Archive for category Concept Bikes

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!

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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Bike Night 2012 – Minneapolis Institute of Art

The Minneapolis Institute of Art is hosting Bike Night again this Thursday, July 19, starting at 6:00 p.m, and we’ll be there!  A group ride departs for the MIA from Twin Six World HQ at 5:30 p.m.  Or just ride over to the MIA at 24th Street and Third Avenue South in Minneapolis for the cycling scene’s social event of the summer.  Bike Night includes:

  • The opening of the Bicycle Film Festival, with shows at 7:00 and 8:15 p.m.
  • Live music
  • Outdoor cocktail lounge
  • Exhibits by Speedhound, Peacock Groove and other notable home-grown bike frame builders
  • Drawings for bike and swag giveaways
  • Pedal-powered bike art activities presented by Speedhound retailer The Hub Bike Co-op
  • Local bike shop clinics and gear
  • Thousands of Twin Cities bike hipstas!

We’re planning to show some of the great Speedhounds we showed at NAHBS.  See you there!

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Wearing a Belt in the Cold

We’ve been wishing for some old-fashioned, sub-zero Minnesota winter weather lately.  The kind where your bike tires squeak on the hard-packed snow and there’s no point to carrying a water bottle, because it’ll be frozen just about the time you want a drink.  The kind where the biggest challenge is keeping your feet warm, so you ditch the clipless pedals and bike shoes and wear your roomiest boots with extra socks.  The kind where your face mask freezes stiff with your own breath and you hope you don’t get a flat, because your hands will be too cold for a roadside repair.

Speedhound with Belt Drive

Our beloved Speedhounds out for some winter fun

So why would we want that?  To test the cold weather performance of a belt drive Speedhound!  Gates says that “the technology behind the Carbon Drive belt has a published temperature range of -65 to +185.  If you’re riding somewhere colder or hotter, we’d love to hear your story.”  Well, so far in 2012, we’ve had exactly ONE sub-zero day in Minneapolis, with a low of -11F (-24C) and a windchill at a balmy -23F (-30C).  It was perfect, so I wheeled out our original Speedhound test mule, with a single speed 50X22 belt drive.  I let the bike sit outside for several hours and bundled up for a ride around town.

Belt Drive Speedhound on a winter ride

One of these Speedhounds loves the cold. The other, not so much.

So how did it go?  After a brief warmup, I jumped on the pedals at varying speeds and ground up the steepest hill in the neighborhood.  I spun as fast as I could with my stiff legs.  Underway, the belt felt – normal.  I thought I detected a slight clacking sound from the belt engaging the cogs, but maybe it was my teeth chattering.  Off the bike, I rotated the pedals backward by hand.  The drivetrain was stiffer than in warm weather, but it was difficult to say how much of the drag was from the grease in the bearings and how much was the belt.  I didn’t perceive any added resistance when riding.    With the bright sun, I could almost imagine it was a July day, except by the time I got back to Speedhound HQ, my toes felt like frozen peas.

Check out the full photo set on Flickr.

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Speedhound and Belt Drive

Part 1 – The Basic Elements of the SDS

Speedhound Dropout System Components

Speedhound Dropout System Components

What makes the Speedhound Only One so versatile, and how does it work with belt drive?  The key is the Speedhound Dropout System (SDS).  The main components of the SDS are the receiver and the interchangeable dropouts.  The vertical dropouts include a derailleur hanger and are machined from aluminum alloy and then clear anodized.   The horizontal (track-style) dropouts are machined from stainless steel for corrosion resistance and to stand up to the clamping forces of axle nuts.  Conventional chainring bolts are used to attach the dropouts to the receivers.

 

 

Belt Drive Close Up

Speedhound Belt Drive Close Up

Unlike a bicycle chain, a drive belt is a closed loop – it has no master link or pins to separate.  It is a single moving part.  The rear triangle of a conventional diamond frame bicycle is also a closed loop, and will not accept a belt.

 

 

 

 

 

Unless you can work some magic, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCNV8rRiMRA , you’ll need an opening in the frame for the belt to pass through.  Speedhound accomplishes this trick with a split in the receiver on the right (drive) side of the frame.  The belt passes through the split and then the horizontal dropouts are bolted to the receiver.  You’re ready to install the rear wheel.  As an added benefit, the SDS lets you remove and replace a chain without breaking it open.  Voila!

 

Interested in seeing more Speedhound Belt Drive photos?  Check out our Flickr set.

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Minnecycle 2011

Gun Metal BlueWe had a great weekend with our brothers-in-arms at the 2011 Minnecycle bike art show.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by to see us and check out the wonderful bikes on display.  We were especially proud to feature our new Gun Metal Blue creation.  This unique finish was accomplished by hand applying gun metal bluing to the frame in multiple phases.  The finish is protected using good old-fashioned auto wax.  It’s a one-of-a-kind.

We’ve posted a few pics from the event on flickr.  Enjoy!

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Heartland Velo Show Pics

Thanks to the talented Dennis Bean-Larson of Fixed Gear Gallery, we’ve got some great photos from the Heartland Velo Show in Madison, Wisconsin.  Click here to see the Speedhounds we brought to Madison.

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Speedhound at Heartland Velo Show

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be invading Wisconsin this weekend as we exhibit the Only One frameset at the Heartland Velo Show this weekend August 27-28 in Madison.  Here’s a little bit about the Heartland Velo Show.

For over 100 years, the Midwest has been at the forefront of bicycle manufacturing, racing, and recreational riding. On August 27  & 28, the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin will house a weekend-long celebration of everything bicycle. Artisans and manufacturers of bicycles, components, cycling accessories and apparel will display their wares. Exciting demonstrations, informative panels and seminars as well as parties and entertainment will create a “something for everyone” atmosphere to delight cyclists and non- cyclists alike. The Heartland Velo Show is designed to inspire aficionados, enthusiasts, casual riders and those who may just be curious about the fun, fitness and freedom to be found on two wheels.

Learn more about the Heartland Velo Show at their website.

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Speedhound at Art-A-Whirl

We’re showing Speedhounds during Art-a-Whirl in Minneapolis this weekend (May 20, 21 and 22).  With over 500 artists displaying their work, Art-a-Whirl is an incredible way to experience the diversity of our urban art scene at multiple locations throughout Northeast’s arts district.  See us at Bicycle Theory’s Bikehaus event in Suite 400 at the Northrop King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis MN 55413 (link below).  Friday (5/20) 5-10 pm, Saturday (5/21) Noon – 8 pm and Sunday (5/22) Noon – 5 pm.  We’ll be there with our nickel-plated NAHBS special, a New Black lightweight roadie build, and Only One #1 decked out as a belt-drive fixie.

Hope to see you there!

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ACE Red!

Recently, we built a beautiful ACE Red Speedhound with a Nuvinci internally-geared hub.  it’s a sweet commuter with some beautiful lines and curves.  Pictures of this beauty are up on our flickr stream.

See all the glamour shots here.

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