If you hang out on Facebook and have “Liked” Calfee’s FB page, or are a regular on BikeForum.net’s tandem subforums then you’ve probably seen the two over-the-top tandems Calfee took to this past weekend’s North American Handmade Bike Show in Colorado: one was a time-trial special whereas the other was an off-road hardtail 29er with a Lefty carbon fork that will be used in this year’s Leadville 100. Mind you, these are customer bikes, not one-off show bikes built on speculation to showcase builder’s talents and artistic vision.
Here is the Calfee Dragonfly Custom Time Trial Tandem; from Calfee’s FB Page:
**BREAKING NEWS: The Calfee Dragonfly TT selected Best Tandem at NAHBS.
This Calfee Dragonfly Custom Time Trial Tandem features S&S couplers, sculpted joints (inspired by our Dragonfly single frames), full carbon Aero BarStems, Ultegra Di2 with our Internal Battery and Wiring System and a host of highly covetable components. The custom geometry allows both the Captain and the Stoker to ride/race in positions optimized for aerodynamics and power transmission. The Captain required a 52.5cm top tube while the Stoker required a span of 89 cm; compare to our 72cm stock stoker TT length. Critically, we laminated a faux-steerer in the middle of the stoker compartment, between the S&S Machine couplers, where the custom Aero BarStem will be fitted. Our Dragonfly tandem uses a high modulus carbon fiber (66 msi) co-mingled with Boron fiber to build the lightest possible tandem bicycle frame without sacrificing stiffness, durability and ride quality. Our Dragonfly tandem frame, size Large/Medium, weighs only 2900 grams or 6.25 pounds. Compare to our Tetra frame, built with an intermediate modulus carbon (42 and 55 msi) at 3160 grams or 6.8 pounds in a Large/Medium. Notably, there is no weight limit on either our Dragonfly or Tetra tandem frames; certain tandem teams might benefit from enhanced frame stiffness, an option on all Calfee single and tandem frames. S&S machine couplers add only 2.8 pounds to our tandem frames, allowing the frame to separate and pack for easy transportation. Couplers were a thoughtful addition to this tandem, owing to the extra-long wheelbase. Similarly, this tandem benefits from electronic shifting as the very long mechanical cable runs would have compromised shifting performance. Our tandem frames, as light as the very lightest aluminum, titanium and hybrid-carbon frames from our competitors, set a new standard for comfort, durability, beauty, lateral-stiffness and power transmission. We are doing for the tandem world in 2011 what we did for the single world in 1987; building a lighter, stronger, stiffer more absorbent frame that is faster and more fun to ride.
You can view the full 22 image photo set at Calfee’s FB page by clicking HERE.
As for my comments, I’m pretty much speechless on this one. About the only thing that I’d like to see is wind tunnel data and video of smoke flow visualization around the down tube in comparison to say John Price’s Tiemeyer TT tandem that we featured in a piece back on November 11th that you can find HERE. My gut tells me that our beloved Calfee tandems may not have the most aerodynamically efficient down tube design and such a comparison would be great to see. Now, frankly… that ain’t gonna happen, but that’s my only “wish I could see” on this fabulous-looking Calfee. The paint scheme is right up my alley, as are the sculpted lugs and Lord knows.. we like long stoker compartments. However, at 35″ this even makes Debbie’s 30.5″ stoker compartment on our Calfee look short!!!
Next up is the Team Westcott 29er; again, from Calfee’s FB page:
Team Westcott took delivery of their Dragonfly road tandem months ago; to support their off-road riding/racing effort, they commissioned us to build this very special 29er. This tandem is highly personalized; custom Cdale cranks, decals, component refinishing, and more. This tandem tips the scale at only 31 pounds, with pedals, as pictured.