Living a few miles from the mtbtandems HQ has its benefits. This afternoon my stoker and I had the opportunity to put the Calfee Dragonfly through its paces at one our local trails, Rope Mill. The trails are steep, tight and fast with a few techy spots thrown in for good measure.
First impressions are..."wow," this thing is light! Maybe 33-34lbs... not much more than my Trek Remedy single bike. Second impressions are..."wow," this thing looks awesome! Thirds..."holy cow, I hope I don't break it!"
My short review is that the carbon frame provides a magic-carpet like smooth ride. The hardtail did not have a thudbuster and my Stoker did not mind at all. It really muted the trail junk and rode beautifully. Very stiff and quick in the turns.
The carbon wheels, I believe, are the next upgrade I will make, albeit with Derby HD rims (WIDE rims). The wheels would spin up so fast on the climbs which, combined with the overall light weight of the frame made the bike scoot uphill very quick. Equally impressive for the wheels was the stiffness - they needed to be wider as the stiffness really exacerbated the narrow rim causing the front to feel like it was pushing in the turns. That's a minor grump though - the wheels were really awesome!
Next, Di2 shifting on a tandem mtb...well, it was really cool, whiz-bang stuff but, it didn't like to much the hi-torque of the tandem. Oh, it shifted fine, but it got real grumpy and started talking back the steeper the trail got.
Overall, I give it 4 lawn-chairs out of 5 primarily for the ride quality of the carbon frame and carbon wheels. Build the same frame up with a quality 10-sp kit and a wider carbon wheelset that's setup tubeless and you've got one hell of a sweet carbon tandem!
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Thread: Calfee Dragonfly Tandem demo
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