28 January 2016

Tout Terrain Amber Road Commuter with Rohloff SPEEDHUB and Schmidt Dynamo Hub

A local Bay Area business owner came to us wanting a new commuter - a bike he could depend on day-in and day-out to get him where needed to go. This was his first new bike purchase in over 20 years, so we started by introducing him to all the options that are now available for making an everyday bike easy for a rider to just get on and go.  He wanted his new bike to be low maintenance, user friendly, rain ready, and easy to ride up the hill he lives on. He was excited about the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub because it could give him a range of gears capable of getting him home comfortably and still pedal a comfortable cadence on flats.  He also liked the simplicity of the Gates' Carbon Drive belt system and was interested in getting a generator hub to light up his ride home after work. With the basics in place, all we needed was the right frame for the job, and the Tout Terrain Amber Road was the perfect fit.

Tout Terrain is a company based in Germany with a passion for incorporating bicycles into an everyday cycling lifestyle. Tout Terrain translates from French (the company is located on the German/French border) to mean "all terrain", which they apply to their design philosophy in making excellent bikes for daily transportation and extended tours. They design their various models to meet requirements for a specific type of riding, but also include features intended to afford flexibility for multi-purpose riding. Their frames are all built from steel for the strength and durability to handle a bit of everything and have a number of innovative design features that set them apart:
  • Built in racks for improved strength and stiffness when carrying heavy loads
  • Flexible cable routing for configuring various drivetrains
  • Multi-purpose dropouts that allow for running derailleurs, internal gears hubs, and belts
  • Conducting plates on the forks to use Schmidt's connector-less dynamo hubs
  • Taillight wire routing through the rear rack to keep the wires away from panniers
  • Steering stops on the head tube to prevent bars from spinning around and damaging the top tube or lights from hitting the down tube and getting damaged
  • Steering locks that prevent the fork from moving when the bike is parked to reduce the chances of it tipping over
  • Eccentric bottom bracket design that allows for lateral adjustment to achieve precise belt alignment

Tout Terrain's 3 in 1 dropout has inserts available with or without a derailleur hanger and separates to install a belt into the rear triangle.

The Amber Road is a model in Tout Terrain's Trekking series that is designed to be a 29" wheeled bike for everyday use, weekend touring, and riding on pavement, dirt, or gravel. With most of the brand's unique design features included, the Amber Road is well equipped for the daily commuting needs of this customer. The frame will clear up to 2.35" tires (without fenders) such as Schwalbe's large volume Big Apple model, but for this build, we went with a medium width Marathon tires and fenders for blend of comfort, speed, and staying dry during our winter/spring rain season.

3 in 1 dropout without derailleur hanger
Once the frame had been chosen it was time to turn to our Wheel House to build the wheels for this bike to roll on. Since this customer wanted his commuter to be ready for riding every time he got on it, we spec'd Velocity Dyad rims, a durable, medium-weight 700c option and double butted Sapim Race spokes with brass nipples. He added a Schmidt SON28 SL dynamo hub for connector-less, self-powered lighting of both the front and rear tail lights. The dynamo ensures that the bike will light up every time he pedals, so he can head for any destination safely with the road lit and be seen by cars.

Taillight wire runs through the built-in rack
The rear wheel was outfitted with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14, which is a great fit for any commuter because of its hardened steel internal gear wheels, wide gear range, and sealed shifting system, which protects shifting components from everyday wear and tear. The SPEEDHUB provides dependability in all riding conditions, making it the perfect choice for a bike being ridden daily. 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. This set-up is perfect for a hassle-free commute every day of the week. Just get on and get going.

Before this build was ready to hit the road, we added a riser bar with Ergon grips and a Selle Anaomica Titanico saddle for comfortable riding. Throw in the fenders and kickstand, and this Tout Terrain Amber Road was officially ready for it's commute.

Our customer came to us looking for a bike that would do everything with no adjusting or fuss: lights that are self-powered and thus not reliant on a battery, a rack strong enough to really pack, fenders to keep him dry, a drivetrain that he wouldn't have to adjust or lubricate regularly, and gearing that could take him uphill. He got it all in this Amber Road built around his specific needs.

If you are looking for a new commuter or another type of Rohloff/belt drive bike, get in touch with us to start a conversation.

Build Details:

• Frame: Tout Terrain Amber Road
• Fork: Tout Terrain Amber Road
• Headset: Velo Orange Grand Cru
• Stem: Dimension 4-bolt
• Handlebar: Dimension Riser Bar
• Shifter: Rohloff Twist Shifter
• Grips: Ergon GPI Large
• Seat post: 
Velo Orange Grand Cru
• Saddle: Selle Anatomica Titanico
• Front Hub: Schmidt SON28 Dynamo Hub
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: Velocity Dyad
• Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Supreme
• Cranks: Shimano Deore
• Pedals: MKS RMX
• Bottom Bracket: Shimano Deore
• Chain ring: Gates Carbon Drive
• Rear Sprocket: Gates Carbon Drive
• Chain/Belt: Gates Carbon Drive
• Brakes & Levers: Magura MT2 Brake, Magura rotors
• Fenders: SKS P45
• Front Light: Schmidt Edelux II
• Tail Light: Schmidt SON

21 January 2016

Ventana El Gordo Fat Bike with Rohloff Internal Gear Hub, Gates Belt, and Rock Shox Bluto Fork

Meet the Ventana Mountain Bikes USA El Gordo fat bike in Team Blue Sparkle that we built for a customer in New Zealand. This customer came to us looking for an adventure bike to take him off the beaten path, far beyond the limits of where traditional mountain bikes can go. Because the large tires on a fat bike would allow him to pedal through terrain and riding conditions that push the limits of where bikes can be ridden, he needed a drivetrain that was up to the task as well. He came across our Ventana El Gordo fat bike packages built around Rohloff's fat bike-specific SPEEDHUB XL 500/14 internal gear hub and Gate's Carbon Drive belt system, which are well suited for the adventures he had in mind. He got in touch with us to discuss a build tailored to his needs. He customized his build with a suspension fork, dropper post, and the largest tires available for the best all-terrain performance. As outfitted, his new fat bike is ready to ride through anything, will require little to no maintenance, and will keep him free from worry over mechanical setbacks. 

19 January 2016

Shand Cycles Stoater Gravel Bike Packages, Starting at $6,250

The Stoater is Shand's adventure road bike. Designed for the pure enjoyment of go-anywhere riding, the Stoater is all about drop bar, two wheel adventure. Refined enough to be your main road bike but rugged enough for off road trails and singletrack, it could be the only bike you ever need!

The Stoater is ideal for longer rides, fully loaded touring or bike packing, but if you're feeling a little competitive, you can fit a set of narrower knobby tires and rock the local cyclocross race. If you're thinking about straying further off the beaten track the generous tire clearance (up to 55mm) lets you fit some narrow 29er mountain bike tires for dirt adventures. Disc mounts provide the stopping power, and the chainstay mounted rear disc brake allows space for rack and mudguard eyelets.
The hand-built steel frame is designed around 700c wheels and can be built with a matching Shand steel fork or a carbon fork. As with all of their frames, the Stoater is completely fabricated in their workshop in Central Scotland - including painting - using TIG welded Reynolds 853 tubing.

Contact us at info@cyclemonkey.com or 510-868-1777 to place an order.

Shand Stoater Build Kit Options

Rohloff SPEEDHUB features

  • 14 gears with a 526% overall change in gear ratio offers the same range as most three by nine mountain bike derailleur systems.
  • Same proven hub internals as the SPEEDHUB 500/14 provides 100,000+ miles of reliable service.
  • Shifting mechanism is completely protected within the hubshell 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.
  • Hub needs no maintenance other than an annual oil change.
  • Large diameter, symmetrical hub flanges build into strong wheels.

Cycle Monkey: Shand Stoater - Adventure road bike

    Shand Stoater frame features

    The Stoater frame offers the ultimate in versatility. Modular dropouts and cable routing make it easy to set up a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/15 internal gear hub, a derailleur system, or a single speed. Rack and mounts make it the perfect adventure bike. A press fit 30 bottom bracket shell offers the flexibility of fitting either an eccentric bottom bracket or a standard PF30 bottom bracket in the 68mm shell. Paragon Machine Works PolyDrop dropouts allow fitting of different inserts to suit different drivetrains. 135x10 Q/R dropouts come standard, but 142x12 dropouts are also available as a no cost option. The dropouts also make the Stoater belt drive ready (a neat split is concealed within the PolyDrop dropouts) if you want to run a Gates Carbon Drive belt for the ultimate in reliability and ease of maintenance.
    • PF30 BB shell can be run with a standard BB or a PF30 EBB to adjust chain or belt tension
    • Paragon PolyDrops offer flexibility with different axle sizes and drivetrains
    • Belt drive compatible - drive side dropout separates to insert belt into rear triangle
    • Modular, bolt-on cable guides provide clean cable routing for rear brake and Rohloff or derailleur shift cables
    • Clearance for 700x55mm wide tires
    • Stock sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL (see geometry chart here)
    • Custom geometry available upon request for additional charge.
    • Included color choices: 23 stock paint colors (see chart below)
    Color Options

    Upgrades and options available

    • Crank Color: (black, red, blue (signature build kit only))
    • Crank Length: (170, 175 mm)
    • Spoke and Nipple Color: (black or silver)
    • Rotor Sizes: (160 or 180 mm rear; 160 or 180 mm front)
    • Seatpost Color: (black or silver)
    • Stem Color, Angle, and Length: (black or silver, 0° or 10°, 50 - 130 mm (signature build kit);    black or silver, 7° or 17°, 70-130 mm (standard build kit))
    • Pedals: Quoted upon request
    • Choice of standard powder coat colors:

    • Fork Options:
    Shand Stoater Steel Fork
    Straight Steerer
    Signature & Standard: Stock
    Ritchey Disc Cross
    Straight Steerer
    Signature & Standard: $462
    Whisky No. 7 Disc Cross
    Straight Steerer
    Signature & Standard: $385
    • Saddle Options:

    611 MTB Active, Cro-Mo
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$90
    Selle Anatomica Titanico NSX
    Signature: +$37
    Standard: +$126

    Brooks Cambium
    Signature: +$25
    Standard: +$114
    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: Stock Option
    Standard: +$92
    • Seatpost Options:
    Thomson Elite
    Straight or 16mm Setback
    Signature: Stock
    Standard: +$65
    Kalloy Radiussed Top
    20mm Setback
    Signature:  -$65
    Standard: Stock

    Syntace Hi-Flex
    0mm Offset
    Signature:  +$146
    Standard: +$210

    Cane Creek Thudbuster
    ST (pictured) or LT model
    Signature: +$71
    Standard: +$135
    • Handlebar Options:

    Salsa Cowbell 2
    24* Flare in Drops
    Signature & Standard: Stock

    Salsa Cowchipper
    24* Flare in Drops
    Signature & Standard: Stock

    Thomson Carbon CX or Road
    0* Flare in Drops
    Signature & Standard: +$191

    • Crank Options:

    Shimano XT
    24mm Spindle
    Signature: Stock
    Standard: +$157

    Shimano Deore
    24mm Spindle
    Signature: -$157
    Standard: Stock

    Middleburn RS-8
    24mm Spindle
    Signature: +$59
    Standard: +$215

    Race Face Turbine Cinch
    30mm Spindle
    Signature: -$52
    Standard: +$104
    Race Face Next SL Cinch
    30mm Spindle
    Signature: +$198
    Standard: +$355
    • Bottom Bracket Options:

    Problem Solvers PF30 EBB, 24mm
    Add $60 for 30mm Spindle Cranks
    Signature & Standard: Stock

    • Headset Options:

    Cane Creek 40, EC34
    Signature: -$72
    Standard: Stock

    Hope, EC34
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$72

    Chris King No Threadset, EC34
    Signature: +$15
    Standard: +$88

    • Brake Options: 
    • TRP Hy/Rd with Rival levers
      Signature: Stock
      Standard: +$62
      TRP Hylex
      Signature: +$12
      Standard: +$74
      TRP Hy/Rd with RRL levers
      Signature: +$55
      Standard: +$117

      Rival Hydro
      Signature: +$195
      Standard: +$257
      TRP Hy/Rd with RRL levers
      Signature: -$62
      Standard: Stock
      TRP Hy/Rd with RRL levers
      Signature: -$123
      Standard: -$62

  • Front Hub Options:

  • DT Swiss 350 ISO Disc
    Signature: -$151
    Standard: Stock
    DT 240s ISO Disc
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$150

    White Industries XMR
    Signature: -$98
    Standard: +$53

    Chris King ISO SD
    Signature: -$35
    Standard: +$115
    Chris King R45D
    Signature: -$35
    Standard: +$115

    Schmidt SON28 Dynamo
    Signature: +$77
    Standard: +$227
    Shutter Precision PD-8
    Signature: -$114
    Standard: +$37

  • Rim Options: 

  • Velocity Aileron
    Signature: Stock
    Standard: +$94
    Stan's NoTubes Grail
    Signature: -$60
    Standard: +$34
    Velocity A23
    Signature: -$68
    Standard: +$26
    Velocity Dyad
    Signature: -$94
    Standard: Stock

  • Tire Options:

  • Clement X'Plot MSO 40c,
     120tpi - Folding
    Signature: Stock Option
    Standard: +$89
    WTB Nano 40
    60tpi - TCS Light Fast
    Signature: -$43
    Standard: +$46
    Maxxis Rambler 40c
    120tpi - EXO Tubeless
    Signature: -$16
    Standard: +$73
              Surly Knard 41c          
    33tpi - Wire
    Signature: -$89
    Standard: Stock 

    Schwalbe Mara. Mondial 40c
    67tpi - Folding
    Signature: +$8
    Standard: +$97
    Schwalbe Mara. AlMotion 38c
    67tpi - TL Easy
    Signature: +$42
    Standard: +$131

  • Nipple Options:

  • Brass: Black, Silver
    Stock Option

    Blue, Gold, Silver, Green, Purple, Black, Red