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Cycle Monkey

Internal Gearing Specialists, Bicycle Distribution & Service Center

Kish Fabrication Mountain Bike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14

This Kish mountain bike was put together by a customer of ours after he asked us to build a wheelset and anodize some parts for him. He had the frame custom built by Kish Fabrication, who hand builds road, mountain, and city bikes out of steel and titanium. This bike is designed around the popular 27.5” wheel diameter (aka 650b), an in-between size offering the fast rolling advantage of 29er wheels with the acceleration and maneuverability of 26 inch wheels. With a titanium frame, carbon fork, carbon wheels, and carbon cranks, the bike is extremely lightweight and set up with parts that rarely need maintenance. It weighs in at just 21 pounds, making it one of the lightest Rohloff SPEEDHUB equipped bikes we have seen.

Kish frames have been handmade by Jim Kish in North Carolina out of titanium and steel for 20 years. Titanium  Kish’s specialty  has a ride quality that is equally comfortable and forgiving as steel, but can be drawn into thinner tubes that come in at less than half the weight. It is the preferred material for riders who want a lightweight bike but are looking to avoid potentially delicate carbon fiber frames that don’t last as long in rocky environments. Kish offers all frames custom tailored to each rider’s specifications and riding style. This frame was designed as a versatile cross country-oriented bike suited to fast paced all around trail riding. It includes various customizations like Rohloff-specific cable routing and sliding dropouts to tension the SPEEDHUB's chain. It is designed to work with an 80 – 100mm travel suspension fork, although it has been outfitted with a lightweight rigid carbon fork for now.

For the wheelbuild we started with ENVE’s XC rims, one of the highest quality carbon rims available. The advantages of carbon are most immediately apparent in wheels, where rotating weight can make a huge difference in how a bike feels and handles. Lightweight carbon rims allow the bike to accelerate and slow down quickly, help the bike feel more maneuverable, and dramatically reduce rider fatigue on longer rides. ENVE’s carbon rims are all made in the United States, and are known as the standard bearer for carbon components. Using Sapim CX Ray spokes and brass nipples, we laced the rims to a Chris King hub in the front and a Rohloff SPEEDHUB in the rear. Before we laced the wheels, both hubs were disassembled and the hubshells were sent to our local anodizer for an eye catching light green color.

The Rohloff SPEEDHUB is known as the optimal drivetrain for long
distance touring bikes, but it has been making inroads on lightweight bikes designed for racing. These bikes are often equipped with delicate components that need to be serviced often. While race-oriented derailleurs and shifters make the bike feel speedy, their fragility keeps the bike in the shop and ends up discouraging riders. The SPEEDHUB however needs maintenance only once a year in the form of a simple oil change. Traditionally, the qualities of low weight and durability in a bike were mutually exclusive: riders often had to pick one or the other. Using a titanium frame, lightweight components, and the SPEEDHUB, this 21 pound build prove disproves that notion and provides the best
of both worlds.

In addition to anodizing both hubs, we had a number of other
parts anodized to match. The headset, headset spacers, grip lock rings, and replaceable dropouts were all anodized green to match the original color of the quick release skewers and seat collar. When installed on the bike, the anodized parts create very colorful accents that add an eye-catching quality to the matte titanium frame.

After we sent the wheelset and anodized parts to our customer, he built up the bike and sent us his photos and first impressions. He was very pleased with the look of the parts installed on the bike, and was impressed with the bombproof nature of the hub on the lightweight overall build.

If you’re looking for a similar lightweight SPEEDHUB-equipped bike of your own, contact us to start a conversation about what we can put together for you.
Build Details: 

• Frame: Kish Fabrication
• Fork: Ritchey WSC
• Headset: Chris King
• Stem: Ritchey WCS C260
• Handlebar: Easton EC90 SL
• Shifter: Rohloff
• Grips: ODI Ruffian
• Seat post: Ritchey WSC trail
• Saddle: WTB Pure V
• Seat Clamp: Salsa Lip Lock
• Front Hub: Chris King
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Brass
• Rims: ENVE XC
• Tires: Continental X King
• Cranks: Race Face Next SL
• Pedals: N/A
• Bottom Bracket: Race Face
• Chain ring: Race Face single
• Rear Sprocket: Rohloff
• Chain: Wipperman Connex 8sX
• Brakes & Levers: Shimano XTR
• Rotors: Shimano XTR