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Another new Calfee build

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Another new Calfee build

Old 04-06-15, 03:53 PM
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bradcycles
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Another new Calfee build

I put in an order today for a new Calfee build below. There are still a couple open items for components where I'm hoping to get some feedback:

Calfee Tetra M/S frame
Nude carbon
TRP thru-axle cross disk fork (397 A-C, 47mm rake) (Total HT length = 13.5cm)
Chris king headset
Bushnell Eccentric
15mm front thru axle/100mm
142x12 rear thru axle
Shimamo Ultegra DI2 11 speed internal cable routing with seat post battery
11-32 11 speed Ultegra cassette
Lightning crankset 172.5 captain cranks, 170mm stoker cranks, Praxis chainrings 50/34
Gates centertrack belt drive
Enve seat posts
Enve captain and stoker stems
Profile Viper Wing 46cm stoker bars
Specialized Evo Pro 155mm captain saddle
Terry Women's FLX Carbon Saddle all-black
Shimano RS785 hydraulic brakes
Jaqwire hy/flow custom hydraulic lines front and rear
Shimano XTR icetech rotors 180/203
28mm continental 4000s II tires
Enve bottle cages
Enve Garmin mount

DT Swiss CLD hubs
DT aerolite or aerocomp spokes
Zipp 404 rims 28 hole - if available


The open items are the hubs, spokes, and rims. Apparently Wheelbuilder is having difficulty getting Zipp 404 rims with 28 spoke count. So, there's a possibility those rims may not be an option. Then, Calfee was suggesting the DT Swiss CLD hubs over the WI CLD hubs. I've noticed a couple tandems recently built up with the WI CLD hubs. What do people see as the tradeoffs between these hubs? Calfee originally suggested aerolite spokes, but I believe people were recommending the aerocomp spokes for their added strength. Thoughts?

Thanks for all the help. This forum has been really helpful in figuring out build details.
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Old 04-06-15, 05:43 PM
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Well ok, it's sort of a nice build if you like that kind of thing.

I posted in another thread an answer to the hub question... WI uses CroMo axles instead of AL, and WI rear hub has more bearings (tandem = heavy duty usage), yet the CLD hub weights are still fairly close and the WI hubs are a bit less expensive. DT's only advantage I can see is the ease of switching out the hub ends (QR/TA) FWIW, but WI does also have kits to change out (though it's a more involved process).

Wide road bars can be a problem for some people. It manifests as sore neck or pain between the shoulder blades. Take note of that with your 46cm stoker bars. My petite stoker uses 38cm bars on her road bike, but even though our 42cm stoker bars sometimes cause my stoker's thumbs to touch the rear of my thighs, it is the best ergo setup for her that we can achieve on a tandem. No issues.

Spokes: 28h tandem disc wheels, go with the beefier spokes... aero comp (these are flattened comps). Contrary to the specs, visually they are very similar to the lights.

Brad, will you be at NWTR in Bellingham? If so, I am planning a Mt Baker assault ride on July 2nd from Glacier. I've announced it to ETC (Evergreen Tandem Club) and a few other people. Think about it.

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Old 04-06-15, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
Well ok, it's sort of a nice build if you like that kind of thing.

I posted in another thread an answer to the hub question... WI uses CroMo axles instead of AL, and WI rear hub has more bearings (tandem = heavy duty usage), yet the CLD hub weights are still fairly close and the WI hubs are a bit less expensive. DT's only advantage I can see is the ease of switching out the hub ends (QR/TA) FWIW, but WI does also have kits to change out (though it's a more involved process).

Wide road bars can be a problem for some people. It manifests as sore neck or pain between the shoulder blades. Take note of that with your 46cm stoker bars. My petite stoker uses 38cm bars on her road bike, but even though our 42cm stoker bars sometimes cause my stoker's thumbs to touch the rear of my thighs, it is the best ergo setup for her that we can achieve on a tandem. No issues.

Spokes: 28h tandem disc wheels, go with the beefier spokes... aero comp (these are flattened comps). Contrary to the specs, visually they are very similar to the lights.

Brad, will you be at NWTR in Bellingham? If so, I am planning a Mt Baker assault ride on July 2nd from Glacier. I've announced it to ETC (Evergreen Tandem Club) and a few other people. Think about it.
thanks for the input. I will switch to the WI hubs and aerocomp spokes. Also thanks for thr input on the stoker bars. We are currently using the 46cm bars on our santana tandem to clear my butt, but i wonder if we can get away with more narrow bars on the calfee. My stoker uses 38cm bars on her road bike.

We are planning to go to NWTR, and calfee is trying to get the bike ready before then. We are currently scheduled to arrive on july 3, but the mt baker ride sounds fun. We will see about possibility of coming earlier. Several of our tandem friends from bay area will also be there.
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Old 04-07-15, 12:26 AM
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Brad
I like your specs, it has a strange resemblance to our recent build The White Industry hubs have super smooth bearings. I really like the way our wheels came out with the Aero comp spokes. You will like the new ride!!!
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Old 04-07-15, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by akexpress View Post
Brad
I like your specs, it has a strange resemblance to our recent build The White Industry hubs have super smooth bearings. I really like the way our wheels came out with the Aero comp spokes. You will like the new ride!!!
Yes, I liked your specs so much, that I knew I didn't need to change much. Thanks for your help and the help of others in figuring out the right mix of components for a great Calfee build! My wife and I are really excited about the new ride! We think it will be a nice upgrade from our 2001 Santana Team Aluminum tandem bike! And, now we will have a tandem rain bike (very helpful in Portland) and tandem summer bike.
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Old 04-08-15, 03:28 PM
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My stoker has 38cm bars on her single, I think we have 42cm on the tandem and it is just wide enough.
It might be different with the cow horn bars you want to use. We have FSA wing pro and really like them.
You might want to double check the length on the stoker cranks, we used to have 170mm but my wife likes 165mm better, she is 5'2".
We recently changed her saddle from a Terry Butterfly because she was having some discomfort and now is using a Selle Italia Diva which she likes better.
We have used Continental GP4000S tires for a long time and they are great tires, but recently I decided to try a Michelin Pro4 Endurance 25mm.
I started with it on the front and noticed it felt much smoother but didn't like the loss of road feel I had with the GP4000S 23mm, so I moved the Michelin to back and my wife noticed the ride was less bumpy so its staying there.
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Old 05-01-15, 06:48 AM
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we're also in the process of specing a Calfee. We're going with 28 spoke Enve Classic 65 rims.

Calfee is suggesting aerolite spokes, but at a team weight of 340, I'm thinking aero comp.

The aerocomps seem to be everybody's preference. I'm wondering if that is in part because the load put on a wheel by disc brakes. (we're going with rim brakes.)
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Old 05-01-15, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
we're also in the process of specing a Calfee. We're going with 28 spoke Enve Classic 65 rims.

Calfee is suggesting aerolite spokes, but at a team weight of 340, I'm thinking aero comp.

The aerocomps seem to be everybody's preference. I'm wondering if that is in part because the load put on a wheel by disc brakes. (we're going with rim brakes.)
calfee also suggested aerolote spokes to us (even with disc brakes). But as you said, everyone here seems to suggest aerocomps, sp i went with those spokes.
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Old 05-01-15, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
we're also in the process of specing a Calfee. We're going with 28 spoke Enve Classic 65 rims.

Calfee is suggesting aerolite spokes, but at a team weight of 340, I'm thinking aero comp.

The aerocomps seem to be everybody's preference. I'm wondering if that is in part because the load put on a wheel by disc brakes. (we're going with rim brakes.)
Interesting that ENVE seems to have removed "Rims" from their website and only advertising full wheelsets. What's up with that?!

One thing about Enve Classic 65 rims, AFAIK, they have a fairly narrow inside measurement, so you will not be benefiting from a general industry move to wider rims. Most carbon clinchers must have a minimum of 25mm outer to leave 18mm or so on the inner and sufficient air volume to provide a nicer ride quality. The Classic 65 is something like 22mm outer, and maybe 15mm inner.

As for the DT Aero Comp choice, well, when you are heading for a 28 spoke count and tandem load forces combined with disc brakes, trying to use 28 Aerolights (flattened Revos) are maybe dancing with the devil. Ritterview has a 28 spoke DT Comp (same spoke as Aero Comp) on his ENVE 65 wheels.
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Old 05-01-15, 08:58 PM
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Agree aero comps should be the go to spoke on the Enve 65's, having real life experience with the 65's with Dura Ace rim brakes I have not encountered any problems with the over all strength on this wheelset. As far as tire selection using conti's s2 23/25 there is no problems with either in handing at speeds, ones a little more aero, the other a little bit softer ride. One of our favorite rides is a 12 mile climb with 5 k vertical, on the descent I can't honestly tell the difference in handling, as a ex Europa Cup racer I used to ridicule some of my compatriots who'd be whining that they'd need a 1/2 degree more bevel in the S.G. Because they where slow! It's all about your line & how comfortable you are at speeds & how big of a scream your stroker has!
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Old 05-28-15, 11:09 PM
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Here is a photo of my Calfee tandem frame in paint. Estimated date of completion is June 17th, and we are flying down to ride it in Santa Cruz from June 19-21. So it will be ready for us to bring it to the NW Tandem Rally!
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Old 05-31-15, 10:11 AM
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getting close since you are flying down to ride it, you are giving Calfee a firm deadline on the complete build!

FWIW, regarding the brake hoses...

The Shimano RS785 hydraulic brake kit (levers and all) comes with BH59 hose. I used the BH59 hose on the front brake and prefer this over the Jagwire. For the rear, the Jagwire hose will get by and these brakes have plenty of stopping power (far more than TRP Spyre we occasionally used), however in spite of countless rebleedings and every trick in the book, I still find the rear lever feel a bit softer than I prefer (discussing with Mark/akexpress, he seems to concur). Theory is that given the long hose run to the rear, combined with a non-high pressure hose, this has a bit of give in it that would otherwise not be so obvious on a single bike setup.

I have my LBS in contact with the Shimano lead N. America tech who confirmed my idea of using the narrower bore high pressure BH90 hose (XTR) should provide a better feel given the long hose run on tandems. BH90 is not available for bulk purchase in the US (it is in Europe), and all the US Shimano tech trucks are out of stock so they have an order of it coming from Japan. I've got a request in for enough hose to make 2 lengths of 210cm. Should arrive in maybe another week or so and then I'll get to testing it on our build for only the rear brake.
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Old 05-31-15, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
getting close since you are flying down to ride it, you are giving Calfee a firm deadline on the complete build!

FWIW, regarding the brake hoses...

The Shimano RS785 hydraulic brake kit (levers and all) comes with BH59 hose. I used the BH59 hose on the front brake and prefer this over the Jagwire. For the rear, the Jagwire hose will get by and these brakes have plenty of stopping power (far more than TRP Spyre we occasionally used), however in spite of countless rebleedings and every trick in the book, I still find the rear lever feel a bit softer than I prefer (discussing with Mark/akexpress, he seems to concur). Theory is that given the long hose run to the rear, combined with a non-high pressure hose, this has a bit of give in it that would otherwise not be so obvious on a single bike setup.

I have my LBS in contact with the Shimano lead N. America tech who confirmed my idea of using the narrower bore high pressure BH90 hose (XTR) should provide a better feel given the long hose run on tandems. BH90 is not available for bulk purchase in the US (it is in Europe), and all the US Shimano tech trucks are out of stock so they have an order of it coming from Japan. I've got a request in for enough hose to make 2 lengths of 210cm. Should arrive in maybe another week or so and then I'll get to testing it on our build for only the rear brake.
When do we get to see pictures of the new build?
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Old 05-31-15, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bradcycles View Post



Here is a photo of my Calfee tandem frame in paint. Estimated date of completion is June 17th, and we are flying down to ride it in Santa Cruz from June 19-21. So it will be ready for us to bring it to the NW Tandem Rally!
It looks like they are wrapping the frame in foam to ship it. Where are you getting it built up?
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Old 05-31-15, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
It looks like they are wrapping the frame in foam to ship it. Where are you getting it built up?
Calfee is building it up. Calfee told me they were getting it ready for paint.

And thanks for the tips on the brake hoses. Would you suggest i ask Calfee to build it up with the hoses as you suggest?
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Old 06-01-15, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by bradcycles View Post
Calfee is building it up. Calfee told me they were getting it ready for paint.

And thanks for the tips on the brake hoses. Would you suggest i ask Calfee to build it up with the hoses as you suggest?
You did say the frame was going to be nude, right? So what paint? We did painted black gloss Calfee decals with silver shells and name tags on the nude and it looks really nice like they are embossed on the tubes. The Ti head tube tag may add a couple grams, but I'll just forgo eating a bagel and call it a wash (we have couplers and disc brakes, so it's not the absolute lightest build possible).

Since obtaining the XTR BH90 hose may miss your deadline, for now just get it on the road with the Jagwire for the rear. I won't be testing the BH90 hose until it eventually shows up... maybe a week, maybe two or more.

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Old 06-01-15, 12:09 AM
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I recently rebleed my rear brake one last time and I think it is quite good now. I am not sure the lever throw is ever going to be like mechanical but the braking is superb. I don't think I could get it all the way to bars as it gets very firm at the end and has good modulation. I have been riding my mountain bike more lately and even the XTR brakes have a fair amount of throw so I think the road levers just seem to accentuate that characteristic. I am using Jagwire hose, if Bryan gets better results with BH90 I will switch otherwise I think mine are good to go.
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Old 06-01-15, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
You did say the frame was going to be nude, right? So what paint? We did painted black gloss Calfee decals with silver shells and name tags on the nude and it looks really nice like they are embossed on the tubes. The Ti head tube tag may add a couple grams, but I'll just forgo eating a bagel and call it a wash (we have couplers and disc brakes, so it's not the absolute lightest build possible).
Correct. We have nude frame. We are also getting a few black decals painted on and also the ti head tube tag.
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Old 06-02-15, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by bradcycles View Post
I put in an order today for a new Calfee build below. There are still a couple open items for components where I'm hoping to get some feedback:

Enve seat posts
I started out all this as a weight weenie. With more experience is greater wisdom, and now I'm a stoker coddling weenie. The more stoker comfort and confidence, the more and better riding there will be.

We have ENVE seatposts, and still do for the captain. For the stoker we use an Ergon CF3 Pro Carbon SetBack seatpost. Its a real improvement.

The Ergon seatpost is helpful for comfort, confidence and control.
  • 250 grams is about 70 grams additional.
  • It really soaks up the bumps for the stoker.
  • It allows me to hold to the the line and go over irregularities rather than avoiding them.
  • Its more stable descending, especially if there's a road irregularity. Movement is absorbed, rather than having the stoker's weight oscillate.
  • Carbon frame smoother than alumunum, good. Wider tires smoother than thinner, good. Ergon suspension seatpost smoother than conventional. Its all good.
  • The install is a bit tricky, requiring a shim with a Calfee frame. That's best done by Calfee as part of your bike build.
  • Its elegant and purposeful. It adds interest at no detraction of esthetics. Its expensive, but not much delta over an Enve seatpost. In the unlikely event you don't like it on the tandem, it'd be great on a 'cross bike.
  • But, if you don't think your stoker's comfort and confidence are paramount, I guess that's okay. My stoker is happy, like clam.



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Old 06-02-15, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post

We have ENVE seatposts, and still do for the captain. For the stoker we use an Ergon CF3 Pro Carbon SetBack seatpost. Its a real improvement.

The Ergon seatpost is helpful for comfort, confidence and control.
[*]But, if you don't think your stoker's comfort and confidence are paramount, I guess that's okay. My stoker is happy, like clam.
The Ergon seatpost looks and sounds great. But my stoker has never once complained about comfort, even on our aluminum Santana tandem with an easton carbon seatpost. Even after spending a continuous 5.5 hours (except for a 4 minute restroom stop) on the bike at the 117 mile (and 6700 feet of climbing) Oregon Gran Fondo on Sunday! And, as you know, we never get out of the saddle when we ride.

I have asked her if she has any interest in this seatpost, and she doesn't (as she has zero complaints about comfort).

Our current bike feels plenty stable on descents, and I expect the Calfee will only feel better on descents.
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Old 06-02-15, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bradcycles View Post
The Ergon seatpost looks and sounds great. But my stoker has never once complained about comfort, even on our aluminum Santana tandem with an easton carbon seatpost. Even after spending a continuous 5.5 hours (except for a 4 minute restroom stop) on the bike at the 117 mile (and 6700 feet of climbing) Oregon Gran Fondo on Sunday! And, as you know, we never get out of the saddle when we ride.

I have asked her if she has any interest in this seatpost, and she doesn't (as she has zero complaints about comfort).

Our current bike feels plenty stable on descents, and I expect the Calfee will only feel better on descents.
Even with a super stiff Thomson Elite post, my stoker never thought the Calfee ride needed more comfort, even after riding the roughest roads ever in Puglia Italy. She uses a Terry Carbon Butterfly saddle and that was all.

I splurged and got her a Specialized S-Works Pave SL seatpost which to her surprise did take the edge off rough road vibration and heavier wheel hits. She likes this setup a lot.

Other nice things about the Pave is that is a fairly standard looking post and nothing odd about the install as far as a carbon post goes. It is also light weight (210gm with the very long, uncut post length) and not outrageously expensive. I think it is a great addition to the Calfee with only a few grams penalty over the lightest posts available.

Downside to any carbon post is that you should not ever use a seatpost attached rack.
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Old 06-16-15, 11:14 AM
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It looks like at least 2 of you have spec'd DI2. Can you direct me to a discussion on the pros/cons of this (vs-cable operated shifters)?

Also, since I have been out of discussions until recently, is there also a pros/cons discussion of hydraulic disc brakes -vs- rim brakes for a tandem? Are discs even an option for the front of a tandem? Are hydraulic discs an option?
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Old 06-16-15, 02:09 PM
  #23  
merlinextraligh
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Originally Posted by oldacura View Post
It looks like at least 2 of you have spec'd DI2. Can you direct me to a discussion on the pros/cons of this (vs-cable operated shifters)?

Also, since I have been out of discussions until recently, is there also a pros/cons discussion of hydraulic disc brakes -vs- rim brakes for a tandem? Are discs even an option for the front of a tandem? Are hydraulic discs an option?
As for Di2, by all accounts it sifts marvelously. I think this will be a bigger advantage on a tandem, given that we've never been fully satisfied with the shifting on our tandem with Dura Ace 7800, triple. I think the higher pedaling forces on a tandem, and moreso the longer cable runs, make shifting on a tandem less smooth and accurate, than on a single bike. Di2 should be an improvement in both these regards (no cables, so cable run doesn't matter, and the system is deisgned to front shift under load.

Major disadvantage to Di2 on a tandem is that there is no currently available road triple. Given 11 speed groups, and the ability to adapt to a wide range cassette, we don't see this as a major problem though.

As for disc brakes, you can definitely do hydraulic disc brakes, front and bake. Shimano has hydraulic levers that are compatible with Di2. We opted for rim brakes for weight and aero, having always been satisfied with Dura Ace rim brakes, for our use.
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Old 06-16-15, 02:58 PM
  #24  
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I did read a review in Bicycling Magazine (I think) of the new Shimano integrated hydraulic disc / Di2 brifters (single road bike). I think the reviewer was skeptical but ended up liking both very well.

I think the fact that the Di2 won't work with a triple could be a deal killer for us. We definitely use our high (54/11) and low (30/32 I think) gears. Going forward, we may not need the high end but we almost certainly will need the low end.

Will Calfee build a tandem with hydraulic discs and Di2 currently?
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Old 06-16-15, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by oldacura View Post
I did read a review in Bicycling Magazine (I think) of the new Shimano integrated hydraulic disc / Di2 brifters (single road bike). I think the reviewer was skeptical but ended up liking both very well.

I think the fact that the Di2 won't work with a triple could be a deal killer for us. We definitely use our high (54/11) and low (30/32 I think) gears. Going forward, we may not need the high end but we almost certainly will need the low end.

Will Calfee build a tandem with hydraulic discs and Di2 currently?
I had Ultegra Di2 on my Specialized Tarmac which I recently sold. Yes it did shift perfectly every time and it never needed adjusting and it was nice to have no cables running on the outside of the frame.
But on my new road bike I opted to go mechanical with Campy Chorus 11 speed, why?

I love the ergonomics of Campy shifter both the shape of hoods and the crispness of the shifting. I also like the thumb shifter for down shifts, I often down shift using my water bottle, can't do that with Shimano Di2 or not. With Shimano I often confuse up and down shifts and I HATE the shape of the hoods.
This is going to sound weird, but having electronic shifting made me feel more like I was driving a car and isolated from the bicycle which is purely mechanical and powered by myself.
I lost the intimacy between myself a crucial part of riding a bike. Like you said no Di2 triple is a deal breaker for me.
My current setup on our Calfee is a hybrid of Campy Centaur shifters / Sram Force WiFly rear derailleur and Shimano 12-30 cassette. It shifts pretty well but its not as good as it could be, I might someday soon convert the rear wheel and derailleur to Campy.
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