18 January 2013

Rohloff-Equipped, Belt Driven Spot Sprawl Commuter/Touring Bike

We built this bright green commuter for one of our customers in Anchorage, AK.  He had been commuting on an aluminum cyclocross frame and wanted to switch to a steel bike for better comfort.  He was also looking for a more durable frame to do some touring on.  He had picked up a used Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and sent it down to us for an overhaul and to be built up with a Chris King front hub into a wheelset.  He wanted to put the new wheels on a frame that was Rohloff, and ideally belt drive,  compatible, so the Spot Sprawl fit his needs.

For the wheels, we laced up the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Chris King ISO disc hubs into Velocity Dyad rims using Sapim Race double butted spokes and brass nipples.  This is a configuration we build regularly for commuting, road, light to moderate touring, or cross country mountain bike use.  Basically straight-forward wheels that will provide many years of reliable service.

The bike is built up with a collection of high-quality, durable parts to complement the nearly maintenance-free drivetrain offered by the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and the Gates Carbon Drive belt drive system.  For the brakes, we used the TRP Parabox mechanical to hydraulic disc brake system, which allows you to use any standard brake levers, which in this case are from SRAM.  Brake cables run from the levers to the conversion unit mounted below the stem and are connected to small lever arms that drive fluid to the brake calipers.  This system offers the solid lever feel of a full hydraulic system without being locked into a given manufacturer's brake or brake/shift levers.  Like the Magura brakes we normally spec on flat bar builds, the TRP brakes also use mineral oil, which is less toxic than DOT fluid and doesn't require as much regular maintenance.

The Sprawl frame is marketed for commuting or light touring.  The geometry is the same as their Mod cyclocross bike with that addition of rack and fender mounts.  Sliding dropouts provide belt/chain tension, and the drive side one separates to install a belt.  A Rohloff-specific left side insert is available for use with the Rohloff OEM axle plate.  Tubes are True Temper OX Platinum chromoly steel, built in Colorado.

Build details
  • Frame: Spot Sprawl Steel
  • Fork: Spot carbon
  • Headset: Chris King NoThreadset
  • Stem: Salsa Pro Moto
  • Handlebar: Salsa Pro Moto
  • Shifter: Rohloff
  • Brake Levers: SRAM 500
  • Tape: Deda
  • Seatpost: Velo Orange Grand Cru
  • Saddle: Fizik Aliante
  • Front Hub: Chris King ISO Disc
  • Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
  • Spokes: Sapim Race
  • Nipples: Sapim Brass
  • Rims: Velocity Dyad
  • Tires: Schwalbe Marathon
  • Skewers: Shimano XT
  • Cranks: Race Face Turbine
  • Bottom Bracket: Race Face
  • Chainring: Gates Carbon Drive Center Track Pulley
  • Chain: Gates Carbon Drive Center Track Belt
  • Brakes: TRP Parabox
  • Rotors: Magura Storm