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.

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: $7,790
  • Standard: $6,510

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")
Signature: -$267
Standard: +$85

Rock Shox RS-1
Predictive Steering Axle
Hub Included (29" Only)
Signature: +$892
Standard: +$1243

Fox 34 Float
Boost Axle
(27.5" Only)
Signature: -$223
Standard: +$129
    Rock Shox Pike
    Boost Axle
    (27.5" or 29")
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$352
    Rock Shox Yari
    Boost Axle
    (27.5" or 29")
    Signature: -$352
    Standard: Stock Option
    • 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: -$426
    Standard: -$281
    Thomson Elite
    Straight or 16mm Setback
    Signature: -$368
    Standard: -$223
    Cane Creek Thudbuster
    No Longer Availble
    Signature: --
    Standard: --
    Syntace Hi-Flex
    Signature:  -$222
    Standard: -$77
    Rock Shox Reverb Stealth
    Signature: +$150
    Standard: +$135
    Thomson Dropper Covert
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$145
    • Handlebar Options:
    Race Face Aeffect
    Signature: -$42
    Standard: Stock Option
    Thomson AM Alloy
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$42
    Salsa Bend 2
    Signature: -$20
    Standard: +$22
    Jeff Jones Loop H-Bar
    Signature: +$54
    Standard: +$96
    Thomson AM Carbon
    Signature: +$69
    Standard: +$112

    • 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: -$111
      Standard: Stock Option
      Magura MT4
      Signature: Stock Option
      Standard: +$111
      Magura MT5
      Signature: +$74
      Standard: +$185
      Magura MT6
      Signature: +$203
      Standard: +$314
      Magura MT7
      Signature: +$295
      Standard: +$406
      Magura MT8
      Signature: +$388
      Standard: +$498
      Avid BB7 - Speed Dial 7 Set
      Signature: -$112
      Standard: Stock Option
      Spyke Brake - Lever Set
      Signature: -$59
      Standard: +$52

  • 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: -$25
    Vittoria Bomboloni TNT
    (27.5 or 29")
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$104
    Surly Dirt Wizard 60tpi
    (27.5 or 29")
    Signature: -$80
    Standard: +$Stock Option
    WTB Trail Boss
    (27.5" Only)
    Signature: -$113
    Standard: Stock Option

  • Nipple Options:

  • Brass: Black, Silver
    Signature & Standard
    Stock Option

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