30 October 2013

ICE Trike with Rohloff Hub and Schlumpf Gearing System

The Inspired Cycle Engineering Sprint FS trike.
At Cycle Monkey, we build a fair number of wheels for recumbents using the Rohloff SPEEDHUB and also outfit many recumbents with Schlumpf gearing systems. Recumbent trike and bike riders have an affinity for the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Schlumpf Innovations Speed Drive because of the large gear range and durability of these systems. As a result, this gearing combination has become a common upgrade for owners of high-end trikes.

We built the rear wheel and installed a Schlumpf speed drive on this Inspired Cycle Engineering (ICE) tricycle for a local trike shop, Bay Trail Trikes, to offer as a demo for their customers. The Sprint is ICE’s mid-height riding position model and features a folding chassis for easier storage and transportation as well as dual suspension for better cornering and comfort. It allows for a relaxed yet aerodynamic seating position that falls between ICE’s touring and race models. Bay Trail Trikes has been a Rohloff/Schlumpf gearing advocate for years, and they figured the Sprint was a perfect model to build up for their customers to test ride.

Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 built to a Velocity AeroHeat rim

18 October 2013

(Review) Monkey Rides: Tyler’s Surly Krampus 29+ Mountain Bike With Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Belt Drive

Tyler's Krampus set up for aggressive trail riding. 
Tyler, one of the newest Monkeys on our team, was an early adopter of Surly’s Krampus, a new style of bike Surly introduced last year that they call “29 +.” The three inch wide tires on 50mm wide 29 inch rims provide the float and traction of a fatbike, but the speed and maneuverability of a 29er mountain bike. Tyler loves his Krampus, but wanted a Rohloff SPEEDHUB and a Gates carbon belt drive to clean up the drivetrain and simplify the ride. His aim was straightforward - create a streamlined, aggressive all-around trailbike.

First off, we sent off the sparkle green frame (Surly calls the color “moonlit swamp”) to get a small splitter installed on the seatstay so we could fit a belt drive through the frame. The frame came back a few days later (along with some other belt drive modification projects you’ll see soon) and we set to work.
We sent off the Krampus to get a small belt drive splitter installed in the frame.

10 October 2013

Rodriguez MakeShift Tandem with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB

Rodriguez Bicycles' Makeshift Rohloff-specific tandem
Rodriguez Bicycles is one of our biggest Rohloff advocates and customers. The Seattle-based framebuilder makes a variety of tandems, travel/coupler bikes and custom frames, and they often use the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 on their commuter, touring and tandem bikes due to the low maintenance factor of the shift system. In fact, after installing SPEEDHUBs on a number of custom frames, they decided to create a Rohloff-specific model called the MakeShift. Check out a gallery of their MakeShift bikes here.

Rodriguez recently built a MakeShift tandem using a Rohloff hub they ordered from us, and when it was done they sent the photos to us to use for one of our bike features. This tandem was put together for a couple who already owned a Rodriguez tandem and had plenty of experience riding as a team, but wanted a new lower-maintenance ride for their daily commuting needs. The SPEEDHUB was a perfect choice for their criteria.

The Rohloff SPEEDHUB is a perfect drivetrain for a tandem.
The frame has a number of innovative features that really bring to light Rodriguez’s attention to detail. The dropouts are machined to allow the SPEEDHUB’s axle plate to stay in place. Braze-ons on the chainstay are specific to the Rohloff’s cable routing. A mount custom-made by Rodriguez allows the twist shifter to be installed on the fork’s steerer tube rather than the end of the handlebars.

Rodriguez's custom-made Rohloff shifter mount.
Because tandems carry the weight of two riders, their components must be very strong and durable. Normal derailleur systems have inherent weak points that can be stressed to their limit with two riders cranking on the pedals. The SPEEDHUB eliminates the weak points of a derailleur by housing the mechanics of the shift system inside the rear hub shell. For a tandem, there is really no better choice than the SPEEDHUB.

The heavy weight factor also requires tandems to have strong braking systems to make it safely down big hills. This bike has a standard set of cantilever brakes controlled by the front rider, but also a large 203mm disc “drag brake” controlled by a bar-end lever on the rear rider’s handlebars. While the lever looks like a typical bar-end shifter, it’s actually a secondary brake for going down big hills.

Avid BB7 brakes and a large 203mm rotor.
We work with Rodriguez very frequently, and they're often a good match for customers looking for a quality custom frame. They’re built to order, made in the USA, and they have short lead times and reasonable prices. Call us to see if a Rohloff-equipped Rodriguez is right for you!

Build details:
  • Frame: Rodriguez Makeshift Tandem
  • Fork: Rodriguez
  • Headset: Chris King
  • Stem: KORE
  • Handlebar: FSA
  • Shifter: Rohloff
  • Bar Tape: Deda
  • Seatpost: Thompson front, Cane Creek Thudbuster rear
  • Saddle: Specialized front, Specialized women's specific rear
  • Seat Clamp: integrated
  • Front Hub: White Industries
  • Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
  • Spokes: Sapim
  • Nipples: Sapim
  • Rims: Velocity Chukker rear, Velocity Deep V front
  • Tires: Serfas Seca
  • Cranks: Sugino
  • Bottom Bracket: Bushnell Eccentric
  • Chainring: Sugino
  • Pedals: Speedplay Frogs
  • Chain: SRAM PC
  • Brakes: Avid BB7 Road rear, Cantilever front and rear
  • Levers: Cane Creek Drop V front, Cane Creek Ergo Stoke 

02 October 2013

Rohloff-Outfitted Novara Randonee Touring Bike

The Novara Randonee is a heavy duty steel touring rig.
The Novara Randonee is a touring bike through and through – a sturdy steel frame with relaxed geometry to carry heavy loads, a durable 36 spoke wheelset, and plenty of braze-ons for water bottles, racks, and fenders. A local Bay Area customer came to us with this bike that he had ridden hard right off the shelf and loved, minus one factor – the derailleurs. He was tired of paying to have the shift system tuned up and was constantly worried about being on a long ride and having to deal with a damaged derailleur or dropped chain. After deciding a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 was the perfect drivetrain for him, he contacted us and we set to work.

We laced up the SPEEDHUB to Mavic’s A319 rims, which are made specifically for heavy road use and allow for tires up to 50mm. We kept the stock front wheel - Mavic A319 rims laced to a Shimano Deore LX hub - which is a solid value option.

The Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Rohloff chain tensioner.
Touring is an ideal application for the SPEEDHUB. Bike tours often cover thousands of miles in remote areas, where it may be hard to find a bike shop or spare parts to fix any mechanical problems. In fact, the record for continuous SPEEDHUB use is over 125,000 miles without any service other than the annual oil bath change. SPEEDHUBs also allow you to change gears while the bike is standing still. On a loaded touring bike that takes a while to get up to speed to shift, this makes stopping and starting with heavy loads much more manageable.

Because the frame has vertical dropouts and the wheel position can’t be adjusted, chain tension has to be accomplished with a separate chain tensioner bolted to the derailleur hanger. A torque arm was also needed to secure the hub’s axle in place. Using a chain tensioner and torque arm allows the Rohloff to be installed on most any bike with a vertical dropout. Lastly, we mounted the Rohloff grip shifter on the end of the bars, much like a traditional barend lever shifter.

Whether you’re a seasoned bike tour veteran or you’re looking to go on your first long trip, you can’t go wrong with the Rohloff SPEEDHUB. The strength, gear range, and dependability of the SPEEDHUB are unmatched for this type of riding. Contact us to do a Rohloff conversion on your touring bike or build up a new bike from scratch!

Build Details:

·  Frame: Novara Randonee
·  Fork: Novara Steel
·  Headset: Cane Creek
·  Stem: Kalloy adjustable
·  Handlebar: Ritchey
·  Shifter: Rohloff
·  Bartape: Deda
·  Seatpost: Kalloy Uno
·  Saddle: Brooks Flyer
·  Seat Clamp: Single bolt
·  Front Hub: Shimano Deore LX
·  Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
·  Spokes: Sapim
·  Nipples: Sapim brass
·  Rims: Mavic A319
·  Tires: Vittoria Randonneur
·  Cranks: Shimano Deore LX 44
·  Bottom Bracket: Shimano
·  Chainring: Shimano 44t
·  Rear Sprocket: Rohloff
·  Chain Tensioner: Rohloff
·  Chain: Wipperman 800
·  Brake Levers: TRP RRL Alloy
·  Brakes: Shimano R550 Cantilever
·  Extras: Racks, fenders, bell