Santana Cycles Inc. Sovereign 2002 Road Tandem Bike

DESCRIPTION

By offering an dynamic combination of efficiency, stability, comfort, speed and reliability, the Sovereign has become the most successful tandem in history. Never complacent, we''ve raised the bar again. Compare specifications or experience a test ride—the 2002 Sovereign remains unbeatable.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-5 of 5  
[Jul 30, 2007]
Larry
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Ride

Weakness:

brakes

Great machine (Santana Team AL) for handling/riding. New disk systme (10 in.) is a total piece of junk. I have tried three difference rotors and calibers and still get load vibration noise.

[Dec 07, 2003]
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Light weight, great group (Ultegra triple), strong wheels. Extremely good attention to detail. Santana resale, and warranty support.

Weakness:

Ultegra BB tends to back out (make sure to loctite and torque to spec after a couple of rides), chainring bolts came loose (same deal; loctite and torque). Friggin front derailer just does not work well in triple formation. (These are all Shimano issues, and relatively minor). Captain's seat post clamp is too weak (should be a 6mm bolt). This is a Santana problem. Serfas seats; my wife loves hers but I find too much padding keeps my rear end from breathing. I'm happier with Selle Italia Flite/Turbomatic Gel, etc. (personal preference)

Our second tandem (the first was a used Ibis Easystreet; nice bike but did not fit us well). Like any bike, fit is critical, but a little tougher to figure vs. a single. We looked for almost 2 years for a decent deal. (used, closeout, etc.) In the end, we spent more than we wanted to and purchased a 2002 closeout with a full Carbon Reynolds fork. I have to say that this has been one of the best, if not THE best, investment in our health and relationship that we have ever made. My wife and I had problems riding together due to skill differences. If I went too fast, she was unhappy; if she was too slow, I was unhappy. The tandem bridges the gap very well. It is a lot of money, but the attention to detail and quality of construction of Santana simply can not be beat. Also, if you check used prices, Santana consistenly has the highest resale value. You get what you pay for. Quit thinking about it; find a qualified shop, take a test ride, and you'll be hooked. Oh; little known tip; if the captain and stoker are of similar height, consider an AX 50 (Santana); it allows you to adjust the throw and height of the stoker's bar quite a bit. The stoker will thank you for it.

Similar Products Used:

Ibis Easystreet. Considered Trek, Cannondale (seem like afterthought bikes and resale is poor), Co-Motion (nice machines, but the geometry doesn't fit me

[Dec 03, 2002]
Bob Hodges
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Solid frame design, smooth ride, stable and predictable handling traits, and excellent customer service. I recently found a 1" square spot where the paint has bubbled on the frame, contacted Santana, and they have agreed to completely repaint the frame free of charge (this is a frame I have owned for 3-1/2 years).

Weakness:

None

Solid frame and good component choices make for an overall well engineered package. My 1998 Red Sovereign has been upgraded from the stock 105/XTR drivetrain to the new Dura Ace Triple group with bar end shifters (IMO bar ends are as easy to use as STI and more reliable for use with a triple chainring setup). I also replaced the stock 45 cm handlebar with a narrower and lighter TTT unit that matches my shoulder width better and I installed a shorter stem to duplicate the setup on my single road bike. Another major upgrade I did was to replace the stock cro-moly fork with the new Santana/Reynolds carbon fork. This not only lightened up the bike but provided quicker steering response and further dampened out road vibration (let me say that the stock steel fork is also very good and provides smooth and predictable performance).

Similar Products Used:

This is the first and only tandem I have ever owned.

[Sep 01, 2002]
emarsh
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Safe, smooth ride. Exquisitely well thought out combination of components and frame geometry.

Weakness:

They are expensive, but development is costly as is quality customer service. You get what you pay for.

Santana has a very nice catalog/brochure that has detailed information about their bikes and what it's like to own and ride a tandem. My wife and I didn't care to do exhaustive research on all the tandem manufacturers, but we test rode the Sovereign and loved it. We bought the bike based on two, half hour test rides and have found all the claims and statements in the Santana brochure to be 100% true. A tandem really does allow two riders of different abilities to enjoy riding together for any distance. A 30 mile ride takes 90-100 minutes even for recreational riders like us. The Sovereign has no design issues that we can think of after two years of riding. Everything works great and nothing has broken after many miles (knock on wood). We can keep up with stronger riders which is a real thrill. We have also pulled our two kids many miles in an Orby trailer without any problems (quite a sight to see). The stock brakes and gearing allow us to handle the additional load in our hilly terrain no problem. For those considering whether or not to buy the cheaper steel or the more expensive aluminum Santana tandems, we own both (Arriva and Sovereign). I find aluminum singles bikes to be substantially harsher and punishing than steel singles bikes. In Santana tandems, the difference between the Arriva (steel) and Sovereign (aluminum) is negligible. In fact, I doubt I could tell which is which if blindfolded. Both give a very comfortable and forgiving ride. Both are confidence inspiring and allow safe, wicked fast descents. Any weight difference is inconsequential for us. At this point, I can't see much of a reason to spend the extra money on the aluminum; both bikes work great, ride great, and look great. Santana has friendly, helpful and patient tech support people. Cars give you a much wider berth when passing you (because of the curiousity factor?). It's been great. Don't waste time wringing your hands over the steel vs. aluminum question. The differences are probably not important with the long wheelbase of the tandem; get the one that you can afford and start riding again with your spouse for the first time in years.

Similar Products Used:

none

[Jul 25, 2002]
keithmisegades
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Fit and finish, ride, Tandem only manufacturer ensures that you get a bike with a lot of thought put into it. Hadley hubs are very well made.

Weakness:

Original V-brakes were junk. Replace them. Formula disc brake with the remote master cylinder is very difficult to work on. Poorly designed front derailleur clamp had to be replaced with an upgraded model within 2 months of purchase. Original rims dented easily. I built new wheels with Mavic's 519 rims and haven't had a problem and we are a light team (< 300 lbs total weight with tandem). Bullhorn bars for stoker stick. Change them. High price, but I believe in buying something only once.

This is the yardstick to which all other tandems should be measured. It is a Porsche in Mercedes-Benz clothing. I have ridden many bicycles for the past 21 years and I can say that this bike is smoother than many singles I have owned. The fit and finish is exemplary due to wonderful welds and the outstanding DuPont paint job. This frame is reponsive when you want to jump on it and yet it doesn't waver when the pavement gets rough. It handles well on steep descents and I always feel like I am in control. With two riders who are capable of averaging 16-18 on most rides, we can leave everyone in the dust at a drop of the hat. Of course, climbing is another issue. This tandem is very stable when we are both standing while surmounting a hill. Forget looking at all other tandems and doing a lot of research, just go buy this one. I have worked in many bike shops and this tandem is a joy to work on.

Similar Products Used:

Santana Rio, Fisher Mtn tandem (Yes, they did make one)

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