Posts Tagged Only One

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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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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Vintage Bicycle Websites

HeadbadgeWe’ve mentioned before how we’ve drawn inspiration for the Speedhound Only One from vintage lightweight bicycles.  Our choice of high performance steel and the classic diamond frame configuration are obvious connections to cycling’s enduring heritage.

We also love the understated aesthetics of bikes from 40 or more years ago, before the fluorescent color schemes of the 1980s, the billboard graphics of the 1990s and the sterile swooshes of the 21st century.  Our stamped brass headbadge, double plate fork crown and understated graphics are homages to the hand-crafted frames of an earlier time, when bicycles possessed a very soul.

 

 

 

Wall of ConfusionWe love to hunt for vintage bikes and rare old components on e-Bay and at swap meets.   But the addiction can get a bit out of control, so mostly we just look now – it’s free!  To do some of your own gazing, start with the treasure of photos and information on the following sites.

Caution:  you might get the habit!

 

 

Our Favorite Links

Where Speedhound’s rediscovery of vintage bicycles in the Internet era began: www.classicrendezvous.com

A very impressive UK resource with a true sense of history: www.classiclightweights.co.uk

Mind-blowing Swiss photo collection:  www.speedbicycles.ch

Repository for all things Hetchins:  www.hetchins.org

User submitted photo galleries of vintage lightweights:  www.wooljersey.com/gallery/main.php

Huge database of old bikes and components, including headbadges:  www.velobase.com

UK site dedicated to derailleurs (discover a connection to the 1960s supergroup, Cream):  www.disraeligears.co.uk

Excellent photography (and how to do it) featuring mostly Italian iron and mostly Colnagos:  www.raydobbins.com

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Speedhound in Popular Mechanics

That’s right, we’re in the May 2011 edition of Popular Mechanics magazine, in an article titled “DIY Underground.”  In early February, PM’s Associate Photo Editor flew out from Hearst’s New York office to see us and the rest of the crew in the Peacock Groove space.  She brought a local free-lance photographer and his assistant, who took hundreds of pictures, including some hot welding and brazing action.  One photo made it into the article:

Chris Cleveland and Chris Kvale inspect a Speedhound frameThe caption reads “A Speedhound frame built by Peacock Groove gets the once-over from Speedhound designer Chris Cleveland (left) and Chris Kvale – frame builder, neighbor and member of the Minneapolis bike-building community.”

Photo:  Darin Back

 

 

 

 

PM describes the Speedhound ONLY ONE as having a “Swiss Army Knife vibe.”  We couldn’t agree more.  We’d link to the article, but it’s subscription only.  So if you’re at a newsstand in the near future, take a peep at page 77 of the May 2011 Popular Mechanics.  Or better yet, buy the mag.  We hadn’t read it for years, and were pleasantly surprised to see it’s had a major makeover.

Here are some of our own behind the scenes shots of the session:

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Speedhounds love gravel!

Riding and racing on gravel roads have become extremely popular in the last few years.  Road and cyclocross bikes on skinny tires share the country lanes and forest service roads happily with MTBs.  Gravel events are springing up all over the country.  The Speedhound geometry is perfect for off-road adventures where farm dogs outnumber motor vehicles.

Gravel riders face a variety of conditions from dusty hard-packed roads to muddy, rutted lanes that barely qualify as “roads”.  That diversity of terrain requires a different set of skills and a greater attention to the road surface.  Wise gravel riders take corners at much less than criterium speeds to avoid laying the bike down in a spray of pebbles.  Safe drafting distances increase, also.  It’s particularly important to use the brakes lightly – that keeps skidding and slipping to a minimum.  Of course, staying on the right side of the road is absolutely critical, especially on country hills.  Farm vehicles don’t expect cyclists to occupy their lane as they come over the top of those rolling hills and won’t be able to stop or swerve in time to avoid you.  Remember that the speed limit on unpaved roads can be as high as 55 mph.

Accessories can make a major difference in gravel bike performance.  Most gravel riders run at least 28 mm tires with some tread.  Many opt for cyclocross tires if the surface is particularly rough or muddy.  A set of flared drop bars can create a stable ride with multiple handholds.  The shorter drop these bars offer means the height difference between the saddle and your hands is minimized.  Cantilever or V-brakes allow more clearance when mud and dirt collect on your tires.

There’s a world of gravel riding adventure out there.  The Speedhound Only One frameset makes a perfect partner for off-road trekking.  If you’re interested in learning more about gravel riding and racing check out these resources:

Events

Barry-Roubaix – MI

Almonzo 100 – MN

Trans Iowa – IA

Dirty Kanza 200 – KS

 

Websites

Guitar Ted Productions

Gravel Grinder News

 

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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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