The Tetra tube set and single road frame was originally designed in 1987 and has been thoughtfully refined to its current incarnation over the last 23 years. 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. Even bicycle enthusiasts and industry insiders are surprised to learn that the Tetra was invented back in 1987 and only four years later was being ridden by Greg LeMond and his Team Z teammates in the world’s most important cycling event, the Tour de France. Greg wore the leader’s Yellow Jersey aboard a Tetra, then less than five years old. Today, nearly 20 years later, Tetra tubing and bicycle frames have been continually optimized; sharpened by improvements in raw materials, manufacturing processes and advantageous frame options.
A Tetra tandem with S and S Machine couplers for travel weighs less than 28 pounds and is ready to race. You no longer have to compromise. Calfee is doing for the tandem world in 2012 what it did for the single world in 1987; building a lighter, stronger, stiffer more absorbent frame that is faster and more fun to ride. Beyond the frame, complete personalization of the component group and parts kit allows for tandem bike builds that are far more exciting and, simply, better than the rest!
With the Tetra frames, Calfee saturates carbon fabric with epoxy, then laminates it at 210 p.s.i. and fuses it to pre-mitered carbon tubes using metal dies. Molded in one layup, the resulting joints have long tapered transitions from one tube to the next, following the stresses evenly. This manufacturing process seamlessly marries the tension filament wound carbon tubing resulting in a frame without molded lugs. Fatigue life for these fiber reinforced joints is appreciably longer than that of adhesive bonds and, coupled with the tubing itself, is grounds for the Tetra’s 25 year warranty.
The Tetra tubes were designed to have the optimum stiffness to weight ratio and also have a thick enough wall to be impact tolerant. The 42 and 55 msi modulus fiber is strong and very stiff but not too brittle. Given this durability, we’re happy to offer our Tetra tubing in off-road and travel frame configurations.
The precise orientation of the Tetra’s 51 million fibers delivers the best combination of stiffness and comfort for everyday riding. While these frames are unbelievably stiff through the drive train and are very light (6.8 pounds for a Medium/Small tandem), they are especially easy on the saddle and handlebars. These qualities conspire to make Tetra the choice of traveling tandem teams, privateer racers, endurance road riders and gravel-road randonees.
Of the 5000 or so frames that Calfee has delivered to bicycle riders these last two decades, over 3400 have been Tetras. More than any other Calfee innovation or product, Tetra is responsible for Calfee’s unassailable strength and position in today’s crowded carbon market.