Calfee Design are known for their wild and custom creations ranging from tandems to bamboo bikes and beyond. The latest carbon creation from their La Selva Beach, CA, shop is called the Cephal (or Cephalopod) after the highly intelligent, agile, adaptable creature that takes on many shapes and forms to suit its needs.
Based on a standard design with a leaf spring rear end, the bike can be adapted to a variety of needs and situations thanks to a headset flip plate that allows for the head angle to be changed in 1 degree increments through a range of plus 4 degrees and minus 4 degrees. The Cephal frame also comes with an eccentric bottom bracket that makes it possible to change the bottom bracket height to accommodate varying fork lengths and tire sizes.
Calfee have four examples of how the frame can be set up: Enduro with bigger tires, MX wheel sizes, and a 160mm fork; trail with a steep seat angle, slack head angle and 140mm fork; XC with a lightweight build and 100-120mm fork; and big adventure with a drop bar set up. Calfee can also do fully custom geometry for riders who want something totally specific to their needs.
The enduro version is made to be aggressive as can be with a MX wheel setup. It's designed around a 160mm fork. Calfee states that the geometry is halfway to a full suspension bike but with the civility of a hardtail.
The trail bike is built around 140mm and a long travel dropper post. It's designed to be ideal for most terrain. While the seat tube angle is slack for flat terrain, Calfee say riders can slide the saddle forward for more vertical conditions.
The XC bike is made to be a classic hardtail race bike that can be built up lightweight. They believe the carbon leaf spring chainstays balance well with 120mm of front suspension. The bike is a balance of efficiency and capability. Small and XS frames are built around a 27.5"x 2.2" tire in this model but bikes can accommodate a small tread 29" tire as well.
The Big Adventure edition is made as an extension of Calfee's Adventure frame but designed around a 120mm suspension-corrected rigid fork. Calfee believe that the carbon leaf spring chainstays combined with wider 40mm-50mm tire widths help the bikes' capabilities. With a low seat tube clamp, riders can also run a dopper post. These frames are available in sizes XS to XXL and can be customized with bikepacking mounts. The geometry is made for fast stretches on pavement with technical prowess to go off-road.
For more information, visit calfeedesign.com