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velopresso-lasse riding

It’s no joke to say that the guys at Velopresso, makers of the pedal-powered coffee trike, are creating a lot of buzz. They won the Constructor’s Challenge at the Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Show in April. Their MK2 was recently featured on BBC TV, and it has received loads of media attention. Musician David Byrne of the Talking Heads hopped on during his Meltdown festival last summer in London. Former pro rider (and new coffee shop owner) Andy Schleck pedaled the Velopresso at an event in Luxembourg, and Velopresso appeared at the Tour de France for the second straight year when Dutch company Brandmeester’s served coffee at the “grand depart” stage on their MK2.

When the Belted Blog last checked in with Velopresso, founders Amos Field Reid and Lasse Oiva were just beginning production after several years of R&D and prototyping. Now, the UK company’s MK2 coffee trikes are rolling off the production line from their East London factory. Velopresso has sold trikes in Australia, Holland, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Puerto Rico and across the UK, including one on the Isle of Wight. Below is the trike sent to the Bean Peddler in Adelaide, Australia.

VeloPresso-Bean Peddler

The Velopresso is so appealing because it combines the healthy and fun aspects of bicycling with our love of coffee. The MK2 allows mobile coffee shops to set up on any street corner, with a low carbon footprint. We like it because the MK2 uses two Gates Carbon Drive belts—one to propel the trike and another to power the grinder. You don’t want a dirty chain near your beans.


Here’s a look under the hood:


If you want to see how to make a cup of espresso on the MK2, check out the video on the Velopresso site. Time for a hot cuppa. velopresso.cc



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Bike Motion Benelux is one of Europe’s biggest consumer bike shows, held in the Dutch city of Utrecht from October 16-19. Gates Carbon Drive will again exhibit at the show, with a variety of belted models on display including the Activa Pro V from Rose, above. Read our previous post, “Sweet as a Rose,” to see the Rose line of belted models.

Also on display this weekend will be the Yukon Rohloff from Van Nicholas, below.  Van Nicholas builds only titanium bikes, as featured in our post about the Dutch Titanium Bike Company. Scroll down to see some of the other cool bikes Gates will show in Utrecht.

Van Nicholas Yukon Rohloff

Below is the Signature World Traveller from Koga. This is the same model famously ridden by adventurer Reza Pakravan on his race down the length of the planet, from the Arctic Circle to South Africa, 11,000 miles on one belt. Get the full scoop in the Belted Blog interview with Reza.

Koga Signature World Traveller

11Ants Bikes is a new Dutch company with a range of belt drive bikes equipped with Rohloff hubs and gearboxes. 11Ants will debut their new mANTis built up with a Gates Carbon Drive. The frame, which has been nominated for awards in the Mountain Bike and Bicycle Components categories at Bike Motion, is shown below. Looking forward to seeing the full build!

11 ANTS mANTis frame


Gazelle is a leading Dutch bike company that has introduced the Ultimate S8, below. We expect this will be a highly popular model in The Netherlands in 2016.


Another fun bike in the Gates booth will be Frank Schneider’s Nicolai Argon LowFat, which “Schneidi” has ridden in many cool video and photo shoots, including this pond skimming splashdown. See the full photo shoot in “When Pigs Fly.”

Nicolai FatBike_Schneidi_splash

If you plan to attend the show, make sure to check out Santos Bikes, a premium custom brand that will show its full line of Gates Carbon Drive equipped bikes. See you there!

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Unicycle double belt

Dual drives are increasingly popular on unicycles, or “unis” as riders call them. Why? A single drive can cause the seat tube to twist. Dual drives also balance the torque applied to the bottom bracket. This is especially true on tall unis, called giraffes. This double-belted wooden giraffe was created by Jay Kinsinger, an assistant professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Cedarville University in Ohio. “It’s the only one I know of in the world,” says Kinsinger, who makes wooden bikes under the brand Sojourner Cyclery when not teaching. “The Gates Carbon Drive is a quantum leap smoother than the old chain drive I was using.”


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Maxx Pink atop mt

Elisabeth owns a restaurant in the German village of Miesbach that has a pink color scheme. Last winter, she teamed up with videographer Colin Stewart and Maxx Bikes to create a custom pink and belted fat bike. The video below shows the making of the bike, which uses a Jagamoasta frame from Maxx, along with a Rohloff hub and belt drive. We enjoyed the peak inside the Maxx operation as it powdercoats the frame, builds the wheels and hands off the bike to Elisabeth, who seems pretty stoked about the whole process.

Want to see the bike in action? Read Stewart’s story, see more pictures and watch the followup video in which Elisabeth goes ice fishing and then rides up a ski slope to grill her catch. On, of course, Pinkbike.com.


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2015 team above Denver skyline

photo credits: Tim Lucking

Meet the 2015 Team Gates Carbon Drive in its natural habitat–the trails and foothills of Denver. Colorado is one of the best places in the world to ride, and the Gates team is once again ripping up the Rocky Mountain singletrack. Mitch Westall, Jesse Swift, Carlos Vulgamott, Derek Strong, Tim Lucking and Ryan McFarling are riding belt drive Spot Brand Honey Badger and Cream frames, equipped with TRP’s new Slate T4 brakes. Other sponsors include Lazer (helmets and glasses), Crank Brothers (pedals) and Primal (team kits).

The team will compete in the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series, the Winter Park Series and races throughout Colorado virtually every weekend all summer. The goal is to win races–and also show how tough the Gates Carbon Drive belts are. The squad had 35 podium finishes last year. Swift won the SS class at the Dakota Five-O. Vulgamott (aka the Vegan Singlespeeder) will race his third straight Breck Epic this season, shooting for a podium finish again. Vulgamott won the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series overall SS last year. Westall won the Winter Park Series overall SS, and McFarling and Strong won the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde duo. Get updates, race results and info on the team Facebook page, and on Twitter @teamcarbondrive.

2015 team Ryan riding

2015 team Derek riding

2015 team Mitch headshot

Mitch Westall

2015 Ryan headshot goof

Ryan McFarling

2015 team Jesse headshot

Jesse Swift

2015 team Carlos headshot

Carlos “the Vegan Singlespeeder” Vulgamott

2015 team Derek headshot

Derek Strong

2015 team Tim headshot

Tim Lucking, looking belt drive tough!


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