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.


Co-Motion Cycles is a company who specializes in building bikes for touring, commuting, and tandems at their factory in Eugene, Oregon. They are a prominent supplier of Rohloff bikes in the US, offering several complete touring bikes equipped with these high quality gear hubs and offer custom geometry, S&S couplings, and a wide variety of paint options upon request.

The Americano model is a steel touring frame built for 700c tires with clearance for 35mm tires and fenders. It comes with rack, fender, and three bottle-cage mounts. It has stable touring geometry that also makes it a great everyday bike.




With the frame figured out, our Wheel House got to work on a pair of custom wheels. We used one of our favorite commuting rims, the Velocity Dyad and double butted Sapim Race spokes with Sapim brass nipples. 



Up front, a Schmidt SON28 dynamo hub powers the Busch & Mueller Lumotec Luxos headlight and Toplight Line Plus taillight. In the back, a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 provides reliable all condition shifting duties.




The rear wheel was outfitted with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14, which is a great fit for any commuter because of its durability, wide gear range, and consistent, maintenance-free shifting. The SPEEDHUB's sealed shifting system protects shifting components from the grime, mud, dirt and other contaminants that bikes are often ridden through. With hardened steel internal gear wheels and a 526 percent gear range, the SPEEDHUB adds versatility and dependability for all forms of riding conditions.



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 is one of the most low maintenance and dependable drivetrains available. For this customer we used a larger front cog. He rides mostly flat land on his daily rides and this will give him the gear ratio to make the most of those flats. This set-up is perfect for a hassle-free commute every day of the week. Whether you are heading across town or out of town, you can get on and get going without worrying whether the shifting is working.




The HubBub bar end adaptor allows the use of the Rohloff twist shifter on a conventional road drop handlebar. It installs into the end of the handlebar with a 6mm allen key, and the Rohloff shifter slides over the shaft and tightens in place as usual. For more information on all the options available for shifting the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 go to our blog that describes them in detail by clicking here.



This customer was looking for a high quality, reliable commuting and touring bike, and this Co-Motion Americano provided just what he was looking for.

Are you looking for a great commuter that will be ready for you to get on everyday without any fuss? Do you want it to have a custom set-up and dynamo powered lighting? Give us a call. We can help you find the right frame and build-kit to make your new ride everything you want it to be.  

Build details

• Frame: Co-Motion Americano
• Fork: Co-Motion Americano
• Headset: Hope Threadless 
• Stem: Thomson X4
• Handlebar: Salsa Cowbell 2 
• Shifter: Rohloff twist shift with HubBub bar-end adapter
• Bar Tape: Selle Anatomica Leather 
• Seat post: Thomson Elite
• Saddle: Selle Anatomica Titanico
• Front Hub: Schmidt SON28 ISO
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: Velocity Dyad
• Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Racer
• Cranks: Middleburn RS8 X-Type
• Bottom Bracket: Hope 
• Chain ring: Gates Carbon Drive
• Rear Sprocket: Rohloff
• Chain: Gates Carbon Drive Belt
• Brakes & Levers: TRP HY/RD with TRP RRL Road Lever Set
 Rotors: Magura 180mm / 160mm
• Extras: 
• Front Light: Busch & Mueller Lumotec Luxos U-Model
• Rear Light: Busch & Mueller Toplight Line Plus 
• Kickstand: Pletscher 2-leg






13 July 2016

Gravel / Adventure Road Bike: Shand Cycles Stoater with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive


This Shand Cycles Stoater adventure road bike was built for a local customer in San Francisco. He wanted a no fuss commuter/adventure bike that was fun and comfortable to ride to help him get back into a regular riding routine. A friend of his had worked with us to get a Rohloff-equipped touring bike and raved about the drivetrain, so he decided to get in touch with us to test ride the internal gear hub and Gates belt and to discuss potential build options. He really like the aesthetic of the Shand Stoater demo bike we have at the office, so we based the build around this frameset.


Shand Cycles is a small bike manufacturer located in central Scotland producing steel frames and bikes inspired by their local roads, trails, and mountains. Most of their frames are built to accept multiple drivetrains, including our drivetrain of choice, through use of interchangeable dropouts and flexible bolt-on cable guides. They have years of experience building frames for use with the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and like us, love the dependability and performance it has to offer.


Shand also offers custom geometry upon request, which we utilized in this case to fit this customer's shorter legs and longer torso. When deciding on the final geometry, we also took into account the customer's request to be able to switch from riding with flat bars to drop bars. We came up with setup that gives him appropriate standover clearance, a comfortable handlebar position level with the seat, and the ability to use both styles of bars by switching between a long stem with flat bars and a shorter stem when he wants to use drop bars.


Once we ordered the custom frame from Shand, our Wheel House got started on building custom wheels to go with it. Both wheels are laced to Velocity Dyad rims using Sapim Race spokes and brass nipples. The front hub is a Schmidt SON28 dynamo to power the lights, and the rear hub is a Rohloff Speedhub. Both wheels are wrapped in Schwalbe's fast rolling Marathon Supreme tires, which still have a bit of grip to take on the dirt roads planned in this bike's future. 


The rest of this Stoater was finished with the flat bar set-up the customer wanted to ride first. Soma Odin bars offer more back sweep than typical mountain bike bars for increased hand comfort, especially when combined with Ergon's GP1 grips. Selle Anatomica's X Series saddle is comfortable on long or short rides with or without padded cycling shorts.


This customer came to us looking for an all around bike to use on and off road. He wanted it to have a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive belted drivetrain, and loved the look of the Shand Stoater. He had special needs that required custom geometry, and with Shand, we were able to meet them and build him a bike that offered options for cockpit set-up while still fitting him just right. This bike met all his expectations and gave him a bike to commute on and use to explore.


If you are looking for a versatile bike to use as your daily commuter and gravel grinder when you're off the clock, consider the Shand Stoater.  Check out our Stoater bike packages or give us a call for more information.


Build details

• Frame: Shand Cycles Stoater
• Fork: Shand Steel
• Headset: Chris King NoThreadSet
• Stem: Thomson X4
• Handlebar: Soma Odin
• Shifter: Rohloff twist 
• Grips: Ergon GP1
• Seat post: Thomson Elite
• Saddle: Selle Anatomica X Series
• Seat Clamp: Salsa
• Front Hub: Schmidt SON28
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: Velocity Dyad
• Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Supreme
• Cranks: Shimano XT
• Bottom Bracket: Problem Solvers Eccentric
• Chain ring: Gates Carbon Drive
• Rear Sprocket: Rohloff
• Chain: Gates Carbon Drive Belt
• Brakes & Levers: Magura MT4
 Rotors: Magura Storm
• Front Light: Schmidt Edelux II
• Rear Light: Schmidt SON

08 July 2016

Soma Sandworm Fatbike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14, Gates Carbon Drive Belt, and Lauf Leaf Spring Fork



San Francisco-based Soma Fabrications recently sent us a production version of their first fat bike frame, the Sandworm. This is a great affordable option for a Rohloff- and belt-compatible fat bike. The frame is designed with several key features to run a Rohloff-Gates Carbon Drive belt drive train.

We built this Sandworm up as demo with a Lauf Carbonara leaf spring fork. Assembly was very straight forward. With only a few quick spins on it, the geometry feels very neutral and familiar. This demo is size XL.  Let us know if you're in the area and want to take a spin on it.

Previously, we built up a prototype version for form, fit, and function validation. Throughout the assembly, we made notes on the ease of assembly and integration with the Rohloff-belt drive train.

The production version of the Sandworm evolved based on lessons learned from the prototype, while maintaining the earlier tube shape and geometry.

The prototype was built with a 135mm offset rear triangle, which worked with the original SPEEDHUB 500/14, while the production version made the change to 170mm symmetric spacing and accepts the SPEEDHUB XL.



The sliding dropouts provide the tensioning method for the belt. On the prototype version, the dropouts served a dual function, providing a split in the frame to accept the belt via an overlapping sandwich construction that was held together by the bolts that keep the sliding inserts in place.




Belts are now installed through a seatstay splitter as seen on all Soma models with sliding dropoutsand like we commonly install when doing belt-drive modifications.


The Sandworm is the fourth bike in the Soma lineup that is Rohloff and belt drive compatible with sliding dropouts and seat stay splitters.  With these options, Soma has a range of affordable Rohloff/belt drive option that covers most types of adventure riding.
  • Sandworm: 26" Fat Bike
  • Juice: 29'er Hardtail
  • B-Side: 27.5"/650B Hardtail
  • Wolverine: 700c Cross/Gravel/Adventure Road/Bikepacking
The Sandworm accepts the wider, fat bike-specific Rohloff SPEEDHUB XL, while the other three models use the standard SPEEDHUB 500/14.  All of these models use threaded bottom bracket shells for compatibility with a wide range of crank sets and ISO disc brake mounts for using our Monkey Bone with Rohloff's OEM2 axle plate.  Our demo bike is set up with the standard Rohloff Twist shifter on flat bars.


On the whole, the Soma Sandworm seems like a solid frame design with features that work well with Rohloff and Gates belt drive, so we give it a Monkey Lab stamp of approval.

Build details

• Frame: Soma Sandworm
• Fork: Lauf Carbonara
• Headset: Cane Creek 40
• Stem: Thomson X4
• Handlebar: Salsa Bend 2
• Shifter: Rohloff Twist 
• Grips: Ergon GP1
• Seat post: Thomson Elite
• Saddle: Rivet
• Front Hub: Salsa
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: Sun Ringle MuleFut
• Tires: Surly Nate
• Cranks: Race Face Turbine
• Pedals: A-Flat Acros
• Bottom Bracket: Race Turbine
• Chain ring: Gates Carbon Drive
• Rear Sprocket: Gates Carbon Drive
• Chain: Gates Carbon Drive
• Brakes & Levers: Avid BB7 & Speed Dial 7

19 May 2016

Super Commuter: Independent Fabrications Club Racer with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14, Gates Carbon Drive, and Dynamo Set-up


This custom super commuter is now climbing the hills of San Francisco, CA. The customer already rode with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub and Gates Carbon Drive belt, and while he really loved the drivetrain, he was less happy with the original frame. So, he came to us to discuss options for moving the Rohloff and belt over to a new frame. Besides wanting to re-use his drivetrain, the main goal of the bike was quick, responsive handling like his road bike to add a little excitement to his daily commute.

Independent Fabrications was high on his list due to the many choices available through their custom program, and he ultimately decided to go with a stainless steel Club Racer frame with a 3/4 paint job. We worked with him to spec the bike with commuting essentials, then dialed in the fit and got in touch with IF to work through the frame details.



Independent Fabrication in Newport, New Hampshire, builds all of their bikes to order. They are well known for both quality of frame construction and extensive custom paint capabilities.

Given the level of customization for this bike, Independent Fabrications was the perfect frame company for the build. They worked with us to use the Paragon Machine Works PolyDrop for Gates Carbon Drive belt insertion and built the frame with an eccentric bottom bracket for easy tensioning of the belt. They also integrated wiring for the dynamo-powered taillight, added Rohloff specific cabling, and gave it the custom paint job our customer wanted.

 

As the frame was being built, the Cycle Monkey Wheel House got to work. We specified Velocity Dyad rims for their blend of strength, durablility, and weight and used double-butted Sapim Race spokes with Sapim brass nipples for a solid, daily use wheelset.



For the front wheel, the customer chose a Schmidt SON28 dynamo hub for self-powered lighting of both the front and rear lights. This top-quality dynamo ensures that the bike will light up every time he pedals, so he can head for any destination safely with the road well lit and never need to think about charging a battery.


The rear wheel was outfitted with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14, which is a great fit for any commuter because of its durability, wide gear range, and consistent, maintenance-free shifting. With the addition of the Gates Carbon Drive belt, this is one of the most low maintenance and dependable drivetrains available. The belt has a usable lifespan at least twice as long as a conventional chain (and typically much longer) and does not require lubrication or cleaning.

This set-up is perfect for a hassle-free commute every day of the week. Whether you are heading across town or out of town, you can get on and get going without worrying whether the shifting is working.



In order to make this Club Racer the super commuter our customer wanted, we selected top-shelf components to complement the frame and provide a comfortable and reliable set-up.
    

This Independent Fabrications Club Racer turned out to be just the thing our customer wanted to ride everyday. IF's style and attention to detail is exemplified in this build. 

Are you looking for the perfect commuter? Do you want a new bike that meets all of your needs and that you love to ride?  Give us a call - we can help you make it happen.


Build Details:

• Frame: Independent Fabrications Club Racer
• Fork: IF custom steel fork
• Headset: Chris King NoThreadset
• Stem: Thomson X4
• Handlebar: Jeff Jones Loop H-Bar
• Shifters: Rohloff twist shifter
• Grips: Ergon GC1
• Seat post: Thomson Elite

• Saddle: Selle Anatomica X Series
• Front Hub: Schmidt SON28 Dynamo
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: Velocity Dyad
• Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Supreme
• Cranks: Middleburn RS8 X-Type
• Pedals: Shimano XT
• Bottom Bracket: Chris King
• Chain ring: Gates Carbon Drive
• Rear Sprocket: Gates Carbon Drive
• Chain/Belt: Gates Carbon Drive
• Brakes & Levers: Magura rotors (160mm, 180mm)
 Front Light: Schmidt Edelux II 
• Tail Light: Schmidt SON taillight
 Fenders: Portland Design Works Full Metal Jacket
• Front Rack: Nitto Campee



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.