Rohloff changes for 2016

It was only as i was looking at a thru axle bike that I was wondering if a Rohloff could be be retrofitted for them. But the news on looking is even better ….

FOR 2016 – Three big new changes have been revealed: there are 12mm thru axle hubs, new post-mount axleplates and a cheaper, completely new sprocket design which can be retrofitted to ANY Rohloff hub!

Rohloff Speedhub XL

1. 12mm Thru Axle Compatibility

The Speedhub 500/14 A12 is designed for 12mm DT-Maxle, X-12 Syntace and Shimano E Thru frames. In fact, this is the first internally geared hub to be available in the thru axle design. Unfortunately, current Rohloff users are not able to convert their current hubs to suit thru axles.

Rohloff thru axle hubs will be available in three different widths: 142mm, 177mm and 197mm.

142×12 is becoming a popular standard for cyclocross and mountain bike frames and is somewhat likely to be found soon on touring bikes. 177mm and 197mm hub spacing are reserved for fat bikes which typically use 4-5 inch wide tyres. It’s interesting that there is no 148mm version, a standard becoming popular on both 27+ and 29+ bikes.

Rohloff Speedhub A12 142mmRohloff Speedhub A12 Fat

2. Post Mount Brake Axleplates

If your frame doesn’t have a Rohloff dropout, but instead has a post-mount brake, you’re in luck. Six new axle plates have been released catering for 135, 142, 170, 177, 190 and 197mm rear axles. That makes Rohloff compatibility much better for any frame not specifically designed around these hubs.

Rohloff Speedhub PM Bone

Rohloff Speedhub Fat Bone

3. New Sprocket Adapters

The current sprocket style is screw-on; Rohloff owners know how much of a pain these cogs are to get off! For 2016, the latest sprocket design is splined, and all you need is an adapter kit and cog to upgrade. The adapter fits to the existing driver allowing splined sprockets to slide right on, and here’s the best bit: all you need is a flat head screwdriver to replace a rear cog. Prise the circlip off and on and you’re done. No chainwhips or spanners required!

Rohloff Speedhub Splined SprocketRohloff Speedhub Splined Sprockets

A ride to change my minds focus – a great Saturday

The great ride

So I read on Friday that the Mediterranean blow torch was on its way. Not a result of the Scottish referendum which is another whole blog post which I won’t be writing but rather a band of warm weather that is headed up to the UK from Southern Europe. It is the last blast of an Indian summer and the driest September on record.
So Saturday was a day to hit the pave on the bike. Initially I had planned to take the road bike on the ferry and cycle around Arran which is a great ride but it meant taking up the whole day catching the train down to the ferry at 8:30am and only getting back to glasgow around 5:30pm. So I planned shorter and had a lazy morning in bed and then pulled back the curtains to the torrential rain.

Now here is a plug for an app for the iPhone and iPad called dark sky – it is a paid app but one which I have found to be really accurate. It even tells you where the nearest rain is so you could plan a route according to where the rain is and what direction the wind is blowing.

Well it was 11:15am and although it looked like a monsoon outside it said it was stopping at 11:30am so I got the bike out the cupboard / man shed and got dressed and filled the bidon and bang!!!!! Rain stopped just like that.

I left the flat in blazing sunshine with the rainwater still shining on the roads. I was on my touring bike – it’s hammered stainless mudguards actually being put to work rather that just looking beautiful like they normally are. The plan was to cycle up towards aberfoyle grab some lunch and then head back around 70-80km.

On the bike I was immediately smiling the sun was bright the weather was warmer than I thought and my vest gilet came off and I had to unzip my long sleeve Rapha top nearly to man medallion level to get some airflow. I was cursing that I had packed a full pannier to test the weight distribution of the bike and neglected to pack a short sleeve jersey.

The wind was very light and it seems that every bug and insect in scotland had taken to the air for one last sh*g pre death and I made the conscious decision to stop smiling to avoid having to pick the bugs out of my teeth all night. There was a lot of plant seed being plucked and floating through the air and the light was glorious.

There are so many times when I go out on my faster bike a Lynskey Cooper and a lot of the ride is spent gazing at my HR, cadence average, average speed trying to work out whether there are strava sections worth grabbing or Strava ‘friends’ to overtake on the leaderboard that I sometimes think I am missing the point.

As I neared Aberfoyle there is a section of the national bike network that leads into the town so I turned to go into town and ran smack into a friend who was up in that area for a wedding and who was out for a quick jaunt on his bike with a friend. He is more familiar with the area so i asked him which pub would be good to eat at …. IMG_6334.JPG

He mentioned the one with the best selection of Ales which isn’t the best idea when cycling. But my appetite whetted I went in for a soup some chips (fries) and a cheeky half pint of Ale. I think that Mediterranean diet of drinking at lunchtime had sunk in along with the air blowing north.


Aberfoyle is at the bottom of the Dukes Pass a small hill climb that I had never been up on the bike. The climb from the North side is pretty easy. But I went up from the south. I have a triple on the tourer but a compact 32/50 and an 11-28 is adequate with most people coping on a 17/19

Dukes Path ascent from the south according to VeloViewer
Dukes Path ascent from the south according to VeloViewer

It’s 2.5 miles at an average of 4.5% from the North, but quite a bit steeper from the South, average 8.5%

Here are the climb profiles on Ride with GPS….
From South:
From North:


At the top I took a pic of the sign got to the summit and debated whether to turn around. But the sunshine once again called to me and I headed along the loch to aberfoyle and then on to the road south again to Lake of Monteith and pass the monastery.
Wiki to the rescue – The Lake of Menteith (Scottish Gaelic “Lake of Menteith”), is a loch in Scotland, located on the Carse of Stirling, the flood plain of the upper reaches of the rivers Forth and Teith, upstream of Stirling. Until the early 19th century, the more usual Scottish name of Loch of Menteith was used. On the Blaeu Atlas of Scotland, 1654, it is named as Loch Inche mahumo. The only settlement of any size on the Lake of Menteith is Port of Menteith.

There are a number of small islands in the loch. On the largest, Inchmahome, is Inchmahome Priory, an ancient monastery. The priory served as refuge to Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1547. She was only four years old at the time and stayed for three weeks after the disastrous Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in September of that year.

The Loch is not particularly deep and can freeze over completely in exceptionally cold winters. If the ice becomes thick enough — at least 7 inches (18 cm)— an outdoor curling tournament called The Bonspiel or the Grand Match is held on the loch. The event can attract thousands of curlers despite its rarity. The last Grand Match was held in 1979. The planned 2010 Bonspiel was abandoned on health and safety grounds……..

I stopped here to phone home and say my mobile signal would last but that I would be back about 6:40pm …. Got in put the bike away and went down the road to my gym for a steam and to ease the muscles after those 125km …… What a great day….

Tested bike bits and thoughts.
Brooks saddle B17 – this is from my old brompton and had 500miles on it from Iraq so well worn in and very comfy. Weighty but fine for a touring bike where weight is not the issue.
mercian vincintore 631 Reynolds frame – like the saddle very comfortable.
Nitto rando bars – still not convinced as that are quite narrow at the top and I felt that I was gripping harder that I normally do and my arms were a bit sore that evening. Not sure if it is due to width of handlebars or the fact that the steel front fork carries more vibrations through it compared to the carbon fork on the lynskey.
Continental gatorskins 28mm tyres. Comfy and smooth.


New year – New wheels

Tis the season to be jolly – buy some toys and spend some lolly Nothing fancy just wheels to get the job done – reliable non-carbon non-aero

Hope pro 3 on Mavic open pro rims

Still to be ridden – but they sure look purdy

Porsche 911 inspired objects – this one a bike

The Next Design Challenge, promoted by Fast Company and Porsche, challenged leading designers to create their perfect bicycle and of the hundreds of entries they received, this is the highlight. Beautiful, don’t you think?

The competition stipulates that an object, smaller than a living room and bigger than a wallet, references three design elements taken from the iconic Porsche 911, one of the true design classics of the motoring world

David Schultz, Senior Lead User Experience Designer for Microsoft, took inspiration from the 911 and came up with this urban commuter described as a “fast, lightweight, simple, tough and timeless” design – it certainly looks all those things.

It’s a looker too and that would sit nicely in any garage that includes a 1973 Carrera RS in Gulf livery. Mind you, it’d sit nicely in your front room, basement, hall or shed.

The bike didn’t win this year’s competition. A concept hair dryer that makes a sound evoking the engine roar of a 911 did… baffling (if you’ll excuse slightly lame engine noise related pun).

And what does the winner of the competition get? Only a one-year lease on a brand new Porsche 911. Now, where’s my drawing pad and crayons… Although I wonder how you get hold of that bike?

Toys for the Two Wheeled Set (and the well heeled)


It doesn’t matter what you ride or how you ride, this is the time of year when the bike biz incites your lust for new stuff.

Whether you ride in shorts or a skinsuit, with hairy legs or shaved, in chunky shoes or carbon kicks, there is almost certainly something in the bike mags that’s got you drooling. There was so much good stuff at the Sea Otter Classic we needed a bib. Everywhere we looked, we saw something that had us reaching for our wallets.

Here’s a small sampling of the stuff that made our list.

Pactimo, Day of the Dead Jersey

If you’re looking to stand out from the pack – and what cyclist wrapped from head to toe in what their friends affectionately call “Spandex” isn’t – look no further than Pactimo’s limited-edition designer jerseys. The Denver-based outfit works with a laundry list of designers, some of whom actually have cycling backgrounds, to deliver wearable art that works.

“You can show up on a ride with something completely different than anybody else has,” said Karl Heidgen, VP of Custom Sales. “Keep it different.”

Pactimo’s been making gear for eight years, and started with a simple idea: Focus on custom kits for individual riders, smallish teams and their private label business. The designer gallery is an opportunity to engage their growing customer base without the hassle of going into the retail space.

The vibrantly colorful Day of the Dead kit designed by Arlene Pederson is available in a jersey with a matching bib for men and jersey/shorts for women. Other designers who’ve worked with Pactimo include Gregory Klein, Kristin Mayer and Miguel Paredes.

Want one? Better move fast. Each design is limited to 100 pieces.



Colnago C59 Disc

If there was ever any concern that disc brakes would look like hell on a road bike, check out the Colnago C59 Disc. We couldn’t take our eyes off it. It’s a thing of beauty.

Colnago took the C59 and redesigned the chainstays and fork to compensate for the force of braking moving downward from the traditional brake locations. What the bike gains in weight beefing up the frame and fork has been matched (almost) by the weight saved by running discs over traditional road brakes. Look for the weight to keep falling as the technology improves.

So far Colnago isn’t saying whether we’ll see the C59 Disc as a frameset or complete bike, and it definitely did not mention price.


Smith Pivlock V2 Max

Pivlock shades may not be the trendiest-looking shades, but if you prefer function to form, Smith has you covered.

The Pivlock was designed specifically for athletes, which means you can keep your eyes on the road regardless of what the terrain throws at you. They feature an adjustable nosepiece to keep ‘em where you want ‘em and three sets of lenses: clear, rose and dark. Changing lenses is a snap, too.

They come in a variety colors and are available in the smaller Pivlock V2.



Moots MX Divide

Moots is no Johnny-come-lately to the big wheel game. It arguably was the first to the table a dozen years ago with the YBB 29er, and it’s upping the ante with the MX Divide.

“Our goal was to build a really well-balanced cross-country and recreational bike,” said company president Rob Mitchell.

Moots drew from its long history of lustworthy mountain rides when designing the MX Divide. It is one oversized titanium tube after another, beautifully welded by builders who can only be called craftsmen. The front triangle joins the rear end via a carbon link, keeping weight down and stiffness up. The ride is plush throughout its four inches of travel, with minimal bobbing.

We can’t wait for Moots to send us one for a thorough and thoughtful review. (Rob, you still have our number, right?)

$4995 frame


Patterson Transmission

If you have been thinking about a belt-driven commuter bike but concerned about being locked into a bike with meager gearing choices, stop worrying. Patterson’s just doubled your choices.

The Transmission is a two-speed planetary crankset, with internal gearing equivalent to 28- and 45-tooth chainrings. The crankset has been available in a chain version for about a year, and the new belt drive converter lets you run a Gates carbon drive. It couldn’t be easier, too.

“It’s like a Mr. Potato Head,” said Sam Patterson, who invented it. “You can yank one piece off and slide another one on. Super simple inside.”

Dave Lev of TI Cycles used a belt-drive Transmission on the rig that won “Best Experimental Bike” at this year’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show. We saw a few other manufacturers chatting Patterson up at Sea Otter, so you’ll probably see them showing up on other rides soon.



Cardo Communications System

Trying to chat up your riding buddy can be a frustrating experience. Even chatting up the stoker on your tandem can be a challenge. It doesn’t have to be.

Cardo has been making motorcycle Bluetooth communication systems since 2002. You can see where this is going – the company has designed a helmet-to-helmet system specifically for bicyclists. It can accommodate three riders, and with a range of half a mile, they’ll hear you complaining about the pace before you fall off the back for good.

Once they’ve dropped you, you can pair your headset to any Bluetooth device so you can listen to your iPod or call home and ask for a ride.

$269.95 single / $469.95 pair


Yeti SB95

Spotting this at Sea Otter was a bit like catching a glimpse of Bigfoot – we’ve heard it existed, but never expected to see it.

Yeti’s big-wheeler is so hot the Golden, Colorado, company can’t build ‘em fast enough. And for good reason. This is a bike you can spend all day on, riding just about everything from technical twisties to fast fire roads. Built using Yeti’s very own Switch Technology and redesigned with the 29er platform in mind, this five-inch trail bike looks to be loads of fun. The SB95 has a low top tube providing ample stand-over height, it’s through-axle compatible and has short chainstays. This bike would be great for riders transitioning from a 26er.

“It’s pretty damn fun and it will make you faster on a lot of trails,” said Dave Ziegman, Yeti R&D/Test Rider.

Want one? The line starts behind us.



Kappius Hubs

How many points of contact are enough?

Russ Kappius kept asking himself this question, mostly because he didn’t think guys like Shimano have enough in their rear cassettes. He gave the whole design a serious rethink and came up with his own number. That number is 240. (even my favourite Chris King Hubs only have 45 teeth)

That’s an astronomical figure, given that the average rear hub has between 18 and 36 and even the incredibly awesome Industry Nine Hubs have 120. To accomplish this, Kappius redesigned the hub, clearing out the area beneath the cogset to install an oversize spline. That spline sits atop an externally mounted drive. We’re still wrapping our heads around it, but Kappius claims the system is stronger, with less play and better power transfer.

The goal was building a bombproof hub that doesn’t weigh a ton and is super easy to use. He appears to have succeeded; his mountain bike hub weighs 269 grams, and the cassette slips right on. No chainwhip or cog tool required.

And the sound? Oh, the sound. It’s like angry bees on steroids. We’re not sure our riding partners will like it, but we love it.

$699 rear / $299 front


Shimano Shadow Plus

Shimano is trickling down the rear derailleur stabilization tech from its flagship XTR mountain group to those of us without sacks of cash to spend on gear. The new Shadow Plus system promises fewer dropped chains, better control, less slap and a quieter ride.

What’s not to like?

Well, the tech carries a heftier price and a bit more weight than the current Shimano offerings. But they believe the advantages outweigh the drawbacks and the resulting shifting stability makes switching a no-brainer.

Of course, SRAM offers similar technology, called the Roller Bearing Clutch. So there is that.


Camelbak, All Clear

Few things suck more than having to drink nasty water or not being able to drink it at all. Camelbak is here to help with a UV system that purifies water in just 60 seconds.

It couldn’t be easier. The UV bulb is built into the cap. Pour in water, turn the indicator on, swirl the whole thing around a few times and wait. An LCD screen tells you when you’re good to go.

Camelbak says the system eliminates more than 99.9 percent of bacteria, viruses and protozoa. Yummy!



Danny Shane, Cross-Hybrid polo

Danny Shane’s been making jerseys for about two years and introduces the Cross-hybrid polo, a top designed to be worn after you get off the bike. A fashion piece, if you will.

Each jersey is infused with white ash, produced by burning bamboo, and said to be breathable, light and stink-resistant. We tried one, and everything Danny Shane says is true. These jerseys are comfy. And plaid. Very, very plaid.

“We’re really inspired by the European cycling culture,” said sales manager Christian Beer. “Argyle has been popular, but nobody has done the plaid before.”


Intense Hard Eddie

Intense made its rep building big-travel bikes for the downhill set, so it’s a surprise to see it wandering into hardtail, 29er territory. Hard Eddie is a bike those of us who aren’t into big air can love.

Hard Eddie frame comes in at impressive 2.7 lbs, with 135 mm, 142 mm or single-speed rear dropouts. Regardless of whether you’re building a lightweight single speed or put a freeride rig with 100 mm of travel, you’re covered. This is a smoking-hot package from a bike company with legit cred.

$1889 frame / $430 rigid fork


Teva Links Mid

To anyone who was actually around in the 1980s, the thought of Tevas being at all cool may seem wrong on many levels. But the company has come out with a freeride mountain-specific cycling shoe that is, dare we say it, fashionable and functional.

The Links Mid is, as the name suggests, a mid-height cut of the brand’s popular Link mountain shoe. It’s got flexible armor across the toe, a sole designed to play well with pedals and something called ion-mask technology to make them waterproof.

Light, comfortable and stylish? Yes. Seriously. Look for them by the end of May in any color you like as long as it’s black.



2013 Giant Anthem X Advanced 29er

The number-one-selling full suspension bike in Giant’s stable gets a revamp for 2013. The top-of-line version now has a carbon fiber front triangle and is lighter, stiffer and sexier.

The Anthem X slimmed down and stiffened up. Giant claims the new frame is 7 percent stiffer up front. The headset is the super-beefy Overdrive2, and the impressive girth of the downtube makes it appear the Anthem will take anything you throw at it. This is one stunningly attractive race-ready ride, with a claimed weight of 23 pounds.

It’s also insanely expensive. The range-topping Anthem X Advanced 0 will run you $8,900.

“The catch, if you will, with composites is obviously price, so we will continue to sell the aluminum version,” said Andrew Juskaitis, Giant marketing. “It’s the hand labor that goes into producing a frame like this. There’s no way around it. There is no way to automate it. This is something that takes a long time to build by hand.”

When do IGHs make sense? (via The Lazy Randonneur)

Great article on my favourite subject – geared hubs – but coming back to this as keen to get a Surly Cross check with a geared hub of some sort.

When do IGHs make sense? I’m a fan of IGHs.  I’ve got 2 Rohloffs, 2 Nexus 8s and an Alfine 8 in service in addition to a number of derailleur equipped bikes. There are a lot of things to like about IGHs: low maintenance hard to break in accident or during shipping/transport clean looking drivetrain easy to use sequential gearing builds up into a strong dishles … Read More

via The Lazy Randonneur

Roll-Off??? (via flamme rouge) aka Rohloff

Roll-Off??? Being a rider who [edit 28/7/10] used to change gear using the old fashioned method (derailleur), I have had a fascination for some time with hub gears.  Partly because I don’t have a bike so equipped, partly because I like the idea of over built German engineering, and partly because I also appreciate the fact that they provide a superior solution to the problem of ratio-shifting, I have a keen interest in the subject.  And, let’s face it, it is … Read More

via flamme rouge