Drew Motley made history last weekend at the USA BMX Grands in Tulsa, Okalahoma, when he won the Cruiser class national championship. Motley’s victory marks the first time an amateur national champion has won on a bike without a chain. His winning bike from Yess BMX is equipped with a Gates Carbon Drive system.
Motley, who lives in Florida, came to Grands following a successful season, winning many races on his Gates belted rigs. The pressure was on last Saturday in Tulsa. After racing in multiple heats, Motley had to win his final race to get the title. Motley avoided a crash right out of the gate, then powered past the two riders in front of him, gaining speed and pumping hard through the rollers and leaving his competitors in the dust. He won easily by seven or eight bike lengths. “After the first turn I was in second. I just stayed on the gas and got around the guy in front of me and then took the best line,” Motley told the Belted Blog.
Watch video of Drew’s win below:
Motley is a real estate appraiser who lives near Daytona. He began racing BMX in 1984 at age 14 and never gave it up. “At 46 I still find myself feeling like a kid out there on the track. I love it. And I enjoy the camaraderie of BMX racing.” This season he changed teams and began racing for Yess, which provided two bikes with the Gates belt, a 20-inch wheel bike and his winning 24-inch cruiser. “I really, really liked it immediately,” Motley said of the Carbon Drive system. “It’s faster. I can feel it. Pedal efficiency is a huge deal in BMX, and the belt just felt more efficient and easier to pedal and faster.”
Motley plans to defend his title in 2017, and he hopes to win a spot to race at the UCI BMX World Championships, which are coming to the United States next summer, in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Motley’s victory will “go down in the history books as the first No. 1 title holder to win without a chain,” said Craig Barrette, chief communications officer for USA BMX. “Drew’s win with a belt-driven bike could possibly change the current, traditional train of thought for BMX racers.”
Photo courtesy of USA BMX
Gates has been slowly pushing into BMX for the past several years, working with Yess and their team of international racers. Earlier this year, Jean-Marc Durviaux won the Belgian National Title in the Cruiser 40+ category on his Yess bike. Durviaux says the strength of the Gates Carbon Drive provides an advantage at the start of the race, when competitors exert their full power to gain a lead. “I most sense the Carbon Drive as an advantage at the acceleration stage at the start,” he told the Belted Blog. “The first three pedal strokes provide a more instant response.”
Gates is excited to participate in BMX racing because it validates the strength and efficiency of the Carbon Drive system, whose largest market is electric bikes, urban commuter and city bikes. Read more about Gates’ push into Belted BMX in our previous post, and look for a Yess frame at a track near you.
CIRCA Cycles is a Portland-based custom bike maker that has devised a fabrication process that utilizes bonded and anodized aluminum tubing to create distinctive one-of-a-kind bicycles that can be manufactured with incredible speed, durability and efficiency. CIRCA’s frames have no welds. Instead, the tubes are joined to CNC-machined lugs and bonded with high-strength epoxies. Instead of painted finishes, CIRCA anodizes its aluminum tubing to create lustrous colors that pop, never fade and last longer than paint. Anodizing forms a protective aluminum oxide coating that permanently seals the color to the surface of the metal.
Pictured above and below is the Goldie Deluxe city bike, which is outfitted with premium features including leather touch points, dynamo lighting, disc brakes, a Nitto front rack, an eight-speed Alfine hub, and hand-built wheels from Portland’s Sugar Wheel Works.
Below is the Icon PDX, which shows CIRCA’s ability to laser-etch finely detailed graphics onto their anodized tubes. “Our proprietary manufacturing process lets us build bikes to order with amazing attention to detail and surprising efficiency, enabling us to go from ‘zero to bike’ in less than two weeks,” says founder Rich Fox, who previously worked as a strategist at global design firm Ziba and as an innovation director at Nike.
Prior to launching CIRCA, Fox–a lifelong cyclist–thought long and hard about how he could innovate the bike building process and leverage Portland’s industrial design and manufacturing expertise. The idea for bonded lugged frames was inspired by the Italian bike brand Alan, which used a similar process in the 1980s. Fox bought an Alan in 1984 and still owns it. “It was my first real racing bike,” he says. “That bike is 34 years old and still going strong. The anodizing still looks like new.” Today’s epoxies and bonding processes are even more robust, as is Circa’s American-made aluminum tubing. All CIRCA frames are Gates Carbon Drive compatible.
Fox works with a number of Portland firms. MC Laser Labs does the laser etching. “We designed CIRCA’s manufacturing platform to take advantage of Portland’s amazing ecosystem of collaborators, innovators and vendors who serve a variety of industries including the outdoors, medical and technology industries,” Fox says. “This, in tandem with the city’s love of bikes, makes Portland the perfect place to do this.” ridecirca.com
The Carnival cruise ship line has introduced a new ride that elevates the fun and fitness of cruising. SkyRide allows riders to whip around an 800-foot-long track 150 feet above sea level. Installed on the new Carnival Vista ship, SkyRide is being called the coolest new thing in cruising. “I found SkyRide to be one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done on a cruise ship,” wrote a Travel Weekly journalist. “I could go on the SkyRide repeatedly, and even pick a ship based on having it.”
Consisting of two recumbent bikes wrapped in aerodynamic shells, SkyRide is powered by a Gates Carbon Drive belt system. The Gates belt was chosen because it is rust-free and low-maintenance in the salty ocean environment, which destroys chains. Gates Carbon Drive is also used on the Schiller water bike because of the belt’s performance in the water.
SkyRide was invented by Scott Olson, best-known as the inventor who popularized Rollerblades. “With SkyRide I wanted to invent the most exciting piece of fitness equipment ever created,” Olson told the Belted Blog. SkyRide Technology is located on a Minnesota farm about 45 minutes from Minneapolis called SkyFarm, where Olson and his team prototype new inventions. Olson is now working on an electric assist version of SkyRide that Olson says can hit 50 miles per hour. “We want to use Gates Carbon Drive in other products and inventions,” he says.
Carnival plans to introduce SkyRide to a second cruise ship in 2018 due to its popularity. Time to book a cruise. More at SkyRide Technology and Carnival.
Designed and manufactured in Spain, Desiknio electric bikes are part of a new wave of stealthy and lightweight eBikes that look like regular bicycles. Lithium batteries are hidden within the down tube. Above in blue is the Sport model, which has a carbon fork, bars and seatpost. Below in red is the Classic, which has Ritchey Classic polished aluminum bars and seatpost, and Brooks leather saddle and grips. The bikes weigh 13.5 kg (29 pounds), with a maximum power of 500 watts, and they use a rear hub motor and controller platform from Ebikemotion Technologies, based in Palencia, Spain. A simple on/off button on the top tube turns on the power to the rear hub, using the iWoc One system with bluetooth capabilities. Both models use Gates Carbon Drive for clean, rust-free simplicity.
Joaquin Cortes, an industrial designer who lives in Granada, founded Desiknio in 2015. “In Spanish, ‘designio’ means a strong purpose to do something with determination,” Cortes says of the company’s name. “The ‘k’ sound is the strongest phonetic sound in my name, Joaquin, so I mixed them and got Desiknio.” Following the Eurobike show, Ebikemotion became an investment partner in Desiknio. Ebikemotion is part of the Mechatronic Automotive Group, and it offers multiple eBike electronics and components, which are manufactured in its factory in Motilla, Spain.
These Spanish brands show how companies across Europe and around the world are pushing forward with technologies that advance the eBike revolution. Watch the video below to learn more about the bikes and their technologies, and enjoy some nice images of riding in the cities and on the seacoast of Spain. desiknio.es
Of all the racing disciplines, fixed-gear road racing may be the most insane. One gear, no brakes, no coasting–just power pedaling, adrenaline and supreme bike handling skill. Crashes are frequent. Born from bike messenger culture, fixie street races such as the Red Hook criterium series have exploded in popularity, with thousands of fans and urban hipsters lining the courses. In Germany, the Rad Race series offers similar excitement, and cities from London to New York to Milan and Barcelona have their own fixie racing cultures. In 2015, Gates Carbon Drive teamed up with Berlin brand Schindelhauer to create a belt-drive fixed gear team. Team Schindelhauer-Gates is back for 2016 with new members, flashy new Carbon Drive blue race kits, and some impressive wins. New female team member Karla Sommer, below, took her Schindelhauer Hektor to the Hamburg Velodrome this summer and grabbed three victories: first place finishes in the 500 meter and 1,000-meter time trials, and first in the points race. She finished the season as the female Rad Race Series winner. “We are really proud of Karla,” says Schindelhauer creative director Stephan Zehren, also a team member.
photo: Burkhard Sielaf
photo: Romain Villerot
Competing in the Team Time Trial. photo: Nils Laengner
Looping the corner in the Team Time Trial. Cornering at high speed can be treacherous, because riders must avoid striking their pedals on the pavement while carving tight turns. photo: Nils Laengner
The 2016 Team Schindelhauer-Gates: Roland Trauzold, Germany; Paul Gohrke, Germany; Torsten Rasch, Germany; Stephan Zehren, Germany; Yvann Morf, Switzerland; Dylan Longridge, Switzerland; Adrian Merkt, Switzerland; Karla Sommer, Germany; Samantha Fox, USA. See more photos at the team Facebook page.
“The Schindelhauer-Gates team is an opportunity to showcase the high performance of our belt drives in an exciting, spectator-friendly sport with a growing global audience,” said Todd Sellden, director of Gates Carbon Drive Systems. “Schindelhauer’s aesthetic and brand identity are deeply rooted in Berlin’s street scene, so it is natural for us to be part of this growing international fixed gear criterium culture,” added Jörg Schindelhauer, co-founder of Schindelhauer Bikes. Read more about the team’s creation.
In other cool Schindelhauer news, the brand has released a limited edition Ludwig VIII as part of the Brooks England 150th anniversary. The bike features a matte black frame with copper highlights to compliment the Brooks copper rivets. See more photos at schindelhauerbikes.com.