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!
You really can’t go wrong with a Schlick. Greg works individually with each owner to make sure their bikes is made specifically for them. I know, I have TWO. Thanks Greg(and Tom T), keep up the great work.
I think belt drives and internally geared hubs are the future. Impressive I like it!
What does this rig weigh in at?
Brian, the above bike is a custom with noon-standard parts and came in right about 35 pounds. Our standard spec will be in the 33 pound range with more $$ shaving off that.
Anything with a Rohloff is not going to be a light bike, but that’s not what these bikes are about.
While I appreciate custom builds, there is some mis-information.
The following quote is incorrect:
“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.”
I currently have a bike with a gates belt drive and a shimano alfine 11 igh. I am running 82mm wide Rolling Daryl rims and I have plenty of clearance. I’m pretty sure I can run nates with my set up possibly big fat larrys.
Andrew, Thanks for checking out the bike!
To your point about the width of tires and rims that fit with an IGH like the Alfine. Notice that the quote says “about”. With a 65mm rim, a Larry and the Centertrack belt set up per Gates specs there is about 10mm between the belt and the wide point of the tire. We consider this a safe margin because tires vary somewhat, tires are not mounted on rims correctly, flats occur causing tires to deform, snow builds up and other situations can bite into that safety margin. Granted there are ways to “cheat” the setup, and many people do, but as a manufacturer we leave modifications that are inside the safety margin up to the particular customer.
I’m glad you’ve got your bike working the way you want it to!
Absolutely nasty! Myself, I’d probably run a chain drive and a non-dyno front hub but other than those two tiny details this bike is mint. 2 thumbs way up.
Beautiful bike, I want one. But first I guess I’ll have to pay for it.
belt drive is the way to go for snow since it always tries to wash the oil out of the chain.