900 mile report, new Pearl White Calfee Tetra
We now have 900 miles on our new tandem and are still absolutely thrilled with the ride and performance.
The frame arrived on May 26th and we took our first 30 mile ride on the 27th, we have now been riding it for nearly 8 weeks and can say without a doubt the bike is exceeding our expectations.
It is smooth, fast and comfortable, we are amazed at how it climbs and accelerates. The handling is precise and predictable, more like my single than our last tandem, the front end on the old one felt like a chopper front end, it felt like it wanted flop into a turn, it felt heavy whereas the Calfee feels light and precise.
Now for some component reports:
* FSA cranks, I had read that the FSA cranks came loose - this has not been a problem, I used the recommended loctite and applied the recommended torque. I have checked them several times and everything is good and tight.
* Shimano shifting/shifters Perfect. I am using 6703 Ultegra shifters with Dura Ace derailleurs and find the shifting to be absolutely perfect as long as everything is adjusted properly. I have had to adjust the cable on the front derailleur a couple of times due to cable stretch.
* Bontrager tandem wheels, they are staying true and the spokes are staying tight. So far so good. I do have two sets of them and spare axles. Long term I want a pair of lighter wheels. David at Nimble told me the other day that in about a month he will have a lightweight rim that will be strong enough for tandem use. So we will see what he can do.
* Tires, we are running Schalbe Ultremo DD tires in 25 X 700 and they are wearing great so far, we did have one flat when a tiny piece of sharp gravel penetrated the front tire.
* John Cobb front saddle - it has been on the front for all but around 30 miles when I tried a different saddle. I am going to keep this saddle. It has taken some time to get it dialed in but I can ride 45 miles on it and get off and have no butt pain nor any soft tissue (prostate) pain.
We are happy with our choice and would recommend this tandem to anyone who is seeking a fun comfortable lightweight ride. It weighed 30 lbs before we put the computers and rear tool bag on it.
I'll bet you like that Calfee. We installed some 6703 brifters on the tandem after a fall broke the left dura-ace unit. Have the in-line adjuster for the front der. in place. When adjusting this on the fly, used to click down to release tension on the cable while not rotating the crank so the der. stayed in place, leaving lots of slack in the cable. Doing so, the ferrule will pop out of the seating unit in the shifter, rendering it in-operatable. Did this twice before figureing out what was going on. Shapes a bit different than the 7800, getting use to it.
Our previous tandem was a 1989 Santana Visa that weighed right at 40 lbs. We bought it right at a year ago to see if we still liked riding together. We actually had a new Santana Targa in 1989 that we rode for several years and sold after a family tragedy. Needless to say we enjoyed riding together and decided to upgrade. After reading the Tandem Geeks detailed report about their Calfee we choose the Calfee and are very happy with our choice.
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