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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 05-10-10, 07:36 PM   #1
WheresWaldo
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Just found this browsing around the web

http://www.racycles.com/product.aspx?catid=2,435,586


The ultimate in tandem performance. Le Duo Carbon features IM carbon that is custom-stratified to suit the desired geometry for the pilot-stoker pair. Utilizing kevlar reinforcement and specifically designed tandem tube profiles, Le Duo Tandem is a dream to ride for its great lateral stiffness, comfort, and substantial weight savings over steel, ti, and alloy models. Specifically set-up for touring, road, track or even more adventurous off-road purposes, Le Duo Carbon tandem is the gold standard.
  • LE DUO FULL-CARBON version features an all new COLUMBUS NEW CARVE tandem tube lay-out. Robust, stiff, and light, the LE DUO CARBON gains almost 2 kgs in weight over its Full Aluminum sibling.
  • New Carve reverse curve seat and chain stays for the optimum in stoker comfort and control.
  • Replaceable derailleur hanger.
  • Carbon Cages Included.
  • Available for 650c-sized wheels.
  • Paired with a COLUMBUS NEW CARVE Full-Carbon Tandem edition fork and Stronglight integrated headset.

Frame
T800H IM Carbon with 1K weave and kevlar reinforcement
Fork
Columbus Mega Carve Carbon Monocoque
Headset
Integrated Ceramic bearings
Seatpost
27.2mm and 31.6mm Required
Front Derailleur
34.9mm Clamp-On Required
BB Type
68mm / English
Frame Weight (appr.)
3000 grams
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Old 05-10-10, 10:31 PM   #2
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$9,800.00

At 3000 grams, it weighs around the same as my forkless, L/M forkless, unpainted (2930 gm) painted (3250 gram) Calfee Dragonfly frame.

Here is information from Cyfac, a French company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyfac
Frame Material.....T800H IM Carbon with 3K weave and kevlar reinforcement
Fork....Columbus Mega Carve Carbon Monocoque
Rear Triangle....Columbus Super Muscle with Kevlar reinforcements
Weight...3000
Seat Post....27.2mm and 31.6mm
Head Set....Ceramic integrated
Finish Level....Orfèvre
Bottom Bracket....BSC Concentric
Front Derailleur Size....34.9mm clamp included




Previous model(?), with lateral tube:

Last edited by Ritterview; 05-10-10 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 05-10-10, 10:46 PM   #3
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yowza!

cyfac--they make beautiful road bikes. i've seen some all carbon versions (gorgeous), and their alu/carbon versions were team bikes for a friend of mine's team/club. very nice rigs.

never knew they made tandems.
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Old 05-10-10, 11:25 PM   #4
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I've been looking around, and indeed, they do make some beautiful stuff.

More info about Cyfac here and here. Cyfac had a booth at NAHBS, but didn't bring a tandem (they should have!).

For the adventuresome, here is a Cyfac Le Duo Carbon Tandem 2010 Frameset in Indonesia for $4289 USD, with free shipping.

Hmmmm...what's with Indonesia? Here is another 2010 Le Duo Carbon Tandem for $2940, and $200 shipping.

Here's another carbon Cytec, for $4800 from Trek Bikers Co. a 'Manufacturer, Distributor/Wholesaler' in Singapore. The availability of these frames in Asia suggests that they are being manufactured there. The $4800 cost is about half the $9800 price at R&A, suggesting a wholesale vs. retail cost.

Here is a non-discounted Cytec Carbon at Amazon, Japan, for ¥ 957,000 ($10,357).

Last edited by Ritterview; 05-19-10 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 05-11-10, 12:43 AM   #5
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Another report of a beautiful single bike made by Cyfac is here. That review includes one of the best paragraphs I've ever seen in a bike review:

"For the (very) well-heeled seeking a true hand-built rarity, the Absolu presents a compelling option. Cyfac even offer a two-night package – including a stay in a chateau and tours of local wine cellars – for customers who would like to collect their dream machine in person. Sip and enjoy an Absolu if you have the funds, but mere mortals will likely have to look elsewhere."

I didn't know Cyfac made tandems, but I am fortunately only a "mere mortal" and so I'll have to appreciate it from afar. No picking up my custom bike while sipping the local vintage wine for me unfortunately!
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Old 05-11-10, 06:37 AM   #6
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Slick! I like the variable front-back geometry. I wonder what an XL-650c, or 650c-XL would look like....

Ceramic headset bearings? That's not the first time I've seen this, and I simply don't understand (unless it's to save weight).

WRT Indonesia: there are known scams out of Indonesia...

VeloTech in Palo Alto is a Cyfac dealer. It would be interesting to ask them about this. But I sort of view custom Al as a much more cost-effective weight-sensitive option in tandem frames for part-time tandem crews. Not that Ritterview's DragonFly isn't drop-dead gorgeous...

Last edited by djconnel; 05-11-10 at 06:40 AM. Reason: added link, corrected spelling error
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Old 05-11-10, 08:26 AM   #7
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i first saw a cyfac about a dozen or so years ago, a guy i know got one of those gems, all custom in fillet brazed steel. supposedly cyfac made many, many pro team bikes that were re-badged back in the day.

side note: there was a cyfac dealer here in nyc for a couple of years, and the handful of times i was in the store, they had cyfac rigs displayed. gorgeous bikes, no doubt.
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Old 05-11-10, 09:01 AM   #8
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If the fork is really a Carve Mega, Columbus lists it as follows:



Nowhere on the Columbus site do they indicate that it is safe for tandem use!
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Old 05-11-10, 09:14 AM   #9
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Cyfac also lists an alloy custom tandem frame here:

http://www.cyfac.fr/Pages/Products/P...roductId=15008

Le Duo Nerv Tandem Un velo pour deux. Whether you are looking to do extensive touring or are a competitive rider, Cyfac can build the tandem for you...both of you. Exclusively built as a FULL CUSTOM model, the LE DUO tandem features Cyfac's trusted Nerv alloy in special sections custom-drawn for the demands of a tandem build. Featuring a proprietary tube configuration that is specially selected for both stoker and pilot, the Cyfac tandem is a frame uniquely designed and built for the two riders who make up the tandem pair. Available in track, road, touring, and MTB versions.

  • FULL CUSTOM for the pilot and stoker positions.
  • Master-crafted for the unique demands placed on a tandem.
  • Replaceable derailleur hanger.
  • Carbon Cages Included.
  • Available for 650c-sized wheels.
  • Maneuverability and stability are both optimized for the rider pair for the utmost in confidence and performance.
  • Whether you'll be touring at a leisurely pace or tearing it up in top-level training and competition, the LE DUO tandem will be built for your needs.
Frame Material
Nerv Ultra-Alloy 7000. Triple butted
Fork
XC103 Carbon Alu steerer
Rear Triangle

Nerv Ultra-Alloy 7000. Triple butted
Weight
4000
Seat Post
27.2 and 31.6
Head Set
Integrated
Finish Level

Orfèvre
Bottom Bracket
BSC-Concentric
Front Derailleur Size
31.8mm clamp
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Old 05-12-10, 11:15 PM   #10
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I emailed Veloeuropa, the US Importer of Cyfac. Eric responded, and indicated it was okay to post our communication.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritterview
Dear Veloeuropa:

On the Bike Forum Tandem section there is excitement over the Le Duo Carbon Tandem, as we had not known this carbon tandem was available. Up to now, essentially the only carbon tandem frame available has been the Calfee. [then I asked questions addressed below].
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric at VeloEuropa
Hello Ritterview,
First off, thank you very much for your email and interest in our frames.

Cyfac has been building frames for nearly thirty years and the tandems we produce fall into a variety of categories that make it pretty tough to cover comprehensively due to their custom nature. We can do custom carbon for the track (we just built another frame for two world champion tandem athletes, with the photos attached here), for road, touring...We can do with canti/v-brakes, disc brakes, fixed gear, etc. There really are a lot of different permutations from the geometry, to purpose, to finish options.

As for your specific questions:

* Is this new this year? No, it’s a model that we’ve been building for a few years though we have a new website that now shows our nearly full line of possibilities whereas this was relatively obscure in the past.
* Is it made in France, or in East Asia like many other carbon frames? It is made in France, in our Loire Valley workshop. You can even come see it made or pick it up!
* Is it made from molds? (the Calfee is made by carbon wrapping). The tubes themselves come from molds but they are then assembled per the exact geometry and needs (stiffness/comfort/etc) of the customer. We use a carbon stratification method that includes Kevlar for vibration dampening and increased strength/resistance. We can change the tube selection as carbon stratification schedule to fit the exact needs of the client.
* Has the bike been reviewed? It has not been reviewed in an English language publication/website partly because it is so expensive to make and we aren’t in a position to make a free one just for review! We are too small for that. I can certainly put you in touch with some consumers in Europe (we have only done alloy versions for the US) who can give their feedback. Our road bikes have received fantastic reviews in all of the leading cycling publications and sites and we build all of the frames the same way and in the same place!

The price at R&A Cycles is rather steep, especially for a frame that no one in the US knows a thing about about. Is that the MSRP? That is the MSRP. It is not cheap that is for sure but it’s 100% custom, fully hand-built, using the best carbon fiber available and with an unparalleled attention to detail. We not only set the geometry per the desires of the client but also have the ability to set the frame’s other characteristics and paint/finish to meet our clients’ exact needs and desires. The frame does come with the fork, carbon posts, and carbon cages to complete it. We are relatively unknown but that’s just a testament to us being a small, hand builder who has spent the better part of 30 years building frames for pro riders that were then painted over with other companies’ logos. Being based in France means that we remain relatively unknown on this side of the Atlantic and we do not have the huge budgets or margins from Asian production that allow us to field pro teams, conduct massive marketing campaigns, and focus just on brand image. We do, however, offer the promise and delivery of something with an astounding value proposition. After all, there are plenty of road frames that cost $5000+ that are made in China for about $200 per frame while we present a product that comes from an artisan hand and a production method that puts the clients’ bike and enjoyment before the marketing machine. We grow our notoriety much more slowly this way but that is ok with us because we are small, modest, and in this for the long term. I am one of the owners of Cyfac as well as the distributor in the States. So, my connection is very deep and committed and I can vouch for what we do and how we do it.

Please let me know if I can help with any other information.

Thank you!
Eric
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Old 05-16-10, 12:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyfac
We can do custom carbon for the track (we just built another frame for two world champion tandem athletes, with the photos attached here),
He did send photographs, but I neglected to post them.







By Googling "Big Mat" + Cyfac, I found this French blog describing this Paralympique tandem team. It also contained a photo of the frame under construction.

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Old 05-16-10, 07:41 AM   #12
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Thanks for the additional background information.
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Old 05-19-10, 10:02 PM   #13
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I received an email today from R&A Cycles:

Quote:
Originally Posted by R&A Cycles
Ritterview:

I just got word that we lowered the price of Le Duo to $8500 for the frameset. This is a huge savings. Let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Thank You,
Albert Cabbad
www.racycles.com
The price drop to $8500 is huge, as it makes the Le Duo quite comparable to the $7000 Calfee Dragonfly, since the Le Duo includes items for which you must pay extra in the Calfee (that is, if what is mentioned below as 'paired with' really means 'included'.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by R&A
* LE DUO FULL-CARBON version features an all new COLUMBUS NEW CARVE tandem tube lay-out. Robust, stiff, and light, the LE DUO CARBON gains almost 2 kgs in weight over its Full Aluminum sibling.
* New Carve reverse curve seat and chain stays for the optimum in stoker comfort and control.
* Replaceable derailleur hanger.
* Carbon Cages Included.[4 H20 bottle cages? That'd be nice]
* Available for 650c-sized wheels.
* Paired with a COLUMBUS NEW CARVE Full-Carbon Tandem edition fork and Stronglight integrated headset.

........................Calfee Dragonfly.........Cyfac Le Duo
Frameset.................$6995........................$8500
Fork....................... $478.........................included
Paint (solid)............. $299.........................included
Headset................... $120........................ included
Carbon cages (x4)..... $200........................included
Total........................$8092.....................$8500

Obviously, this is still a lot for a bike, but now there appears to be a viable alternative to the Calfee among carbon tandems.
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Old 05-20-10, 05:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
Obviously, this is still a lot for a bike, but now there appears to be a viable alternative to the Calfee among carbon tandems.
Still a bunch of money for an as yet untested frameset. Although the same could be said for our Rue.

Right now I am more interested in hearing about the fork!
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Old 05-20-10, 12:06 PM   #15
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if r&a has 'em in stock, i can go check it out one weekend and report back...(they're in brooklyn).
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Old 05-20-10, 07:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djconnel View Post
Slick! I like the variable front-back geometry. I wonder what an XL-650c, or 650c-XL would look like....

Ceramic headset bearings? That's not the first time I've seen this, and I simply don't understand (unless it's to save weight).

WRT Indonesia: there are known scams out of Indonesia...

VeloTech in Palo Alto is a Cyfac dealer. It would be interesting to ask them about this. But I sort of view custom Al as a much more cost-effective weight-sensitive option in tandem frames for part-time tandem crews. Not that Ritterview's DragonFly isn't drop-dead gorgeous...

Studio Velo in Mill Valley, CA is also a Cyfac dealer. We bought our Calfee tandem through them.
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Old 05-20-10, 09:25 PM   #17
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According to a reply from R&A, the $8,500 also includes two Cyfac carbon seatposts, which list for $218.



Cyfac also makes its own carbon water bottle cages, which are included. They look pretty nice, and retail for $99



So, if this is so (I've asked for confirmation without response thus far), the price is even more attractive. $218 is a reasonable price for a carbon seatpost, but carbon cages are closer to $70.

Reconfiguring the table in the post above:

........................Calfee Dragonfly.........Cyfac Le Duo
Frameset...................$6995........................$8500
Fork......................... $478.........................included
Paint (solid)............... $299.........................included
Headset..................... $120........................ included
Carbon cages (x4)...... $280........................included
Carbon seatposts (x2)...$436........................included
Total........................$8608.....................$8500

Quote:
Originally Posted by WheresWaldo View Post
Still a bunch of money for an as yet untested frameset.
Yes, it is a bunch of money, but the frame isn't entirely untested, as it has been used successfully in high level tandem racing.

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Old 05-23-10, 09:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
According to a reply from R&A, the $8,500 also includes two Cyfac carbon seatposts, which list for $218.



Cyfac also makes its own carbon water bottle cages, which are included. They look pretty nice, and retail for $99



So, if this is so (I've asked for confirmation without response thus far), the price is even more attractive. $218 is a reasonable price for a carbon seatpost, but carbon cages are closer to $70.

Reconfiguring the table in the post above:

........................Calfee Dragonfly.........Cyfac Le Duo
Frameset...................$6995........................$8500
Fork......................... $478.........................included
Paint (solid)............... $299.........................included
Headset..................... $120........................ included
Carbon cages (x4)...... $280........................included
Carbon seatposts (x2)...$436........................included
Total........................$8608.....................$8500



Yes, it is a bunch of money, but the frame isn't entirely untested, as it has been used successfully in high level tandem racing.
Problem with those prices is that I would never pay $436 for two seatposts, MSRP on the Thomson Masterpiece is only $149 each.
Carbon cages at $70 a piece, you must be joking. Even CC sells Arundel Sideloaders at 2 for 47.00 a piece.
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Old 05-23-10, 09:39 PM   #19
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hey it's all relative, a buddy of mine just paid $600-something for a seatpost (schmolke tlo), so 2 nice posts for $436 is an outright bargain!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WheresWaldo View Post
Problem with those prices is that I would never pay $436 for two seatposts, MSRP on the Thomson Masterpiece is only $149 each.
Carbon cages at $70 a piece, you must be joking. Even CC sells Arundel Sideloaders at 2 for 47.00 a piece.
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Old 05-23-10, 10:09 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WheresWaldo View Post
Problem with those prices is that I would never pay $436 for two seatposts, MSRP on the Thomson Masterpiece is only $149 each.
Yeah, of course it is cheaper, its aluminum. The Cyfac post is carbon, and carbon posts are more expensive.




Quote:
Originally Posted by WheresWaldo View Post
Carbon cages at $70 a piece, you must be joking. Even CC sells Arundel Sideloaders at 2 for 47.00 a piece.
You're right. The 2-fer price at CC confused me. So, the water-bottle-cage Cyfac savings should be apportioned at $200, not $280. (BTW, I've received confirmation neither from R&A nor Veloeuropa that all these items are indeed included. Hopefully they are, but we'll see).
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Old 05-24-10, 11:24 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
Yes, it is a bunch of money, but the frame isn't entirely untested, as it has been used successfully in high level tandem racing.
Actually, the two Polish riders in red & white --Andrzej Zajac & Dariusz Flak -- riding the relatively low-tech and very affordable DuraTec BigBang fitted with conventional wheels and sitting in 3rd in the photo you posted won the 2008 mens' B&VI 1–3 road event at Beijing. The Finland team sitting in 2nd in that photo who were also riding old-school hardware -- Jarmo Ollanketo & Marko Tormanen -- and won the silver medal. The French riders running the high-tech frame & wheels -- Olivier Donval & John Saccomandi -- won the bronze.





For the women's B&VI 1–3 road event at Beijing, it was Iryna Fiadotava and Alena Drazdova of Belarus riding a very old-school marathon / tri-lateral frame design with conventional wheels.




Note: I had posted the Beijing cycling results on my web site's bulletin board board in Sept 2008, which is why I somewhat recalled the results.

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Old 05-24-10, 07:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
Yeah, of course it is cheaper, its aluminum. The Cyfac post is carbon, and carbon posts are more expensive.

You're right. The 2-fer price at CC confused me. So, the water-bottle-cage Cyfac savings should be apportioned at $200, not $280. (BTW, I've received confirmation neither from R&A nor Veloeuropa that all these items are indeed included. Hopefully they are, but we'll see).
I know it's aluminum but unless they made that thing with diamond fibers intertwined within the carbon then the Thomson is just a better all around seat post at 30% less, which was the point I was trying to make.

So to be fair an S-WORKS Pavé SL Carbon Seat Post which is carbon and has a Zertz Polymer insert has a retail price of $140 each.

No matter how you want to spin Cyfac's pricing it is still rather high.
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Old 05-24-10, 07:32 PM   #23
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i think any of those beijing riders could mount a couple of bigwheels or tricycles strapped together with duct tape and hand most people their collective asses.

so yeah, the bike doesn't matter.

for us mere mortals, something unique under the saddle is a way to have fun--whatever one's price point may be.

i would bet u.s. buyers are hit in the family jewels with cyfac more than usual because they build/price/spec to euros. or maybe not? who knows.

Last edited by JSNYC; 05-24-10 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 05-24-10, 07:34 PM   #24
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i think any of those beijing riders could mount a couple of bigwheels or tricycles strapped together with duct tape and hand most people their collective asses.
Certainly our team falls into this category.
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Old 05-24-10, 07:35 PM   #25
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i think any of those beijing riders could mount a couple of bigwheels or tricycles strapped together with duct tape and hand most people their collective asses.
Sounds like there's a book title in there somewhere...
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