This is the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Meet our new buddies for the rest of our bicycle touring adventure: the Santos Travelmaster 2.9 with Pinion and Gates Belt Drive! No, it was definately not time to send the Travel Lites to the bicycle graveyard, they could easily keep going, but these new Pinion babies need a ride on tougher ground. And we have the honor to be one of the first (if not the first) world cyclists to show them around the globe.
The strong ALU frame of the Travelmaster 2.9 is a real 29er and has been made suitable for a suspension front fork, hence the curve in the down tube (ours has a fixed steel front fork though). The curve in the upper tube is there to easily fit a large (2,5ltr) bottle.
We all know the Rohloff hub by now, but these babies are packed with the new Pinion system, which has 18 gears. The range of these gears is 636% in contrast to the 526% the Rohloff hub has to offer. The other difference is the location of the gear box; while the Rohloff hub is situated in the rear wheel, the Pinion is positioned in the middle of the bicycle, so the bracket is included in the Pinion box.
For tensioning the belt, the horizontal dropouts is a less reliable option and normally Santos uses an excentric bottom bracket on their Rohloff bicycles. But, since that’s not possible with the Pinion, Santos developed a tensioning part, which is the small wheel behind the front sprocket.
Well, we will take these Santosses for a ride to the North and will definately find some great offroad cycling and hopefully a short winter trip as well. Let the fun begin!