Well, I think it's all done. The last things I needed to do to put the finishing touches on our Calfee Tetra Tandem before doing a final first year wrap up were:
a. Installing the rear disc and making sure it worked properly; it's been magnificent: check!
b. Customize and install full coverage mudguards for "use as required"; they've worked out just fine: check!
c. Finish trimming it out for tours with a rack and luggage: as of tonight, check!
The rack and luggage arrived today from the UK and I couldn't be more pleased. I started doing my homework on racks and luggage in mid-November and after checking out the usual sources here in the states I decided to see how the pricing was at some of the European Etailers. I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled onto the Wiggle site and found the Tubus racks and Ortlieb panniers I'd been looking at priced well below anything I'd found thus far even in light of the strong British Pound.
So, on November 26th I decided to pull the trigger with Wiggle and ordered up a Tubus Fly rack for £37.58 ($56.01), a Tubus QR Kit for £16.47 ($24.54) as I knew I'd have to monkey around with the rack installation to accommodate our short rear stays and the rear disc and set of Ortlieb Back Roller Plus panniers for £79.65 ($118.72). The icing on the cake was "free shipping" and, as it turned out, no sales tax or duty. My order arrived yesterday, December 1st, which is really amazing.
Although the photos are pretty awful, you can see the rack and panniers installed on our Calfee in the images attached to this posting. Like most things that I do, the Tubus Fly rack installation is a bit of a customization. In addition to cold-setting the rack to fit around the stays on our tandem, I modified the Tubus QR mounting brackets so that I could use them to position the rack whereby my rear disc would fall into the rack's "crotch". I also had to install a set of fairly wide nylon spacers (they came with the QR kit) to get some extra clearance between the rack and the disc. Finally, I carried over a trick from our Erickson travel tandem for mounting the front rack stay to the tandem whereby an extra seat post clamp is shimmed and trimmed so that it can sit on the seat post and function as an anchor for the rack.
All said and done, I'm really happy with the installation. I'd thought about buying the Tubus Disco rack that's designed to work with disc-equipped bicycles; however, Wiggle didn't carry that particular model and I just wasn't sure it would work as designed given where the rack mounts are on our Calfee. Therefore, I rolled the dice and hoped that with a little farm-boy engineering I'd be able to get the Fly to work and, well, mission accomplished.
The Tubus racks and Ortlieb bags are really pricey, even when they're deeply discounted as they were at Wiggle; however, the engineering, materials, fit, and finish are superb.
Once the weekend rolls around I'll try to take some better photos out doors; however, until then these indoor shots will have to suffice.