Spot Longboard

Spot Longboard

My new Winter bike. Unique bike, substantially different than my TriCross. Pictures do not really give any idea just how big this bike is. It’s a mountain bike, but it’s bigger than my 61cm TriCross!

29er wheels
Manitou front forks suspension
Steel Frame
Belt Drive (!)
Single Speed
Disc Bakes

Still having all kinds of problems dialling this one in. Getting the belt aligned is a chore, but I’m told once I do, it’s great. I hope so. If I can’t get the belt issues solved, I’m switching over to a chain.

I’m going to get bolts for the hubs instead of quick release. I don’t like quick release on a single speed with horizontal dropouts on the rear, and the fact it’s disc brakes reportedly makes it worse. I don’t know why a QR doesn’t do the trick. Maybe it’s not really the problem, but it’s a problem.

Once I get all of the pieces in place, I’m going for the coup de grace – a Rohloff 14 speed internal hub. This will make this bike the ultimate low maintenance go anywhere commuter. For the money, it had better be (the Rohloff hubs cost about $1800, but they last forever, and never break down, so they end up being cheaper than the alternatives over time).

7 Responses

  1. Got the bike dialed in. Thanks to Josh at United Cycle. And it’s beautiful. It’s going to take some getting used to, for sure. It’s dramatically different than the TriCross Comp.

    The disc brakes are awesome! Work a lot better than the cantilevers. Not even close.

    The belt is perfect now. Singlespeed feels strange, but I’m getting into it. I’d never get a mountain bike that wasn’t a 29’er. Only way to go for a bigger guy like me. And I’m becoming a fan of steel, too.

    I think this is going to be the perfect winter bike – as planned. Lots of work and headaches. but it’s finally there. What a relief!

  2. I still have the quick release wheels. I’ve got some bolt on’s coming, but I’ll wait and see if the QR’s keep working ok.

    And I can’t really afford the Rohloff hubs, even though the price has come down (thanks to our dollar), and that Rohloff has officially announced compatibility. I’d love one, but it’s just not a priority.

    I will be getting studded winter tires, though. Probably Schwalbe Winter Marathons like the ones I had for my ‘cross bike last year, only in a 700 x 40C size. But United said the can’t get them. I’m going to try again, and if they can’t, I’ll order them from the US and put them on myself. These were great tires, and make a real difference. The Schwalbes have the right balance for my purposes.

    I’m a little worried about taking the wheel off though, now that I’ve finally got it working with the belt. Eventually I’ll need to do it anyway.

  3. The bike is performing beautifully now, with the Schwalbe Winter Marathon’s on it. I’ve lowered the seat.and I have my reversible cleat/no cleat pedals. They are much wider, and it makes a big difference. I still clip in much of the time, but if it looks dicey,

    I’ll unclip my left well in advance. Sometimes ice buildup can stick the cleat, and I don’t want to risk not being ble to unclip when I need to.

  4. Jim, You will not be upset if you fork out the $$$$ for the Rohloff. I move quite often for work and usually have liitle room to store several bikes. I was looking for the ultimate no maintenance do-it-all-in-one bike. Had been dreaming about the Rohloff for years and finally forked over the cash last year and received my custom build just before Christmas. My maintenance free dreams were for desert riding not snow but I bet we both get the same rewards with the belt drive. The Rohloff has been perfect and I hardly miss my single speed anymore. A quick change of tires and I can put some road miles on as well. Still playing with the sprocket count so I can get the right gear ratio but I love my Rohloff. Cycle Progression built me a sweet Spot Longboard Rohloff 29er with Gates belt drive.

  5. Wow, thanks for the feedback. It’s great to hear from someone with firsthand experience.

    I’ll start saving now.

  6. I would post a pic of my bike for you if I could figure out how. You can check it out at at Cycle Progression’s site. Only difference from the pics is I put on Crank Brothers pedals. They always worked well for me in the mud so I have stuck with them.

    http://www.cycleprogression.com/gallery/

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