Herra-Santos-with bikeHera van Willick calls herself a globetrotter on a bike. On previous trips she has cycled across Europe to Asia. Now she is embarked on her next adventure. For the past two months she has pedaled through Alaska, crossing the Arctic Circle, seeing bears and wildlife and visiting mining camps. Recently she crossed into Canada and is headed south. Her destination: the United States and then South America. Her itinerary: wherever inspiration leads her. Her goal: stay ahead of winter. “I’m going easy and slow and just enjoying every bit,” she writes from outside of Dawson City, in Canada’s Yukon Territory. “I’ll pass through Whitehorse, Jasper, Banff and Vancouver, and then cycle down the West coast of the US to Mexico. From there I’ll keep going south but I haven’t planned my route. I’ll just let whoever and whatever crosses my path inspire me.”


Hera grew up in a car-free family in Holland. “Because my mother hated cars, we went everywhere by bicycle.” For this adventure, Hera has chosen one of the best global touring bikes available: a Santos TravelMaster 2.6 with a Gates Carbon Drive belt and Rohloff hub. “It’s a rugged, stiff, compact bicycle. Apart from cleaning it, checking the break pads and pumping the tires, there’s pretty much nothing I have to do in maintenance. It’s very stable, no matter how heavy my luggage is.”

Hera has no idea how long this current trip will last. “It could be one or two or 10 years or more. I don’t think I want to bike forever, but I do want to cycle every continent and see most of the countries around the world by bicycle.” For this, we can thank her wise mother. Watch the video below to hear Hera speak about her love of bikes, learn more about Santos Bikes and the Dutch company’s 3D configurator, read about other Santos globetrotters, and follow Hera’s adventures on heravanwillick.nl


Categories: Bicycle Touring
Tagged: ,
Comments: 2
  • Share

For bicyclists, a lunchtime ride clears the mind and makes the office work flow. Watch Frank Schneider and Sascha Hasenstein from Gates Carbon Drive’s European distributors Universal Transmission take their belted rigs for a rip through the woods during a work break. Say hello to Schneidi and Sascha and the Gates Carbon Drive crew next week at Eurobike (booth A2-204) to check out the newest belt drive bikes and innovations from Gates. Flow on, friends.

  • Share


The Rheinauhafen is a former industrial port that has been transformed into an outdoor plaza with restaurants and ice cream shops, modern office buildings and fashionable dwellings on the banks of the River Rhine, a waterway that slices through Cologne and provides the heartbeat of life, commerce and recreation for this German city. This is one of Mika Amaro founder Michael Nagler’s favorite bicycling destinations. From here he pedals over the Suedbruecke, a historic railway bridge with a bike lane that provides views of the city and the boats below.

Mika Amaro makes stylish urban bikes that are perfect for exploring Cologne and its historic landmarks, including the Koelner Dom cathedral. Located in Cologne, Mika Amaro has just launched three new bikes, the Agravic Grey, Pearly White and Avid Blue, all equipped with Gates Carbon Drive and Shimano Alfine eight-speed internal hubs for smooth and clean pedaling.




“Our new urban bikes remain true to the clean lines of a single speed,” says Nagler, who highlights their “purist design.” The Columbus steel frames are adorned with fine touches including Brooks saddles and grips, and polished rims. Call them a splash of Cologne style for a new generation of bicyclists. mika-amaro.com

mika_amaro_lifestyle-rider with mudguards

  • Share

S150 crankset black

Gates Carbon Drive is known mostly for its belts, but Gates has created a large and growing product line of cranks and sprockets that enable the carbon fiber reinforced belts to function perfectly. The newest example of this is the S150 crankset assembly, which Gates will show at the upcoming Eurobike trade show. Designed for urban bikes, the S150 consists of a black or silver alloy crank integrated with Gates’ lightweight CDN composite sprocket. Combined with a Zumba bottom bracket from Thun, this crankset assembly integrates with all of the leading internally geared hubs from Shimano Alfine and Nexus, NuVinci, Rohloff, SRAM and Sturmey Archer.

“The S150 is a plug-in solution for high-volume bike makers. It shows our commitment to providing complete Carbon Drive systems that simplify drivetrain installation and maximize OEM factory efficiency,” says Todd Sellden, Gates Carbon Drive Director. See the full line of Gates cranksets.

S150 crankset silver

S150 assembly with silver crank

Gates will show many other new products at Eurobike, August 31-September 5 in Friedrichschafen, Germany. These include: Longer belts for cargo bikes and cruisers, lower-cost CDN rear sprockets consisting of an engineered composite combined with a stainless steel core, and more CDN belt sizes introduced due to popular demand.


CDN composite rear sprocket

CDN rear sprocket

Pinion and CDX:SL

In partnership with Pinion, Gates will show a new line of rear sprockets designed for use with Pinion’s C-Line gearboxes. Called CDX:SL, these nine-spline alloy sprockets are designed for light trekking, urban use and mountain bikes. “We expect the C-Line to be very popular, so Gates worked with Pinion to ensure that product managers have a modestly priced sprocket designed specifically for Pinion’s gearbox technology,” Sellden says.


Pinion C-Line with Gates

CDX, CDX:EXP and Rohloff

The entire line of premium CDX front sprockets has been re-designed to both shave weight and beef up durability. The new design is sleeker and has more material in high-wear areas.

For high-mileage trekking and touring cyclists using Rohloff hubs, Gates is introducing new CDX:EXP rear sprockets with a splined interface. This new interface, designed in partnership with Rohloff, makes it easier to remove and service the sprockets on Rohloff hubs. “Gates expects to see Rohloff continue to grow in popularity on trekking and mountain bikes, and also eBikes,” Sellden says.


Lighter and Sleeker CDX

Lighter and Sleeker CDX

Attending Eurobike? Gates booth (A2-203) will display the most innovative, stylish and technologically advanced bikes and electric bikes across many categories: urban commuting, mountain, trekking, cargo, and even BMX. Come learn why Gates is Belt Driven…and enjoy some Bavarian beverages.

Keg Trike_Leavenworth

  • Share

Volata Urban_mediumres

Volata Cycles is an innovative new brand based in San Francisco and Milan that is using digital technology to create next-generation bicycles that improve safety, decrease maintenance and smarten your ride–all wrapped up in a stylish Italian design. “When you buy a car you don’t need to acquire lights as an accessory, or an iPad as a dashboard. As cars have evolved, also bikes need to evolve,” says Marco Salvioli, co-founder and CEO of Volata.

This evolution includes a 2.4-inch app-based computer integrated into the handlebar. Riders can access apps for weather, directions and heart rate, receive smartphone notifications, and more. One feature we like is the integrated 96 decibel horn, which allows you to honk back at bad drivers. The Volata also inclues a GPS-based anti-theft system with a motion detector that informs the owner if someone tries to steal the bike. It has front and rear lights, and a hub dynamo that charges a battery to keep everything powered up.

Volata Side Moon Grey_mediumres

Volata Light Rear_mediumres

Volata Handle Bars Speed_mediumres

Salvioli is an automotive engineer who came up with the concept for Volata in 2014 while developing smart IoT platforms for automobiles at the University of California-Berkeley. He partnered with Mattia De Santis, a bicycle designer in Milan who is Volata’s chief technical officer. Volatas are assembled in California, where the company’s marketing and operations are based. Design and R&D is done in Milan.

Unlike some handlebar-mounted smartphone applications, the Volata’s computer is controlled by a thumb joystick that ensures riders keep their hands safely on the bars. It also features a Gates Carbon Drive belt system connected to an Alfine Di2 electronic shifting rear hub for low-maintenance durability. The price is $3,499. Volata is now taking $299 online deposits with the balance due upon delivery in July 2017. “Volata merges all the heritage and creativity of Italian design with the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley,” the company says in its press materials. Check out these features in the slick video below.

Volata comes in four sizes, two colors and three saddle options. The company plans to introduce more accessories including racks, frame bags, fenders and more. Customers will be able to book a test ride during events the company will host, and at showrooms Volata aims to open in late 2017. Honk if you like it. volatacycles.com

Volata Golden Gate_mediumres

  • Share