Calfee Show Off Upcoming California-Made Carbon Hardtail

Jun 8, 2020
by Dan Roberts  
Calfee Universal Hardtail

Calfee are a Californian based brand who have been in business since 1989. They make a range of components from carbon fiber composite and their frames have a unique instantly recognizable aesthetic from their alternative use of materials and construction.

If you're brave enough you can even use your own hands to turn one of their DIY bamboo kits into a frame, with Calfee providing the materials and all the instruction you need. They also offer carbon repair options for damaged composite frames, and boast a wealth of knowledge from their thousands of repairs.

They're now making a new hardtail frame from carbon fiber, and as they transition from prototypes into production, they are launching pre-orders for this new do it all hardtail frame. They've previously built plenty of bamboo MTB hardtails, but wanted to make sure that a composite offering was up to their own high standards.

Dubbed a universal hardtail, their frame is adjustable to suit disciplines from bikepacking all the way through to aggressive riding. If you've ever seen anyone aggressively ride while bikepacking, this is also quite the sight.

Calfee Universal Hardtail

The frame uses an adjustable head tube angle to help mold the bike to the job in hand, and Calfee also include the ability to adjust the seat tube angle and BB drop to adapt to differing fork travels and offsets. Their metallic dropouts look to be handling the seat angle and BB drop changes.

Head angle sits at 67 degrees stock and has been extensively tested in the back woods of Santa Cruz with every one of the test riders returning praise for the new bike, as well as a desire to get their hands on one as soon as possible.

Calfee also comment on having a comfortable frame, and the slender and slimmed down chain stay and seat stay tubes look like they would contribute to that ride characteristic.

For now, we only have a sneak peek at the new hardtail - more details about the bike, its adjustability and pricing will come through very soon. But if you're keen to get on the pre-order list then you can contact Calfee directly.


  • 123 0
 Yo, that first sentence is pretty rough to get through.
  • 8 0
 You are correct.
  • 11 0
 I held my breath and nearly got deathed trying to read it.
  • 30 0
 Coronavirus has mutated into Commavirus.
  • 5 0
 @excavator666: Cheese 'n rice that is brutal....
  • 17 27
flag rocky-mtn-gman (Jun 8, 2020 at 14:59) (Below Threshold)
 @downcountry: Is that really that tough to understand, if you're having trouble reading that then you, need to take, some basic, grade level, elementary English lessons about you're for a alliterative use of sentence structure sometimes.
  • 5 0
 Holy crap on a cracker that is badly worded
  • 7 0
 @rocky-mtn-gman: It is what it is. Nothing illegal about 50 commas in a sentence, but the nuns who taught me fifth grade grammar would have had the ruler out at number seven.
  • 12 0
 @codypup: nothing illegal about it, but it’s pretty embarrassing lol. Kinda like rollerblading.
  • 1 0
 Seems like it's missing a word, could be 'their frames have a unique' Beautiful looking bike anyway
  • 3 0
 What the heck is a sentence? Looks to be the same as a paragraph around here....
  • 19 1
 All nine errors (2 are commas) listed:

1. Califee is
2&3. California-based
4&5. brand that has (Errors 1-5 in 7 words. Hurray, a new record / standard!!)
6. 1989.
7. frames offer
8. recognizable aesthetic
9. thanks to their alternative

Calfee is a California-based brand that has been in business since 1989. They make a range of components from carbon fiber composite, and their frames offer a unique, instantly recognizable aesthetic thanks to their alternative use of materials and construction.
  • 2 0
 *second sentence?
  • 4 0
 Come on guys. What have we become? Support grammatical diversity!
  • 2 0
 @LancaCruz: I was hoping someone would say this.
  • 1 0
 @mi-bike: It’s not incorrect to refer to a company in the plural, particularly in British English.
  • 1 0
 Paging Dan Roberts
  • 1 0
 @joeadnan: I stand corrected. Only 7 errors now Wink
  • 32 0
 Well that's not gonna be cheap.
  • 14 0
 Unno drops 5000€ full squish frame

Calfee*hold my beer
  • 27 1
 Gotta pay that Cal(ifornia) fee
  • 4 0
 But comes with the slimmed down chainstays to add comfort to your ride! Cheaper solution than FS
  • 2 0
 @mi-bike: 160mm travel hardtail
  • 12 1
 scroll down to see head angle is less than 68.5. good
  • 9 1
 lol every one of the test riders returning praise for the new bike, as well as a desire to get their hands on one as soon as possible
  • 5 0
 Amazing how that works.
  • 10 0
 looks somewhat bambooish
  • 7 0
 If I made my own bamboo bike it would certainly be called.....the bamboozler
  • 5 1
 At least it comes with a built-in shelf on the head tube to hold my beer when it goes huck to flat.

But for real, the overall look of this is so bulbous, is this just the Calfee look? I'm not familiar with their frames.
  • 2 0
 I think you can fit a pint inside the headtube too. Love it!
  • 4 0
 It comes with an awl as well so you can drill holes and make a bamboo flute out of the top tube after you huck to flat.
  • 2 0
 Just checked their website, seems like they are finally planning to release a bamboo BMX kit. Now that seems like fun. My BMX is from 2003 (first generation Stolen, the BMX brand from Anthony Revell) with 44-16 drivetrain and 48spokes f/r, 14mm axles f/r. I only ride it on the pumptrack nowadays so I don't dish out the kind of abuse it is designed to take. A homebrew bamboo BMX would be fun.
  • 2 0
 For those unfamiliar with Calfee's frame design aesthetic, its largely a consequence of their use of individual straight tubes connected into structures at the seat cluster/BB/headtube, as opposed to the highly-shaped monocoque configurrations we're used to seeing. The road bikes have distinctive "webbed feet" looking joints. This MTB looks more like a composite version of their bamboo models, which is indeed quite bulbous.
  • 2 0
 I'm surprised at the tube junctions. I have a Calfee Tetra road bike and the lugged carbon junctions are beautiful. These tube junctions look terrible. I get the look on a bamboo bike, but this should have gotten the same lugged connections as their road bikes. Add in some variable frame dimensions (like they do with the road bikes) and this would have been a really cool way to get a custom geometry carbon hardtail. Instead we get fuggly.
  • 1 0
 Their road bike lugs are awful for fitting frame bags. And apparently this frame has substantial geometry adjustments baked-in, so a custom geo option isn't really needed.
  • 2 1
 Is it odd that my first thought when looking at this, was that the top tube seems oddly high (ie, the standover height is high) for a modern trail hardtail?

Maybe thats for the bikepacking crowd?

Oh, and the price. I assume if it is not listed, then I likely can't/don't want to afford it.
  • 4 0
 Probably so it can fit 2 bottles and/or bags. I can't fit 2 bottles in my large size Honzo because the top tube slopes so much. I don't use that extra standover clearance for anything. I never find myself riding in front of the saddle or doing whatever it is people do that they need tons of standover for, so I don't get any advantage from the sloping top tube. I'd rather have room for a second bottle.
  • 1 0

Makes sense, it is marketed for everything from aggressive trail riding down to bikepacking.

My hardtail has a very tall top tube like this (8yr old XC bike), and does fit two bottles. For bikepacking or marathon type stuff I could see the ability to hold two bottles and/or framebag as being very desirable, and its not like its really a negative. Just was mentioning its higher than I am used to seeing for a trail bike is all.

I actually do smack my knees on the top tube on that from time to time on my hardtail though. I blame either being used to the lower top tube on my FS bike and moving the bike around more side to side, or learning to ride a dirt bike before mountain biking, where pinching the bike between your knees is considered proper form.
  • 3 0
 I can't look at the bike... My instincts are to find the poison oak in the picture. Surely it must be there but I can't find it!
  • 2 0
 Second picture, right below the bottom bracket it looks like.
  • 1 0
 Every $2500 frame comes with a 20oz Teknu bottle!!
  • 2 1
 I feel like Klein had the whole hardtail frame design thing nailed back in '92! The relationship between the tube sizes is just perfect. I mean, just look at it! Update the geo, add discs and take my money!
  • 1 0
 i totally agree with u. i would love that to happen.
  • 6 2
 looks far from refined.. ugly!
  • 3 4
 Are you looking at the same pictures that the rest of us are?
  • 6 1
 @beanandcheeseburrito: yes....he's just sober....
  • 3 1
 For the sake of adjustability please include slotted horzontal dropouts. For single speeds and also to be able to alter wheel base length.
  • 1 0
 Cool bike, personally not my style though... The back triangle looks like its made out of twigs compared to the absolute bulbous size of the rest of the frame. It looks a little thick.
  • 1 0
 ugh, so headtube have 20mm thickness of wall?? why? what is there stored? Whats the weight and virtual travel of rear end? Have it hole in bottom tube for a bagette at least?
  • 4 0
 No bamboo? Pass..
  • 3 0
 You know it's expensive when you put a 36 on a hardtail
  • 1 0
 I’ve got a steel hardtail with a 36. Built the bike up for under $2000. Take your time looking for deals, re-use a few parts and know when to pull the trigger on a great deal.
  • 5 2
 Those tubes joined with Flextape?
  • 1 0
 Great idea. I think it looks cool, and the rear triangle looks like it won't beat you up too much. I think the future of compliant hardtails is in carbon.
  • 3 0
 that head tube is thicc
  • 2 0
 This is the type of bike that needs 32" wheels
  • 1 0
 Riding aggressively when wearing a backpack?

Before camelbacks and fanny packs were invented, what else would we do?
  • 2 0
 looks like an Atherton , ( if they made a hard tail )
  • 3 1
 why frame looks like homemade?
  • 1 0
 California Unter Alles
  • 2 2
 that is some grim looking grime
  • 2 1
 looks like poo
  • 2 2
 Gilligan's Island-ass looking bike
  • 2 2
 Toss it in the ocean
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