First look: the ultra-adaptable Cephal RIB by Calfee Design – Pond Beaver 2021



Calfee Design is known for its wild and personalized creations ranging from tandems to bamboo bikes and beyond. The latest carbon creation from their La Selva Beach, Calif., Store is called the Cephal (or Cephalopod) after the highly intelligent, agile, and adaptable creature that takes on many shapes and forms to meet 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 with a flip up helmet plate that allows the head angle to be changed in 1 degree increments over a range of over 4 degrees and minus 4 degrees. The Cephal frame also comes with an eccentric bottom bracket which allows the height of the bottom bracket to be changed to accommodate different fork lengths and tire sizes.

Calfee has four example frame setups: Enduro with larger tires, MX wheel sizes and 160mm fork; trail with a steep seat angle, loose head angle and 140mm fork; XC with lightweight construction and 100-120mm fork; and great adventure with a drop bar set up. Calfee can also create fully custom geometry for riders who want something totally specific to their needs.

The enduro version is designed to be aggressive as it can be with an MX wheel setup. It is designed around a 160mm fork. Calfee says the geometry is halfway to a full suspension bike but with the civility of a hardtail.

The trail bike is built around 140mm and has a long travel dropper post. It is designed to be ideal for most terrains. While the seat tube angle is loose for flat terrain, Calfee says riders can slide the saddle forward for more vertical conditions.

Cross country:
The XC bike is designed to be a classic hardtail racing bike that can be built lightweight. They think the carbon leaf spring chainstays balance out well with 120mm of front suspension. Cycling is a balance between efficiency and capacity. The Small and XS frames are built around a 27.5 “x 2.2” tire in this model, but bikes can accommodate a small 29 “tire as well.

Great adventure:
The Big Adventure Edition is designed as an extension of Calfee’s Adventure frame, but designed around a fixed 120mm suspension rigid fork. Calfee believes the carbon leaf spring chainstays combined with 40-50mm wider tire widths improve the capabilities of the bikes. With a low seat tube clamp, riders can also use a dopper post. These frames are available in sizes XS to XXL and can be personalized with bikepacking brackets. The geometry is designed for fast stretches on the pavement with technical prowess for off-road.
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Pond Beaver 2021


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