Readers’ Rig: The carbon frames from Calfee were cutting edge technology back when steel and alloy was still the material of choice – Greg LeMond in the Tour de France. Dave in Pennsylvania has a fine example of a 2006 Calfee, a pleasure to behold.
Name: David Mailander
Location: Palmyra, Pennsylvania, USA
Frame: Calfee Tetra Carbon
Group: Campagnolo Chorus
Handlebar/Stem: Ritchey WCS Logic II (both)
Wheels: Zipp 303 Firecrest
Pedals: Look KEO Carbon
Saddle: Fizik Aliante
Other: Campagnolo Record seat post, Nerius 52/36 chain rings, Continental Grand Prix 4 Season, black.
When did you buy it?
What made you choose this bike?
While attending a bike show in 2005, I had the opportunity to meet Craig Calfee and test ride a Tetra Carbon. The bike sold itself due to the finish, ride qualify and stiffness of the frame. The brand has a great reputation as a handmade fabricator/designer vs. large corporate producer of road and mountain bikes. At the time, Calfee bikes were represented by retail bike shops. This one in particular was purchased from College Park Bicycles, College Park, Maryland. It is well known that Calfee produced the first carbon bike frame for Greg Lemond’s Team Z. That bit of history also lends credibility to the brand. Not everyone rides a Calfee, but everyone notices the people that do.
Greg Lemond’s Calfee in the Tour de France
Have you done any modifications/additions to it?
The drive train was modified to accommodate a mid-compact 52/36 four years ago. One year later, the Zipp 303’s where added which further reduced the weight of the bike and the overall performance particularly when climbing and descending. The frame was repainted by Calfee this year updating the graphics and applying a new coat of Cabernet Red fade. Maintenance and upkeep of this bike is performed by Shirk’s Bike Shop of East Earl, Pennsylvania.
How many miles/kilometers do you do a year?
Lately between 5000 to 8000 miles. The total miles on this bike – 48,000.
What do you love about this bike?
The Tetra is a perfect blend of comfort, stiffness and durability. For the road rider, it performs in all conditions and applications. It’s well suited for fast group rides, centuries, or just pedaling down to the local café for a coffee. The finish on the bike is absolutely stunning due to the translucent fade of the cabernet red color. Paired with Campagnolo and Zipp produced components, it is a flawless performer.
Favorite riding areas?
During the week, I enjoy riding with the Hershey Gardening Club Group ride out of Hershey Pennsylvania. The Gardening Club is a moniker for road riders looking to ride fast, improve fitness and grow as a road cyclist. Club rides typically traverse Mount Gretna of Lebanon County PA in addition to outlying area such as Lancaster, Ephrata, Mount Joy and other locations in and around central Pennsylvania.
Top riding experience on your bike?
The bike has performed all over the country at: Chattanooga Tennessee Bike Club 3 State 3 Mountain Century, Blue Ridge Brutal, West Jefferson North Carolina, Civil War Century Thurmont Maryland, Lake Nockamixon Century, Philadelphia PA and a host of other regional events. However, my top experience was riding the Blue Ridge Parkway as part of the Blue Ridge Brutal. Amazing scenery and great people.
None planned. This bike has everything anyone would need for the road. I am considering gravel and will look to Calfee design for potentially an adventure or gravel frame with the same Tetra build characteristics.
If there was one “do it all” road bike this is it. Every year I keep looking at new innovations in the bike industry and consider how far behind I might be falling. Then I get back on this bike and I stop thinking about the next best thing. Because this is it.
Thanks to David for sharing his ride with us. Got a bike that you walk into the room just to stare at? Well, how about sharing it with fellow PEZ fans and getting it featured in Readers’ Rigs so we can all stare at it! Send us a Readers’ Rigs submission direct to firstname.lastname@example.org and your bike could be featured in all its glory here on the pages of PEZ.