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Cycle Monkey

Internal Gearing Specialists, Bicycle Distribution & Service Center

Rohloff-Equipped Soulcraft Road Bike

Custom Soulcraft frame in sea-foam green.We built up this custom Soulcraft for a customer who had a very specific road bike in mind. He had searched in vain for a production frame to suit his needs, but couldn't find anything available on the market. After deciding that a custom frame would be his best option, he contacted Soulcraft, a local Northern California framebuilder, to make his dream bike a reality. With his one-of-a-kind frame in hand, he came to us to build up the rest of the bike around the Rohloff gearing system.Our customer was looking for a comfortable yet nimble road bike that he could take on all-day rides without straining his neck, back, or shoulders. He requested a taller headtube on the frame to give him a slightly more upright seating position, yet he still wanted it to have a quick-handling ride quality like a traditional road bike. He also knew that he wanted to use a Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14, so the frame was made specially for the hub – braze-ons for Rohloff cable routing, no derailleur hanger, and a sliding dropout with a bolt for an axle plate to secure the hub's axle in place.Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 with Rohloff-specific dropout design.Because our customer likes to go for long road rides, he knew the Rohloff SPEEDHUB would work well for his riding style. The internally housed mechanics of the shift system are extremely durable and only need to be serviced with a new oil bath once a year. Long rides normally take you miles away from any bike shop, so a reliable shift system is a priority for endurance riding. Knowing he did not want to be stuck mid-ride on a desolate country road with derailleur problems, our customer figured the SPEEDHUB was the perfect hub for his needs.We have long believed a wheelset truly “makes” the ride. Wheels play a large part in the ride quality and general feel of any bike. Much like a custom frame is tuned for a given rider, custom wheels can be tuned the same way. For the wheels on this bike, we used Velocity’s A23 road rims because the wider footprint allows the tire to spread out more, providing more comfort, control, and traction. We used White Industries’ American-made MI5 front hub and the SPEEDHUB on the rear. The polished silver color of the rims and hubs matched perfectly, making for quite a shiny, vintage-looking wheelset.White Industries is another local company we have come to trust. They have been making parts in Northern California for nearly 40 years, and have a reputation for very precisely machined components. For these reasons, we chose a White Industries crankset, bottom bracket, and chainwheel for the Soulcraft.Nitto Classic handlebars.Finally, we set up the cockpit. We chose Nitto’s classically shaped drop bars, paired them with a Nitto stem, and mounted the Rohloff shifter on the end of the bar with a Hubbub adapter. Lastly, we wrapped the bars in tan Deda tape to compliment the Gilles Berthoud leather saddle.This custom frame was a joy to build, and we were excited about the Rohloff-specific features designed into the frame. We expect our customer will enjoy this no-frills, durable road bike for years to come. Contact us to discuss whether a Rohloff-equipped road bike is in your future.Build Details:•  Frame: Soulcraft custom steel road•  Fork: Soulcraft steel•  Headset: Chris King NoThreadset•  Stem: Nitto UI85EX•  Handlebar: Nitto Classic•  Shifter: Rohloff•  Bar Tape: Deda•  Seatpost: Paul Component Engineering Tall and Handsome•  Saddle: Gilles Berthoud leather•  Front Hub: White Industries MI5•  Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14•  Spokes: Sapim Laser•  Nipples: Sapim brass•  Rims: Velocity A23•  Tires: Schwalbe Durano Plus•  Cranks: White Industries VBC Road•  Bottom Bracket: Phil Wood Stainless•  Chainring: White Industries VBC•  Pedals: Shimano Ultegra•  Chain: Wipperman 8sX•  Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace•  Levers: Shimano R600