Archive for February, 2012

Show and Tell Friday- Matt’s Belt Drive Sycip

February 17, 2012

Gotta say I feel a little silly writing in the 3rd person for a post that’s basically going to say “Hey, look at my bike!” but there’s a reason why I’m doing such a thing.

Lately there’s been a small wave of visitors to our site who’ve come away with questions not about our wonderful urban cycling apparel but about the handsome bike I make a little less handsome by standing next to it.

I think it’s cool that people are curious. As a dyed-in-the-merino bike geek, I’m always checking out what folks are riding. For being so simple in the scheme of things, bikes are truly fascinating machines.

That being said, I just wanted to do quick little show and tell about my belt drive Sycip so anyone who’s bike curious won’t have to wait have to wait around for an answer. That being said, if you’ve got a question. Definitely ask. I love hearing from y’all.

So yeah, I guess my bike would fall under the realm of being a Java Boy. I’ve known the Sycip brothers for years and think they do amazing work. I could nerd out for days about them and the allure of hand-built bikes but right now we must. stay. focused.

Jeremy custom built the frame around Shimano’s 11 speed Alfine Hub and a Gates Carbon Belt Drive. Internal gears and belt drives have intrigued me for a while. To me it seems like the perfect combination of speed and simplicity for city riding. This bike is my car and the range of the Alfine hub is perfect for Los Angeles. Granted, my adventures haven’t lead to taking a short cut up Fargo Street but so far the low gear is plenty low and when my legs are up to it I can open it up and really haul ass. Of course that’s all relative.

The belt drive has been absolutely trouble free. It literally needs no upkeep and it makes a Ninja seem noisy. The hub has been solid and reliable as well which is a good thing. For being a simplifier it is a rather complex device.

This oil can sticker cracks me up every time I look at it. Reminds me of something you’d see in an old Dastun. (Wait, at this point aren’t all Datsuns old?) Oil only needs to be added every 11,000 kilometers so maybe by 2015 it will be due for a spritzing.

Up front is a VeloORANGE rack that Jeremy fabricated to bolt-on cleanly and a bag from Inside Line Equipment that was sized to fit snugly inside. The bag expands quite a bit so it’s great for runs to the store or post office. If you’ve never tried them, Vittoria Randonnuer tires are quite possibly the ultimate tire for city riding. Lastly, the stem is a basic Titec that Jeremy had powder coated so the curtains could match the proverbial carpet so to speak.

The one big upgrade I’ve made since I got the bike was this NOS Campy seat post- one of the most elegant seat posts ever made. It was my big score at the SF Bike Expo. A guy walked by our booth with two (!) of them that he’d picked up at the swap meet and since he only had one butt, we quickly worked out a swap of our own. I’ve always lusted after one and it was such a random treat to finally get my grubby little mitts on one.

Hand made in Sonoma County, yo.

If you’ve got a bike you’d like to show off, send us some pics. We’d love to showcase it.