If the single-shift Shimano Di2 electronic system we featured yesterday wasn’t enough for the techno boffins out there, maybe the latest creation from Rob English will be enough to placate them. Rob has concealed not only a Gates carbon belt drive but Fallbrook Technologies’ NuVinci continuously variable planetary (CVP) transmission into an elegant, candy-coated cruiser frame.
If you haven’t come across the NuVinci CVP before, it provides a completely seamless transmission between low and high ‘gears’ with no fixed ratios. A series of balls inside the hub tilt against the input and output components to vary the speed of the transmission. No clicking, no clunking.
Rob has already established a reputation for exceptionally tidy racing frames with ingenious cable routing solutions, and he’s applied that ethos to this cruiser. The cables for the rear disc brake and rear hub travel through the twin spar top tubes, while the front disc cable runs inside the stem, steerer and twin-bladed fork. It’s his heaviest build yet at 30lbs, but the 29″ wheels, fork and the NuVinci hub result in a very smooth ride. It’s also extremely silent and clean, thanks to the Gates belt drive which has no metal-to-metal contact and requires no grease. Wooden fenders by Washington’s Creative Openings complete a bike with vintage sensibilities and the latest in functional innovation.
For those who enjoy brilliant engineering, read more about the CVP system on the Fallbrook Technology website (there’s also a very informative video that illustrates how it works). You can contact Rob through the English Cycles website, and view his other projects, including a stealthy matte black road frame with gold accents built for Simon Tyler. It’s superb.