The X1 from Schiller Sports blurs the line between boats and bikes. The frame is made of rust-free anodized aluminum, with stainless steel components and inflatable pontoons. The propulsion system features a Gates Carbon Drive belt and sprockets because a chain would corrode. The X1 may be the most advanced water bike ever created, a vehicle that allows bicyclists to “experience the thrill and freedom of biking across a spectacular blue planet,” says company founder and CEO Judah Schiller.
Riders steer the X1 via two oscillating props connected to the handlebars. It weighs about 45 pounds, can be disassembled to fit into the trunk of a car or home closet and can hit speeds of 8 knots (10 miles per hour) depending on rider ability. Schiller worked with engineer Marcus Hays, founder of Gates belt drive eBike brand Pi Cycle, on the design. “If you can ride a bike, you can ride the Schiller X1 anywhere there’s water,” Schiller told USA Today in an article about the invention. “I had the X1 out at the beach locally, about a mile offshore, and ended up biking with dolphins.”
The X1 costs $6,495, with a special Founder’s Edition for $8,775. The company is based in the Bay Area and all X1s are manufactured in Northern California. Learn more at www.schillerbikes.com. Just watch out for sharks.
Judah Schiller chilling on the X1 off the coast of Northern California, above, and pedaling near the Golden Gate Bridge.
Gates Carbon Drive has partnered with London-based urban bike specialists Velorution to oversee distribution and service of Gates Carbon Drive in the United Kingdom. Velorution will lead the charge to grow the UK market and increase consumer awareness of the clean, quiet and low-maintenance benefits of the Gates belt drive.
“Velorution is the perfect partner for Gates because they are urban cycling experts and have worked with belt drive bike brands including Schindelhauer and Van Nicholas for many years,” said Chris Harris, sales manager for Gates in the UK. “With Velorution on our team we expect that many more British consumers will discover how the grease-free Gates belt drive simplifies cycling.”
Velorution specializes in urban cycling and offers a large selection of transportation bikes and components. “My team at Velorution are experts in the latest bike technologies, which makes this a great partnership,” said Gretta Cole, co-owner of Velorution. “Bikes with the Gates Carbon Drive System are clean, quiet, reliable and require less maintenance than bikes with chains, which makes them ideal for our weather and a favorite with our clientele.” Live in the UK? Visit Velorution here.
In Spain, Gates has signed a deal with BikeZeNter to be that country’s official distributor of Carbon Drive. BikeZeNter specializes in drivetrain technologies and is the Spanish distributor for belt drive bike brand Nicolai, as well as being the Spanish distributor for the Pinion gearbox, which pairs well with Gates Carbon Drive. Read the full news release here.
Nicolai is a German brand known for its innovation, precision design and use of new technologies such as Gates Carbon Drive. Nicolai’s Ion 20 Effigear is a downhill bike built for the needs of modern cyclists. With a Gates Carbon Drive and Effigear gearbox, it tackles rough terrain without the worry of wrecking a derailleur, and the belt eliminates noisy chain slap, greasy lubrication and chain maintenance. Watch the video below to see the bike in action. Gates/Nicolai team racer Mike Schär took a side trip to the African nation of Lesotho to give his Ion 20 Effigear a workout prior to competing in the Downhill World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Lesotho – Kingdom in the sky from Whyex Productions on Vimeo.
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.
Readers of Bicycling’s annual Buyer’s Guide, now on newsstands, were greeted with a photo of a gorgeous belt drive bike on the magazine’s Contents page. The Contents page is where magazines show an image that inspires readers, and the Gates Carbon Drive equipped Budnitz No. 3 delivers.
Bicycling, the world’s largest bike magazine, also reviewed the No. 3, calling it “a tough yet elegant city bike that begs to be ridden fast, even in dodgy conditions.” The editors likewise praised the bike’s belted drive train, calling it “clean and quiet.”
Pick up a copy of the issue, and go to the Budnitz site to see their complete line of stylish and functional urban rides–all with Gates Carbon Drive.
While you’re at it, check out the Men’s Journal review of another favorite belt drive city bike, the Gotham from REI bike brand Novara. MJ called it “an easy shifting commuter” and noted, sadly, that they had to give the bike back. But you don’t have to. Go here to get one. Hungry for more media coverage of cool belt drive bikes? Click on the In the Media category to read more reviews and see what journalists from leading publications have to say about Gates Carbon Drive.