12 April 2016

Surly Troll with S&S Couplings, Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14, and Gates Carbon Drive Belt

This customized Surly Troll was built for a customer in Easton,Maryland who wanted a bike for travel touring and general utility use. He came to us looking to get Surly's newly released World Troller frame built up with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive. However, at the time, the World Troller frames had not started shipping, so we took a standard Surly Troll frame and modified it by adding S&S couplings, a belt drive splitter, and a new coat of white powder coat to get very nearly the same result with the additional feature of being belt compatible.

Surly is known for making affordable steel frames and bikes in a wide variety of models including road, cargo, mountain, plus-tire, fat, and touring bikes. The World Troller is the latest addition to their touring lineup and is identical to the standard Troll model save for the addition of the S&S couplers. This upgrade makes it more expensive than their other frames but still offers a good value relative to other travel specific frames.

The Surly Troll & World Troller are reliable touring frames intended for crossing borders. 
These frames are designed with 26" wheels for ease of finding replacements parts when traveling around the world. The 26" wheels are also smaller for packing, which is especially important when you're when short on space and working to get your bike packed into an airline-legal case. It has cross country mountain bike geometry for predictable handling with generous standover height.

Ultimate versatility is a mainstay for most Surly frames and particularly on their touring frames. The Troll has both cantilever and disc brake mounts, horizontal rear-loading dropouts that can accommodate single speed, internal, or external gearing setup, a variety of cable guides to facilitate clean cable routing with any drivetrain setup, and lots of mounting points for attaching racks, H2O or cargo cages, and fenders. The belt drive modification gives this frame an additional setup up option.

The dropouts on the Troll have a dedicated slot for anchoring a Rohloff OEM2 axle plate and threaded holes for installing one of Surly's cargo trailers. Tire clearance is rated at 2.7", so it can be setup with anything from a smoother, road-touring tire to a large volume plus tire. The included fork comes standard with low- and mid-blade rack and fender bosses plus 3-hole Anything Cage mounts for even more carrying options.

In order to use a belt with most frames, the frame needs to be designed so that the rear triangle can open to allow the belt to fit into the rear triangle. If the frame wasn't designed for it, there are frame modifications that can be done to take a frame made to put a chain through it and turn it into a frame that can open to be belted. In this case, we added a simple tube splitter from Paragon Machine Works in the seat stay. The splitter replaces a section of the stay and is held together by two bolts. When the bolts are taken out, the stay can be flexed open to pass a belt through.

In addition to the tube-splitter, the main frame was cut in half and S&S couplers were installed to make checking the bike with airlines more affordable. The threaded couplings allow the main triangle of the bike to be disassembled at the top tube and downtube, allowing the two pieces to fit into an airline-legal case.

While the frame was getting modified, we had our Wheel House get to work on a custom wheelset. Sturdy Velocity Cliffhanger rims were build onto a Shutter Precision to power the head and tail lights and a USB charging device and a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub in the back. Both wheels were finished off with the Schwalbe Marathon Mondial Tires.

The Rohloff SPEEDHUB is a great fit for a touring bike. Rohloff's hubs are widely recognized as the most reliable drivetrain choice for long distance touring - a critical requirement for this customer's build. On an unsupported tour that can lead into remote and unknown areas, he didn't want to risk being stranded far from a bike shop with drivetrain problems. With the addition of the Gates Carbon Drive belt, which has a usable lifespan at least twice as long as a conventional chain (and typically much longer) and does not require lubrication, this drivetrain is hassle-free and provides security and piece of mind for heading out on tour.

This customer wanted his bike to allow him to explore the world without needing to rely on outside sources for power or mechanical aid. The dynamo hub allows him to power the front and rear light or charge his phone, GPS, or cache battery through the SineWave Cycles Reactor USB charging device. Dynamo hubs with a USB charger are great tools to take with you touring to stay plugged-in when you are off the grid.

The rest of this build was put together with comfort and durability in mind. Ergon GP-4 grips provide hand comfort for long days on the bike, and the Crane Creek Thudbuster suspension seatpost with a Brooks saddle smooths out the bumps in the road.  

This customer came to us wanting the perfect expedition bike: something dependable, comfortable, independently powered, and able to break down and fit in an airline-legal sized bike case. He got it all with this customized Surly Troll.  

If you're looking to build a bike for your next two-wheeled adventure and want it to meet all your needs, our team can walk you through the build process so you get everything you're looking for. Give us a call to find out more about your options and get a dedicated build to ride.

Build details

• Frame: Surly Troll
• Fork: Surly Troll
• Headset: Hope Threadless
• Stem: Thomson X4
• Handlebar: Salsa Salt flatbar
• Shifter: Rohloff twist 
• Grips: Ergon GP-4
• Seat post: Crane Creek Thudbuster
• Saddle: Brooks
• Seat Clamp: Surly
• Front Hub: Shutter Precision PD-8
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: Velocity Cliffhanger 26"
• Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Mondial
• Cranks: Shimano Deore XT
• Pedals: Shimano XT Touring
• Bottom Bracket: Hope, mountain
• Chain ring: Race Face
• Rear Sprocket: Rohloff
• Chain: Gates Carbon Drive Belt
• Brakes & Levers: Avid BB7
 Rotors: Magura
• Extras: 
• Front Light: Schmidt Edelux U-Model 
• Rear Light: Busch and Mueller Toplight Line Plus
• Fenders: Planet Bike Cascadia 
• Rear Rack: Tubus Logo Evo 

11 April 2016

Ventana Wolfram Pinion Bike Packages

Ventana has expanded the drivetrain options available for their Wolfram trail bike.  After successfully launching the Wolfram model with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub and Gates Carbon Drive belt last fall, they are now offering a new version built around the Pinion gear box.  This version carries all the rest of the features of the original: modern trail geometry, large volume "plus"-sized tires, choice of 27.5+ or 29+ wheel size, and Gates Carbon Drive belt compatibility.

Bikes packages are available in two build levels:

  • Signature: $7380
  • Standard: $6530

Both packages include a 12-speed Pinion gearbox and Gates Carbon Drive belt system.  9- and 18-speed gearboxes are also available through the semi-customizable build kits options below.

Please contact us at info@cyclemonkey.com or 510-868-1777 for additional information or to place an order.

Ventana Wolfram Pinion frame features

  • Ventana tapered head tube (1-1/8" to 1.5")
  • Ventana proprietary three bolt swinging adjustable dropouts
  • Dedicated frame for Pinion gearbox
  • Belt drive compatible - drive side dropout separates from seat stay to insert belt into rear triangle
  • Dedicated cable routing for Pinion gearbox shift cables and stealth dropper seatposts
  • Can be set up with 10x135mm quick release or 12x142mm through axle rear hub
  • Clearance for 3" wide tires on 50mm rims
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • Custom geometry available upon request for additional charge
  • Included color choices: Carbon Black or Ferrari Yellow
  • Additional colors available for upgrade charge (see paint options below)

Pinion Gearbox Highlight

  • 12-sped gearbox with 600% overall change in gear ratio offers more range as most three by nine mountain bike derailleur systems.
  • Proven internals provide 50,000+ miles of reliable service.
  • Shifting mechanism is completely protected within the gearbox housing and sealed from the elements.
  • Shift reliably in sand, snow, mud, and other riding conditions that are harsh on traditional drivetrains.
  • Shift between gears at any time, even when coasting or while stopped.
  • Gearbox needs no maintenance other than a recommended annual oil change.

Build Kit Details

Upgrades and Options
  • Custom Paint: $50 upcharge
Cosmic Orange
Gloss Black
Grinch Green
Team Blue Sparkle
Jail House Blue
Mercedes Blue
Sky White


Mango Tango
  • Candy Paint: $90 upcharge
Candy Blue
Candy Purple
Candy Raspberry
Candy Red
Candy Teal

  • Fork Options:

Manitou Magnum
Boost Axle
(27.5" or 29")
Stock Option
Rock Shox RS-1
Predictive Steering Axle
Hub Included (29" Only)
Signature & Standard
Upgrade: +$1159

Fox 34 Float
Boost Axle
(27.5" Only)
Signature & Standard
Upgrade: +$44
    Rock Shox Pike
    Boost Axle
    (27.5" Only)
    Signature & Standard
    Upgrade:+ $267
    Rock Shox Yari
    Boost Axle
    (27.5" Only)
    Signature & Standard
    Downgrade: -$84
    • Saddle Options:
    WTB Race: Pure (pictured),
    Volt-142, or Rocket-150 models
    Signature:  -$89
    Standard: Stock Option
    WTB Pro: Volt-142 (pictured),  Pure, Silverado or Rocket-150 models
    Signature: -$66
    Standard: +$23
    WTB Team: Silverado (pictured), Pure, Volt-142 or Rocket-150 models
    Signature: +$3
    Standard: +$92
    611 MTB Active, Cro-Mo
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$89
    Selle Anatomica Titanico NSX
    Signature: +$37
    Standard: +$126
    • Seatpost Options:
    Race Face Ride
    Signature: -$58
    Standard: Stock Option
    Thomson Elite
    Straight or 16mm Setback
    Signature: Stock
    Standard: +$58
    Cane Creek Thudbuster
    ST (pictured) or LT model
    Signature: +$75
    Standard: +$133
    Syntace Hi-Flex
    Signature:  +$146
    Standard: +$204
    Rock Shox Reverb Stealth
    Signature: +$368
    Standard: +$426
    Thomson Dropper Covert
    Signature: +$395
    Standard: +$453
    • Handlebar Options:
    Race Face Ride XC
    Signature: -$65
    Standard: Stock Option
    Thomson AM Alloy
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$65
    Salsa Bend 2
    Signature: -$29
    Standard: +$35
    Jeff Jones Loop H-Bar
    Signature: +$45
    Standard: +$109
    Thomson AM Carbon
    Signature: +$60
    Standard: +$125

    • Headset Options:

    Cane Creek 40 Mix-Tapered
    Signature: -$55
    Standard: Stock Option
    Hope Pick'n'Mix
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$55
    Chris King Inset
    Signature: +$58
    Standard: +$113
    • Brake Options: 
    • Magura MT2
      Signature: -$185
      Standard: -$111
      Magura MT4
      Signature: -$74
      Standard: Stock Option
      Magura MT5
      Signature: Stock Option
      Standard: +$74
      Magura MT6
      Signature: +$129
      Standard: +$203
      Magura MT7
      Signature: +$222
      Standard: +$295
      Magura MT8
      Signature: +$314
      Standard: +$388
      Avid BB7 - Speed Dial 7 Set
      Signature: -$186
      Standard: -$112
      Spyke Brake - Lever Set
      Signature: -$133
      Standard: +$59

  • Front Hub Options:

    Boost Axle
    Signature & Standard
    Upgrade: +$59
    Industry 9 Torch
    Boost Axle
    Signature & Standard
    Upgrade: +$77
    Hope Pro II
    Boost Axle
    Signature & Standard
    Stock Option
    Chris King ISO
    Boost Axle
    Signature & Standard
    Upgrade: +$95

  • Rear Hub Options:
  • Chris King ISO Disc Single Speed
    12x142mm axle
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$200
  • Industry 9 Torch Single Speed
  • 12x142mm axle
  • Signature: -$100
  • Standard: +100
  • Hope Pro 4 Single Speed
    12x142mm axle
    Signature: -$200
    Standard: Stock Option

  • Chris King ISO Disc Single Speed
    12x142mm axle
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$199
    Hope Pro 4 Single Speed
    12x142mm axle
    Signature & Standard
    Stock Option

  • Rim Options: 

  • WTB Scraper
    Signature & Standard
    Upgrade: +$69
    Sun MuleFut 50SL
    Signature & Standard
    Stock Option
    Velocity Dually
    Signature & Standard
    Upgrade: +$18
    Carbon Rim
    Signature & Standard
    Upgrade: +$400

  • Tire Options:

  • Maxxis Chronicle 120tpi
    (27.5 or 29")
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$104
    Panaracer Fat B Nimble
    (27.5 or 29")
    Signature: -$104
    Standard: Stock Option
    Vittoria Bomboloni TNT
    (27.5 or 29")
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$104
    Surly Dirt Wizard 60tpi
    (27.5 or 29")
    Signature: -$80
    Standard: +$25
    WTB Trail Boss
    (27.5" Only)
    Signature: -$113
    Standard: -$9

  • Nipple Options:

  • Brass: Black, Silver
    Signature & Standard
    Stock Option

    Blue, Gold, Silver, Green, Purple, Black, Red
    Signature & Standard
    Upgrade: +$18