Hagen Green’s Clean Machine

Alfine 11 drivetrain -- dig the snazzy red Gates belt!

Hagen's clean, clean build. Note how the cables are barely visible.

Our silver-plated, solid brass headbadge and TRO Orange paint.

We heard from a very happy Speedhound owner who sent us a link to his blogpost about his experience planning, building and riding his Only One. It’s definitely worth a read if you have any interest in putting together your own custom ride.  Hagen gives us an in-depth view of how he planned his bike and how pleased he is with the results. He had a few bugs to work through with his Alfine hub at first, but flushing and changing the lubricant and fine-tuning his Versa shifter set things right.  We love his impressions of the ride qualities of the Only One and how it compares with his other bikes.  Thanks, man!

NAHBS 2015 Here We Come

Translucent candy apple red powder coat and black stove enamel over chrome.

We’re heading the 2015 installment of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Louisville, Kentucky, running March 6 to 8.  We’ll be bringing four bikes, including our Nuovo Cromovalato LWB, shown here.  The finish on this one-off frame is a new twist on an old Italian technique called cromovelato, which used a tinted lacquer over chrome plating.  We’ve updated it with translucent powder coating on the chrome.  “LWB” stands for long wheel base, which this bike achieves with extra-long 47 cm. chainstays.  It’s smooooth and steady, but still carves turns with ease.  We’ll feature this and other show bikes in upcoming posts.

You have to see it shining in the sun to fully appreciate this stunning finish!

A Sporty Alfine 11 Belt Build

Alfine 11 internal gear hub, disc brakes, belt drive -- this one's got it all.

Talented Speedhound customer, F.D., assembled this sporty belt-drive Only One with a Shimano Alfine 11 rear hub and Versa drop bar shifters.  Avid SL Road disc-brakes provide reassuring stopping power and the dark brown Brooks saddle and bar tape are an elegant contrast to the Ice Cream paint.

 

F.D. wrote to us: “Just wanted to let you know that I finished building out my Speedhound and took it for a test spin a couple of days ago…and came home grinning. Still got a few things I’m adjusting, but I’m loving this. I can’t get over how silent the bike is while riding. Still getting used to being able to shift at a stop, though. Thanks for all of your help from the initial purchasing decisions and for answering my questions along the way. This has been a great experience for me. It took me a little longer to finish than I had hoped, but I’m loving the final result.”

Take a look here for photos documenting the build process.  We think this Speedhound shows just how performance-oriented an internal gear hub and belt drive can be.

These Versa shifters are designed to work with the Alfine 11 speed internal gear hub. Drop bars give a rider a choice of hand positions and allow a low, athletic position on the bike.

At the customer's request, we painted the slider dropout to match the frame. Note the adjusting screw at the front of the dropout. This allows precise tensioning of the belt.

 

We’re Showing at NAHBS 2014

We’re exhibiting four Speedhound bikes at the North American Handmade Bike Show in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The show opens Friday, March 14 and runs through Sunday, March 16.  We’ll feature photos and show details soon.

Speedhound Sport Bottles!

Speedhound logo bottles on Ben M.'s 61 cm ONLY ONE

We’ve got Speedhound sport bottles to accessorize your ride — they’re also great for anytime you want to transport your favorite hydration beverage in a spill-proof container.   They’re adorned with the Speedhound shield and motto on both sides and topped with a TRO Orange cap.  You’ll be going your own speed with these extra-capacity bottles. They hold about 650 ml (22 ounces), are BPA-free, dishwasher-safe and are made for us in the U.S.A. by Specialized.  $7.50 each plus $3.00 for handling and shipping to the U.S.  Please order through the “Contact” bar on our homepage and tell us how many you’d like, along with your mailing address.  We’ll send an invoice you can pay by credit card or Paypal.

New Speedhound T-shirts!

Back by popular demand, we have new Speedhound logo t-shirts and Adam Turman art print t-shirts.  These are super-soft poly/cotton blends, pre-shrunk in small, medium, large and XL.  The logo shirts are a soft orange and the art prints are charcoal grey.  Both have the “SDB – MPLS” running dog medallion on the left sleeve and plain backs.  $18.50 plus $5.00 USPS First Class shipping to the U.S.  Please order through the “Contact” bar on our homepage and tell us the style, sizes and quantities you’d like, along with your mailing address. We’ll send an invoice you can pay by credit card or Paypal.

The Speedhound logo t-shirt

The Adam Turman art print t-shirt

The Soul of a Bicycle

I have a 1962 Raleigh Blue Streak in my stable. It’s a survivor, covered with over 50 years of patina, rust and grime.

The Raleigh's top tube. How many riders and how many miles created this patina?

Riding it takes me to a simpler place. For about 10 years, I had it set up as a fixed-gear, putting about 7,500 miles on it. I’ve got a TRO Orange Speedhound belt-drive for fixed-gear riding now, so I recently put the Blue Streak back to something like its original specification, as shown in a 1962 Raleigh catalog. I think of it as a sympathetic recreation, and even though I’ve used some new bits to keep it on the road, such as an alloy 27X1-1/4” rear rim, an alloy seatpost, and Kool Stop brake shoes, it’s still a Raleigh Blue Streak, from Nottingham, England. It says so right on the frame and it doesn’t matter what parts might adorn it.

The rear cog on my fixed-gear Speedhound ONLY ONE. It's a 50 X 20 with first generation Gates Carbon Drive componenets. That's a tensioner at the end of the dropout.

Messing around with the old Raleigh got me thinking about the essence of a bike’s identity. Yes, a bike is an assembly of parts, but it’s the frame that defines it. What would I get if I took the old parts from my Blue Streak and put them on a Speedhound frame? The result would be a Speedhound bike, not a Raleigh. That’s because the frame is the soul of a bicycle, its DNA, what it is. The parts an owner chooses for it will depend on his or her purpose – sport riding, commuting, gravel racing, or just getting around. It might have cantiliever brakes, dual pivot calipers or hydraulic discs. Single speed, internal gear hub, or 30-speed derailleur gearing. A belt or a chain, puffy tires or skinny racing slicks.  How about high rise handlebars and a banana seat? (I’ll have to try this sometime.) But no matter what, the bike you build on a Speedhound frame will always have that Speedhound soul. That’s the beauty in creating one for yourself. As we like to say, “Quavis velocitate” — go your own speed!

The Blue Streak's antediluvian Cyclo Benelux rear derailleur. The early 1960s were the end of the pull chain era. It shifts slicker than you think.

 

 

Adam T’s Almanzo Gravel Racer

The BT Riders finished their first event of the season, the Almanzo 100 gravel race, four of them on Speedhounds.  Speedhound rider Adam Turman has been riding “Little Red” since August 2012, and never fails to praise the bike.  Here’s how he set up his ONLY ONE for race day:

Frameset:  Speedhound ONLY ONE, 54 cm, in Ace Red

Adam T and his Speedhound "Little Red" moments before the start of the 2013 Almanzo 100 gravel race.

Headset: Cane Creek Forty

Crankset: SRAM Force compact 50/34t, 170 mm, SRAM Team GXP bottom bracket

Rear Derailleur: SRAM Force

Front Derailleur: SRAM Force

Shifters: SRAM Force

Cassette/freewheel: SRAM PG-1050 10spd 12-25

Chain: SRAM PC-1051

Pedals: Ritchey SPD

Brake Calipers: Avid Shorty 6 cantilevers

Handlebars: Salsa Cowbell 2

Stem: Salsa Pro Moto

Little Red, set up for the street. For the gravel race, Adam used wheels with a beefier Mavic rim and 700X30 Challenge Almanzo tires.

Seat Post: Salsa 27.2 mm

Saddle: Brooks B17 (electric blue, black rails)

Front Wheel: Shimano Deore XT 36 hole, Mavic A119 rim, DT 14g 3X spokes

Rear Wheel: Shimano Deore XT 36 hole, Mavic A119 rim, DT 14g 3X spokes

Tires: Challenge Almanzo 700 X 30

Accessories:  Banjo Brothers frame and seat packs

The Speedhound ONLY ONE’s long wheelbase and stable handling proved ideal for the conditions on the Almanzo course.  All of the BT Riders stayed upright and finished in style, even through a challenging stream bed or two.  Trust us, it’s an accomplishment!

 

 

Speedhound’s Fabricator is a “Best of MN”

Best Custom Bikes! Pictured is Erik Noren's "Voltran" pursuit bike -- it's a typical Peacock Groove, very flambouyant.

Your local paper probably has an annual “best of” feature every year, right?  You know, best pizza, best ice cream, best brewpbub, best vintage shop, best whatever.  We Minneapolitans have the StarTribune’s 2013 Best of MN, “the greatest breweries to boutiques, restaurants to road trips — 110 reasons to love Minnesota.”  Sure, we’re a big biking town, but still, how cool is it that one of the “best of” categories is custom bikes?  And how  über-cool is it that Speedhound fabricator, Erik Noren of Peacock Groove, was named best in the custom bike category?  (Toggle to the second image to see the original article.)  We’re at a loss for words.  Congratulations, Erik, will have to do.  As an added bonus, Speedhound dealer, Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop + Coffee Bar, was named runner-up in the best bike shop category.

We’re Going to Grind Some Gravel

Our branding and Web design crew at  Bicycle Theory pulled together a motley “team” of non-racers to go out and show how to have a blast riding in the new breed of alternative bike races.  We’re the BT Riders, and we’re not out to win anything!  Our Spring Tour begins with the Almanzo 100 gravel race in Spring Valley, Minnesota.  Over one hundred miles on gravel roads.  Ouch, this could hurt!  Fortunately,  four of us will be riding Speedhound ONLY ONE bikes fitted out with puffy cyclo-cross tires, measuring from 700X30 to 700X33.  The extra tire volume and the ONLY ONE’s long wheelbase will help kill some of the sting.  Here’s BT Rider Kristine’s Our Blue 54cm gravel racer, before she swapped the Michelins for a pair of Kenda Small Block Eight 700X32 tires.  Kristine is coming from the MTB world, but she’s been killing it out on the dirt roads on our training rides.  We’ll post a post-ride report soon.  Keep the rubber side down and go your own speed!

Kristine's ONLY ONE gravel racer. The Hed wheels add lightness and the wider rims are a great match for the 700X32 tires she'll ride in the Almanzo.

There's plenty of room for more tire under that Speedhound fork crown. Kristine loves the shape and feel of the new Thomson carbon bar. The assymetric bar tape is just for stylish kicks.