Gallery: Alan’s Civia Bryant Belt Alfine

Alan's Civia Bryant
Alan's Civia Bryant
Zoom
Alan's Civia Bryant
Zoom
Alan's Civia Bryant
Zoom
Alan's Civia Bryant
Alan's Civia Bryant
Alan's Civia Bryant
Zoom
Alan's Civia Bryant
Zoom
Alan's Civia Bryant
Zoom
Alan's Civia Bryant
Zoom

[Mel's beautiful photos of his Rivendell AHH inspired me to take advantage of this evening's gorgeous light and take some shots of my new bike for the Gallery. —Alan]

Specifications

  • Model: 2010 Civia Bryant Belt Alfine
  • Frame/Fork: 58cm Chromoly
  • Cranks: Civia Forged
  • Front Pulley: Gates 50T
  • Rear Pulley: Gates 24T
  • Belt: Gates Carbon Drive 118T
  • Internal Gear Hub: Shimano Alfine 8
  • Brakes: Avid BB5 Road
  • Shift/Brake Levers: Versa VRS-8
  • Headset: FSA Orbit
  • Seatpost: Civia
  • Handlebar: Civia
  • Stem: Civia 100mm
  • Saddle: Selle An-Atomica Titanico
  • Pedals: MKS Touring Light
  • Rims: Alex DH19 Disc
  • Tires: Michelin City 700×32
  • Front Rack: Pass & Stow
  • Rear Rack: Tubus Logo
  • Fenders: Civia Market, Pewter
  • Headlights: Fenix L2D
  • Tail Light: Planet Bike Superflash Stealth
  • Kickstand: Pletscher Double

Gallery: Mel’s Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen

Mel's AHH
Mel's AHH
Zoom
Mel's AHH
Zoom
Mel's AHH
Zoom

[Mel sent us these photos of his Rivendell AHH. —ed.]

My Hilsen is really pretty normal. It is a 59cm Waterford frame. The bars are the Nitto Noodle with the Standard Technomic stem. I got interrupters because I had always admired them but never had them on my own bike. Brakes are Silvers with the SRAM S500 levers. Shifting is done with Dura-Ace 9-speed bar-cons. The crank is the standard Rivendell Sugino triple. There is a 9-speed SRAM cassette shifted with a Shimano Deore XT M771 rear derailer and a Campy triple front. I splurged on the wheels and bottom bracket. In the years I worked in a bike shop, I handled a few wheels and bottom brackets built with Phil Wood’s equipment. So for this bike, my first Rivendell, I got a Phil Wood “Rivy” front hub and the Phil Wood 135mm cassette hub for the rear. The rims are Velocity Synergy with the rear being the offset rim. I wanted the rotating components to be strong, long-lived, and relative maintenance free but also totally rebuildable. The tires are the Jack Brown Blue’s that Rivendell sells.

Mel's AHH
Zoom

Everything else is a work in progress. I have a Nitto Mark’s rack on the front. A Nitto Top Rack is waiting for installation on the rear as soon as I get a few shorter M5 socket head screws. The kickstand is waiting for a short, socket head screw replacement so it can be mounted on the kickstand plate. I am currently using my older Brooks B17 Special. It really was the same color as the Brooks Honey handlebar tape when it was new! I have a new pair of the SKS P45 longboard fenders in brushed silver waiting along with a pair of fluted Velo Orange fenders I will have to decide on mounting. The seatpost is the Nitto Crystal Fellow. But I have to say that I am really looking hard at the new Paul seat post as an alternative somewhere down the line. I have entered into the quest for the perfect pedal. So far, these MKS touring pedals are running neck and neck with their Grip Kings – which are currently on my Litespeed.

Mel's AHH

What else can I say? Everything others have written is true. The bike is superb. Building it up, I often had to just stop, look, and run my hands over the work. It is truly an artisan bike. The lug work that Grant talks so much about is truly beautiful. The frame is straight, true, and relatively light. But even beyond the beauty and thoughtfulness that has gone into the design, the actual riding of the bike is wonderful. The miles I have logged on the Hilsen have been slower than on my Litespeed. But the comfort level has improved incredibly. The larger frame (I have always ridden 56cm frames) puts everything where my body tells me it should be. That means little if any lower back pains. It is amazing.

Mel

How Do You Roll?

Drivetrain

Since we’ve been discussing drivetrains, I thought it would be fun and interesting to set up a poll to see what types of set-ups our readers are running. I can’t possibly list every drivetrain combination out there, but I’ll hit the major (and a few minor) categories; feel free to elaborate in the comments.

What type of drivetrain are you running on your primary commuter/utility bike?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Capital Bikeshare

According to a recent article in the Washigton Post, D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare has been a great success, going beyond all expectations since its launch in September of last year. So far, over 300,000 trips have been logged, with an average of 3,000 per day last month. Membership is hovering near 11,000, with 1,100 bikes in circulation and 110 stations spread around D.C. and Arlington. According to program director Terry Bellamy, “Capital Bikeshare’s success right out of the gate has far exceeded our expectations.”

Capital Bikeshare

Thursday Morning Commute: Breezy

Thursday Morning Commute

Public

Public

Please help us welcome our latest sponsor, Public of San Francisco (see their banner in the sidebar). From the Public website:

We are a small team working from our headquarters and store at 123 South Park in San Francisco. We design and sell urban bikes, along with accessories to make riding enjoyable and chic. All of our products can be ordered online. We can ship a bike to your door or to your local bike store anywhere in the US. You can also find our bikes at about a dozen fine retailers around the country. We love having locals and visitors to our headquarters. It’s a great place to test ride, order our bikes, purchase our accessories, and chat with us. We love that too. If you’ve purchased a bike or accessories online for local pick-up, we’ll follow-up to schedule an appointment for local pick-ups at our 2125 Harrison Street warehouse.

Public

Musings on Derailleur Drivetrains and Internal Gear Hubs

Alfine 8 IGH

Anyone who has ridden a bike with a derailleur drivetrain pretty quickly learns when, where, and how to shift smoothly. Mostly it’s a matter of shifting while pedaling, but not while under too much load. Shifting while under too much power can cause mis-shifts and may even cause premature wear on drivetrain components. And, of course, attempting to shift while the pedals are stationary doesn’t accomplish anything; in other words, the chain needs to be moving for the derailleur to do its work of “derailing” the chain from one sprocket to the next. As long as these basic techniques are used, derailleur drivetrains are pretty easy to shift.

The difficulty of keeping track of 27 gear combinations may be one reason for the growing popularity of single speed drivetrains. It may also be a strong argument for internal gear hubs on commuting and city bikes.

The main difficulty with using derailleur drivetrains is not so much the technique of shifting the chain from one sprocket to another, but keeping track of where the chain is running on both the front and rear gear sets, particularly with triple cranks. As most experienced bicyclists know, it’s a good idea to avoid gear combinations that simultaneously place the chain on the inside chainring on the front and the outside cogs on the rear cassette, and vice versa. “Cross chaining”, as it’s called, places unnecessary wear on the drivetrain and may cause mis-shifts and even slippage. It’s perhaps a bit much to expect beginners to keep track of this while contending with traffic, pedestrians, dogs, joggers, and other bicyclists. I know of more than a few novice riders who rarely, if ever, shift out of the the middle chainring on their triple crank for this reason (my wife jokes that she rides a 3-speed even though her bike actually has 16 gear combinations). Of course, this completely defeats the purpose of having a wide-range triple drivetrain in the first place.

The difficulty of keeping track of 27 gear combinations may be one reason for the growing popularity of single speed drivetrains. It may also be a strong argument for internal gear hubs on commuting and city bikes.

Internal gear hubs (or IGHs as they’re often referred to), contain all of the shifting components within the hub. As such, they’re visually clean, they require minimal maintenance, and all of their gears are usable and controlled with only one shifter instead of the usual two found on most modern derailleur drivetrains. Shifting an IGH is linear, straight from the lowest to the highest gear with no possibility for cross chaining and no need to keep track of chain position. This straightforward shifting experience is a real boon to novices, and arguably, it provides a less-distracted riding experience for even more experienced riders.

So what’s it like to shift a modern IGH such as a Shimano Nexus/Alfine 8-speed, or a SRAM iMotion 9-speed? In general, they’re simpler and easier to use than double or triple derailleur drivetrains, with fewer mis-shifts and quieter operation, particularly for novices. Most use either indexed trigger shifters or twist shifters, though we’re starting to see road-style shifters designed specifically for drop bars. Probably their biggest advantage for city riding is that they can be shifted while sitting still. This allows the rider to roll up to a stop light in a high gear, then shift down to a lower gear while waiting for the light to turn. They can also be shifted while coasting and pedaling lightly. It’s not impossible to shift an IGH while under a heavy load, but it’s not advised; doing so is hard on the hub, and you will get some mis-shifts. And again, the linear quality of the shifting experience is simpler and less distracting than keeping track of three chainrings in front and 8-10 cogs in the rear.

I don’t expect to see internal gear hubs replace derailleur drivetrains. They’re heavier, mechanically more complex, and they can be expensive. Derailleur drivetrains are lightweight, highly efficient, relatively inexpensive, user serviceable, and they potentially offer a wider range and larger quantity of gear ratios than are currently available in IGHs. Internal gear hubs, on the other hand, offer simple operation, low maintenance, and a clean, simple look. Each has their advantages and disadvantages in different situations. The key is to fit the drivetrain to the needs of the rider. In my case, while I still enjoy the visual and aural aesthetics of a derailleur drivetrain (there’s nothing like the whirrr of a well-lubed chain snaking through a derailleur), I’m finding internal gear hubs more-and-more appealing as I ride them on a daily basis for commuting and utility use.


 
© 2011 EcoVelo™