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My Rohloff geared Vaya
Fed up with trying to keep derailleur gears working properly with all the crap they get thrown on them during my commute I considered whether a hub gear would be a better option. I looked at the Shimano options but their range was too limited and to get a low enough gear to cope with light touring up big hills took me into chainring/sprocket combinations that invalidated the warranty. that really only left one alternative, The Rohloff Speedhub. This has 14 equally spaced speeds with a range of 526% so giving more than the range of most mountain bikes.

I also fancied a reasonable steel frame and opted originally for the Surly disk trucker but short supply of it with about 5 months to wait for new supplies took me in the direction of a Salsa Vaya. It's quite a nice frame but as I was to discover it was not really Rohloff compatible. There were problems mounting the torque arm of the Rohloff under the chainstay and putting it up the seat stays was not possible as the remote gear changing gubbins on the disk brake model fouled on the lugs for the mudguards. Some lateral thinking and I came up with a solution that seems to have worked quite well. It involved making three stainless steel plates to locate a bolt to take the reaction from the hub's axle. I was quite pleased with the arrangement and it certainly looked better than having the big torque arm plate under the chainstay.

I visited many, many websites looking for the bits I needed to build it. The hub and frame came from Triton cycles and the wheels were built up by Spa cycles who also supplied the dynamo hub for the front wheel. Since finishing the assembly of it in late March/early April 2013 I've now done over 8000km on it and it is finally feeling like the gearbox is fully run in now. I rode it up to Erchless Castle for our Easter walking week in 2013 and did a couple of decent trips while I was there. I also used it for three Audax rides in May 2013: a 150km, a 200km and the Snow Roads 300km that includes 4800m of climbing and the same two 150 and 200km rides this year. It coped quite well with the big hills so my torque resisting device has proved to be fine. I also did the Etape Caledonia route with Ron and some of his colleagues and friends at the end of September 2013 and another ride around Perthshire and Angus in February 2014. All the rest has been done commuting to work.