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Cycle Monkey

Internal Gearing Specialists, Bicycle Distribution & Service Center

Renovo Wood Commuting/Light Touring Bike with Rohloff SPEEDHUB and Belt Drive

We assembled this unique bike for a local customer in San Francisco, CA. He wanted a classy bike to commute to work on and go on weekend rides throughout the Marin Headlands. Since he works in the solar energy field, he was drawn to renewable aspects of a wood frame. He commissioned the frame through Renovo and worked with us on parts spec and build up once the frame arrived. The Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 internal gear hub, Gates Carbon Drive belt system, and Schmidt dynamo hub cater to his technical background as well as being "green" due to the fact that they are extremely long lasting components which do not require frequent replacement.

Renovo has been making wood bike frames since 2007 for just about all types of riding. Wood as a frame material is supposed to provide a very smooth ride by flexing just enough to absorb small bumps while remaining stiff during pedaling and cornering. Renovo offers various customization options through their custom frame program, including internal cable routing for the rear brake and Rohloff shift cables as seen on this frame. Their frames allow a belt to fit into the rear triangle by default due to the bolted connection between the dropout and seat stay, and we used a Trickstuff Exzentriker thread-in eccentric bottom bracket to provide chain tension.

For wheels, we used Velocity's Aileron rims and laced them to the Rohloff and Schmidt hubs using Sapim Race double butted spokes and red alloy nipples to match the hubs, headlight, and headset. The Aileron rims are wide and relatively tall aluminum road/cyclocross rims that were designed for easy tubeless setup, which matched up nicely with the Hutchinson Sector tubeless tires.

The Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 is ideally suited for commuter and city bikes. As bikes that typically lead a hard life but must be reliable to be of service, the SPEEDHUB is a natural choice for the drivetrain. The only maintenance this drivetrain typically needs is an annual oil change, which can easily be done by the rider at home. This helps avoid time consuming service visits, downtime while the bike is at the shop, and most of the frequently needed replacement parts and adjustments. The SPEEDHUB remains reliable for years and years and rarely requires serious maintenance. Rohloff's hubs take most of the interruptions out of the equation of owning a transportation bike while still offering the ability to change gears and have an efficient drivetrain. The Gates Carbon Drive belt system compliments the Rohloff hub as a maintenance-free drive member with a long lifespan.

The rest of the build was mostly top quality parts selected with comfort, quality & reliability, and fit & finish in mind.

This build came out great, and the owner was very pleased when he came to pick it up.  If you’re looking for a new commuter or city bike of your own, contact us to start a conversation about what we can put together for you!

Build Details:

• Frame: Renovo Firewood Custom
• Fork: Spot CX, Custom Painted
• Headset: Chris King NoThreadSet
• Stem: Thomson X4
• Handlebar: Salsa Cowbell
• Shifter: Co-Motion Twist Shifter
• Seatpost: Thomson Elite
• Saddle: Selle Anatomica X-Series, Watershed Leather
• Front Hub: Schmidt SON28 ISO Disc
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Spokes: Sapim Race
• Nipples: Sapim Aluminum
• Rims: Velocity Aileron
• Tires: Hutchinson Sector Tubeless
• Bottom Bracket: Trickstuff Exzentriker
• Cranks: Middleburn RS-8, 130mm Spider
• Pedals: Shimano XT Trekking
• Chain ring: Gates Centertrack 
• Rear Sprocket: Gates Centertrack for Rohloff
• Chain: Gates Centertrack
• Brakes & Levers: TRP Hylex Hydraulic
• Light: Schmidt Edelux II