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PBE14: Santana Goes Really, Really Big with Cirque Fat Bike Tandem!

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Santana Cirque fat bike tandem prototype mountain bike

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…

Santana Cirque fat bike tandem prototype mountain bike

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.

Santana Cirque fat bike tandem prototype mountain bike

Despite that, it looked pretty well thought out for a first try.

Santana Cirque fat bike tandem prototype mountain bike

Santana Cirque fat bike tandem prototype mountain bike

It takes big, custom 10″ (254mm) rotors to bring two people and heavy ass tires to a stop.

santana-tandem-mountain-bikes01

Those same rotors are used across their range, though most road-going tandems still use a V-brake on the front.

santana-tandem-mountain-bikes02

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.

santana-tandem-mountain-bikes04

This BionX hub motor powered tandem is something they’re still experimenting with and was shown at NAHBS, too.

SantanaTandem.com

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14 Comments
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Dan
Dan
8 years ago

is that just the angle or does that santana have some serious toe overlap?

Will Hilgenberg
8 years ago

Another question, are the rotors on backwards?

Mario
Mario
8 years ago

why use such huge rotors which you can not replace from any other source? Seems like unnecessary lock-in…

Greg
Greg
8 years ago

Those rotors are sick.

john parker
john parker
8 years ago

****why use such huge rotors which you can not replace from any other source? Seems like unnecessary lock-in…****

really? did u notice that these are on a tandem fat bike?

Burnt-Orange
Burnt-Orange
8 years ago

I have 203mm rotors on my fat tandem and they seem just fine , now get that stroker some pedals

Dolan Halbrook
Dolan Halbrook
8 years ago

Really surprised to see mechanical calipers on that fat bike…

gino
gino
8 years ago

@Mario and @Dolan

Santana has almost always insisted on such huge rotors probably because they always spec some weird disc brake no one else has ever used claiming that none of the commercially available brakes are good enough. Apparently some cable brake picked from a Taiwanese catalog with a name of Bengal is better than all of the other discs out there (as long as you use it with a huge rotor).

It’s all very santana like, just witness the hayes like caliper mount on those frames and fat bike fork.

It’s not that santana makes bad stuff, but why? why? why?

Terry
Terry
8 years ago

santana’s 190mm rear spacing never made sense to me either (I’m talking about before there were fat bikes).

love that rotor. instead of 203s I want 254s now!!!!

Tandem Guy
Tandem Guy
8 years ago

I agree with Burnt-Orange: 203mm rotors work just fine. At least they do on our Rogue Cycles FAT tandem, and we’re rolling 4″ tires on 80mm rims with a 350 lb team. Yeah, 203’s are just fine. And another thing, we roll with an MRP (White Brothers) suspension fork on our da Vinci and it’s superb. I’d much rather spec readily available and/or US made components as much as possible to avoid getting stuck with a broken bike for which the LBS can’t get components.

Tom
Tom
8 years ago

Well, I thought that bike looked like a blast. My stoker (wife), however, apparently believes that regular old dry conditions tandem riding is adequately challenging. The coward (he bravely says, knowing she does not frequent this site)!

jeff
jeff
8 years ago

I too believe that you dont need those 10″ rotors, those caliper adaptors mounts look scary also. Ive gotten away with 203mm rotors on my tandems without ever suffering a problem, but those rotors on the Santana’s can easily be swapped for smaller, more availible rotors if needed.

Tandem Guy
Tandem Guy
8 years ago

Tom – I speak from personal experience that a fat tire tandem is the bomb! If you’re shopping, put one on your list. Fun in the snow for sure, but also awesome for gravel grinding, beach riding, single and double track, and for attracting a crowd! If you’re in the Michigan area, both Rogue Cycles and Quiring Cycles are making them. If you’re in the south east, MTBTandems will be selling Ventana fat tire tandems. Lots of choices, you can’t go wrong from a fun factor!

dl
dl
8 years ago

@dolan I agreel granted I live in Socal and don’t have to deal with temperature ranges, but it seems like Saint brakes plus 203 Freeza rotors would work far better than mechanical, no-name plus 254 rotors.

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