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Considering a global bike tour? Well it’s time to hit the road, Jack. Austrian bicycle brand KTM has created the ultimate trekking and touring bike, made to handle the rigors of riding around the planet: the Life Lontano P1.18 Pinion. “This bike is for all those who want to discover the world,” the company says. The judges at Eurobike agreed, awarding the bike a prestigious design award in the category of Cross Bikes. The judges noted its comfort, stability, functionality and stylish design.

“The Life Lontano includes absolutely everything required for a major trip around the world by bike without losing itself in any superfluous gimmicks. Furthermore, the KTM is proof that design is possible even in highly function-driven travel bikes.”

The combination of Pinion gearbox and Gates Carbon Drive belt system is increasingly recognized as a low-maintenance pairing for touring cyclists who want to enjoy the ride without the daily work of maintaining a chain drive. The Life Lontano’s high-end steel frame also includes disc brakes, a Brooks saddle and space for three water bottle mounts. Visit a KTM dealer to order your Life Lontano P1.18 Pinion. Then hit the road, Jack. And don’t come back.

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KTM shows off its Eurobike design award.

ktm-life-lontano-p1.18-pinion-2015-on the grass

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Guapa Cycles is a new British brand that is combining natural materials to create elegant city bikes. Founded by brothers Tom and Harry Williams, the company’s first bike is the Urban One, which features a frame constructed of bamboo and flax fiber. The flax fiber adds strength and dampens vibrations, and Guapa says its bike frames are as strong as an equivalent steel or aluminum frame.

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Flax might sound like a curious choice, but this is not the flax seed you’d find in your breakfast granola. After being harvested in France, the fiber is woven into an incredibly tough fabric in Italy and then impregnated with a resin. “Flax has been chosen over the use of carbon or glass fibre due to its complimentary mechanical properties to wood,” the company says on its website. “This has enabled us to create a wooden bicycle that is lightweight and stiff yet with minimal vibration.” Learn more about the process and watch a video about flax fiber fabric here.

Guapa completes the Urban One with a Gates Carbon Drive belt system and a NuVinci N360 continuously variable planetary hub for clean, smooth and simple pedaling and shifting. Read the Bike Radar story about Guapa. This is bike innovation at its finest. Call it natural selection.

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Canyon COMMUTER 7.0 side view (grey)

The Commuter from German bike brand Canyon takes urban style and functionality to a new level. The bike’s front light is embedded in the cockpit and powered by dynamos in the dropouts. Cables are routed internally to preserve the Commuter’s smooth and clean aesthetic. Other fine touches include a Shimano Alfine internally geared hub paired with a Gates Carbon Drive belt system, hydraulic disc brakes and a rear fender with an integrated pannier carrier. The Commuter is European city bike design at its finest. The judges at Eurobike agree, awarding the Commuter one of just 10 gold medals in the Eurobike design competition last week. Here’s what they said:

“In terms of appearance we’ve rarely seen an urban bike that reinterprets this theme as radically as the Commuter from Canyon. The bike’s understated design is very elegant. There was virtually no other competition entry where we so quickly agreed that it deserved a design award.”

Canyon Commuter_urban ride shotCanyon COMMUTER 7.0 grey

Congratulations to Canyon and urban bike brand manager Sebastian Wegerle for winning this prestigious prize and for designing such an intelligent bike that so artfully blends form with function. Find out where to buy your Commuter at the Canyon website. Two more bikes featuring the Gates Carbon Drive system won Eurobike awards, and we will feature those bikes from KTM and Cannondale in an upcoming post.

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Gates_ NuVinci Harmony H-Sync belt cropped

The NuVinci Harmony H|Sync system from Fallbrook Technologies is an exciting new application for electric bikes because it provides continuous automatic shifting without the need for a shifter on the handlebars. Users simply program in their desired cadence and exertion level and pedal away, allowing the brains in the Harmony H|Sync to do the work of shifting. Gates has partnered with Fallbrook Technologies to integrate the Gates Carbon Drive belt system with Harmony H|Sync, which is initially being introduced in conjunction with the Bosch eBike drive. Gates displayed a new 2015 eBike from Stevens featuring this pairing of Gates, Bosch and NuVinci technologies at the Eurobike trade show, which concluded last Saturday. Several more brands will introduce eBikes with these three leading technologies for 2015.

“This combination of Harmony H|Sync plus the Gates belt drive provides bicycle brands and consumers with a clean, smooth and simple solution for high-performance shifting without chains or derailleurs,” says Frank Scurlock, global sales director for Gates Carbon Drive Systems.

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Pictured above, the NuVinci N360 hub mounted with Gates Carbon Drive rear sprocket and H|Sync shifter.

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Nicolai FatBike_Schneidi_throwing rubble

Frank Schneider of the Gates-Nicolai mountain bike team shatters the stereotype that fat bikes are for old guys with beards who want to go for slow rides in the snowy woods. “Schneidi” met up recently with photographer Hoshi Yoshida for a shoot in a gravel pit near the Nicolai headquarters in Germany. The Argon Fat that he is riding is one of the most innovative fat bikes on the market. Thanks to the Pinion gearbox and Gates belt it provides twice the fun with none of the grease. The Argon Fat will be displayed at Eurobike next week and Interbike in early September. If you are attending, come check it out. You may not be able to ride this pig like Schneidi, but imagine how fun it will be in the snowy woods.

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Nicolai FatBike_Schneidi_cornering

Nicolai FatBike_Pinion and Gates

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