April 2010 Archive

Drinking good beer and riding fast bikes. The guys at Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, Colo., have made an art of marrying these two “sports.” OB sponsors the Dale’s Pale singlespeed team, named after the finest canned beer in America. Thanks to their partnership with Spot Brand Bikes, a first-adopter of the chain-free Carbon Drive System, Dale’s Pale has been riding and racing on belt-drive Spot 29ers for three years–with impressive results.

Videographer Mat Barlow and I spent an afternoon riding and shooting the breeze about Carbon Drive with the Dale’s Pale squad. If you think singlespeed hardtails are for smooth singletrack only, check out how easily these guys handle the rock-strewn Bitterbrush Trail in Boulder County’s Hall Ranch. Click on the link below to watch the YouTube video–and see Chad get nailed with a snowball. Dales Pale Singlespeed Team Rides Gates Carbon Drive

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Shuttlebug features Carbon Drive--ideal for soggy weather

Cargo bikes are great new category of practical transportation bikes that are growing in popularity in the United States. They allow cyclists to carry large bulky objects that previously required a car or truck trip. One of the pimpiest new cargo bikes we’ve seen is the Shuttlebug from Portland’s Joe-Bike. It’s based on the Dutch bakfiets design but with some great upgrades for the American market. The Shuttlebug features a Gates Carbon Drive for long life, ease of use and cleanliness–perfect for wet and sloppy winters in the Northwest that can rust a chain. Check out the Shuttlebug on the Joe Bike site by clicking here.

Huge cargo capacity. Fill er up with groceries

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Trinidad Head is a giant rocky prominence that juts into the Pacific Ocean from the tiny town of Trinidad, California, and it provides dramatic views of the rugged NoCal coast. To the south is Trinidad Harbor with its fishing pier and fleet of crab and salmon boats; to the north is Trinidad Beach. This is where I come on my after-work rides.

I pedal hard on the way, churning up steep switchbacks on the single-speed Trek District and spinning through dank bottom turns on the twisty road to Trinidad. When the Head comes into sight, I push hard on the Carbon Drive and barrel up the last incline, pausing at the top to look around. Surfers catch waves off Trinidad Beach. Kayakers and standup paddle boarders cruise the calmer habor. Cyclists stop to check out the District, and I show them the belt drive.

I used to hate it when people stopped during rides. Now that I live here, stopping to enjoy the view from the Head feels right.

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Almost too pretty to ride

The Livestrong District Carbon that Trek built for Lance Armstrong is one of the sweetest applications of the Carbon Drive System that we’ve seen. Check out the video from Mellow Johnnys, Lance’s Austin, Texas, bike shop, which gives an up-close look at the details and styling.

If you live in the Boulder/Denver area and want to check out a District Carbon, Gates has lent one to the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center, which is hosting the exhibit “Bicycles! 150 Years of Gears.” Learn more here.

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Pain is Winter leaving the body

Yes, it was ‘that ride’. The one that reminds you the LOVE and PAIN of riding at elevation and in the dirt. I ‘sat in’ for the first 2.5 hours and then did some accelerations on some of the climbs, and they felt great. Blew up a little at the end of the 3rd hard climb. THe pushes at the very end were pretty brutal. But – it was Mountain trail riding at it’s best. And it was only the beginning.

Categories: Mountain Mutants Project
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