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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 07-23-14, 08:14 PM   #1
MRacing
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Our new Calfee finally arrives!

First post! New to this site but not new to tandems. Wish I had found this site earlier I would have saved myself a lot of head scratching while determining our final build!
After starting with a Burley then onto a Comotion Java 15 years ago, we finally took delivery of a new Calfee. We put it thru its paces at the recent Eastern Tandem Rally and I can't emphasize enough just how well it rides and handles. It really is a dream bike for us and we literally broke the bank to complete it! But it was worth every penny.

We started with a Dragonfly frame and a new carbon disk fork from Comotion.
DI2 Ultegra, 11-32 11spd
Full hydro brakes, Shimano 160 IceTech rotors
Lightning cranks with Praxis rings, 52/36
Gates CenterTrack belt
Rolf carbon tandem wheels
Chris King headset, tapered fork steerer
Enve seat posts, FSA carbon bars

The hydro disk brakes are simply a revelation, great power and modulation, even thru the Catskill mountains around our home or the terrain of Vermont this weekend. Superb. With many years riding Campy on my singles and on the Comotion, DI2 seemed the best(only) option if we wanted electronic shifting and full hydraulic disks and it did not disappoint. It proved flawless, up/down, under load standing, every time. Impressive. The Rolf wheels we had on our Comotion have performed very well over the last 2 years so we took a chance on the new carbon disc-only Rolf's and so far they have been fine, they are a bit lighter and seem as stiff as the alloy version but they are more of a handful in strong crosswinds. I've read mixed reviews about the Rolf's but so far they have been good to us, so time will tell after we have some more miles on our newest pair. Tires are Conti 4 season 25mm in front and 28mm rear, same as we've used the last few years with good results and ok wear. Would like to try something else and maybe 25mm in the rear also, options?

We are missing only our very smallest gear since we moved to a double crank from our old triple and so far have not missed it even with a lot of very steep climbs, that was one of my worries. As a high performance tandem I think it hits the mark for us, we will play with some small fit adjustments with different bars and stems but otherwise we will just ride!
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Old 07-23-14, 09:06 PM   #2
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WOW, That bike is incredible, and welcome to the forum.
Speed, handling, ride comfort, electronic shifting, front rear disc, super wheels...
We have been riding our Tetra Calfee for about 7 years and it is still a great bike.
Would love to upgrade after I get that silly mortgage paid off.

Rob
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Old 07-23-14, 09:48 PM   #3
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Suh...weet!
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Old 07-23-14, 10:54 PM   #4
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Great looking Calfee!
We've ridden our custom c/f Zona tandem for the past 11 years and have 40,000+ miles on the odo.
Still rides great!
Enjoy the ride TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 07-24-14, 04:48 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum MRacing!

i was drooling over your bike at ETR. What a beauty!
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Old 07-24-14, 09:31 AM   #6
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Dragonflys taste great. Less filling

Regarding your gearing comment (missing a lower granny), don't be too afraid to try stretching the front gap a bit more. I'm quite sure a 34t would work fine with your setup. Our Di2 FD has no problem moving the chain up/down on a 48/30t setup (once I figured out how to solve a overshift problem due to us using narrower standard road triple cranks). If you can't find a source for a 34t (ie: Praxis), try a Stronglight 74mm which will cost only 10.75 € from xxcycle.com. I've bought a bunch of Stronglight rings from there, cheap.

The Rolf carbon rims are not all that wide, especially the internal width (only 15mm), so you won't benefit from any extra air volume and ability to use lower air pressure, etc. Meaning, depending on your load and roads, you may need to stick to using a 28mm on the rear. I'd suggest also using a 28mm on the front as well, to better protect that expensive rim.

Last edited by twocicle; 07-24-14 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 07-24-14, 09:40 PM   #7
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Thanks for the kind words. Had a great time meeting everyone this past weekend, looking forward to riding together again soon!
Did some more good climbs today and it really does climb well, especially standing. Light and responsive, looking forward to more!
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Old 07-25-14, 07:39 AM   #8
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Mracing, can you please post a pic of the stoker top tube showing the hydraulic hose routing ?

Thanks,
JH
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Old 07-25-14, 11:53 AM   #9
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I thought the new Dragonfly incorporated a lugged appearance at all of the joints, is that not correct?
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Old 07-25-14, 11:59 AM   #10
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Very very nice, enjoy the ride and have a great time, that's what it's all about.

Take Care All,
Bill G
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Old 07-25-14, 02:06 PM   #11
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Hmmm. Well we also started with a Burley and now ride a Co-motion. So as I showed my wife the pics I said now we have to start planning on getting a new Calfee! Sweet bike!!
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Old 07-25-14, 02:29 PM   #12
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Another tasty Dragonfly Calfee, this one from OZ Tandem (AU team currently at the UCI Worlds in Spain) on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Oztandem
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Old 07-25-14, 05:24 PM   #13
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Very palatable paint design
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Old 07-27-14, 01:16 PM   #14
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Plowhorse, I think you can see the hydro lines routed in one of the pics above. There is a channel along the captains seat tube joint and then cable-type guides along the stokers top tube and seat stay down to the caliper. Keeps it accessible and serviceable.
I asked about the lugged construction and appearance(which I would have liked) on the dragonfly singles. However the construction of the tandem frames require the tube junctions to be wrapped rather than lugged so that detail is lost. The tubes are still the carbon/boron spec and very light/stiff and the unidirectional wrap at the head tube looks amazing.
Many owners go for the bare carbon look but we work and handcraft carbon fiber goods(whole other topic) so we wanted something more. We struggled with paint options(who doesn't?) until we settled on the white pearl/cab red fade, and kept some clear carbon highlights on the front, rear inside triangle, and the Calfee names are actually stenciled relief around the carbon. I think it came out pretty slick
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Old 07-27-14, 01:44 PM   #15
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MRacing's new bike was the talk of the town at ETR. I had 2-3 people make conversation with: "did you see the red and white Calfee with carbon rims and hydraulic DI2?"
Now you have to make an obligatory post on the Happy Tandem Couple's thread! The picture my stoker took of you guys was one of the best looking pictures we got last weekend.
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Old 07-27-14, 08:47 PM   #16
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Thanks! Posted a couple pics in the "couples" thread. I'm still trying to place all the names/faces/forum names together so I can stay in touch.
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Old 07-28-14, 07:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRacing View Post
Plowhorse, I think you can see the hydro lines routed in one of the pics above. There is a channel along the captains seat tube joint and then cable-type guides along the stokers top tube and seat stay down to the caliper. Keeps it accessible and serviceable.
MRacing, I can't really see in the pic but is there a cable guide in the middle of the stoker top tube that is incorporated in the frame ?
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Old 07-28-14, 08:28 AM   #18
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A couple of questions:

1) What was gearing on the old tandem (or at least what was low gear)?

2) What is weight of new vs. old tandem?

Thanks for the post, we're in the early stages of spec'ing a Calfee D-Fly tandem and this information is very helpful.
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Old 07-28-14, 09:20 AM   #19
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Quick pic, a little blurry. The cable runs thru a channel at the seat post junction.

My triple on our Comotion was a 52/44/32 with a 12/27 out back, now we are running a 52/36 and a 11/32. We give up our previous lowest gear with this but with a much lighter bike, easier and more timely shifting and better feel with the gates belt when we stand it has not mattered. I think we could always go to a 34 in back or keep a smaller set of compact rings(50 or 48/32) for some crazy climbing if needed.
The new bike was somewhere around 25 lbs with my makeshift weighing as I finished assembling. With cages etc it's probably 26. That makes it a solid 12 lbs lighter than our old bike!!
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Old 07-29-14, 07:23 AM   #20
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MRacing, thanks so much for trying to get me a pic of the cable route. The specific area I would love to see is just back from the pic you posted of the stoker top tube. Is there a cable guide in the center of the stoker top tube so that the cable doesn't slap the top tube when hitting bumps in the road ? Sorry for being a pain, trying to solve a problem on my tandem.
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Old 07-29-14, 04:55 PM   #21
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Welcome to the Team of Calfee Tandems........beautiful work on the carbon lugged areas with the (nude translucent?) You are going to appreciate it more each time to ride...I know we do. Here is a little trick paint job we did by embedding a metallic logo..
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Old 07-29-14, 09:24 PM   #22
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TeamG, sharp logo graphic.
Here is another pic of the stoker seat tube and cable guides, there is another guide in the middle of the top tube as well. The line(cable) may move around a little when riding, but I used it to wind the wire for the computer from the rear wheel up to the stokers bars. So problem solved.
We made the carbon pieces in front and behind the stoker seat tube to protect the frame when it sits in our bike stand.
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Old 07-30-14, 02:04 PM   #23
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There must be a story about the stoker computer. You have spared no expense in the building of this bike and you are using a wired rear computer. That is just not in good taste! LOL.

Are you comfortable clamping on the stoker seat tube even with your custom carbon pieces? I have a spare seat post that I use, I remove the stoker seat and install the spare post.
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Old 07-30-14, 09:39 PM   #24
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My stoker resisted my attempts at up selling her to a blinged out gps computer cockpit, and opted to carry on with her tried, reliable and wired computer. Maybe it's a nod to not all things new are necessarily better or needed. The old computer is lighter(therefore faster), doesn't lock up or run out of battery power( hello Garmin), and doesn't alert the world where we are all the time(do I really need live updates?). But I'm still working on the up sell
The frame is not clamped in a stand, a stand props up the rear off the floor when the bike is in our garage. We use a separate repair stand clamped to the seat post as you mentioned when I need to do work.
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Old 07-31-14, 05:30 AM   #25
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I thought that might be the case. My stoker uses a Bontrager node1 that is wireless and fairly basic, she is happy with it.
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