17 July 2015

Vassago Jabberwocky Mountain Bike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB


We built this Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14-equipped mountain bike to showcase Vassago’s Jabberwocky frame - an affordable, versatile, steel 29er hardtail. Vassago is a small bike brand based in Phoenix Arizona, who produces quality steel and titanium frames. The Jabberwocky is an ideal choice for riders who are looking for a value-oriented hardtail that climbs efficiently, handles predictably, and is durable. Paired with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB, the Jabberwocky becomes a no-nonsense adventure bike that will perform reliably for years and years.


The Jabberwocky frame is made from butted steel tubes to smooth out choppy trails but still take a hit without breaking. Unlike many newer mountain frames which put the rider's weight further back over the rear hub, the Jabberwocky's geometry places the rider in a more neutral position between the wheels, giving it a more stable feelVassago calls this their “wetcat” geometry, and claims better climbing traction, stability, and comfort.

The Jabberwocky was designed primarily for single speed setup, so it has no derailleur hanger and horizontal dropouts with integrated axle adjustment screws. These features, combined with our Monkey Bone, make the frame especially well suited for the SPEEDHUB, which sets up much like a single speed hub. The only functional difference is that the Rohloff includes 14 planetary gears enclosed within the hub shell. The Jabberwocky, along with the Fisticuff monster crosser, are Vassago's most affordable models, while the Verhauen, Optimus Ti, and TKO are their premium, American-made models.


For this wheel build, we laced a Toxaholics quick release front hub and Rohloff 14-speed internal gear hub to Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Flow rims. The ZTRs are a lightweight, yet tough rim option for XC to aggressive trail riding. Sapim’s Race spokes and brass nipples rounded out the build. Finally, we mounted a pair of Schwalbe’s Smart Sam tires, which have just enough bite to perform well in either hardpack dirt or damp mud. The result was a versatile wheelset that can handle many different trail riding styles.


The SPEEDHUB is favored by many mountain bikers because of its extreme durability. Rough trails can wreak havoc on derailleur shifting systems, which hang far off the side of the bike and can easily be knocked out of alignment or caught on a branch. All of the shifting components of the SPEEDHUB are protected inside the hubshell, and as such they are not susceptible to these problems. The only regular maintenance the Rohloff system will require is an annual oil change; somthing that can easily be done at home by a novice mechanic. The integrated design of the SPEEDHUB will keep you on the trail and away of the bike shop as much as possible.


If you are interested in a tough hardtail trail bike, Vassago’s Jabberwocky is worth considering. Most of Vassago’s stock frames work well with the SPEEDHUB; however, some of their higher end models are also customization with optional Rohloff-specific fittings. Contact us to start a conversation about putting together a Vassago frame for you.

Build Details:

• Frame: Vassago Jabberwocky
• Fork: Rockshox Reba
• Headset: Cane Creek Forty
• Stem: Thomson Elite X4
• Handlebar: Salsa Bend 2
• Shifter: Rohloff
• Grips: ESI Foam
• Seat post: Thompson
• Saddle: WTB Valcon
• Seat Clamp: Vassago
• Front Hub: Toxaholics
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Flow
• Tires: Schwalbe Smart Sam
• Cranks: Race Face Turbine
• Pedals: Shimano XTR
• Bottom Bracket: Race Face
• Chain ring: Race Face Single
• Rear Sprocket: Rohloff
• Chain: Wipperman Connex
• Brakes & Levers: Magura MT4
• Rotors: Magura Storm

18 June 2015

Ventana El Gordo Fatbike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB and Gates Belt Drive


El Gordo hardtail build in Orange

This sharp looking orange Ventana El Gordo went to a happy customer in Delafield, WI. He had been running a Gates Carbon Drive belt system on a Trek Sawyer set up single speed and loved the low maintenance aspects of the belt but wanted additional gears. He had considered putting a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 on the Sawyer to get more gears, but he really wanted to run wider tires than the Sawyer would allow. He was excited when Rohloff introduced the SPEEDHUB XL - the fat bike version of their gear hub - last fall and contacted us to put together a no-fuss fat bike for year round trail riding including his snowy Midwest winters.


Ventana's rocking dropouts provide solid wheel positioning for tensioning the belt


13 May 2015

Jones Titanium Rigid Adventure/Offroad Touring Bike with Rohloff Speedhub


We built this custom painted Jones Titanium Diamond frame with steel Unicrown fork for a customer in Silver City, NM. He already had a steel Jones bike, set up predominantly for on-road touring, so for this build he was interested in building up the Ti version into a hassle-free mixed terrain touring bike. He came to us because he was interested in using a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 for an unstoppable adventure touring drivetrain. We worked with him to select a build kit that would be comfortable, reliable, and keep the weight down as much as possible.



05 April 2015

Fits By Paul City Bike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14


We assembled this striking commuter bike for a local customer named Paul, who runs a bike fitting business called Fits by Paul in Marin County. He is an accomplished road rider and works with his customers to fine tune the fit of their road bikes for comfort and to prevent injuries while riding. For the times when he’s not riding his road bike, he wanted something more casual that was also trouble-free for riding around town. As a first for us, the customer built the frame himself while attending a bicycle frame building course.  After the frame came back from the painter, he brought it to us with some of the parts, and we helped him plan out the rest of the build centered around a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub. We supplied the missing parts, built the wheels, and assembled everything into a complete bicycle.



06 March 2015

Surly Troll with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Schmidt Dynamo


We built this eye-catching purple Surly Troll for a local customer who wanted a bike for daily commuting and long-distance touring. He asked us to build it up with versatility and ergonomics being the primary concern. With Surly's nearly indestructible steel frame, a worry-free Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14Schmidt dynamo front hub, dynamo-powered head light with USB charger, and a pair of steel Tubus racks, this bike is ready to serve as a reliable transporter for many years.


The Surly Troll frames are a trusted choice proven on many different kinds of terrain. From commuting to mountain biking to mixed terrain touring – the Troll is an easy choice for versatile builds based around 26 inch wheels. Like all of Surly’s frames, it features sturdy 4130 chromoly steel tubing to ensure longevity even under the harshest of conditions. It includes gussets on the key tube junctions where frames tend to fail - where the seat tube meets the top tube and where the top and down tubes meet the headtube. Troll frames also offers a full array of threaded mounts for racks, water bottle cages, fenders, and Surly's trailer, making them adaptable to satisfy any rider's needs, no matter how they intend to use it.