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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 10-01-11, 03:23 PM   #1
DubT
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New Calfee 2,000 mile report

We received the new Calfee frameset on May 26th and took our first ride 30 mile ride on it on the 27th. We just rolled over 2,000 miles on Thursday (Sep 29th, 2011).

The bike continues to exceed our expectations, we both really enjoy the way it rides and handles, the addition of the Topolino "Tru Black" wheels 350 miles ago further enhanced the quality of the ride.

So far everything is functioning perfectly. I have upgraded the rear bars, changed to carbon from aluminum and upgraded the brakes from Ultegra to Dura Ace. this spring I will probably change out the front cranks, the rear are carbon and the front are aluminum (cost cutting measure at the time)

We are extremely happy with the bike and the support that we have received from Michael at Calfee.

Wayne
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Old 10-01-11, 04:11 PM   #2
waynesulak
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Thanks for taking the time to write a report. I hope you give another each year.


Wayne
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Old 10-02-11, 01:01 PM   #3
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But what does enjoyment, the way it rides, quality mean??? I'm curious just because we want one, and we've never been on a Calfee, and wondering if it is similar in ride to a carbon single bike. We would be expecting something smoother to ease the long rides. There is lots of nasty chip seal around here.
And glad to hear you are enjoying it!
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Old 10-02-11, 01:48 PM   #4
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My wife and I ride carbon single bikes, and a carbon (daVinci) tandem. Wait, let me rephrase that: we used to ride single bikes. Wifey was sick this morning, so I packed up my single and the tandem for a group ride (hoping to borrow a stoker). Got turned down by the two potential subs, so I rode the single bike. Our tandem is WAY smoother than the carbon singles, and I would much prefer to ride the tandem. I might even ride the tandem stoker-less next time wifey stays home.
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Old 10-02-11, 02:58 PM   #5
DubT
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Originally Posted by BikeForums.net View Post
But what does enjoyment, the way it rides, quality mean??? I'm curious just because we want one, and we've never been on a Calfee, and wondering if it is similar in ride to a carbon single bike. We would be expecting something smoother to ease the long rides. There is lots of nasty chip seal around here.
And glad to hear you are enjoying it!
On our first ride my wife asked me if the Calfee had suspension. She has spent time on the back seat of a Honda Goldwing motorcycle, so she knows what suspension feels like. We rode an older Santana visa for about 9 months before we upgraded to the Calfee.

It is hard to describe the ride quality of the Calfee, it is compliant yet it is also stiff. It acceleratea very well yet absorbs impacts extremely well. The Topolino wheels just enhance the smoothness of the ride.

I also have a carbon solo bike and rode it this weekend as the wife was out of town with our daughters. It beat me up compared to the tandem.

Wayne

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Old 10-02-11, 03:49 PM   #6
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I also have a carbon solo bike and rode it this weekend as the wife was out of town with our daughters. It beat me up compared to the tandem.
Trying to compare ride characteristics of singles vs. tandems is an exercise in futility, especially from the captains saddle, since you get the suspension benefit of the long wheelbase.
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Old 10-02-11, 06:25 PM   #7
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Trying to compare ride characteristics of singles vs. tandems is an exercise in futility, especially from the captains saddle, since you get the suspension benefit of the long wheelbase.
Amen brother.

PK
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Old 10-02-11, 10:00 PM   #8
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We have had our Calfee for almost 2 years.
It does ride smoother than any single carbon I have ridden and much smoother than the Santana aluminum tandem we had before.
I am still amazed everytime we ride how good this bike is.
Can't say that about any other bike I have owned and I have had many bikes in my lifetime. I considered buying a Calfee single but ended up with a Specialized Tarmac because I wanted more of a race bike, and I do like it but I still wonder if I should have got the Calfee.
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Old 10-03-11, 06:42 PM   #9
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Should have. No contest.
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Old 10-04-11, 08:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by BikeForums.net View Post
But what does enjoyment, the way it rides, quality mean??? I'm curious just because we want one, and we've never been on a Calfee, and wondering if it is similar in ride to a carbon single bike. We would be expecting something smoother to ease the long rides. There is lots of nasty chip seal around here.
And glad to hear you are enjoying it!
We bought our Calfee with much stoker trepidation, due to no test ride opportunities. Stoker now complains that the Bike Friday Traveller XL is uncomfortable; complains that the Santana Sovereign is uncomfortable; even complains that her Trek 5200 single is uncomfortable.

Chip and seal is still noticable, but much less unpleasant than the other bikes. I'd say road fatigue goes down about 20% on the Calfee - ie a 60 miler feels more like a 50.
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Old 10-04-11, 05:14 PM   #11
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Agree on the ride quality of carbon fiber for tandems (and singles!).
While we do not own a Calfee (yes, have ridden a couple), we do own a custom c/f Zona tandem since 2003.
Was impressed enough with out c/f Zona tandem that I had Bob Davis build me a custom c/f single.
Tandem currently has 33,000+ miles on it . . . we are still smiling!!!
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