Cycle Monkey is an innovative bike builder and belt drive specialist based near Berkeley in Albany, California. They are also the North American distributor for the Rohloff Speedhub, which pairs well with Gates Carbon Drive to produce a clean, quiet and low-maintenance drivetrain without derailleurs or chains. Cycle Monkey has produced many fine custom bikes featuring Carbon Drive, and here are some of our favorites.
Pictured above is the Green Troll, a do-it-all travel bike with couplers to take apart the frame for packing in a suitcase. “This modified Surly Troll frame was put together for a customer who lives in Southern California, but spends a fair amount of time in the rural East Coast every year,” says Cycle Monkey owner Neil Flock. “He wanted a versatile full-sized bike that he could easily pack up to take on an airplane and was sturdy and reliable.” More info on the Green Troll here.
The Independent Fabrications 29er above was customized for a customer seeking his dream commuter bike. “He wanted a good looking bike that he could use to comfortably explore the East Coast bike paths and city streets near his home,” Cycle Monkey writes on its Monkey Lab blog. Click for more info.
Below is the Surly Krampus modified to run a Gates belt. “The goal for this build was to create a bike that could be ridden more aggressively through rock gardens, off drops and jumps, and down steep descents.” More info here.
The Surly Moonlander, below, was built for a customer in snowy Minnesota. “When riding in sand, snow, mud and other messy conditions, the bike’s drivetrain must be able to withstand all the different kinds of grime that come up off the trail,” say the Monkeys. “Derailleurs and chains on fat bikes can sometimes live up to these conditions but are often found lacking. Because of the wear that these conditions put on components, the lifespan of a fat bike drivetrain is notoriously short. However, the Gates Carbon Drive and Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 combination solves these problems and has developed a reputation as the drivetrain that every fat bike rider covets.” More info here.
Above is the Twenty2 Cycles 29er. “This gorgeous Twenty2 Cycles frame is the latest in a handful of builds we have put together using the new “29+” platform. These bikes use three inch wide 29er tires mounted to 50mm rims, which provide ample float and traction like a fat bike, yet roll fast like a standard 29er.” More info here.
To see more cool belt drive bikes visit the Monkey Lab blog, and visit them at the upcoming North American Handmade Bicycle Show.
Gates Carbon Drive plans to, literally, electrify the 2014 North American Handmade Bicycle Show with a first-ever “Custom eBike Showcase” featuring a dozen original electric bicycles.
Gates partnered with leading electric bike system companies Bosch, SRAM and BionX, as well as hub maker NuVinci, and enlisted some of the finest custom builders to create the belt drive eBikes for the show, March 14-16 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The English Cycles electric cargo bike pictured above features a stylish integration of the Gates belt drive system with the Bosch Gen2 motor and battery paired with a NuVinci N360 continuously variable planetary hub.
“Electric bikes can get more Americans out of cars and onto two wheels, and Gates wants to help drive growth in North America by exposing consumers to the benefits eBikes,” said Todd Sellden, global director of Gates Carbon Drive. “The Custom eBike Showcase allows top custom builders to present an American interpretation of the European eBike movement.”
Award-winning builders participating in the showcase include Co-Motion Cycles, English Cycles, Calfee Design, Kent Eriksen Cycles, Ti Cycles, Dean Cycle Works, SyCip Designs, Boo Bicycles, Santana, Alternative Needs Transportation and Connor Wood Bicycles. Gates and its partners Bosch, SRAM, BionX and NuVinci gave the builders creative freedom to design eBikes to suit their functional and artistic visions. The belt drive eBikes cover a range of styles: fat bikes and cargo bikes, tandems, city and commuter bikes, and electric bikes made of bamboo and wood. The eBikes will feature electric drives from Bosch, SRAM and BionX, as well as NuVinci hubs.
The Custom eBike Showcase will be located in the Gates booth (#300) at the Charlotte Convention Center. Gates Carbon Drive is an official sponsor of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. “Electric bikes are a new thing for NAHBS and custom builders, and I will be curious to see the reaction from builders and the public,” said Don Walker, founder of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.
The first bicycles were made from wood, so it is only appropriate that this material is getting a fresh look from a new generation of custom bike builders. We previously featured wooden bikes builder Mike Pescok when one of his bikes won a juried art prize. Mike has been honing his craft and creating more gorgeous wooden belt drive bikes since then, including this one made of walnut (the dark wood) and maple (the light). Note the nicely curved belt stays and seat stay. “It’s much like a carbon fiber layup,” he says of bending and laminating the wood and epoxy. Check out Mike’s new website, grainworkswoodart.com, and Instagram account, @grainworkswoodart, to see more pictures. And if you need a table and chairs to match that wooden bike, well, Mike can help you there, too.
Flying Machine makes beautiful belt drive urban bikes in Perth, Australia. The brand recently launched a new model, the F1, which features 3D printed titanium lugs to join the titanium tubing. The result is a sleek and fully tailored geometry that allows Flying Machine to easily get every customer on the right size custom frame. Technology meets art meets functionality meets fun. Learn more about Flying Machine and the F1 here.
Read our previous posts about Flying Machine here, and watch their promo video to get an up-close look at how our Aussie friends get belted down under.
Bicycling Magazine has just published a review of the Wazee from Spot Brand in its March issue, saying the bike “puts the ‘fun’ in functional.” We agree. Bicycling also called out the attributes of the Wazee’s Gates Carbon Drive. “The Gates belt drive is ideal for cyclists who’d rather ride their bike than fix it.” Pick up the March issue to read the full review. And for all of you who don’t live in Denver, the Wazee is named after a street in the city’s hipster district–the ideal location for riding this looker of a belt drive urban bike.