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  1. #1
    pel
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    Full Camping Kit Touring Calfee Tetra - What specs please



    Hello all (particularly our bank of long standing boffins)

    Some help please

    Want to upgrade from Cannodale Mountain Tandem 2006 (modified for three panniers and a Bob Yak) for long distance touring mostly on bike paths and some gravel in Europe.

    Broad requirements are: Couplers (we nearly missed a flight when the specially ordered large cab's rear door jammed and could not get the tandem box inside); low gear range for pulling full load up hill 11-26; but reasonbly high top range for charging down hill to flatten the next hill 32-48 or higher if poss); light as possible; disc brakes front and back; flat bars front and back; 40 spoke wheels (for the load and to handle being pushed off the road into rough terrain at speed); reliable bottom brackets; Pannier carrier attachments to the frame front and back; suspension in the stoker seat post? 3 by 9 gears = 27? doulble butted rims? thickish tyres 50-559 126* 2.001

    Would value your advice as to what components would best match the above and any changes to the requirements that might come to mind.
    We are a middle aged 300 lbs team M/S frame size
    Many thanks

  2. #2
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    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  3. #3
    Senior Member Stray8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pel View Post

    Hello all (particularly our bank of long standing boffins)
    Boffin
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    This article is about the British slang word for scientist. For other uses of the word, see boffin (disambiguation).
    In the slang of the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa, boffins are scientists, engineers, and other people engaged in technical or scientific research. The word 'boffin' (or 'boff' - often as an insult[1]) can also be used to refer to any particularly clever person. The closest American equivalent is "egghead".[2]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boffin

    For those like me who were wondering what a boffin meant...


    Some help please

    Want to upgrade from Cannodale Mountain Tandem 2006 (modified for three panniers and a Bob Yak) for long distance touring mostly on bike paths and some gravel in Europe.

    Broad requirements are: Couplers (we nearly missed a flight when the specially ordered large cab's rear door jammed and could not get the tandem box inside); low gear range for pulling full load up hill 11-26; but reasonbly high top range for charging down hill to flatten the next hill 32-48 or higher if poss); light as possible; disc brakes front and back; flat bars front and back; 40 spoke wheels (for the load and to handle being pushed off the road into rough terrain at speed); reliable bottom brackets; Pannier carrier attachments to the frame front and back; suspension in the stoker seat post? 3 by 9 gears = 27? doulble butted rims? thickish tyres 50-559 126* 2.001

    Would value your advice as to what components would best match the above and any changes to the requirements that might come to mind.
    We are a middle aged 300 lbs team M/S frame size
    Many thanks
    Hauling three panniers and pulling a Bob Yak is one real impressive touring rig!

    Calfee options include adding racks and S&S Aluminum Couplers (on Tetra Tandem only). I'm sure that Craig Calfee will be able to tailor your Tetra to your needs and satisfaction if you tell him your intended use as a loaded touring rig.


    .
    Last edited by Stray8; 11-23-09 at 12:23 PM.

  4. #4
    mosquito rancher adamrice's Avatar
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    If you can slim down your load a bit, you might want to replace the BOB with an Extrawheel.

  5. #5
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Everything in your spec's, 40 spoke wheels, discs front and back, flat bars, suspension seatpost all would indicate that you're putting a premium on durability and comfort over weight and outright performance.

    Hence, I'm wondering why start with a CF frame? A nice steel tandem would seem to fit the bill better, particularly when you consider you'll have less need to worry about scratching it in transit.

    IMHO, it seems rather questionable to take a high end expensive CF frame, and then start loading it up with heavy wheels and components, and set it up with an upright position. But to each his own.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  6. #6
    Riding Heaven's Highwayson the grand tour
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Everything in your spec's, 40 spoke wheels, discs front and back, flat bars, suspension seatpost all would indicate that you're putting a premium on durability and comfort over weight and outright performance.

    Hence, I'm wondering why start with a CF frame? A nice steel tandem would seem to fit the bill better, particularly when you consider you'll have less need to worry about scratching it in transit.

    IMHO, it seems rather questionable to take a high end expensive CF frame, and then start loading it up with heavy wheels and components, and set it up with an upright position. But to each his own.
    +1 ....

    Bill J.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Stray8's Avatar
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    Well, I don't know about skipping CF to a steel frame for touring if his budget allows for it. He did specify "light as possible" and a carbon fiber frame would tend towards that. Besides, steel would be heavier than what he is used to (presumably an aluminum framed Cannondale).


    .

  8. #8
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pel View Post
    Want to upgrade from Cannodale Mountain Tandem 2006 (modified for three panniers and a Bob Yak) for long distance touring mostly on bike paths and some gravel in Europe.
    ... light as possible; disc brakes front and back;
    I would suggest you invest some time and research into lightening your load. Full camping load should be doable with either a Bob + two less-than-full-sized panniers, or no Bob, four panniers, and possibly a trunk, or, if you're really good, a Bob and a trunk. We're not super lightweight extreme, but do self-contained at 70-80 lb of load. Probably peaking at 90 with a full load of food. There are three communities that do this: those who backpack (several days worth is enough to motivate lightweight), canoe (a week or more, or anything with significant portaging), or bicycle self-contained. We borrow equipment ideas from each other.
    Quote Originally Posted by pel View Post
    low gear range for pulling full load up hill 11-26; but reasonbly high top range for charging down hill to flatten the next hill 32-48 or higher if poss);
    We're running a DaVinci crank set with 24/36/48 in the front - we happen to have Race Face rings, Shimano XT rear der, and cassette 11-34. I've put on an SRAM 11-28 for unloaded riding, but for touring the 11-34 goes back on. For repairability, reliability, and because I like them I have Campy Veloce brifters, with a JTek shiftmate to make the rear index correctly.
    Quote Originally Posted by pel View Post
    We are a middle aged 300 lbs team M/S frame size
    Many thanks
    We're 5-10 pounds lighter, large/small or large/medium (but we went custom).
    Point being that we can't take a tiny tent (at least the one dimension) and I probably need 10% more in clothing weight if we packed identically, to account for my larger height. So think about where all your load is coming from, and see whether you can take some of it off. Going from steel to carbon will reduce your total weight some, but you'll need an unusually heavyweight CF frame, and I've not heard of anyone putting a front pannier rack on a CF fork - might need a custom fork - unless you want to risk it with a U-bolt mount.

    You might also want to make inquiries at tandem@hobbes, as this forum appears to have relatively little readership with experience in self-contained touring (more racing, rallies, local rides, and credit card touring).

    But then we're not yet middle-aged, since we found a definition an a definitive French-English dictionary "Middle-aged: cinquantaine"

  9. #9
    Senior Member geoffs's Avatar
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    +1 for the co-motion Mocha http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c1...VersFrance.jpg
    We've now done over 13,500 trouble free kms on our co-pilot.
    Ours is set up as follows;
    Tubus racks, Ortleib panniers and rackbag. There is lots of lightweight camping gear available now.
    53,39,26 on the front (with a n-gear jump stop to avoid cropped chains) with a 11-32 at the rear to make the cols bearable. The best scenery is in the mountains!
    We are now using 26 x 1.75 marathon plus tyres. no punctures so far!
    Our bike came with Velocity DeepV's and Hugi hubs. New bikes come with Aeroheats instead of the DeepV's which should be just as strong and easier to get tubes for. I have just replaced our DeepV's due to wear with Aeroheats. We have a combined weight of 140kgs, two thirds of that weight being me.

  10. #10
    pel
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    interesting Adam thanks. Any idea what the net weight gain may be?

  11. #11
    pel
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebsterBikeMan View Post
    I would suggest you invest some time and research into lightening your load. Full camping load should be doable with either a Bob + two less-than-full-sized panniers, or no Bob, four panniers, and possibly a trunk, or, if you're really good, a Bob and a trunk. We're not super lightweight extreme, but do self-contained at 70-80 lb of load. Probably peaking at 90 with a full load of food. There are three communities that do this: those who backpack (several days worth is enough to motivate lightweight), canoe (a week or more, or anything with significant portaging), or bicycle self-contained. We borrow equipment ideas from each other.



    We're running a DaVinci crank set with 24/36/48 in the front - we happen to have Race Face rings, Shimano XT rear der, and cassette 11-34. I've put on an SRAM 11-28 for unloaded riding, but for touring the 11-34 goes back on. For repairability, reliability, and because I like them I have Campy Veloce brifters, with a JTek shiftmate to make the rear index correctly.

    We're 5-10 pounds lighter, large/small or large/medium (but we went custom).
    Point being that we can't take a tiny tent (at least the one dimension) and I probably need 10% more in clothing weight if we packed identically, to account for my larger height. So think about where all your load is coming from, and see whether you can take some of it off. Going from steel to carbon will reduce your total weight some, but you'll need an unusually heavyweight CF frame, and I've not heard of anyone putting a front pannier rack on a CF fork - might need a custom fork - unless you want to risk it with a U-bolt mount.

    You might also want to make inquiries at tandem@hobbes, as this forum appears to have relatively little readership with experience in self-contained touring (more racing, rallies, local rides, and credit card touring).

    But then we're not yet middle-aged, since we found a definition an a definitive French-English dictionary "Middle-aged: cinquantaine"
    Certainly open to cuttng load (almost down to taking most of the tooth brush handles off). Problem is packing for almost four seasons over 7mths and carrying all those route maps.

    Like your gear ratios. I was thinking of 11-32 at the back and 22-34-48 front hence low range 32- 22 and high range 11-48.
    Not planning on using the front fork with the trailer but possibly without. Apparently there is a fork with the eyes.
    thanks for alternative forum lead
    And your time and comments Websterman

  12. #12
    pel
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffs View Post
    +1 for the co-motion Mocha http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c1...VersFrance.jpg
    We've now done over 13,500 trouble free kms on our co-pilot.
    Ours is set up as follows;
    Tubus racks, Ortleib panniers and rackbag. There is lots of lightweight camping gear available now.
    53,39,26 on the front (with a n-gear jump stop to avoid cropped chains) with a 11-32 at the rear to make the cols bearable. The best scenery is in the mountains!
    We are now using 26 x 1.75 marathon plus tyres. no punctures so far!
    Our bike came with Velocity DeepV's and Hugi hubs. New bikes come with Aeroheats instead of the DeepV's which should be just as strong and easier to get tubes for. I have just replaced our DeepV's due to wear with Aeroheats. We have a combined weight of 140kgs, two thirds of that weight being me.
    Nice pic Geoffs - looks compact. Would love to drop the trailer for a 5.5kg weight gain. We found the Schwalbe big apple excellent - also no punctures. Agreed on ratios. thanks

  13. #13
    pel
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    Monobarracho, Merlinextralight, Specbill, Stray8

    Thanks for leads and comments - all thought provoking

  14. #14
    Senior Member Stray8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pel View Post
    Problem is packing for almost four seasons over 7mths and carrying all those route maps.

    Get a GPS unit!


    .

  15. #15
    mosquito rancher adamrice's Avatar
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    I'm not a tandem rider myself, but I have looked at the Calfee tandem, and it's awfully nice—lighter than some single bikes without any "stupid-light" tricks, as the tandem dealer put it. He said that it's bulletproof and his preferred ride, but the fact that it can't be repaired in the field is something he probably wasn't considering.

    Here's a BOB vs Extrawheel comparison. Apparently the Extrawheel is only about 3 kg lighter than a BOB, although it would probably force you to be more disciplined in your packing, so you might wind up leaving more stuff behind and save weight that way.

    Another option that occurs to me is to borrow an idea from bikepackers and have a custom frame-bag made. Tandems have a huge amount of empty space available for hanging a frame bag (those Calfees don't have the lateral tube, so they have even more). Cargo loaded there would be right between the wheels, which is the best place possible in terms of handling. A combination of front & rear panniers plus a frame bag might allow you to avoid a trailer entirely.

  16. #16
    Senior Member WebsterBikeMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pel View Post
    Certainly open to cuttng load (almost down to taking most of the tooth brush handles off). Problem is packing for almost four seasons over 7mths and carrying all those route maps.
    We're planning on something like 7-8 months as well. Not in the next year, but coming. I would think in terms of mail drops when it comes to both route maps and seasonal clothing. Don't know if that's possible in your case. Someone said that you need no more for a year than for a week, and I don't entirely agree. You can see a week's weather forecast and discard unnecessary clothing. But ideally you want to be wearing every scrap of clothing you own on the coldest evening/morning of your trip. If anything is leftover at that point you packed too much. The other thing to think about is how little you need in terms of spares (chains, tires, ...), and the extent to which you can arrange mail drops for these, as at this duration you're going to go through more than just lubes and tubes.

    We are using Arkel TT84s (rear) and GT18s (front). This gives us more than the carrying capacity of a Bob, with less weight in the panniers themselves than the Bob. And we're the sort that like pockets and compartments, which resolves the Arkel/Ortlieb debate for us.

    Your mention of toothbrush handles reminds me of a back-packer trick of sucking toothpaste into a straw so as to save the weight of the toothpaste tube. Not something that makes sense to me in a 7 month endeavour. In fact things like toothpaste and shampoo are a tough call - you want the smallest packages you feel you will be able to reliably replace before you need to go without for an extended period, since anything bigger is extra weight.

    But toothbrush handles are unlikely to be a serious contributor to weight. More expensive to reduce but more effective are the tent, sleeping bags, clothing - most things you only need one, some bike clothes, two. Weigh every piece of clothing and if you have a choice between two items take the lighter weight one. Kitchen can add a lot, and has a fair amount of room for variation.
    Quote Originally Posted by pel View Post
    Like your gear ratios. I was thinking of 11-32 at the back and 22-34-48 front hence low range 32- 22 and high range 11-48.
    Not planning on using the front fork with the trailer but possibly without. Apparently there is a fork with the eyes.
    thanks for alternative forum lead
    And your time and comments Websterman

  17. #17
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    For 10-day backpack, seeing no one, possibly including snow camping, probably including days of rain, and living in total luxury, the two of us carry 53 lbs. total, not including food. This is not ultra-light! Ultra light would be 20 lbs. total. But we've been doing this for 35 years, so we are fairly close to optimal for our priorities. If we were biking, we wouldn't need a few pounds of backpack gear, would add a pound or two of bike parts, etc., and would need some civies, so would probably come out the same. If we were going further, we would reduce, not add weight. However, similar to bikes, it costs money for every ounce you save. Still, it's a lot cheaper to save weight on gear than on a bike. For instance, we know where we could save 2 pounds for only $200. Try that on a bike!

  18. #18
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pel View Post

    (modified for three panniers and a Bob Yak) for long distance touring mostly on bike paths and some gravel in Europe.

    Broad requirements are: Couplers... light as possible; disc brakes front and back...
    With camping, there is so much weight and volume to lose in the gear, it makes differences in bike weight pale in comparison. The place to figure out how to lighten your load is the Backpacking Light forum. Using the gear and techniques found there should make for major reductions in your load.

    For example, my backpacking tent is a single-wall Black Diamond Lighthouse. Combined with carbon fiber tent poles, and a Tyvek ground cloth, the entire tent is about 3 lbs., and packs very small. Similar weight savings are possible on about every item, such that when backpacking my pack weighs less than 20 lbs.

    Reduce the load weight and volume, and you reduce the need for panniers and Bob trailers. Maybe you can get away with an Extrawheel instead. With the total load reduced, maybe you need only one disk. Load savings beget further savings.

  19. #19
    pel
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
    I'm not a tandem rider myself, but I have looked at the Calfee tandem, and it's awfully nice—lighter than some single bikes without any "stupid-light" tricks, as the tandem dealer put it. He said that it's bulletproof and his preferred ride, but the fact that it can't be repaired in the field is something he probably wasn't considering.

    Here's a BOB vs Extrawheel comparison. Apparently the Extrawheel is only about 3 kg lighter than a BOB, although it would probably force you to be more disciplined in your packing, so you might wind up leaving more stuff behind and save weight that way.

    Another option that occurs to me is to borrow an idea from bikepackers and have a custom frame-bag made. Tandems have a huge amount of empty space available for hanging a frame bag (those Calfees don't have the lateral tube, so they have even more). Cargo loaded there would be right between the wheels, which is the best place possible in terms of handling. A combination of front & rear panniers plus a frame bag might allow you to avoid a trailer entirely.
    Now that is a thought. Would have to relatively thin to avoid bumping legs and also not impede brake and gear cable movement but yes - why has nobody done this before?

  20. #20
    triplet tandem djembob02's Avatar
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    +1 on making the load as light (and small) as possible. I've gone on a couple self-supported weekend trips with only a large pull behind trailer (no panniers). If I were going farther, I would certainly had slimmed down even more.

    I used to do a bit of backpacking and fell in love with the products by "Big Agnes." www.bigagnes.com I have a number of their sleeping bags that fit over the air mattress. Each stuffs in a space about the size of a water bottle (probably can't literally put it in a water bottle cage, but..). These bags w/pads are incredibly comfortable for camping. Because I now tend to camp with the family, I have a 4 person tent that is quite heavy at around 10 pounds. It has lots of extra room. On the other hand, I also sometimes use a sub 5 pound 2 person backpacking tent. The 2 person tent packs up very small.

    Likewise, depending on what your doing for food, I'd recommend a very light camp stove such as the MSR Whisperlight International http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___87723

    Good luck, I would love to do some long distance touring in Europe. Maybe someday...
    Bobby

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