01 April 2013

Rohloff-Equipped, Belt Driven Independent Fabrication 29'er MountainBike

We built this bike for a local customer in El Cerrito, CA as an insurance replacement for a bike that was stolen.  While he was sad to loose his old bike, he got some nice upgrades with the replacement: disc brakes, 29" wheels, custom frame.  He had purchased a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 several years earlier for a different bike, but that hub had subsequently gone unused following a bike swap.  After demo'ing one of our belt drive Rohloff bikes, he decided to build up something similar based on a custom steel frame built by Independent Fabrication (IF).  We converted his SPEEDHUB 500/14 to be disc brake and belt drive compatible and laced it into new rims for this build.  The paint scheme is based on the Titanium Factory Lightweight road bike from Independent Fabrication that we built up previously for a different customer.

For the wheels, we laced the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and a Chris King ISO disc front hub into No Tubes Flow rims using Sapim Laser thin double-butted spokes and brass nipples.  The 28mm wide Flow rim offers better tire support and a stiffer wheel build compared to the Crest or Arch EX models and are also a little more dent resistant for trail riding.  The thinner spokes were used to save some weight and provide additional comfort for a lighter-weight rider.

Independent Fabrication builds every frame to order to the customer's specifications.  In this case, the tubes are steel, and the geometry is based on the more relaxed head angle of the Spot Rocker.  IF offers a variety of options for tensioning a chain or belt as well as opening the frame to install a belt. On this frame, a Paragon Machine Works tube splitter was installed on the right seat stay to insert the belt into the frame, and an eccentric bottom bracket was installed to tighten the belt.

IF is known for the quality of their paint shop on top of their ability to build top-notch frames.  A custom paint job adds a nice finishing touch to a custom frame and this one did not disappoint.  We sent a Rockshox Reba fork in to be painted to match the frame for an integrated look.

Build details
  • Frame: Independent Fabrication Steel Delux, custom painted
  • Fork: Rock Shox Reba RLT, custom painted by IF
  • Headset: Chris King NoThreadset
  • Stem: Thomson Elite
  • Handlebar: Groovy Cycle Works Luv Handle
  • Shifter: Rohloff
  • Grips: ESI
  • Seatpost: Thomson Elite
  • Saddle: WTB Silverado Pro
  • Front Hub: Chris King ISO Disc
  • Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
  • Spokes: Sapim Laser
  • Nipples: Sapim Brass
  • Rims: No Tubes Flow
  • Tires: WTB Bronson
  • Skewers: Shimano XT
  • Cranks & Bottom Bracket: Race Face Turbine
  • Chainring: Gates Carbon Drive Center Track Pulley
  • Chain: Gates Carbon Drive Center Track Belt
  • Brakes and Levers: Magura Louise
  • Rotors: Magura Storm

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