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  1. #1
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    New Tandem Questions

    LBS just received our new tandem frame, a Calfee with ti couplers, some comments and questions:

    Frame is a little heavier than I thought it would be, 4.55kg (10.0 lbs), but I guess maybe that is due to size (64cm captain, 52cm stoker) and the couplers. Might be a little tight getting it built up under 30 pounds, even with some light components. Will know by this weekend.

    Curious about how things come apart with cable splitters. Frame has some built in cable routing that means that splitters can allow sections to be separated, but the front two sections will still be joined by the loose cable unless I remove the tail end of the splitter (due to cable routing at captain seatpost). Is this normal?

    Also looking at the water bottle mounting posts and wondering where the rear derailleur clamp is going to go (see second picture). In between the water bottle mounting posts? Looks like I got a mounting post for a rear fender too?

    Bit of a goof-up in that frame was delivered with an Alpha Q CX (or CX20) in nicely matching paint, which I was not really planning on, doing a mostly Campy Record build, including caliper brakes. So had LBS order an Alpha Q X2 via overnight so we can get the bike built up for the weekend. Guess I might send it back to Calfee for paint later.

    Your thoughts and ideas welcome. I will post pics and further impressions after it's all put together!
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  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mburchard View Post
    Frame is a little heavier than I thought it would be, 4.55kg (10.0 lbs), but I guess maybe that is due to size (64cm captain, 52cm stoker) and the couplers.
    I can't speak to your specific frame weight, but in general any tandem frame's weight will have a proportional relationship with the physical dimensions of you and your stoker. The bigger and/or heavier the team, the more material that needs to go into the frame. I suspect your 64cm frame size may have also required the couplers to be placed in front of your seat tube so that the front section of the bike would fit in a regulation-size travel case.

    Quote Originally Posted by mburchard View Post
    Curious about how things come apart with cable splitters. Frame has some built in cable routing that means that splitters can allow sections to be separated, but the front two sections will still be joined by the loose cable unless I remove the tail end of the splitter (due to cable routing at captain seatpost).
    I've seen the cable routing on the Calfees with couplers (Counselguys and a few others), but I've never taken one apart so I can't say for sure. Perhaps Counselguy or someone else with an S&S Calfee will weigh in here.

    Quote Originally Posted by mburchard View Post
    Also looking at the water bottle mounting posts and wondering where the rear derailleur clamp is going to go (see second picture). In between the water bottle mounting posts? Looks like I got a mounting post for a rear fender too?
    Yes, that would appear to be where it would go. Depending on the water bottle cage, your LBS may need to put a spacer on the bottle posts if there is a clearance problem but that wouldn't affect the function of either one. And, yes, that does look to be a threaded post for fender.

    Look forward to hearing your riding impressions.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Heftier tubes are used in non-lat frames. However, am surprised that with a lat-less frame and only 4 S&S fittings that the frame weight is in the 10 lbs. range.
    A sub-30 lbs tandem is still possible depending on component selection (Zero Gravity brakes, etc). And, 'official full bike weight' does not generally include pedals, 'puter, bottle cages, etc. although they are a necessity.
    Let us know how it rides!

  4. #4
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    It looks a great bike, and from the pics a high quality and well thought through design. Don't be too disappointed if you don't meet the 30lbs target - weight should be a secondary consideration compared with fit, performance (areo, stiffness, comfort) and ability to complete the ride.

    If you are still disappointed I would get on the phone to Carbonsports and get yourself some tandem specced Lightweight wheels. Now that would be cool!

  5. #5
    Bike & SCUBA Sevenrider's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=mburchard;5259494]LBS just received our new tandem frame, a Calfee with ti couplers, some comments and questions:
    Curious about how things come apart with cable splitters. Frame has some built in cable routing that means that splitters can allow sections to be separated, but the front two sections will still be joined by the loose cable unless I remove the tail end of the splitter (due to cable routing at captain seatpost). Is this normal?
    QUOTE]

    Our new Seven came with two sets of cable splitters so the cables split into three section, front, middle and end. You can put the first set in front of the captains down tube and the second just behind which leaves a short length of cable attached to the captains down tube.

    Last night we packed our tandem for the first time. It took a long time to cut and fit all the tube covers. It also is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle to get every thing to fit. I loaded and unloaded several times to get the right combination of parts in each box.

    Hopefully it will make it to Rome without any damage. We leave on Friday night and get back on September 30.

  6. #6
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mburchard View Post
    Frame is a little heavier than I thought it would be, 4.55kg (10.0 lbs), but I guess maybe that is due to size (64cm captain, 52cm stoker) and the couplers. Might be a little tight getting it built up under 30 pounds, even with some light components. Will know by this weekend.
    What did Calfee estimate the frame weight to be when you placed the order?

    Independent of that, nice looking bike. Good luck on component selection.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the suggestions and comments, this is a nice forum.

    TandemGeek, interesting point on the coupler location. I was curious where they would go, I guess maybe normally they would be behind the captain seatpost, but as you point out maybe they are where they are to get them into 26x26 boxes. LBS was surprised at the (small) size of the box when the bike arrived, they shipped it broken down!

    Hermes, on weight I never asked for an estimate. I guess I assumed that it would be maybe 8-9 pounds, 6-7 for the frame, and another two for ti couplers, which in two-inch look to be about half a pound each (just looked this up, actually not as much a savings over steel as I thought they were). Anyway, it is a largish frame, at least on the captain end, so maybe that accounts for the extra weight over numbers that I have seen tossed around here and there.

    Sevenrider, good point/idea on splitting the cables into three parts to deal with couplings in front of the captain seatpost. I think I would only have to do that with the rear brake cable. That, or don't put a splitter on that cable and just completely pull the cable from the rear brake. In the meantime, Sevenrider, have a great trip!

    mrfish, wheels will be Topolinos, maybe not quite as light as something I might be able to get from Carbonsports, but not heavy either, nice looking and hopefully performing, and made in Connecticut not far from where I live.

    Other thing we need to figure out is stoker bars. Have a Calfee barstem (FSA K Wing) for the captain, but we held off on a barstem for the stoker until we get her dialed in. Don't much care for the stoker stem the LBS got, black clamp/tube that takes a silver quil stem. Thinking something to put stiker fairly upright, straight bars maybe, or a pursuit bar set not too far away from her, but seems like I need something 25.4 for the stoker stem. Any ideas? Will have to move quick, because bike will be built tomorrow!

  8. #8
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    I thought that might be the case. Also, in adding couplers, there must be more CF added at each joint. So a tube that has a coupler will have more CF than a tube without a coupler. Increase the size of the frame and you get to 10 pounds.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mburchard View Post
    ....Other thing we need to figure out is stoker bars. Have a Calfee barstem (FSA K Wing) for the captain, but we held off on a barstem for the stoker until we get her dialed in. Don't much care for the stoker stem the LBS got, black clamp/tube that takes a silver quil stem. Thinking something to put stiker fairly upright, straight bars maybe, or a pursuit bar set not too far away from her, but seems like I need something 25.4 for the stoker stem. Any ideas? Will have to move quick, because bike will be built tomorrow!
    I have no particular suggestions for stoker bar and stem. I would suggest that if you cannot figure out something by tomorrow, to just get something cheap and/or resaleable. At least you will be on the road and can give yourselves some breathing as to stokers preferred position.

    Nice bike!

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    The Topolino wheels are a great choice. Craig Calfee first showed a pair on a tandem at Interbike a few years ago; he had reconfigured the rear wheel axle to fit tandem spacing and had nothing but good to say about the wheelset. A very innovative/smart American designed/built set of wheels.
    Have a pair of Topolinos on my single . . . great, light (1383 gr) and have not gone out of true in almost 3 years of riding solo.
    Craig and I did some 'ear-bending' with the Topo folks at Interbike for a couple years, and lo-and-behold for 2007 they came up with a tandem-specific wheelset!
    We utilize a custom c/f adjustable stoker stem and c/f E-90 dropbars on our Zona tandem.
    Be looking forward to your ride report!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  11. #11
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    New Tandem Question

    TandemGeek highlighted the cable issue given I have just had to address this on my Calfee with couplers. The splitters were originally placed about two inches behind the captain's seat tube in the stoker compartment. The problem with that location would be obvious only when you would take the bike apart and realize that you didn't have enough cable slack to remove the captain bars from the stem when breaking down the tandem. That would be a problem when you were packing it in the case.

    Thank goodness that Mel from TandemsEast saw the problem at ETR - Unfortunately, the bike shop that sold us the bike and built it up created the problem - not a surprise given some of the other problems we have had.

    Mel suggested that additional splitters be placed on all three cables in front of the captain's seat post so that the cables would not restrict how the captain bars could be placed in the case. This has since been done.

    Looks like you have gotten a very pretty frame. I am confident that you will be very pleased with the bike once you have built it up. Our 6 couplers (we ordered ours with a lateral tube) are all in the stoker's compartment. It surprised me how they were placed, but it breaks down quite easily.

    Good luck, and have a great celebration after your first ride.

    Counselguy
    2007 Calfee Tetra

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