Well hot damn! Our friends Charlie & Pat Jenkins, owners of Nautilus Bicycle Center in Sherman, Texas, just commissioned Calfee to design and fabricate a custom bamboo enduro tandem to support their unpaved riding habit!
I’ve been lusting after a bamboo Calfee for a couple of years, so this is really pulling at my heart-strings and making our mad-money jar shudder with restless anxiety!
Well, no worries about indulging ourselves on a new tandem: we blew about 2-years of early retirement on our new Harley habit this year so the mad-money jar is pretty much empty… probably why it’s making that rattling sound.
But, getting back to the bamboo Calfee, Pat shot me an Instant Message on Facebook the other night to let me know about their plans and then Charlie followed that up with a Facebook post announcing the new bike on Monday. They plan to design around a pretty robust set of specs, to include having tire clearance for some really meaty 46mm treads. As to why they’ve decided on bamboo for an enduro vs. another carbon Calfee, Pat shared that bamboo is supposed to be smoother on gravel and take rock pings than carbon and will be significantly lighter than the steel Co-Motion Supremo.
I should note, Charlie & Pat have a lot of experience with Calfee tandems, as they acquired one just before their endurance riding habit led them to sign-on with Team JDRF for some epic endurance races, like a RAAM Relay Team. The rode the heck out of that Dragonfly…
Our own love-affair with Calfee frames began a few years back and as regular readers are aware, we now ride nothing but Calfees on the road, Debbie with her Luna Pro, me with my Tetra Pro and us with our custom Tetra travel tandem. As I mentioned, I’ve been lusting over Calfee’s bamboo single and tandem frames since the first one debuted a few years back. I shared my “vision” of our perfect bamboo tandem in a blog item back in August 2010:
That Bamboo Tandem from Calfee? – I still can’t get that out of my head either. It’s not so much that we wantor need a tandem that’s any more comfortable than our composite/graphite Calfee, I think it’s the ‘cool factor’ that would come with having a bamboo tandem fitted with a set of Velocity’s faux wood-grain rimsand some color-coordinated Chris King hubs, a Sella Anatomica tan leather saddle and matching bar tape, and perhaps a carbon fork painted to mimic bamboo… talk about stylin’! From a more practical standpoint, this might also be a wide-tire tandem with provisions for some mud-guards — Woody’s, of course — that would also scratch the itch for a ‘touring’ tandem. Well, maybe I’m over-reaching on that one. Anyway, as you can tell, I’ve been thinking about this rad-ride far more than I should, because it truly is without a doubt a 100% Vanity Trip.
Oh yeah, if anyone is interested in what may have been one of Co-Motion’s first 29er tandems, Charlie & Pat have theirs up for sale! You can find more photos of their beefed-up Speedster HERE.