Sunday, March 04, 2007

Attention Grabber

Checking out my favorite Bike Blogs this morning I noticed Fritz over at Cyclicious had some early pictures from the NAHBS, including this attention grabber. It is Craig Calfee's personal bike.

I was immediately reminded of the famous “Birdcage” Maserati sports car from the early 1960s. The car’s chassis being made up of hundreds of small diameter aluminum tubes.

It was rumored that one of the design tools used was a small bird placed inside the chassis. Wherever the bird managed to escape, they welded in another tube.

I understand this frame is a continuing work in progress, and I wondered if Craig had considered this design concept; maybe substituting a small mouse in place of a bird.

The frame could then be dubbed the “Mousecage Calfee.”


2 comments:

Ed W said...

I saw a birdcage Maserati up close at Watkins Glen back around '77 or '78, I think. It was one of the last F1 races, so it's been quite a while. The car must have made some Italian mechanics go home at night mumbling to themselves. Beautiful and intricate work like that would be far too expensive to duplicate these days.

But I was wondering about Calfree's bike. Are all those tubes structural or are they merely ornamental. I can't tell if there's a normal frame under all of that. Regardless, it's an interesting piece of work.

Fritz said...

There's no normal frame under that lattice work -- where there normally would be pipes, in fact, there's hollow space, leading me to believe that he wove his lattice around a form of some kind that he later removed. You can see a much larger version of this photo here.

One of the Calfee people there explained how Craig Calfree built this bike up, but I didn't quite follow what he said. Calfee is only a few miles from my home so I might drop by with my video camera some time and ask the man himself how it's done.

Thanks for the link love, Dave.