Few Things Scream "I Love You" Like Evolve, the $20K Monocoque Carbon Tandem Bike

Evolve Carbon Fiber Tandem Bike 8 photos
Photo: Santana Tandem
Samedi 27 X2 TRK Tandem E-BikeSamedi 27 X2 TRK Tandem E-BikeEvolve BrakesEvolve Carbon Fiber Tandem BikeEvolve Carbon Fiber Tandem BikeEvolve CassetteEvolve/Reveal Frame
Today is one of those days when you should be grabbing your significant other and, do whatever life throws at you. Well, one thing you can do is grab hold of this $20K carbon tandem bike and hit the streets in unison.
Ladies and gents, today is a special day, one meant to be celebrated with long walks, extravagant dinners, countless flowers, and, well, you know the rest. However, if you and your better half are avid cyclists or want to be, today is the perfect day to ride a tandem bike.

However, nobody wants to ride around on a hunk of aluminum or steel, not today. Today, if you're going to say "I love you" with material objects, then you should settle for nothing less than a carbon fiber behemoth that starts off priced at $19,995 (€17,682 at current exchange rates). There are no extra ones and zeros; this is a $20K machine.

Evolve, as it's been dubbed, is a tandem bike built by a crew specializing in nothing else, Santana Tandem. This crew from La Verne, California, has been around since 1976, but they initially started with a different name, Santana Cycles. However, that history rivals Trek's, so expect to see some magic.

According to Santana, Evolve is "the world's first production monocoque carbon tandem." That alone makes it worthy of the title "flagship," and Santana feels the same way. But there is a bit more to this story than meets the eye.

First of all, the reason you'll rarely find a tandem bike completed from carbon fiber is that very few manufacturers deem it worthy of creating one for such a "niche" market. Let's face it, how many people have you seen riding tandem around town?

Samedi 27 X2 TRK Tandem E\-Bike
Photo: Moustache Bikes
Because Santana doesn't own their own proprietary blend of carbon fiber, they had to open a partnership with a carbon manufacturing crew. Who better for the job than Criterion Composites?

If Criterion sounds unfamiliar, it's because this rather tightknit group specializes in nothing more than analyzing, designing, and manufacturing composite materials. They seem to do it all from bicycle frames to forks, race car components, drone components, and prosthetic limbs.

Now, as difficult as building a tandem bike out of carbon may be, there are reasons why it should be done, and one of those reasons is the ability to manipulate stiffness and weight to your liking. Well, Santana's liking, but they're on top of their game.

Overall, Evolve is based on Santana's Reveal frame design. This is where some proprietary action comes in as Santana is one of the few crews that decided to do tandem bikes differently. And in doing so are now held in high regard because of their machine.

Other than this, absolutely nothing more is said about the machine. Oh, it features a carbon fork, as if there was any doubt. There is no mention of the sort of drivetrain that may be found, but honestly, if you're going to spend $20K on a bike, you might as well drop another $2K or so and grab something nice.

Evolve Cassette
Photo: Santana Tandem
Maybe a SRAM AXS wireless drivetrain. Why not? It's only Valentine's Day once a year, and a bike like this should last you a lifetime if maintained and ridden properly. However, looking closely at the images in the gallery, we can see the word Dura-Ace, and Shimano is responsible for that lineup.

There is something I would like to point out, however. Looking at the images in the gallery, the rear crankset and cassette are linked via a chain; nothing wrong with that. However, the forward crankset is connected to the rear one via a timing belt, similar to Gates Cardon Drive. If it is Gates, it's unclear.

One other trick that Santana hides up their bikes' sleeves is the ability to be transformed into a ride suitable for bikepacking. A couple of mounts can be found on the seat tubes, and each handlebar set can be equipped with cargo bags. The same holds true for the top tubes too.

Since the manufacturer makes no mention of how much this machine weighs, we had to do a bit of hunting, and according to Road Bike Action Magazine, Evolve comes in with a weight of just 27.56 lbs (12.5 kg).

Frankly speaking, it's not every day you buy a tandem bike, so if you're going to, you might as well spend as much as you would on a new car. After all, are you trying to make a statement or what?
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Editor's note: Images in the gallery also reveal an electric tandem bike from Moustache Bikes.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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