Adam Turman Speedhound Poster Available Now

Minneapolitans and Saint Paulites who ride bikes, hang out at coffee houses, frequent bars and restaurants, go to clubs or otherwise get out and about will instantly identify the artist who created our screen-printed poster:

Speedhound by Adam Turman

Yes, it’s illustrator and Speedhound rider Adam Turman!

Some of Adam’s favorite themes are bikes, cityscapes, pinups and beer, so we knew we had the right artist to draw an image for Speedhound.  (Adam likes dogs, also.)  Models for the poster were the fixed-gear, belt-drive Speedhound prototype #1 (bike), Cooper, the Italian Greyhound (dog), and mystery woman??? (rider).

Hear Adam describe his work and see how he draws, inks and prints his illustrations here.  Adam is definitely a Minnesota original!

If you’d like to buy a Speedhound poster by Adam Turman, go to the”Contact” link at the upper right of our homepage.  Tell us your name, mailing address and how many prints you’d like.  We’ll send you an e-mail with payment options, including credit card or personal check. The prints measure 18″ X 24″ and are handsigned and numbered by Adam.  Fifty of the original run of 60 are available.  Price:  $35, including shipping to the continental U.S.

 

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.

 

Top Eyes

What do you call them?    I’m referring to the things at the top of the seat stays on your bike frame.   Are they seatstay caps?  Ends?  Does your bike even have them?  Speedhounds do, and we like to call them by the old British term, “top eyes.”

The Speedhound seat cluster, with its scalloped "top eye."

Contrary to popular opinion, seatstays are the least important tubes on a bike frame.  They add virtually no lateral stiffness and take almost all of their load in compression.  That’s why you can use skinny tubes without compromising the frame’s integrity.  It’s also what gives framebuilders the freedom to get creative where the seatstays  join at the seat cluster.

Using decorative top eyes is one way we’ve added some personality to the Speedhound ONLY ONE frame.  Joining the seatstays to the side of the seat tube also gives the Speedhound wider spacing for fenders and fatter tires, so there’s a functional advantage as well.

If you examine our top eyes, you might suspect that they are simple plugs inserted into the seatstays.  Someone even asked whether they might push in if they hit a hard bump!  But take a look at the raw top eye — it has a shoulder that snugs up against the end of the seatstay. Very clever!

The top eye plugs into the seatstay end.

Our seatstay end (left) and top eye (right).

Our top eyes are investment cast steel, with a deep hollow for weight reduction and better brazing.  The joint is cleaned up before the seatstays are attached to the main triangle.  The result is a seamless connection that sets Speedhound apart from the typical production bike.

Top eye and seatstay, together at last.

Next time you pass by a rack of parked bikes, take a look.  Are there any top eyes peeping back at you?

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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Notes from NAHBS 2013

The 2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show drew to a close on Sunday, March 24. At least some things in our world are getting better:  the quality and creativity of handmade bikes! Can it be topped in Charlotte next year? Just take a look at some of the incredible machines on display — here are hundreds of photos for your viewing pleasure: manypix (Speedhound and yours truly appear on page 8 of the photoset). Coverage of the show is appearing daily — here’s some we found this afternoon: mtbr . Denver is hometown to Gates, maker of CarbonDrive belt components, but even so, we were amazed at the number of bikes running belt drive. I’d guess at least three dozen. Speaking of which, here’s the official NAHBS website feature on Speedhound: NAHBS . Yup, there are a few typos, and no, we don’t provide a front hub with the disc option, but we like the attention!  Hope to see you next year!

Speedhound ONLY ONE "Gun Metal" at NAHBS. The headlamp is an antique Luxor from France, rewired to run from a Shimano Alfine generator hub.

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Disc Brake Details

The Speedhound Dropout System now includes a disc brake option!  We’ve tested and refined our slider-style dropout and now have the production version ready to go.

Installing the dropout is easy.  If you’re using belt drive, you slip the belt through the slot in the frame receiver, so that it’s inside the rear triangle.

A Gates Carbon Drive belt on its way.

Then a backing plate bolts into the receiver with standard chainring bolts, just like the other types of dropouts in the Speedhound Dropout System.

The slider backing plate closes the slot in the receiver.

The last step is to attach the dropout and insert the tension adjusting screw.  The dropout has about a 16 mm range of adjustment, so it’s easy to dial in the proper belt or chain tension.

The screw at the nose of the dropout lets you adjust belt or chain tension. Tighten the two fixing bolts, and you're ready to roll.

At the left side, there’s a dropout with standard ISO mounting tabs for a disc brake caliper.  The beauty of this system is that the brake caliper and axle move together, so that the caliper is in constant alignment with the disc.  To increase belt or chain tension, the dropouts slide back in the frame.  There’s no need to separately adjust the caliper when moving the axle.

An Avid mechanical caliper and 140 mm disc rotor stop this Speedhound fast. That's a Nuvinci CVT hub with Gates CenterTrack belt.

The ONLY ONE frameset with the SDS slider dropouts and disc-compatible fork sell for $1,550.

Cooper approves.

Disc Brake Option!

You’ve been asking for it and now we have it — the disc brake option for the Speedhound ONLY ONE!  Now you can have the reassuring performance of front and rear disc brakes with the versatility that makes the ONLY ONE unique.  Our new slider dropout works with any rear disc hub with 135 mm axle spacing, including Shimano, Rolhoff and NuVinci internal gear hubs.  Of course you can also use derailleur systems and single-speed MTB hubs as well.  Because it’s part of the Speedhound Dropout System, the slider dropout also accommodates belt drive.  A disc-compatible fork with our fancy double plate crown rounds out this new option.

SDS Slider Dropout shown with Gates CenterTrack belt and NuVinci hub.

The disc brake option has ISO tabs and is compatible with a wide varitety of calipers.  Adjusters enable you to dial in precise chain or belt tension.

An Avid mechanical disc brake and 140 mm rotor scrubs off speed in a hurry. The fender stay attaches to a mounting point ahead of the caliper. This design also allows the use of a variety of racks.

The Speedhound ONLY ONE frameset for disc brakes is offered at the introductory price of $1,450, including free shipping to the continental U.S.  It will be available late November.

Mid-Year Color Tweaks

We’ve made two mid-year tweaks to the Speedhound color palate.

NOT ChromeFirst, NOT Chrome replaces TiS Grey.  NOT Chrome is a color that the manufacturer calls “Chrome,” but of course it’s really a super tough powder coat, which is not chrome.  So we call it “NOT Chrome” just to drive the point home.  We finish it off with a clear coat and then the decals.  NOT Chrome is a super-fine silver that shades toward grey, with a lot of gloss.  It’s not sparkly or metal flaky.

 

 


OUR BlueWe also changed OUR Blue, but we’re still calling it by the same name.  OUR Blue remains a rich blue with enough red to shade it toward purple.  But now it’s a metallic that turns light or dark, depending on the angle.  It’s got depth, but it’s not gaudy like a bass boat.  OUR Blue is also clear coated, which is more expensive for us to do, but we don’t charge extra for it.

 

 


The RainbowIn a rough approximation of the rainbow, you can get your Speedhound in Ace Red, TRO Orange, Ray Yellow, Nut Green, OUR Blue, New Black, Ice Cream or NOT Chrome.

See our full color palette here.

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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 vs. Big Brand

We recently received an e-mail from a rider interested in a single-speed belt-drive bike.  He had seen a Speedhound ONLY ONE frameset at a dealer and was stoked that it was made in Minneapolis.  Still, he was wondering why he should buy a Speedhound over a Big Brand factory bike.  He asked “What more am I getting if I spend double on a Speedhound?”  Here’s my word-for-word reply:

Hi XXXX,

Thanks for your interest in Speedhound Bikes.  You ask a great question, and we’re delighted to compare the Speedhound ONLY ONE to the Big Brand.  Here’s why we think the ONLY ONE is a great value compared to the Big Brand:

1.  We chose True Temper OX Platinum and Verus steel for our frame and fork for its resilient ride and toughness.  The Big Brand has an aluminum frame and fork.  Aluminum frames, and especially forks, are generally rigid and harsh.  The Speedhound has that steel “twang.”

2.  The ONLY ONE has the Speedhound Dropout System, which gives you the choice of track-style or vertical derailleur dropouts.  (You get both sets, so you can switch out anytime.)  Our design also lets you vary the spacing of the dropouts for different rear axle lengths.  The Big Brand has fixed vertical dropouts spaced at 130 mm.  It uses a concentric bottom bracket to adjust belt tension.

3.  The ONLY ONE is a really flexible platform.  You can set it up with derailleur gearing if you want.  The Big Brand doesn’t give you that option.  The ONLY ONE lets you run 700X32 tires with fenders.

4.  Because the ONLY ONE is sold as a frameset, you get to choose exactly the components you want.  (That’s a lot of fun right there.)  You get to pick crank and stem length, and your favorite saddle and style of handlebars. You’re not buying a cheap saddle and pedals you’ll want to replace. The bike will be uniquely yours.

5.  The Big Brand comes with the first generation Gates belt and cogs.  Your ONLY ONE could be built out with the new CenterTrack system, and you’d get exactly the ratio you want, not a stock ratio.

6.  The ONLY ONE gives you the option to use caliper brakes, cantilever brakes or V-brakes.  The Big Brand allows only calipers.

7.  You have eight color choices with the ONLY ONE.  The Big Brand comes in one color.

8.  The ONLY ONE is handmade in Mpls!  Most Big Brands are from China or Taiwan (not sure about the Big Brand you’re looking at, they don’t say on their website).

9.  With a Speedhound, you get the cachet of a boutique bike, not a mass-produced product out of a box.

Let me know if you’d like more info on the Speedhound ONLY ONE.  It’s a great riding bike.

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