Bicycle Touring Category Archive

Life_Lontano_P18_profile

Considering a global bike tour? Well it’s time to hit the road, Jack. Austrian bicycle brand KTM has created the ultimate trekking and touring bike, made to handle the rigors of riding around the planet: the Life Lontano P1.18 Pinion. “This bike is for all those who want to discover the world,” the company says. The judges at Eurobike agreed, awarding the bike a prestigious design award in the category of Cross Bikes. The judges noted its comfort, stability, functionality and stylish design.

“The Life Lontano includes absolutely everything required for a major trip around the world by bike without losing itself in any superfluous gimmicks. Furthermore, the KTM is proof that design is possible even in highly function-driven travel bikes.”

The combination of Pinion gearbox and Gates Carbon Drive belt system is increasingly recognized as a low-maintenance pairing for touring cyclists who want to enjoy the ride without the daily work of maintaining a chain drive. The Life Lontano’s high-end steel frame also includes disc brakes, a Brooks saddle and space for three water bottle mounts. Visit a KTM dealer to order your Life Lontano P1.18 Pinion. Then hit the road, Jack. And don’t come back.

KTM_Thomas Pressl_Euro Award

KTM shows off its Eurobike design award.

ktm-life-lontano-p1.18-pinion-2015-on the grass

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Grace Easy_hipster sitting with bike

Grace Electric Bikes are now available for ordering and delivery in the United States thanks to a new distribution partnership with Grace Bikes USA. Their belt drive eBikes can be ordered directly through Grace USA, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and through a growing network of American dealerships.

The German brand’s award-winning eBikes have a large and growing following in Europe, with over 124 dealerships. Grace won a Red Dot design award in 2012 due to their clean style and simplified operation, and their models with Gates Carbon Drive are recognized as some of the most stylish and functional eBikes in the world.

Pictured above is the Grace Easy, which features a BionX hub motor, regenerative braking, four levels of regeneration and multiple levels of pedal assist. “The Grace Easy has a top range of 26 MPH and can easily cover 30 to 60 miles, depending on the terrain and the use of pedal-assist,” said Mike Page, sales director at Grace Bikes USA. “The Magura MT4 hydraulic disc brakes, front and rear LED lights, Gates Carbon Drive and a variety of custom options make the Grace Easy one of the best looking electric bikes to enter the US market.”

Below is the Grace MX, which features a suspension fork for rough riding, a Bosch mid-motor electric drive, Gates Carbon Drive and the Nuvinci N360 continuously variable planetary hub for seamless shifting.

Grace MX_riding down stairs

Grace MX profile with guy standing

Also available is the Grace MX II, pictured below. The MX II comes in an urban and a trail version with two frame sizes. It features a the second-generation Bosch motor, Gates belt drive and NuVicini N360 hub shifting.

Grace MX2_hipster sitting with bike

Grace Urban MX2 Bosch

“Gates is extremely pleased to have Grace eBikes available to American consumers because their designs ideally showcase the clean, quiet, light and strong advantages of the Gates belt drive,” said Frank Scurlock, global sales director for Gates Carbon Drive. “We believe these eBikes will make more Americans aware of the grease-free and low-maintenance benefits of the Carbon Drive System.”

To order online or to inquire about becoming an American dealer contact www.gracebikesusa.com.

Grace Urban MX2 Nuvinci

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EBA cover June 2014

For the bicycle industry and electric bike enthusiasts, there may be no more important publication than Electric Bike Action. Launched this year by the publishers of Mountain Bike Action and Road Bike Action, Electric Bike Action is on the forefront of the eBike revolution that is sweeping Europe, getting more people out of cars and onto bikes–and coming to America.

The magazine has just published an eight-page photo spread and story in its June issue, now on newsstands, about Gates Carbon Drive’s “Custom eBike Showcase” at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in March. That’s one of the Gates “Bionic Belt Drive” eBikes on the cover. The story includes great photography of the custom builds featuring Gates belts and electric drive systems from Bosch, SRAM and BionX, and the NuVinci continuously variable planetary hub. “The results were, to say the least, amazing,” the editors say about the Gates showcase. Pick up a copy of the magazine or go here to purchase a digital issue. The eBike revolution is coming, and it will be belted.

NAHBS 14_Bosch_Eriksen_builder

 Custom builder Kent Eriksen’s titanium eBike is among those featured in the magazine.

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NAHBS 14_BionX_ANT_complete

Gates Carbon Drive’s Custom eBike Showcase at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show was a great success, drawing crowds and media attention. Today we feature three belt drive electric bikes with BionX motors–the same brand used on the popular smart ebikes.

Pictured above and below is a retro cruiser from ANT Bikes in Walpole, Massachusetts. ANT specializes in steel transportation bikes that often use Gates Carbon Drive. “The bike was designed to have the look and feel of a 1930s-era motorbike,” says ANT owner Mike Flanagan. It features a sprung fork and stick shift mounted to the seat stay, along with a twin tube frame. Other nice touches include red rims paired with Fat Frank cream tires, a Brooks saddle, and moto-style brake levers. Cables are routed internally for a clean look. “We were very pleased with the outcome and received lots of reviews at NAHBS,” Mike says. “Thank you to everyone at Gates for inviting us to participate.”

NAHBS 14_BionX_ANT_front

NAHBS 14_BionX_ANT_rear

Below is a double-belted electric tandem from Santana Cycles that is worth not one but two smiles. Santana builder Bill McCready says that “couples who adopt a healthy tandeming lifestyle when younger will continue to ride enthusiastically for decades. They won’t willingly ‘hang it up’ until they lack the strength to make it to the top of a once-easy climb.” That’s where the pedal assist BionX comes in. Couples who no longer have the legs for big climbs can benefit from the rear hub motor’s “inconspicuous boost to help them reach the high points.” And thanks to the two Gates Carbon Drives instead of chains, this bike is clean, quiet and low-maintenance.

NAHBS 14_BionX_Santana_complete with two ladies

NAHBS 14_BionX_Santana_double belts

NAHBS 14_BionX_Santana_front with smiles

Next is the electric belt drive Green Arrow mountain bike from Ti Cycles in Portland. They won an award for best cargo bike at NAHBS last year.

NAHBS 14_BionX_TiCycles_complete

The Green Arrow features a 26-inch rear wheel and a 27.5/650b on the front. The larger front wheel increases the angle of attack on bumps and obstacles, making it easier to roll over rocks, while the smaller rear provides a shorter wheel base and faster acceleration. “This frameset is built from our custom 3/2.5 blend lightweight titanium oversize tubeset and gives the commuter-oriented BionX system a chance to go out and play in the dirt,” says founder Dave Levy. “One of the frame’s most striking features is our distinctive pierced top tube, which runs as one continuous piece from headset to rear tire, pierced by the seat tube.” Belt tension is provided by an eccentric bottom bracket to keep the rear dropouts elegant and simple.

NAHBS 14_BionX_TiCycles_logo closeup

NAHBS 14_BionX_Ticycles_Levy

Thanks for following our coverage of the Gates Custom eBike Showcase. In coming posts we will feature belt drive bikes featuring Shimano’s Alfine Di2 electronic shifting system, and other innovative and artistic belt drive bikes from the NAHBS show floor. Thanks to Tim Lucking for the photographs.

GATES eBike Showcase logo

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NAHBS 14_SRAM_Sycip_complete bike

This mobile barbecue machine is among five SRAM E-matic eBikes that Gates Carbon Drive showed at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show last weekend. Jeremy Sycip of Sycip Designs in Portland was inspired by a friend who lugs a portable grill into the woods for barbecuing after long rides. Sycip, who won an award at NAHBS last year for his belt drive gentleman’s town bike,  again impressed judges with his creativity–winning the trophy for Best Theme Bike. In addition to a grill rack, the eBike has panniers for beer and ice, a cutting board on the rear rack, a frame-mounted knife and bottle opener. Thanks to the E-matic, getting home with a full belly after a pork chop feast is a breeze.

NAHBS 14_SRAM_Sycip_BBQ closeup

NAHBS 14_SRAM_Sycip_cutting board

NAHBS 14_SRAM_Sycip trophy

Chris Connor of Connor Wood Cycles is a Denver-area bike builder who honed his woodworking skills as a guitar maker. His wooden belt drive bikes are not just beautiful; they’re tough. One was raced in last year’s Leadville 100 mountain bike race. For his SRAM E-matic build, Chris chose to create an efficient hardwood commuter that he is calling the el Woody. His bikes truly are functional works of art. Note the wooden rear rack.

NAHBS 14_SRAM_Connor Wood_Chris with bike

NAHBS 14_SRAM_Connor Wood_rear rack

Bamboo specialists Boo Bicycles of Colorado last year launched a commuter line called AluBoo that creatively combines aluminum, bamboo and belt drives.  After winning an award last year for best belt drive fat bike, they decided to pair the E-matic with an AluBoo frame to create a stylish urban eBike that gets you to the office or grocery without arriving sweaty. Booyah!

NAHBS 14_SRAM_Boo_Jacob

NAHBS 14_SRAM_Boo_complete bike

One of the hardest bikes to keep in the Gates booth in Charlotte was the CityView eBike from Co-Motion, which took top honors at NAHBS last year for its electronic shifting city bike. Co-Motion told us to offer test rides, and many NAHBS attendees accepted. The pedal-assist bike could frequently be seen zipping along a rear wall of the convention center with a long straightaway. Everyone was impressed by the E-matic. The rear wheel drive features a torque sensor that automatically shifts into a higher gear. It’s a clean application: no handlebar shifters or extra wires–just pedal and go.

NAHBS 14_SRAM_Co-Motion_rear rack

NAHBS 14_SRAM_Co-Motion_complete

Builder Craig Calfee has won many awards for his high-end carbon bikes, but he is also noted for his efforts to teach bamboo bike building skills in Africa. His goal is to help people in the developing world use locally sourced bamboo to create affordable and clean transportation. For his show bike, Craig paired the E-matic with a Booganda frame. Note the beautiful work on the head tube.

NAHBS 14_SRAM_Calfee_complete bike

NAHBS 14_SRAM_Calfee_headtube closeup

Stay tuned for more great photos of electric and pedal bikes from NAHBS. Thanks to Gates racer/marketing specialist/photographer Tim Lucking for the pictures. Now it’s time to go barbecue.

NAHBS 14_SRAM_Sycip knife

GATES eBike Showcase logo

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