Gallery: Morgan Patton’s Handmade Belt-Drive Commuter

This bike is my main source of transportation. I have put over a thousand miles on it since finishing it a few months ago. Rides smooth, clean and quiet. I now have fenders, racks and plenty of commuting filth on it. Afline rear hub, Gates Belt Drive, Jtek bar-end shifter, Shimano R600 long reach calipers, Halo front hub, DT spokes/nipples, Velocity aerohead rims – I made the frame and fork in Eugene, OR out of chromoly tubes and lugs. Stainless S&S coupler on drive sides seatstay for belt removal/installation. —Morgan

Editor’s Note: Morgan built this bike while working at Co-Motion in Eugene, OR. It was the second frame he built for his personal use. He’s looking to join a frame building company or open his own shop in the Portland area.

21 Responses to “Gallery: Morgan Patton’s Handmade Belt-Drive Commuter”

  • Larey says:

    That is one seriously beautiful bike. Love the simple lines and the fine detail touches. In the large photo it looks like two bar end shifters? Or am I seeing something that’s not there?

  • cole says:

    that would be a perfect bike for chicago. winter here will destroy a regular bike.

  • Don says:

    Love the coupler applied not for transport but for belt use. Has this solution been applied elsewhere? Seems like a no-brainer in retrospect.

    Best of luck to you, Morgan! You have an eye for elegance.

  • Andrew says:

    There might be a bar-end shifter on the left for symmetry, but it’s obviously not functional given the belt drive. But yeah, just by counting cables, there’s definitely one on the right to shift the Alfine.

    Pretty cool bike. I really love the concept of belt drive. My dream commuter bike is probably a Civia Bryant, which largely replicates this build, albeit in a mass-produced alu. frame. Of course, I say that knowing that I’ve never met an IGH that didn’t feel noticeably draggier than a derailleur, but I’ll cling to the ideal all the same…

  • Don says:

    Andrew: The Bryant, unlike the Hyland, will be cromoly, which is why it is leading contender for my next purchase.

    As for IGHs, the dragginess will always need to be weighed against ease of maintenance in all weather conditions and stop-and-go convenience in city traffic situations.

    And as for ideals, they are meant to be clung to.

  • Greg says:

    Gorgeous build. I can’t seem to figure out how the lone, drive side coupler works though. Anyone care to fill me in?

  • bongobike says:

    Greg, I’ve never actually seen one of these couplers in person, but I would imagine that you twist and slide back a sleeve, which then reveals a gap. Then you can get the belt out through that gap.

  • Dwainedibbly says:

    Brilliant idea of using the coupler this way! This makes belt drive an option for a gazillion existing bikes (including mine, once Gates offers cogs for the iMotion-9). Gates and S&S should be thankful.

  • Alan says:

    I agree. What a simple and elegant way to retrofit belt drive to existing bikes. Brilliant.


  • smalghan says:

    Low maintenance, steel frame and clean lines-this is just what I’d like in my next city bike. Beautiful work Morgan!

  • Aaron says:

    Is there anywhere that you can still get the JTek bar end shifter?

  • Andrew says:

    Don: My, my, you’re right, the Bryant is CrMo…it’s a shame I don’t know of any retailers in the city that sell Civias.

  • Leaf S. says:

    That bike is a winner for sure.

  • Don says:

    Andrew: I am waiting to see how LBSs–or the companies they represent, at any rate– will incorporate Civia, seeing as how they are part of Quality Bike Parts. Savvy on the part of QBP, but potentially awkward for the LBS, especially those supporting, say, Breezer.

    It wouldn’t hurt to open a dialogue with your shop. I wouldn’t be surprised if Civia is banking on grass-roots organic growth.

    But then you have guys like Morgan here testing the waters independently. I tell you, it’s an exciting time for bikes, which is why we’re all enjoying ecovelo!

  • Bob says:

    Morgan’s work is beautiful. I’ll take one with room for 47mm studded tires, please, but my budget won’t.

    … which brings me to the Bryant. It’s beautiful too, but those 32mm tires would have slid out from under me this morning and in the monster blizzard I see starting at this very moment. Snow removal on Minneapolis bike paths and lanes must be fantastic if the people at Civia/QBP think the Bryant (or the Hyland, for that matter) is ready for the “worst conditions.”

  • Morgan Patton says:

    Morgan Says:

    There is only one bar-end shifter. The other side is a bell. Yes, Jtek shifters are available through QBP which means most bike shops have the ability to order them. Thank you all for the kind words. Now go out and get a belt drive – you’ve all suffered with icky, greasy chains for too long!

  • Another Bob says:

    The Bryant presumably comes with 32mm slicks as decent warm-weather pavement tires. Seems like a good choice to me for a stock build. The website doesn’t give specifics, but Dirt Rag saw the bike and suggested that it’s got clearance for 40mm+ tires and fenders. That’s enough to fit a pair of 35mm studded Nokian Hakkapelitas– maybe even the 45mm– if that’s your thing.

  • Bob says:

    Another Bob,

    40mm+ on the Bryant? Really? The pics on the Civia Web site aren’t so encouraging, but the Dirt Rag people appear to have had the hands-on experience at InterBike so I’m not going to argue.

    Yep, the 40-622 Hakkapeliitta 240 is my current snow tire of choice. I like the sound they make, or maybe I really like the relative silence on the first spring ride with the slicks back on.

  • Scott says:

    That is a sharp looking bike. I am a big fan of couplers and have a coupled mountain bike for travelling.

    Regarding the Bryant, belt-drive and tire sizing, here are a few thoughts:
    As mentioned, the Civia Bryant is coming with 32s on production builds. It’s a good all-round tire size for run-of-the-mill commuting use. We are currently running our test Bryants with 35 knobbies and have adequate clearance to fenders designed to accommodate 35s. Minus the fenders or with a different set, the Bryant frameset will accommodate larger tires. I’ll track down the limiting measurement of inside chainstay clearance and post that.

    As for the belt, it’s fantastic. I’ve been riding one for the last thousand miles or so and love it’s simplicity and silence. Pedaling along and hearing nothing but tires on asphalt is really addictive.

    Bryants are going into production in February and will be available to buy in April.

    Scott, Civia GM

  • Belt drive fixed - Page 7 - London Fixed-gear and Single-speed says:

    […] it's not readily available as this guy seems to have built his own frame:-…rive-commuter/ I think it looks […]

  • Peter says:

    Can anyone confirm that the 40c Nokian Hakkapeliitta 240s will fit with fenders?

    They also happen to be my winter tire of choice :)

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