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  1. #1
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    Spot ACME First Impressions

    Had my Spot Acme for less than a week now and I'm really loving it.



    Mine is the 2011 model with the new CenterTrack belt system. Also has the classic style swept back handle bars and grey/metallic paint...2012 model gets the flatbar & hand-polished alu finish.

    I found the classic handlebar gave the bike a twitchy feel and wasn't my liking...so I've swapped to a 15 degree riser bar and this has transformed the feel of the bike for the better. Still breaking in the nice quailty WTB seat...though if it doesn't come in soon I might be looking to swap to something more comfy (I'm an old guy!). I had a Salle Royal on my last bike that was very good.


    The Alfine 11 speed hub & belt drive are truly wonderful! I'm doing 14 miles on my dailiy work commute on paved/gravel paths and city roads. Gear range seems tailor made for my route...maybe lost some top gear range going down the steepest hills...on my former hybrid (Devinci Helsinki 18 spd) I would top out on that hill at about 28 mph...not sure I ever need/should be going that fast :-)
    The lowest gear still gets me to the top of some pretty decent slopes with the same effort on the Helsinki.

    I've also fitted the ACME with a Tooba rear rack and Ortlieb DownTown bag. The QL-3 mounting system option for the bag is a huge improvement over other mounts I've seen on panniers. You just lower the bag onto the rack-mounted catches and it clicks in place with no effort. Lifting up with the bag's handle just unhooks from the catches again with no effort...sweet! It's perfect for the multiple trips a day type of on/off activity I need.

    I'm researching kickstands...anyone have suggestions?

    Thanks.
    Mike.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Nice rig!



    As far as kickstands go, I will be trying out the Greenfield Stablilizer if/when my current one fails. Don't how it'd play with your frame, though...

  3. #3
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    I like it!

    Very clean lines, and it looks fast just standing still!

  4. #4
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    Very, very nice bike! Me likey both the form and the concept behind it.

  5. #5
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    Now one month on and the ACME is going strong. Many compliments from co-workers. Bike has a classic look to it that appeals to many folks. The belt drive is always giving my grins...so silent/smooth and working flawlessly. I no longer need to a pant clip on my ride to/from work. The disc brakes are working extremely well in the very wet conditions that are Vancouver winters.
    I do have the occasional gear jump fro the Alfine 11 spd. My local bike shop made a slight cable adjustment and thinks it might be due to wet weather leading to additional drag on the cable. Apparently Shimano now sells an upgrade kit to help prevent water intrusion into the cable system. We'll see how it goes. BTW, anyone interested in these Spot brand models should take a look at RealCyclist.com...they still have few 2011 models at closeout pricing before the 2012's arrive (which should be April-ish).

  6. #6
    Senior Member Zonker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TornadoCAN99 View Post
    Had my Spot Acme for less than a week now and I'm really loving it.



    Mine is the 2011 model with the new CenterTrack belt system. Also has the classic style swept back handle bars and grey/metallic paint...2012 model gets the flatbar & hand-polished alu finish.

    I found the classic handlebar gave the bike a twitchy feel and wasn't my liking...so I've swapped to a 15 degree riser bar and this has transformed the feel of the bike for the better. Still breaking in the nice quailty WTB seat...though if it doesn't come in soon I might be looking to swap to something more comfy (I'm an old guy!). I had a Salle Royal on my last bike that was very good.

    Thanks.
    Mike.
    Hi Mike, I've picked up an '11 and think it's a little small for me, but a guy from Spot told me to try a riser bar, so I ran across your post here. Looks like the new one has a 9 degree bar, is there any advantage to the 15? I don't know much abou riser bars. Did you use the same stem? I think it's flippable, did you leave it as is, or flip it?
    Regards,
    Eric

  7. #7
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Hey, I hadn't seen of these before. What a nice bike. Really like the belt drive with 11 speed hub and disc brakes. Great urban bike design.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  8. #8
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    Really nice bike. I love the idea of internal gear hubs and belt drive it's possibly the future of all bikes.
    2010 Custom Carbon JBC, 1990 Ricardo Pinnacle, 1988 Ricardo Elite, 1983 Ricardo Varsity, 1990 Peugeot Hurricane, 1977 Dawes Galaxy GT, 2007 Pinarello F3-13, Custom aussie made 1980 Columbus SL racer, 1975 Calton Rapide, 1995 Olympia Fusari, 1993 Basso Viper.

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    How's the weight on the Acme? I was just in the shop talking to the guys about this and they thought that the Alfine hub was pretty heavy and that might be a big deterrent. I'm trying to find the perfect city bike for Chicago and thought this might be the one.

  10. #10
    Bike rider alexaschwanden's Avatar
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    Awesome bike.
    2013 Felt 960 29er MTB. 1,090.4 miles
    2013 Raleigh Revenio 2.0. 178.5 miles

  11. #11
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wondering Nomad View Post
    How's the weight on the Acme? I was just in the shop talking to the guys about this and they thought that the Alfine hub was pretty heavy and that might be a big deterrent. I'm trying to find the perfect city bike for Chicago and thought this might be the one.
    I wouldn't get caught up in weight that much for a city bike used in a relatively flat terrain. You want rugged and reliable under all weather conditions.

    The Trek Soho Deluxe is pretty nice too. Uses the 8-speed internal hub with belt drive and a front disc brake.
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes.../soho_deluxe/#
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zonker View Post
    Hi Mike, I've picked up an '11 and think it's a little small for me, but a guy from Spot told me to try a riser bar, so I ran across your post here. Looks like the new one has a 9 degree bar, is there any advantage to the 15? I don't know much abou riser bars. Did you use the same stem? I think it's flippable, did you leave it as is, or flip it?
    Regards,
    Eric
    Zonker,
    Not sure what to tell you...I'm not knowledgeable about handlebar geometry..just grabbed one from a local shop that looks a bit higher than a flat bar. I did not flip the stem.
    I have since been to a bike fitting at my local shop...I have always had numbiness issue on my left hand for years now. They made quite a few adjustments to seat/seatposition/angle, bar position/trimmed length to bring hands closer...making shoulders more rolled forward. They also swapped out the stem for 110 riser. This has made a big difference in riding position...but I still get the numbiness so my quest for a solution continues.

    Bike is doing very well as of 3 months ridership...doing ~50 miles per week. I still have an occasional random shift issue going on with the alfine 11 spd. Mechanic thinks it might go away after more break-in miles. Cable adjustment is right where it should be.
    I'm now looking for a replacement saddle...went for an extended 3 hrs ride on the weekend and I'm still sore days later. Hope to find a nice Salle Royale like I had on my last bike.

  13. #13
    ^ JBC. jbchybridrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wondering Nomad View Post
    How's the weight on the Acme? I was just in the shop talking to the guys about this and they thought that the Alfine hub was pretty heavy and that might be a big deterrent. I'm trying to find the perfect city bike for Chicago and thought this might be the one.
    The hub would be heavier than other bikes but there's no derailleurs shifters or chain so weight could be the same or lighter than a traditional bike "Maybe"
    2010 Custom Carbon JBC, 1990 Ricardo Pinnacle, 1988 Ricardo Elite, 1983 Ricardo Varsity, 1990 Peugeot Hurricane, 1977 Dawes Galaxy GT, 2007 Pinarello F3-13, Custom aussie made 1980 Columbus SL racer, 1975 Calton Rapide, 1995 Olympia Fusari, 1993 Basso Viper.

  14. #14
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    I'm into my second season on the '11 Acme. I'm riding 11 miles round trip over hilly and wet Seattle. I had some initial problems with the Alfine 11, but Aaron Goss, the IGH Wizard sorted them out. Since then, it's been maintenance free and a total delight.

    I also like the hydraulic disk brakes. They are very sensitive and easy to keep set up.

    The only thing I notice is that I never use the top gears, but would love one more lower.

    My wife is a bike snob. She loves her carbon road bike, but loves the smooth feel of this bike for riding around town. I'm tempted to order her the Ajax - the 8 speed little brother to the Acme.

  15. #15
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krow View Post
    The only thing I notice is that I never use the top gears, but would love one more lower.
    .
    They use a Gates 46T pulley on the front and 24T on the rear for the Acme, with a 113T belt. However on the Spot Rocker SS they use the 46T on the front with a 28T on the rear with a 118T belt.

    I would think they should be able to swap out the 24T rear pulley for the 28T and replace the 113T belt with a 118T. That would shift your overall gear pattern down a couple of gears.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the idea, Tom. Unfortunately, the Alfine 11 sets a limit on the input ratio. The lowest allowed is around 1.9 (which the Acme uses). Swapping the 24T rear pulley for a 28T would take that to about 1.6 and would cause problems with the hub. Too bad, because that would be great otherwise. I've even been cautioned not to overload the hub by standing while climbing.

  17. #17
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    That is interesting.

    I did a little checking and found that a 46t-24t Alfine 11 setup would yield a gear inch range of approximately 27" to 110".

    This is wide for a road bike, but a bit short for a hybrid and well short for a mountain bike. Many hybrids have a lowest gear of around 22"-23" gear inches. A lot of road bikes don't go under 30-31, or even higher.

    I did read that Shimano does indeed recommend that the lowest crank/cog ratio should be 1.9. Else you are out of warranty. I've seen where people have gone with 46-28 combos in mountain bikes and just taken their chances.

    I am surprised that the only real difference between the Alfine 8 and the 11 are the addition of more top end gears. The low end is approximately the same.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  18. #18
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I have a Danish-style commuter bike where the gear inch range is 45" to 94". That 45" is way too high of a low gear for me. It's a single crank with 9 speed cassette. I'm planning mods that will change this to 31" to 95".
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  19. #19
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    My Spot ACME has been working extremely well since buying in March '12. Took it into a LBS to have a bottom bracket re-pack after getting some knocking developing through the crank arms. They did the bearing re-pack and adjusted belt tension. After picking up the bike the next day, the problem was gone...but a new issue appeared:

    photo.jpg

    They could not explain the damage...but have taken steps to source a new frame from the vendor in the States. They will swap over all my components.

    I'm bummed, but at least they are moving the make things right....

  20. #20
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    I have a much smaller version of that ding on my Spot. Unfortunately, I only have myself to blame. I put the bike on my workstand with the clamp around the top bar and tightened it a bit too much. My ding is annoying, but not nearly as big as this one. I'm glad to hear your LBS is replacing it - even if they aren't confessing to how it happened.
    Last edited by Krow; 08-16-12 at 10:52 AM.

  21. #21
    Drink my Koolaid MadProphet's Avatar
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    Really like this bike, but I think the 11 speeds would be a bit limiting on hills. I've talked with Joe at joebike in Portland and he's talked with Patterson and Gates about swapping to a Patterson drive up front. That would add a low-end of (I'm pretty sure) a 28t and a high of 46t. That would add up to the near perfect bike. I bought my Trek without a lot of research and I'm finding I'd like a little 'more' plus a simplified, d-less driveline. Just something I would like. My Trek shifts with zero problems, so it's got nothing to do with that. I'd like a little less weight, and probably a little more road orientation than my DS offers, without completely eliminating the ability to go dirt/gravel trails. And I'm not into drop bars as my back would never allow me that far over. The Acme looks, with the Patterson, to be a great solution.
    Trek DS 8.3 -> Trek Domane 2.0
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  22. #22
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    I'm still using the Acme as my main commuter and grocery bike. Like you, I wish I could get lower gear for the Seattle hills (especially with groceries). But, I still think that the Alfine 11 IGH will limit the input ratio to 1.9 (to stay within spec). Too much load on the IGH can damage it. If I was starting again, I'd look for a bike with the Alfine 8 IGH or research something that could get a lower bottom gear.

  23. #23
    Drink my Koolaid MadProphet's Avatar
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    Well, like I said, the Patterson offers a 28/48 and both Patterson and Shimano have given, if not written, then at least tacit, approval. That should do it for lower gears. We've got hills like Seattle has hills! My little town goes from 1100-2380 in about 5.5 miles. Even east-west it has about a 500' elevation change. Tough riding for a noob.

    I've read a LOT about the Alfine and seen lots of people pounding on them even as MTB'ers. So I'm hoping it would work out. I've also seen that joe-bikes offers the n360 for $100 more. But I've heard less good things about the Nuvinci under stress than the Alfine.
    Trek DS 8.3 -> Trek Domane 2.0
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