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Cycle Monkey

Internal Gearing Specialists, Bicycle Distribution & Service Center

Vassago Fisticuff with Rohloff SPEEDHUB

Vassago’s Fisticuff is billed as a “monster cross” bike that can handle everything from rough gravel roads to singletrack to daily commuting. Some people may look at it as a cyclocross bike with wider tires and others may look at it as a drop bar mountain bike.  Whatever you call it, the Fisticuff is an "all arounder" that feels just as at home on mountain bike trails as it does on long road rides. It makes you want to take off on an adventure, and pairing it with the Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 gives you the drivetrain to do so without any maintenance issues.The Fisticuff is built from a high quality heat treated steel tubeset, offering a resilient ride that takes the edge off of rough roads and trails. Compared to most cyclocross frames, the Fisticuff is reinforced in high stress areas to handle rougher trail use, making it nearly indestructible in normal road and 'cross riding conditions. Like most cyclocross bikes, the frame geometry offers a blend of road and mountain bike qualities. The front end and cockpit provide a body position similar to a road bike, and the rear end has a higher bottom bracket for trail clearance like a mountain bike. Chainstays are in between a road and a mountain bike, with a fairly short wheel base that can maneuver through twisty singletrack easily. It has both disc and cantilever brake mounts, clearance for 1.8" tires, and horizontal dropouts with adjustable chain tensioners, which make SPEEDHUB installation easier. The Fisticuff is one Vassago's more affordable imported models, along with the Jabberwocky, but they also offer Rohloff-friendly U.S.-made frames called the Optimus Ti, TKO, and Verhauen.We built up this Fisticuff with a sturdy wheelset that is capable of rougher off road riding. Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Flow mountain bike rims are strong and allow for wider tires than most other rims used on cyclocross frames. Sapim Race spokes offer a blend of strength and light weight, and brass nipples offer strength and corrosion resistance. We used a black Toxaholics front hub and a black Rohloff SPEEDHUB in the rear. Schwalbe’s versatile and flat-resistant Marathon Mondial tires offer good mixed surface traction.As a heavy duty adventure-style bike designed for many different trails and roads, the Fisticuff is well suited for the Rohloff SPEEDHUB. The SPEEDHUB’s shift system is entirely protected within the hubshell, so it is not exposed to road grit, rocks, sticks or anything else that may damage or affect a derailleur system’s shifting on long rides or rough trails. By combining the SPEEDHUB with the solid steel frame, this build offers a nearly bombproof ride that rarely needs to be tuned up even after the roughest rides.We used a range top shelf components to round out the build. Raceface’s Turbine cranks, WTB Valcon saddle, and Thomson stem and seatpost are very strong with a fairly light overall weight, and Avid’s BB_7 road brakes and Cane Creek Drop V levers provide plenty of stopping power. If you are interested in a “monster cross” bike of your own, contact us to talk about a Vassago Fisticuff build. Build Details:• Frame: Vassago Fisticuff• Fork: Vassago Fisticuff• Headset: Cane Creek Forty• Stem: Thomson Elite X4• Handlebar: Salsa Cowbell• Shifter: Rohloff• Grips: Profile Design cork bar tape• Seat post: Thomson Elite• Saddle: WTB Valcon• Seat Clamp: Vassago• Front Hub: Toxaholics• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14• Spokes: Sapim Race• Nipples: Sapim Brass• Rims: Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Flow• Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Mondial• Cranks: Race Face Turbine• Pedals: Shimano XT Touring• Bottom Bracket: Race Face Turbine• Chain ring: Race Face Wide/Narrow• Rear Sprocket: Rohloff• Chain: Wipperman Connex 808• Brakes & Levers: Cane Creek SCR-5 levers, Avid BB_7 Road• Rotors: Magura Storm 4-bolt