06 March 2014

Rohloff-Equipped Surly Ogre Mountain/Touring/Commuting Bike

The customer who purchased this bike was interested in a versatile bike that he could commute on and also use to get into mountain biking. He wanted a bike that would be comfortable for trips around town but capable enough to hit some of the many great mountain bike trails in Marin County, where he lives. After a few conversations about his dream bike, we put together this build based around the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Surly's Ogre frame.

Surly frames are all designed with a lot of versatility in mind and make great all-around bikes. Their Ogre frameset was chosen as the basis for this build because it is designed for commuting and touring on mixed road surfaces, with plenty of braze-ons for racks, fenders, and water bottles. The frame's geometry will also tackle singletrack with ease.

The Ogre frameset uses 29 inch wheels, which perform well both on road and off. For the front wheel, we laced up a tough Velocity Cliffhanger rim to a Schmidt SON28 generator hub so our customer could eventually connect a light to the generator hub for nighttime commuting or trail runs after dark. For the rear wheel, we laced the same rim to the Rohloff SPEEDHUB. Both wheels were outfitted with Continental X King tires, which have plenty of side knobs for off-road traction but lower profile knobs on the center tread to decrease the rolling resistance on pavement and hard packed dirt.

Since this bike would be used for a variety of different purposes - from leisurely cruises around town to rocky singletrack to fireroad climbs - the cockpit was laid out to be versatile and comfortable. We started with Jeff Jones H-Bars, which have plenty of backsweep and multiple hand positions. We then installed Ergon’s GP1 grips, which have molded ergonomic palm rests. This combination of handlebars and grips keep hands and wrists from becoming numb on longer rides, while still providing capable handling for rough mountain bike trails.

Like most riders, this customer wants to spend as much time on the roads and trails and as little time with his bikes in a repair stand as possible. He likes his bikes to be simple and ready to ride at any time, which had led him to the Rohloff SPEEDHUB while researching options for low-maintenance drivetrains. He decided that this shifting system was what he wanted to build his new bike around, and was very pleased with the results when he came to pick it up. After getting a few rides in, he confirmed that it was exactly what he was looking for.

If you are interested in putting together a versatile minimal-maintenance bike of your own, contact us to see what we can build for you!

Build Details:

• Frame: Surly Ogre
• Fork: Surly Ogre
• Headset: Chris King
• Stem: Thomson Elite X4
• Handlebar: Jeff Jones H Bar
• Shifter: Rohloff
• Grips: Ergon GP1
• Seatpost: Thomson
• Saddle: Selle Anatomica Titanico
• Seat Clamp: Surly
• Front Hub: Schmidt SON28
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Spokes: Sapim Race 
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: Velocity Cliff Hanger
• Tires: Continental X Sport
• Cranks: Race Face Turbin
• Pedals: Shimano XT
• Bottom Bracket: Race Face
• Chain ring: Race Face
• Rear Sprocket: Rohloff
• Chain: Wipperman Connex
• Brakes & Levers: Shimano XT hydraulic
• Rotors: Magura Storm


  1. Hello!
    Could you elaborate about gear system.
    If I understand correctly then you took Race Face Turbine (crank+bottom bracket+ring), and it immediately led to right chainline?
    Did you removed the second ring?

    I hope to collect the same bike, so these details are very interested for me.
    Thank you!

    1. Yes, that is correct. The chainline is a few mm's wider than the Speedhub, but it is close enough to run smoothly without any additional noise.

  2. Hi!
    Tell me please, is there a noticeable difference in the strength and reliability of the 29" wheel between 32h Rohloff laced 2x, 36h Rohloff laced 2x and 36h Rohloff laced 3x on the same model of rim with the same type of spokes? Purpose of the wheel is trail riding, touring and bikepacking, not for tandem use.
    Thank you!

    1. You would be unlikely to notice any difference between these options. The spokes on the 36H hub should ultimately last longer, but the spokes on the 32H hub should be expected to last for many, many years. Until 2011, Rohloff only offered their hubs with 32H and there were very few problems with wheel strength.

    2. Thank you!
      Is it possible to find Rohloff hub shell separately now? I have an idea of using two rear wheels built around Speedhub and sharing one mechanism between two shells: first - quite lightweight for everyday use like commuting and light bikepacking, second - bombproof for quite rare hard trailriding and loaded touring. Or does this void the manufacturer's warranty and it's better to have two Speedhubs?

  3. No, this is not possible. The hubshells are not available separately.

  4. Dream build! Great work Monkey Lab!

    Do you remember the size of this frame?

  5. Great build! Do you have to use some kind of adaptor washers to get the rohloff hub to fit the frame?