BY Doug Lake
August 15, 2014, 4:28pm
I’ve had my Spot Brand Acme for 3 weeks now and wanted to share my great experience.
I’ve bike commuted off and on since 2007 when I was a fellow at Stanford. Back then even in Palo Alto, when I went into bike shops and asked for a bike a little more durable than a typical road bike with a front light and a rear rack, I mostly received confused looks. Eventually, I equipped a mountain bike with road tires and made due. A later iteration was an older carbon Giant to which I added an Old Man Mountain rack. Better speed, less durable.
I was very impressed when I began my search for my ultimate commuter bike a few months ago. The Spot Acme hit on all my highlights. It was light but durable. Maneuverable. The 11 speed Alfine teamed with the belt drive is perfect for a commuter like me. Geometry fits me great. Disk brakes stop fast.
Eventually, I got hooked up with Shawn Cullingford at SloHi Bike Company in Denver. My questions and requests didn’t faze him a bit and he offered great suggestions from experience.
Shawn took the already great Acme and added a front Shimano dynamo to power his suggested Busch & Muller Luxos U front light. He added a Jandd rear rack and was able to complete the build with RoadRacer fenders. I later added a Ortleib bag and my commuter bike is complete.
I’m now 3 weeks into daily commuting and love my quiet fast bike on my 2.5 mi ride. My wife doesn’t worry about my early morning and late evening rides given I have a bright unfailing light.
Thank you Shawn and Spot Brand!
BY John Vidale
June 30, 2014, 8:24pm
Had the Spot Acme about three weeks now, commuting 2 miles to work daily plus a couple of longer trips so far. Put on a rack, panniers, fenders, and lights.
The bike is just what I hoped – smooth, quiet, good looking, can take the weight. Noticeably heavier than my road bike, but with the same range in gears, easier shifting, much better brakes. They say the Alfine hub is slightly less efficient, 95% vs 98% for a top chained derailleur, but I can’t tell the difference.
BY Gustav Kroyherr
June 3, 2014, 2:48pm
I have been riding this bike for 2 years and average about 120km a week. I have only changed to thinner tyres, lighter saddle and carbon handlebar otherwise original.
Maintenance has been minimal (just new brake pads, broken spokes, punctures, new tyres) and the bike looks as good as the day it arrived. The belt and gears show no signs of wear and in fact the back wheel spins more freely than when new. No rust, no grease, no sticking brake cables. Brilliant! I would buy another but the current one doesn’t need replacing!
BY Simon T
May 6, 2014, 1:59pm
I’ve been riding on my new Acme for almost two months now in Calgary, commuting about 20km a day. I’ve seen just about every single type of weather already! Warm and dusty, temperatures well below freezing, snow, rain, sleet. The bike performs identically in all conditions and the only maintenance I’ve done so far is rinsing it off to keep it looking clean and beautiful. This bike is the ultimate all-weather commuter. And cruising around recreationally is so much nicer on a completely silent bike like this.
As this is my first experience with an internally geared hub I’m still adjusting to the quirks of the Alfine 11 (a very quick pause in pedaling to change gears is best), but I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with derailleurs anymore.
BY John W.
March 31, 2014, 3:16pm
After looking for some time for the Perfect Commuter, I decided to pick up a 2013 Acme at the end of last year (2013). I’ve had it now for a few months and use it for the daily drive. City streets, massive hills, blistering downhills and crawling traffic, rack time on public transpo, etc.
First off, it simply has gotten better with time. After break-in, it is smoother and faster. I was a bit suspicious of the geometry for the intended use, but have zero complaints. It’s got quick steering but it’s not too twitchy, and there’s plenty of room to work (got a 55, and I’m 5’8″). The carbon fork helps smooth things out in San Francisco city driving, but there is a little compliance you have to get used to, particularly in hard braking. The stock tires have been totally up to the job.
The brakes might get some attention down the road. They are very good, but the feel could be better, and there might be some gain in stopping power with an alternative. I’ll be readjusting to see if that changes anything. The Alfine 11 is, overall, really nice. There are a couple of oddities that are probably due to the relative newness of the approach. The gear spread is fine, though I personally could use a slightly smaller 1st (there are some monster hills here!). Shifting is generally a no-brainer, but your thumb has to be deliberate but not too aggressive, there is a small spread between 5-6 that could probably have been skipped, and a few gears in the middle seem to have a bit more drag. But! As far as I’m concerned the chain is dead. Very quiet, clean, great transfer of power. I had a seal problem with the hub I’m getting worked out, but think it’ll just be better when it’s resolved. Yay.
I’ve put on a new, surprisingly good Charge Spoon (the stock saddle looks good, but is not made for me – at all), lightweight fenders (which took some modification), a clever Cateye Hybrid solar headlamp, a slight riser bar and a small under-seat bag. Next are cork handgrips and a rear rack for the occasional pannier. I’m also considering a clearcoat at some point as the finish is sensitive to, well, just about everything. Part of my commute is on a Bay ferry, and it has to coexist for 30 minutes with, sometimes, a ton of recreational riders, and they’re not generally very careful.
So buy one of these, already! It’s well above most bikes in overall performance; it’s a real spoiler. You still can’t find this level of attention to detail and design, technical prowess and just good sense in component choice in this price bracket.
March 29, 2014, 3:31pm
I picked up my Spot Acme at Wheel Life Cyclery in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada this past weekend. The owners, Chris and his wife, were very helpful showing me how to remove the rear wheel, adjust the belt, etc.
I rode the Acme to work this week in -20 to -30 Celsius with some studded tires and everything worked silky smooth. Looking forward to using my new bike to commute throughout the entire year for years to come. Thanks for making such a great bike!
BY Mike Clark
February 18, 2014, 12:59pm
I rode my new Acme today for the first time with my local bike club Green Valley Cyclists in Henderson NV. The bike was great, keep up with the road bikes with just a little more effort. After the ride I had a line of riders looking at the bike, it’s belt drive and Shimano Alfine hub. Really happy and expect to use the bike when riding with my wife and on moderate paced group rides. Try one if you are looking for a quick sporty cycle.
February 5, 2014, 12:41pm
had been looking for a bike with the acme attributes, and my wife got it for me this christmas. big smile in my face. winter in minnesota has been pretty cold this year, so before taking the bike out i mounted some schwalbe marathon winter tires, fenders and out the door. first a couple of 3-4 milers to the grocery store, then commute 14 miles each way, all in single digit temps. the bike behaves great, kept it composure while going over bumpy icy street, and all the road/ice shatter kept under control by the carbon fork. IG shimano hub smooth operating. just thinking all the miles we gonna spent together put a smile in my face. also the spot brand staff was great answering my questions when researching/deciding what model to choose. THANKS MATES!!!
BY Larry D. White
October 16, 2013, 8:59pm
What a great commuter, my Acme. I am writing this review to thank first Ian Sallee for helping me to see that there are ways to get a great bike even though there might not be any in my area. And secondly I want to thank Ed Wagar from Touring Gear out of Michigan. With his help I was able to get a bike from Spot via Colorado, Michigan, Ohio and finally ending uup here in South Korea. It has been a long process, but the people at Spot and those that distribute are the best. True professionals. Anyway, the bike is great. A smooth quiet ride with great Shimano gearing and a sleek, eye turning look. I installed fenders, a kick stand and back rack to complete my commuter. I have not regretted one choice I made. Thank you everyone
BY Kenley Lawton
September 11, 2013, 10:46am
I saw an Acme on the back of a car in Grand Junction, and I told myself that I had to have one. I have had mine for two months, and I have put about 300 miles on it. It is very hilly in my part of town, with some long, steep climbs, and the gearing is perfect. It rides like a dream; like no other that I have had. It’s so fast that at times I imagine that it can coast uphill. Changed out the stem for a longer one for a more upright ride. I have a rack with one pannier for running errands. I thought about swapping out the pedals, but I decided that they are just fine as they are. This bike is definitely a keeper.
August 5, 2013, 4:51pm
Purchased my Spot-ACME yesterday and rode a bit last nite then took it out for a 20 miler in the dark of night this evening. I bought mine slightly used but very well taken care of and outfitted with ErgonGP5 grips (high rest), Supernova triple-E (3E) LED’s on front and back, brooks leather seat, and Shimano clip(less) pedals. The lights worked great to illuminate the night and there was minimal sound other than the tires on the road. Also installed was an axiom rear rack with removable clip-on saddle bags, the second from top-of-line Lasalle DLX Panatier. I took the bags off after last nights ride because they were not placed well and there was much wheel rub, just need a bit of adjustment. This bike is fast, quiet, comfortable, smooth shifting, and provides the most enjoyable ride I have had on a bicycle. I have only ridden it the 2 times mentioned, but support all of the above comments 100 percent, especially with the Ergon high ride grips. It’s a stealthy Chuck Norris Cheetah if I ever met one.
BY Ian Hill
August 1, 2013, 8:16pm
My commitment to commute everyday no matter what the weather has combined perfectly with a new all weather commuter! I fear no rain imposed chain cleaning regime and love the silent aspect of the bike in motion – either pedalling or coasting.
I’m probably the only Acme rider in my city of Perth, Western Australia and definitely haven’t seen any other belt drive bikes, let alone a Spot Brand.
I’ve got the hang of the Alfine 11 and it is changing beautifully. I added racks, mudguards, lights, panniers and clip pedals, plus my trusty air horn and I’m listening to all the badly adjusted derailleurs, dry and rusty chains and slipping gear noises as others pass me by or I pass them. Definitely puts a smile on my face.
June 20, 2013, 4:10pm
I picked up my Acme at Ride Bicycles in Seattle and I’m loving it. I’ve had a blast fitting it out with saddle/fenders/rack/bag/lights/computer/pedals of my choice. It’s filling all the roles I’d hoped for. It’s a great commuter in hilly Seattle and the belt drive + no mess is worry-free as advertised. I was a bit concerned with having 11 gears but haven’t been left wanting at all. I’ve had no issues with the top/bottom or the ratio in between. In addition to serving me well on my commute, I’ve taken it on a couple longer rides of 45 & 50 miles and been happy.
BY Ian Price Hamby
June 13, 2013, 12:20pm
I was looking for a solid commuter and I found it. 11 speeds are plenty, the belt drive is awesome, so stealth. The frame, especially the welds have drawn praise.
Now I’m looking for a trailer to haul my lazy dog with…so ready to quit driving.
February 19, 2013, 9:34pm
If a Gorilla, a Ninja, a Cheeta, and Chuck Norris were able to have a baby, they would name that baby Spot Acme Norris.
At 6’4″ and 250 lbs, the Acme has been my daily ride for the last 2 years and has performed above expectations in all weather conditions. Being a big guy, I break stuff. I only had one minor problem with the internal Hub that resulted in Spot replacing it at no cost or unreasonable effort on my part (These folks are great). Other than that, I have wiped down the rotors once and she has been running like a champ since.
Nice work! Can’t wait to buy my next bike from you.
February 19, 2013, 9:34pm
I am thrilled to say I just took possession of my Spot Acme yesterday in Vancouver BC from Kissing Crows Cyclery. ( what a bike ) I must say both Drew Patterson – Sales at Spot and Josh – Owner Kissing Crows, were both fantastic to deal with. I originally contacted Drew thru Spot’s web site to ask for advice and delivery of an Acme, he could not have been more helpful we exchanged emails well beyond business hours.He then contacted Kissing Crows to let them know I would be calling and to ready to expedite my order. Within a little over 1 week I had my Acme. Josh was absolutely great with fitting my bike. I can highly recommend both with confidence to anyone, Spot and Kissing Crows, amazing customer service and what a great product, a winning combination.
Thank you to both!!!
BY Ian Price
February 19, 2013, 9:32pm
What a great bike. For a year or so I’ve been thinking of putting together a bike like this one. But there’s no need. You’ve already done it. My only quibble is that it’s too pretty, but I can overlook that.
The gear ratios (roughly 25 to 100 gear inches I think) are spot on. It’s light enough to overtake the occasional road bike too, if you don’t mind the puzzled looks. The Acme could also be a pretty good light tourer.
Had a ride this Vancouver morning at 4 deg. C with an occasional drizzle. Brakes and Shimano shifter are easy to operate with winter gloves. No worries about grit on the rim brakes, chain and derailleur with this bike. A quick hose off at the end of the ride, and it’s like new.
Thanks also to Kissing Crows Cyclery. Very helpful. They stock lots of goodies. And I was surprised that there is virtually no Canadian price “adjustment”.
Thanks for putting together the right bike.
BY Chris P Hill
October 19, 2012, 11:40am
How can you honestly describe riding a near silent bike ?
After the first 25 miles, replacing the handlebars with ones with a higher riding position was required to ease my back. Ergon GP1 handlebar grips are a wise choice too, as are Schwalbe Marathon Plus, thorns are not the problem with these tyres. The bike has performed well over the last few weeks since taking delivery from Tim Johnson at Sideways Cycles. The ride is crisp, slightly hard on farm gravel tracks but smooth on tarmac and cycle paths. The silence means that wildlife can be a problem, it just doesn’t hear you, a bell is an essential to ensure a clear path !
Admiring comments on the polished aluminium frame and interest in the belt drive – still a rarity here in the UK. The choice of the Shimano 11 speed is better in this case than the more expensive Rohloff.
So am I pleased with the bike ? The answer is an unequivocal YES !
(Pardon some of the spellings but I am on this side of the pond !)
Chris P Hill
August 23, 2012, 9:34am
I wanted to thank you for helping me to get back into a Spot Acme
after my 2011 was stolen on 36th & Hawthorne. Spot has been terrific
since I got it. The very first ride was the WNBR celebration, and I’ve
been using it almost everyday since on my commute to work. It’s light,
agile, and has the fastest stopping distance of any bike I’ve ever
had. Again, this has been the best inner city urban cycle and I can’t
say enough about its riding position and ease of maneuvering through
everyday commute traffic. The belt drive really catches the most
casual observer’s eyes. Spot does a great job with amazing style!
June 1, 2012, 1:16pm
This is one fun bike! I’m a lifelong mountain biker (XC & downhill) and started road riding a few years ago. While my solo street bike is a full carbon rig, I wanted an all-purpose pavement & bike path rig to ride around town, dirt roads @ camp, and most importantly, tow our toddlers around on their Weehoo trailer bikes.
In a year of riding street, dirt roads, and in between it’s needed a single adjustment to the shifter (cables, they stretch..) Other maintenance has been near zero.
When I set out to find the Acme, I was looking for an upright road bike with disc brakes, AL frame/fork of reasonably light weight, and a zero-maintenance drivetrain. Most similar bikes are either far heavier or low volume(expensive) and lack either discs or a well engineered drivetrain.
This was the perfect feature set.
I love the Gates Belt Drive/Alfine combo. The shifting isn’t quite as crisp as what I’m used to on a Rohloff Speedhub, but the trigger style interface and smooth silent belt drive make each ride a joy. I’m a tall & heavy (215#) the belt never skips a beat.
The light weight is perfect for solo road rides, and the upright position make it more comfortable than most pure road rigs. I’ve done 20+ hilly miles hauling a napping Weehoo-bound 4 year old. If you’ve multiple road and mountain bikes around you’ll probably be riding this most of the time.
Spot was great in helping me source the Acme in my size and connected me with a dealer that stocked just what I needed when no local dealers could be found.
My wife is looking for something just like the Acme too.
Thanks for making a great product!