Bicycling has been my primary mode of transportation for the past decade. My Cannondale T2000 has been the main workhorse during this time, and it has served me well. Nonetheless, I'm always thinking of the next bike. There are things that are imperfect or inconvenient about even the most reliable machine, besides which I enjoy tinkering and I'm a bit of a sucker for cool new stuff. As I fine-tuned my requirements and desires for The Next Bike, a few things took priority:
- Internally geared hub. I find the cleaning, adjusting, and maintaining of derailleurs on an all-weather, all-purpose bike to be among the most tedious things about bicycling.
- Dynamo front hub. I ride quite a bit at night, and worrying about the charge state of my batteries was something I wanted to eliminate.
- Front disc brake. Again, an advantage for all-weather riding. Lack of responsiveness of my cantis in wet weather has been pretty scary at times, and keeping them in adjustment has been frustrating.
- Frame. I wanted steel with classic geometry. Also, I didn't want a chain tensioner with the IGH, partly for the minor efficiency difference, but mostly because I wanted a clean-looking drivetrain. Thus, the need for a horizontal dropout.
- Saddle. I started using a Brooks fairly recently and it's been a revelation. Had to go on the new bike.
Thus, the basis of this build was:
Salsa Casseroll frame - fit the frame criteria, and it looks cool.
Avid BB7 Road disc brake - the standard for disc with road levers.
Shimano dynohub - the Schmidt's small advantage in efficiency wasn't worth the 3x cost.
Rohloff IGH - Huge gear range; small, even gear increments; bombproof and nearly maintenance-free. Here's where only the best would do. I expect this hub to outlive me.
Brooks B17 Saddle
My LBS, Freeze Thaw Cycles, was great about talking me through various options, ordering and/or scrounging the somewhat obscure parts, and building the wheels. I fumbled through the rest of the build myself over the past three weekends.
OK, enough blah blah blah. On to the pictures.
Here's a shot of the Rohloff, non-drive side, showing the torque arm that keeps the axle fixed while the epicyclic gear train does its thing.
The Rohloff shifter is designed to be mounted on flat bars, so getting it to work with drop bars requires some sort of kludge; either a prefab thing like the HubBub, or some homebrew creativity. I fabricated my own mount, based on a suggestion from the LBS. I cut the end off an old flat bar, filed a curve in it, and cut some slots for a hose clamp. Here it is in its ugly, naked state:
And here it is wrapped in the bar tape:
A couple closeups of the drive train:
And last but not least, regardless of what you think of my bike, you have to concede that I have a pretty cool wife, who presented me with this Master's graduation present, before I got started on this project:
Frame - Salsa Casseroll 2008 53 cm
Fork - Nashbar carbon cyclocross
Rims - Salsa Delgado
Front hub - Shimano DH-3D71 dynamo
Rear hub - Rohloff CC, 16t cog
Tires - Panaracer Pasela Tourgard 32-622
Headset - Cane Creek S3
Stem - Ritchey Comp
Handlebars - Ritchey Biomax II
Bar tape - Salsa gel/cork
Seatpost - Kalloy Uno
Saddle - Brooks B17
Brake levers - Cane Creek SCR-5
Front brake - Avid BB7 Road with DT Swiss centerlock adapter
Rear brake - Tektro R538
Bottom bracket - Campagnolo square taper
Crankset - Campagnolo Mirage triple (used), 42t
Pedals - Nashbar Tourmalet
Chain - SRAM PC-1
Rack - Axiom Streamliner
Fenders - Velo Orange aluminum
Lights - Busch & Muller Lumotec IQ Fly N Plus front, B&M D'Toplight XS Plus rear