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Bullitt Cargo bike - Custom Rohloff / Gates / BBSHD

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    Bullitt Cargo bike - Custom Rohloff / Gates / BBSHD

    Finally after about 1000 trouble free miles, I feel I'm ready to do a write up.

    In Summer of 2016 - I spend a lot of time researching a cargo bike setup to commute to work and to take my kids to school.
    After selling an old car that we didn't need anymore, I finally had the funds and settled on a Bullitt Cargo bike.

    This was going to be a complete custom build up.
    The Bullitt frame kit with the custom matte black finish was ordered from Blue Heron Bikes, Berkeley CA. (The only Bullitt dealer near San Francisco.)
    I sourced the Rohloff (CC DB OEM2 36H) directly from a Rohloff dealer in Germany. It arrived within 5 days via DHL.
    Cycle Monkey build up my Rohloff 26" wheel using Ryde Andra 35 rim, Sapim strong spokes. This was the strongest possible build up Cycle Monkey suggested.
    Cycle Monkey helped with the belt length calculation and a 108 tooth belt was used.
    BBSHD from Luna with a 52v 24ah triangle battery.
    Shimano STePS FC-E6000 Crank Arm Set with FSA self extracting crank bolts. (I believe they were 22mm in size.

    I really wanted a belt setup and took a chance with getting the Gates parts and ordering the Bullitt frame with the split drop out. I wasn't sure if the Rohloff was going to align with the BBSHD as I knew there was not a lot of wiggle room.
    Adding the BBSHD was done once I got the bike home. Luckily I got everything into place with minor adjustments. Gates Carbon Drive belt only allows for 1mm +/- variance on the belt line. I believe the Rohloff requires a 54mm chain line in a 135mm drop out.

    The details:

    -I did have to grind away a little bit of the BBSHD non-drive side mounting tab to clear the Bullitt bottom bracket.
    -The Rohloff uses the 12 spline sprocket carrier(Part 8224). The Rohloff 20T gates cog has a 3mm offset. It is reversible so are Gates front chain rings (50T) . I have the rear cog offset to the drive side and front 50T chain / belt ring offset to the non-drive side.
    -I'm using the Luna BBSHD 130bcd Spider Chain ring Adapter, it offered the most offset without going to the Eclipse. (I tried a few different ones - Eclipse has too much offset for the Rohloff
    The California ebike Bafang BBSHD Chain ring Adapter HD130 was beefier, but it didn't have enough offset I needed.)
    -I had to use 1.5mm washers / spacers between the front chain ring and the chaining adapter to put the front ring further non-drive side.
    -Clean the area where the BBSHD interface with the BB real good. My BBSHD had a lot of paint build up in that area and would have added more offset. YMMV (I know, I'm a little bit OCD)
    -Get chain ring bolts that has a very thin lip or they will touch the BBSHD body. I used some FSA aluminum chain ring bolts and I have less than 1mm clearance.
    -There was no chain tensioner on the Bullitt drop out and the belt was starting to skip under heavy load. I ordered some cheap single speed chain tensioner off amazon and now I can actually register some belt tension using the Rohloff belt tension cricket tool. (Belt skipping problem solved.)
    -The bike is setup to be PAS only and my setup when fully loaded is about 330 lbs. (Bike with battery + motor + me and two 6 years old kids) I'm not sure about the range as I have never run out of power. I have only charge to 80% (about 54.5 volts) After 22 miles with the fully loaded bike, I'm at 47 volts. (I do a fair bit of peddling.)
    -I think the gearing 50T/20T with the Rohloff is perfect for my commute through the hills of San Francisco.
    -Magura MT5 brakes front and rear 203F / 180R.

    Me and the kids are loving it so far! If only they will grow up a little slower! Click image for larger version  Name:	image5Small.jpg Views:	2 Size:	2.41 MB ID:	38913
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    Attached Files
    Last edited by insider; 08-19-2017, 02:44 PM.

    Pic link doesn't work and this makes me sad.


      Originally posted by Sneakers915 View Post
      Pic link doesn't work and this makes me sad.
      So Sorry! I corrected the photos!


        What a sweet setup, one of my friends has a Bullitt and it's really a beautiful bike. The idea of a BBSHD/Gates build really appeals to me, I may have to order me one of the Soma B-Side frames sooner or later attempt it, the Shimano 3 speed IGH Eric says has a real beefy middle gear sounds like it might be a good hub for a dummy like me to start with.


          Amazing build, I don't think we have seen anyone sucessfully pull off that combination before (rohloff+belt+bbshd)
          So many others have run into issues before, it seemed difficult. Did you just have good luck or did you plan things out ahead of time, from your writeup you make it sound so easy! :)

          What kind of cable management wrap did you use on there? Looks nice.


            So clean it looks like a factory build!! Very good performance you posted as well, wish I had gone with the 52 volt battery.


              Originally posted by paxtana View Post
              Amazing build, I don't think we have seen anyone sucessfully pull off that combination before (rohloff+belt+bbshd)
              So many others have run into issues before, it seemed difficult. Did you just have good luck or did you plan things out ahead of time, from your writeup you make it sound so easy! :)

              What kind of cable management wrap did you use on there? Looks nice.
              The Rohloff offset was a known fact. At the time when I did research, no vendor was able to tell me with certainty what the offset was on the BBSHD, so I bought various spacers, chain ring bolts and chain rings to test fit. Many hours went into the setup 8^|
              (I can go on and on about the thought that went into every part of the bike, but I won't want people to think I'm nuts...)
              The cargo box it self is mounted on standard quick release skewers, that was a bonus I didn't have to engineer.

              It was hard to tell if the belt is lined up, but your ears will know. If the belt is not aligned, you can hear the center track scraping. The moment everything is aligned - the sweet sound of silence.

              Frankly, even if everything worked out on paper, stacking tolerances can still ruin the show. If all else fails, I can still fall back to using a chain with tensioner.

              I used these 1/2 inch braided cable sleeve found on Amazon and ran 6 AWG power wires with XT90 connectors into the battery.


                Thank you for the share of the braided sleeves, and one of the cleanest builds I have seen!!!


                  Very nice build! The Rohloff IGH is the only IGH I know of that has a huge offset from center for belt drive applications besides cassette IGH's. That really simplifies a belt drive install.

                  Ditto on the Braided Sleeve link. Thanks to you, I picked up the 1/4" Split-Braided style at my local Orvac Electronics for $0.64 a foot to cover up my red and black battery wires that have been annoying me ever since I completed the build. Black braided looks much better!
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by Rider; 08-06-2017, 08:06 AM.
                  1st Build - Soma B-Side Belt Drive 3spd IGH (3K+ miles):
                  2nd Build - Electra Lux Alloy Cruiser 5spd IGH 29+ (SOLD)
                  3rd Build - Niner Jet 9:
                  4th Build - Surly ECR 5spd IGH 29+:


                    Finally got these belt specific sliding drops, now belt tension is a breeze!
                    Last edited by insider; 10-29-2017, 11:17 AM.


                      Hey Insider!

                      I'm dreaming up an essentially identical build myself. THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting your "progress report". I stumbled upon this during my own 'countless hours' of research and You have provided a catapult of sorts, to help me thru the glut of information (useful and otherwise) regarding the BBSxx/belt/IGH/bullitt conversation... This is certainly a game changer.

                      Not sure if you can tell that I'm in over my head, but just looking at your build helps to put my mind at ease a bit. At least makes the project seem a bit more approachable, now.

                      I'm from SF originally, now in PGH. So hills have always been a consideration. I've been told the BBS02 will suffice for similar needs (work/fun/kids). And I'm going with the free-to-me Alfine11.

                      I figured I'd use some spacers between the cranks/adapter/spacer and chainring to compensate for the mid-drive offset. It's surely a trial and error process.

                      Curious if you've looked into the new Gates chainrings? They're NOW offering Shimano STePs ("Di2 CDX", 130bcd) compatible rings. These rings provide an offset that might help with belt-line alignment, even without the STePs specific components. I'll still need the adapter, but with a shorter belt line, I just hope the extra offset will help.

                      I also didn't know that Gates rings could be flipped, so that is GREAT news too!! It looks like you used the gates CDX chainring. Did you also use the CDX rear cog?
                      Also, why did you choose the Rholoff IGH? anything in particular, other than awesomeness and enormous range of gears?

                      I've got the frame and some little bits already, including the wheel set. I should probably start my own thread. But I have to give credit where it's due. Thanks!!


                        Great post! I have an almost identical setup on my Spot Acme in SF, with the rear wheel built by Cycle Monkey on the Andra 30.

                        I had the BBSHD running on the stock Alfine 11 for about a year, but the offset meant you had to run the belt super tight otherwise it would jump. I would never advise anyone to run a Gates belt without an exactly straight driveline. That and the fact I munched two belts and two Alfine 11's in a year meant I was due for the Rohloff.

                        I'm about a month into the Rohloff now so ~250 miles in and I'm really happy with it. I have an earlier Rohloff (New Old Stock, bought for a great price on Craigslist) which means the smallest cog I could get was a 22t. I have the 50 on the front but I'm probably going to go to the 60 since I'm never in 1-4th gear and run out of gears on the top end.

                        Also going to a grip shift means I want brake handles with more clearance.


                        • keezer
                          keezer commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Hi, I'm looking to do a BBSHD +gates build on a soma wolverine with the Sturmey Archer CS-RK3 (a la Rider's setup). Could I get a few details on your bike? Since you're running a Rohloff I assume your beltline is around 54.7mm. What spider/adapters did you use to achieve your beltline? Also, did you have any trouble with chainstay clearance and the BBSHD housing?