The Novara Arkham, sold exclusively through REI stores and REI.com, is one of the most compelling new commuter bikes on the market because of its functionality and price: at $849, it is the most affordable bike with Gates Carbon Drive for sale in North America. Due to its value and commuter-friendly features, we expect it to become a top seller in 2014. Bicycling Magazine editor Andrew Bernstein rode an Arkham for several months this summer, and he has just published a review in the November issue, arriving on newsstands now.
The Arkham is the second belt-drive bike model in REI’s Novara brand, adding to the Gotham introduced in 2012. In addition to a Gates Carbon Drive, the bike features fenders and a rack, disc brakes, a kickstand, and a three-speed internally geared hub. For cyclists who desire more gearing for steep hills, the Gotham is a nice alternative. The Gotham (pictured below) features the NuVinci N360 continuously variable planetary hub, which offers infinite gearing options between the high and low end. The Gotham’s frame has also been significantly lightened from the previous version, making it more nimble on the roads and easier to carry up stairs or into your home. Both the Arkham and Gotham bikes are sold exclusively at REI.
Mountain Flyer Magazine’s Trina Ortega has been riding a Raleigh Detour City Sport DLX all spring.The verdict? It’s better than donuts.
“This low-maintenance city commuter is for those of us who would rather spend every extra moment exploring the next rise and discovering what’s around the next corner, whether it’s on a mountain bike or a super quiet Raleigh townie,” Ortega writes. See her full review here:
Matt Allyn’s commute over New York City’s Queensboro Bridge requires him to run a gauntlet of cabs and vehicles gunning for green lights. No worries. Since last winter he has been riding to his Bicycling Mag office on a Trek District. Pick up the September issue of Bicycling to read his full story.
This blogger can report that the District is a speedy and reliable everyday city bike with style, having ridden one since 2009 with the sole maintenance consisting of an occasional spritz with a hose to clean it up. Four years, thousands of miles, same belt, no chain lube ever.
The new issue of Mountain Flyer Magazine features a review of the Honey Badger from Spot Brand. Tech editor Dylan Stucki loved it, calling the Honey Badger a “simple, do-it-all machine.”
Stucki rode the bike in a variety of conditions, from rocky singletrack to the bike polo court. Of the bike’s belt drive, he writes that it “rides smoothly and quietly giving you peace of mind and allowing you to stealthily track your prey.”
Learn more about the Honey Badger on the Spot Brand site. And subscribe to Mountain Flyer here. With its nice photography and clean prose, it’s one of our favorite bike mags. Now go bag some honey.
It has been a great month of media coverage for belt drive bicycles. The June issue of Bicycling featuring the Editors’ Choice awards saw Carbon Drive go three for three in the commuter/urban bike category. All three urban bikes chosen by the editors feature the Gates belt drive, including the winning Breezer Beltway and runner-ups the Trek Soho Deluxe and Raleigh City Sport DLX. Bicycling also features the Source 11 from Specialized in its City Bikes Buyer’s Guide. For no-fuss commuting and urban riding, Carbon Drive is the premium upgrade.
The editors at Men’s Journal are likewise raving about belt drive bikes. The magazine features the Spot Honey Badger singlespeed mountain bike and the Scott SUB 10 urban bike in the Gear Lab issue now on newsstands. The SUB 10 from Scott, below, is a stylish and speedy urban steed that will get you noticed in city traffic.
Now a little more info on the Editor’s Choice runner-ups. The City Sport DLX from Raleigh, below, is ideal for urban missions and comes fully equipped with disc brakes, a rack, lights, fenders and a smooth-shifting drivetrain featuring Carbon Drive and an internal hub.
The Trek Soho Deluxe, below, is the bike favored by one of the nation’s top experts on commuter cycling, the president of the Alliance for Biking and Walking.
The summer cycling season is fast approaching. Time to get a new bike, leave the car in the driveway and ride.