Experience from the REAL World:

Drivetrains & Derailleurs

All OLSEN bikes are designed to run derailleurs. However we also wanted some versatility to run other alternatives to the chain. Chains have links that rust, trap mud, water, and grit, and must be oiled. Remember that a derailleur chain drive system has losses with its forever changing chainline. Gates Carbon Drive runs clean and sheds water, mud, and grit.

If you are after low maintenance drivetrain, forget the derailleur, you will be looking at Single Speed or Internal Hub gears, like Shimano Alfine, Rohloff Speedhub and Kindernay XIV. There are also other alternatives like the Pinion Gearbox and Bosch e-Bike drivetrains. There is no coincidence that all the above have also developed their systems to work with Gates Carbondrive.

If you are not convinced, there will be a winter when you wear out too many chains and sprockets in one season. This happened to me, and I have not looked back. Gates Carbondrive lasts over 2 winters so the investment pays itself back.

For all these drivetrains to work, frames need a method to tension the chain or belt. The only extra feature to make this frame belt-drive compatible, is a split seatstay or chainstay. If the engineer has gone to all the effort designing a chain tensioning system, then it does not take much to split the frame.

new model - 64 head angle hardcore hardtail




The RocknRollout Dropout is at the heart of the OLSEN frame design. We have focused our design around the rear derailleur dropout, but taken it further. Most bicycle frames have replaceable dropouts, but they do not allow for anything other than a derailleur. This idea came from the fact that UK riders often have a winter bike, which is often single-speed.

bikes with pinion : gates : rohloff

fun trail bike 27.5x3.0" or 29x2.6"

Mokihinui pinion bikes

two wheels 27.5x3.0" or 29x2.6" two bikes




A central, low centre of gravity for excellent handling and unrivalled riding dynamics, minimal maintenance, and a superior, perfectly graduated gear range – mountain bikes with Pinion gearboxes are made tough for your next offroad adventure. Whether it’s a multi-day tour, a demanding enduro stage, or a World Cup downhill course, Pinion shifting is the definition of consistent and reliable performance.

bikepacking 29+ tourer


low maintenance belt-drive

Rolhoff speedhub compatble bikes

If you're planning a long-distance bike packing tour, one of the best upgrades you can make to your bike is to switch to a Rohloff geared hub. A Rohloff Speedhub offers a number of benefits over a traditional derailleur system.

Overall, a Rohloff geared hub is an excellent investment for anyone planning a long-distance bike packing tour. Its durability, smooth shifting, and wide range of gears make it the perfect choice for touring on any terrain.

cross country or monster cross




At OLSEN HQ I put a lot of emphasis on designing the RocknRollout Dropout to work with GATES Carbondrive BELTS. I have developed this on and off over 5years getting the micro tension just right...

When it comes to bicycle drivetrains, Gates Carbondrive is the gold standard for low maintenance, reliable performance. Unlike a traditional drivetrain, Gates Carbondrive belts are incredibly strong, lightweight, and silent. Gates Carbondrive belts are a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable, low-maintenance drivetrain.

all-day gravel bike with upto 700x50c tyres


Long Distance Riding ...

The South Downs way is a 100mile neolithic trade route which is part of the National Park.

It is has over 10 chalky climbs over the 100 miles. It is a challenge to do it in 1 day. I have completed it several times including a sub 10 hour ride on Belt-drive and SINGLE SPEED.

Here are some tips and tricks to enjoy, compete or complete.

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