Chris came to us with an idea. He needed a bike that would take him quite literally around a continent. He and his girlfriend had planned a huge touring adventure that would see them skirt the edges of the USA and Canada in one gigantic 12,000-mile loop – a journey deserving of the word ‘epic’. Of course, if you’re going to spend that much time in the saddle you need a bike that’s designed for the purpose – and that’s why Chris asked us to build him this rugged, versatile touring bike.
The custom frame is built around a comfortable geometry, but with a turn of speed should Chris want to ‘open her up’ a little bit. We used disc brakes to give Chris extra control when he’s descending with the bike under load and the wheels are built with tough Pacenti rims.
We decided on a Rohloff hub for this build, because of the minimal maintenance required to keep it rolling. It has an internal gearbox, with even distributions between each gear – the fact it’s a sealed system means you don’t get the normal wear and tear that comes from exposure to road grime and dirt, and ensures a very low chance of mechanical issues. The carbon belt drive is from Gates, another German brand who specialise in lightweight, carbon belt drives.
Another smart feature that will really come in handy out on the road is the dynamo lighting system, which we neatly routed internally through the frame and fork. This will allow Chris to generate wattage while he pedals and power the EDelux II front lamp you can see fitted to the head tube. He also has a USB charger port in the headset – so he can keep his gadgets charged up while he travels.
Chris collected his bike earlier in the summer and we’re delighted to say that he and his girlfriend have already made it from Toronto, where they started off in July, to Calgary. That’s an awesome 2,000 miles under the belt. Just 10,000 more to go now.