photo credit: steve ellsworth
For singlespeed racers and hard tail mountain bikers, the Tranny from Ibis Cycles is a legend. Ibis has now launched its new Tranny, updating it with 29-inch wheels and selling it geared or singlespeed with a Gates Carbon Drive belt system. They call the Gates belt drive version the Tranny “Unchained.” It’s a fast and light machine. The Carbon Drive system shaves hundreds of grams over a comparable chain drive, making the Unchained a speedy race rig for one-speeders seeking the podium. The carbon frame is certainly one of the most travel-ready mountain bikes. The rear end unbolts for packing into a suitcase. A device called the Slot Machine behind the bottom bracket allows for easy belt tensioning. Gates will display a Tranny Unchained at Eurobike in Germany next month.
Last month, we had the pleasure of riding one for several days around Lake Tahoe with Ibis founder Scot Nicol. We charged down the rocky Tahoe Rim Trail and hammered across the Flume Trail, descending to Chimney Beach, then hit the Powerline and Corral trails, carving berms and launching tabletops. The bike flies uphill. We dropped our companions and passed other riders with ease on long climbs, stopping at the top for a snack while waiting for them. The bike’s rear end is so light and flickable that you can–with a little burst of speed–bunny hop rocks going uphill. When Ibis discontinued its former Tranny 26er a year ago, Ibis fans waited with great expectation. They will not be disappointed. Ibis has unchained a beast. Go to the Ibis page to see the Unchained build kit. Journalists, dealers and mountain bikers attending Eurobike can check it out in the Gates Carbon Drive booth.
photo credit: steve ellsworth
Gates Carbon Drive is commonly used on commuter, electric and urban bikes because it is a clean, smooth and simple solution for bicycles made for getting from A to B. But don’t be fooled. Gates Carbon Drive can fly. The carbon fiber technology that makes the Gates belt a winner for transportation bikes also makes it a burly solution for hard racing. Witness the Gates Nicolai mountain bike team, which is flying full suspension belt drive Nicolai enduro and downhill rigs on the European World Cup and racing circuit this summer. If Gates Carbon Drive is tough enough for these guys, imagine how well it will perform on your bike path townie. All photos from Hoshi Yoshida, taken at the Leogang World Cup event in June.
Beautiful landscapes are one of the great joys of mountain biking. Lake Tahoe is one of these beautiful places best viewed from a mountain bike. Three trillion gallons of crystal clear blue waters. More than 1,600 feet (500 meters) deep. It’s crazy beautiful. Last weekend we got the chance to ride a new unchained mountain bike on the Flume Trail and Tahoe Rim Trail on the lake’s eastern shore. Incredible bike. Stunning views. This is what mountain biking is all about.
Photos by Steve Ellsworth, @steveells.
Nicolai Bikes, based in Germany, is one of the most innovative bike brands in the world, known for its use of belt drives, gearboxes and other cutting edge technologies. Now Nicolai is coming to America thanks to the launch of Nicolai USA, the brand’s new US distribution partner.
That’s the Ion 20 Effigear pictured flying above your head up top. It’s an eight-inch travel downhill bike featuring Gates Carbon Drive and the Effigear gearbox, providing a durable and low-maintenance gravity machine that eliminates chain slap and provides higher ground clearance without the worry of ripping your derailleur off on gnarly trails. The frameset is pictured below. For the first time, Nicolai will begin selling complete bikes through its USA arm. This will make it easier for consumers to get their belt drive models without having to worry about building up bikes from a frame.
More photos of the Ion 20 Effigear are below, followed by another popular model, the Argon Fat with Pinion and Gates Carbon Drive.
To order Nicolai bikes, become a dealer or to see their complete lineup of belt drive models please visit www.nicolai-usa.com
And watch the video of the Ion 20 Effigear being assembled and ridden hard.
Nicolai – ION 20 Effi-Gear Comes to Life a MTB video by CrossWorx
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.