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Buying a new Calfee - Our story and we're sticking to it

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Buying a new Calfee - Our story and we're sticking to it

Old 10-29-20, 12:17 AM
  #1  
PaulGrun
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Buying a new Calfee - Our story and we're sticking to it

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Old 10-29-20, 05:06 AM
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Too many words, not enough pictures .
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Old 10-29-20, 09:54 AM
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We too bought a new Calfee Tetra in late 2015 after 15 years on a used Co-Motion Co-Pilot. We haven't (and won't) put nearly as many miles on the new bike as we did on the old because we're not new either.

Based on recommendations from this forum we bought the bike through a tandem bike shop instead of directly from Calfee. I thought the bike shop would add some experience and expertise but in retrospect, I wish we had dealt directly with Calfee. The single biggest mistake was on sizing the bike. I thought that the bike shop would add some value in this area but I think they just confused the communication. As a result, I don't think the bike fits me very well. I can just barely standover the bike. The bike rides great but I can't ride more than about 35 miles before my back hurts pretty badly. I'm not sure this is the fit of the bike because bike riding is just one of many things that make my back hurt.

Aside from that was component selection. We went from a mechanical derailleurs to Ultegra Di2. This was highly recommended by folks on this forum. I am mixed on Di2. We wanted the largest range possible. We went from a 3x8 to a 2x11. I wanted to preserve the top end so I wanted the biggest big ring we could fit. As a result, we are 52x34 up front and 40x11 in the rear. Not sure how people deal with a 46t big ring as we spin out at about 40 - 45 mph.

We ride the bike mostly on the big ring and use the small ring if we are going to have a steep and/or extended climb. I have this set up in full synchro so I never shift the front derailleur directly. My biggest complaint is that the controller will beep twice on the shift just before it shifts the front derailleur. I really try to avoid this shift because it is a big drop from the 52t to the 34t. If I fail to inform my Stoker that we're about to drop to the small ring, she's not very happy. Bad Captain!

Once on the 34t front ring we can only pedal up to about 15 - 20 mph until we have to shift back up to the big ring. It's like having a long staircase with one big step in the middle. I try to stay above that big step.

Regarding brakes we went with Shimano Dura-Ace caliper rim brakes. There was much discussion on this forum about rim -vs- disc and I chose to stay with rim. I don't regret that choice. We don't do the big climbs & descents anymore so we use the brakes very little. When we do use them, they work great.

Interestingly as I view other single cyclists as we are riding I find that the adoption of disc brakes is very high but the adoption of electronic shifting is pretty small.

The bike rides great. I love the smoothness of cruising along at 40 - 45 mph and it feels like we just float over the bumps.
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Old 10-29-20, 06:54 PM
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Old 10-29-20, 06:59 PM
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Old 10-29-20, 07:34 PM
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Great story, well written. Just so you know, if you are so inclined, the forum will allow you to go back and edit your first post and add pictures where appropriate.
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Old 10-30-20, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulGrun View Post
You did read the first paragraph where you were invited to skip right on over the whole thing, right? And for those who didn't care to read, maybe you saw the one sentence Executive Summary? I was thinking of you!
At the very end, it explains that I didn't post a pic because I'm a newbie, and until a day or so ago, Bike Forums didn't trust me to post pics. I thought about writing the story in an illustrated graphic novel, but that seemed like work. Maybe next time.
I did, and I was joking with you. That's what the smiley face emoji was for.
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Old 10-30-20, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulGrun View Post
You did read the first paragraph where you were invited to skip right on over the whole thing, right? And for those who didn't care to read, maybe you saw the one sentence Executive Summary? I was thinking of you!
At the very end, it explains that I didn't post a pic because I'm a newbie, and until a day or so ago, Bike Forums didn't trust me to post pics. I thought about writing the story in an illustrated graphic novel, but that seemed like work. Maybe next time.
Now, now, no need to get in a snit, Newbie, just because someone didnít want to read every word of your self-indulgent hagiography. We have a saying here, ďPics or it didnít happenĒ. Especially with his smiley face, your respondent was likely making a light-hearted reference to that rule. Yes, we know why you canít post photos. But donít bother. Iíve lost interest.
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Old 10-30-20, 08:23 AM
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I enjoyed the post - not usually a fan of long posts - too often long posts are not well-written.
(would like to see some pics.)
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Old 10-30-20, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by conspiratemus1 View Post
Now, now, no need to get in a snit, Newbie, just because someone didnít want to read every word of your self-indulgent hagiography. We have a saying here, ďPics or it didnít happenĒ. Especially with his smiley face, your respondent was likely making a light-hearted reference to that rule. Yes, we know why you canít post photos. But donít bother. Iíve lost interest.
Nasty! I thought Canadians had the reputation of being polite and considerate. Maybe you're not one:-)
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Old 10-30-20, 10:58 AM
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Sayre's Law: "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake."
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Old 10-30-20, 02:35 PM
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We still need pics!
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Old 10-30-20, 05:34 PM
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Old 10-30-20, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulGrun View Post
Here are the stats for those interested:
∑ Calfee Tetra, custom carbon fiber frame and carbon fiber front fork
∑ Ultegra DI2 shifting, 2x11, 46/34 front chainrings, 11/46 rear end
∑ Grand Cru side pull caliper rim brakes
∑ Astral Leviathan 36-hole rims, Phil Wood hubs, Continental GP4 700cx28 tires
∑ Kinect Body Float stoker seat post
∑ FSA Lightning cranks, 170mm captain, 165mm stoker
∑ Veer custom timing belt
∑ Custom two-tone fade paint.
Glad that you're happy with your new ride. We also have a Tetra with similar specs (eg. Di2, Bodyfloat) and have questions about your components. Are you using a FSA front crank with a carbon Lightning stoker crank? Why did you use the Veer instead of Gates CDX for the timing belt?
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Old 10-30-20, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulGrun View Post
Working on it! Thanks for your interest.
I'll probably post some to a new thread and leave this one to die an ignoble death. It's kind of a shame that stuff like this happens on social media even in a topic as innocuous as tandems.
"Stuff like this" doesn't happen for no reason at all. This was a teachable moment going to waste. I can tell that you don't even see how you played a part in events. You went all buzz kill on a light hearted post for no reason that I can see. They clearly indicated their lack of rancor. You did not. I can't say that the poster who called you on it was 'rude'. I had the same impulse. There is no 'shame' or 'mystery', only a lesson to be learned. Enjoy your new ride.
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Old 10-30-20, 08:33 PM
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I couldn't find a way to delete the thread, so I just deleted my parts of it. Enough is enough. I thought that taking the time to relay our experiences in working with a top flight tandem company, and what we learned in the process would be helpful. I'm sure someone will characterize me as thin skinned, perhaps that's true, but I sure don't need the high handed presumptuousness of some on this thread. Life is much too short.
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Old 10-30-20, 09:09 PM
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Very disappointed

Paul, I saw your post earlier and was looking forward to reading it this evening as I had been following your journey in your new tandem. I hope to see this at some point again. I was interested in your build.
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Old 10-31-20, 03:27 PM
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I am kind of miffed as what is going on with this thread as the OP deleted all of his posts.
We have had a Calfee Tetra since 2011 and we love it.
Unfortunately I have been injured for the past 2 years and have not been able to even get on a bike.
So the Calfee has sadly been sitting in the garage.
I did start riding a few months ago and I am very gradually building up the distance with my longest ride being a flat 20 miles.
We did get on the tandem once a few weeks ago but I am waiting for my new custom saddle and also putting a longer spindle in the right pedal.
Right now we are riding our singles which is good for a few reasons. My wife has always been dependent on us riding the tandem and now she is doing really well on her bike. It also keeps me from pushing myself too hard which is much less likely to happen when we are riding together on our singles. Do to COVID and both of us being in a high risk group we go riding only on week days and on a course that is partly closed to traffic and partly through a state campground which is not busy this time of year. We wear masks when we pass by other cyclists, unfortunately almost nobody else does this which is really disappointing.
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Old 11-01-20, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulGrun View Post
I couldn't find a way to delete the thread, so I just deleted my parts of it. Enough is enough. I thought that taking the time to relay our experiences in working with a top flight tandem company, and what we learned in the process would be helpful. I'm sure someone will characterize me as thin skinned, perhaps that's true, but I sure don't need the high handed presumptuousness of some on this thread. Life is much too short.
Not sure, exactly why youíre miffed. My post regarding pics was meant to convey that Iím anxious to see your bike.
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Old 11-01-20, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Not sure, exactly why you’re miffed. My post regarding pics was meant to convey that I’m anxious to see your bike.
I was able to see his bike on the "Tandem Bicycle" Facebook page. It's really a nice-looking tandem! With the OP's permission, I'd be happy to post some of the photos for him.
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Old 11-02-20, 08:56 AM
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Paul -

I'm sorry you felt the need to delete your post. I read all of it and enjoyed another perspective on a Calfee.

I find that most people on this forum are considerate. There are exceptions but this seems to be one of the friendliest forums on the internet (I don't know of any that are more welcoming).

Some have strongly held opinions but they are generally expressed with respect.
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