Posts written by Paul Tolme

REEB pinion jump

Chris Sulfrian of REEB Cycles was bunny hopping happy at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. As we all were. NAHBS is the premier showcase for custom bicycles from across America and the world. Gates photographer Tim Lucking was in Louisville, Kentucky, to capture the iconic images that make NAHBS such a treat for bike nerds.

First up is this beach bike from Groovy Cycles. The rear rack includes a mount for carrying a surfboard and the frame is hand painted with an ocean theme. The wooden rims and fenders are handmade, and the saddle was hand-engraved with a photo of the bike’s owner catching a wave.

Groovy surf bike

Groovy surf bike top tube

Groovy surf saddle

Groovy Cycles owner Rody Walters produced this custom singlespeed mountain bike for his daughter, Emily, who will race it this season in her high school league. Looks like she can’t wait to get this Funk Machine dirty.

Groovy Emily with Bike

Groovy funk machine

Vibe Cycles created this belted fat bike, “The Knarr,” for snow riding in Idaho. Sweet detailing with the snowflake rear light and curvaceous top tube.

Vibe the Knarr

Vibe the Knarr logo

Vibe the Knarr snowflake

From Japan comes the Samurai Bike, inspired by the armor and swords of the ancient warriors. How much does it cost? If you have to ask you can’t afford it.

Samurai bike

Samurai logo

REEB, the bike brand of Oskar Blues Brewery, presented multiple belted bikes including this fat bike with the Pinion gearbox and Carbon Drive Red.

REEB pinion complete

REEB pinion

This cyclocross bike from REEB is red hot and ready for some beer handups.


REEB yella pils

REEB’s rugged Sam’s Pants commuter with a Rohloff internally geared hub and belt is perfect for Colorado cruising.

REEB beer bike

The REEB crew does snow rides every Tuesday night in Colorado all winter. We would too if we had one of these Donkadonk fat bikes with a dropper seatpost.

REEB donkadonk headbadge

REEB donkadonk

REEB’s Dikyelous SS mountain bike is a singletrack slayer. Love that headbadge!

REEB tyreeb

REEB tyreeb headbadge

Rohloff USA distributor Cycle Monkey partnered with Gates and REEB to show multiple Rohloff/Carbon Drive rigs, including this full suspension titanium beast with internal cable routing from Black Sheep.

Black Sheep internal cables

Black Sheep rohloff mtb

This lovely Black Sheep 29-plus with red anodized rims and Rohloff hub shows the ability to color match with the new Carbon Drive Red belts.

Black Sheep red rohloff

Black Sheep red rohloff drive

Bamboo specialists Boo Cycles got freaky with its color scheme on this singlespeed mountain bike.

Boo SS drive

Boo SS

Calfee’s carbon tandem is a fast machine built for two. The Gates timing belt saves considerable weight over a chain, and Calfee’s joinery is impeccable.

Calfee tandem

Calfee tandem joinery

Master builder Kent Eriksen is a titanium specialist who created this tandem traveler that comes apart with couplers.

Eriksen tandem with Kent

Eriksen tandem couplers and belt

This wooden beauty from Connor Wood Cycles was commissioned by the Louisville Slugger baseball bat company, and it is now in the Slugger museum in Louisville.

Connor Wood Louisville Slugger

Connor Wood belt

Dean Cycles makes us dream of cyclocross season with this stealthy black rig.

Dean cx

Dean cx headbadge

The Siskiyou from Co-Motion features 650b/27.5 wheels for rugged touring and is named for the mountain range near the company’s headquarters in Oregon.

Co-Motion Siskiyou

Co-Motion Siskiyou Rohloff

This post features just a small sample of the photos Tim Lucking grabbed in Louisville. To see more, click here. Thanks to all the builders who created such fine bikes featuring Gates Carbon Drive. We will see you all next year in Sacramento, California.

REEB soultrain

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A stack of CDN sprockets ready for installation.

Gates is launching a “value oriented” bicycle belt drive called CDN that is designed for lower-mileage pavement and city bikes. The CDN system has the same carbon fiber tensile cord technology and CenterTrack sprocket design as Gates’ premium CDX system, but at about half the cost. “CDN is our value-oriented belt drive for people who want a clean and stylish city bike for getting into town or around the neighborhood,” says Todd Sellden, director of Gates Carbon Drive. “It’s for bicyclists who ride in jeans or skirts and casual shoes, not spandex and race gear.”

CDN System

The CDN belt has nine carbon cords embedded within an engineered polymer belt optimized for lower tension. The front sprocket is made from reinforced composite embedded with glass fibers. The rear sprocket is wear-resistant steel. Five years in development, the CDN belts are manufactured at the Gates plant in Dumfries, Scotland, a leading producer of automotive belts and the center for Gates’ belt development group in Europe. Gates is attending the Taipei Cycle Show this week, where it will show the CDN system. Interest is high from bike brands. What does this mean for bicyclists? More lower-priced city bikes with Gates Carbon Drive belts instead of chains will be available in coming years.

CDN sprocket stack 1

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Peacock Groove_Erik rough and ready

Custom bike builder Erik Noren of Peacock Groove Bicycles looks like a tough guy posing with his bedazzled eBike at the North American Handmade Bike Show. Truthfully, he’s really a kitten. Noren’s retro-themed electric bike is an homage to turn-of-the-century motos, but with a modern twist: a Shimano STEPS electric drive with the Gates Carbon Drive belt system.

Peacock Groove_profile with grafiti

Peacock Groove_toptube

Peacock Groove_rear detail

Peacock Groove_front

Peacock Groove_Erik dainty

Yeah, like we said, he’s a kitten.

Fifield Electric Bikes also displayed an eBike with Shimano STEPS and Gates belt. This Chatham frame equipped with Alfine Di2 electronic shifting was created by builder Ted Wojcik. Check out the Gates Flickr photostream for more pictures.

Fifield STEPS profile

Fifield STEPS closeup

Fifield STEPS headbadge

Fifield STEPS Wojcik

Ted Wojcik posing with STEPS eBike. He also displayed this Caladesi eBike with the Bofeili electric drive below:

Fifield Caladesi

Thanks to Gates Carbon Drive’s Tim Lucking for the photography. Stay tuned for more of his pictures from NAHBS.

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Stevens_Kappstein project_profile

Meet the Vapor Disc 16-speed Gearbox Belt Bike, an experimental bicycle at the center of a project to create the next generation of low-maintenance road machines. The project joins Gates Carbon Drive, Kappstein and Stevens Bikes. The goal: develop a performance road bike that uses a Gates belt instead of a chain and internal gears instead of a derailleur and cassette. The bike consists of a Stevens Vapor Disc frame with a Gates CDX belt drive and a shifting system comprised of a Shimano Alfine eight-speed rear hub combined with the Doppio 2-speed bottom bracket gearbox from Kappstein.

The Doppio replaces the double chain rings on the front. It has an integrated planetary gearing system with a transmission of 1:1.5 that doubles the Alfine’s eight gears to 16. No gear is represented twice. This is unlike a standard derailleur/cassette system with double chainrings, which has overlapping gears. The Doppio is compatible with Shimano shifters; this bike uses the Shimano 105 series. The project is generating buzz in the German bicycling media. See the story on German site

Stevens_ Kappstein project_doppio closeup

The bike is now being ridden by pro racer Beate Zanner of the Maxx-Solar Team. Zanner, who won a stage of the Tour of Thuringia last season and had excellent results in the German national women’s league, will train on the bike this year and provide feedback. In the future, road riders and racers may join the growing community of belted riders who enjoy clean, grease-free and low-maintenance bikes with a belt and internal gearing.

Stevens_Kappstein project_belt closeup

Stevens_Kappstein project_Beatte

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Biomega BOS Copenhagen waterfront


Biomega%20Brandfilm-HD from Biomega on Vimeo.

Automobiles project a strong brand image through their unified design and aesthetic. Danish bike brand Biomega is borrowing this integrated design philosophy to create a similar brand affinity for its bicycles. In the smartly filmed video above, Biomega plays on this concept with closeups of an automobile interspersed with closeups of a car, concluding that its bikes are the obvious choice for city riders. “For a bike to possess communicative value, you have to create a design with character and a visual identity,” says Jens Martin Skibsted, co-founder of Biomega. “It has to be iconic.”

Biomega bikes are certainly expressive. The company has crystallized its identity by working with superstar talents such as British designer Marc Newson, who also works for Apple. Other designers include Ross Lovegrove and Karim Rashid, as well as the in-house design team of Lars Larsen, Bjarke Ingels and Skibsted himself.

Biomega NYC concrete wall

Biomega headset

This month, Biomega opened a concept store in its hometown of Copenhagan–joining other concept stores in London and Milan. Biomega uses Gates belt drives on its bikes because they reduce maintenance and enhance riding fun, says Kenneth Dalsgaard, Biomega’s managing director. “We want what we call the Audi audience: people who want quality but for a fair price.” What does the future hold for Biomega? “In the future we hope to have a fleet of electrical bikes,” Skibsted says. “We like to say that Biomega is in the urban mobility business instead of in the bicycle business.”

Biomega PEK bearded hipster

Biomega BOS concrete wall

Biomega London concept store, 61 Great Portland Street W1W 7LL

Biomega London concept store, 61 Great Portland Street W1W 7LL


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