Posts written by Paul Tolme

13881981593_751634be06_b (2)

Pardon me, mind if I squeeze by? This is my floor. Coming out.

In this final installment of our photo sessions from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show we present custom belt drive bikes from several talented newcomers, as well as a mini-velo, a flashy folding bike, a wooden commuter, a beer-themed titanium singlespeed mountain bike and a red-hot city bike. Welcome to the elevator session. Next stop: ground floor of the convention center, Charlotte, North Carolina.

First up is Bike Friday, which displayed this red-rimmed folding bike.

13882328774_bb8f6b9c38_b (2)

This beauty folds up to fit in the trunk of your car or in a suitcase for overseas trips. The grease-free belt drive means you won’t get dirty squeezing it into an elevator.

13882325234_0c616a0554_b (2)

13882327914_27c4994f3b_b (2)

Ti Cycles presented this 16-pound mini velo for city riding and easy portability on subways and public transportation. We rode it and can attest that it’s fast, light, silent and fun.

13881989783_a2d860cc08_b (2)

13882345364_f4553080a4_b (2)

13881990443_4732e7233a_b (2)

REEB Cycles, the bike brand of Oskar Blues Brewery, featured multiple blingy bikes but this titanium singlespeed was total eye candy with red-white-and-blue highlights to match the can colors of its best-known brew, Dale’s Pale Ale.

13881919285_b2beed6aa5_b (2)

13882320774_416001f6c2_b (2)

13881977603_aecbebb2bb_b (2)

13881937055_528c690f9c_b (2)

Legendary bike builder Mike Flanagan of ANT Bikes wowed us with his retro electric bike, but he really showed off his red-hot style with this city bike.

13881898925_58182171e6_b (2)

13882300764_150182e3c7_b (2)

13881958113_95d26eb2ce_b (2)

Some of the loveliest belt drive builds came from new exhibitors who showed us with their work that they have a bright future in the bike industry. Meet Syndrome Cycles from Maryland.

13881910215_3f53188c31_b (2)

13881970313_ea36b3e311_b (2)

13882315344_4ac90f86ee_b (2)

Fe Cycles from Saint Louis is another new builder who showed true belt driven style with this commuter bike. Check out the internal cable routing and racks.

13881906855_83b725823d_b (2)

13882307014_1a6b436fc4_b (2)

 13882309704_b00ea4237a_b (2)

Renaissance swung some big lumber with this wooden build. Grab the lemon fresh Pledge because this bike deserves to shine.

13881988783_c97ac44b75_b (2)

13881926385_b027e10e99_b (2)

13881986603_21a7392a44_b (2)

Thanks again to Gates racer and marketing specialist Tim Lucking for his artistry behind the lens. You can see more of his photos and all of our coverage from NAHBS here.

Now if you can please hold the door, we’re outta here.

13881981843_413f1c2b33_b (2)

  • Share

NAHBS 14_Festka_complete with reflection

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.”

NAHBS 14_Festka_drive

NAHBS 14_Festka_bars

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.

NAHBS 14_REEB_Pinion_wheelie

NAHBS 14_REEB_DJ complete

NAHBS 14_REEB_Pinion

NAHBS 14_REEB_Pinion_downtube

NAHBS 14_REEB_DJ front

NAHBS 14_REEB_DJ complete front

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.

NAHBS 14_Shamrock_cx bike complete

NAHBS 14_Shamrock_clovers headtube

NAHBS 14_Shamrock_cx complete

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.

NAHBS 14_Indy Fab_complete

NAHBS 14_Indy Fab_coupler

NAHBS 14_Indy Fab_drops

Thanks to Tim Lucking for the creative imagery. Stay tuned for more photos of beautiful belt drive bikes from NAHBS 2014.

  • Share

NAHBS 14_Indy Fab di2_complete geometrix

NAHBS 14_Shamrock_complete

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.

NAHBS 14_Shamrock_crank

NAHBS 14_Shamrock_di2 and tensioners

NAHBS 14_Shamrock_downtube

NAHBS 14_Shamrock_Tim

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.

NAHBS 14_REEB_Sams Pants_rear looking up

NAHBS 14_REEB_Sams Pants_rear

NAHBS 14_REEB_Sams Pants_headbadge

NAHBS 14_REEB_Sams Pants_Soultrain

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.

NAHBS 14_Indy Fab di2_Gary

NAHBS 14_Indy Fab di2_downtube

NAHBS 14_Indy Fab di2_complete

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.

NAHBS 14_Hometown_complete

NAHBS 14_Hometown_downtube

NAHBS 14_Hometown_rear disc

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.

NAHBS 14_Retrotec_complete

NAHBS 14_Retrotec_downtube

NAHBS 14_Retrotec_rack and light

  • Share

Cavalerie Falcon with Effigear gearbox

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 effigear closeup

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.

Effigear cutaway

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.

Cavalerie Orange Squirrel frameset

A third model, the Anakine enduro, features 160mm of travel, and 27.5/650b wheels. That’s it in white below.

Cavalerie Anakine_enduro_white

Cavalerie Anakine_drive

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.

Cavalerie Squirrel road gap


  • Share

907 Europe_rear with classic cars 907 Europe_complete bike with car

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.

907 Europe_rear sprocket

907 Europe_drive and downtube

907 Europe_Brooks

907 with belt and Rohloff_Europe_complete

Visit Bike Steel Borrow to get fat and belted.
  • Share