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

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