For freeriders, there is nothing more stylish than a perfectly executed tail whip. French downhiller Benoit Coulanges of team ROC-VTT shows his whipping good style in this video shot near his home in Lyon. Benoit is an up-and-coming young rider who placed 15th at last year’s Fort William World Cup event. He rides a Nicolai Ion 20 Effigear with Gates Carbon Drive and an Effigear gearbox. Read more about his bike on Vital MTB. You may never do a tail whip, but imagine how well your Gates belt will perform on your city bike if it can survive Benoit’s abuse.
Leading folding bike brand Tern has launched its first model with Gates Carbon Drive, the Verge S8i. Tern calls it “the world’s most versatile ultra-low-maintenance folding bike…a practically silent super-commuter with no greasy parts or protruding derailleurs.”
New for 2016, the Verge S8i features a range of high-quality components: a Shimano Alfine eight-speed hub, Schwalbe Big Apple tires with puncture protection, a wide-beam Valo 2 headlight powered by a BioLogic electricity-generating hub, hydraulic disc brakes, fenders, a heavy duty cargo rack, and more.
Another cool feature is Tern’s patented Andros adjustable stem technology that allows users to adjust the handlebar height and riding position without tools–allowing multiple family members of different sizes to use the bike.
For rushed commuters, the Verge S8i folds in under 10 seconds and can be easily rolled onto subways and into buildings. Unfolded, it has a long wheel base for stability at speed. “It will get you there quickly, cleanly, and most importantly in style,” Tern says. We couldn’t agree more. ternbicycles.com
Germany is at the epicenter of an electric bike boom that is transforming the European bicycle market–and shaping pedelec trends from North America to Asia. In this post we shine a spotlight on two German brands–Grace and Steppenwolf–at the forefront of the eBike movement. Both have launched new 2016 models with Gates Carbon Drive.
Pictured above is the Grace Easy, a sporty urban pedelec kitted out with fenders, rack and lights, a suspension fork and BionX hub motor for fast city riding. Grace is an award-winning electric bike brand that was among the first to integrate batteries into its frames for a seamless style. That intelligent design is shown below on the Urbanic. With its smartly styled step-through frame the Urbanic includes a fast-accelerating GoSwiss Drive rear hub motor and nine-speed Pinion gearbox.
The blue bomber below is the Grace MX II Urban, a supercharged city eBike with a Brose mid-motor drive integrated into the bottom bracket and a NuVinci continuously variable planetary hub for seamless shifting. Gates’ laboratory testing shows that Carbon Drive belts are especially advantageous on mid-drive motor eBikes, which rapidly wear out chains.
Steppenwolf, whose motto is, “The wolf hunts best in town,” is a sister brand of Grace and is owned by the same parent company, Mifa-Bike, headquartered in Sangerhausen, Germany. While Grace makes only eBikes, Steppenwolf is a respected 20-year-old brand that makes both electric and classic pedal-powered bikes with Gates belts. The step-through Talis E 20th Wave below is powered by a Brose mid-drive motor connected to a NuVinci hub via a Gates belt.
The Talis E 20th Men above has a classic eBike aesthetic and is powered by a Brose mid-drive motor with a NuVinci planetary hub shifting system. Steppenwolf also makes multiple non-electric models with Gates Carbon Drive including the 2016 Talis Street 8.5. This practical ride has a Shimano Alfine eight-speed internally geared hub and a full urban kit including fenders and dynamo hub lights for fast and low-maintenance commuting.
Thanks to Steppenwolf, Grace and Mifa-Bike for helping to advance the belt drive revolution by making it easier for people to get out of their cars and into the saddle. Graceful and wolflike: These are the words that describe the clean, quiet, fast and stylish future of advanced pedelecs and commuter bikes.
Priority Bicycles is a new commuter-focused brand that has found rapid success by rethinking how bikes are conceived, designed and brought to market. “Our success has been driven by a combination of technology, design, and understanding essential customer needs to deliver hassle free, high quality bicycles at a fraction of traditional prices,” says Dave Weiner, founder and CEO of Priority, based in New York City. Its bikes use no chains or derailleurs and are optimized for simple, low-maintenance urban riding. Priority launched in 2014 on Kickstarter with a goal of raising $30,000 and instead raised more than half-a-million dollars.
Priority has just launched a new premium model, the Eight, featuring Gates Carbon Drive. Impressively, the Eight is selling for a special launch price of $799, making it the most affordable commuter bike with Gates Carbon Drive in the United States. Consumers can sign up for Priority’s pre-sale price here.
The Eight has an alloy frame and a component package that includes an eight-speed Shimano Nexus internally geared hub, hydraulic disc brakes, fenders and Gates Carbon Drive’s CDN belt system. CDN, which is designed for urban riding, features Gates’ patented CenterTrack design and an engineered polymer belt embedded with carbon fiber cords. The front sprocket is made from reinforced composite embedded with glass fibers, and it comes integrated with a Gates branded crank for industry leading concentricity and easy installation. The rear sprocket is wear-resistant steel.
Weiner says customers were clamoring for a model with Gates Carbon Drive, the global leader in bicycle belt drives. “The endless requests that we received for this bike had been overwhelming. We couldn’t ignore the call,” he says. “Riders wanted what we stand for – hassle free, great quality, unmatched value – in a package that could support performance, more mileage, and increased agility.”
“Gates is very pleased to be working with Priority and to have Carbon Drive featured on the Eight,” says Todd Sellden, global director of Gates Carbon Drive. “Priority is a smart and ambitious young company that has found a way to offer affordable and fun city bikes that simplify bicycling and allow people to enjoy the ride and spend less time maintaining their bikes.” prioritybicycles.com
Montague is a Boston-area bike company launched in 1987 as a university project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of America’s most prestigious and brainy schools. Montague makes full-size folding bikes–no small wheels or downsized frames. The company’s motto is “real bikes that fold.” The frames are strong and rigid, Montague says, because the top tubes are not cut. Instead, the frames fold at the intersection of the top tubes and seat tube. The patented DirectConnect system automatically locks when unfolded. Another nice innovation is Montague’s RackStand, a rear luggage rack that doubles as a bike stand.
These features are included on Montague’s newest model, the Allston, which includes a Gates Carbon Drive belt, disc brakes, wide 38c tires and a Shimano Alfine 11-speed hub. “The Allston is great for ripping around Cambridge and Boston,” says Jonathan Vandenberg, Montague sales manager.
Montague has won multiple awards and honors over the years. In 1997, Montague received a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) to create a tactical mountain bike for the U.S. Marine Corps. The bike was called the Paratrooper, because soldiers could jump from planes with it strapped to their chest.
Today, Montague, which is based in the university hub of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is working to get people out of cars and onto bikes. “The bike commuting scene is growing in Crambridge and Boston,” Vandenberg says. Montague has partnered with the state to create Park & Pedal, a network of free parking spaces that allow commuters to park their cars and ride the final miles to work, avoiding inner-city rush-hour traffic and congestion. It’s one more brainy idea that is advancing the bicycle revolution. montaguebikes.com