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Going Modern, SRAM Red 2x12 AXS Build

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Going Modern, SRAM Red 2x12 AXS Build

Old 11-08-21, 06:40 PM
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wtandem
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Going Modern, SRAM Red 2x12 AXS Build

Our current main tandem was getting hard to modernize, Calfee Tetra ~2003, 3x10, dura-ace rim brakes. My goals included

1) stay as stock as possible to get modern drive train shifting performance
2) get close to 3x10 gear range with changes close to our 11x28 Dura-Ace cassette
3) fit wider tires ( 2003 Calfee rear maxes out at 700x23 )
4) not worry about descents when breaking. We've never had trouble with mountain descents but as we age, I get more cautious and use more brake.



Attached is a picture of our new Calfee Tetra after finally getting all the key parts about 3 weeks ago after starting in July. Still waiting on a few items, like captain bars, stem, stocker seat,... The drive train is SRAM Red 2x12 stock, except for the crankset. The crankset is Lightning with the unique SRAM 107 mm bolt circle on the drive side, with stock Force AXS 46x33 rings. Rear cassette is 10x36 Force (no Red in the larger 10x36). Brakes are SRAM Red post mount with 180 mm rotors. I used Jagwire 3 meter hose and banjo for the long hose run to the rear. I think I have met my modernization goals above. I lower low ( before 28x28 ) and slightly lower high gear (before 52x11). The new shifting is really nice and much easier than 3x10. The ride is very smooth and quiet. Some of the smoother ride than the 2003 Calfee is probably the 700x32 tubeless tires (700x28 was out of stock, might have tried that first). The 2003 Calfee had Zipp 404, now ENVE 3.4 rims.
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Old 11-09-21, 07:34 AM
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Paul J
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It looks like a great refresh! Did they have to rework the complete rear triangle or just changing the placement of the rear bridge get you the clearance for the wider tires?
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Old 11-09-21, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul J View Post
It looks like a great refresh! Did they have to rework the complete rear triangle or just changing the placement of the rear bridge get you the clearance for the wider tires?
I was wondering the same. I have a newer Calfee, with rear disk mounting, and almost clears 32mm tires, but they rub on the rear brake bridge. I have been sorely tempted to just file away the few mm that would give me the clearance figuring that the brake bridge probably isn't structural and, if it does crack more, I could always then send it back to Calfee for a fix. Or I probably should just send it back rather than doing surgery myself, but it's kind of painful to ship the tandem across the country only for that.
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Old 11-09-21, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bwebel View Post
I was wondering the same. I have a newer Calfee, with rear disk mounting, and almost clears 32mm tires, but they rub on the rear brake bridge. I have been sorely tempted to just file away the few mm that would give me the clearance figuring that the brake bridge probably isn't structural and, if it does crack more, I could always then send it back to Calfee for a fix. Or I probably should just send it back rather than doing surgery myself, but it's kind of painful to ship the tandem across the country only for that.
The frame is brand new. In July, they had one listed as in stock ready to ship after paint. In 2003, they were still using a lateral tube with smaller diameter carbon tubes. Sorry for the confusion. I have kept the 2003 and it will be ready to ride again after I get the few remaining new parts I had to borrow for this build. I think their add says this frame will clear 35mm tires. There is certainly still room with the 32mm tires.
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Old 11-12-21, 05:52 PM
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jnbrown
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We have a Calfee built in 2011 and love it. it is 3x10 like your old one.
Do you find bigger jumps between gears with 2x12 gearing?
Is that white area on the back seat cluster a separate lug? Looks like Calfee has new decals.
That is going to be a fun bike.
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Old 11-12-21, 10:00 PM
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wtandem
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Originally Posted by jnbrown View Post
We have a Calfee built in 2011 and love it. it is 3x10 like your old one.
Do you find bigger jumps between gears with 2x12 gearing?
Is that white area on the back seat cluster a separate lug? Looks like Calfee has new decals.
That is going to be a fun bike.
No, I find the spacing pretty similar, but significantly easier to shift. The lugs are just paint on a Tetra the joints are still smooth. I do like the new decals, our 2003 had much smaller diameter tubes, which probably affected the decal choice.
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Old 12-12-21, 10:57 PM
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Older thread.. Great looking bike
Our Cannondale has the Alfine 11 speed rear hub (not our choise but all that was available)
Wish we had a better choise of tandems hear in Australia
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Old 12-13-21, 02:39 PM
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Ran into an interesting issue on our (2016) Calfee when I went to install the AXS front derailleur, I couldn't mount the clamp high enough because of the water bottle "braze on", and this was with only a 52 tooth chainring, where I used a 55 with the previous mechanical front derailleur. It was close, so I tried a different clamp, but it was a standard clamp, not the FSA one that mounts the derailleur further out due to the wider chainline. I go it high enough, but the derailleur doesn't have enough throw to get the chain out onto the big ring. And, the real topper, I somehow managed to crossthread the derailleur limit screw, so there's basically no adjustment on the derailleur. I tried to retap the threads, but it's some strange threading that's between M4 and M5. I fear it's a multi-hundred dollar paperweight now, though maybe I can get it to work on a single.
Given the bad rep that SRAM front shifting has, and the limit on the gap between chainrings on 12 spd AXS, I think i'm just going back to the mechanical controlled with a barend. I mated a SRAM barend with an 11 speed Campy front shifter and it handles the 55x39 very nicely. I do like the rear electric shifting, so will probably keep that.
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Old 12-15-21, 04:38 PM
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sram red etap ed, love it and hate it

I have a somewhat similar tale of pain and suffering with my red Etap FD, which was part of the build on my 2019 Calfee tetra. Let me start out by saying the electronic shifting is great for two reasons: one can shift under load, and the gearing appears on the Garmin 1030 GPS, so one never has to ask about what ring we are in. Modern is good!

I was fiddling with the spacers on the BB (a separate story, the spacers are on different sides of the drive train , front and back, making the belt just a hair out of line and I thought that this was responsible to the occasional belt "creak" noises that occurred, even when when the belt tension was spot on - have have learnt to live with that noise and run the belt a shade loose). Anyway, of course after the BB spacers are changed, then the FD needs to be adjusted and in doing so I adjusted the top ring limit screw so far that is went off the threads into the innards of the derailleur. Either at this point, or later on when the LBS mechanic tried to adjust the FD top screw when the derailleur is in the small ring setting (another no, no) the set screw and the stainless plate were both stripped.

IMO there several stupid and "bad karma" issues with SRAM etap red: The reverse threaded, fine M4 threaded set screw in a SS plate is a set-up to strip threads, the hidden warning about only adjusting the screw when in the large ring is buried in the manual which is in the archives (from 2019!!!!!) and not on the playful SRAM videos. Ha Ha. And why reverse thread, and fine thread? Who knows? So SRAM does sell the replacement set screw, but not the $12 stainless steel plate which is part of the engineering problem to begin with. And they don't sell Red ETap, and the new AXIS is not compatible. So what, you strip a poorly designed set screw and the whole drive train needs to be replaced? Or you go on ebay and spend twice retail and buy a new Red Etap FD for twice retail, because the bike geek who is selling it to you knows about this whole pathetic story. Why does a SRAM not support a 2 year old product - with parts or replacements, or factory repair. This really sucks and if I had to do it again I would never support this type of cut-throat ****** behavior from a corporate entity, certainly not a cyclist friendly entity.

To end the story, the overpriced replacement red etap FD works fine with the spacers in the original positions. Just for kicks, I drilled out the stainless plate of the stripped SS face plate and tapped the set screw hole with an M5 thread and placed a new M5 bolt from the hardware store. I think that I have a good backup FD, should there be any more trouble down the road.
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Old 12-17-21, 03:14 PM
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Wow, beautiful new bike wtandem ! Hope that the 46 x 10 is enough to keep you guys at the front!
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Old 12-22-21, 10:34 PM
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Thanks, nice to here from you. Let us know if you are back for a visit and we’ll cook you dinner and go for a ride.
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Old 01-10-22, 01:17 PM
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Will do wtandem ! We stopped by around New Years to check on the family and visit some telescope people. Did you work on the JWST? Exciting project now on its way. I had to put a new cassette on the Landshark as we were spinning out our 44 x 11. Now trying the e-thirteen cassette 9-46 for our 1x11 Shimano XT drivetrain. Hopefully we can get together if we pass through in May. Aloha!
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Old 01-21-22, 10:28 AM
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Very nice build wtandem!

We're doing a similar update on our Tetra frame. The factory is modifying the rear triangle to add 32mm tire clearance, 148/12 thru axle, new hydraulic brake mount, and internal hydraulic hose routing. The old brake mount was on top of the seatstay (near the axle), and was needed to be reinforced for a full hydraulic disc brake. The new brake mount is neatly placed on top of the chain stay without any bracing. The Jagwire hydraulic hose will enter the head tube and exit at the bottom of the boom tube (near the stoker BB). The frame will look much cleaner without hydraulic hose or Di2 cable.

These kinds of modifications are relatively easy on a carbon tandem frame like Calfee or Landshark.
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Old 06-10-22, 11:51 PM
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Lightning crank availability?

Where did you get the Lightning crank with the 107 mm SRAM bcd? I checked their website and they don't list 107 bcd as an option. We're looking at buying a Calfee Tetra with this same setup but I can't find a tandem crank that will fit the SRAM rings.
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Old 07-14-22, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Live2beoutside View Post
Where did you get the Lightning crank with the 107 mm SRAM bcd? I checked their website and they don't list 107 bcd as an option. We're looking at buying a Calfee Tetra with this same setup but I can't find a tandem crank that will fit the SRAM rings.
phone Tim @ Lightning
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Old 07-14-22, 01:52 PM
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Do you know if this frame is Calfee's "Adventure" or "Road" model? Just curious to match against their posted geo for various models.
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Old 07-14-22, 05:51 PM
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It’s the road model.
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Old 07-23-22, 03:10 PM
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How much do you guys weigh? I know Calfee is specing 2 piston SRAM Red brakes with success. However, at our team weigh around 340, I’d be a bit trepidations of them, particularly with 180 mm rotors.
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Old 07-23-22, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Magnum PI View Post
Wow, beautiful new bike wtandem ! Hope that the 46 x 10 is enough to keep you guys at the front!
46x10 is bigger than. 50x11. At 130 rpm it’s good for 47 mph

I have it on my road bike, and have not found myself lacking for gears descending in Western NC.

if the steepeness of a descent generates speeds over 47 mph, you’re likely much better off accelerating hard to that point then tucking and coasting.

Even when we were racing competitively, the only scenario where I would want a bigger gear than that would be a time trial with moderately steep downgrades with tail winds. In that scenario, I’d want a bigger gear we could hit high 30’s without maintaining a high cadence. Otherwise 46x10 is not holding anyone back this side of the UCI Pro Tour.
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Old 07-29-22, 07:29 PM
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We’re 270lb team.
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