Bicycle Touring Category Archive
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Custom builder Kent Eriksen’s titanium eBike is among those featured in the magazine.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The North American Handmade Bicycle Show last weekend in Charlotte, NC, featured a historic first–the largest collection of custom electric bikes ever gathered in one place. Gates Carbon Drive worked with a dozen custom bike builders to commission these beautiful eBikes for the show. The goal: introduce North American consumers and bike builders to the eBike trend that is sweeping Europe–and gaining steam in the United States. In this post we feature the five belt drive eBikes featuring the Bosch electric bike drive and NuVinci N360 hub.
Pictured above and below is the titanium electric mountain cargo bike from Kent Eriksen, a noted Colorado frame builder. Eriksen was inspired to create a rugged bike for traveling between his workshop and home in the mountains of snowy Steamboat Springs. With its clean and powerful drive train, sturdy rear rack and suspension fork, this is an eBike for traveling bumpy and steep mountain roads and carrying heavy objects.
Next is the electric workshop cargo bike from Craig Calfee. This creative and fun eBike brought many smiles to attendees at NAHBS and it shows Calfee’s woodworking skills. The seat is a toolbox that opens to carry hammers and tools. The fork is made of two ax handles, the disc brake rotors are old saw blades, and the handlebars employ copper pipe fittings. We can’t wait to see pictures of Craig riding the bike around his hometown in California, rocking a Hawaiian shirt.
Co-Motion is one of the leading custom bike brands for touring bikes and tandems. For its Bosch build, the Eugene, Oregon, brand decided to make an electric tandem. The bike won the Best Tandem award from the judges at NAHBS, who noted that this eBike would inspire older cyclists and couples to get on it and ride like the wind together. How romantic. It’s an electric blue love machine.
Dean Cycles of Colorado is known for its titanium frames, and it created a fast and sleek ti commuter. The sloping, cantilevered tubes show the artistic flare of builder Rich Running Bull. The rear rack swoops back like the wing of a bird in flight. The titanium fork is absolutely lovely.
Now meet the Electric No-Car-Kitty-Cargo Bike from English Cycles. Rob English and his wife live car-free, and they plan to use this bike for heavy errands–including carrying their cat to the veterinarian. Rob says the only time he borrows a car is when bringing the cat to the vet. That’s why he built the carbon front rack, which is perfectly sized for a kitty crate. The adjustable-height stem allows the bars to be raised or lowered to accommodate large items on the front rack. And thanks to the Gates Carbon Drive and Bosch motor, this eBike purrs like a white kitten.
Enjoy the photos below and stay tuned for upcoming posts about more Carbon Drive bikes and eBikes displayed at NAHBS. Thanks to photographer and Gates employee Tim Lucking for the fantastic pictures.
The rear deck is also carbon to provide strength but shave weight. The NuVinci shifter provides a 360 percent gear range with a twist of the dial. The Bosch shifters allow users to toggle through multiple levels of assist, from eco to turbo. This bike gets work done, minus the car, and Rob’s cat will enjoy cruising around town on it. Meow.