Posts written by Paul Tolme

Nua SC-01 rear profile

Nua means nude or bare in Catalan, the official language of Andorra and parts of Northeast Spain. It is also the name of a new Barcelona bike brand that specializes in clean, hand-polished titanium frames equipped with Gates belt drives and offering a simple aesthetic. “I love riding bicycles because of the sensation of freedom they give me, but I’m also attracted to them as objects,” says Nua founder Roberto Aznar, a former professional industrial designer with degrees in mechanical and materials engineering. “Two years ago I decided to stop designing industrial machines and start making bicycles.”

Nua Frontal

Aznar is a do-it-yourself guy who learned how to do plumbing, electrical wiring, welding, bricklaying and carpentry while building his home. He makes furniture and musical instruments and built his own recording studio. He applies that creativity and discipline to his bikes. Aznar calls titanium “the eternal material” because it doesn’t corrode–and he offers a lifetime guarantee on his frames. “Our bikes are meant for a discerning client who appreciates well-made things. The world is already full of things that break down, which never work right and frustrate the user.”

The SC-01 pictured here is an agile singlespeed with features including a seat post clamp integrated into the frame, internal cable routing and eyelets for fenders and racks. Other touches include a Brooks saddle and matching leather grips, titanium handlebars and Mavic rims. Aznar is now preparing to launch a second model–this one with an internally geared hub combined with the Gates Carbon Drive system. “The Gates belt drive is simply the best option for a single speed or internal gear hub city bike.”

No matter what language you speak, that’ s the bare naked truth. nuabikes.com

Nua CarbonDrive

Nua Brooks saddle

Nua SC01 profile

Nua Bikes Roberto Aznar-NuaBikes Workshop

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Six-time World Champion trials rider Marco Hösel rides, leaps, hops and jumps his way through a saw mill in this new video featuring Marco’s unique Nicolai BMXTB with the Gates Carbon Drive belt. Watch out Marco, those blades are sharp!

Marco Hösel – Knock on wood from Whyex Productions on Vimeo.

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Custom-Belt Drive bike- Titanium-F-One-red01_7

When Gates decided to launch its new red belt, Australia’s Flying Machine Bicycles was an obvious choice to partner with for a custom bike to showcase Carbon Drive Red. Flying Machine makes bikes that are works of art and science. It is also an early adopter in the bike industry of 3D printing. The F-One titanium city bike created by Flying Machine features 3D printed titanium lugs that join the bike’s titanium tubing. The bike features many other top-level components: Alfine 11 hub, White Industries front hub and bottom bracket, H Plus Son ‘Archetype’ rims, Schwalbe ‘Durano’ tires. The artistry and style of this bike perfectly represent the objectives of Carbon Drive Red: to create a high-performance drivetrain that performs as elegantly as it looks.

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This bike was made for an intellectual property lawyer in the United States. “His legal specialty is IP issues to do with 3D printing,” says Matthew Andrews, who founded Flying Machine in 2009. The paintwork was done by hand in Flying Machine’s studio in Perth, located in far Western Australia on the Indian Ocean. “We sell probably forty percent of our bikes to international customers, mostly in the U.S. but also Europe and the UK and a few in Asia.”

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Despite its remote location across the entire continent from Sydney and the big population centers of Australia, Perth is a modern, cosmopolitan city with a rich cycling scene. “The cycling infrastructure in the city is very good so it’s easy to get around by bike,” Andrews says. “There is a big commuter and urban bicycling contingent and also a strong road bike culture and a mountain bike scene in the hills behind the city. The weather and lifestyle here are great. Summer days are quite hot but winter is very mild with not much rain. Autumn and Spring are pretty much perfect.” Not that Andrews has much time to relax. “Too many bikes to build.”

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Custom-Belt Drive bike- Titanium-F-One-red01
See more Flying Machine bikes with Gates Carbon Drive here.
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Bike style is getting a jolt of color with the launch of Carbon Drive Red, a series of limited edition red belts that accentuate the bike industry trend of color-matching components and frame highlights. Painted chains have been part of urban bike style for many years, but the color quickly wears off and disappears under road grime and grease. Carbon Drive Red, by contrast, will always pop with color. If it gets dirty just hose it off.

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Customers have asked for colored bike belts since the launch of the Gates Carbon Drive system in 2007, but the company instead focused on perfecting the technology, durability and performance of its black belts before expanding into colors. “As an engineering company, our first focus was on the meat and potatoes business of ensuring that our belts and sprockets meet the highest levels of performance and durability,” says Todd Sellden, director of Gates Carbon Drive. “Now it is time to bring the sizzle.”

Spot 'Acme'

Spot ‘Acme’

Carbon Drive Red is available immediately in the United States for purchase as a belt only or on a complete bike. The first production bikes to feature the new red belts are the Acme and Acme Open from Spot Brand. The brand new Acme Open features a step-through frame that is ideal for working women and men who want to wear a skirt or suit. Carbon Drive Red launches in Europe on March 1 with the release of the Red Race singlespeed from Berlin’s Schindelhauer Bikes. Individual red belts will be available for purchase in Europe after April 1.

Schindelhauer Viktor 'Red Race'

Schindelhauer Viktor ‘Red Race’

Gates partnered with two other bike brands known for their stylish designs to help with the launch of Carbon Drive Red. Flying Machine Bikes in Australia created a custom titanium F-One 11-speed with 3D printed titanium lugs and red accents. Budnitz Bicycles built a Gates X No. 1 city cruiser inspired by the Porsche 918 Spyder.

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Budnitz ‘Gates X No. 1′

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Flying Machine ‘Titanium F-One Red’

“Carbon Drive Red is an opportunity to grow interest in Gates belts as a simple alternative to chains, and also to attract more people to bicycling,” Sellden says. “Carbon Drive Red is the epitome of bike style and a bold alternative to greasy chains.” For product and ordering information, a photo gallery of Carbon Drive Red in action and more pictures of the Schindelhauer, Spot, Budnitz and Flying Machine bikes, go to www.gatescarbondrive.com/red

Carbon Drive Red lifestyle-barrels

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Mianzi Rei – My Legs My Gears from Colorado Media GmbH on Vimeo.

Fixie rider, road racer, tattoo model and vegan: Mianzi Rei is an icon of German women’s cycling and a driving force in Berlin’s urban riding scene. This stylish and contemplative video, My Legs My Gears, takes an inside look at her life in Berlin, her love of bikes, the thrill of spinning around a velodrome, and how a policeman once pushed her off her bike for riding on the sidewalk. We look forward to following Rei in 2015 when she competes in the Red Hook Crit fixed gear race series on her custom Hektor fixie with Gates Carbon Drive from Schindelhauer Bikes.

“It is great having Mianzi Rei on our team. She is ambitious, seeks new challenges every time she rides and is an icon of the European fixed gear scene,” says Jörg Schindelhauer. “Mianzi is always friendly and open-minded, making her the perfect ambassador for Schindelhauer.”

Mianzi Rei_Racing Hektor

Mianzi Rei_Standing with Hektor

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