28 May 2013

Rohloff-Equipped Surly Big Dummy Cargo Bike

Cycle Monkey Rohloff Surly Big Dummy
Surly Big Dummy Rohloff cargo bike

We recently completed a Rohloff SPEEDHUB conversion on this Surly Big Dummy cargo bike for a customer in Sacramento, CA.  He wanted a bike that offered reliable around town transportation and hauling with the ability to handle off-road touring.  He found a used, mostly stock Big Dummy on Craigslist and dropped it off with us to strip the drivetrain and replace it with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 system.  He was drawn to the SPEEDHUB for its ability to handle the high torque produced when hauling heavy loads in a low gear, not to mention the durability and reliability to circumnavigate the globe. To see another Rohloff equipped Big Dummy being ridden tens of thousands of miles around the world, check out photos from Juan Martinez!

Cycle Monkey Rohloff Speedhub drivetrain
This bike uses an idler wheel to take up chain slack without the use of a conventional derailer-style tensioner

For the rear wheel, we kept the stock Salsa Gordo rim and replaced the Deore hub with the Rohloff Speedhub. We trimmed the DT Swiss spokes in our spoke machine to fit the larger hubshell dimensions of the Rohloff. The front Deore/Salsa Gordo wheel is stock.

15 May 2013

Monkey Ride: Custom Rohloff-Equipped Ventana Full Suspension 29er

Profile view in the trail configuration

This custom Ventana 29er was built in 2008 for Neil as a long-term test mule for various parts and design ideas.  The idea was to set up the bike with different part configurations to serve either as a cross country or all mountain rig. As with most of Neil's bikes, this one was setup around the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 drivetrain.  Special features include a 1.5" Cannondale Lefty-specific head tube, Rohloff cable routing, and custom geometry.  Pictured above is the all-mountain setup with 140mm/5.5" of fork travel and 120mm/4.7" of rear wheel travel.  A Rohloff chain tensioner takes up the slack from the rear travel. 

Carbon rims, chunky rubber and lots of travel

A Rock Shox Reba RLT fork with 140mm of travel provides plenty of suspension for aggressive all-mountain riding, and a Cane Creek Angleset headset accommodates the tapered steerer on the fork and allows for changes to the head angle.

EDGE Composites (now ENVE Composites) AM29 rims are laced to a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 rear hub and Industry Nine 20mm thru-axle front disc hub using bladed SAPIM CX-Ray spokes.  These rims have been bulletproof over the last five years despite some serious abuse on the trails.

Custom cable guides for the Rohloff SPEEDHUB provide clean and elegant routing

Cross Country configuration

This is the same bike in it's cross country configuration with a carbon Cannondale Lefty fork and 4" of front and rear travel. Travel is changed on the frame by swapping the rocker links for shorter ones. The XC wheels are laced up with ENVE XC 29 tubeless rims, which are slightly lighter and narrower than the AM version but still plenty strong.  A SPEEDHUB 500/14 is used in the rear and a Project 321 Lefty hub can be found up front. The same SAPIM CX-Ray spokes are used.

Lefty SL carbon fork with Project 321 hub
Single leg, double crown Lefty fork

The Cannondale Lefty fork was a perfect choice for this application due to it's light weight, stiffness and strength.

Salsa Bend bar can be flipped to reverse the rise

Cockpit view in trail mode

The Salsa Bend bar is one of Neil's favorite handlebars. It has a slight rise and comfortable back sweep. The Bend bar is available in a 17 or 23 degree angle. This is the 17 degree version.

Close-up of the Rohloff shift box and Monkey Bone

This Ventana is set up with a MonkeyBone adaptor for the rear brake mount, which mates with the Rohloff OEM2 axle plate to anchor the hub's axle to the disc brake mount. Rohloff cable routing continues along the chainstay.

This bike has endured many miles of hard riding over the last five years without any problems. It still gets regular use on the trails around Northern California and has plenty of life left in it. Ventana frames are built to hold up to many seasons of riding, which compliments the durability of the Rohloff hubs. The company is great to work with and offers fast turnaround times, customization options, and quality construction.

Build Details:

  • Frame: Custom Ventana 29er Full Suspension
  • Fork: Rock Shox Reba 29er 140mm/Cannondale Lefty SL
  • Headset: Cane Creek Angleset/Cannondale Lefty
  • Stem: Thomson X4/Cannondale Lefty
  • Handlebar: Salsa Bend 2, 17 degree
  • Shifter: Rohloff
  • Seatpost: X-Fusion HiLo Dropper
  • Saddle: Specialized Phenom
  • Front Hub: Industry Nine 20mm thru axle/Project 321 Lefty
  • Rear Hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
  • Spokes: Sapim Race
  • Nipples: Sapim Brass
  • Rims: EDGE Composites AM29 / ENVE Composites XC29
  • Tires: Various
  • Cranks: Race Face Six C/Next SL
  • Bottom Bracket: Race Face Turbine
  • Chainring: Race Face Single Ring
  • Rear Sprocket: Rohloff sprocket
  • Chain: Wippermann 8sX
  • Brakes & Levers: Magura Louise
  • Rotors: Magura Louise Wavy

02 May 2013

Rohloff-Equipped Belt Drive Ventana El Comandante 29er

Ventana El Comandante profile

This custom Ventana El Comandante 29er mountain bike was built for a customer in Alaska who was looking for a rig that was capable of completing long-distance off road events like the Tour Divide (which was won last year by Ollie Whalley on the same frame and drivetrain). It is equipped with a Gates Carbon Drive belt system and Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 14 speed internally geared hub.

Laser-cut headbadge and tapered head tube