Fixie, Belt-Drive Commuter SpeedhoundRecently, we sat down with Speedhound owner John Barron to get his impressions on his first year+ of riding with the new wheels.  We’re extremely proud that John chose a Speedhound.  He’s an avid collector and dealer in vintage bikes and bike parts, so he knows his bikes.  Check out some of John’s goodies at www.velostuf.com.

John’s TRO Orange Speedhound was built by Hiawatha Cyclery with a fixed gear, belt drive system.  He chose the Gates Carbon Drive System for his drivetrain.  He added some elegant fenders to complete the ensemble.  John’s rig is an all-season commuter bike and he uses it regularly for late fall, winter and early spring rides.  He noted, “The belt drive’s clean, maintenance free simplicity eliminates grease marks on my legs, rust-damaged chains and the need to lubricate the drive train.”

John’s passion for bikes includes a number of custom-made steel road machines.  He told Speedhound, “The ride and handling of the Speedhound is remarkably similar to those handmade bikes.  The soft, smooth ride is one of my favorite things about the Speedhound.”

Gates Carbon Drive SystemA desire for simplicity drove the selection of the components for this machine.  John is a former track racer, so a fixed gear bike was a natural choice.  Adding the belt drive removed more complexity from system.  John also mentioned that the stability of the belt drive eliminates “chain slop” – a big deal during track stands!

John has been pleased with the performance of the belt drive system.  He told us, “I was worried about belt jump before I bought the system, but that’s never happened to me.  Even on cold, snowy rides, the belt has run like a champ.  And best of all, in more than 15 months of riding my Speedhound, the only work I’ve done on it was tightening the belt tension a little.”

We asked John what one word describes the way he feels on his Speedhound.  He said, “Unencumbered.”  His most memorable ride was on the mountain bike trails near the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers.  Seems like the reliability and smooth ride let John go anywhere.

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