19 February 2012

Rohloff-Schmidt Conversion on Spot Acme

We recently did this Rohloff-Schmidt conversion on a Spot Acme for a customer in Sausalito, CA. He regularly commutes into San Francisco by bike and was looking for a new ride that was lightweight and stylish. As with most of the customers that contact us, low maintenance, reliability, and functionality were important considerations for this build. With the many hills in the Bay Area, wide range gearing is critical, and the 3-4 month annual rain season makes a belt drive ideal and fenders a necessity. The customer wanted to use a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 with a Gates Carbon Drive belt system and a Schmidt SON dynamo powered lighting system. With the component set determined, we looked for a frame well suited for commuting.

The Spot Acme model was conceived as an urban bike with a relaxed road bike geometry, a swept-back handlebar for upright riding position, fender and rack mounting points, an internal-gear hub (Shimano Alfine 11), and belt drive. The Acme frame uses a pivoting dropout to tension the belt and an opening point for belt insertion located towards the top of the right seat stay near the seat stay bridge.

The customer liked the Spot frame, but wanted to upgrade several components, notably the rear hub. Since the frame is not sold separately, we started with the complete bike. The wheels, brakes, shifter, cranks, and bottom bracket were pulled and replaced with parts that the customer wanted - Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 rear hub and shifter, Schmidt SON28 dynamo front hub, Magura MT2 brakes, and Race Face Turbine cranks and bottom bracket. Supernova lights were also added (E3 Pro with Terraflux asymmetric lens and E3 seat post mount Tail Light) as well as SKS P35 fenders.

For the wheels, we laced up the Rohloff and Schmidt hubs into Alex TD17 rims using Sapim Race double butted spokes and brass nipples.  The Race model is a standard double butted spoke from Sapim that is the default spoke for most wheel builds.  The Alex TD17 rims are inexpensive disc-specific touring/commuting/mtb rims that build into solid wheels.

Build details
  • Frame: Spot Acme Aluminum
  • Fork: Spot Carbon
  • Headset: Cane Creek 40 Internal
  • Stem: Spot
  • Handlebar: Spot Sweptback
  • Grips: Ergon GP1 for Rohloff
  • Shifter: Rohloff
  • Seatpost: Spot
  • Saddle: WTB Rocket V
  • Front Hub: Schmidt SON28 2012
  • Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
  • Spokes: Sapim Race
  • Nipples: Sapim Brass
  • Rims: Alex TD17
  • Tires: Ryder Elite
  • Cranks: Race Face Turbine
  • Bottom Bracket: Race Face Turbine
  • Chainring: Gates Carbon Drive Center Track Pulley
  • Chain: Gates Carbon Drive Center Track Belt
  • Brakes: Magura MT2
  • Rotors: Avid G2 Cleansweep
  • Fenders: SKS P35
  • Lights: Supernova E3 Pro Terraflux & E3 Tail Light

04 February 2012

Rohloff-Equipped Ellsworth Moment Trail Bike

This Ellsworth Moment was built for a customer in Walnut Creek, CA. He had been a long-time Ellsworth rider and was looking to replace his old bike with one that had more travel. The 160mm travel Moment offered this extra travel along with geometry suited for more aggressive riding. One of his riding buddies had been riding a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 for many years and this customer had seen both how reliable the hub had been and the advantages it offered for technical riding. With the frame, and drivetrain selected, there were only a few other parts to choose to round out the build kit.

We laced the Rohloff rear hub and Chris King 20mm through axle front hub into No Tubes Flow rims for a lightweight, all-mountain tubeless setup. These 28mm wide rims provide increased tire contact and torsional stiffness along with a decreased tendency for the tire to roll when pushed hard into a corner. They setup tubeless super easily, are only slightly heavier than other brands' XC rims, and offer good durability, making them one of our favorite mtb rims. They are offered in all the common wheels sizes: 26", 650b, and 29", so they're sure to work with your next build. We like to use them on hardtails as well as full suspension bikes. As with most of the wheels we build, we used Sapim spokes and nipples for these wheels. The double butted Race model was used here with brass nipples in a 2x rear, 3x front lacing pattern.

The SPEEDHUB 500/14 is well known for it's durability and lack of maintenance, making it the most desirable drivetrain for self-supported touring and daily commuting, but it also offers a host of features that are ideal for mountain biking:
  • The 526% gear range provides plenty of gears to get up, over, around, and down all kinds of terrain.
  • Indexing occurs in the hub, so there is no cable adjustment required between the hub and shifter, and no tuning of the shifting system is needed.
  • The hubs require very little maintenance and offer unmatched reliability, which means more trail time.
  • The dual cable system means one cable is always pulling the hub into its next gear, so there is no dependence on a spring for making a shift in either direction. As the cables get dirty, it may take more effort to move the shifter, but you can still shift reliably into all the gears.
  • Gears can be changed at any time and as many as you want, whether you are pedaling or not. This offers numerous advantages—from tackling technical singletrack more easily and keeping a more constant cadence, to easily transitioning into a steep climb following a descent and selecting the perfect gear as you exit a switch back.
  • You always have a perfect chainline between the front chainring and rear sprocket, and the chain doesn't need to move laterally as it does in derailleur systems. This results in noticeably longer chain life, no derailed chains, and virtually eliminates broken chains.
  • The hubs have comparable efficiency to a perfectly clean derailleur system and best derailleurs when things get muddy and gritty.

Build details
  • Frame: Ellsworth Moment
  • Fork: Fox 36 TALAS
  • Headset: Chris King No Threadset
  • Stem: Thomson X4
  • Handlebar: Groovy Cycle Works Luv Handle
  • Shifter: Rohloff
  • Seatpost: Thomson Elite
  • Saddle: Terry Fly
  • Front Hub: Chris King ISO Disc 20mm
  • Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
  • Spokes: Sapim Race
  • Nipples: Sapim Brass
  • Rims: No Tubes Flow
  • Tires: WTB Moto Raptor
  • Rear Skewer: Shimano XT
  • Cranks and Bottom Bracket: Shimano Deore XT
  • Chainring: Surly Stainless Steel
  • Chain Tensioner: Rohloff
  • Brakes: Shimano XT
  • Rotors: Rohloff rear, Shimano front
  • Rear Brake Adapter: Cycle Monkey Monkey Bone