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NAHBS – Bamboo, Carbon Fiber and Trandems from Calfee

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NAHBS 2010Craig Calfee had a number of non-traditional bikes on display to truly illustrate not only the versatility of bamboo, but also his skill as a builder.

The Moulton replica bike was made at the request of a customer and isn’t something he plans to build regularly, but it was pretty ornate.  Nothing like a full suspension mini bike made from trees, eh?  Then there was his triple-tandem (Trandem?) from bamboo and a 23lb fully built carbon fiber tandem that was positively sick.

See it all after the break…


Note the internal cable routing.



A small rubber bumper provides some rear cush via flex in the bamboo tubes…no pivot point here.  The integrated rack has small LED taillights, too.  Internally geared hub is super stealth thanks to the cable that pops out of the chainstay just in time.



Words. Just. Can’t…  Calfee can also build this triple with couplers so it can turn into a standard tandem and back.  That way, just as your kid is old enough not to want to be seen with you, you and sweetie can add the third seat and force them to get some fresh air and, like, you know, to drop them off at school.


This carbon fiber tandem could give the Shiv prototype a run for it’s money.  At just 7lbs for the frame, the complete bike is only 23lbs, which was verified by picking it up.  In otherwords, it’s lighter than my mountain bike by a solid two pounds.


This model is the Dragonfly, which uses 55-modulus carbon fiber with boron mixed into the tubes to add strength (LESSON OF THE DAY: hi-mod carbon is superlight but brittle, other manufacturers use kevlar, etc., to add resiliency to hi-mod frames.  In reality, hi modulus sounds good but is not always the best frame material when used by itself, as Nick Crumpton’s show session on carbon fiber explained).


The two-tone of glossy paint with matte carbon on this bike was stunning, and this particular build was for a customer that wanted a combo of belt drive and traditional gears.  They asked us not to post the price for the complete bike, but suffice to say it’s up there.  Frames start at $6,995.


This one had Calfee’s adjustable length  Stoker Stem.



Disc brake ready, and you could separate the frame if you wanted to run a belt drive for the main transmission, too.

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14 years ago

um, bamboo is a grass, not a tree

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