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Calfee Design
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Genuine.  Innovative.  Original.  Craig Calfee is a pioneer in carbon and bamboo frame design, manufacturing and repair.  The first to offer custom frames in carbon fiber back in 1987, Calfee continues to push the high tech craftsman envelope, exploring the possibilities of carbon with new materials such as hemp and bamboo.  Consider this comprehensive reporting of the genesis of Calfee Design and our relationship with Greg LeMond and the Tour de France, wherein was written, “In 1991, Greg LeMond was searching for a bike fast enough to keep him at the very pinnacle of professional bike racing.  Craig Calfee was busy forging a quiet revolution in carbon construction.  Together, they changed the face of cycling.”  As this 25 year time line will evidence, we’ve a broad body of work.  Along those lines, it was recently written that, “There is likely no other name in the bicycle industry that has attached to it as broad and significant an arc of accomplishments as Craig Calfee.” Enjoy the complete article here. Towards further discovery of Craig Calfee and his namesake brand, you might also enjoy this radio interview that aired January, 2011 in a public radio program called the Outspoken Cyclist.

Craig has a form-follows-function philosophy and aesthetic that is shown in the materials selection and construction method. He chose carbon fiber because it has the best qualities for building bicycle frames: highest stiffness to weight ratio and comfortable vibration damping. The decorative aspects are limited to painting.  He chose bamboo as the resultant bicycle frames are very stiff, transferring power efficiently; are durable, resisting damage from stress and impacts; are comfortable, surpassing aluminum, steel, titanium and most carbon frames in smoothness.  Frame Design is governed by purity of purpose and they look good because they achieve the purpose. Frame and fork alignment are a particular focus as is long-term structural integrity. This approach is inspired by nature, where all living forms evolved to perform a particular purpose. If they don’t perform, they don’t survive.

Calfee’s carbon and bamboo frames are meant to be ridden for the long term at the highest levels of competition as well as for pure enjoyment. Frames are made to order, even the stock geometry frames. Rider weight and riding style are considered for stock frames as well as custom frames to calibrate critical characteristics like stiffness, comfort, handling and durability.  Towards complete personalization, numerous frame options exist and custom projects allow even further flexibility.  Every frame goes through hours and hours of precise measurement, workmanship and finishing.  In our carbon frames, more than 51 million fibers are carefully oriented to put strength and stiffness exactly where you need it.  Each of our bamboo frames require over 40 hours of labor to build.  The result is frames that exceed the customer’s very high expectations and outlive their unusually long warranty.

Calfee’s product offering includes but is not limited to the following;

Carbon Repair Service;

From broken top tubes to severed seat stays, Calfee’s expert ability to repair damaged carbon frames, and select components, has enabled over 9000 riders to return to the roads and trails. Calfee’s Carbon Repair business continues to grow year over year driven by validation and authorization from the world’s largest bicycle manufacturers.

Internal Di2 Battery and Wiring System;

Calfee creates and offers an elegant solution for the impressive Di2 electronic shifting system. The innovation starts with a custom battery system housed inside the seatpost. This solution is lighter and longer lasting, eliminates all external routing and mounts and is available on many Calfee models and also as a retrofit on most carbon frames.

This product has already generated tremendous excitement in the cycling public, the cycling press and even among framebuilders; please consider the very recent evaluations by cyclingnews.com and VeloNews (including a video).  Our solution has also impressed Shimano; we recently retrofit Wayne Stetina’s 2011 HTC – High Road S-Works Tarmac SL3.  Wayne is Vice President of the bicycle division of Shimano America.  In addition to installing our battery and modified harness, we modified Wayne’s SL3 to accept internal wiring, removed non-essential external cable stops and applied a fresh matte clear coat.  He shares his thoughts and findings here, in this May, 2011 interview.  You can enjoy photos of Wayne’s bike with our Di2 product here in the All Hail the Black Market blog.  We similarly optimized a very special Trek Madone for Steve Blick, Oakley’s Sports Marketing Manager.  It was discovered and photographed at the 2011 Tour of California.  Enjoy the coverage here.

Full Carbon BarStem;

Relationship with ENVE Composites bears fresh fruit with the further refinement of the original Calfee BarStem. Calfee marries an ENVE carbon stem to any oversize carbon bar at any angle desired. The resultant BarStem is the lightest integrated carbon handlebar and stem on the market and is the only product capable of personalization.

Dragonfly Carbon Frames;

The Dragonfly tube set was designed to build the lightest possible single and tandem bicycle frames without sacrificing stiffness, durability and ride quality. Please read this review of our Dragonfly published in the June 2011 issue of Road Bike Action.  This video captures a 15 pound Dragonfly with our proprietary Di2 Internal Battery and Wiring System.  The bike also features our full-carbon BarStem, a PressFit 30 BB shell, painted logos as well as a new stock color for Calfee, pearl white.  As well, make certain to consider this feature, Calfee Dragonfly Adventure Project Gravel Bike for RBA.  We use high modulus carbon fiber in all the tubes (66 msi) as well as the lug areas.  Previously, a frame built with all high modulus fiber would be too brittle. We incorporated Boron fiber into the three main tubes to add some toughness and compressive stiffness.  Boron is an attractive reinforcement because the resulting composite combines superior tensile, compressive and flexural strengths, high modulus, and low density in one system.  Combined with the super high tensile stiffness of the carbon, the result is a frame material with the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio on the market.

Coupled Carbon Frames;

Calfee is the world’s first, and to this day only, bicycle manufacturer to couple carbon frames. Made by S and S Machine, these clever devices allow you to break apart the bike and pack into a suitcase for easier and much less expensive travel.

Carbon Adventure Frame;

Motivated by the increasing popularity of brevets and the call for a higher-performance bicycle in this “steel dominated” category, Calfee introduces a new carbon frame with “long road” geometry.  This video shows a Tetra with our “Adventure” frame options (35mm tire clearance, 57mm reach brake calipers) perfectly at home on the gravel roads of Central Texas.  This model is highlighted by increased tire clearance, full wrap fenders, critical accessory mounts, long reach caliper or disc brake option and, in keeping with every Calfee frame, is durable, comfortable, super-light and extremely efficient in power transmission. Randonees rejoice!  Please consider this review of our Tetra Adventure and this review of our Dragonfly Adventure Project Gravel Road for RBA.

Carbon and Bamboo Tandem Frames;

You no longer have to compromise. Our tandem frames, as light as the very lightest aluminum, titanium and carbon frames from our competitors, set a new standard for durability, power transmission and lateral stiffness. 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.

Calfee Sizer;

Craig Calfee started building carbon frames in 1987, when “plastic bikes” weren’t very popular. Greg LeMond discovered Calfee’s bikes in 1991 and that meeting introduced Craig into the world of fussy professional racers. Being a custom frame specialist, Calfee became familiar with the limitations of sizing programs and adjustable fitting bikes. Framebuilder Bernie Mikkelsen had been working on a better sizer for many years when Calfee proposed to help bring it into production. A deal was struck and now there is a steel fabrication corner in Calfee’s carbon fiber frame shop. That is where the Calfee Sizer is produced.

Now it’s easy to obtain the exact geometry needed for a custom frame.  This sizing cycle is made for ease of use and ease of understanding by the person being fitted. The technician can quickly and easily adjust all the important dimensions with quick releases and a hand crank top tube extender. The top tube extender is especially handy for the rider to feel the effect of a longer or shorter top tube while the technician turns the crank handle.

Please visit our website for more information about our products or services.

 

Exhibitor Products:

Our ongoing collaboration with RBA to build and evolve the ideal gravel road race bike has resulted in key updates to the machine that Neil originally received/raced. Among other details, we’ve enhanced the electronics and created clearance for 27.5″/650b x 42mm tires. Simply remove the existing 700c wheels and replace with the smaller diameter 650b hoops with larger diameter treads. Similiarly, in particularly muddy conditions, you could opt for a 650b x 29mm or 32mm, to dramatically enhance mud-clearing capacity.

Earlier this year, Zap and Neil at Road Bike Action asked us to build the frame module for a gravel road race project bike.  The challenge; build a bike that Neil (recently retired top domestic pro) could race to victory in a grueling gravel road race.  RBA’s October issue landed and here is a link to the 10 page feature.  Here is a link to complete online coverage of the bike, rider and race.  The results are in; Neil won the King of the Mountains competition and second overall in Crusher in the Tushar aboard this Dragonfly Adventure.  Our Dragonfly with Adventure frame options proved the “perfect” bicycle for the rigorous event.  This video captures Neil and the balance of the Pro field throughout the difficult day; rain, gravel, altitude…

We’ve executed an integral mount for a Garmin a handful of ways; we’ve arrived at this convention. K-Edge manufactures a fantastic mount for a Garmin that we are happy to employ; we modify their handlebar clamp, retaining only what is required to ensure integrity in lamination and to preserve fore/aft adjustability. The quarter-turn component can easily be removed. You can select any color combination you like. We expect this option to retail for about $200, including the K-Edge mount. You’ll see this BarStem option on at least one of our 2013 NAHBS bikes.  You can read more about our BarStem here.

This was the first time we were asked to combine blue pearl and emerald green translucent.  We did not know what to expect but were thrilled with the result.  John, the owner of this stirring machine, ordered the bicycle from his home in Australia.  Shortly thereafter, he flew to California where he met our Assembly Manager, Rob, at his hotel in Sausalito, CA (2 hours North of our HQ in Santa Cruz).  Rob confirmed the set-up and sent him out on a test ride; perfect.  John spent the next couple of weeks riding his brand new Dragonfly as he followed the Tour of California with an organized bicycle tour.

This is a carbon fiber handlebar laminated to a carbon fiber stem. You can specify the stem extension, stem rise, stem and handlebar make/model and bar width. You can also choose a carbon or aluminum steerer tube clamp. Any 31.8 diameter carbon fiber handlebar can be made into a BarStem.

Unlike competing products, our one piece BarStem allows the marriage of personalized and optimized individual components; lighter, stiffer, stronger, more absorbent and better fitting.  Consider more information here.

This striking Dragonfly tandem is a great example of our capacity for personalization.  Weighing only 23 pounds, this tandem is resplendent with an EXTREMELY complicated paint scheme.  We had a great time color matching the BarStem and the balance of the components.  This tandem team already owned a Calfee Tetra tandem with couplers; they wanted a new go-to tandem to enjoy when they weren’t traveling and, after sampling the characteristics of our carbon tandem frames, their custom titanium tandems were a disappointment to pedal.  More on our tandems here.

We built this Dragonfly Adventure for an enthusiastic randonneur who lives in Japan.  In fact, he visited our booth at NAHBS when the show was in Austin; he later visited Calfee HQ in Santa Cruz County.

While we’ve been building this road frame for years, we are only now formalizing its station in our model range. This frame is a high-tech take on a frame that has traditionally been built out of steel or, more recently, titanium. This frame may be described as a Randonneur; a bicycle built for performance through comfort. Our definition of “comfort”, at least in this instance, is “avoiding those things that make a rider go slow”. Consider how wide-tire clearance, full-wrap fenders, integrated lighting systems, optional luggage, enhanced stability and improved vibration dampening, among other features, might enhance “comfort” and then “performance”.

We are very excited to introduce the Calfee Adventure. Click here to view geometry, features and some feedback.  We debuted this model in Austin, TX at NAHBS the weekend of Friday, February 25′th, 2011.  Both the cycling press and cyclists themselves were thrilled with our execution; enjoy this coverage from James Huang, technical editor with Cyclingnews.com, as well as this October 2011 review in Mountain Flyer Magazine, featuring our Bamboo Adventure.  Jan Heine, Editor of Bicycle Quarterly, published a review of our Tetra Adventure in the Autumn 2011 issue.  He hated to give it back.  Here is a link to the complete review.

This particular tandem features S&S Machine Couplers, Ultegra Di2 with our internal battery and wiring system, our full-carbon BarStem and a stirring rootbeer opaque/rootbeer translucent paint scheme.  This tandem weighs only 28 pounds.

You no longer have to compromise. 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.

 

We partnered with artist Krusch Rhoades to offer a limited number of these paint schemes; we have a total of ten of these schemes available.  This Tetra Pro is #1.  Any of our carbon frame models can receive this treatment.

The Tetra road frame was originally designed in 1987 and has been thoughtfully refined to its current incarnation over the last 25 years.  Enjoy this article in Cycle Sport which describes in great detail our formative years and early achievements at the highest level of the sport.  As the oldest continuously produced model of carbon fiber bicycle frame in the world, it has evolved to a state of perfection and value unmatched by any other frame.

This Dragonfly was finished with a customer-designed paint scheme; we really like what Xavier came up with; pearl white metallic, opaque matte black, clear gloss over carbon and some super-type logo treatment in silver.  Sharp!

Our Dragonfly Pro with dual disc option in pearl white metallic.  We use high modulus carbon fiber (66msi) in all the tubes as well as the lug areas. Previously, a frame built with all high modulus fiber would be too brittle. We incorporated Boron fiber into the three main tubes to add some toughness and compressive stiffness. Boron is an attractive reinforcement because the resulting composite combines superior tensile, compressive and flexural strengths, high modulus, and low density in one system. Combined with the super high tensile stiffness of the carbon, the result is a frame material with the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio on the market.

The Luna was conceived as a model to compete with the bigger brands. The amazing Luna, built by Calfee at our headquarters in California, retails for less than frames made offshore in China and Taiwan. Still, it shares the workmanship, hand crafting and ride quality of our more expensive frames; 85% of the performance for 50% of the cost.

Like our flagship Dragonfly, Luna’s lugs are compression molded with metal dies. These lugs and pre-mitered tubes are easily bonded together because they are so compatible. The carbon fibers are carefully oriented to put strength exactly where it’s needed while minimizing weight. Gussets are integrally formed with the fabrication of the joints, eliminating the inherent weakness of the tube and lug joint found in many other manufacturers designs. We save some time, and you expense, by not scalloping the lugs as we do with the Dragonfly. Luna lugs wrap uniformly around the circumference of each tube. Luna frames, though inexpensive, are very light; 2.8 pound for a 54cm road frame.

 

Dragonfly lugs are pressure molded from high modulus fabric. With Dragonfly singles, lugs are made with carbon fabric formed around metal mandrels. These lugs and pre-mitered tubes are easily bonded together because they are so compatible. The carbon fibers are carefully oriented to put strength exactly where it’s needed while minimizing weight. Gussets are integrally formed with the fabrication of the joints, eliminating the inherent weakness of the tube and lug joint found in many other manufacturers designs. They are then meticulously carved to the optimum shape, taking into consideration the weight and intended use by the rider. They happen to look good because of their form-follows-function aesthetic.  Read more about our extraordinary Dragonfly here.

Our bamboo tandem is visually and functionally elegant.  Beautifully formed by our carbon
craftsmen, this bamboo bicycle is ready to carry a couple to market or perform at the highest
level of the sport.  Read this build detail about this very special bamboo tandem.

 

The Calfee 29er Tetra Tandem is a “big and beautiful” example of advanced composites
engineering. The Tetra tandem is a 6.5 pound frame whose striking finish springs from its
highly-optimized function; light, strong, stiff and absorbent. Coupled with our electronics and
numerous modifications to the carbon components to further enhance their performance, our
29er carbon tandem frame is outfitted to demonstrate what is possible and exceed
expectations.  Enjoy this build detail about the Tetra 29er tandem with electronic shifting.

 

While we’ve been building this road frame for years, we are only now formalizing its station in our model range. This frame is a high-tech take on a frame that has traditionally been built out of steel or, more recently, titanium. This frame may be described as a Randonneur; a bicycle built for performance through comfort. Our definition of “comfort”, at least in this instance, is “avoiding those things that make a rider go slow”. Consider how wide-tire clearance, full-wrap fenders, integrated lighting systems, optional luggage, enhanced stability and improved vibration dampening, among other features, might enhance “comfort” and then “performance”.

We are very excited to introduce the Calfee Adventure. Click here to view geometry, features and some feedback.  We debuted this model in Austin, TX at NAHBS the weekend of Friday, February 25′th, 2011.  Both the cycling press and cyclists themselves were thrilled with our execution; enjoy this coverage from James Huang, technical editor with Cyclingnews.com, as well as this October 2011 review in Mountain Flyer Magazine, featuring our Bamboo Adventure.  Jan Heine, Editor of Bicycle Quarterly, published a review of our Tetra Adventure in the Autumn 2011 issue.  He hated to give it back.  Here is a link to the complete review.

Along these same lines, earlier this year, Zap and Neil at Road Bike Action asked us to build the frame module for a gravel road race project bike.  The challenge; build a bike that Neil (recently retired top domestic pro) could race to victory in a grueling gravel road race.  RBA’s October issue landed and here is a link to the 10 page feature.  Here is a link to complete online coverage of the bike, rider and race.  The results are in; Neil won the King of the Mountains competition and second overall in Crusher in the Tushar aboard this Dragonfly Adventure.  Our Dragonfly with Adventure frame options proved the “perfect” bicycle for the rigorous event.  This video captures Neil and the balance of the Pro field throughout the difficult day; rain, gravel, altitude.

Beautifully formed by our carbon craftsmen, our bamboo frames perform at the highest level of the sport.

There are many good reasons to choose Calfee Bamboo for your next bicycle frame. Calfee Bamboo bicycle frames are very stiff, transferring power efficiently; are durable, resisting damage from stress and impacts; are comfortable, surpassing aluminum, steel, titanium and most carbon frames in smoothness.

Read this build detail about the very special bamboo tandem.  Consider this October, 2011 review of our Bamboo Adventure in Mountain Flyer Magazine.  This duo road two bamboo touring bikes, fully-loaded, 18.5k miles over two years.  Our bamboo tubes mitered together and bound by epoxy soaked hemp fiber create a frame whose most notable characteristic, beyond beauty, is this incredible vibration dampening.  Enjoy this very thorough and well written article about our bamboo product.  As well, please consider this recent feedback from a new Calfee Bamboo Pro owner.

Each of our bamboo frames requires over 40 hours of labor to build. Following an interview with the frame’s new owner, we hand select a bamboo tube set that will deliver characteristics consistent with the riders expectations and requirements. Every frame is made to order and every frame is unique. All bamboo bicycles are available in stock or custom geometries.

Our lightest and most technically advanced frame.  Here is a hi-res image as well as a technical build detail of our newest Dragonfly which features our PowerPost, Di2 Internal Battery and Wiring System and SuperClean front end.  The Dragonfly tube set was designed to build the lightest possible bicycle frames without sacrificing stiffness, durability and ride quality.  How did we do?  Consider this 10 page feature.

Award Winner:
Calfee Dragonfly Time Trial Tandem with Couplers, Di2 and Aero BarStems (Award for: Best tandem bike):
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.
Award Entries:
Calfee Bamboo Pro with LOOK Zed 2 Crankset and Campagnolo EPS Internal Integration (Entry for: Best alternative material (bamboo, aluminum, wood, magnesium, etc.)):
This Calfee Bamboo Pro features internal integration of the Campagnolo EPS battery and wiring system. We chose the LOOK Zed 2 crankset as it is the lightest crankset currently on the market, with the highest stiffness to weight ratio amongst the competition. As well, we required the crankset’s massive 65mm bottom bracket shell so we could install and service the Campagnolo EPS battery inside the down tube, just above the crankset. We engineered and fitted an external charging port on the left side of the bottom bracket shell.
We chose bamboo tubing as the resultant bicycle frames are very stiff, transferring power efficiently; are durable, resisting damage from stress and impacts; are comfortable, surpassing aluminum, steel, titanium and most carbon frames in smoothness. Our bamboo tubes mitered together and bound by epoxy soaked bark cloth create a frame whose most notable characteristic, beyond beauty, is this incredible vibration dampening.
We finish the bamboo frames with satin polyurethane that functions as a vapor seal and allows the owner to maintain the bamboo frame as they would any metal or carbon frame. We sourced the bamboo from the Yucatan Peninsula and the pounded bark cloth from Ficus trees in Africa. As is the case with all Calfee frames, we use a plant based high performance eco resin to create the required matrix.
Our Bamboo Pro is visually and functionally elegant. Beautifully formed by our carbon craftsmen, this bamboo bicycle is ready to perform at the highest level of the sport.
Calfee Dragonfly Time Trial Tandem with Couplers, Di2 and Aero BarStems (Entry for: Best tandem bike):
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.