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Cycle Monkey

Internal Gearing Specialists, Bicycle Distribution & Service Center

Rohloff-Equipped Rivendell Sam Hillborne

We built this Rivendell Sam Hillborne up for a local customer in Redwood City, CA.  He had originally purchased the frame from Rivendell with the intention of building it up with a conventional drivetrain but later decided he wanted to use a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14.  He came to us for the Rohloff hub, rims, spokes and a wheel building lesson and later came back for a Schmidt dynamo front hub.  After building his first wheels, he then came back to have us check them over and assemble the bike.Rivendell markets the Sam Hillborne as a value-oriented all-around/do-everything road bike.  Like all Rivendell frames, it is built out of steel.  It has clearance for 40mm tires so you can take it on dirt roads more comfortably.  Rack and fender mounts allow it to be set up for regular commuting or running errands.  As built, the bike is set up with tall, swept-back bars for a very comfortable, upright riding position.  The rest of the parts are all top quality items from companies that we work with regularly, selected for performance and durability.This project shows a good example of an aftermarket Rohloff conversion.  The Rivendell frames have no Rohloff-specific features nor disc brake mounts that the SPEEDHUB 500/14 axle could be anchored to.  A torque arm is connected to the left chainstay to handle the output torque of the SPEEDHUB 500/14, a Rohloff chain tensioner is used to keep the chain in place, and the shift cables are zip-tied to the frame. The cables follow our preferred routing: down the down tube, under the bottom bracket shell, and along the left chain stay.  However, with the torque arm in place below the left chain stay, the external shift mechanism cannot be positioned below the dropout due to interference between these two components.  In this situation, the cable routing is often changed to follow the top tube, then down the seat stay with the external shift mechanism located above and behind the dropout. As with the Spot Acme conversion we did earlier in the year, the top tube cable routing option would have resulted in interference issues, this time with the rack, so we looped the cables down and under the torque arm.  A re-usable zip-tie is used to tether the cables to the torque arm and still allow for easy wheel removal.Build details

  • Frame: Rivendell Sam Hillborne steel
  • Fork: Rivendell Sam Hillborne steel
  • Stem: Nitto
  • Handlebar: Nitto Albatross
  • Shifter: Rohloff
  • Grips: ESI
  • Seatpost: Nitto
  • Saddle: Brooks B17
  • Front Hub: Schmidt SON Delux
  • Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
  • Spokes: Sapim Race
  • Nipples: Sapim Brass
  • Rims: Velocity Dyad
  • Tires: Schwalbe Big Apple
  • Skewers: Shimano
  • Cranks: White Indsutries VBC
  • Bottom Bracket: Phil Wood
  • Chainring: White Industries VBC
  • Chain Tensioner: Rohloff
  • Brakes and Levers: Tektro
  • Pedals: MKS Grip King
  • Racks: Nitto