Mika Amaro is a city bike brand based on Cologne, Germany, that specializes in edgy and fashionable urban bikes. They have just introduced three new bike models, all with Gates Carbon Drive. The Cushy Black and Indy White have an eight-speed Shimano Alfine internal hub, Brooks leather saddle and grips, curved handlebars and Mika Amaro’s distinctive parallel spoke lacing pattern. The Inky Blue is a clean and low maintenance singlespeed with horn handlebars and airline rims. All feature high gloss paint and other refined touches.
Cushy Black stalking the streets.
Indy White dresses up a pair of jeans.
Mika Amaro produces just 111 bikes of each model, and each buyer receives a numbered bike from 1 to 111. The brand’s bikes bikes are sold in Berlin by Stilrad and in Switzerland by Fixieshop.ch, as well as through the brand’s online store. Cologne is a beautiful city on the Rhine. Now it has a bike brand made for it’s modern cityscape and lifestyle.
Matthew Small is a 15-year Marine Corps veteran serving in Afghanistan as a member of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, a high-risk job that involves removing bombs and IEDs (improvised explosive devices) that have claimed many lives in the war-torn country. On Sept. 21 and 22 Small and three other Marines will embark on a charity ride like no other: They will pedal 160 miles through a combat zone to raise money for wounded and fallen ordnance disposal technicians.
The ride will raise money for the EOD Warrior Foundation (www.eodwarriorfoundation.com), a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to the families of injured and fallen Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians and family members. The EODRIDE (www.eodride.org) was created to honor EOD Technicians, promote healthy healing and camaraderie among supporters. EOD Rides are held annually in locations across the United States and overseas. The Afghanistan EOD Ride will be a first.
Last year, Small led eight fellow technicians on a course through the hills of Okinawa, Japan. “Upon hearing of my deployment to Afghanistan I began planning for another memorable ride; the Afghan EODRIDE,” Small says. “My sincerest hope is that my efforts and time inspire others to give a little more, push a little farther and never give up when presented with a challenge.” Learn more about the Afghan EOD Ride at www.facebook.com/afghaneodride. So far Small and his buddies have raised more than $3,000 for the foundation.
Small will ride a custom Trek District with Gates Carbon Drive. He worked with Gates engineers to upgrade his bike with a CenterTrack belt drive system. “With over a thousand miles of training rides on the bike to date, I am pleased with the feel, performance and reliability of the CenterTrack system,” Small writes us.
Stay tuned for an update from Small after the ride. Meantime, consider making a donation at the links above, and share the Afghan EODRide Facebook link with your friends.
It has been over a month since Australian cyclist Arran Pearson finished the 2013 Tour Divide, widely considered the world’s toughest mountain bike race. Pearson, who had to take a couple weeks to recover after the epic ride, was among a handful of riders to complete the unsupported race from Canada to New Mexico down the Continental Divide on a singlespeed. His bike is pictured above, a custom titanium Black Sheep Luna Vista with integrated luggage racks and Gates Carbon Drive. “The belt system proved to be awesome,” Pearson writes us. ” I took a spare but was (and still am) on the belt I started the race with which had about 1000 training kilometres on it before I started. So far that is over 5500 km on this belt in some truly atrocious conditions.”
Pearson has written multiple posts about his adventure on MarathonMTB.com that you can read here. The experienced marathon mountain biker knew from the start that running a belt drive would save time and maintenance, allowing him to rest and find a place to bed for the night instead of cleaning and lubing a chain. “For an application such as ultra racing the system is pretty much perfect – there was no need for chain lube through the entire race, some of the very dry dust did cause a little squeaking but this was quickly fixed by simply spitting some water onto the belt.”
Curiously, Pearson lives just a few blocks away from last year’s Tour Divide winner Ollie Whalley, who completed the race on Ventana with Rohloff hub and Gates Carbon Drive.
Pearson ran a 42/24 sprocket setup with a 113-tooth belt. “This was pretty much perfect and if I went again I’d use the same ratio – a bit spinny on the highway sections in New Mexico but I was able to climb the majority of stuff.” Watch a video of Arran riding and talking here. See more photos of his bike here. Congratulations mate! We look forward to hearing about your future adventures.
Meet Susannah Hart, a 16-year-old mountain biking phenom who recently completed the High Cascades 100 on a Redline Monobelt singlespeed. A century on a geared mountain bike is tough, on a singlespeed simply awesome. Susannah comes from a racing family. The Harts of Washougal, Wash., are regulars at races throughout the Pacific Northwest, and father Brian Hart often sets up his workstand and aid station to help other racers with mechanicals.
Brian Hart bought the Monobelt last November to use as a dual-purpose singlespeed for his kids and family to use for both cyclocross and mountain bike races. The Redline did more than 25 cyclocross races last season, with family members using for everything from Singlespeed to Men’s C, Master’s C, 50+, Junior Women’s, Women’s C, Women’s B, and Women’s A races.
Susannah began racing at age 13 and ook the OBRA BAR (Best All-around Rider) award in 2011 for multi-discipline dominance (MTB, CX, road, time trial) in her age group, then followed up with 110 OBRA races in 2012. “If you can catch her, you can often hear her singing hymns downhill during races and rides,” says her proud father, Brian. “In fact, she had a couple of nearby racers ask her to sing louder during the HC100 race so they could hear better.”
You will notice from the picture above that Susannah is carrying a large pack for a 100-miler. That’s because she carries extra tubes, tools and chain links in case competitors break down and need assistance. “For us, winning is always tertiary to safety and finding ways to help others succeed where they might otherwise fail for lack of supplies or equipment,” Brian Hart says.
Sussanah decided to race the SS Monboelt in the High Cascades 100 for simplicity’s sake. With a finish time of 14:12:45, she came in 14th among Open Women finishers, racing with a 39/22 sprocket setup. “I decided to ride the singlespeed because I got the idea that this race didn’t have as much climbing as other races I have done,” Susannah says. “It had 11,400 feet climbing over 100 miles, just about the same elevation gain as in the 100k race I did two weeks before.” She adds that the race “was not as hard as I expected it to be.”
That’s one tough young woman. Gates Carbon Drive is proud to have Susannah racing and riding the belt, and we look forward to more of her exploits in the future. Keep an eye out for the package we sent you, Susannah, with a jersey and other Carbon Drive goodies.
Mountain bikes featuring the chain-replacing Gates Carbon Drive belt system are the top prizes in a national contest that encourages consumers to get their “Rocky Mountain Fix.” Two belt drive singlespeed mountain bikes from REEB Cycles will be awarded in the Rocky Mountain Fix contest, which is sponsored by leading outdoor lifestyle brands Kelty, Kuat, Oskar Blues Brewery and Mountain Flyer Magazine.
Rocky Mountain Fix offers monthly prizes including bikes, camping gear and bike racks all summer long, culminating with the grand prize: a REEB singlespeed 29er with Carbon Drive, a Tailgater camping setup from Kelty, a top-of-the-line Kuat NV bike rack, a lifetime subscription to mountain biking magazine Mountain Flyer, and a trip for two to Colorado for a bike camping weekend hosted by Oskar Blues Brewery.
“This is a great opportunity to position Gates Carbon Drive alongside these other innovative lifestyle brands and their active, outdoorsy audiences,” says Greg Vigil, Gates VP of marketing. “The fans and users of Kelty, Kuat, Oskar Blues and Mountain Flyer are the exact people that Gates Carbon Drive wants to reach.”
Rocky Mountain Fix will be promoted on the back of several million beer cans from Oskar Blues, an award-winning Colorado craft brewer. Selected Whole Foods and Kroger supermarkets will also promote the contest with in-store beer stacks, posters and displays that entice consumers to “Win a Gates belt drive 29er.”