Greg from Schlick Cycles sent us these photos of a custom-built Northpaw fat-bike with a Gates Belt Drive, a Rohloff Speedhub and a SRAM Dyno front hub that they built for a rider in Eastern Michigan. Initial reports from the owner are very favorable and, as with all fat-bikes, he is amazed at the number of people who ask questions about the large tired bike.
One standout feature is the Rohloff Speed hub that offers 14 speeds covering the same basic range as a 3×9 MTB drivetrain contained in a low-maintenance, Internally-Geared Hub.
Keeping with the low-maintenance theme, the Gates Centertrack Carbon Drive Belt system is as low-maintenance as you can get for a drivetrain!
The Paragon Slider allows the belt to be tensioned and, by using different Gates Belt lengths, the wheelbase can be adjusted to suit riding conditions and style. This bike has the venerable Avid BB7 mechanical brake but Magura Hydraulic brakes are a great option if you are looking for low-maintenance.
While this bike was a one-off custom, Greg informs us that Schlick Cycles is in the process of becoming certified by Rohloff to build belt-drive fat-bikes with Rohloff hubs and be able to offer full factory warranties.
Greg says a point worth noting is that the Rohloff uses a wider belt line than the other popular Internally-Geared Hubs out there allowing a wider rim/tire combo than is possible on any other IGH. On a Shimano, Nuvinci or SRAM IGH a 65mm rim with an Endo or a Larry is about as wide as you can go when using a belt drive. The Rohloff has about a 10mm wider belt line. While testing is still ongoing, there is plenty of clearance for Big Fat Larry’s on 82mm rims like the Rolling Darryl. We will try to keep up with other combos to show how wide you can go!
What is one of these bad boys going to set you back? Schlick Cycles works with each rider individually to dial in their spec to suit their specific needs but you can expect a well equipped Rohloff Northpaw to go for about $4,500. Give Schlick Cycles a shout if you are interested at firstname.lastname@example.org!