The great thing about smaller shows like Philly Bike Expo is the laid back atmosphere, where we have time to hear the stories behind more than just the latest and greatest. Last time, Santana’s owner, Bill McCready, gave us a fantastic materials science talk. This time, he had less to say, mainly because this monstrous bike was built in his absence.
Santana leads group tandem tours overseas. On their last trip, while they were nonchalantly letting participants play around on the BionX equipped e-tandem shown at the bottom of this post, his employees were busy welding together this prototype fat bike. The expo was the first time anyone else had really seen it, and it was hard to miss…
Rack and accessory mounts are placed throughout. Things like max wheel clearance, axle widths and other specs weren’t known. Not just because McReady didn’t know yet, but because this was the first prototype and they weren’t sure how things will end up if it makes it into production.
Despite that, it looked pretty well thought out for a first try.
It takes big, custom 10″ (254mm) rotors to bring two people and heavy ass tires to a stop.
Those same rotors are used across their range, though most road-going tandems still use a V-brake on the front.
McCready said the Suntour fork was one of the only ones they found sturdy enough to handle a tandem’s increased bike and rider load.
This BionX hub motor powered tandem is something they’re still experimenting with and was shown at NAHBS, too.