27 January 2014

Moots CoMooter with Rohloff SPEEDHUB

This Moots CoMooter came in to us recently for help with some of the final setup details and was such an appealing bike that we had to get a closer look. The customer had recently purchased this titanium dream commuter from Moots to get around town with style and speed. It features nothing but top-shelf components and is one of the most lust-worthy commuters we’ve seen. Best of all, it’s custom-built for use with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14.

When this customer started shopping for a new commuter bike he knew he wanted something he could use reliably for many, many years to come. The durability made possible by a Rohloff SPEEDHUB was a large part of his criteria, but he also wanted a bike that could handle speedy commuting as well as occasionally hauling groceries and other gear. He chose Moots' only commuter model, the CoMooter, which was designed around the SPEEDHUB and hand-picked boutique parts to customize the bike to his tastes.

The build is centered around Moots’ CoMooter frame, which is designed for getting around town quickly and comfortably. It features a geometry that strikes a balance between an upright and leaned-over seating position, lending itself well to both speedy riding and leisurely cruising. Like all of Moot’s frames and components, it uses US-made titanium tubing, which won't rust and the raw metal offers a very durable finish. Special touches include Rohloff-specific cable routing and sliding dropouts to tension the chain.

The wheel build consists of a Rohloff SPEEDHUB in the rear laced to Mavic’s Open Pro CD, a lightweight road rim. The front wheel uses a Chris King ISO disc brake hub on the same Mavic rim. Sapim spokes and nipples were used for both the front and rear. The resulting wheelset is light and fast.

The SPEEDHUB drivetrain is well suited for daily commuting. Whether you need to depend on your bike to get you to work every morning, haul food from the grocery store, or get to an appointment across town, reliability is key in a commuter bike. The SPEEDHUB needs no service other than an annual oil change, so mechanical problems or delays are almost non-existent. When you need to be able to jump on your bike to get somewhere at a moment’s notice, the SPEEDHUB is an ideal choice.

Image and aesthetics were important with this build, so components were carefully selected to match the classic look of the bike. Instead of the normal Rohloff shifter, our customer chose a Gilles Berthoud twist shifter. This aftermarket Rohloff-compatible shifter will fit on curved handlebars or those with a lot of sweep, and has a polished finish that matches the other components. Other top-of-the-line parts in this build include Formula R1 Racing hydraulic brakes, A chrome Chris King headset, a Gilles Berthoud leather saddle, and Phil Wood Track Cranks and chainring.

If you’re interested in a top notch commuter bike that you can rely on to ride day-in, day-out for many years to come, contact us to discuss what we can build for you.

Build Details:

• Frame: Moots CoMooter Titanium
• Fork: Wound Up Composite Team X Carbon
• Headset: Chris King
• Stem: Moots Open Road Titanium
• Handlebar: Nitto Albatross
• Shifter: Gilles Berthoud
• Grips: Brooks Slender 
• Seatpost: Moots Cinch Titanium
• Saddle: Gilles Berthoud
• Seat Clamp: Integrated
• Front Hub: Chris King ISO
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: Mavic Open Pro CD
• Tires: Vittoria Randonneur Hyper
• Cranks: Phil Wood Track Cranks
• Pedals: White Industries Urban with titanium toe cages
• Bottom Bracket: Phil Wood
• Chain Ring: Phil Wood
• Rear Sprocket: Rohloff
• Chain: D.I.D.
• Brakes & Levers: Formula R1 Racing
• Rotors: Magura Storm rear, Shimano Ice Technology

20 January 2014

Monkey Ride: Tyler's 29+ Surly Krampus Mountain Bike with RohloffSPEEDHUB 500/14

Tyler here at Cycle Monkey has a bit of a fat tire fetish. He also has a bit of a Surly fetish. It sometimes seems as if he has almost as many Surly bikes as he does Surly T-shirts, and he's been known to wear a different Surly tee every day for two weeks straight - with socks to match just to show off. This bike is one of his recent creations - a Surly Krampus with 29x3.0" Surly Knard tires and a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internally geared drivetrain.

15 January 2014

Rohloff-Equipped Mikkelsen Touring Bike

A local customer recently brought this Rohloff SPEEDHUB-equipped Mikkelson touring bike in for some routine service. It's about as purpose-built as any bike we've seen. With S&S frame couplers, three water bottle mounts, Nitto racks, a special-edition Brooks Professional saddle, and a variety of other top shelf parts, this bike is deluxe.

There are plenty of interesting details on this Mikkelsen that demand a closer look. One of the most unusual components is a 3-piece handlebar that allows the stock Rohloff twist shifter to be mounted in the center. The handlebar is made from two halves and a center sleeve that clamps onto them and into the stem. 

The Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 is the perfect drivetrain choice for a loaded touring bike like this Mikkelsen, providing an adjustment-free system that will handle any kind of riding the owner can dish out.

This Mikkelsen has cantilever rim brakes but also utilizes a bar-end shift lever to control a tandem-style disc drag brake on the rear wheel. 

The rear end of the bike manages to fit everything without interference. Chain tension is controlled with an eccentric bottom bracket and vertical dropouts allow easy wheel removal. The disc drag brake is mounted between the seat and chain stays to keep it away from racks and bags, and the rack mounts are located far enough up the seat stay to allow easy access to the cable box. Finally, the inside of the seat stay has a boss welded to it that the OEM2 axle plate on the hub keys onto.

This bike was obviously built with careful consideration and looks quite ready to take on anything from leisurely rides to serious adventures. S&S couplers allow the frame to be split and packed into a much smaller container than a standard bike box, usually eliminating any extra airline baggage fees.

If you're considering building up a Rohloff-equipped touring bike or your SPEEDHUB needs service, contact us and we will be happy to help.

Build Details:

Frame: Mikkelsen Touring, S&S coupled and lugged
Fork: Mikkelsen Steel
Headset: Chris King NoThreadSet
Stem: Custom steel, painted to match
Handlebar: Custom split drop handlebar
Shifter: Rohloff
Grips: Cork tape
Seatpost: Nitto Jaguar
Saddle: Brooks Professional, Limited Edition
Front Hub: Chris King
Rear Hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
Spokes: DT Swiss
Nipples: DT brass
Rims: Mavic A719
Tires: Continental Top Touring 2000
Cranks: Sugino 75
Chainring: Sugino
Rear Sprocket: Rohloff sprocket
Chain: Sram PC58
Brakes: Paul Touring Cantilevers F/R, Avid BB7 disc rear
Brake Levers: Cane Creek/Paul Components Cross Top
Rotor: Galfer 203mm

10 January 2014

Surly Krampus 29+ Mountain Bike with Suspension Fork, Rohloff SPEEDHUB500/14, and Gates Belt Drive

Sometimes the team here at Cycle Monkey dreams up a project that is not specifically for a customer but rather to satisfy our own curiosity. We chalk it up to product research, but these projects also have a bit of a selfish motivation: we like to build cool bikes! We put together this Surly Krampus to showcase in the Rohloff booth at the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas last September. The various customizations on this build were very popular at the show and prompted plenty of people to stop by and marvel at the Rohloff hub, belt drive, and suspension fork we had installed on the frame. 

The goal for this build was to create a bike that could be ridden more aggressively through rock gardens, off drops and jumps, and down steep descents. Surly’s Krampus comes stock as a fully rigid 29er with large volume tires that can care of some of the harsh bumps found on trails. Its three inch wide tires on 50mm wide rims provide a fair amount of pneumatic suspension, but in certain situations, the bike is very clearly rigid.

03 January 2014

Nirve Switchblade Chopper Rohloff Conversion

This Nirve “Switchblade” chopper, styled after a classic motorcycle, is one of the more unusual bikes we've had in for a Rohloff conversion. We have experience installing Rohloff hubs on almost every type of bike, but this was a new one for us. The goal was to give this extremely relaxed, comfortable bike the low gearing to pedal up and over more hills.

The owner of this bike lives in San Francisco and uses it to cruise around the waterfront and flatlands, but he also wanted to be able to pedal up some of the city’s many steep hills. The bike had come with a three speed coaster brake hub, but he wasn't satisfied with its limited gear range. He also has a trailer that he uses often to carry groceries and gear, so he wanted a durable drivetrain that would be strong enough to haul plenty of weight.

Our customer bought this bike in part because he likes the classic styling but more importantly because he likes how comfortable and relaxed it is to pedal. The chopper puts you in a very leaned-back seating position, with the cranks and pedals far in front of you and the handlebars very high in the air. The one limiting factor, however, is getting up hills in this seating position.

The Rohloff SPEEDHUB has the largest gear range of any internally geared hub on the market and is an ideal choice for this style of bike. Since the geometry of the bike doesn't allow you to stand up and crank hard on the pedals, climbing hills is easiest with a low gear and steady pace. The SPEEDHUB gives you a 526 percent change in gearing across 14 gears, ensuring a very low and very high gear to get over all kinds of terrain.

For the wheel build, we laced a silver SPEEDHUB up to a 24 by 3 inch aluminum rim, designed to fit larger volume tires for a comfortable ride. For the front wheel, we used a larger 26 by 2.5 inch rim on a silver Schmidt SON 28 dynamo hub. We hooked up the generator hub to a Busch & Muller Lumotec Classic front light, giving him plenty of battery-free lighting for night time cruising.

We had to make a few adaptations to the stock setup in order to make the rear wheel compatible with the chopper frame. Because the frame was based around the use of a coaster brake hub it did not have any brake mounts, either disc or rim. Rohloff does not offer a coaster or drum brake hub option, so we needed to install brake mounts of some kind. Our customer found and brought us a special disc brake mount adapter that is installed around the hub’s axle and is secured to the dropout.

Once the brake issue was settled, we used the Rohloff long torque arm to anchor the hub’s torque input to the frame. The cable routing was a bit unusual due to the orientation of the brake mount and the shape of the frame. We had loop the brake and shift cables backwards around the dropouts instead of running them along the chainstays.

A variety of leather and chrome components give this bike a classic chopper appearance. A leather Brooks saddle, grips, and front fender mudflap match the leather handlebar bag. A chrome handlebar and polished stem match the silver wheels we built. The spiked silver Tioga Spider pedals finish off the bike's look.

The bike now offers the gear range needed to pedal around San Francisco while still maintaining the unique chopper style our customer was after. When he came to pick up the bike, he was very pleased with the new-found range the SPEEDHUB gave him. He said he was excited to ride around the city on a much more regular basis. If you want to do a Rohloff conversion on your own bike, contact us to discuss the details!

Build Details:

• Frame: Nirve Switchblade
• Fork: Nirve 
• Headset: Chromed steel
• Stem: Polished aluminum
• Handlebar: Chromed steel chopper bars
• Shifter: Rohloff
• Grips: Brooks Plump Leather
• Seatpost: Chromed steel
• Saddle: Brooks B66
• Seat Clamp: Nirve
• Front Hub: Schmidt SON 28
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: Wide chopper
• Tires: Innova 24x3.0 rear, Innova 26x2.5 front
• Cranks: Race Face Turbine
• Pedals: Tioga Spider
• Bottom Bracket: Race Face Turbine
• Chain ring: Surly Stainless Steel
• Chain: Wipperman Connex 7R8
• Brakes & Levers: Tektro 319A BMX brakes, Avid BB7 MTN calipers
• Rotors: Magura Storm
• Extra: Busch & Muller Lumotec Classic front light, Busch & Muller 4-D Lite Plus tail light, chain guard, fenders, handlebar bag