NAHBS 2014: Calfee Updates Manta Pro, Adds Cyclocross Prototype & Builds a Tandem for One
Calfee has updated their Manta Pro endurance road bike with new options, including a “lockout” block to convert the soft tail design into a hardtail, thru axle options and further refinements to the design.
There was also a prototype Manta Pro Cyclocross bike in the booth, plus a new version of their famous tandems that lets you convert the front and rear sections into a fairly normal one-person road bike for those days when you’re stoker’s a slacker.
For the Manta Pro, new dropouts give you the option to run thru axle rear hubs.
Some riders requested a way to occasionally eliminate the suspension offered by the soft tail design, so Calfee is now offering an alloy insert that replaces the elastomer, effectively locking it out. It’s all user serviceable, so you can switch back and forth, or even swap elastomers to tune the ride, on your own. Note the internal Campy EPS battery charging port just in front of the bottom bracket shell.
Disc brakes are now an option, too.
The Manta Pro ‘cross bike has been doing well in their tests, but they will be offering additional clearance for the rear tire. Which would then make it an even better gravel bike, too. It’s all custom, so once they’ve got the new chain stay yoke dialed, you can make it whatever you want.
The support struts were added to the chain stays late last year to change the flex point of the rear suspension.
Yep, definitely needs a bit more clearance for cyclocross tires. They offer the Manta Pro in gravel road bike variations, too, and that one will likely get the added clearance as well.
Their travel tandems can now be made with a revised S&S Coupler placement. The two bikes shown here place a coupler just in front of the BB on the down tube, which separates the front triangle from the center section. The rear triangle and seat tube also detach. Those two sections can then combine to create the one-person bike shown above.
The reason for the bump on the down tube is that the S&S piece sticks out much further inside the tube than outward appearances would suggest. These are some of the first convertible tandems they’ve made, so it was more a case of proof of concept here. They’re working on a curvier down tube design that’ll hide the bump in a more elegant, swoopy frame.
The design was sparked by customers’ stories of occasionally having (wanting) to head out on a ride solo while on vacation and feeling rather ridiculous riding a tandem by themselves. Calfee’s Michael Moore says it would take the average cyclist about 25 minutes to convert it from a tandem to a solo road bike.