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Calfee Adventure tandem

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Calfee Adventure tandem

Old 01-10-18, 10:21 AM
  #26  
mtseymour
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Originally Posted by dstke View Post
Like it! What's a rough budget for such a bike?
A rough budget would be $10-14,000 depending on component choices. You can save a fair bit if you're patient and wait for sales or "used" components on eBay. For example, Ultegra is practically the same as Dura Ace, and it's often on sale.

For comparative purposes, top-end singles from Trek, Specialized, Pinarello, etc are easily over $10,000.
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Old 01-10-18, 07:25 PM
  #27  
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To be honest I haven't really added it up. We built it with pretty much all top end components. I do shop carefully for sales on the components and do all the labor myself because I can and I like to. Current pricing on the frame alone as built is $ 8950 and about $550 for the fork. About the only component I did not go the best is the cranks and they are still really nice but just not as light as Lightening Cranks but I did not want to use their proprietary bottom brackets as I wanted to be able to go into any bike shop and get a bottom bracket. Since we used Chris King BB it will probably never be necessary . By the time it is all said and done 14-17 depending on the wheels used is a good range. We have a set of custom frame bags being made and they were about 1k so one can spend as much as they want. I also have two complete setups that take about 15 minutes to change the bike from flat bars to drop bars depending on the trip we are taking. We also have a dedicated Calfee that is set up for pavement only and is about as light as one can have a coupled bike without fragile component choices. BTW tandem spent dollars are the best ratio of dollars to fun of just about anything we spend money on.Its always an amazing time with the person I always want to be with and we work together to accomplish riding goals. Happily married for many years.

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Old 01-11-18, 05:18 PM
  #28  
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Well said! The tandem money spent is priceless!
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Old 01-13-18, 10:32 AM
  #29  
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thanks Akexpress. My wife enjoyed and fully agreed with your reply. Also brings a new level of admiration in your build skills. BTW, we live about 15 miles from Calfee so the temptation is even greater. /Doug
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Old 01-22-18, 05:03 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by akexpress View Post
... The frame bags we recently used were velcro however we are having a set of custom bags made by Jpaks. These are going to be held by frame mounts on the side and bottom but use lacing on the top. Calfee did not want us to add frame mounts on the top tubes so hence we went with lace on which is ideally less abrasion on the finish. Our adventure tandem is nude so it doesn't really matter but we have another Calfee which has a nice paint job and the same frame geometry and we can use the bags on it if we choose. BTW we love the bike ,it has exceeded our expectations and there is not much if anything I would change given a chance.
Great to hear that Joe @ Japaks is doing some more frame bags for tandems!!! He does awesome work and am just thrilled to see his equipment being used by some of my fellow tandem riders.
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Old 03-27-18, 10:58 AM
  #31  
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Here are some pics of the custom frame bags Joe at J-paks built for our adventure tandem. As this bike has far exceeded our expectations for the variety of rides it is suited for we invested in custom bags. These will be used for gravel adventures like the Idaho Hot springs tour we are planning. In this configuration it is equipped with flat bars (actually Jones H-bars) for increased control and numerous hand positions for the rougher gravel roads. We also use the 650 B tubeless wheels for these adventures. We have two pavement tours planned this summer and fall and will change out to drop bars and 700c wheels. With Di2 it literally takes 15 minutes to change out the total dynamics of the bike. We are still a few weeks away from getting out on the roads evidenced by the snow piles still around. We can strip all the touring stuff off and put on our go fast wheels and the bike rides very close to our dedicated go fast tandem.
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Old 06-05-18, 03:59 PM
  #32  
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That bike is ridiculous! I mean that in the best possible way!
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Old 06-07-18, 12:40 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by colotandem View Post
That bike is ridiculous! I mean that in the best possible way!
Dan thanks This bike has far exceeded our expectations . Now that we have a couple thousand miles on it there isn't really much I would change . We have 3 sets of wheels we can run on it depending on conditions. Also two setups for drop bars and flat bars. Stripped down it rides like our dedicated road Calfee. Fully bagged we can bike pack or tour with it. I can change form one setup to another in about 15 minutes or so. I ordered a spare right side stoker crank so I can go from a triple to a double is super simple and the shifters stay the same. With Di2 everything just works. I think we will even be able to get it into a single EVOC single bike case for travel which will require less time for assembly and disassembly. We don't worry so much about scratches and chips into a fancy paint job with the nude carbon finish. BTW there has been a lot of discussion about large tires having less rolling resistance and being just as fast. Well our experience would not agree with that as the fast 28mm tires are faster period , same bike same riders same routes. Different tools for different jobs as the big tires are better for loaded touring or bike packing. I would build all wheels for tandems with CLD hubs so you have every option available for brake rotors as the tech is always improving and one can always use 6 bolts adapters on CLD hubs. We have had zero issues with 11 speed drivetrain components and belt drives. We are not racers any longer but feel we are strong riders and ride the mountains and the stuff has held up. Build the bikes with top quality up front and then you get to just ride. We are doing the Nathez Trace in August and 3 weeks on the north coast of Spain in September and we will just do different configurations of the bike for each. The swiss army knife approach to tandems. The best part is I share with my spectacular wife all these adventures. One of these days I will take the time to put the bike in all three modes and take pictures as the differences are pretty dramatic.
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Old 09-05-18, 12:25 PM
  #34  
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Are you able to add a rack to the front fork or is it a NO because the front fork is carbon ?
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Old 09-05-18, 02:31 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
Are you able to add a rack to the front fork or is it a NO because the front fork is carbon ?
Our fork can handle fenders but not a front rack. With a rear rack and addition of rear panniers I can't see a need for a front rack. We can go in just the frame bags if needed. You are carrying too much stuff if you need all that capacity. Our tent, sleeping system for two is about 8lbs total. We can get everything including food for less the 30lbs. There is some awesome backpacking gear out there that translates well to bike packing. We have a combined age of 120 so we do like to have comfort and yet still ride a responsive bike and put in some miles if needed. We are headed to Spain soon for three weeks of credit card touring and will keep the bike quite light and go to drop bars and 2x drivetrain. This bike rides great.
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Old 09-05-18, 09:17 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by akexpress View Post
Our fork can handle fenders but not a front rack. With a rear rack and addition of rear panniers I can't see a need for a front rack. We can go in just the frame bags if needed. You are carrying too much stuff if you need all that capacity. Our tent, sleeping system for two is about 8lbs total. We can get everything including food for less the 30lbs. There is some awesome backpacking gear out there that translates well to bike packing. We have a combined age of 120 so we do like to have comfort and yet still ride a responsive bike and put in some miles if needed. We are headed to Spain soon for three weeks of credit card touring and will keep the bike quite light and go to drop bars and 2x drivetrain. This bike rides great.
That's amazingly light! We add 44 lbs., not including water, to the weight of the naked bike to go camp touring. Maybe our cook kit is heavier? That much heavier? Have to have spares and tools, pump, etc. Rack and bags weigh something. We use 2 panniers and 4 small, light bags here and there.
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Old 09-05-18, 10:32 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
That's amazingly light! We add 44 lbs., not including water, to the weight of the naked bike to go camp touring. Maybe our cook kit is heavier? That much heavier? Have to have spares and tools, pump, etc. Rack and bags weigh something. We use 2 panniers and 4 small, light bags here and there.
I might have been a little misleading in that our kit not counting bags is at about 30 lbs so we are probably close to you in overall weight added to bike. We have both a Big agnes tent or a Hyperlight tent that are under 3 lbs and sleeping system at about 5 lbs. Hyperlite makes very light stuff sacks for organizing. MSR multi fuel stove titanium cookset and utensils. A spare biking kit each , light jacket, multipurpose pants and tops each. Minimal tools (Wollftooth components) makes some very light multipurpose tools. It is possible to get very light but it takes planning and some investment . On our last trip we stopped mid trip at a post office and mailed stuff we decided would be necessary for the rest of the trip home in a flat rate box.
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Old 01-05-19, 04:31 PM
  #38  
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Back on the forum after many years of absence. Looking for a gravel/adventure tandem and you have certainly done a great job with this one! One detail I've been curious about: how do you secure the hydraulic hoses? Also, are your thru axle hubs tandem specific?

Thanks.
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Old 01-05-19, 10:03 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by bikeinxs View Post
Back on the forum after many years of absence. Looking for a gravel/adventure tandem and you have certainly done a great job with this one! One detail I've been curious about: how do you secure the hydraulic hoses? Also, are your thru axle hubs tandem specific?

Thanks.
These days "tandem rated" or "tandem specific" terms are somewhat meaningless. If the concern is to find heavy duty usage components, then you might want to take a look at the "mtbtandems.com" or the Facebook group:"mountain bike tandems". Very large group of hard core single track tandems riding boulders, dropoffs and just about everything in between (super tight switchbacks are the bane of tandems). A majority of thru axle tandem wheels are now being build with DT Swiss e-bike hubs and straight pull spokes.

Probably the best QR tandem hub made, is no longer. Chris King has stopped production of their tandem hubs and from my recent parts search, there is no remaining stock anywhere. However you can order up a run of 100 and they will produce those again.

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Old 01-06-19, 04:10 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by bikeinxs View Post
Back on the forum after many years of absence. Looking for a gravel/adventure tandem and you have certainly done a great job with this one! One detail I've been curious about: how do you secure the hydraulic hoses? Also, are your thru axle hubs tandem specific?

Thanks.
Calfee has a very ingenious method of attaching the hydraulic hose to the frame that is basically 2 hooks of carbon fiber that you just turn the hose 90 degrees to get it into them. I just packed the bike for a trip to Vietnam in a couple of days or I would take a pic. Ill try to remember to do that when I return. For travel you just remove the caliper and coil the hose up with the handle bars. Yes I am using 142x12 rear thru axle. This bike has the ability to run 700c or 650 b wheels. I am taking 650b Nextie carbon rims on DT swiss hubs with Sapin bladed spokes. Compass 42 mm tubeless tires for this trip. Hubs are not tandem specific but most of the bike is not but has been trouble free for quite a few miles so far. I call it our swiss army knife bike. We have full suspension moutain tandems and fat tire tandem also. This is our second Calfee as our other one is road specific 700c wheels only. If i had only one tandem this would be my choice as it does almost all the others do except for the extremes they are designed for. Feel free to PM me with any questions
Mark
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Old 01-07-19, 11:02 AM
  #41  
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Since Mark's is packed, here's a shot of our Calfee with the same hose hooks:

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Old 01-08-19, 11:24 AM
  #42  
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Very nice. Do all Calfee's use the 142mm rear hub spacing or is 145mm more standard for them?
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Old 12-13-19, 05:21 PM
  #43  
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Mark,

I rarely check this forum, but am now curious after lots of miles on this adventure bike, do you even ride your road tandem anymore?

I am looking to do a gravel/adventure tandem and am wondering if I had a couple of sets of wheels and flexible gearing if we'd ever ride the road tandem??
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Old 12-16-19, 01:04 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by colotandem View Post
Mark,

I rarely check this forum, but am now curious after lots of miles on this adventure bike, do you even ride your road tandem anymore?

I am looking to do a gravel/adventure tandem and am wondering if I had a couple of sets of wheels and flexible gearing if we'd ever ride the road tandem??
Dan
Sorry i had not visited here in few days and just saw your post. Short answer is if we didn't have dedicated road tandem we would not buy one. This bike has far exceeded our expectations. I am not sure we can feel any real difference between the two with the same road wheels. We took this bike to Vietnam and Cambodia on a Santana tour this past year and where the envy of every other tandem couple with our 38mm tubeless tires on 27.5 wheels and zero flats on terrible roads. Most other teams had numerous flats some multiple in the same day. We had zero problems keeping up on the bigger tires considering the conditions. Since this bike was designed around the fork the handling is the same as our dedicated Calfee tetra road version, yet we can ride gravel, tour with bags or panniers and even tow Bob trailer. Our youngest granddaughter loves being in the Chariot trailer behind it. The thru axle and Robert axle project axles let this work well. It has room for fenders yet looks great with our Zipp 404 race type wheels. The ability to run drop or flat bars, wide range gearing, DI2 ,hydraulic brakes and multiple wheel choices is the ticket. Also our decision to not paint has been great as no matter how careful I pack our painted bike it get dings in the cases. Since we travel with it a lot that is important and keeps the packing stress down. We are getting ready to embark on a circumnavigation on our sailboat starting this summer and plan on putting it in two soft cases so we can take it with us for exploring land based at stops.. One of the advantages of carbon is the ability to repair and upgrade. Our mutual friends from Breck just sent their Coupled Calfee to be upgraded to new fork , rear strut reinforcement, new head tube and change from quick release to 142 mm thru axle, Internal Di2 routing and complete repaint for about 20% the cost of a new frame and they now have a new bike with the latest technology. To further answer your question I don't think I would change a thing on it. Happy Holidays to all
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Old 12-16-19, 04:28 PM
  #45  
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Enough about the bike. What course are you taking on your circumnavigation and do you need any crew for the more pleasant legs?

Originally Posted by akexpress View Post
Dan
Sorry i had not visited here in few days and just saw your post. Short answer is if we didn't have dedicated road tandem we would not buy one. This bike has far exceeded our expectations. I am not sure we can feel any real difference between the two with the same road wheels. We took this bike to Vietnam and Cambodia on a Santana tour this past year and where the envy of every other tandem couple with our 38mm tubeless tires on 27.5 wheels and zero flats on terrible roads. Most other teams had numerous flats some multiple in the same day. We had zero problems keeping up on the bigger tires considering the conditions. Since this bike was designed around the fork the handling is the same as our dedicated Calfee tetra road version, yet we can ride gravel, tour with bags or panniers and even tow Bob trailer. Our youngest granddaughter loves being in the Chariot trailer behind it. The thru axle and Robert axle project axles let this work well. It has room for fenders yet looks great with our Zipp 404 race type wheels. The ability to run drop or flat bars, wide range gearing, DI2 ,hydraulic brakes and multiple wheel choices is the ticket. Also our decision to not paint has been great as no matter how careful I pack our painted bike it get dings in the cases. Since we travel with it a lot that is important and keeps the packing stress down. We are getting ready to embark on a circumnavigation on our sailboat starting this summer and plan on putting it in two soft cases so we can take it with us for exploring land based at stops.. One of the advantages of carbon is the ability to repair and upgrade. Our mutual friends from Breck just sent their Coupled Calfee to be upgraded to new fork , rear strut reinforcement, new head tube and change from quick release to 142 mm thru axle, Internal Di2 routing and complete repaint for about 20% the cost of a new frame and they now have a new bike with the latest technology. To further answer your question I don't think I would change a thing on it. Happy Holidays to all
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Old 12-16-19, 09:52 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by 72andsunny View Post
Enough about the bike. What course are you taking on your circumnavigation and do you need any crew for the more pleasant legs?
Leaving Alaska in June to Mexico and spending winter in the Sea of Cortez. Spring 2021 Mexico to French Polynesia via the Galapagos. New Zealand and Australia and onward west. Open ended as far as time and route at this point. The joys of retirement. Bikes and boats are our passions. My stoker is comfortable at the helm with a chute up in 25 knots and never gets seasick. My best friend. Carbon bikes are nice but carbon boat parts are even better. Everyone volunteers for the easy stuff not so much for the 20 day crossings. Its like climbing Mt Ventoux 20 days in a row on the tandem, just get into the grind and do it as the reward at the end is amazing. I guess since I started this thread I can deviate from the content a bit. S/V CHAOS Beneteau First 47.7
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Old 02-11-20, 07:38 AM
  #47  
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Mark,

my understanding is that you had this frame custom built by Calfee. They now offer an Adventure tandem on their website.

Iím assuming that your bike was essentially the prototype for their current stock offering.

Do you know if there are any differences between your frame and the new offering.

Also is there anything you would spec differently in hindsight?
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Old 02-11-20, 03:36 PM
  #48  
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How do the framebags affect handling in windy conditions? Do you find the framebags catch the crosswinds at unexpected moments? I can see the advantage in headwinds, but how do they compare to pannier in gusty crosswinds?
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Old 02-12-20, 12:25 AM
  #49  
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Bikes: 2015 Calfee Tetra tandem,2016 Calfee Tetra Adventure Tandem, Ventana ECDM 26 mtn tandem, Ventana ECDM 29r full suspension Mtn tandem ,Ventana Fat tire tandem, Calfee Dragon Fly, Santa Cruz Carbon 5010, 907 Whiteout fat tire

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[QUOTE=merlinextraligh;21323261]Mark,

my understanding is that you had this frame custom built by Calfee. They now offer an Adventure tandem on their website.

Iím assuming that your bike was essentially the prototype for their current stock offering.

Do you know if there are any differences between your frame and the new offering.

Also is there anything you would spec differently in hindsight?[/QUOTE
Looking at the current offering it appears to be very similar to our bike. We worked closely with Calfee to make it a bike that served our needs. There were not a lot of fork choices at the time so we ended up using a cycle cross fork that did not have a weight limit and modified the geometry to match the handling of the fork. It has worked well with out any problems or issues. We were very early adopters of hydraulic brakes on a coupled bike and they came up a good way to route the hoses and yet simple to remove. In hindsight I am not sure I would change a thing. The current offering allows the use of a front rack and ours does not but we have not felt a need for that. Maybe today one build it with boost spacing but we have had zero issues with strength of wheels and we use carbon rims on both the road version and 27.5 wheels. Plus if we could only have one tandem I would build one of these. The only regret is I could not talk Craig Calfee into putting water bottle mounts on the top tube so we could attach the frame bags to the top tube that way. The lacing system we use works but it would be cleaner with mounts. Build one you will not regret it.
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Old 02-12-20, 12:37 AM
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akexpress 
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Anchorage, Ak
Posts: 620

Bikes: 2015 Calfee Tetra tandem,2016 Calfee Tetra Adventure Tandem, Ventana ECDM 26 mtn tandem, Ventana ECDM 29r full suspension Mtn tandem ,Ventana Fat tire tandem, Calfee Dragon Fly, Santa Cruz Carbon 5010, 907 Whiteout fat tire

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Originally Posted by Matadors View Post
How do the framebags affect handling in windy conditions? Do you find the framebags catch the crosswinds at unexpected moments? I can see the advantage in headwinds, but how do they compare to pannier in gusty crosswinds?
I don't think we have noticed a big difference in the frame bags or panniers. We have tended to use the panniers on road touring and the bags on gravel /mixed type of trips. They both suck on big crosswinds. We actually have more issues when running our deep carbon rims on a light bike. We also tend to ride flat Jones bars on the mixed rides and drop bars on the road so that may play a factor in the handling as the flat bars have much more leverage and more upright body positions. Plus bigger brakes as a another benefit on a loaded bike.
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