Coffee-loving bicyclists, meet the Velopresso: an ingenious pedal-powered mobile coffee stand designed to lower the carbon footprint of our collective caffeine habit. Created by two product design students from the Royal College of Art in London, the machine uses no electricity, making it perfect for street corners and off-the-grid locations. Velopresso not only gets around town by pedal power; the coffee grinder is also pedal-powered. Delicious coffee, no electricity, no motors, no noise.
“Velopresso was conceived against the backdrop of a global renaissance in cycling culture that is being driven by the desire for more sustainable cities and lifestyles,” says co-creator Amos Field Reid, pictured below kneeling behind the machine. “The urban coffee scene is also expanding and diversifying, including a convergence with cycling culture. Velopresso engages directly with these cutting-edge urban cultures.”
The only fuel use consists of a camp stove to heat the water and create steam. The stove now uses camping/mountaineer’s gas, but Reid and co-creator Lasse Oiva are researching methods to create ethanol alcohol from the spent coffee grounds, which would be used to fire the camp stove burner. “Research is underway to derive a zero-carbon fuel for the stove from waste grinds,” Reid says.
We love the Velopresso because it uses not one but two Gates Carbon Drives–one for locomotion and another to power the grinder, which produces a double-shot of espresso with five seconds of easy pedaling. With a click of a gear lever, the belt-drive transmission switches from powering the trike’s wheels to powering the custom-made grinder. The inventors say the clean and grease-free belt drive was the perfect solution: you don’t want toxic chain lube in your soy latte.
“The Gates Carbon Drive forms an integral part of the Velopresso,” Reid says. “The belt eliminated the problem of an oily chain getting mixed up with the coffee prep environment. It also rendered a chain guard unnecessary, allowing us to showcase this rational, progressive, pedal-powered technology and keeping it all naked as we intended. We wanted technology that looks good and performs perfectly. From the very earliest design sketches we located the Gates Carbon Drive that powers the grinder at the center of the machine–a statement of intent.”
Velopresso has already won several design awards including the Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprises 2012, and second place in the Pininfarina Design Contest 2012. Reid and Oiva are now trying to commercialize Velopresso to sell them in Europe and North America. “The Velopresso project as a business is conceived around the production of multiple machines for sale or leasing to individual private vendors alongside coffee and bicycle related companies, as both an eye-catching new form of mobile retail operation and a highly visible promotional vehicle,” Reid says. The machine’s weatherproof side panels can be customized for company or corporate branding.
Attending Eurobike is a fascinating experience for bicyclists due to the massive size of the trade show and the sheer variety of bike models and brands. While the European bike market has been slower to adopt some trends such as 29er mountain bikes, Europe is ground zero for commuter and transportation bikes and the global boom in electric bikes. Another trend we spotted at Eurobike? Even more bike models and brands with Gates Carbon Drive instead of chains. Below are some of the many 2013 models that European bicyclists will be riding next year. Even the kids want one, as the little dude above showed in the Velotraum booth. Scroll down for an assortment of snapshots from the show.
Above is the Inc commuter from Avanti.
The E-Line C electric bike from Bergamont
Foldable bike from Bernds
Black Braid full carbon sub-5 KG singlespeed
Black Braid carbon fixie
Full carbon Coren singlespeed, for those with an extra 25,000 Euros to spend
From iconic Italian brand De Rosa
De Rosa Milanino
The Belter children's bike from Early Rider won a Eurobike innovation award
e-Jalopy electric from Greenwheel
Fahrradmanufaktur T-Belt Lite
Globe Roll 8 Rare
Grace Easy e-bike
Grace MX enduro e-bike
The JAB from Japan
Koga World Traveler
Koga World Traveler 29
Mi-Tech with Pinion gearbox (locked up because everyone wants to steal this one)
Nicolai trekking bike
Indonesian brand Polygon
Sandman Gobi fat bike
Santos Race Lite
Sweet styling on this limited edition Schindelhauer fixie
Easy to see why Schindelhauer won the Eurobike Best City Bike award in 2011
Schindelhauer Ludwig XIV
The Scott SUB will get you noticed
Specialized Source 11
Tour de Suisse
Tout Terrain Amber Road
Tout Terrain Via Veneto
Tout Terrain X-Over
Van Nicholas Amazon
Van Nicholas Pioneer
Van Nicholas Zion 29er
Congratulations. You made it to the end, which means you probably want to get a belt drive bicycle. This kid, too.
Nobody needs a 25,000 Euro bike. Then again, nobody needs a Formula 1 race car either. But for those with an extra $32,000 in their pocket, we present the “coren” fixie and singlespeed. The bikes are made by UBC, a German company that creates carbon fiber components for Formula 1 cars and clients including Porsche, Bugatti and Audi. Both spec the Gates Carbon Drive. We spotted these two bikes at Eurobike, where they attracted a crowd. Pictured above is the Coren fixie. Below is the singlespeed.
UBC describes the high tensile strength T1000 carbon frame shape as “avant-‐garde.” Both bikes were designed by UBC designer Christian Zanzotti. “Super slim top and down tubes lend the coren a unique visual lightness,” says a press release. The bikes weigh about 7,700 grams (17 pounds) and will be sold in limited quantities. It takes about 40 hours to make a coren frame, which is molded and cured in aluminum forms.
“The frame, like all UBC components, is manufactured in a clean room, in accordance with motor sport and premium vehicle construction standards,” says UBC developer Marco Noack. Go to www.ubc-coren.com to watch a slick video of the bikes being fabricated in the UBC clean room. Scroll down to see more images.
Stay tuned, because UBC is now working on a pedelec. Want to see one up close? Rumor has it one of these corens will appear at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Denver next February.
Attending Eurobike 2012? Visit the Gates Carbon Drive booth (A2/202) to check out some cool new 2013 belt drive bikes–including one of the most technologically advanced full-suspension bikes of the year, Mi-Tech’s 29er with a Pinion gearbox. This bike will have huge media interest due to its technological innovations. Instead of an internally geared hub, which adds weight to the rear wheel, the gearbox is located in the bottom bracket, providing a more balanced bike that is low maintenance and takes a beating. Say goodbye to derailleurs.
E-bikes are also very hot in Europe. One of the most highly anticipated models is the Smart electric bike bike. Call it the Prius or Smart Car of bikes. It captures energy from braking to power up the battery. Smart is using a Gates Carbon Drive instead of a chain to provide superior performance. Check out the video:
German bike maker Schindelhauer will show off itsThinBike (pictured above). With bars that twist to the side to save space and pedals that fold up, the ThinBike is designed for space-cramped city dwellers who want a full-size bicycle that is easy to store in small apartments. The bike was designed in collaboration with Treehugger.com founder Graham Hill. Watch the video:
In addition to these bikes, Gates will be showing off a number of new belt drive bikes from Nicolai (which is also building a Pinion gearbox prototype), Grace (a new e-bike), a custom Cyfac tandem, a fat tire bike from Sandman Bikes, as well as Frank Schneider’s Megavalanche SS hardtail, and many more. Stay tuned for more updates on interesting bikes with Gates Carbon Drive that will be rolling out at Eurobike. Sehr gut!
Touring the show floor at Eurobike one thing becomes clear: Europe is getting belted. We will highlight a few bikes here. First up is the Schindelhauer Ludwig XIV, a 14-speed city bike that won best of show in the urban bike category at Eurobike.
Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, the top US bike industry trade magazine, stopped by the Gates booth to write about belt drive e-bikes, of which Smart is one of the hottest developments. Smart, a division of automotive giant Daimler and the maker of those small fuel efficient cars you see zipping around San Francisco and other progressive US cities, will sell its new pedelec through its 600 dealerships in 2012, opening a new channel of sales and exposing more consumers to this new mobility solution. Click here to read BRAIN’s story about Smart and its interview with Karl Nicolai of Gates Europe, who worked with Smart to develop their e-bike.
Tout Terrain is a popular German brand that is distributed in the US through Peter White Cycles. For 2012 Tout Terrain is rolling out several new belt drive models including the Chiyoda and the Amber Road. The Chiyoda is Tout Terrain’s first bike without a rack, a fast commuter for cyclists who don’t plan to carry a heavy load. Amber Road is a 29er touring and commuting bike, part of a growing trend of big-wheeled fat-tired commuters.
Tout Terrain Amber Road
And the Chiyoda, named for a district in Tokyo
BMC is a premium road racing brand that is launching an urban line in 2012. The flagship of the line is the Mass Challenge. Known as the MC01, it was inspired by members of the BMC Racing Team, including Tour de France winner Cadel Evans. The UC01 Urban Challenge is the other belted bike in BMC’s lineup.
Cadel Evans' super townie!
The Urban Challenge, UC01, with a yellow belt in Cadel's honor
Koga Signature custom touring rig
Fahrradmanufaktur Belt Lite
Overall there are about 40 bike brands showing belt drive models at Eurobike, including Fahrradmanufaktur, Koga, Trek, Avanti, Epple, Santana and more.