FROM THE COLLECTION: 1-of-8 1991 CALFEE ONYX MOUNTAIN BIKE
Here's a rare one: according to various sources, Calfee made just six or eight of their Onyx mountain bikes around 1991, before returning to the unique custom carbon and bamboo road frames they are still known for today. A pioneer in carbon frame construction, Craig Calfee started assembling custom carbon road bikes in 1987, and famously produced frames for Greg Lemond just a few years later. Somewhere around that time, Calfee also made a few mountain bikes, featuring the same unique gussets and wrapped joint construction as the road frames.
If the wild swoopy frame construction wasn't enough, this bike also features a chainslap and chainsuck-free elevated stay design, twin downtubes (or are those just chainstays?), a vibration-dampening wishbone elastomer seatstay setup, and a Softride suspension stem. Far from a museum piece, this Onyx has seen plenty of trail time, as the various battle scars, worn out rims, and mismatched Shimano LX, XT, and XTR components make clear. Ride your bike, no matter how rare it is!
Who needs a suspension fork when you have a suspension stem? The sticker at the bottom boasts a 1st place in the World Mountain Bike Championships, so you know this is a seriously effective piece of kit.
The swooping, bat wing gussets have been a Calfee trademark since the beginning.
First gen XTR M900 triple is exactly what you'd expect on a bike this special.
The raw carbon frame really comes alive in the sun. No paint means Calfee's construction is on full display.
Not sure that phone number is still accurate.
Cool bottom bracket gussets. Yes, there's a hose clamp holding on the front derailleur. If it works, it works.
I can't find any other Onyx's with an elastomer rear end. This may be 1-of-1.
Great 90s stance with the narrow bars, high seat, and e-stay rear end.