The bike builders preparing for Gates Carbon Drive’s Custom eBike Showcase next week at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show are putting the finishing touches on their electric bikes, and all of us at Gates are feeling a bit electrified with excitement. Pictured above is the el Woody from Connor Wood Cycles in Denver featuring the SRAM E-matic.
Below is the electric tandem from Co-Motion Cycles featuring the Bosch drive and NuVinci N360 continuously variable planetary shifting system. Co-Motion is now installing the battery on this blue beauty, and when completed it will be a one-of-its-kind, high-speed bicycle built for two.
Pictured below is the electric barbecue cargo cruiser from Sycip Designs (see his winning bike from last year’s NAHBS here). It has all the essentials needed for a good ole fashioned Carolina BBQ picnic: a rear rack cutting board, a four-inch knife mounted to the frame, waterproof bags for ice and beverages (and pork chops), a frame-mounted bottle opener and space for a small propane barbecue grill. Get ready to fire up the grill and tip a few cold ones, but leave the veggie burgers at home because this bike isn’t tofu powered. See you next week in Charlotte, North Carolina!
Co-Motion is a top custom bike brand based in Eugene, Oregon, that makes many innovative bicycles featuring Gates Carbon Drive. Co-Motion is also one of the companies creating belt drive electric bikes for the Gates Custom eBike Showcase at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in March. The bike pictured above and below features the SRAM eMatic system on Co-Motion’s CityView commuter and light touring rig. “We had some dealers visiting yesterday and they all had a lot of fun ripping around the shop on it,” says Brian Cannon of Co-Motion. The bike features Reynolds 725 custom-butted tubes, front and rear rack and fender mounts, three water bottle bosses and disc brakes, plus an eccentric bottom bracket for belt tensioning.
The beauty of the SRAM E-matic system is its plug-and-play quality. The enclosed and protected rear-wheel hub includes a torque-sensor, controller, motor, and an automatic transmission system. The torque-sensor monitors the rider’s effort and the controller delivers motor assistance as needed. The transmission shifts automatically to ensure that the rider is always in the right gear, delivering power at low speeds for getting started or getting up hills, and efficiency at high speeds. The battery includes a fuel gauge to monitor when it needs to be charged and is contained in a specially designed rear-carrier that is a fully-functional rack, including a spring-loaded cargo-clip.
Visit the Gates Carbon Drive booth (#300) to see this and other custom eBikes commissioned by Gates for the show.
Gates Carbon Drive plans to, literally, electrify the 2014 North American Handmade Bicycle Show with a first-ever “Custom eBike Showcase” featuring a dozen original electric bicycles.
Gates partnered with leading electric bike system companies Bosch, SRAM and BionX, as well as hub maker NuVinci, and enlisted some of the finest custom builders to create the belt drive eBikes for the show, March 14-16 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The English Cycles electric cargo bike pictured above features a stylish integration of the Gates belt drive system with the Bosch Gen2 motor and battery paired with a NuVinci N360 continuously variable planetary hub.
“Electric bikes can get more Americans out of cars and onto two wheels, and Gates wants to help drive growth in North America by exposing consumers to the benefits eBikes,” said Todd Sellden, global director of Gates Carbon Drive. “The Custom eBike Showcase allows top custom builders to present an American interpretation of the European eBike movement.”
Award-winning builders participating in the showcase include Co-Motion Cycles, English Cycles, Calfee Design, Kent Eriksen Cycles, Ti Cycles, Dean Cycle Works, SyCip Designs, Boo Bicycles, Santana, Alternative Needs Transportation and Connor Wood Bicycles. Gates and its partners Bosch, SRAM, BionX and NuVinci gave the builders creative freedom to design eBikes to suit their functional and artistic visions. The belt drive eBikes cover a range of styles: fat bikes and cargo bikes, tandems, city and commuter bikes, and electric bikes made of bamboo and wood. The eBikes will feature electric drives from Bosch, SRAM and BionX, as well as NuVinci hubs.
The Custom eBike Showcase will be located in the Gates booth (#300) at the Charlotte Convention Center. Gates Carbon Drive is an official sponsor of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. “Electric bikes are a new thing for NAHBS and custom builders, and I will be curious to see the reaction from builders and the public,” said Don Walker, founder of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.
If you enjoyed our previous post about the winners of the Gates Carbon Drive design contest at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, well, here’s a second helping. Twenty-two builders entered the contest, and Gates’ judges picked seven bikes to receive more than $13,000 in cash and prizes. Here are some of the bikes that we loved, but which didn’t win. But hey, everyone’s a winner in the world of cool bikes.
That’s Corey Collier of Glissando pictured above. His entry was a work of art, mixing a laminated bamboo top tube and seat stays with titanium. Judges described it as “elegant.”
Connor Cycles entered a beautiful hardwood bike with a frame sculpted of laminated ash reinforced with kevlar.
Stijl Cycles is located in Richmond, Virginia, and they entered a 29er mountain bike with an Ironman theme (the bike’s buyer owns an iron foundry). Judges loved the style and color scheme.
Check out the Ironman head badge:
Steve Potts is a legendary builder based in California’s Marin County. Steve is known for his precision work with titanium. He built this belted commuter for a cyclist who wanted a low-maintenance, all-season bike.
Dean Bicycles, based in Colorado, is another brand known for its titanium frames. Dean entered this full-suspension mountain bike with a Rohloff internal hub. Want it.
Speedhound is based in Minneapolis, and has a growing following in the Twin Cities. Builder Chris Cleveland rides his entry below.
The Speedhound features an innovative gunmetal blue stained finish.
Legacy is a new brand based in Chicago. They built a refined city commuter with hub brakes and the works for urban fun and style.
Chicago chic! Look for her on the streets of the Windy City.
Singlespeed cyclocross bikes are a popular category for Carbon Drive because it gobbles up mud and is lighter than a chain. Several builders submitted cross bikes in the Gates contest. Below is the entry from Predtor, based in SoCal. This bike actually was raced in the Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships. It cleans up nicely!
Mosaic, based in Boulder, brought this sweet ti cross racer:
Blaze was the third entry in the cross category. Check out their orange dirt machine:
Sweet bars and saddle.
Paketa builds magnesium rockets and is known for its racing tandems. Check out the Carbon Drive and Carbon Drive timing belt on their double-belted contest entry:
Stephen Bilenky of Bilenky Cycle Works in Philadelphia is a legend in the City of Brotherly Love. He entered this sophisticated commuter made for all-weather riding:
Next up are several belt drive builds that weren’t in our contest, but which turned heads on the show floor. First up is Stinner, which showed an adventure touring mountain bike with a Rohloff hub and belt–the same combo that last year’s winner of the Tour Divide rode to victory. Here is Matt Stinner posing with his creation.
Geekhouse displayed this sexy CX bike:
And now a few more shots of the winners (check out this previous post if you want to see more hero shots of the winning contest bikes).
English Cycles won for Best Belted Adventure Bike. Built to race the Tour Divide from Canada to New Mexico, this bike can be disassembled to fit into a suitcase for travel and features custom packs for carrying everything needed for a long lonely journey down the Continental Divide.
Judges liked the bike’s ingenuity, but also the stealth black badass aesthetic.
Boo Bicycles, the bamboo specialists, won for Best Belted Fatty for their fat bike with the sweet ti fork.
Muse had one of the loveliest bikes on the show floor, and builder Lyle Harlow took home the Primal Wear prize for most beautiful belted bike.
Paragon Cycle Works won the Best Belted Mountain Bike category. This bike had a boatload of innovations, including this quick-release tensioner that they are calling the Toggle Drop.
The fun-loving lunatics at Ti Cycles won for Best Belted Cargo Bike. We love this beast!
Sycip took the prize for Best Belted Commuter for their gentleman’s town bike with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting paired with a Carbon Drive.
Co-Motion won the Shimano Alfine prize for best Carbon Drive/Alfine internal hub build. It features Di2 electronic shifting. Purple rain…purple rain.
Last but not least, our great friends over at Oskar Blues Brewery, the canned beer specialists who kept NAHBS attendees well lubricated and having fun, showed off their fat bike in the Gates booth. Snowbound cyclists rejoice: now you can charge the slush and snow without having to worry about getting a rusty chain.
If you are hungry for more images (all shot by ace Gates photog Tim Lucking) check out the Gates Carbon Drive Flickr set. It has 200 images and closeups of all these bikes.
See you all in Charlotte, NC, for NAHBS 2014!
The 2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Denver last weekend was a showcase for the world’s most beautiful and innovative custom bikes. Gates Carbon Drive, in cooperation with Shimano and Primal Wear, awarded seven prizes in multiple categories. The winners of the second-annual Gates Carbon Drive Belt Drive Bike Design Constest are shown below, followed by the winners of the Shimano Alfine prize and the Primal Wear prize.
Best Belted Cargo Bike: Ti Cycles, extreme cargo carrier:
Portland-based Ti Cycles pulled out all the stops with this one. The bike features two Gates Carbon Drives plus an electric assist for hauling heavy loads. And with its two belt drives, builder David Levy made sure to note that it has 100 percent more belt.
Best Belted City Bike, Sycip Designs, gentleman’s town bike:
Jeremy Sycip’s city bike combines amazing aesthetics with practicality. This bike is an all-season commuter that features a low-maintenance Carbon Drive paired with Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting system.
Best Belted Mountain Bike: Paragon Machine Works, 29er with Pinion gearbox:
Judges loved the integration of several fantastic technologies on this singletrack ripper. The bike features a Pinion gearbox with 18 gears and more than a 600 percent range for burly and low-maintenance shifting. The guys at Paragon also devised a clever quick-release tensioning system that allows for rapid removal and re-installation of the rear wheel into the dropouts with a mechanism they call the Toggle Drop.
Best Belted Adventure Bike, English Cycles, Rainbow Tour Divide:
Rob English, pictured at top, built this extreme ride for a customer who plans to race the Tour Divide from Canada to Mexico later this year. With custom bags and aero bars, an Alfine 11 internally geared hub and a spare sprocket on the front wheel allowing it to be run as a singlespeed, this bike is ready to conquer.
Best Belted Fatty: Boo Cycles:
The bamboozlers at Boo Cycles have been leading the trend toward using bamboo as an alternative frame material. Fat bikes are increasingly popular, and Boo’s fat bike with Alfine 11 internal hub shifting is built for blasting through winter snow, sandy beaches or jungle mud.
Best Carbon Drive/Shimano Alfine integration: Co-Motion Cycles, City View:
The City View could be called the commuter bike of the future. It features Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting system mated with Carbon Drive. Pedaling to work or the grocery store has never been more pleasurable. Bring on the purple rain.
Primal Wear/Gates Carbon Drive Most Beautiful Belted Bike: Muse Cycles, Rhythm Roadster:
The Rhythm Roadster took top honors for its practicality and aesthetics. It features integrated racks and a Shimano Alfine internal hub, and some sweet styling all around. It’s almost too pretty to ride.
Thanks to all the builders who entered our contest, and to our distinguished panel of judges: Bicycling Hall of Fame member Ron Kiefel, Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member Travis Brown, University Bicycles founder Doug Emerson, Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member Joe Murray and Bicycle Colorado’s Dan Grunig. We will post more photos over the coming weeks of Carbon Drive bikes that didn’t win our prizes but which were worthy works of art nonetheless.
All photo credits: Tim Lucking