Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wish List

This wheel with a Rohloff Speed Hub came in for re-lacing recently
Every cyclist has a "wish list". A set of components or bicycles that, if say- you won the lottery today- you'd run out and buy for yourself. I am no different in that department, so I figured, hey! Why not just put it out there. It could be fun, and who knows? They say if you write down your dreams, they are more likely to come true. So, here ya go......

Heading up my "wish list" is a component that I've been intrigued with for several years now. The Rohloff Speed Hub is an internal gear hub featuring 14 speeds. It isn't some gimmicky piece of bicycle engineering either, these hubs have been proven to be a working, reliable, durable component. It would essentially replace the drive train on one of my bicycles and I already have one in mind for this sort of hub. By that I mean that I already have the bicycle I would put one of these on, well......actually two! Why not? I mean, heck......it's a wish list, fer cryin' out loud. One would be a fat bike. The other is currently a drop bar single speed bike. At approximately $1500.00 plus to almost $1800.00 for a hub alone, (depends upon the exact model you want), this hub is a lot of money up front for something I'd just like to give a try. I mean, I may not like it, because I've never ridden one. So, it remains a wish list item to this day.....

That said, the benefits to fat biking and mucky-muck gravel road riding are plain to see. No derailleur to rip off, and a single speed chain, a rear driver cog, and a chain ring will go through a whole lot of stuff a derailleur drive train will not. The wide gearing range is there, so it makes a lot of sense. On a fat bike you get a better tire clearance with the chain to boot. No worries about dragging a chain on the rear tire in low gear there.

Still, that hub price! Ouch!

Big Dummy. Image courtesy of Surly Bikes
Next up would be a Surly Big Dummy frame and fork. I have had an 80's era Schwinn mountain bike set up with an XtraCycle long tail add on for a long time, and I love being able to carry almost anything with the set up, however, it has its drawbacks. For one thing, my set up is a bike + add on, which makes for flexy flying under heavy loads. Not to mention the weak brakes, and limited tire clearances. I would use this more if it were a turnkey, integrated long tail solution, which is what the Big Dummy frame and fork is. I don't really need a complete Big Dummy, but hey! This is a wish list, so.... But my thoughts were that, ya know, I do have plenty of spare parts and I could almost kit out a full build for a Big Dummy with just what I have laying about.

That would leave me with a much stiffer, better braking, better handling cargo bike that I would use a lot more than my current XtraCycled Schwinn I have now. In fact, it probably would replace my current townie bike as well. The frame and fork, for me, aren't out of the realm of purchasing, but other small projects in my cycling world tend to push this back on the back burner too often.

These would be the kind of wheels I would put on a Big Dummy

Finally, for this edition of the "Wish List", I would add the Surly Extraterrestrial tires mounted to Velocity Blunt 35 rims,  and a set of disc brake hubs of some sort. Those would go on the above Big Dummy frame and fork.

My Project 1X1 Surly bike has similar wheels, only with the Velocity Cliff Hanger rims, and this wheel set up is a phenomenally great ride and would be perfect for a Big Dummy, in my opinion. You'd get a tubeless set up for worry free urban riding, a cushy ride feel, and those big fat meats just are awesome looking on a bike. That's an important technical consideration, by the way.

Well, that's maybe not the list you might expect me to write up, and certainly, if I really thought I was going to win the lottery, (which I will not, since I don't play it), I would really shoot for the moon. No, this is a "wish list" based somewhat on reality! Reality and practicality. It would be stuff I really would put to good use, and would allow me to accomplish leaving the car/truck at home even more often than I do already. It is a list of stuff I have been thinking about for a long, long time. Maybe, as I stated above, since I've written about it, I will be more focused on actually doing something about it. Maybe.....

But then there are things like $1250.00 timing belt jobs for the "Truck With No Name" that need to be done sooner than later, house maintenance stuff I need to spend some money to get done, and more. Not to mention getting that Twin Six bike up and running, fixing the Vaya so I can ride it, and getting that bottom bracket out of that Karate Monkey, which I've written about several times here.

On second thought, that Karate Monkey reminds me that writing about stuff doesn't really help get things done after all. It's all just wishful thinking, I suppose!

13 comments:

Bruce Brown said...

Rohloff hub for sale (lightly used) on Midwest Velo Swap I saw this morning. I think they were asking $900 which includes a drop bar shifter. Still pricey for a "want to give it a try", but I thought I'd mention it to you.

Guitar Ted said...

@Bruce Brown: Yeah...... Saw that as well. Great price, bad timing- for me anyway. Thanks for thinking of me though!

Exhausted_Auk said...

Gotta go for a Colnago with Super Record EPS, Mark! BTW, absolutely love my Big Dummy, and wish I had good reason to ride it more often.

Tyler Loewens said...

Do they make a fat bike spaced hub like that? 190ta?

Guitar Ted said...

@Tyler Loewens- Not that I am aware of. They just make the 170mm OLD hubs now, which would fit two fat bikes I have here.

Doug Goodenough said...

I like my Rohloff on my 29+ all terrain bikepacking pugsley but I hear they don't work so well in cold temps so maybe not the best application for a snow bike?

Guitar Ted said...

@ Doug Goodenough - I know Rohloff has a "winter" weight oil you can use for the internals. I would think one could use something that would make it work okay in colder temperatures.

Timmer said...

Rather than a Big Dummy, think about a Krampus with the new Xtracycle Leap conversion kit. The Leap is freaking great and cures the stiffness challenge that was always there with the FreeRad. Ross @ Xtracycle has been testing the Leap on the Krampus for bikepacking.

Guitar Ted said...

@Timmer: Really? I hadn't heard about this. Tell me more.....please!

Exhausted_Auk said...

You wouldn't need a Krampus with the Leap. Plenty of regular 29ers can fit a 29+ front tire.

Tim S. said...

Ted - Yes. Just got a note from Xtracycle that they plan to send out more info on Leap availability this week. Couple good videos on it on their YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/2uNk3TzgT_0?t=28m4s

That link (if it comes through) starts you at 28min in and should be a photo of a Krampus with the Leap bolted on.

Guitar Ted said...

@Tim S- Many thanks!! I saw the Krampus with the Leap bolted on. I also listened to the rest of that video. I think that from what I am hearing, I am going to be better off with the Big Dummy after all. Not only from the singularity of the frame, but from the handling department as well. Cost would end up being less for me, actually, if I went with the Big Dummy, so there is that as well.

Tim S. said...

Ted - Truly nothing wrong with a Dummy. :) Great bikes. I wish Surly would offer with a Shimano or Bosch mid-drive. That Bosch with the Nuvinci hub and autoshift is crazy cool.