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Old 05-01-15, 09:53 AM   #1
twocicle
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2015 Calfee Dragonfly build

Here is our latest 2015 Dragonfly frame build hot off production:



Size Med/Sm Dragonfly with couplers, thru-axle, 1cm headtube extension, brake hose clips for travel/packing, +1 bottle cage on the bottom tube. Per the photo... yeap, 9.77lbs totally nude except for a few painted decals + the Ti head badge.


With more people opting for higher power disc brakes (Shimano hydraulics for example), Calfee is now adding a brace on the rear disc side to all their tandems. They have done this for quite a while on their mtn frames, now it is also on the road setups. If you are going with rim brakes or a lightweight disc (ie TRP Spyer or Avid BB7) then you could probably still ask for no extra brace for the lightest possible setup. I opted to keep the rear rim brake bridge for the dual purpose of maybe running rim brakes (maybe for a race setup) and also for a "touring mode" pannier rack mount point (at brake bridge & threaded frame eyelets). Our default brake config will be using the Shimano R785 Di2 hydro disc levers and calipers. Our 2016 tour destination looks to be in those gentle hills known as the Pyrenees.

Fork is a Whisky No.9 road disc 49mm rake.

Here's a sibling side-by-side (err, over under). Interestingly, the new Dragonfly stoker top tube couplers are spaced approx 5/8" further apart than the 2013 Tetra. Not sure why, but ok...



More on this as I get myself organized to build it up. Heading out to single bike races in Wenachee this weekend.
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Last edited by twocicle; 05-03-15 at 06:10 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-01-15, 10:57 AM   #2
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Nice looking bike. I also find it interesting to see the Calfee shop in the background. Does anyone have an idea of the number of tandem frames built by Calfee in a year?
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Old 05-01-15, 12:23 PM   #3
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Nice looking bike. I also find it interesting to see the Calfee shop in the background. Does anyone have an idea of the number of tandem frames built by Calfee in a year?
i don't know, but it seems a lot are sold to members of this forum.
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Old 05-01-15, 12:24 PM   #4
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Twocicle,

Very nice. Any idea how much of the 9.77lbs is the couplers?
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Old 05-01-15, 09:12 PM   #5
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they say 2.8lbs for the couplers.

the new rear end is massive looking, so that must add a bit as well...


some factory drillium work done for Di2 wire routing...
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File Type: jpg P1050481 (Custom).jpg (83.6 KB, 701 views)
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Last edited by twocicle; 05-01-15 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 05-03-15, 01:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
Here is our latest 2015 Dragonfly frame build hot off production:



Size Med/Sm Dragonfly with couplers, thru-axle, 1cm headtube extension, brake hose clips for travel/packing, +1 bottle cage on the bottom tube. Per the photo... yeap, 9.77lbs totally nude except for a few painted decals + the Ti head badge.


With more people opting for higher power disc brakes (Shimano hydraulics for example), Calfee is now adding a brace on the rear disc side to all their tandems. They have done this for quite a while on their mtn frames, now it is also on the road setups. If you are going with rim brakes or a lightweight disc (ie TRP Spyer or Avid BB7) then you could probably still ask for no extra brace for the lightest possible setup. I opted to keep the rear rim brake bridge for the dual purpose of maybe running rim brakes (maybe for a race setup) and also for a "touring mode" pannier rack mount point (at brake bridge & threaded frame eyelets). Our default brake config will be using the Shimano R785 Di2 hydro disc levers and calipers. Our 2016 tour destination looks to be in those gentle hills known as the Pyrenees.

Fork is a Whisky No.9 road disc 49mm rake.

Here's a sibling side-by-side (err, over under). Interestingly, the new Cragonfly stoker top tube couplers are spaced approx 5/8" further apart than the 2013 Tetra. Not sure why, but ok...



More on this as I get myself organized to build it up. Heading out to single bike races in Wenachee this weekend.
I am confident that there is an extremely good reason for the new frame, if I remember correctly this is the third frame in three years and the current one has been extensively modified. So, what will this one accomplish that the previous two did not and what objective performance gains do you expect to receive? A curious mind wants to know.
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Old 05-04-15, 05:16 PM   #7
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I am confident that there is an extremely good reason for the new frame, if I remember correctly this is the third frame in three years and the current one has been extensively modified. So, what will this one accomplish that the previous two did not and what objective performance gains do you expect to receive? A curious mind wants to know.
Three years is not quiet correct. Make it four

This one is mostly about getting the rear thru-axle 142mm (135mm hub) and new rear spec for hydraulic disc. Matched with a 49mm rake thru-axle disc fork. Remember, I was the first to post about the thru-axles coming, but missed the TA parts availability at the time. I've just done my first WI rear hub QR to TA hub conversion... a piece of cake to do and cheaply done. Love the way the wheel is locked onto the bike and zero chance of losing it under hard braking.

Addnl: Craig did some custom lathe work on the S&S coupler internals for a slightly lighter "SL" version, but the end weight reduction wasn't a lot. The stainless outer part was untouched. We're the testers for this trial.

Last edited by twocicle; 05-04-15 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 05-04-15, 08:53 PM   #8
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As the owner of your first Calfee, don't we have a deal that whenever you get a new frame I get the old one? I can send you our address if you don't still have it. To be generous, I'll even split the shipping cost 50/50
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Old 05-04-15, 11:48 PM   #9
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As the owner of your first Calfee, don't we have a deal that whenever you get a new frame I get the old one? I can send you our address if you don't still have it. To be generous, I'll even split the shipping cost 50/50
Just send me a check for $10k and I'll return the diff to you. Oh wait, wrong thread and I did it backwards too.
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Old 05-05-15, 09:26 AM   #10
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Hmm... $10K? I assume you're using the potassium to make an energy drink, but it is much easier to do that from KCl. Since 19/36 of KCl is potassium, I'll send you a check for $18.95 to cover the chlorine cost as well.

In all seriousness, the new tandem looks lovely (as does the "old" tandem). Are you keeping both? Doing something new and innovative with the old one? Enjoy!
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Old 05-05-15, 12:21 PM   #11
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Nice looking bike. I also find it interesting to see the Calfee shop in the background. Does anyone have an idea of the number of tandem frames built by Calfee in a year?
I think the serial number would tell you that. Ours was No 3 hundred something and that was some years ago.
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Old 06-20-15, 11:27 PM   #12
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I've just added some new distal radius hardware to our build. Outcome from a road race pileup. Won't be testing it on the road for ~3 months.

Looks like this...



TBD: Ride this new Calfee sometime in September.
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Old 06-22-15, 08:37 AM   #13
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Ouch!

I'm trying to recall from my high school biology: "distal radius" - wrist end of the big bone in your forearm?

When I hear of crashes it makes me not want to ride in packs.

Heal fast & fully.
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Old 06-22-15, 11:40 AM   #14
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I've just added some new distal radius hardware to our build. Outcome from a road race pileup. Won't be testing it on the road for ~3 months.

Looks like this...



TBD: Ride this new Calfee sometime in September.
Makes my stokers current broken collarbone look routine. Racing anything is more exciting and dangerous than just riding it.
Breaks that close to the joint make me shiver.
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Old 11-05-15, 04:24 PM   #15
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Winter mod/retrofit season has begun.

As white slush is landing today, our so-called 2015 Calfee build remains unridden. We have not been on a tandem since March due to injuries. What a sad state this year

Finally got the 55mm Light Bicycle rims built up at my LBS. With WI CLD thru axle hubs, 32 DT Aerolight spokes plus nipple washers added for this build, they weighed in at 1840gm (510gm/rim with brake surface option in case we run rim brakes, plus to opt for the beefiest version) which is not bad at all for a set of wide, 55mm tall wheels with disc compatible hubs. Shockingly, that is pretty much the same weight as our BHS wheels (identical hubs, but DT aeorlight front and aero comps rear) shown below! Doing some rough math, the carbon rims are 15gm heavier, but with shorter spokes of all aerolights front and rear, the weight is a wash. In spite of the much taller rim, I stayed with 32 spokes over 28, for a slightly better wheel strength and safety margin. 4 more aerolight spokes per wheel is a negligible weight penalty but the benefits are IMO worth it on the tandem.

I had just enough hand strength to coax on a set of new 25mm Schwalbe ZX tires, though worked up some blistered fingers in the process. An interesting tip about mounting tires on these rims concerns the tube well and what appears to be an extra dip in the side (design for locking in a tubeless tire). In order to get a tire mounted by hand (no tools), it is imperative to ensure the tire bead is sitting down in the low point of the middle well, otherwise the bead will be too tight to slip over the rim. Then while pumping up the tires, at around 60-80 psi a few very loud pops/crack sounds occur as the beads move up from the low middle well and snap over to the side pockets and rim wall. At first it sort of scared me, then after inspection I realized what happened. All normal.

Here's a photo of the pair...


After inflating overnight, the tires remained at the same 26.3mm width as when mounted (incidentally, the same width as on our 23mm wide BHS rims). No growth/bloating like Conti tires typically do. Side by side, they really do dwarf the 28mm tall BHS wheels. Discs to be mounted.

Carbon rims: $414 delivered
Final total cost (factoring in my LBS discount): $1100
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File Type: jpg new U55 clincher.jpg (17.5 KB, 835 views)
File Type: jpg P1060366 (Custom).jpg (95.7 KB, 683 views)

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Old 11-05-15, 04:57 PM   #16
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Did you set them up tubeless?
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Old 11-05-15, 05:44 PM   #17
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Did you set them up tubeless?
Nope. AFAIK, the Ultremo ZX != tubeless compatible.
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Old 11-06-15, 09:39 AM   #18
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From what I read on web site those rims are tubeless ready.

If you are not riding why not experiment.
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Old 11-06-15, 09:57 AM   #19
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From what I read on web site those rims are tubeless ready.

If you are not riding why not experiment.
Yes, these LB rims are tubeless ready and that did introduce a slightly new twist for mounting normal tires/tubes (noted above).

But not bothering with tubeless for the foreseeable future...

1) Have a big supply of non-tubeless tires
2) Known tire performance and availability, plus cost
3) I hate working with slimy goo, and
4) given our injuries this year, experimenting with our fate on the tandem at this point is beyond our patience threshold

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Old 11-06-15, 10:04 AM   #20
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Re: #2

I hear you. I cant understand why people are choosing Tubeless ready over UST with no slime.
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Old 11-07-15, 01:00 AM   #21
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This one is mostly about getting the rear thru-axle 142mm (135mm hub) and new rear spec for hydraulic disc. Matched with a 49mm rake thru-axle disc fork. Remember, I was the first to post about the thru-axles coming, but missed the TA parts availability at the time. I've just done my first WI rear hub QR to TA hub conversion... a piece of cake to do and cheaply done. Love the way the wheel is locked onto the bike and zero chance of losing it under hard braking.
Pretty sweet ride!

The 142-12 hub will be joined by the Boost 148 in 2016. The Boost 148 has all the benefits of the 142-12 (eg. thru axle, auto centering), but the hub is 6mm wider. Tires are getting wider (3" or wider on gravel & mtn bikes), and the Boost 148 will work better with the wider rims and tires. The wider spacing is also good for tandem wheels. There is a matching Boost 110 front hub, but the wider axle may be less useful for tandems.
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Old 11-07-15, 02:44 PM   #22
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Pretty sweet ride!

The 142-12 hub will be joined by the Boost 148 in 2016. The Boost 148 has all the benefits of the 142-12 (eg. thru axle, auto centering), but the hub is 6mm wider. Tires are getting wider (3" or wider on gravel & mtn bikes), and the Boost 148 will work better with the wider rims and tires. The wider spacing is also good for tandem wheels. There is a matching Boost 110 front hub, but the wider axle may be less useful for tandems.
The Boost 148 52mm chainline could pose a Q-factor problem for us regardless of running either a double or triple stoker crank. Very few tandem triple cranksets are narrow enough for my stoker. The discontinued Shimano r603 was one of the few that was acceptable in conjunction with a 145mm spacing. Davinci would be another. All of the FSA tandem sets are too wide. I have spoken with Lightning about making a custom double tandem crankset that would be no wider than 157mm Q, but have not ventured to order one yet.
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Old 11-07-15, 10:39 PM   #23
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The Boost 148 52mm chainline could pose a Q-factor problem for us regardless of running either a double or triple stoker crank. Very few tandem triple cranksets are narrow enough for my stoker. The discontinued Shimano r603 was one of the few that was acceptable in conjunction with a 145mm spacing. Davinci would be another. All of the FSA tandem sets are too wide. I have spoken with Lightning about making a custom double tandem crankset that would be no wider than 157mm Q, but have not ventured to order one yet.
Although the Q factor may not suit every team, there are many frames that work well with 145 or 160mm wheel spacing.

If you're using hydraulic brakes, are you using external cable routing? Please post a photo because we're considering this option. Also, please post a follow-up on the Whisky No.9 fork after you put some miles on it.

We used the R603 and was happy with its performance. You should be able to find it on eBay. If you want to use Di2, then you're looking at a double tandem crankset. You can try to use a modified XTR/Ultegra Di2 with a triple crank, but it may be problematic. While the Lightning cranks are expensive, they offer a wide range of arm lengths and Q factors. Despite their light weight, our Lightning cranks have been reliable and quiet. With your power-to-weight ratio, a 50-34 crank with 32T cassette might be enough for the Pyrenees. It's easy to switch to 36T or 40T cassettes if you're doing loaded touring.
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Old 11-08-15, 04:16 PM   #24
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Although the Q factor may not suit every team, there are many frames that work well with 145 or 160mm wheel spacing.

If you're using hydraulic brakes, are you using external cable routing? Please post a photo because we're considering this option. Also, please post a follow-up on the Whisky No.9 fork after you put some miles on it.

We used the R603 and was happy with its performance. You should be able to find it on eBay. If you want to use Di2, then you're looking at a double tandem crankset. You can try to use a modified XTR/Ultegra Di2 with a triple crank, but it may be problematic. While the Lightning cranks are expensive, they offer a wide range of arm lengths and Q factors. Despite their light weight, our Lightning cranks have been reliable and quiet. With your power-to-weight ratio, a 50-34 crank with 32T cassette might be enough for the Pyrenees. It's easy to switch to 36T or 40T cassettes if you're doing loaded touring.
We did have the Shimano r603 crankset before moving to Di2, but since that crankset had limited options for a double ring setup and could not do a 130/74mm bcd double, I sold it in leau of getting standard double/triple FSA cranks and running 48/30 rings which yields plenty of gearing for us. It will be interesting to see if Shimano might introduce a set of road triple Di2 derailleurs at some point, and then I'll wish for the narrow r603 cranks again. I would like to see daVinci go to a ISIS bb spindle as Cannondale has with its Hollogram crank, then I would seriously consider those.
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Old 02-09-16, 01:08 PM   #25
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Did you get this bike together @twocicle? Im interested to hear your opinion on the Light-Bicycle rim for tandem use and if you had any issue with it.

Im building a wheelset up with shimano XTR hubs and im considering LB rims.
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