Special Winter Bike Project

2012 update: Here’s a great shot of the bike with it’s intended layer of dirt from zero maintenance through the Oregon winter! Three years on and this is my go-to bike all winter for training, commuting and hauling supplies. To this end it got a couple of additions last summer with a rear light integrated into the seatmast, and a brazed on trailer hitch on the chainstay. And a slight change of color to black diamond with the necessary repaint! I just swapped out the belt for the Center Track version, but otherwise nothing much has been done in 7000 miles – one new set of tires and one new gear cable is all I think. I’m still on the first set of brake pads!

This is the bike I have wanted to build for a while, but only recently were all the components I needed readily available – namely integrated drop bar shifters for an internal hub gear and an efficient belt drive. These roles are fulfilled by the Sussex Engineering Versa shifters and the Carbon Drive belt/sprockets respectively. To accommodate the belt drive the frame needed a couple of special features to enable installation and tensioning of the belt, for this I created a split rear dropout for the former and used a Niner eccentric bottom bracket (custom machined to take a 68mm width road BB/crank setup) for the latter. To continue the low maintenance theme, the bike has disc brakes front and rear, mounted on custom post mounts for straight forward fitting. Finally, for my personal use (commuting and winter training) I decided to integrate the rear pannier rack as part of the frame, allowing a small set of panniers to be carried mounted low on the bike and as close to the centreline as possible. Otherwise the bike has regular road geometry, with clearance for 25C tires and fenders. MTB (29er) disc rims provide a wide tire profile for grip on winter roads. Lightweight was never a design intent with this bike, but the final 24lb complete weight is reasonable considering the Alfine hub, heavy duty wheels, rack and fenders.

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  1. 22 August 2011 | English Cycles - [...] up to Mt Hood along with delivering a bike in Portland (a customised, 11spd version of my winter bike…
  2. JV’s Winter bike | English Cycles - [...] by the winter bike I built for myself, I was asked to create something similar for Portland commuting. The…
  3. 10 October 2011 | English Cycles - [...] Yes it is coming around to that time of year again, and after two years I made a few…
  4. 6 March 2012 | English Cycles - [...] see on the home page; the rest of the detail pictures will follow shortly. Also a great shot of…
  5. English Cycles | Headset Press - [...] English is certainly making a name for himself as a unique bike builder. I really like this special winter…
  6. Superlight Alfine | English Cycles - [...] goal, so I needed to come up with something else. Having over 20,000 miles on my personal belt drive…
  7. Julian’s winter bike | English Cycles - [...] winter bike has served me exceptionally well – now four years old, it is pretty much all I ride…
  8. English Cycles - […] inventive cycle designs, and each time I visit the site, I discover more beautiful bicycles. The “special winter bike…
  9. 23 November 2016 | English Cycles - […] a dropbar shifter for Shimano’s Alfine hub in 2009 that I could finally build the ‘winter bike’ I had…

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