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Old 06-27-18, 10:12 AM
Clipless in Coeur d'Alene
twocicle's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Posts: 1,929

Bikes: Tandems: Calfee Dragonfly S&S, Ventana ECDM mtb; Singles: Specialized Tarmac SL4 S-Works, Specialized Stumpjumper Pro, etal.

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Our first two tandems were Santana's, mostly due to reasonable starter cost and nicer ride (in our opinion) over CoMotions tested. Our next 3 tandems were Calfee Tetra (2007 frame if I recall correctly that we picked up from a shop in CA), 2013 Tetra frame, 2015 Dragonfly frame. I built up all the Calfees at home and a very competent LBS.

IMO it really is ridiculous that Bill C. is still, in this day and age, attempting to refute front disc brake usage, insisting on his 160mm rear hub spacing w/Quick Release only, and is still trying to perfect his 10" rear rotor & yet-another-best-disc-caliper-ever. The stances regarding "must be tandem rated", then turn around and use standard dual pivot rim brakes on their rigs, seems at odds. Bill's "best ever" list keeps changing over the years, but these items seem to disappear consistently. These points basically say it all.

Our riding style needs are perhaps a bit on the fast and aggressive side of standard. We do like high speed downhills and our brake pads last a very long time - which should say a lot. In the past with rim brakes in the rain, we ended up sailing through a couple intersections where it was really sketchy. For our purposes, rim brakes just won't handle the riding style and conditions we encounter. Modern disc brakes front & rear are a no-brainer.

Nothing on the market is perfect though. I would like to see more modern carbon frame design with shaped tubing rather than using standard straight round tubes lashed together. Landshark seems to do some nice chainstay work, but then I haven't seen any thru-axle rear dropouts on tandems from that builder. Maybe thru axles are not a deal breaker on a fixed (vs suspension) rear triangle, but I do like the standard spacings and hubs available, plus that it does really lock in the rear wheel better than QR.

As it stands, our Calfees have all ridden great. I like to tinker and work my way eventually to the end of my ultimate wish list, which ended up being the Dragonfly.

Latest build photos for 2015 Dragonfly:

Last edited by twocicle; 06-27-18 at 11:05 AM.
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