F1 In The Sun: REEB Dikyelous

F1 In The Sun: REEB Dikyelous

Take a closer look at that bottom bracket. This Reeb Cycles Dikyelous was designed and built specifically around the Gates Carbon Drive and Pinion gearbox, showcasing the advantages of each contributor. The JPS F1 colour scheme is just the icing on the cake.

F1 In The Sun: REEB Dikyelous

Marc Seemann is the Program Lead of Gates Carbon Drive North America and has been a fan of Colorado’s Reeb Cycles ever since Gates had been working with them for events like NAHBS. It’s hard not to like a brand of bikes that was literally founded in a brewery.

F1 In The Sun: REEB Dikyelous

I asked Marc about his thought processes behind the build and he had this to say: “Gates and Pinion are a match made in heaven. The only maintenance on the gearbox is to change the oil every year so a maintenance free belt final drive is a perfect compliment. I spray the bike with the hose when its dirty, keep air in the tires and that’s about it.

“The Pinion is excellent off road. All of the drivetrain weight is centered so the bike handles really well. The range of gears on this 9 speed XR box is 568% with even 24% steps, a perfect range for Colorado’s terrain. The shifting does take a little bit to adapt to since you need to reduce the power on the pedals to shift . Getting the coordination of power application and twisting the shifter took me about 4 rides and now I don’t think about it anymore. There are some advantages I have discovered with time like shifting mid corner or in rocky sections without pedalling.”

F1 In The Sun: REEB Dikyelous

And what about the Team Lotus colour scheme? “The JPS reference – I’ve been an F1 fan my whole life and my favorite car has always been the Lotus 72 that Emerson Fittipaldi won the world championship with in 1974. This is the first bike I have ever been able to choose the colour so the black and gold just seemed like the way to go. Some people might think that is dorky or stupid so the colours can also work as a reference to the Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am. If you think that is dorky or stupid too, then I don’t think we can be friends!”

F1 In The Sun: REEB Dikyelous

Chris Sulfrian’s offical title is ‘FabREEBcator’ — he makes the bikes at Reeb Cycles, and he also had some interesting insights about the setup: “The Pinion is a really great system, and the engineers there have done a very nice job of making it easy to integrate with a frame. They’ve even gone so far as to offer a fixture for the mounting bridge that you can use with your frame fixture of choice. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a lot more forethought about ease of integration than most bike industry companies put into their products.

“I’ve built something like 15 Pinion-equipped bikes at this point, and they’re all relatively straightforward. The biggest issue anyone will run into when building around the gearbox is chainstay length and clearance; the box and mounting bridge extend much farther back than a traditional bottom bracket. I’ve experimented with a few different yoke solutions for this, but it wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I designed and machined a yoke that I felt wasn’t just a band-aid afterthought ‘solution’.

“We have our own CNC mill in the shop here, so the yoke was something that I made specifically for this application. With that we’re able to get the chainstays as short as physically possible, while maintaining clearance for 27.5×3″ or 29×2.5” tires. Other than that building a frame isn’t much different than normal. The gearbox acts as a torque multiplier, which can flex the frame more along the belt line than a traditional drivetrain. Our frames start out very stiff (Gates has a platform to test rear end stiffness along two planes for Rohloff/Carbon drive equipped bikes, and ours are consistently stiffer than most), and I end up using a larger diameter chainstay as well as a substantial yoke on all the Pinion frames. Because of those things, skipping belts or unnecessary flex of the frame hasn’t been an issue with any of these bikes we’ve built.

“The Dikyelous is built to be an “all-mountain hardtail”. We love to do big backcountry rides with lots of climbing and lots of descending, so we need a bike that’s very capable both ways. The whole crew at Reeb rides single speed, and the bike is built to be the best at that type of riding. The lovely thing about the dropouts we use is the versatility they have — you can switch out the (inexpensive) inserts to be able to run single speed, geared, or even Rohloff. We currently use a custom tubeset that I designed and had True Temper manufacture, but with their exit from the bike industry tube supply is drying up pretty quickly. We’re working to get a new supplier, but nothing has been finalized yet.

F1 In The Sun: REEB Dikyelous

We’ve featured a couple of Reeb Cycles on Cycle EXIF previously, and the relationship between the Oskar Blues brewery and Reeb was intriguing, so Chris cleared it up for me: “Reeb Cycles was never owned by Oskar Blues; we’re sister companies, founded by the same guy (Dale Katechis) because of his love for bikes. We’ve always had a very close relationship with the brewery, so a lot of people think we’re just some cutesy marketing ploy created to sell beer. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Dale and the culture he’s created at the brewery is a very do-it-yourself one. When the opportunity arose to be able to make the very thing we love most, it was jumped on and Reeb was born. We all live and breathe bikes and really see it as an integral part of our every day, and Reeb helps us spread that love to the people around us.

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Big thanks to Paul Tolme for the tip and Tim Lucking at Gates Carbon Drive for the photos.

F1 In The Sun: REEB Dikyelous