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.
How many lawyers does it take to fix a flat tire? We don’t know. There will be no lawyer jokes in this post. But we do know that there are no attorneys among the founders of Lawyer’s Bike, an Italian brand whose name is meant to evoke a mood of elegance, distinction and professionalism.
“Our customers are young and wealthy professionals who want to stand out from the crowd,” says Riccardo Pozzoli, one of three young men in their mid-20s who formed Lawyer’s in 2015. Pozzoli studies history at Milan University and works for an interior design studio. Andrea Calastri is a former bike racer. Federico Cazzaniga is a geologist, photographer and computer enthusiast. All three are passionate urban bicyclists.
Lawyer’s is located in and inspired by the design and furniture district of Brianza, near Milan in northwestern Italy. Their aesthetic is “clean, simple and elegant design combined with innovative materials,” Pozzoli says. Components include Brooks leather saddles, Cerchi Ghisallo wooden rims, beech wood bars and Gates drives. The aluminum frames are welded by Vetta, a legendary third-generation frame maker. Painting is done by Verniciatura Emmeci, which also works for well-known Italian brands including Bianchi, Pinarello and Colnago.
Lawyer’s offers two models and a bike configurator that allows customers to tailor their style. The Milano is sporty and modern, with matte frames and carbon forks. “It is designed to be rigid and reactive,” Pozzoli says. The Verona is classic, with glossy finishes and the option of beech wood rims and bars. A third model, Portofino, also with Gates Carbon Drive, is coming soon. Lawyer’s will offer the Portofino in a men’s or women’s version, with SRAM two-speed Automatix shifting. Perfect for riding to work, or the law office. lawyersbike.com
Joe Grant is an endurance runner and ultra-marathoner whose transition to endurance bike racing has been nothing short of incredible. Having never entered a mountain bike race before, he jumped into the Colorado Trail Race in 2015 with just two weeks of bike training and finished the 560-mile unsupported ride from Durango to Denver in five days, seven hours and 31 minutes. That’s about 110 miles per day through some of Colorado’s roughest mountain terrain on a fully rigid bike. This spring he upped the ante by competing in the Arizona Trail Race, a 750-mile unsupported ride across Arizona from the Mexico border to Utah–with a mandatory 24-mile portage through the Grand Canyon. Pushing himself to the limit, and with little sleep, he finished in second place at seven days, 12 hours and and 12 minutes.
“Joe is a super tough dude, and he’s not afraid to push it to the max whether it’s running or climbing or riding,” says Chad Melis, marketing director for Oskar Blues Brewery and its bike brand, REEB Cycles, which are Joe’s bike sponsors. “We couldn’t ask for a better ambassador.”
Joe’s Colorado Trail Race bike is special. It’s a REEB “Sam’s Pants” equipped with SON dynamo lights for night riding, a Whiskey carbon fork, Stan’s No Tubes, and a Gates Carbon Drive system mated to a Rohloff hub for low maintenance. The belt drive and Rohloff are a secret weapon that allow Joe to rest and eat when off the bike, instead of having to clean, lubricate and maintain a chain and derailleur. Joe is still riding on the same belt that he bashed through the Colorado and Arizona trail races.
Want to be like Joe? Fat chance. But you can enter to win a bike like Joe’s. On August 28, REEB Cycles and Oskar Blues Brewery will host the Gold Rush Bike Rally, a mountain gravel grinder in the hills outside of Boulder. The race has two options: a 35-miler with 5,000 feet of climbing, or a 50-miler with 7,000 feet of vertical. The courses start in the historic town of Gold Hill and include sections of the famous Switzerland Trail with a finishing descent into Boulder, where cold beer awaits. Oskar Blues and REEB will give away a trip for two to Boulder, lodging, beer and a Sam’s Pants. Enter here: goldrushbikerally.com
Schwabing is historic borough of Munich known for its hipster hangouts, public parks and universities. It is also the name of a Bavarian-made electric bicycle that exemplifies the power and performance of next-generation eBike design. Das Schwabing, from Germany’s M1-Sporttechnik, has a sporty and stylish high-modulus carbon fiber frame and fork powered by a proprietary motor and battery developed by several Bavarian companies and used solely by M1. “It is a full-on Made in Germany product,” says Hendrik Teutsch, sales and marketing manager.
The Schwabing comes in two versions, a “pedelec” (250 watt, 20 mile-per-hour) and a “speed pedelec” (500 watt, 28 mph), both available with the Gates Carbon Drive belt system and a NuVinci N360 or N380 continuously variable planetary hub for seamless shifting and smooth pedaling.
Though its core market is Germany, Das Schwabing is available through select dealers in the United States. M1 recently exhibited at the Sea Otter Classic bike show in Monterey, California. “It was a good opportunity for us to see the development of the eBike market in the U.S. firsthand,” Teutsch says. He sees good potential for growth in the United States, especially since California clarified its regulations to allow speed pedelecs on bike paths. California is the ideal locale for the Schwabing, Teutsch says. “With our powerful battery and efficient engine you can travel for many miles along the coast–even though the Pacific Ocean might throw some serious headwinds at you.”
Founded in 1989, M1-Sporttechnik is part of Fritzmeier GmbH, a family owned company since 1926 that specializes in carbon fiber technologies and makes cabs and cladding for heavy machinery and automobiles (including the carbon fiber floor panels for BMW’s new hybrid supercar the i8). M1 is the lifestyle brand of Fritzmeier and it has a long history in bicycles, having developed the first carbon monocoque mountain bike frame in the 1990s and some of the first carbon electric bikes–as well as skis, surfboards and sailboats. The Schwabing is the next step forward in high-performance carbon products for M1.
In addition to buying through a dealer, customers can order the Schwabing directly through the M1 website using the brand’s bike configurator to choose the component specifications. “The bike arrives pre-built, and the customer only needs to straighten the handlebars and put on the pedals,” Teutsch says. Then it’s all ready for a trip to work through Munich, or to your favorite California oceanfront bike path. M1-sporttechnik.
Santiago, Chile, is one of South America’s most vibrant cities. Inhabitants enjoy food, arts, architecture and culture to rival the great urban centers of the world. Now this metropolis of more than five million people is undergoing a bicycling Renaissance. “Santiago is fairly flat and has a sunny climate that makes it perfect for urban cycling,” says Ricardo Salas, a founder of Brava Bikes. “Over the last decade there have been various public policies aimed at reducing traffic and improving the health of the population, which have resulted in an explosion in the use of bicycles in Chile. At this point we lead Latin America in daily bike use.”
Brava is a new bike brand based in Santiago that specs the Gates Carbon Drive system on all of its models. Pictured atop this post is the Láscar, a fixie with bullhorn bars. Below is the Cay singlespeed, followed by the Ralún eight-speed.
Brava’s founders decided to launch an urban bike brand after careers in architecture and design, and they spent two years designing the bikes and creating the brand identity. Details include leather grips and Brava-branded leather saddles. The aesthetic is both classic and modern. Below is the Macá singlespeed followed by the Lanín eight-speed.
Brava sells online and plans to open a brick and mortar shop soon. “Everyone at Brava loves classic bikes for their style, simplicity, and functionality. We think that the bike is a magnificent machine, and even a work of art,” says Salas, who commutes on a Cay.
One of his favorite rides is the trail up to San Cristobal Hill, a park overlooking the central city. “Another interesting urban route runs through Parque Forestal, which takes you almost the length of the city and passes through a sculpture garden and past the Contemporary and Fine Arts museums.” Another is Parque Bicentennario, located in the Vitacura area of Santiago. “This 30-hectare park is one of the city’s most important green areas. It is a popular place to spend time outdoors due to the trails and other activities,” Salas says.