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Santana tandem?

Old 10-05-13, 03:20 PM
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Santana tandem?

I found this entry on CL. It's nearby. We will be there tomorrow to play at Applecrest, so a stop to look is required. It's almost C&V even!

Any comments on the model? I know it isn't the latest equipment but that's part of the charm.

https://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bid/4088385146.html
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Old 10-05-13, 03:41 PM
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Curious about the 27" inch wheels on a mid 90s frame. Is this a "tandem thing" ?
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Old 10-05-13, 03:47 PM
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That's within about $100-$150 of what I'd pay for a project Santana.
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Old 10-05-13, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by thinktubes View Post
Curious about the 27" inch wheels on a mid 90s frame. Is this a "tandem thing" ?
I thought it was curious too. Perhaps a PO did a conversion from 700c. AFAIK it is not a tandem thing, but 650B wheels are sometimes used. Our '82 Peugeot even has 700c, but I wouldn't have been surprised to find it with 27". I'm not too worried about that. If the brakes can handle 700c I can always re-string the wheels myself, should there ever be a wheel problem. I may eventually string up a front wheel with a hub generator anyway.

Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
That's within about $100-$150 of what I'd pay for a project Santana.
Thanks. I thought it was a good price for a complete bike, even though I'll have to make some changes. Will probably want shorter stoker crank arms. May need to re-position the stoker handlebar. Otherwise there is lots to like. But that assumes there is nothing inherently wrong with it.
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Old 10-05-13, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Looks really beat, otherwise, price would be OK.
The right-side bar wrap is split but I think the dark areas on the frame are just shadows. The brakes are rigged just like our Peugeot. The stoker's saddle is way too far back, which makes it look odd. Won't really know until I see it.

I was curious if there was any known weakness of this model. For example, headset.
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Old 10-05-13, 09:04 PM
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Santana tandems are pretty nice...

My .02 - tandems are a WEIRD market, both buying and selling. You never get what you want for them selling them, but it's hard to find the right one because you're sizing 2 people. Hard to sell, but also hard to buy, creating an interesting approach to supply and demand. Because of that, I think it might make sense paying a little more if it's a nice tandem and it fits. Never buy a tandem to flip - but if you want one, pay what it takes to ride a nice one that fits both of you.
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Old 10-05-13, 11:04 PM
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Well if it fits for both riders most don't this is a Good buy if its the type bike your looking for. It is just the both the buying and selling market for really nice tandems like this is so slim. Myself and most of the other guys here at BF's can't give you a lot of help true value wise..
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Old 10-06-13, 05:53 PM
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Thanks everyone who responded. We got by that shop today and checked it out. First, I'd probably jump at it if we didn't already have a good tandem and were looking for one. We couldn't ride it today but it did not seem like much of an upgrade over what we have now.

The shop owner said he'd been told it was a '95 or '96. I'm not sure about that. Some observations:

It had seen some serious riding but decent care. It bore an "across America" sticker (I don't recall the exact wording and didn't read it closely). The paint showed some scratches (as does ours after just a few years) and some spots had been touched up to protect the metal (not for cosmetics because the color didn't match very well). It was steel (I tried a magnet) and bore a Columbus sticker. A little bit of surface rust was showing in places, possibly because the shop owner would move it outside whenever the shop was open, like today when it was raining.

The RD was Shimano Diore (I think it said DX), the FD a Shimano Deerhead (did they match? I don't think so but could be wrong, that time period is outside my vocabulary). The large chainrings were almost identical, the granny very small, like 52/49/24 or even 53/50/20. The large ring was spaced far enough away from the middle that the chain could drop between them. (A poor chain choice? Maybe it was an Ultra chain for a Suntour Ultra-7 freehwheel.) The levers were ratcheted barcons, presumably Suntour.

The brakes were Shimano cantilevers, with a nice air-cooled rear drum. The levers were dual on the right hand, but instead of rigged with cantis on one hand and drum on the other, the right hand operated both the rear canti and the drum. That defeats the purpose of having a drum for a drag brake that wouldn't overheat the rim on long descents. (I've heard it argued that this was never really necessary.)

The hubs were sealed-bearing Specialized, I think, the rims stamped 27"x1 1/4" Ukai. Both wheels had 48 spokes. The wheels were true.

The biggest disappointment came when he put it on his Park scale. It read 51lbs! It didn't feel like 51lbs, and may have felt a little lighter than our Peugeot which I've measured at a bit over 40lbs. Even so, it wasn't a 10lb weight drop over our current bike. I do not believe his scale.

So even if I could make it fit my 5'2" stoker (and I believe it could be done), there wasn't much to be gained. Bummer. It would have been a fun project too.
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Old 10-06-13, 08:24 PM
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Jim - I think you might be missing something; tandems improved more than other steel bikes because of OS tubing. The advantage isn't really weight, it's stiffness. Older tandems ride like wet noodles compared to modern ones, and Santana had a lot to do with ushering in modern tandem design. No, it's probably not much lighter - but I think its ride might surprise you. I speak from experience here.
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Old 10-06-13, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
Jim - I think you might be missing something; tandems improved more than other steel bikes because of OS tubing. The advantage isn't really weight, it's stiffness. Older tandems ride like wet noodles compared to modern ones,...
Thanks for the reply, KonAaron. I'm sure you are right. But our total team weight is only about 275lbs, our Peugeot has an oversized oval keel tube and twin laterals, and I've never felt it was a wet noodle at all. Not even when loaded with 55lbs of camping gear. Well, okay, with enough load in the panniers I can feel them sway. Now, had we ridden the Santana I might feel differently. For now I'll stay blissfully ignorant!
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