SVO is a bike company based in the town of Blis et Born in southwestern France that specializes in rugged mountain bikes with belts, or “courroies” in French. That’s the Dakar 29 above. SVO bikes are built to last, with sturdy components including Rohloff internal hubs instead of derailleurs.
SVO also makes a 27.5 inch tire sized version of the Dakar, shown below, and a hard tail model called the Speeder, at bottom.
Pilot Cycles is a Dutch company that builds innovative titanium bikes. Pilot recently produced this custom trekking and commuting bike featuring the Pinion gearbox. The combination of Gates Carbon Drive and the 18-speed Pinion creates a sturdy, clean and low-maintenance bicycle that can endure the worst weather.
Pilot has also built many ti bikes combining the Gates belt drive with the Rohloff internally geared hub, another extremely strong shifting system that is used by adventure cyclists. See the belt drive 29er below with a lefty fork and Rohloff hub.
Two custom belt drive bikes recently caught our eye. The first is a wooden bike that won an art prize in California. The second is a stainless steel beauty built by our friends at 616 Bicycle Fabrication.
“We were able to figure out how to paint stainless steel, and keep it durable, which was no small feat,” says Aaron Joppe of 616 Fab in Michigan. “Our customer loves the Gates belt, which is tight, smooth and quiet. A killer rig that weighs under 18 pounds.”
Next up is AnalogOne, a wooden singlespeed mountain bike from artist Mike Pescok. It’s made from African Mahogany, Philippine Mahogany, Yellow Heart, and Finnish Birch Plywood. The top and down tube are hollow and the brake cable runs through the frame and exits behind the seat tube. “I utilized a BB92 standard bottom bracket shell and EC44 head tube. Total bike weight is 28 pounds and three ounces,” Pescok says.
The bike is on display at the Studio Channel Islands Art Center in Camarillo, Calif., as part of the “A View From Within” exhibit through October 26. Pescok’s bike won the juried prize from the chairman of the Art Department at California Lutheran University.
Nicolai has released a couple videos of two new 2014 bikes, the Fat Bike and the Rocc 29er.
Beautiful camera work, closeups and a pumped up soundtrack in this video of the 29er:
This next one is seriously ridiculous! Watch Frank Schneider bounce down some rocky trails to a hillbilly music soundtrack. The intro with two German dudes debating the merits of wheel size is spot-on in its mocking tone about the debate over 29 versus 650b/27.5. Hard not to smile watching this video:
The Leadville 100 is one of the most grueling single-day mountain bike races in the world. Robert Brudenell will be riding it on a wooden bike. Equipped with Gates Carbon Drive and a 14-speed Rohloff hub, the bike is a project between Brudenell and Connor Cycles, a wooden bike specialist builder in the Denver area. And get this: the bike is built from an ash tree that was hit by a car and had fallen in the median of a road. Even the rims are wooden.
Brudenell is an arborist who collected the tree and worked with Chris Connor to build the frame. Brudenell is riding the Leadville 100 to raise money for a woman diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Watch the video below from Channel 9 in Denver. And see a photo set of the bike here.