Brief background: My wife and I have ridden our 1980's Burley Bossa Nova tandem for over 15 years, off and on. Having recently upgraded our road bikes (after 20 years on the last one) I really appreciate the jump in technology in improving the overall ride experience. The Burley is a slow handling bike and laborious to get going. So we have decided to upgrade our tandem with the intent of doing 50-80 mile rides with occasional 2-3 day trips with light packing of clothes only. We are a 370 lb team which I feel factors into our decision.
We have test ridden several tandems and have narrowed it down to a Co-motion Speedster or Carrera. The Speedster and Carrera were both significant improvements to our current tandem and very enjoyable to ride. My quandary is that I prefer the Carrera and felt that it handled better and accelerated better, but I don't know if I'm just convincing myself of that or there is an actual noticeable difference. The Carrera has a carbon fork, timing belt, Rolf wheels and a lighter frame compared to the Speedster. Both were using the same tire inflated to the same pressure. The analytical side would say that those options would not provide an appreciable difference in acceleration but handling might feel different based on the fork and wheels. My gut says get the Carrera but my brain says stick with the Speedster - mostly for the durability factor. The cost difference is not a factor for us between the two bikes.
Would you expect there to really be a noticeable difference or am I just imagining it?