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NAHBS News: Alternative – Calfee:

Materials – Alternative

Calfee Design

Name of Model; Calfee Bamboo Tandem with dual belt drive Concept and Design Considerations; We set out to build a tandem that would do everything very well; it would excel on or off road, it would be happy in urban environments or in adventure-touring dress, it would be durable enough to grow old with a young family and fun and fast enough to race. We chose our 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 hemp fiber create a frame whose most notable characteristic, beyond beauty, is this incredible vibration dampening. We thoughtfully paired this extremely functional frame with complimentary components; highlights include the internally geared hub, hydraulic disc brakes and dual carbon belts. Material Choice and Construction Notes; Our frame is made from bamboo that has been smoked and heat treated to prevent splitting. 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. Lugs are made of hemp fiber. As is the case with all Calfee frames, we use a plant based high performance eco resin to create the required matrix. Importantly, we discovered that bamboo and carbon fiber have different rates or thermal dynamic expansion. Our early bamboo frames used carbon fiber, instead of hemp, to join the tubes and many of the joints failed over time. Our 10 year warranty protected those Calfee customers and they now enjoy our hemp-lugged bamboo bicycle frames. We offer our bamboo bicycle frames in all frame styles and geometries. We enjoy this flexibility as we do not use forms or molds to join the bamboo tubes. As a result, there is no imposed constraint. We are able to miter and join the bamboo tubing at any angle to support complete personalization of the product. Each of our bamboo frames requires over 40 hours of labor to build; this bamboo tandem required 55 hours. 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 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.

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