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  1. #1
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    Calfee Tetra 4,000 mile report

    We now have a little over 4,000 miles of smiles on our Calfee Tetra. We are still extremely happy with our choice and would not hesitate to recommend the bike to anyone wanting a light , comfortable, great handling tandem.

    I have made several subtle changes to the bike since the original build in May of 2011.

    * Different stems front and rear, part of the dialing in process.
    * John Cobb saddles front and rear.
    * Carbon fiber bars for the stoker.
    * New Shimano Ultegra cranks
    * Replaced the Ultegra brakes with Dura Ace.
    * Replaced the Bontrager bottle cages with Arundel side loader cages.
    * Replaced the Bontrager wheels with Topolino tandem wheels

    I have replaced the rear chain and the tires.

    What would I do different if I were doing it over?

    All of the above plus I would probably bite the bullet and go with the Dragonfly frame.

    I will update to the Gates CDX drive when it is available.

    Wayne

  2. #2
    Senior Member CaptainHaddock's Avatar
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    Why the Dragonfly vs. the Tetra?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainHaddock View Post
    Why the Dragonfly vs. the Tetra?
    It is their top of the line model and it is a little bit lighter. It costs more, but what the heck, I have been spending the kids inheritance anyway. We will keep the one that we have but if I were doing it again, I would go ahead and spend the extra money and get the Dragonfly.

  4. #4
    Senior Member diabloridr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post
    It is their top of the line model and it is a little bit lighter. .
    Also a bit stiffer due to the boron addition.

    That may or may not be a good thing, depending on your priorities.

  5. #5
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Thanx for the Calfee update!
    Yes, it takes a few miles to get things dialed in 100% for both riders.
    We bought our Zona custom full c/f tandem back in 2003.
    It weighed in at 26.5 lbs.
    Currently has over 34,000 miles on the odo.
    Our motto: buy the best you can afford and ride it for at least 50,000 miles!
    Still smilin'!
    Pedal on!
    Rudfy and Kay/zonatandem

  6. #6
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    Zona and DubT, I followed your leads in doing many of our selections in building our calfee- with only a couple hundred on in (and treasuring every day of great weather here) I look forward to the next 49,000.

  7. #7
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    Thanx for the Calfee update!
    Yes, it takes a few miles to get things dialed in 100% for both riders.
    We bought our Zona custom full c/f tandem back in 2003.
    It weighed in at 26.5 lbs.
    Currently has over 34,000 miles on the odo.
    Our motto: buy the best you can afford and ride it for at least 50,000 miles!
    Still smilin'!
    Pedal on!
    Rudfy and Kay/zonatandem
    MMmmmm 50,000 minus 34,000 miles. Looks like Zonatandem might be in the market for another tandem in a few years. I look forward to seeing what his next bike looks like!

  8. #8
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    Glad to hear it's working out so well DubT ! We're going up to Calfee and picking ours up next Friday.

    I seem to remember Mike saying the Tetra frame has a more compliant ride, maybe better for centuries than the Dragonfly. Probably due to the boron composition in the frame as diabloridr mentioned.

    Curious to hear if you noticed an improvement in braking with the DuraAce brakes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdonterri View Post
    Glad to hear it's working out so well DubT ! We're going up to Calfee and picking ours up next Friday.

    I seem to remember Mike saying the Tetra frame has a more compliant ride, maybe better for centuries than the Dragonfly. Probably due to the boron composition in the frame as diabloridr mentioned.

    Curious to hear if you noticed an improvement in braking with the DuraAce brakes.
    So what did you get and how did you equip it, and what color?

    I believe the Dura Ace brakes feel a little bit stiffer. We live in central Illinois so brakes are not used here like in areas where you have major downhills.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post
    So what did you get and how did you equip it, and what color?

    I believe the Dura Ace brakes feel a little bit stiffer. We live in central Illinois so brakes are not used here like in areas where you have major downhills.
    We went with a Tetra nude finish on the tandem with mostly an Ultegra groupo and Topolino wheels. I went with the DuraAce brakes too hopeing for more regidity. Previous post concerning the build is below.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...e-tandem-build

  11. #11
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    We utilize Dura Ace brake for front and Tektro Mini-V for rear on our Zona.
    Works well for us, but then we are a couple fairly lightweights (under 250 for the 2-of-us), but we do have some hills/mountains here in AZ!
    Topolinos on new Calfee should be great!
    Got them on my single bike and after13,000+ miles, still have had no need to even true them!
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdonterri View Post
    We went with a Tetra nude finish on the tandem with mostly an Ultegra groupo and Topolino wheels. I went with the DuraAce brakes too hopeing for more regidity. Previous post concerning the build is below.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...e-tandem-build

    I think you will be very happy with your selections.

  13. #13
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post
    So what did you get and how did you equip it, and what color?

    I believe the Dura Ace brakes feel a little bit stiffer. We live in central Illinois so brakes are not used here like in areas where you have major downhills.
    It's relative to the times. The current generation of Ultegra is stiffer than the Dura Ace of 10 years ago which was considered very adequate at that time.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
    It's relative to the times. The current generation of Ultegra is stiffer than the Dura Ace of 10 years ago which was considered very adequate at that time.
    True enough!

    I was comparing the Ultegra calipers on my wife's Ruby to the DuraAce on my Roubaix and aside from a slight difference in color they appear to be of the same dual pivot design also. So aside from a minor decrease in weight and increase in price the performance may be close to the Ultegras. But hey, it's a new bike and I was cost conscience on the rest of the build and I just had to have something DuraAce on it!

  15. #15
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    We had DA on our previous 9spd tandem, but with the vast improvement of Ultegra 10spd I went with that group for the Tetra I'm currently building up. It has all dark grey (almost black) Ultegra shifters and brakes, plus the new grey cranks. On the back is a cool looking XTR M972 (a suped up 772 I snagged on sale http://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-XTR...ear-Derailleur) and sticking with the long cage SGS for max tooth range.

    Oh forgot, the new Ultegra 10spd shifters also have carbon levers, so something of an upgrade over the previous versions.
    Last edited by twocicle; 04-09-12 at 02:05 PM.

  16. #16
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    Calfee Dragonfly

    Ours is a coupled dragonfly- I can't comment on the ride differences with the Tetra, but planning on only buying it once, decided to go all in. It is a great ride, ultegra di2, gates drive, bb7, Rolf tandem rims. 28# and could carve off more, but not so inclined for dollar/weight offset. soc.jpg (finally got my son out on a ride with us to take a photo)

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