Lugs, wool, belt-drive and disc brakes

Often I have conflicting tastes. In bicycle chic there seems to be the old-school camp. Steel, lugs, merino, leather and canvas. Hipsters are a subset of this with steel, fixed/single, and tiny little handlebars. Then there’s the mountain bikers. Lycra, fat tyres, shocks, lots of gears, big straight handlebars. Roadies: lycra, carbon, weight-weenies, etc.

I swing between them all. I guess more like commuter-grognards. Wool works, steel is as real as carbon and aluminium, lots of gears is nice for lots of hills, and leather looks cool but ain’t that water-resistant. I like disc brakes, carbon blade forks, trekking bars, belt-drives, rohloff gear hubs and dura-ace groupsets. I’d love a Rohloff in a Trek District Carbon with Avid Juicy road brakes and a rapid-fire type shifter (don’t exist, yet). For the saddle a Selle Anatomica would be fine but the problem is the carbon can’t hold racks and has no eyelets for mudguards. So I’d be quite happy with a lovely lugged frame with all the eyelets and braze-ons you can think of. I’d use’em. One bike to rule them all (roads, trails and tracks). I think Rivendell are close to the point but they don’t like discs or internal gear hubs (from what I’ve read which is most of the site). Their frames are as beautiful as they are overpriced (about the same as a titanium frame).

Guess I’m in the too small a market-niche to exploit category… and that’s okay with me. I can’t afford it anyway.


Lugs, wool, belt-drive and disc brakes

Rohloff put off (delay)

Procrastinating on the Rohloff install for the Big Dummy. Got a long weekend coming up where I can fit it in so finally will get it done! Not sure why but I’m expecting it to take all day. Setup tandem-length cables in ex-mech & shifter, remove derailleurs, install OEM2 plate, install cables, install shifter, install chain-tensioner, install 185mm disc rotor, fit wheel, and test run.

Maybe some “brake noodles” for the shifter and on the ex-mech. Something like these:

Rohloff put off (delay)

Rohloff Arrived – BBBBB pt. 2

My first Rohloff has arrived, not that I have a 2nd one coming, and I’m a bit excited to get it fitted on to the Big Dummy. A used item that has done about 5,000 kms so it’s just run in nicely, like a new car that has its engine break in period just finished. Ready to put in some power.

This is part of the Bike Build Bug Bites Back progress. I don’t really require a touring frame any more since the Big Dummy checks all the boxes. The only reason I could need a new frame is for overseas touring and I’m thinking a Bike Friday New World Tourist or a Tikit 11 (Alfine 11) with belt drive since a folder can fit in a small case for airline travel.

Here it is
Here it is

It’s fitted with a 160mm disc but my Big Dummy is set up with Avid 185mm discs that Wiggle don’t think exist. It was packed well with a softly inflated inner tube around it to protect the rim. Worthy seller on eBay! Now to get it mounted and tested before my opportunity to get compensation if it’s no good runs out.

Avid disc 185mm wigglewrong At least Wiggle sell those rotors cheaply.

Rohloff Arrived – BBBBB pt. 2

Bike Build Bug Bites Back – BBBBB pt. 1

So my bum is bitten by the bike building bug again. This time a do-it-all cyclocross-tourer – basically a 1970’s touring bike with all the bells and whistles of the 20-teens.

It’s looking expensive.
Genesis Croix De Fer in 931 Reynolds stainless tubing (drool).
Rohloff ex-mech disc speedhub.
Off-road drop bars (Salsa woodchipper 2, or On one Midge) with a Rohloff shifter something like this.
Avid BB7 mech disc
Cranks, whatever, probably some second hand Shimano 105.
Hubs – I’d like to run some boutique uber hubs: Chris King or Peter White, but may settle on good old Deore.
That’s pushing 5,000 buckeroos, but many weekend warriors part with their gear for a steal because their missus is busting their nuts over it (the psychology of that is really sad, seriously).

Any bike-hackers out there who can give some advice on how to put that Rohloff on the brifter – let me know.

Bike Build Bug Bites Back – BBBBB pt. 1

Stealth Belt Drive: Spot Ajax Belt

This showed up when I did my monthly search for belt drive gear hub bikes.

A very nice looking 7005 aluminium belt drive commuter/urban bike with carbon disc-brake forks. The Spot website even claims enough bidons/mounting-points for fenders AND racks. This I have to see.

Spot Ajax Belt on Spot’s website

Unfortunately it seems to be a new release (2011) and I’ve not seen any of them guarded and racked up in slick urban bike goodness.

My only gripe is the rather Hipster-ish moustachio handle bars. The option for drop bars with Versa or Essex brifters would be very nice. It’d look quite nice with Thickslicks on those rims, too.

Hey Spot Bikes: send me one for review in Melbourne, Australia. I take my bikes on trains with hundreds of people on-board that have nothing to do but play with their phones. If it’s better than the Cannondale Bad Boy 8 I’ll upgrade!


imageOther reviews:

Stealth Belt Drive: Spot Ajax Belt