Don't let anybody tell you this doesn't work with that. Find out for yourself!

Dateline June 2022

About 6 years ago, I built a Dutch cargo bike from a Zeitbikes short wheelbase frameset. Not remarkable, Cargocycles in Fitzroy were selling off a bunch of discontinued framesets, and I see the odd Zeitbikes machine about. What was remarkable about my build was, I wanted to assemble the components from recycled parts. I live in a somewhat affluent area and the hard rubbish piles on the side of the streets around my place often have bicycles. I raid these bicycles for usable parts.

The thing is, you never find bikes with Shimano internally geared hubs with the drum brake option, and that's what the Zeitbike was designed for, A 7 speed IGH with drum brake. I was going to have to mullet the f* out of this project. It stalled a few times. There was some difficulty getting things to work. "Ya think?" I hear more than a few say.

I had a dynamo hub from a touring bike reframe, where the touring bike had to get left behind in Vietnam, and the dyno wheel made the bike just that fraction too heavy for baggage allowance, so I was left with a 700c, rim brake wheel with no suitable bike for it. I had a heap of Shimano mountain bike hubs and rims from scrounging the wasteful affluence of Melbourne's inner south. I had a dia-compe centrepull brakeset (long story) that I'd naively thought could be adapted to the now expat tourer. I could make this work. Right?

Well, as you can see over there on the right, it works. 1x9, wide range cassette (11 to 39), long cage derailler, but yeah, the rear brake is hidden. Hah ha ha, it's a secret...

Well, not really. Using an Australian hardware product (Make-A-Bracket) from my local Bunnings store, I built an adapter for the Diacompe to match it to the Zeitbike's brake bridge. This pic is before the saddle pull arrived from eBay and before I put an M6 rivnut in the L-piece for an M6 hollow adjuster screw.

So, there you have it. The success of this project and, a few others as well, has led me to the decision to blog this stuff. What's possible, what's not, is anything on this level impossible?

"But WHY?!" I hear some ask. Why not? For me, I'm on a pension, I don't have the money for carbon this-or-that and Reynolds tubesets or lycra, 'n' shit. I like to ride what I can bring and be proud of it. I like to re-cycle old bike parts because, just because bicycles are the most energy efficient form of transport known to humanity, we can be more efficient, right? We can stop sending all that steel, alloy, rubber and plastic to landfill, right?

I also hate e-bikes, for myself, but if you don't, I'm cool with that, like I say, often, ride what you bring. I don't judge. You ride,that's what matters. I'll ride under my own motive power until I can't anymore, because that's the beauty of the bicycle - five times more energy efficient than walking with the same load. The MOST energy efficient machine that humans have ever invented. e-Bikes kind of spoil that for me.


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