Because stiffness is essential to controlling any bike, especially one with two riders and a long wheelbase, tandems built by Santana routinely use some of the largest tubing diameters available. This is especially important for the tubes that connect the drivetrain and wheels, i.e. the fork blades, down tube, bottom tube and chainstays. No other builder uses larger tubes in these essential areas.
Increasing the diameter of frame tubing while keeping the wall thickness constant, however, gives a bike a harsher ride. Because comfort is invariably proportional to the wall thickness of the thinnest section of tube, the first part of the solution to this problem is double-butted tubing. For this reason, every tube on every model is internally double-butted, a claim no other major tandem manufacturer can make.
Santana’s second unique solution to the stiffness/comfort conundrum requires the strongest possible alloys. How can tubing strength affect comfort? By selecting the strongest seamless alloys, larger tubes can be custom drawn to exceptionally thin gauges.
To this end Santana has worked extensively with Easton, Columbus, Eco and VyaTek to create the best tandem-specific tubesets ever drawn. Santana is proud to say that we build all of our frames from large-diameter, double-butted tubes that are produced in thinner gauges than tubes used by other builders—a difference that provides an unbeatable ride quality. Further, among tandem builders, Santana alone uses Easton’s Scandium, Columbus’ Spirit Niobium and VyaTek’s ultra-high modulus.
Tubing that can provide phenomenal control and stiffness without numbing harshness isn’t cheap, and is, accordingly, the most expensive in use today. Superior tubing, a hallmark of Santana tandems, allows a balance of weight, stiffness and comfort that is beyond the reach of others.