Archive for category Client Bikes

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!

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.

 

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!

 

 

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.

Mark S’s Belt-Drive Speedhound

Hiawatha Cyclery, a Speedhound dealer in Minneapolis, recently delivered a new Only One to belt drive aficionado, Mark S.  Mark had already logged over 4,000 miles of trail riding on his first-gen Gates belt-drive “Big Brand” bike.  He told us he was sold on the Gates belt system, but was looking for a frame that made it easier to adjust belt tension.  He also wanted the benefits of the new CenterTrack belt and sprocket design.  Working with Jim Thill at Hiawatha, Mark created his own custom single-speed around the Speedhound Only One frameset.

An excellent close-up of our headbadge, from Speedhound rider Mark S. The badge is silver-plated stamped brass. Antiquing brings out the contrast.

Here’s how he equipped his new ride:

Frameset:  58 cm Ace Red Speedhound Only One with slider-style dropouts

Headset:  Chris King 1-1/8” threadless

Cranks:  Shimano Tiagra 175mm

Bottom bracket:  Chris King external cup

Front sprocket:  Gates CenterTrack 55 tooth

Rear sprocket:  Gates CenterTrack 20 tooth (nine-spline)

Belt:  Gates CenterTrack 122 tooth

Pedals:  VO Grand Cru Sabot

Brake calipers:  Tektro R539 dual-pivot front, Tektro R536 dual-pivot rear

Brake levers:  Paul Canti-Lever

Handlebars:  Dimension 30mm alloy riser

Stem:  Dimension threadless 90 mm

Grips:  PDW Whiskey Grips dark brown leather

Saddle:  Brooks B17 dark brown leather

Seat post:  VO Grand Cru 27.2 mm

Hubs:  White Industries M15 (titanium freehub body) with Delta AxleRodz skewers

Rims:  H+Son TB14 700C 32H polished silver

Tires:  Schwalbe Marathon Supreme HD Speed Guard 700 x 32

With belt drive and the highest-quality sealed bearings available, that’ll be one long-lasting, low-maintenance machine.  After getting his new bike, Mark sent us the kind of e-mail we love to find in our in box.  Mark wrote:  “The highlights for me are the masterfully designed frame, perfect for the Gates drivetrain, the Ace Red paint job, Jim’s superbly built wheels, the Brooks saddle and leather grips, and the Chris King headset and bottom bracket.  This puppy is A number one!  Man, what a set of wheels!  I’m SO pleased with my purchase!!”  Mark also told us that, at 22.6 pounds, his new steel-framed Speedhound weighs the same as the aluminum-framed, belt-drive, single-speed bike it replaced.  And that’s sporting a Brooks leather saddle and sturdy, puncture-resistant 700 X 32 tires.  Mark calculated that with the Minneapolis made Speedhound frameset, the premium U.S. components, and Hiawatha Cyclery’s labor, his bike is 68% American made by dollar value.  Thanks for the feedback Mark, enjoy your new ride, and go your own speed!

Mark S's Speedhound out for a recent trail ride. Hiawatha Cyclery trimmed the fork steering tube to get the bars just where Mark likes them.

 

Happy Rider

Forward-thinking Speedhound rider Stephen Y. built out his 61 cm ONLY ONE with the disc brake option, Gates CenterTrack belt drive and a NuVinci hub.  With its New Black paint and all black components, it’s very stealthy, especially with that smooth and quiet belt drive.  Stephen wrote “Went out for the maiden voyage yesterday.  Wow, this drivetrain is smooth.”

Stephen Y's Speedhound 61 cm ONLY ONE in New Black

SRAM crankset with GXP external bottom bracket and a 55 tooth Gates sprocket. The Gates belt is carbon fiber reinforced polyurethane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The  55 tooth front and 24 tooth rear sprockets give the NuVinci hub a very usable range of ratios for the road.  Low gear is 30.7 gear inches (equivalent to a 39 X 34) with a top gear of 110.5 gear inches (equivalent to a 53 X 13).  The hub is a continuously variable transmission (CVT), so it provides an infinite number of ratios between low and high.  “Bottom line – this whole belt drive, IGH, and disc brake setup is fantastic” Stephen told us in an e-mail.

The NuVinci N360 hub and our SDS slider dropout. The bolt at the nose of the dropout allows you to dial in the belt tension very precisely.

On the flip side, an Avid mechanical disc brake provides super stopping power in the wet. The caliper always stays aligned with the rotor, regardless of belt or chain length.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The brake caliper mount, fork tip and fender/rack eyelets are water-jet cut from a single piece of high-strength steel alloy.

Sometimes we get writer’s block at Speedhound HQ, so it’s great to have a Speedhound rider help us out.  “I could not be happier with the new bike, and I would heartily recommend SpeedHound Bikes to anyone who asks. I am equally impressed with the quality of your frame and your post sale support.  Count me as a fan.”

Thanks for the shout out and pix, Stephen!

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Speedhounds Are Chameleons

The ChameleonMs. Speedhound recently announced that she had offered the use of her bike to a friend who is training for a triathalon.  Ms. Speedhound rides a 54 cm frame, which, it turned out, would be too tall for her friend.  We did have a 51 cm Nut Green ONLY ONE that we had shown at NAHBS 2012 and the MIA Bike Night.  It was set up as a fixed-gear with antique track components, including wooden rims, tubular tires, a one-inch pitch chain and no brakes.  A thing of beauty, worthy of much gazing, but a disaster as a trainer.  So what to do?  Switch it over to a road bike, pronto, ready to ride the next day.

I started at 11:00 a.m., stripping the bike of all the retro parts and removing the track-style dropouts.  The split in the drive-side receiver, which allows the use of a belt, is also a great shortcut for removing a chain.  There’s no need to pop the master link or break the chain with a tool.  The next step was to install the vertical derailleur dropouts.  Now the frame was ready to accept all of the racy bits Susan needed to whip herself into shape for the triathlon.  Other than the seatpost, I would be using new components, so there was some prep time to mount the tires and install the cassette, cut cables and housing, set up the brake levers and wrap the bars.  I took a lunch break (chicken and broccoli) and got back to business.  By 5:00 p.m., the transformation from show bike to go bike was complete, and I went out for a test ride.  The wheels felt fast and the bike had that “riding on rails” all-day stability that we designed into the ONLY ONE.  Ms. Speedhound’s friend is going to love it.

Check out the complete image album on Facebook.

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Speedhound Dealer Profile: Hiawatha Cyclery

Hiawatha Cyclery is a small shop in Minneapolis, MN, specializing in products for the cyclist who uses his/her bike for serious transportation, as well as for recreation. They pride themselves on their selection of distinctive, high quality bicycles and accessories for the cyclist who doesn’t accept the widely held notion that the latest technology is necessarily the best choice. Their catalog is full of items that fly under the radar of most of the bike industry because they don’t generally meet volume or price targets.

Fixie, Belt-Drive Commuter SpeedhoundHiawatha is a perfect fit for Speedhound.  Their loyal clientele appreciates unique bikes and bike accessories.  Jim and Mark have built and sold several Speedhounds, including geared and single-speed versions, internal and external geared styles, commuters and touring rigs.  One of our favorites is this belt-driven fixie

Hiawatha Cyclery has been serving the commuters and touring riders of South Minneapolis since 2006.  Their unique showroom features steel steeds of all varieties, but there’s not a carbon or aluminum bike in the place!  They appreciate the comfortable, reliable ride that only steel can offer.

Jim Thill, the owner of Hiawatha Cyclery likes the Speedhound because it’s a high-end, but approachable bike.  It doesn’t demand “celebrity parts” to justify its existence.  It’s durable and versatile – just the thing for the all-season conditions facing Minneapolis cyclists.  Jim notes, “If I were doing a long ride, I’d definitely choose the Speedhound.”

We’re proud of our relationship with Hiawatha Cyclery.  Stop by and say hello to Jim and check out the Speedhounds on the show floor.  Learn more about Hiawatha Cyclery on their website.

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Speedhound Bike Owner Review

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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My New Speedhound


By Ben McCoy

 

When Chris Cleveland, founder and owner of Speedhound Bikes, offered me a great deal on a 61 cm Only One™ frameset, I knew I had to take him up on it. As it turns out, there aren’t many people looking for a 61 cm frame. So my tall, lanky physique made me a prime candidate.

Ben McCoy: Self-portrait with Speedhound

The ‘small print’ was that the color was already chosen – TiS Gray – as the frameset had been assembled once as a show bike. But all of my beloved bikes (with one exception) have either been gray or green, purely by chance. And Chris would even help me build it up once I found all the parts. So it was a very fortunate proposition.

Some of the parts I gathered for my new Speedhound

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve traditionally been a fixed gear commuter, but I saw this new bike as an opportunity to ride longer distances and possibly do some towing and/or traveling, with it. So I wanted versatile geared bike that would be fun to ride. Beyond that I was open.

 

 

Armed with a vast knowledge and infinite patience, Chris provided expert consultation and advice as I mulled over all my options.  And at the end of the day, he helped me put together a beautiful road-inspired bike with a classic sensibility.

 

Once I had collected all the parts, Chris invited me down to the Speedhound space – inside the venerable confines of Peacock Groove – to put it all together. Chris had me tape and set up the wheels while he prepped the frame for the seat post. From the wheels, we methodically worked our way up the frame – bottom bracket, crank, stem, handlebars, and brakes.

 

It was at the brakes where Chris learned not to tell me to just “crank down on it” if he didn’t also want to “save my bacon.”  So it was at about this point that we stopped for lunch.

 

After lunch, we started connecting the dots, including the drive train – front and rear derailleurs, plus cabling – and brakes.  Fortunately, this took almost no time at all. In fact, Chris was beside himself that the SRAM Force derailleur set-up was basically plug-and-play. Once we got everything tied together, it just worked with virtually no adjustments required.

Chris shows Ben how to get the bar tape tight and right.

With the bigger components in place, we worked our way through the final components – saddle, seat post, pedals, and bar tape – before making all the final adjustments.

 

In approximately 5 hours my new Speedhound bike was complete and being walked out to my car by Erik Noren – the Peacock himself.

Ben and bike ready for a test ride!

Now I look forward to putting some miles under me, working out the kinks, and bringing it in to Chuck at Behind Bars for its first tune-up. Chuck isn’t a Speedhound bikes dealer, but he’s my local go-to guy and mechanic. Plus, I know he owns as least one Peacock Groove bike, so I can’t wait to get his reaction.

 

Big thanks to Chris Cleveland for both his offer and his assistance all the way through the process. You are a good friend with a great product. And special thanks to Erik Noren – the best frame builder in Minneapolis with a heart as big as his mouth! Keep doing it right, fellas. BIKE LOVE!

Chris holds Ben's new bike

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Ben McCoy is co-founder of Bicycle Theory, Inc., a brand-focused graphic design and Web development shop in Northeast Minneapolis. He is also co-owner of MPLS Bike Love, a leading bicycle forum and resource for the Twin Cities cycling community.