The North American Handmade Bicycle Show is where the best custom bike builders display their artistry and innovation. This photo gallery shows some of our favorite Gates Carbon Drive bikes displayed in Charlotte at NAHBS 2014. Pictured above and below is a hand painted gem from Festka, a Czech brand based in Prague. The detailing was done by the same design firm that worked on the new Wes Anderson film “Grand Budapest Hotel.”
REEB Cycles, the bike brand of Oskar Blues Brewery in Colorado, wheelied into Charlotte with a 29-plus mountain bike featuring the Pinion gearbox, and with a neon green 650b dirt jumper that will no doubt see some action in the Oskar Blues pump track.
Located in the high peaks of the “mountains of Indiana,” as their slogan goes, Shamrock Cycles showed their Irish pride with this lucky charm of a cyclocross racer bedazzled with green-green clovers.
Independent Fabrications owner Gary Smith, who moonlights as CEO of the textile company Polartec, built this singlespeed road bike to bring on the road during his frequent business travels. The couplers on the top tube and down tube allow him to disassemble the bike and put it in a suitcase. The Gates belt keeps it clean and low maintenance.
Thanks to Tim Lucking for the creative imagery. Stay tuned for more photos of beautiful belt drive bikes from NAHBS 2014.
The integration of Shimano’s Alfine Di2 electronic shifting system with Gates Carbon Drive is among the great product innovations shown at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Gates and Shimano worked with multiple custom bike builders to show off the clean, quiet and slick compatibility of these two leading technologies. Gates team photographer Tim Lucking shows the technical skill and artistry of the bike builders with his creative imagery.
Pictured above are the Independent Fabrications Di2 build (red) and the electronic shifting beauty from Shamrock Cycles (blue). Shamrock’s Tim O’Donnell turned heads at NAHBS several years ago with a lovely green city bike, and the builder hailing from “the mountains of Indiana” once again delivered a bike that drew stares and media attention. Look at that stylish belt guard.
Colorado beer and bikes fanatics REEB Cycles, the bike brand of Oskar Blues Brewery, displayed a steel Sam’s Pants commuter built by Chris “Soultrain” Sulfrian, below.
New Hampshire’s Independent Fabrications is one of the country’s premier custom bike builders. Owner Gary Smith has a custom belt drive city bike that he brings on business trips, and several years back his crew built a gorgeous pink-belted fixie. His Di2 flat bar commuter made us smile, and it even elicited a grin from Gary.
Hometown Mfg is a sister brand of Six-Eleven Bicycle Company in Roanoke, Virginia. Hometown Mfg is leading the drive for locally made bike frames in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but their Di2 bike would be home on the streets of any city in America.
Curtis Inglis of Inglis/Retrotec made a retro-styled commuter with a porteur rack that blends classic bicycle styling with modern technology. Enjoy the pictures and stay tuned for more posts about other gorgeous Gates Carbon Drive bikes from the NAHBS 2014 show floor.
Tighten your helmet and strap on some body armor because Gates Carbon Drive is catching some air. Cavalerie, a French brand that builds innovative downhill, freeride and enduro bikes, makes its North American debut at the upcoming Sea Otter Classic, April 10-13, in Monterey, California. Pictured above is the Falcon downhill bike with Gates belt drive and Effigear gearbox. The Falcon has 200 mm of travel and is available with a six- or seven-speed gearbox. The combination of belt drive and gearbox makes this one of the quietest and most low-maintenance downhill bikes on the market. No chain slap. No derailleurs to smash on rocks and roots.
Cavalerie is being distributed in the US by Philthy Bikes, which will show three bike models at Sea Otter (booth #419). Philthy Bikes is also the US sales and service center for Effigear, and they will have a cutaway demonstration gearbox on display.
Philthy will also display its freeride bike, the Squirrel. That’s the orange Squirrel frameset below. The Squirrel has 185mm of travel and a nine-speed Effigear.
A third model, the Anakine enduro, features 160mm of travel, and 27.5/650b wheels. That’s it in white below.
Why ride a gearbox instead of a derailleur? You can shift under heavy load or without pedaling, or even while stopped. It also moves weight from the rear of the bike to the center for stability. Ground clearance also increases without a derailleur hanging from the rear, and the entire assembly is sealed for protection from dirt and the elements. Check out their gear range chart.
Gates is excited to enter the gravity bike market because it opens opportunities for more cyclists and younger riders to experience the clean, quiet and low-maintenance benefits of Carbon Drive. Get ready to huck, belt drivers.
The telephone area code for Alaska is 907, and Alaska is the home base for one of the world’s leading fat bike brands, 9:Zero:7. That snowy state gave birth to the fat bike trend that is spreading to Europe. 9:Zero:7 has just partnered with a new distributor for Germany and Austria, Bike Steel Borrow, which means that more belt drive fat bikes will soon be rolling across the landscape. Gates is a big supporter of the fat bike trend because these beefy machines pair so well with Gates Carbon Drive, allowing cyclists to plow through mud, sand and snow that clogs a chain. They are truly pedal-powered Land Rovers. Last summer, the Unchained Cyclist rode his belt drive 9:Zero:7 around Iceland via the sandy, volcanic beaches, a mission that would have wrecked a chain.
The 9:Zero:7 pictured above pairs the Gates belt drive with a Rohloff Speedhub for low-maintenance fat perfection. This bike was built up by Bike Steel Borrow for a customer in Cologne, Germany, who plans to ride the sandy beaches of the upper Rhine River and pedal snowy mountain trails. It features Surly Marge Lite rims, 45 Nrth Husker Du tires, Race Face cranks, seat post and stem and Race Face Chester handlebars. A new Brooks Cambium saddle adds to the style. And that gorgeous car in the background? It’s a 1968 Dodge Charger. No doubt, Steve McQueen would have loved to ride this bike.
Gates Carbon Drive’s Custom eBike Showcase at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show was a great success, drawing crowds and media attention. Today we feature three belt drive electric bikes with BionX motors–the same brand used on the popular smart ebikes.
Pictured above and below is a retro cruiser from ANT Bikes in Walpole, Massachusetts. ANT specializes in steel transportation bikes that often use Gates Carbon Drive. “The bike was designed to have the look and feel of a 1930s-era motorbike,” says ANT owner Mike Flanagan. It features a sprung fork and stick shift mounted to the seat stay, along with a twin tube frame. Other nice touches include red rims paired with Fat Frank cream tires, a Brooks saddle, and moto-style brake levers. Cables are routed internally for a clean look. “We were very pleased with the outcome and received lots of reviews at NAHBS,” Mike says. “Thank you to everyone at Gates for inviting us to participate.”
Below is a double-belted electric tandem from Santana Cycles that is worth not one but two smiles. Santana builder Bill McCready says that “couples who adopt a healthy tandeming lifestyle when younger will continue to ride enthusiastically for decades. They won’t willingly ‘hang it up’ until they lack the strength to make it to the top of a once-easy climb.” That’s where the pedal assist BionX comes in. Couples who no longer have the legs for big climbs can benefit from the rear hub motor’s “inconspicuous boost to help them reach the high points.” And thanks to the two Gates Carbon Drives instead of chains, this bike is clean, quiet and low-maintenance.
Next is the electric belt drive Green Arrow mountain bike from Ti Cycles in Portland. They won an award for best cargo bike at NAHBS last year.
The Green Arrow features a 26-inch rear wheel and a 27.5/650b on the front. The larger front wheel increases the angle of attack on bumps and obstacles, making it easier to roll over rocks, while the smaller rear provides a shorter wheel base and faster acceleration. “This frameset is built from our custom 3/2.5 blend lightweight titanium oversize tubeset and gives the commuter-oriented BionX system a chance to go out and play in the dirt,” says founder Dave Levy. “One of the frame’s most striking features is our distinctive pierced top tube, which runs as one continuous piece from headset to rear tire, pierced by the seat tube.” Belt tension is provided by an eccentric bottom bracket to keep the rear dropouts elegant and simple.
Thanks for following our coverage of the Gates Custom eBike Showcase. In coming posts we will feature belt drive bikes featuring Shimano’s Alfine Di2 electronic shifting system, and other innovative and artistic belt drive bikes from the NAHBS show floor. Thanks to Tim Lucking for the photographs.