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Canondale or Santana?????(10 posts)

Canondale or Santana?????james2u
Jan 21, 2002 9:03 PM
Has anyone ridden both of these Tandem makes and can give an honest comparision. I keep hearing that the Canondales's are stiffer. Thanks ahead of time for your input.
re: Canondale or Santana?????MrCelloBoy
Jan 21, 2002 9:58 PM
My bet would be on the Cannondale for stiffness, but stiff isn't always better.
Jan 22, 2002 4:54 AM
I've captained on Cannondales, Treks and Alumimum, Steel and Ti Santanas. Among others.

I should mention that we like long rides, I think last year we averaged about 90 miles every time we rode our tandem. Also we don't weigh much, perhaps 250lbs between the 2 of us.

My first conclusion is that Al tandems are built way too stiff unless you are huge or just want to do short race type rides. My second conclusion is that unless you want to hear endless complaints from the stoker about rough roads avoid aluminum tandems-even suspension seatposts and fat tires are not enough (I haven't ridden a beam tandem though).

Steel is pretty nice for tandems-at least the ones I've ridden. We own a Santana Team Ti now-very comfortable indeed-Miss M doesn't even use a suspension post.

For what it is worth if MrCelloBoy offered to loan us his Carbon Calfee I'd take him up on it. ;-)
I have a Trek but .....McAndrus
Jan 22, 2002 4:59 AM
I've ridden with enough Cannondale and Santana tandems to render a second-hand opinion.

Santana is a premier brand, very well liked by their owners. They are considered comfortable and responsive - as much as a tandem can be responsive.

Cannondale's are more performance oriented. I think their better tandems are absolutely beautiful to look at. But from the riders' opinions I've heard, they are stiffer. My wife will testify that 100 miles of stoking can be tough on the body.

My Trek, on the other hand .... well we call it "The Lead Sled."
Customer service?nee Spoke Wrench
Jan 22, 2002 6:16 AM
I've owned three Santanas, including a very nice Nivacrom framed Noventa currently. They do a lot of things well and are the top selling brand.


Woe unto the poor schlub who has to encounter their customer service department. They offer the toughest warrenty to access in the business.
We've had really good service from them.MB1
Jan 22, 2002 7:32 AM
But then we are pretty good customers. Done a couple of their tours, bought 2 tandems from them and know some of the people there from a past life in the bike biz.

Gotta remember Santana is a really small company as far as companies go. Leave a message and they will get back to you. Better yet go through a dealer and let them hassle it.

BTW I am halfway jealous of your Noventa, care to let us know a little about it? How does it ride? What rides have you done on it? Made any changes? What would you change about it?
I don't know what you'd want to upgrade.nee Spoke Wrench
Jan 22, 2002 4:33 PM
Fillet brazed, flawless shadeshifter paint - it's the prettiest bike I've ever seen. Stock components include Hadley hubs and bottom brackets, Ultegra cranks and a Flite Deck computer. Uh - the stock handlebar tape isn't up to the rest of the bike.

We changed out the saddles to the ones our fannies were used to, added a Blackburn rear rack, swapped the pedals for 747's, purged the hydraulic rear disc and switched to a higher boiling temperature brake fluid.
You really need to test rideAFred
Jan 22, 2002 8:06 AM
both of them to judge which best suits you and your partner. This means more than just a spin around the parking lot. Any shop worth its salt will let you take their demo rigs out for a spin.

After riding nearly every brand of tandem available, we chose the Cannondale because of its responsiveness. Our rides tend to be short and fast. So far no complaints from my stoker. We got a great deal on a leftover RT1000, which we then upgraded to Ultegra components making it into an RT3000 model and we haven't looked back since.

You should check out the Tandem @ Hobbes list server for reviews and info on the models you are interested in. It's the definitive source for everything tandem.
You really need to test rideMartin
Jan 22, 2002 2:17 PM
Agree on the test ride. I test rode both the cannondale and santana (sovereign), I prefered the Santana (smoother ride). But based on info I found I went with a Meridian Ascension, no test ride, but Meridian offers a 30 day money back guarentee u can return their bikes for any reason. The owner used to work for Santana and his frames are similar although he has modified them as a result of some Easton stress tests and concerns he had. Based on my rides I would say the Cannondale is the stiffest and harshest ride, while the Santana rides very smooth but may be a little soft. The Meridian rides slightly stiffer than the Santana but is still very smooth. Anyway you can check them out at . Price wise the Meridian is slightly cheaper than the Santana. Also, I recommend you call both Santana, and Meridian and ask them questions about what you are looking for in a Tandem, I found them both to be very helpful. I was unable to get very good responses from Cannondale although their tandems are probably the best bang for the buck, my biggest complaint with the Cannondale was the super stiff harsh ride. Remember though, it is better to be too stiff than too flexy regarding tandems!!!

Customer service was great I received the tandem and failed to initially notice damage to the shipping box which had resulted in a small dent in one of the seatstay. I thought I was screwed since I failed to notice the damage when the shipper dropped of the box. But Jim at Meridian Bicycle Works shipped the bike back, to assess the damage, at his expense, he then moved all the components over to a new frame and shipped it back to me again at his expense. I couldn't have asked for anything more.
re: Canondale or Santana?????David Feldman
Jan 23, 2002 4:32 PM
I'd go with a specialty maker for a tandem. Santana has built good tandems for longer, but Co-Motion has built BETTER tandems for long enough to know what they're doing and Burley has become a good tandem and is an exceptional value. I'd say don't buy any tandem that isn't made in Eugene, Oregon.