Our classic frame; an original optimized for perfection over 25 years.
Our Tetra frame is now offered in two styles: Tetra 44 and our classic Tetra. The updated model, Tetra 44, features a 44mm head tube and an oversized down tube. These changes create compatibility with tapered steerer forks, increases frame stiffness for a livelier feel, and provides more efficient power transmission.
The Tetra tube set and single, road frame was originally designed in 1987 and has been thoughtfully refined to its current incarnation over the last 25 years. Enjoy this article in Cycle Sport which describes in great detail our formative years and early achievements at the highest level of the sport. As the oldest continuously produced model of carbon fiber bicycle frame in the world, it has evolved to a state of perfection and value unmatched by any other frame. Click here to view a photo of our Tetra Pro with our Di2 Internal Integration in Cabernet Red Translucent Paint.
- Available in Pro (road), Adventure (endurance/gravel) and Cyclocross(CX) geometry
- High modulus 42 and 55 msi roll wrapped tubes
- Molded in one layup
- Titanium dropouts
- Optional S and S Machine couplers
- Optional PressFit 30 carbon bottom bracket shell
- Optional head tube and seat tube extensions
- Optional rear axle spacing, tire clearance, brake type, cable routing and threaded eyelets
- Optional custom frame geometry
- Frame stiffness options
- 25 year warranty
- Best combination of stiffness and comfort for everyday riding
- Tubing is crash tolerant
- Lighter than Luna
- Highest performance coupled travel frame on market
More About the Tetra
Even bicycle enthusiasts and industry insiders are surprised to learn that Tetra was invented back in 1987 and only four years later was being ridden by Greg LeMond and his Team Z teammates in the world’s most important cycling event, the Tour de France. Greg wore the leader’s Yellow Jersey aboard our Tetra, then less than five years old. Today, nearly 20 years later, Tetra tubing and bicycle frames have been continually optimized; sharpened by improvements in raw materials, manufacturing processes and advantageous frame options.
With the Tetra frames, we saturate carbon fabric with epoxy, then laminate it at 210 p.s.i. and fuse it to pre-mitered carbon tubes using metal dies. Molded in one layup, the resulting joints have long tapered transitions from one tube to the next, following the stresses evenly. This manufacturing process seamlessly marries our roll-wrapped carbon tubing resulting in a frame without molded lugs. Fatigue life for these fiber reinforced joints is appreciably longer than that of adhesive bonds and, coupled with the tubing itself, is grounds for the Tetra’s 25 year warranty.
The Tetra tubes were designed to have the optimum stiffness to weight ratio and also have a thick enough wall to be impact tolerant. The 42 and 55 msi modulus fiber is strong and very stiff but not too brittle. Given this durability, we’re happy to offer our Tetra tubing in off-road and travel frame configurations. This video shows a Tetra with our “Adventure” frame options (35mm tire clearance, 57mm reach brake calipers) perfectly at home on the gravel roads of Central Texas. Jan Heine, Editor of Bicycle Quarterly, published a review of our Tetra Adventure in the Autumn 2011 issue. He hated to give it back. Here is a link to the complete review. Years later, Jan revisited our Tetra Adventure platform (Bicycle Quarterly, Vol.12 No.1, Autumn 2013), riding this very bicycle featuring 650x42mm tires, dual hydraulic disc brakes, and a generator hub. His test ride; the Volcano High Pass 600 Super Randonnee. His take-away, “…nearly perfect”.
The precise orientation of the Tetra’s 51 million fibers delivers the best combination of stiffness and comfort for everyday riding. While these frames are unbelievably stiff through the drive train and are very light (2.4 pounds for a 54cm single and 6.8 pounds for a Medium/Small tandem), they are especially easy on the saddle and handlebars. These qualities conspire to make Tetra the choice of traveling tandem teams, privateer racers, endurance road riders and gravel-road randonees.
Of the 6000 or so frames we’ve delivered to bicycle riders these last two decades, over 3450 have been Tetra. More than any other Calfee innovation or product, Tetra is responsible for Calfee’s unassailable strength and position in today’s crowded carbon market.