30 December 2012

Rohloff-Equipped, Belt Driven Co-Motion Americano Touring Bike

We built this steel touring bike for a customer in Henderson, NV to replace the Surly Cross Check that he had been riding.  He came to us two and a half years ago to build a rear wheel with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 to replace the derailleur system on his Cross Check, and a couple months later, we built him a matching front wheel with a Phil Wood Touring hub.  Having been happy with the performance of the Rohloff drivetrain, he decided to upgrade to a dedicated Rohloff frame and swap out his chain for a belt while he was at it.  The Americano model from Co-Motion offered all the options that he wanted.

Co-Motion is one of the few US bike companies that offers dedicated Rohloff-specific frame models.  They build bikes out of steel and aluminum in their facility in Eugene, Oregon.  They are well known for their tandems and touring bikes, though they also offer road, cyclocross, and commuting frames.  Their catalog includes a wide variety of models with stock geometry, with custom geometry available for a moderate up-charge.  A few years ago, they decided to design a Rohloff OEM dropout and offer stock Rohloff-specific frames to accommodate a growing number of custom Rohloff frame orders.  Since many of these customers also wanted to use the Gates Carbon Drive belt drive system, they incorporated a split point into the dropout so a belt could be inserted in the frame.

01 December 2012

Independent Fabrication Factory Lightweight Titanium Road Bike

We recently posted a full-suspension fat bike; this week we're going the complete opposite direction with a lightweight road bike.......with derailleurs even.  While we typically showcase Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 builds on our blog, this Factory Lightweight Titanium road bike stands out as a fine example of the work that Independent Fabrication does as well as showing off some nice custom wheels.  IF builds bikes out of steel (chromoly and stainless), titanium, carbon fiber, and a mix of carbon fiber and titanium.  Everything is custom-built to order, and their quality and attention to detail is top notch.  Their in-house paint department can handle all sorts of custom finish requests, including the orange-blue color block pattern used on this frame.  We've enjoyed working with IF for many years providing tech support for their Rohloff frames as well as building wheels for their complete Rohloff bikes.  We featured a Rohloff touring bike from IF back in April and currently have a steel belt drive Rohloff mountain bike frame in their build cue for another customer.

This tricked-out road bike was built for one of our local Rohloff customers in Berkeley, CA.  The customer has a penchant for high-end titanium bikes, including his Rohloff-equipped mountain bike, but made an exception for this beautifully painted frame with carbon seat mast. Lots of high-end carbon parts are used in the build kit: Campy Super Record groupset, SRM power meter on SRAM carbon crank arms, and ENVE Composites handlebar and carbon rims.  The ENVE rims are laced to Alchemy ELF and ORC hubs using Sapim CX-Ray spokes for what we think of as the ultimate all-around set of road wheels.