25 August 2016

Cyclocross / Gravel Grinder: Traitor Cycles Crusade with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive

A Kent, Washington-based customer contacted us to talk about building a commuter/dirt road exploration bike with our signature Rohloff/Gates drivetrain. Already a Rohloff rider, he was excited about the simplicity, dependability, and longevity that the combination of the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub and Gates Carbon Drive belt offers. He liked Traitor Cycles Crusade frame for it's cyclocross geometry, affordable price, adjustable dropouts, and ability to run a tapered carbon fork. He sent us his Rohloff wheel, and we built it into a cool new bike.

Traitor Cycles is a Pacific Northwest-based company that produces a variety of affordable steel bikes. They make models for geared, single-speed, or fixed commuters, cyclocross racing and riding, mountain rides, and touring bikes. The Crusade is designed as a cross racing machine, but its geometry works well for other uses such as gravel, commuting, and bike packing. 

Traitor uses a simple pivoting dropout design on the Crusade, which gives it a lot of setup flexibility. This feature is ideal for single-speed, Schlumpf 2-speed cranks, or Rohloff 14-speed internal gear hubs, as it provides a means of chain or belt tensioning without needing to add a separate tensioner. We added a tube splitter in the right seat stay to make it belt compatible and sent it out to our local powder coater for a bright green finish.

While the frame was being modified with the belt-splitter, we got to work on building a custom front wheel to complement the customer-supplied Rohloff rear. We went with a Velocity Aileron rim and double butted Sapim Race spokes with brass nipples.  Both wheels received Schwalbe's puncture resistant Marathon Mondial tires.

If you are interested in having a frame modified to ride with a Gates Carbon Drive or are interested in getting a dedicated build like this one, just give us a call.

Build details

• Frame: Traitor Cycles Crusade
• Fork: ENVE Composites Cross Fork
• Headset: Chris King InSet
• Stem: Thomson X4
• Shifter: Rohloff twist shifter 
• Seat post: Thomson Elite
• Saddle: WTB Rocket 
• Front Hub: Chris King ISO 9mm QR
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: DT Swiss TK 540/Velocity Aileron
• Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Mondial
• Cranks: Race Face NextSL
• Bottom Bracket: Enduro XD-15 
• Chain ring: Gates Carbon Drive
• Rear Sprocket: Rohloff
• Chain: Gates Carbon Drive Belt
• Brakes & Levers: Magura MT4 
 Rotors: Magura 180mm / 160mm

17 August 2016

Salsa Mukluk Fat Bike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL

A couple in Maine contacted us to build up a his-and-hers set of fat bikes, both with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL internal gear hubs. Living on the East Coast, they deal with with lots of snow and wanted bikes ready to handle the winter riding conditions they face every year. Both wanted a comfortable ride that would need very little maintenance. He chose a Ventana El Gordo, and she picked this Salsa Mukluk, which is a great platform for building a Rohloff bike.

Salsa bills the Mukluk as their "exploration fatbike." It is a multi-purpose bike that can be built with a suspension fork for more trail-focused use or with their rigid Bearpaw fork with three-pack braze-ons for added carrying capacity and a more bike-packing focus. Three sets of bottle cage bosses provide ample water-carrying capacity. Salsa's adjustable Alternator dropouts make single speed or geared setups possible and allow the frame to be set-up with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 without a chain tensioner.

Every build starts in our wheel house while the frame and parts are being sourced. In this case Surly Rolling Darryl rims were laced to a Hope Pro 2 Fatsno hub in the front and a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL in the rear using Sapim Race spokes and brass nipples. Both wheels received 3.8" Surly Knard tires.

In keeping with our focus on function and comfort, we selected a Jeff Jones Loop H-Bar with ESI latex foam grips and Terry Butterfly saddle mounted to a Cane Creek Thudbuster suspension seatpost.

This couple came to us wanting a bike to fit each of their individual needs as riders, but wanted the bikes to be compatible and capable of keeping them together on the trail. This Salsa Mukluk with Rohloff SPEEDHUB XL with stand up to everything they plan to encounter and the rest of the build will keep her comfortable and able to pack what she needs for their rides.  
If you are looking for a bike that is ready to take on adventure with you, give us a call and we can help you make it happen.    
Build details

• Frame: Salsa Mukluk
• Fork: Salsa Bearpaw
• Headset: Hope

• Stem: Thomson X4
• Handlebar: Jeff Jones Loop H-Bar
• Shifter: Rohloff twist
• Grips: ESI
• Seat post: Crane Creek Thudbuster
• Saddle: Terry Butterfly
• Seat Clamp: Salsa
• Front Hub: Hope Pro 2 Fatsno
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: Surly Rolling Darryl Rim
• Tires: Sury Knard
• Cranks: Race Face Turbine
• Pedals: Shimano XT
• Bottom Bracket: Hope
• Chain ring: Profile Racing MTB
• Rear Sprocket: Rohloff
• Chain: Wipperman 7R8 IGH
• Brakes: Avid BB7

• Brake Levers:TRP
• Rotors: Magura 180mm / 160mm

11 August 2016

Super Commuter / Adventure Road: Calfee Designs Luna with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive

This custom carbon fiber Calfee Design Luna went to a customer in Juneau, Alaska. He was looking for a bike that he could use for his 15 mile daily commute as well as some weekend gravel road rides. He wanted it to be lightweight, versatile, dependable, and built-up with all the bells and whistles available for a great commuter.

He and his wife have been very happily riding on a carbon fiber Calfee tandem with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub and Gates Carbon Drive belt drivetrain for several years, and he wanted the same reliability on his new commuter. He liked the idea of having Calfee build him another frame and ultimately decided on the Luna model. We worked with him to outfit the bike with dynamo hub-powered front and rear lighting, hydraulic disk brakes, fenders, and a rear rack/pannier system for a properly outfitted commuter.

Calfee makes their frames in-house in their shop outside Santa Cruz, CA and has been a major pioneer in carbon fiber technologies. They offer a wide variety of custom options and have been making frames to accommodate the Rohloff SPEEDHUB and Gates Carbon Drive belt for many years. 

Calfee's experience makes it easy to work with them to provide high quality dedicated builds to meet our customer's needs. The Luna model is their most affordable and among most durable models, making it a perfect commuter option.

While the frame was being hand crafted in Santa Cruz, our Wheel House built up a set of custom wheels. We spec'd Velocity Dyad rims for their strength and mid-range weight laced them with double-butted Sapim Race spokes and Sapim brass nipples. Up front, a Schmidt SON28 dynamo hub will power front and rear lights. 

In the back, Rohloff's SPEEEDHUB 500/14 provides reliable shifting in all weather conditions.

This Calfee Luna adventure road bike was built to be the ultimate commuter and give our customer the option of heading off road to explore. He wanted it to be light weight and run the ultimate drivetrain, and with Calfee, we were able to deliver.  The rest of the build was selected to make his rides hassle-free and dependable.

If you are looking for a top shelf commuter that's ready to hit the road every time you head out the door, give us a call.  We are here to help make your dream bike a reality.  

Build details

• Frame: Calfee Luna
• Fork: Spot CX (painted to match frame)
• Headset: Chris King NoThreadSet
• Stem: Thomson X4
• Handlebar: Ritchey WCS Carbon Curve
• Shifter: Co-Motion
• Bar Tape: Lizard Skins DSP 
• Seat post: Thomson Elite
• Saddle: Selle Anatomica Titanico
• Front Hub: Schmidt SON28
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: Velocity Dyad
• Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Supreme
• Cranks: Race Face Turbine Cinch 
• Bottom Bracket: Hope 
• Chain ring: Gates Carbon Drive
• Rear Sprocket: Rohloff
• Chain: Gates Carbon Drive Belt
• Brakes & Levers: TRP Hylex 
 Rotors: Magura Storm 
• Rear Rack: Tubus Minimal QL3 Pannier Rack
• Front Light: Schmidt Edelux II
• Rear Light: Busch & Mueller Seculite Plus 
• Fenders: SKS P45

03 August 2016

Expedition / Adventure / Backcountry Touring: Lynskey Fatskey Fat Bike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL

A customer from Hickory, NC called us to discuss building up a new bikepacking rig. He wanted to use 29+ wheels with a maintenance-free and dependable Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive belt drivetrain to take on the Great Divide and other adventure touring routes. 

There are limited options available for dedicated 29+ bikes to begin with, and he wanted something lighter than the popular Surly Krampus and ECR steel options. Fortunately, most fat bike frames will accept 29+ wheels, so he was able to use the lightweight titanium Fatskey frame from Lynskey. He sent us the frame and Carver O’Beast carbon fork that he had already picked up, and we worked with him to pick the rest of the components for the build and put everything together.

Lynskey is a company out of Tennessee that has a long history of building titanium bikes for all types of riding. Their fat bike is named Fatskey and has a unique looking frame thanks to Lynskey’s signature twisted tubes. It offers clearance for tires up to 4" wide, has slider dropouts for belt or chain tension adjustment, has a tapered head tube with integrated bearing cups, and comes with rack mounts for fat bike adventures.

While they are mostly focused on production bikes, Lynskey does offer a custom program for those times when their production versions don't quite meet customers' needs. We worked with them to make a special version of the Fatskey that has Rohloff-specific cable routing, belt drive split point, and meets the Rohloff rear triangle stiffness requirement for use with a belt drive. To achieve the needed rear triangle stiffness, we omitted the plate material that is normally installed on the right chain stay just behind the bottom bracket shell and used a complete chain stay tube like the left side; we also had them increase the wall thickness.

The build began in our Wheel House with a set of custom wheels. To keep weight down, we used a pair of carbon rims, Sapim CX-Ray bladed spokes, and alloy nipples. Front hub is an Industry 9 Torch and rear hub is a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL. Both wheels got Maxxis Chronicle tires setup tubeless.

This customer came to us wanting a light and comfortable bike for long days in the saddle to tour off-road with. He wanted the ultimate drivetrain so he could head out without worrying about mechanical failure or trail born damages. Once finished this Lynskey Fatskey took him from Canada to Mexico on the Great Divide route without fail. The Fatskey came out just how we'd hoped and gave him everything he was looking for in a new ride.

Do you like the look of this Fatskey? We have some in stock. Give us a call to get your Lynskey Fatskey dream build started.   

Build Details:

• Frame: Lynsey Fatskey
• Fork: Carver O’Beast
• Headset: Cane Creek 110
• Stem: Thomson X4
• Handlebar: Jeff Jones Loop H-Bar
• Shifter: Rohloff Twist Shifter
• Grips: ESI Extra Chucky 
• Seat post: Syntace HiFlex
• Saddle: SQ Lab 611
• Front Hub: Industry Nine 19 Torch
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL
• Spokes: Sapim CX-Ray
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: 29” x 50mm Carbon 
• Tires: Maxxis Chronicle 29+
• Cranks: Race Face Next SL
• Pedals: Acros A-Flat
• Bottom Bracket: Hope
• Chain ring: Gates Carbon Drive
• Rear Sprocket: Gates Carbon Drive
• Chain/Belt: Gates Carbon Drive
• Brakes & Levers: TRP Spyke
• Rotors: Magura

21 July 2016

Commuting / Touring: Co-Motion Americano with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive

This Co-Motion Americano was built for a customer in Corpus Christi, Texas. He had been riding on a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 for many years that he loved and wanted to move it to a new bike. He rides to work everyday and wanted to get a great commuter with dynamo powered lights and a frame that was sturdy enough to be used for moderately loaded touring. He was also excited about using a Gates Carbon Drive belt. Co-Motion's top quality, American made, Americano model covered all of his requirements, so we used this as the starting platform.