Tighten your helmet and strap on some body armor because Gates Carbon Drive is catching some air. Cavalerie, a French brand that builds innovative downhill, freeride and enduro bikes, makes its North American debut at the upcoming Sea Otter Classic, April 10-13, in Monterey, California. Pictured above is the Falcon downhill bike with Gates belt drive and Effigear gearbox. The Falcon has 200 mm of travel and is available with a six- or seven-speed gearbox.The combination of belt drive and gearbox makes this one of the quietest and most low-maintenance downhill bikes on the market. No chain slap. No derailleurs to smash on rocks and roots.
Cavalerie is being distributed in the US by Philthy Bikes, which will show three bike models at Sea Otter (booth #419). Philthy Bikes is also the US sales and service center for Effigear, and they will have a cutaway demonstration gearbox on display.
Philthy will also display its freeride bike, the Squirrel. That’s the orange Squirrel frameset below. The Squirrel has 185mm of travel and a nine-speed Effigear.
A third model, the Anakine enduro, features 160mm of travel, and 27.5/650b wheels. That’s it in white below.
Why ride a gearbox instead of a derailleur? You can shift under heavy load or without pedaling, or even while stopped. It also moves weight from the rear of the bike to the center for stability. Ground clearance also increases without a derailleur hanging from the rear, and the entire assembly is sealed for protection from dirt and the elements. Check out their gear range chart.
Gates is excited to enter the gravity bike market because it opens opportunities for more cyclists and younger riders to experience the clean, quiet and low-maintenance benefits of Carbon Drive. Get ready to huck, belt drivers.