yet.

    Do you know if they came in a variety of colors? Is the Marathon frame style the middle set of stays between the seat stays and the chain stays?
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

    Visit my websites:
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  14. #14
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
    Do you know if they came in a variety of colors? Is the Marathon frame style the middle set of stays between the seat stays and the chain stays?
    Yes, they came in different colors and the Marathon frame style is what you have, whereas Santana's 1983 & up models used only an internal running from the head tube to the rear bottom bracket... aka, a Direct Lateral in Santana lexion.

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    Used to be Conspiratemus
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    Laurel for Bill McCready:

    We called Bill a few years ago when we were trying to decide about a new tandem. (We have one of his 1989 filllet-brazed Targas, bought new.) He was most helpful, even to the point of telling us that if we really liked the Targa we probably wouldn't find his new ones as much fun to ride because he had relaxed the steering geometry since then, going after a different segment of the market. He didn't try to sell us a new fork, just asked us to make sure that our steerer tube had the reinforcing sleeve at the base in case somehow it had got missed -- it was there OK. As an afterthought, we were curious about the serial number: LD004. He told us that in those days, he allowed each frame builder to make up his own serial numbers as long as he didn't duplicate one on another bike. The story -- I'm assuming it's true -- is that ours was built by a boat refugee from Viet Nam, a trained engineer, whom Bill had hired for his brazing skills which are very much in evidence on our bike. Bill referred to him by name with genuine affection. I know some of you will scoff that Mr. D., P.Eng., is no more a real person than Juan Valdez or Betty Crocker but I think it's kind of neat to have the enduring myth of getting a fresh start in the New World literally stamped into one's bicycle. Anyway, he regaled us with tandem lore for a good 15 minutes even after it was clear we weren't going to buy a bike from him.
    "I did not know that!" -- J. Carson

  16. #16
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conspiratemus1 View Post
    Laurel for Bill McCready:

    We called Bill a few years ago when we were trying to decide about a new tandem. (We have one of his 1989 filllet-brazed Targas, bought new.) He was most helpful, even to the point of telling us that if we really liked the Targa we probably wouldn't find his new ones as much fun to ride because he had relaxed the steering geometry since then, going after a different segment of the market. He didn't try to sell us a new fork, just asked us to make sure that our steerer tube had the reinforcing sleeve at the base in case somehow it had got missed -- it was there OK. As an afterthought, we were curious about the serial number: LD004. He told us that in those days, he allowed each frame builder to make up his own serial numbers as long as he didn't duplicate one on another bike. The story -- I'm assuming it's true -- is that ours was built by a boat refugee from Viet Nam, a trained engineer, whom Bill had hired for his brazing skills which are very much in evidence on our bike. Bill referred to him by name with genuine affection. I know some of you will scoff that Mr. D., P.Eng., is no more a real person than Juan Valdez or Betty Crocker but I think it's kind of neat to have the enduring myth of getting a fresh start in the New World literally stamped into one's bicycle. Anyway, he regaled us with tandem lore for a good 15 minutes even after it was clear we weren't going to buy a bike from him.
    Great story. Did he mention what the steering geometry on your bike was or how he relaxed it?

    Thanks, Wayne

  17. #17
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
    Great story. Did he mention what the steering geometry on your bike was or how he relaxed it?

    Thanks, Wayne
    Yes, I'm curious about the steering geometry as well. Also, does anyone have any pictures of a '83 or '84 Santana they can post? Thanks!
    Bob
    Dreaming of Summertime in NH!

    Visit my websites:
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
    Yes, I'm curious about the steering geometry as well. Also, does anyone have any pictures of a '83 or '84 Santana they can post? Thanks!
    I can take some photos of our Elan (Santana folks think it is an '83 or '84). Here's a link to a photo I uploaded to the "pictures of happy tandem couples" thread of my wonderful wife and I climbing in a metric century we did in May, not much bike detail I'm afraid though.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...4&d=1337792270

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