Share this story:

Recommended Reading

*and* it appears to be belt drive.

You could sell me on this “drop bar Nexus” (or Spectro in this case) configuration if cabling was a little better too.  Zipties shouldn’t have to be a necessary evil, and you can’t really call it “housing” if you’re just covering the cable as it exits the guide.

Barring some miracle at Shimano or SRAM where they design a hub that’s suited for derailleur-oriented bikes (only how much of the market, again?), it seems to me that combining a movable cable attachment point on the hub with a clamp-on top tube cable guide and a Sturmey-Archer pulley would be much cleaner, in multiple senses of the word.

Watch for a new drop-bar nexus proto will have demo’d on the [Modal](/tag/modal). Also see [this related post]( from Andrew. The Racemuter is not belt-driven, no.

We built this bike as the ultimate low maintenance answer for all the folks that like to ride a road bike to work.  Modern race bikes are sure nice but most folks don’t clean and lube their bikes enough to make them last in Seattle weather.  People are often surprised when they find out their 9 or 10 (and now 11) speed drivetrain is shot after only one year commuting.  Also, most bikes do not have enough room for fenders.  The SRAM hub is totally serviceable.  I stock all the internal parts.  It is easy to add lube (Shimano says their hub does not need it.  It may be true in California, but not Seattle)  You can lube a SRAM hub from the side with no tools, but the Shimano needs to be taken appart.  Regardless, both should be overhauled every so often (every year or two, depending on conditions). 

The cable housing goes all the way back.  Having continuous housing limits the amount of dirt that can enter. I drilled out the down tube cable stops.  Also the SRAM click box has a strong spring inside it and requires housing be attached when removed, otherwise the spring would snap around and you would have a hard time getting it back on.  Cleaner “Sturmey Archer 3-speed” routing would be possible but it would make service more of a hassle than it needs to be. It would be nice to see a road bike frame designed for internal routing. 

The gear ratios of a 7 or 8 speed internally geared hub are about the same as a standard road bike gearing, minus the “down-hill-Lance Armstrong” high gears.  We moved the gear range lower for Seattle but it could easily be moved higher with a smaller rear cog.  It is not belt drive, it is a chain with a 38T chainring and 24T cog.  The “belt” is a Hebie Chainglider.  Oil your chain ONCE A YEAR!  No kidding.  Then when you do need to oil it you discover that it is still clean and not worn.  Amazing what keeping a chain clean will do.

Basically you can ride this bike hard and put it away wet (just like you do now with your road bike!) and it will not mind at all. That was the goal, low, low, low maintenance.

Cheers, Aaron

From what I saw from the Interbike spy photos, belt drives were “the new hotness”. I’m wondering how long until we see a “Seattle bike” with road disc brakes, a belt drive and internally geared hub…

Until I’ve ridden a belt-driven bike up a Seattle hill in the pouring rain and it doesn’t slip, I’m not convinced. I want to see belt drives like everyone else, but wonder, “where are tubeless tires for commuting?” Imagine the difference the industry could make in commuter’s lives if they manufactured an affordable tubeless commuter wheelset? Probably a whole lot better than belt drives.