30 September 2016

Ventana Wolfram Plus-Tire Mountain Bike Packages

We worked with Ventana Mountain Bikes USA to create a new plus-sized trail hardtail called Wolfram. Available with 27.5"+ or 29"+ wheels, the geometry follows current trends of longer top tubes for use with shorter stems, slack head angle for better stability on technical terrain, and short chain stays for a more playful feel and to make picking your way through obstacles easier. The oversized plus tires provide amazing traction and give the back end a little squish. We like to call it an all mountain hardtail.  Some might call it an enduro hardtail.  One of our friends would call it a Funduro. Whatever you call it, it is a very capable bike that is tons of fun to ride.

Completely manufactured in-house at Ventana's factory in Northern California, the Cycle Monkey editions of the Wolfram 27.5+ and 29+ feature dedicated cable routing for the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and stealth dropper seatposts and are belt drive compatible through Ventana's clever adjustable dropout system for the most maintenance-free trail bike drivetrain available. Check out the packages below or call us to discuss a custom build.

Bikes packages are available in two build levels:
  • Signature: $7090
  • Standard: $6040
Both packages come with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 14-speed internal gear hub and Gates Carbon Drive belt system.
Contact us at info@cyclemonkey.com or 510-868-1777 for more information or to place an order.

29 September 2016

Ventana Wolfram Pinion Bike Packages

Ventana has expanded the drivetrain options available for their Wolfram trail bike.  After successfully launching the Wolfram model with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub and Gates Carbon Drive belt last fall, they are now offering a new version built around the Pinion gear box.  This version carries all the rest of the features of the original: modern trail geometry, large volume "plus"-sized tires, choice of 27.5+ or 29+ wheel size, and Gates Carbon Drive belt compatibility.

Bikes packages are available in two build levels:

  • Signature: $7,790
  • Standard: $6,510

Both packages include a 12-speed Pinion gearbox and Gates Carbon Drive belt system.  9- and 18-speed gearboxes are also available through the semi-customizable build kits options below.

Please contact us at info@cyclemonkey.com or 510-868-1777 for additional information or to place an order.

25 August 2016

Cyclocross / Gravel Grinder: Traitor Cycles Crusade with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive

A Kent, Washington-based customer contacted us to talk about building a commuter/dirt road exploration bike with our signature Rohloff/Gates drivetrain. Already a Rohloff rider, he was excited about the simplicity, dependability, and longevity that the combination of the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub and Gates Carbon Drive belt offers. He liked Traitor Cycles Crusade frame for it's cyclocross geometry, affordable price, adjustable dropouts, and ability to run a tapered carbon fork. He sent us his Rohloff wheel, and we built it into a cool new bike.

17 August 2016

Salsa Mukluk Fat Bike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL

A couple in Maine contacted us to build up a his-and-hers set of fat bikes, both with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL internal gear hubs. Living on the East Coast, they deal with with lots of snow and wanted bikes ready to handle the winter riding conditions they face every year. Both wanted a comfortable ride that would need very little maintenance. He chose a Ventana El Gordo, and she picked this Salsa Mukluk, which is a great platform for building a Rohloff bike.

11 August 2016

Super Commuter / Adventure Road: Calfee Designs Luna with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive

This custom carbon fiber Calfee Design Luna went to a customer in Juneau, Alaska. He was looking for a bike that he could use for his 15 mile daily commute as well as some weekend gravel road rides. He wanted it to be lightweight, versatile, dependable, and built-up with all the bells and whistles available for a great commuter.

He and his wife have been very happily riding on a carbon fiber Calfee tandem with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub and Gates Carbon Drive belt drivetrain for several years, and he wanted the same reliability on his new commuter. He liked the idea of having Calfee build him another frame and ultimately decided on the Luna model. We worked with him to outfit the bike with dynamo hub-powered front and rear lighting, hydraulic disk brakes, fenders, and a rear rack/pannier system for a properly outfitted commuter.

03 August 2016

Expedition / Adventure / Backcountry Touring: Lynskey Fatskey Fat Bike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL

A customer from Hickory, NC called us to discuss building up a new bikepacking rig. He wanted to use 29+ wheels with a maintenance-free and dependable Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive belt drivetrain to take on the Great Divide and other adventure touring routes. 

There are limited options available for dedicated 29+ bikes to begin with, and he wanted something lighter than the popular Surly Krampus and ECR steel options. Fortunately, most fat bike frames will accept 29+ wheels, so he was able to use the lightweight titanium Fatskey frame from Lynskey. He sent us the frame and Carver O’Beast carbon fork that he had already picked up, and we worked with him to pick the rest of the components for the build and put everything together.

21 July 2016

Commuting / Touring: Co-Motion Americano with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive

This Co-Motion Americano was built for a customer in Corpus Christi, Texas. He had been riding on a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 for many years that he loved and wanted to move it to a new bike. He rides to work everyday and wanted to get a great commuter with dynamo powered lights and a frame that was sturdy enough to be used for moderately loaded touring. He was also excited about using a Gates Carbon Drive belt. Co-Motion's top quality, American made, Americano model covered all of his requirements, so we used this as the starting platform.

13 July 2016

Gravel / Adventure Road Bike: Shand Cycles Stoater with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive

This Shand Cycles Stoater adventure road bike was built for a local customer in San Francisco. He wanted a no fuss commuter/adventure bike that was fun and comfortable to ride to help him get back into a regular riding routine. A friend of his had worked with us to get a Rohloff-equipped touring bike and raved about the drivetrain, so he decided to get in touch with us to test ride the internal gear hub and Gates belt and to discuss potential build options. He really like the aesthetic of the Shand Stoater demo bike we have at the office, so we based the build around this frameset.

08 July 2016

Soma Sandworm Fatbike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14, Gates Carbon Drive Belt, and Lauf Leaf Spring Fork

San Francisco-based Soma Fabrications recently sent us a production version of their first fat bike frame, the Sandworm. This is a great affordable option for a Rohloff- and belt-compatible fat bike. The frame is designed with several key features to run a Rohloff-Gates Carbon Drive belt drive train.

We built this Sandworm up as demo with a Lauf Carbonara leaf spring fork. Assembly was very straight forward. With only a few quick spins on it, the geometry feels very neutral and familiar.

Previously, we built up a prototype version for form, fit, and function validation. Throughout the assembly, we made notes on the ease of assembly and integration with the Rohloff-belt drive train.

The production version of the Sandworm evolved based on lessons learned from the prototype, while maintaining the earlier tube shape and geometry.

The prototype was built with a 135mm offset rear triangle, which worked with the original SPEEDHUB 500/14, while the production version made the change to 170mm symmetric spacing and accepts the SPEEDHUB XL.

19 May 2016

Super Commuter: Independent Fabrications Club Racer with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14, Gates Carbon Drive, and Dynamo Set-up

This custom super commuter is now climbing the hills of San Francisco, CA. The customer already rode with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub and Gates Carbon Drive belt, and while he really loved the drivetrain, he was less happy with the original frame. So, he came to us to discuss options for moving the Rohloff and belt over to a new frame. Besides wanting to re-use his drivetrain, the main goal of the bike was quick, responsive handling like his road bike to add a little excitement to his daily commute.

Independent Fabrications was high on his list due to the many choices available through their custom program, and he ultimately decided to go with a stainless steel Club Racer frame with a 3/4 paint job. We worked with him to spec the bike with commuting essentials, then dialed in the fit and got in touch with IF to work through the frame details.

12 April 2016

Surly Troll with S&S Couplings, Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14, and Gates Carbon Drive Belt

This customized Surly Troll was built for a customer in Easton,Maryland who wanted a bike for travel touring and general utility use. He came to us looking to get Surly's newly released World Troller frame built up with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive. However, at the time, the World Troller frames had not started shipping, so we took a standard Surly Troll frame and modified it by adding S&S couplings, a belt drive splitter, and a new coat of white powder coat to get very nearly the same result with the additional feature of being belt compatible.

08 April 2016

Cycle Monkey Now Offering In-house Frame Modifications and Repair

We are excited to announce our new on-site fabrication shop. We will now be able to perform all of the standard steel or titanium frame modifications common on many of our builds as well as a comprehensive list of frame repairs. Having this workshop on site will reduce lead times for bikes being built in the Monkey Lab as well as expand our service offerings.

05 April 2016

Demo Bike: Lenz Lunchmoney Full Suspension Trail Bike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive Belt

This Lenz Sport LunchMoney is one of two new demo bikes that came about as a project to combine a Gates Carbon Drive belt drive and Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub with a full suspension frame. To accomplish this goal, we got in touch with Devin Lenz, who created one of the first - and still one of the only - suspension frames that is compatible with a tensioned single speed chain or belt. We worked with him on a few design details, then put in an order for a medium frame with 27.5+ wheels and an XL frame with 29+ wheels.

28 March 2016

Jones Plus Bikepacking Bike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Gates Carbon Drive

This customized Jones Plus bike went to a customer in Sunset, South Carolina. He originally contacted us about building a bikepacking/offroad adventure bike with plus size tires, Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14, and Gates Carbon Drive belt for riding dirt routes that he had picked out across the US. The bike would be used for serious back country riding and needed to be built to stand up to anything he might encounter off the grid. For these types of adventures, where every piece of equipment needs to work without fail over various terrain weather conditions for hundreds or even thousands of miles, the Rohloff/Gates drivetrain is a perfect fit. He was interested in the "Plus" model from Jones Bicycles based on reviews he had read, and a test ride on our demo bike coordinated with a business trip to San Francisco confirmed that this was the right choice.

22 March 2016

Tout Terrain Metropolitan Commuter Bike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and Cinq Trigger Shifters

This decked out Tout Terrain Metropolitan was built for a customer in Sacramento, CA as his daily commuter. He had ordered the frame with a few customizations and picked out most of the parts he wanted to use, then came to us for the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub and Gates Carbon Drive belt system as well as to fill in a few missing parts for the build kit. He is a heavier rider who wanted a bike that would be reliable under the strain of daily commuting, and this Tout Terrain frame is a perfect fit, having been designed with durability in mind as well as being Rohloff and belt ready and having many commuter-specific features built in.

29 February 2016

Tech Talk: Neil's Cinq Shift:R Rohloff Trigger Shifter Review

During the past 8 years representing Rohloff in the US, I have received many requests for a trigger shifter for the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 and fielded lots of questions about whether it is possible to connect stock derailleur shifters (road and mountain) to these internal gear hubs, both of which were not previously possible.  This has changed over the past year and a half with the introduction of the Cinq Shift:R and Gebla Rohbox.  Now that these shifting options are available, we have seen strong interest in them, which has led to new questions about how they work mechanically and how well they function out on the roads and trails.

After using the Cinq Shift:R trigger shifting system on my mountain bike over the past 4 months, I feel like I have a pretty good feel for the shifting performance of this system.  Also, after visiting the Cinq factory in Southwestern Germany last fall and getting a detailed overview of how to install and service them, combined with the installs we have done at the Monkey Lab, I feel like I have a good understanding of their inner workings.

In this post, I will give some background on the history of trigger shifter designs for the SPEEDHUB and discuss the pros and cons of the Shift:R as they apply to my riding as a long time mountain biker and SPEEDHUB rider. Look for a future article covering the Gebla Rohbox after I have spent more time on it.

23 February 2016

Tech Talk: Shifter Options for use with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14

The Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internally geared hub has always enjoyed a lot of interest with it's 14-speeds, low maintenance, 526% gear range, high durability, and extreme reliability, but not all riders are aware of the flexibility of bike set-up that new shifter options allow. With a variety of aftermarket options available, shifter options for Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 hubs have never been better.

Drop bar, flat bar, Jones H-Bar; these new shifter options provide the flexibility to use your preferred set-up on your Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 equipped bike.

Drop Bar Options: 

  • Rohloff twist shifter with HubBub bar end adaptor
  • Rohloff twist shifter with Rodriguez Doohicky headset spacer adapter
  • Gilles Berthoud twist shifter
  • Co-Motion twist shifter
  • GELBA Rohbox with SRAM or Campagnolo brake/shift levers
  • Cinq Shift:R thumb shifters
Flat Bar Options:
  • Rohloff twist shifter
  • GEBLA Rohbox with SRAM trigger shifters
  • Cinq Shift:R thumb shifters
  • Gilles Berthoud twist shifter

16 February 2016

Co-Motion Klatch - Adventure Road Bike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB and Gates Belt

This bike started into motion when our customer in Burlingame, CA first rode his friend's Rohloff-equipped touring bike. He liked the internal gear hub so much he decided to design a bike of his own around the system. During his research into potential frame options, he found our Monkey Lab blog post about a previous Co-motion Klatch we built and got in touch with us to discuss building him something similar. He wanted a low-maintenance bike that was suitable for bike-packing, gravel rides, and mild single track. He knew the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 would meet his drivetrain needs perfectly, especially when combined with a Gates Carbon Drive belt, and he had a top shelf build kit in mind to finish off his dream bike. Once we had all the details in place, we got in touch with Co-motion to finalize the frame details and set out on making the bike happen.

08 February 2016

Year of the Monkey Special

Happy Chinese New Year! Now through February 21, 2016, Cycle Monkey is offering a 10% discount on Rohloff Bike Packages from Ventana, Tout Terrain, and Shand.

Contact us at info@cyclemonkey.com or 510.868.1777 to let us know which Rohloff Build you would like to ride to celebrate the Year of the Monkey.

28 January 2016

Tout Terrain Amber Road Commuter with Rohloff SPEEDHUB and Schmidt Dynamo Hub

A local Bay Area business owner came to us wanting a new commuter - a bike he could depend on day-in and day-out to get him where needed to go. This was his first new bike purchase in over 20 years, so we started by introducing him to all the options that are now available for making an everyday bike easy for a rider to just get on and go.  He wanted his new bike to be low maintenance, user friendly, rain ready, and easy to ride up the hill he lives on. He was excited about the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub because it could give him a range of gears capable of getting him home comfortably and still pedal a comfortable cadence on flats.  He also liked the simplicity of the Gates' Carbon Drive belt system and was interested in getting a generator hub to light up his ride home after work. With the basics in place, all we needed was the right frame for the job, and the Tout Terrain Amber Road was the perfect fit.

21 January 2016

Ventana El Gordo Fat Bike with Rohloff Internal Gear Hub, Gates Belt, and Rock Shox Bluto Fork

Meet the Ventana Mountain Bikes USA El Gordo fat bike in Team Blue Sparkle that we built for a customer in New Zealand. This customer came to us looking for an adventure bike to take him off the beaten path, far beyond the limits of where traditional mountain bikes can go. Because the large tires on a fat bike would allow him to pedal through terrain and riding conditions that push the limits of where bikes can be ridden, he needed a drivetrain that was up to the task as well. He came across our Ventana El Gordo fat bike packages built around Rohloff's fat bike-specific SPEEDHUB XL 500/14 internal gear hub and Gate's Carbon Drive belt system, which are well suited for the adventures he had in mind. He got in touch with us to discuss a build tailored to his needs. He customized his build with a suspension fork, dropper post, and the largest tires available for the best all-terrain performance. As outfitted, his new fat bike is ready to ride through anything, will require little to no maintenance, and will keep him free from worry over mechanical setbacks.