Posts written by Paul Tolme

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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.

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“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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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Pedego Latch

 

With a motto of, “Hello, Fun,” Pedego is an American electric bike brand that has rocketed to success with a simple strategy: create affordable eBikes for older customers who want to pedal for fun and fitness. “Our biggest market is Baby Boomers and retirees, people who haven’t been on a bike in years but who want to ride and feel like a kid again,” says Paul Auclair, the brand’s product manager. Pedego has launched a new folding eBike called the Latch. “Customers were asking us for a folding bike that they could travel with, and that fits on their RV or boat or yacht.” The bike is named for the latch in the middle of the frame that opens and closes the frame. “It’s an eBike that just happens to fold. We used the Gates drive and Nexus hub to keep it simple and clean and easy for our customers.”

Pedego Latch-foldedThe Latch has been well received by customers. “Every shipment we get in sells out immediately,” Auclair says of the Latch. “It’s a low step-over bike so it is easy to get on and off.” He says Pedego plans to launch several more models with Gates Carbon Drive.

Longtime friends Don DiConstanzo and Terry Sherry (CEO and COO, respectively), founded Pedego in 2009 in Southern California. They have since expanded to more than 65 branded Pedego stores across North America, with dealers in Italy, England, New Zealand and Australia. Watch the video below for more info on the Latch, and say hello to fun. www.pedegoelectricbikes.com

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Lios-royal marines

The UK’s Royal Marines are trained for rapid deployment. Rapid certainly describes these three guys and their Lios Nano carbon folding bikes. Corporal Richard Ebbage, Major Ryan Kestle and Corporal Aled Jones have teamed up with Lios, whose founder is himself a former Royal Marine who started a bike company after being blown up in combat in Afghanistan. The three members of the Lios racing team recently competed in the London Nocturne folding bike race criterium that whips through the streets of London. Jones took first place out of 40 competitors with a hard surge at the finish. Watch the inspiring video below to learn the triumphant story of Lios founder Steve McCulley, get an up-close look at the Gates belt driven Nanos, and see the exciting race action–including a crash in the final sprint.

 

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