Interestingly enough, off-road tandems made a nice splash at this year North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Over the past few years it’s been the one-off road tandems that seemed to dominate the stage, with just an occasional off-road tandem like last year when Co-Motion showed up with a new 29″ rigid off-road tandem sporting a pretty nice custom paint job and Kent Eriksen showed up with an amazing titanium 29er hardtail tandem.
This year, two other cycling industry icons — Craig Calfee of Calfee Designs & Bamboosero Bamboo Bicycles and Tom Ritchey of Ritchey — both brought along some pretty neat 29er tandems.
Calfee Design’s Carbon Hardtail 29er‘s frame had very clean lines, a high bottom bracket, a White Brothers dual crown fork, same-side-drive for the sync & final drive and a Shimano Di2 system that had been converted to be MTB compatible using K-Edge Ki2 shifter pods and extra-long rear derailleur cage with some custom-fabricated mounting hardware to work around an incompatibility issue with the Formula brake levers. The frame has a claimed weight of 6.5lbs with a total assembled weight around 30lbs. I read where Mike Moore of Calfee pegged the cost of this one-off tandem at $19k; yikes! I can’t imagine the frame would be more than $8,000 – 9,000 tops so the rest of that cost has to be buried in the Di2, K-Edge Ki2 conversion, the White Bros. fork and the wheelset.
Bike Radar has some more detailed photos of the Calfee towards the bottom of their NAHBS Day 5 Gallery that you can find here. Craig also did an interview with Gregg Kato of MTB Review. You can find the short write-up and some nice photos that accompany the link to the video interview hosted on YouTube video:
Ritchey Break-Away Tandem finally coming to the market? This one’s a bit different from the first two he built back in 2003 in that it’s set up to be ridden as a 700c road bike or a 650b off-road bike.
You may recall I wrote about the Ritchey tandem back in January of 2011 after some photos of Tom & his wife Martha popped-up as part of great interview on Rough Riders. Tom Ritchey brought his new Ritchey Break-Away tandem to the North American Handmade Bike Show (NAHBS) and did a pretty neat interview with Gregg Kato from MTB Review that you can enjoy on YouTube:
I’ll post a few more tandems from NAHBS with some comments as time permits.