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!
Neal Saiki describes his mission as making clean technology fun. His impressive resume includes founding Zero Motorcycles, creating the first human-powered helicopter and revolutionizing full-suspension bicycle design with his work for brands including Santa Cruz and Haro. So when Saiki decided to launch a new bicycle project, his goal was to create a machine that is fun to ride but also addresses societal and environmental issues. Thus was born the 2×4 electric cargo bike, a car-replacing pedal-powered machine that hauls heavy loads with ease.
The 2×4 has received accolades from CNN and many other media outlets since launching this month. The front-loading cargo bike features innovative touches including: a proprietary steering system that allows cargo weight to be centered over the front wheel without affecting bike handling; a lifetime service warranty on the battery pack; and a Gates Carbon Drive for grease-free and low-maintenance durability. The front wheel is powered by a high-torque electric motor, while the rear has an eight-speed transmission. The 2×4 even has a USB charging port for your phone, a motorcycle-style center kickstand for stability when parked, plus two cup holders for staying caffeinated.
Saiki designed the lithium ion battery pack (it uses advanced cylindrical cells similar to those used by Tesla Motors) to be easily serviced, durable, light, affordable and efficient. He says cyclists can go 30 miles on a charge and ride 10,000 miles for $30 worth of electricity–costing virtually nothing compared to the high expense of driving a car. The 2×4 is ideal for replacing that second family car and is a low-cost delivery solution for small businesses seeking an affordable alternative to a van or delivery car.
“We think that this battery technology is the breakthrough product people have been waiting for,” Saiki says. “The foremost advantage is that it is serviceable. Being able to easily replace one of more cells is a huge advantage. Huge EV battery packs are prone to having one or two bad cells. Nobody wants to throw out an entire EV pack just because there is one bad cell. Our technology facilitates thermal tracking of every cell in the pack. Any bad cell can be identified and replaced in minutes.”
Listen to Saiki describe the bike in this video:
NTS Works is based in Santa Cruz, Calif., where Saiki lives with his family. He and his wife Lisa can be seen pedaling their 2×4 around the city on grocery errands or carting the kids about town. Technological and environmental innovation aside, Saiki says his real motivation for building the 2×4 was personal: With young children, neither he nor Lisa have time to go mountain biking. Now they exercise while doing errands. Time stress is why Saiki decided to use Gates Carbon Drive. “Like many parents I don’t have the time, or desire, to maintain a chain,” he says. “Our bikes will also be sold to businesses, and the Gates belt drive is a low-maintenance solution for them. You don’t have to worry about cleaning and lubricating a chain. Just hop on and go.”
To all you 29er mountain bikers, we present your dream commuter bike: the Proletariat, a 29-inch-wheeled ride with Gates Carbon Drive. This aluminum beauty is “the first of a new breed of 29er commuter (bikes) designed for Portlanders by Portlanders.”
So says Joe Bike , one of Portland’s finest bike shops and the go-to gettin’ place for utility bikes and urban commuters. In addition to the Proletariat, Joe Bike sells the Shuttlebug, a belt-drive cargo bike ideal for hauling groceries or children (or even for doing wheelies, though we don’t recommend it).
The ShuttleBug from Joe Bike
Joe Bike sells multiple belt-drive bikes including the Norco Ceres, an 8-speed, flat-bar city bike with Gates Carbon Drive. We currently have a Ceres on test with Ecovelo.info, one of our favorite transportation bike blogs, and we’ll bring you news of EcoVelo’s review once the test is complete. The Proletariat is made by Portland’s Stop Cycles, whose mantra is “good beer, strong coffee, cheap bars, sweet bikes and a sustainable lifestyle.” Seems they’ve figured out the meaning of life there in Portlandia.
So to all you car commuters who live within bicycling distance of the office, we say check out the Proletariat. Get outside and breathe some fresh air and get fit by pedaling to work. Mix with your fellow proles and join the Portland bike revolution. You’ll save lots of gas money, which means you’ll have plenty of pocket cash for good beer and sweet bikes.
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