Gates Carbon Drive has published an Owner’s Manual with details on how to maintain and tension your belt drive, and other handling instructions and helpful tips for ensuring optimal performance. We urge shop mechanics, belt drive bike owners and anyone who is considering buying a bike with Gates Carbon Drive to read the manual. Improper handling, twisting or back-bending of the belts before installation can crimp and damage the carbon fiber cords inside. Gates belts typically last longer than chains (11,000 miles in one recent case), but like any finely engineered technology they can break if you mistreat them. Click here for the Owner’s Manual.
In other product news, Gates Carbon Drive has added a landing page to its website with tech information on the new sprockets designed for use with Shimano’s Alfine Di2 electronic shifting system, which we wrote about in a recent post. Click here for more information Gates and Alfine Di2.
Dr. Unni Karunakara, the recently retired president of Doctors without Borders/Medecins sans Frontieres, is riding 3,100 miles (5,000 km) down the length of India from north to south. His mission is to spread public health information in the many villages and cities he will visit along the way, and act as a humanitarian ambassador for Doctors without Borders, which provides medical care to impoverished people around the world. He is about halfway through the trip that will take four months and bring the physician over mountain ranges and down rural roads to the tropical coast 100 days later. Read a news release about Dr. Karunakara’s humanitarian expedition here.
Karunakara is riding a Schindelhauer touring bike equipped with Gates Carbon Drive, a Brooks saddle and panniers, and Rohloff internal hub.
“I have been working in international health for eighteen years from treating patients, advocating for life-saving medicines, and fighting to improve access and the quality of healthcare,” says Dr. Karunakara. “I feel I have a unique opportunity to pause, reflect, and explore with people what health means to them and how they experience it. I love to cycle. As a medical intern in India in 1988, I biked from Delhi to Leh and Srinagar to Delhi. I dreamed, one day, to ride from one end of India to the other. Twenty five years later, I can fulfill this dream and combine it with my other passion, which is to connect with people, start meaningful dialogues, and learn from each other.”
Read more on the Brooks blog, support Doctors without Borders by donating here, and visit the trip Facebook page.
Jorg Schindelhauer explains the features of Dr. Karunakara’s bike.
Pictured above is the Project Right bike, an ingenious build from English Cycles. It features a reinforced one piece fork on the front and a single belt stay on the rear, making it appear as if those wheels are just floating in space. The bike is among the most beautiful and innovative creations from Rob English, the founder of English Cycles. Watch a video of Rob describing the bike here.
Rob moved to the United States from England in 2006 to work for custom folding bike company Bike Friday after graduating from Cambridge with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He opened English Cycles in 2009 and has since distinguished himself as a top custom builder with multiple awards from the North American Handmade Bike Show. Rob is a record-holding competitive cyclist who has toured all over the world with his wife, Misha, a cyclist who runs the Velo Bed and Breakfast in Eugene, Oregon. Below are photos of some of Rob’s other beautiful belt drive bikes. See more on his website.
SVO is a bike company based in the town of Blis et Born in southwestern France that specializes in rugged mountain bikes with belts, or “courroies” in French. That’s the Dakar 29 above. SVO bikes are built to last, with sturdy components including Rohloff internal hubs instead of derailleurs.
SVO also makes a 27.5 inch tire sized version of the Dakar, shown below, and a hard tail model called the Speeder, at bottom.
Learn more at the SVO website.
Pilot Cycles is a Dutch company that builds innovative titanium bikes. Pilot recently produced this custom trekking and commuting bike featuring the Pinion gearbox. The combination of Gates Carbon Drive and the 18-speed Pinion creates a sturdy, clean and low-maintenance bicycle that can endure the worst weather.
Pilot has also built many ti bikes combining the Gates belt drive with the Rohloff internally geared hub, another extremely strong shifting system that is used by adventure cyclists. See the belt drive 29er below with a lefty fork and Rohloff hub.
Learn more at www.pilotcycles.com