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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 09-15-07, 06:35 PM   #1
mburchard
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New Ride!

First ride on our new tandem today, and my first time on a tandem! 25 miles without tipping over, and no scary moments. Easier than I thought it would be, bike seems quite stable, is comfortable, and brakes and shifting are good.

Some snags though, issues with not getting exactly what I thought I was getting ...

In addition to the bike coming with a (cantilever brake) fork I did not really want, and for which we subbed an Alpha Q X2:

Rear brake bridge was raised, so can't use normal caliper brakes, have to use long reach, so now have a Campy Record brake on the front, and a Tektro on the back. Craig says he can move the bridge, apparently entails some heat and other, I assume repainting, not happy about that.

Also thinking my ti couplers are actually stainless. That, or they are made out of a magnetic titanium (magnet sticks to them, which I believe means they could not be titanium). This would also explain why the frame is a tad heavier than I thought it might be. Anyway, so rear brake bridge is maybe moot, because this would mean I am probably going to end up with an entirely new frame. To be sorted out Monday ...

Routing of rear brake cable seems strange, rather than tucking it under the top tube it runs along the left edge, sticking out. My leg didn't rub against it, but I don't see why you would have cable runs along the outer edges of a top tube (see pic attached).

Paint job is really neat. Viewed in direct light it is blue, at an angle purple, see pics ...

Reedie, my stoker, was happy with her setup, had a good time, and is looking forward to our next ride. I think this is going to be a lot of fun.
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Old 09-15-07, 07:33 PM   #2
zonatandem
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Sounds like there may have been some mis-communication between dealer and Calfee as usually his bikes are up to snuff as ordered.
Ti couplers are lighter than stainless and also considerably pricier; and ti, alu, magnesium and c/f are all non-magnetic.
Cableruns are usually not a problem and if knee does not hit cable connectors, count it as a plus. If cable slaps against frame on bouncy roads, add some of those little black rubber donuts onto the cable. There are no other choices (except internal cable runs and that will not work with cable splitters) as your seattube gets in the way and you have no lateral where cable could be run.
We run a Mini-Tektro on the rear and D/A caliper front . . . works perfect for us.
Couplers, fork and brake bridge are the bigger issues.
How did you like the Topolinos?
As far as paint work, Calfees are great.
We have always put everything in writing when ordering a custom tandem, that way there are no assumption .
Good looking bike!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 09-15-07, 07:35 PM   #3
zonatandem
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Sounds like there may have been some mis-communication between dealer and Calfee as usually his bikes are up to snuff as ordered.
Ti couplers are lighter than stainless and also considerably pricier; and ti, alu, magnesium and c/f are all non-magnetic.
Cableruns are usually not a problem and if knee does not hit cable connectors, count it as a plus. If cable slaps against frame on bouncy roads, add some of those little black rubber donuts onto the cable. There are no other choices (except internal cable runs and that will not work with cable splitters) as your seattube gets in the way and you have no lateral where cable could be run.
We run a Mini-Tektro on the rear and D/A caliper front . . . works perfect for us.
Couplers, fork and brake bridge are the bigger issues.
How did you like the Topolinos?
As far as paint work, Calfees are great.
We have always put everything in writing when ordering a custom tandem, that way there are no assumptions.
Good looking bike!
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 09-16-07, 04:29 PM   #4
mburchard
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Just received a note from Craig, apparently all coupler nuts are stainless, even with (the underlying) ti couplers, because of galling problems with ti on ti. This was news to me.

Given my experience level with tandems not sure I am well positioned to opine on the Topolinos, but I do have plenty of experience on singles, and the Calfee/Topolino combo seems like quite a nice ride. I was a little nervous about the difficulty of handling, 25 miles later I feel good about it.

Duly noted on the brake cable run. I thought it could maybe be tucked a bit towards the bottom, but neither of us is hitting it so no worries.

Last edited by mburchard; 09-16-07 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 09-17-07, 09:29 AM   #5
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Very nice.

Just be careful leaning the bike against posts as in the photo. Someone will jogs it or it will over balance on its own, then bye bye top tube paint or even worse bye bye carbon fibre. Better to lean on the bars and scrape the bar tape or better still to lean the bike against a wall using the rear tyre only.
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Old 09-18-07, 07:42 AM   #6
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You never rode a tandem & went straight for a Calfee? You must have been very confident that you would enjoy tandeming! Looks like a very nice bike. How much does it weigh?
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Old 09-18-07, 09:06 AM   #7
mburchard
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Yeah, it was a bit of a leap, but you only go around once :-)

I bought Reedie, my wife, a nice road bike and was hoping she would get out with me on that, but she worried a lot about crashing and keeping up and has ended up not using it much. But she is very much into fitness (and chatting), and was quite keen on the idea of a tandem (and rode one a little bit as a child), so we went for it.

Frame alone was 10.0 lbs, and bike fully built (with pedals and cages) is 30.5 lbs. Couple of things could drop that pretty close to 30, getting her a barstem after she is dialed in, and subbing a regular carbon post for the USE RX carbon post she is on now.
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