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  1. #1
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    Calfee Tandem Build

    Hi, I have finally decided (95%) on my Tetra build that will start mid may at Calfee. I was wondering if the folks that are riding Calfee today would have any suggestions on water bottle mounts other than what Calfee does stock. I am heading down to CA next week to pickup a Tetra from Calfee to use in the Wine Country century (Santa Rosa) and I'm very excited since I have never ridden one as of yet.. Hope it goes well.


    Whiskey Carbon Road fork thru axle
    Enve 3.4 SES rims
    White Ind - Road CX thru axle hubs (front and rear)
    Thomson stems
    Thomson seatpost
    Thomson drop carbon bars
    Ultegra DI2 (adding climbing shifters) with Shimano Hydraulic road brakes (ice tech rotors)
    Praxis rings (still not 100%)
    Lightening Cranks 2x (50/34) (11-32)
    CDX gates belt system
    Chris King headset
    Water bottle cages (????)
    Frame Pump (????) not sure if I will add 1 on this tandem.

    I welcome feedback.

    Regards,
    JH

  2. #2
    Senior Member colotandem's Avatar
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    Our most recent custom tandem includes two sets of bottle cage mounts on the boom tube.

    I added them with the idea of utilizing a "tool tube" (pretty much a wide mouth water bottle where I store a tube, tire levers, patch kit, multitool and whatever else fits). I like having everything on the bike and not in my pockets and the wife does not like the look of a saddle bag - so it works well. We also have our Lezyne frame pump mounted to one of these bottle cages. The second bottle cage does not always get used, but have used it for an "extra bottle" when we are on long rides, but not really necessary for that. We have used it to store a bike lock that is in the shape of a water bottle. Its not a heavy duty lock, but it nice to be able to secure the bike when stopping for lunch or a coffee.

    I have had several other tandems comment on having more places to store things without losing one of your 4 actual water bottles.

    Full disclosure - we previously owned a Calfee, but currently do not. I took some leeway in posting my experience with water bottle mounts beyond the standard placement and I think that applies to any "made to order" or custom tandem, irrespective of the maker.
    Last edited by colotandem; 04-25-14 at 02:21 PM. Reason: Clarify that description does not apply to a Calfee frame

  3. #3
    Senior Member Team Fab's Avatar
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    Can you put a pump inside a seat post?

    Or carry a CO2 inflator that has a built in backup pump.

  4. #4
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Colotandem:

    That seems like a great idea for general storage.

    To OP:

    If your stoker is not going to need a suspension seatpost then have the stoker seat tube long enough for easy access to that water bottle in a normal cage. I am not a Calfee owner but have read plenty of water bottle cage threads here from those that are.

  5. #5
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    We are very happy with the four stock water bottle cage mounts. I use the rear most one for tool storage in a water bottle type took carrier.

    I would go deeper on the rear wheel all the way up to 8.8 or whatever Enve makes that is super deep. What rear spacing are you using? Make sure the rear wheel is 11 speed compatible. Absolutely would not add a pump, CO2 works great. Are you considering going tubeless on the tires? If you are make sure the wheels are designed for tubeless use.

    What Thompson posts and stems?

    10 speed or 11 speed? I would absolutely go 11 speed.

    Once I wear out the current shifters/drivetrain I will go 11 speed. My rear wheels are 11 speed compatible.

    Wayne (2011 Calfee, Pearl White)

  6. #6
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Plowhorse,

    As far as bottle locations go, I like the 4 standard location Calfee provides, plus we had them add one more to the bottom tube for my short stoker. Before that, she had trouble reaching her front bottle. I added an angle bracket to simulate a normal downtube mounted bottle cage. She loves it.
    see:
    2013 Calfee Di2 retrofit, nuding and rebuild (2014)

    Fork:
    I was recently browsing around looking for a fork with more offset than our current/oem ENVE tapered fork w/43mm offset (unfortunately ENVE does not make their tapered road fork in any other offset). I am looking to quicken the steering input on our Tetra tandem. Craig actually recommended moving up to a 50mm offset, but only the ENVE 2.0 road fork (with the straight 1 1/8" steer tube) has that option. I am sticking with the massive lower 1.5" tapered fork steerer as this is incredibly stiff and strong.

    I'm curious if you (or anyone else) has heard any feedback regarding the Whisky forks?

    Wheels:
    Nice! I would look at getting Centerlock hubs if you can. Lighter weight than pure ISO 6-bolt, plus you can always use a ISO 6-bolt adapter to run that type of ring, but cannot go the other way (ie: can't mount a centerlock rotor on a 6-bolt hub). Your options will depend on what spacing you choose. Based on research and talking to the great LBS manager, stay away from Chris King... far too much maintenance and costly proprietary parts, plus the freehub is quite draggy.

    Spacing:
    Needs vary per team and usage. If I were to build a bike right now, I would spec a 142mm X12 (thru axle) rear. If I put a disc on the front, then a thru axle fork.

    Rings:
    I also have a bunch of Stronglight rings coming in to test out. Diff combos to try out of these rings: 130bcd 52/50/48, 74bcd 34/32/30. Looking at the gear calculators, a 52/34 with 11-34, or 50/32 with 11-32 look optimal (we currently run a 48/30 with 11-28 for basic training at this time of year).

    Cranks:
    Not sure if you care about Q-factor or not. Just take note of what Lightening has for tandem cranks (ie: a much wider Q).
    Last edited by twocicle; 08-18-14 at 01:43 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
    Spacing:
    Needs vary per team and usage. If I were to build a bike right now, I would spec a 142mm X12 (thru axle) rear. If I put a disc on the front, then a thru axle fork.
    I've been wondering for a while why tandems have sometimes used non-standard (and therefore hard to find) dropout spacing. Is is all about reducing wheel dish, or are there other considerations I wasn't aware of? It seems like 142x12 makes a lot of sense for tandems. That would make it possible to use a lot of different wheels.

  8. #8
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plowhorse View Post

    Enve 3.4 SES rims
    White Ind - Road CX thru axle hubs (front and rear)
    What is the OLD? (135, 145 mm?)

    The Enve SES 3.4 comes in 20/24 spokes. Are you going to use 24 spokes on both? What spokes are you using? At Sea Otter, at the ENVE booth the rep, IIRC owned that Cannondale had ordered rims with 28 spokes. So, you might want to inquire about this. If lack of spokes has you concerned about wheel strength, consider the 6.7

    The classic rims come in 28 spokes.

  9. #9
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qspencer View Post
    I've been wondering for a while why tandems have sometimes used non-standard (and therefore hard to find) dropout spacing. Is is all about reducing wheel dish, or are there other considerations I wasn't aware of? It seems like 142x12 makes a lot of sense for tandems. That would make it possible to use a lot of different wheels.
    Correct. The idea was that wider rear spacing reduces wheel dish up to the point of symetrical (ie: 160mm) and therefore a stronger wheel. If building the ultimately strong wheel destined to carry heavy loads is the goal, then go for it. However for lighter loads and those desiring more "race like" performance, there is less need to over build wheels, especially with today's components. For example, there are plenty of tandem teams using 130mm spacing and single bike wheels without any issues - given their team weight and usage needs.

    I had thought 145mm was a decent (tandem) standard to stick to, but after shopping for disc hubs was rather appauled at the poor selection available when compared to the mass market world of single bikes. Either a 142mm X12 (thru axle) rear, or a 135mm QR rear would be my choice for our usage needs. Bizillions of hubs to choose from in those formats.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the great feedback.

    Twocicle - I like the placement of your extra cage, that is being added to the build list.

    Answers to the questions in this thread:

    Thomson Masterpiece Post
    Thomson x2 stems - I have x4 on my current tandem but looking to drop a couple grams on this build.
    White Industries - New this year Road Disc Hubs, center lock with thru axle front and rear
    Enve SES 3.4 Road Disc Rims with 24 holes (front and rear)
    DT Aerolite spokes
    Rear Wheel - 142mm x12 thru axle
    11 Spd

    I am new to this forum but I must say, you guys provide great information and I can tell you all love tandems :-)

  11. #11
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plowhorse View Post
    Whiskey Carbon Road fork thru axle
    Shimano Hydraulic road brakes (ice tech rotors)
    White Industries - New this year Road CX thru axle hubs center lock with thru axle front and rear
    Enve SES 3.4 Road Disc Rims with 24 holes (front and rear)
    DT Aerolite spokes
    Rear Wheel - 142mm x12 thru axle
    Whiskey Carbon Road fork thru axle
    Enve 3.4 SES rims
    This is a dual disc, then?

    Who is building your wheels? If front disc, the wheel will have less dish. With only 24 DT Aerolite's on 3.4 rim, are you confident the wheel will be sufficiently strong?

    If front disc, are you using the ENVE SES 2.4 disc clincher?

    Ways to stronger wheel include:

    • Use front caliper, and thus non-disc hub with greater width between flanges.
    • Check to see if ENVE has 28 spoke 3.4 rims.
    • Consider SES 6.7 rims, which would be stronger, stiffer, and shorten spokes.
    • More robust spokes, such as DT Comp.


    Edit:

    So, you are getting the CLD 15mm thru hub?

    This has Center to Flange 21.5mm and 35.5mm on the left and right, respectively. A total of 57 mm.

    The QR non-disc WI T11 hub, has a symmetrical 35.8 mm center-to-flange, a total of 71.6 mm.

    I don't know the particulars of how the center-to-flange distance affects wheel strength, except that wider makes for stiffer.

    Edit:

    A primer on wheel stiffness:

    Debunking Wheel Stiffness



    Wider flanges and deeper rims increase the spoke angle at the rim (assuming we’re talking about rims in which the spokes terminate at the rim ID). In simple geometric terms, the triangle created by the spokes and hub is wider – the base of the pyramid is more stable. This is the reason why 650c wheels are laterally stiffer than 700c wheels (assuming the same hub and rim construction). Got it?
    Last edited by Ritterview; 04-26-14 at 08:57 PM.

  12. #12
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plowhorse View Post
    Thanks for the great feedback.

    Twocicle - I like the placement of your extra cage, that is being added to the build list.

    Answers to the questions in this thread:

    Thomson Masterpiece Post
    Thomson x2 stems - I have x4 on my current tandem but looking to drop a couple grams on this build.
    White Industries - New this year Road Disc Hubs, center lock with thru axle front and rear
    Enve SES 3.4 Road Disc Rims with 24 holes (front and rear)
    DT Aerolite spokes
    Rear Wheel - 142mm x12 thru axle
    11 Spd

    I am new to this forum but I must say, you guys provide great information and I can tell you all love tandems :-)
    DT Aerolite spokes (compare to Sapim CX-Ray) are great, but in 24 spokes and disc brakes and on a tandem I would go with a beefier spoke such as the DT Aero Comp version. I built our rear 32h wheel with these spokes and to be honest it is hard to tell the diff between the Aero Comp vs the Aerolites (used for our front 32h rim brake wheel) without physically touching them. Added bonus is the Aero Comp are half the cost.

    When I called WI early this year to ask about 145mm 11spd and/or centerlock hubs, they told me they had no plans to produce either. So other than going with a non-tandem labeled hub in a 142mm or less spacing we are out of luck with choosing WI. AFAIK, CK also does not offer their tandem hub with 11spd or centerlock. Sucks to be a tandem spacing.

    With all the carbon rim choices out there and that you are going that route, I agree with your choice of front disc and not rim caliper.
    Last edited by twocicle; 04-26-14 at 07:15 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Braze-ons/glue-ons on some of our last 4 custom tandems (since 1975) have included:
    2 spare spokes holder under the boobtube; on stoker stem we have a ti glue-on to hang our mini garage door opener; custom water bottle holder on center of stoker's stem (not the bars) for a bottle cage (we remove the center stopper of large bottle and insert a plastic tube so stoker can drink/sip without removing a bottle) Pilot uses similar setup utilizing a Minoura bottle cage holder attached to his handlebars + a glue-on to hold Topeak MasterBlaster pump on top of boobtube.
    Lots of riding and decades of experience has taught to get what you need/want on a custom tandem.
    Photo attached . . .
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
    When I called WI early this year to ask about 145mm 11spd and/or centerlock hubs, they told me they had no plans to produce either. So other than going with a non-tandem labeled hub in a 142mm or less spacing we are out of luck with choosing WI. AFAIK, CK also does not offer their tandem hub with 11spd or centerlock. Sucks to be a tandem spacing.
    Twocicle, WI just updated their website last week with their brand new CLD 12mm x 142. Link below.

    White Industries - Disc Brake Rear Hubs

  15. #15
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Y, the 142 was known at the time I called. sadly, no +145mm hubs supporting either 11spd or centerlock in the near future.

    In the "other world" (single bikes / spacing), 11spd has been in use, for what, 3 or 4 years already? Plus, all the current electronic shifting is 11spd. Shimano Di2 10spd is not obsolete, but shops have been clearing out stock for the last 6 months.

    With the remaining lack of availability for 11spd "tandem hubs", is this the end of interest from mfrs to fully support this niche?
    Last edited by twocicle; 04-27-14 at 09:37 AM.

  16. #16
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    W.I. 11 speed hub 145 spacing
    image.jpg

  17. #17
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad1 View Post
    W.I. 11 speed hub 145 spacing
    image.jpg
    Nice go fast machine.

    Do explain that hack, cause WI does not produce 11spd hubs w/145mm as a normal production product. If I'm wrong, then show the published info.

    --

    update observation: above is non-disc hub. we were discussing disc hubs so the example is not really relevant.
    Last edited by twocicle; 06-05-14 at 02:41 PM.

  18. #18
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    If i was building a new bike it would have 135mm spacing. I believe Ritterview had the right idea on wheels and spacing. I converted our Calfee tandem to 135mm spacing and use HED 3 wheels front and rear. One of the nice things about living on the prairie is that I do not need disc brakes.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
    Nice go fast machine.

    Do explain that hack, cause WI does not produce 11spd hubs w/145mm as a normal production product. If I'm wrong, then show the published info.
    I have 2 sets of W.I. 11 speed hubs wheel sets, there is no published info on there web site your right about that, you need to contact W.I. This is not a normal production product, but a special request they will accommodate.

  20. #20
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    This is a dual disc, then?

    Who is building your wheels? If front disc, the wheel will have less dish. With only 24 DT Aerolite's on 3.4 rim, are you confident the wheel will be sufficiently strong?

    If front disc, are you using the ENVE SES 2.4 disc clincher?

    Ways to stronger wheel include:

    • Use front caliper, and thus non-disc hub with greater width between flanges.
    • Check to see if ENVE has 28 spoke 3.4 rims.
    • Consider SES 6.7 rims, which would be stronger, stiffer, and shorten spokes.
    • More robust spokes, such as DT Comp.


    Edit:

    So, you are getting the CLD 15mm thru hub?

    This has Center to Flange 21.5mm and 35.5mm on the left and right, respectively. A total of 57 mm.

    The QR non-disc WI T11 hub, has a symmetrical 35.8 mm center-to-flange, a total of 71.6 mm.

    I don't know the particulars of how the center-to-flange distance affects wheel strength, except that wider makes for stiffer.

    Edit:

    A primer on wheel stiffness:

    Debunking Wheel Stiffness



    Wider flanges and deeper rims increase the spoke angle at the rim (assuming we’re talking about rims in which the spokes terminate at the rim ID). In simple geometric terms, the triangle created by the spokes and hub is wider – the base of the pyramid is more stable. This is the reason why 650c wheels are laterally stiffer than 700c wheels (assuming the same hub and rim construction). Got it?
    All very good. Wider symmetrical hubs make stronger front wheels. The same goes for rear wheels.

  21. #21
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad1 View Post
    I have 2 sets of W.I. 11 speed hubs wheel sets, there is no published info on there web site your right about that, you need to contact W.I. This is not a normal production product, but a special request they will accommodate.
    I did phone WI and was told they had no intention to produce 11spd "tandem" 145mm hubs in the near future. I was looking for disc compatible (ie: Mi6), whereas your photo is non-disc. Which model(s) do you have?

  22. #22
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
    All very good. Wider symmetrical hubs make stronger front wheels. The same goes for rear wheels.
    Digressing into wheel building, and speaking only to the spoke angle discussion, did you also know that higher spoke cross results in a shallower angle than lower cross count (or radial) wheels?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
    I did phone WI and was told they had no intention to produce 11spd "tandem" 145mm hubs in the near future. I was looking for disc compatible (ie: Mi6), whereas your photo is non-disc. Which model(s) do you have?
    M15, did your rear hub come with a spacer to use on the free hub for 10spd? Mine did, without the spacer it's a 11spd, reason I'm asking I think both of these models are current with each other.
    Last edited by Bad1; 04-27-14 at 02:36 PM.

  24. #24
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad1 View Post
    M15, did your rear hub come with a spacer to use on the free hub for 10spd? Mine did, without the spacer it's a 11spd, reason I'm asking I think both of these models are current with each other.
    No. The Mi6-145mm freehub body will only accommodate a 10spd. It's definitely insufficiently spaced for a 11s. Disc vs non-disc hub.

  25. #25
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    I contacted ENVE, and they replied that they indeed have made a run of SES 3.4 rims.

    Quote Originally Posted by ENVE
    Cannondale has a special specification for this wheel that is a 28 hole rear 3.4 SES Rim. This rim is only available to Cannondale.
    Apparently there would need to be some special pleading to obtain one of these rims, which on a tandem would be much preferable to 24 hole. This pleading should come from whoever is building the wheel for you, as wheelbuilders are valued customers for rim manufacturers, whereas individual tandem owners are not.
    Last edited by Ritterview; 04-28-14 at 01:35 PM.

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