Reader’s Ride(s) – Brian’s Rohloff 9:Zero:7


Brian from across the lake in Holland, MI shot us this story about his Rohloff equipped 9:Zero:7.

I love single track MTB, but good trails are about an hour drive. My back yard has 2+ square miles of dune trails that deposit on to an undeveloped stretch of prime Lake Michigan shore. I have run these trails for years and when I bought my first fat-bike, a Mukluk 2, a whole new world of fun opened up. I have been riding fat-bikes for 2 years now. Most of the riding is on sand dunes and beach, but in the winter you mix in snow and ice. One thing that I have learned -sand, water, and especially snow make for havoc on drivetrain. Although I like to tinker on bikes, I do not like cleaning them and hate failures while out riding. Thus, I have explored internally geared hubs (IGH). Initially, I built up a 9:Zero:7 and paired it with Nuvinci N360 and Gates carbon belt drive. That was nice, but I did not have the low end needed to get up some of the steeper dunes. So, I built up a 14-speed Rohloff SpeedHub with 135mm adapter for my Mukluk 2 and I found a good match. It is a rock solid hub that gets all the gear I need low and top. Great ride, but I still had a chain. So, I bought another Rohloff and paired it to 9:Zero:7 sliding rear drop out with the Gates belt drive. The Rohloff is $$$, but it will likely out last me. I never miss a gear and you can shift with out pedaling. So, when you stop on a hill, just a twist and you are in that low gear you need immediately. I don’t think twice about going out on wet sanding trails or even dipping the bike in the lake. I spend my time riding not cleaning or adjusting.

Brian, Holland, MI USA

  • 9:Zero:7 with sliding rear dropout
  • Gates Carbon Drive CenterTrack Belt
  • Rohloff Speedhub
  • Carver Carbon O’Beast fork
  • Salsa Pro Moto 2 Handle Bars
  • Avid Elixir 7 hydraulic brakes
  • Surly Clown Shoe 100mm Rims
  • Salsa Mukluk 2 32h front hub
  • DT Swiss comp spokes
  • Husker Du 4″ 120tpi tires (sometimes run BFL as well)
  • Race Face Turbine seat post
  • Salsa Pro Moto stem
  • Cane Creek 40-series headset
  • E Thirteen crankset
  • Pure V WTB seat
  • Trusty old TIME ATAC pedals, (Welgo platforms in the winter)

Do you have a fat-bike build you are particularly proud of? Would you like to tell our readers about your experiences? Let us know with a note to and we’ll make you famous!

8 Responses to Reader’s Ride(s) – Brian’s Rohloff 9:Zero:7

  1. Ken Boer June 16, 2013 at 5:45 am #

    Sweeet ride.
    Probably because its just about what I have built! But I envy your gates belt drive and o’beast fork.
    Does the belt tension affect the gear changes?

    • brian June 17, 2013 at 7:31 am #

      The belt tension has no affect on gear shifting. You have to set it up right to begin. Gates has an app for my iPhone that records the harmonic tone that I match for the right tension. I pluck the belt in the middle just like a string and when it is at the right frequency your done. I have not had to adjust it since. It is super quiet to ride.

  2. craig August 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    What cogs and belt did you end up with. I have just built a similar 9zero7 with a nuvinci hub with the same problem and considering the same swap.

  3. brian September 11, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    Sorry this is late, I have not checked this in a while. Rear 22t, front 42t, belt 115. I did not have success with the Nuvinci because, #1 had failures with the hub itself, #2 did not have the gearing. Buy the Rohloff, you will grin ear to ear and never look back. You will need an Rohloff adapter for the gates cog which I bought though Cycle monkey. Also, get the monkey bone for the brake, trust me it makes things clean and easier to remove wheel. Post your bike when you get it built. Have a FAT ride!

  4. ray October 13, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    How type of weight are you able to achieve?

    • Brian May 25, 2014 at 3:37 am #

      31# with my old pedals

  5. Gert-Jan February 16, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    Hey Brian,
    I have a question.
    When you use the Surly 135mm adapter, is your rohloff still in balans with the frame?
    Because I don t understand how the Rohloff stays in line with the crank and in the centre of the bike.


    • Brian May 25, 2014 at 3:46 am #

      The 9zero7 is 135mm spacing so no need for spacer. I have a mukluk 2 that uses an 35mm adapter(made by salsa) for the 170mm to fit a 135mm hub ie my Rohloff. Works great. Just build the same offset as if it were 135mm. I have news that Rohloff is developing a 170mm hub. That would open up some carbon fiber frames that I am interested in. I would think that the 35mm adapter would work for all 170mm bikes.

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