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photo by Lee Cejalvo

Drew Motley made history last weekend at the USA BMX Grands in Tulsa, Okalahoma, when he won the Cruiser class national championship. Motley’s victory marks the first time an amateur national champion has won on a bike without a chain. His winning bike from Yess BMX is equipped with a Gates Carbon Drive system.

Motley, who lives in Florida, came to Grands following a successful season, winning many races on his Gates belted rigs. The pressure was on last Saturday in Tulsa. After racing in multiple heats, Motley had to win his final race to get the title. Motley avoided a crash right out of the gate, then powered past the two riders in front of him, gaining speed and pumping hard through the rollers and leaving his competitors in the dust. He won easily by seven or eight bike lengths. “After the first turn I was in second. I just stayed on the gas and got around the guy in front of me and then took the best line,” Motley told the Belted Blog.

Yess-Tulsa 2016-Cruisers National Champion-crop

Watch video of Drew’s win below:

Motley is a real estate appraiser who lives near Daytona. He began racing BMX in 1984 at age 14 and never gave it up. “At 46 I still find myself feeling like a kid out there on the track. I love it. And I enjoy the camaraderie of BMX racing.” This season he changed teams and began racing for Yess, which provided two bikes with the Gates belt, a 20-inch wheel bike and his winning 24-inch cruiser. “I really, really liked it immediately,” Motley said of the Carbon Drive system. “It’s faster. I can feel it. Pedal efficiency is a huge deal in BMX, and the belt just felt more efficient and easier to pedal and faster.”

Motley plans to defend his title in 2017, and he hopes to win a spot to race at the UCI BMX World Championships, which are coming to the United States next summer, in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Motley’s victory will “go down in the history books as the first No. 1 title holder to win without a chain,” said Craig Barrette, chief communications officer for USA BMX. “Drew’s win with a belt-driven bike could possibly change the current, traditional train of thought for BMX racers.”

Drew Motley-courtesy usabmx

Photo courtesy of USA BMX

Gates has been slowly pushing into BMX for the past several years, working with Yess and their team of international racers. Earlier this year, Jean-Marc Durviaux won the Belgian National Title in the Cruiser 40+ category on his Yess bike. Durviaux says the strength of the Gates Carbon Drive provides an advantage at the start of the race, when competitors exert their full power to gain a lead. “I most sense the Carbon Drive as an advantage at the acceleration stage at the start,” he told the Belted Blog. “The first three pedal strokes provide a more instant response.”

Gates is excited to participate in BMX racing because it validates the strength and efficiency of the Carbon Drive system, whose largest market is electric bikes, urban commuter and city bikes. Read more about Gates’ push into Belted BMX in our previous post, and look for a Yess frame at a track near you.

Motley airborne

photo by Lee Cejalvo

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The Carnival cruise ship line has introduced a new ride that elevates the fun and fitness of cruising. SkyRide allows riders to whip around an 800-foot-long track 150 feet above sea level. Installed on the new Carnival Vista ship, SkyRide is being called the coolest new thing in cruising. “I found SkyRide to be one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done on a cruise ship,” wrote a Travel Weekly journalist. “I could go on the SkyRide repeatedly, and even pick a ship based on having it.”


Consisting of two recumbent bikes wrapped in aerodynamic shells, SkyRide is powered by a Gates Carbon Drive belt system. The Gates belt was chosen because it is rust-free and low-maintenance in the salty ocean environment, which destroys chains. Gates Carbon Drive is also used on the Schiller water bike because of the belt’s performance in the water.

SkyRide was invented by Scott Olson, best-known as the inventor who popularized Rollerblades. “With SkyRide I wanted to invent the most exciting piece of fitness equipment ever created,” Olson told the Belted Blog. SkyRide Technology is located on a Minnesota farm about 45 minutes from Minneapolis called SkyFarm, where Olson and his team prototype new inventions. Olson is now working on an electric assist version of SkyRide that Olson says can hit 50 miles per hour. “We want to use Gates Carbon Drive in other products and inventions,” he says.

Carnival plans to introduce SkyRide to a second cruise ship in 2018 due to its popularity. Time to book a cruise. More at SkyRide Technology and Carnival.



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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.


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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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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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.

Lawyers-MILAN0_Moon Silver

Lawyers-Verona_Midnight Blue1

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

Lawyers-VERONA_Rock Grey-bars

Lawyers-MILANO_Stealth Black

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