Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tour of Calfee Design's La Selva Beach Facility

Steve Chang, Calfee's general manager, led a tour of Calfee's facility in La Selva Beach for SF bicycle transportation examiner Ben Marks.

Writes Ben :
Calfee Design fills a warehouse at the edge of the Monterey Bay Academy's 379-acre property, about 15 miles south of Santa Cruz. The attitude is as laid back as you'd expect for a bike shop that's a short walk from a private beach. Which is not so say the place does not feel industrious. In one corner of the building, Craig Calfee is fine-tuning the bottom bracket of a carbon tandem. Elsewhere frame parts are being laid up for assembly, sanded into submission with power tools or painted in glorious hues.

Much of the activity revolves around the arrival of as many as half a dozen broken carbon frames per day. In fact, Calfee has quite a good side business going, repairing the frames of its competitors. The fact that so many cyclists look to Calfee Design to get the job done right should tell you something.

Below are the pictures he brought us. Be sure to check out the sharp looking Japanese bamboo bike, and ofcourse...Calfee's "fork graveyard"! Why so much scrap, Mr. Calfee? Still fine tuning the process?


Phil said...

Pardon me if its a cheap observation. But this Dagoberto guy must be a staff at Calfee. When I first read his name, it reminded me of Dogbert from Dilbert comics. :)

klunkerbill said...

LSB is a horrible place. It's just housing projects, drive-by shootings and liquor stores. Someone said there used to be farms there, but don't you believe it. It's not beautiful, the flowers never bloom, the people are mean, the beaches are some of the most polluted on the world and the waves are never any good. Oh, and the cycling? Just forget about it. There is absolutely nowhere to ride. Whatever you do, stay away from La Selva Beach.

On a serious note...nice post and seriously sweet designs.

Ride on,

Mark in Atlanta said...

and ofcourse...Calfee's "fork graveyard"! Why so much scrap, Mr. Calfee? Still fine tuning the process?

You disappoint... jumping to conclusions but with less than all the facts and the objectivity needed to be fair and accurate.

Calfee does not produce forks, they use forks produced by major manufacturers whose names are all widely recognized. In fact, if you are familiar with the various designs on the market, a trained eye will allow you to recognize just whose forks make up the balance of the ones depicted in Ben Mark's photos.

If I might, here is the URL to the technical paper Craig wrote several years back regarding fork symmetry that will explain the graveyard: http://www.calfeedesign.com/forksymmetry.htm

Mark near Atlanta said...

Thanks for the input. You need to relax a little too. Most readers don't know the inside workings of Calfee like you seem to. I write for the benefit of all. Information rules. Questions are the way to it.

I'm perfectly relaxed, but thanks. Information does rule when supported by facts and questions are good. However, as a new reader I was disappointed as the first two articles I read here at the 'hive both reflected statements based on assumptions and not facts that suggest a lack of objectivity. To wit...

Why so much scrap, Mr. Calfee? Still fine tuning the process?

I'm not sure what went wrong at Thomson's end to cause the seatpost to be brittle, but I'm just going to have to drop this one in the "Marketing Mishaps" section for now.

Like I said, I find these types of statements -- rhetorical or otherwise -- disappointing as they seem to suggest a lack of consideration for due diligence before rendering judgments.

By the way, this is simply unemotional feedback based on initial impressions. You may, of course, choose to ignore it. My feelings won't be hurt.