U.S Bicycling Hall of Fame member Ron Kiefel, above, is among the legends of bicycling who will attend the North American Handmade Bicycle Show to judge Gates Carbon Drive’s innovative belt drive bike design contest. Other judges include Travis Brown, Joe Murray and Doug Emerson.
Kiefel rode for teams including 7-Eleven, Motorola, Coors Light and Saturn during the 1980s, when road racing underwent a surge in popularity in the United States. Kiefel won a stage in the 1986 Giro d’Italia, competed in seven Tours de France, won a bronze medal in the 1984 Olympics and garnered multiple U.S. National Championships. Today, Kiefel runs Wheat Ridge Cyclery outside of Denver.
Mountain Biking Hall of Fame member Travis Brown, above, is one of the greats of American off-road riding. His accomplishments include a NORBA National XC title, an appearance at the 2000 Olympics, two Singlespeed World Championships, five Colorado State Cyclocross Championships, ten appearances at the UCI World Championships, as well as 2005 and 2006 Marathon National Championships. In addition, Brown helped Trek develop many of the parts and bikes in the company’s product line.
Joe Murray, pictured above back in the day, was one of the great American racers during the early years of mountain biking, a two-time NORBA National Champion and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee. In 1984, Murray began one of the great winning streaks in American mountain biking history. He won eight straight races that year and 15 overall. In 1985 he won 12 times in a row, a streak unmatched by any other male mountain biker. After racing he went to work in the bike industry and has designed bikes for Fisher, Marin, Merlin, Kona and Voodoo.
Museum in the Rafters from University Bicycles on Vimeo.
Doug Emerson is the founder of University Bikes in Boulder, Colo., one of the best bike shops in Colorado–and anywhere for that matter. U Bikes, as it is known to its devoted customers, is a 10,000-square-foot shop with a staff of 55 that sells more than 3,000 bikes per year. Emerson’s passion for cycling runs deep, and his store is filled with historic bicycles that hang from the rafters. Watch the film above, Museum in the Rafters, to see him talk about the many historic bikes in his collection.
Winners of the Gates Carbon Drive contest will be announced on Sunday, Feb. 24, from the main stage at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. If you plan to attend, make sure to visit the Gates booth, # 717, to see some gorgeous custom bikes featuring Carbon Drive.
Rob English of English Cycles in Eugene, Ore., just sent us this photo of his custom singlespeed 29er that he is entering in the Gates Carbon Drive design contest at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento next month. Rob plans to show three belt-drive bikes in his booth, and he is eager to compete for a share of the nearly $9,000 in prizes that Gates will award to competitors. Rob says the bike “features a look-closely-to-see-it split dropout design,” along with specially shaped and very short chainstays, and a curved seattube so the wheel can tuck forward. “The belt gives a very clean appearance, and this is accentuated with an integrated adjustable seat mast, internal hydraulic hose routing and a custom headset.” See more photos of the bike here.
Gates is a sponsor of NAHBS 2012, and the current issue of the online NAHBS newsletter features a story about the design contest and some of the builders who have entered bikes, including Boo, English, Caletti, Iglehart, Inglis/Retrotec Cycles, Shamrock Cycles and more. Below are a few more detail shots of Rob English’s “Blue Tina.”
Curtis Inglis of Retrotec will be displaying this belt drive beauty (below, not yet complete) with Rohloff hub. It will be in the Cycle Monkey booth on a trainer so people can take it for a stationary test spin. Come see these bikes and more, and check out the Gates Carbon Drive booth at NAHBS from March 2-4 at the Sacramento Convention Center.
And for those who want to learn more about a great production mountain bike with Gates Carbon Drive, Bike Rumor has just posted a story about the Raleigh XXIX singlespeed they have on test.
The deadline for entering the Innovative Belt Drive Bike Design Contest at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show has been extended to February 15. If you’re a custom builder who plans to exhibit a bike with Gates Carbon Drive at NAHBS in March, consider entering it in the contest for the chance to win $8,750 in cash and prizes. Click here for more details. And read about the all-star panel of celebrity judges including Joe Breeze and other legendary builders who will choose the winning bikes.
Violet Crown "Randonneur" touring bike. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
The handmade bike industry is undergoing a Renaissance in the United States thanks to the popularity of cycling as both a sustainable and healthful form of transportation and also as a lifestyle. Bikes, in a word, have never been more fashionable. Witness the North American Handmade Bike Show, which just wrapped up in Austin. The annual show is a gathering of custom bike builders from across North America and the world, a place where artisans and welders show off their fashionable–and functional–beauties. NAHBS is where trends are born and prodigies identified.
Black Sheep won for best off-road bike. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
One trend from the 2011 show is the growing number of belt-drive bikes. At least 20 bikes with Carbon Drive were exhibited, a big jump from previous years, and two belt-drive models won top honors. Black Sheep Bikes, based in Fort Collins, won for best off-road bike. This summer, Gates rider Jake Kirkpatrick plans to race the Tour of the Divide on this bike, carrying his gear, which is why it has integrated racks.
Rosene won rookie of the year honors. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
Rosene, based in Tuscon, won rookie of the year honors for a gorgeous stainless steel mountain bike with creme-colored highlights built for the founder’s brother. Please don’t scratch that bike out on the trail, Justin!
Rosene dropout and drivetrain. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
Other builders showing lovely Carbon Drive bikes include: Violet Crown Cycles, Krencker and Cyfac (both from France), Minneapolis-based SpeedHound (featuring a clever belt-compatible dropout system), Mosaic and Dean (both from Boulder), Six Eleven, Caletti in Santa Cruz, Ti Cycles in Portland, Vertigo (Portland), tandem experts Calfee and Co-Motion, Alchemy, Sotherland in Wisconsin, Boo (the bamboo bike experts). Cycle Monkey bike shop in the Bay Area also had two bikes in its booth: a belt drive touring rig with Carbon Drive and an Eriksen 29er. Independent Fabrications showed a speedy belt-drive cross bike.
Six Eleven Cycles. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
Six Eleven's belt drive. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
A red ripper from Caletti. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
Caletti's sexy rear end
From France's Krencker. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
Ti Cycles' Dave Levy brought this gorgeous ti 69er to Austin. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
Ti Cycles drive. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
Click here to see all the award winners, including more photos of the Black Sheep and Rosene. Thanks to Dirtragmag.com for the gorgeous photos via Flickr.
Black Sheep on the podium. Look for this bike in the Tour Divide this summer as Jake Kirkpatrick races from Canada to Mexico!
Rosene on the podium