Budapest is known as the Paris of Eastern Europe, a historic and cosmopolitan city whose art, architecture and culture rival the most beautiful metropolitan areas on the planet. The urban biking scene is growing here every year, which delights Péter Scsaurszki, the founder of Massive Bikes. “The government understands that it must create more bike lanes, bike parking and better cycling infrastructure. When that happens there will be a big wave of growth.”
Massive Bikes is the Gates Carbon Drive distributor for Hungary and the epicenter of the urban belt drive scene. The company specializes in modifying frames to accommodate the Gates belt drive, such as this retro Schwinn cruiser, and Massive also sells belt-ready frames and complete bikes from Schindelhauer, Tout Terrain, Mi-Tech and FABike. “We only sell products that we believe in, and we ride and test everything we sell,” Scsaurszki says.
His favorite recent build uses the carbon FABike frame and fork, paired with an aero aluminum wheelset, 35 mm tires and a Gates belt drive that utilizes a 60 x 20 sprocket combo. “I climbed up the hill to Dobogókő on it and this bike amazed me. The chainstay design on the FABike is really stiff and perfect for the Gates belt drive. I have never used a bike frame that is as stiff from the bottom bracket to the rear axle. It provides a super responsive ride quality.”
The FABike has vertical dropouts with a horizontal slider mechanism so that belt tension can be set perfectly and, in case of a flat tire, the rear wheel can be removed and re-installed without having to re-set the belt tension. The FaBike also has exchangeable rear dropouts that accomodate 120 mm track and 130 mm road hubs, as well as 135 mm geared hubs. Total weight of the frameset: 1.9 kg.
Scsaurszki is a busy man. He is completing his thesis in structural engineering and plans to specialize in bridge construction. His passion, however, is bicycles. Scaurszki has ridden across Europe, including 1,960 kilometers in nine days from Berlin to Toulouse, and as we conducted this interview he was touring in the Alps on his belt drive Mi-Tech. One day he hopes to create his own brand of urban bikes that use the new CDN system and internal hubs. “This could be a really big seller in Hungary,” he says. One more big thing we expect to see in Hungary in the future: more bridges with bike lanes. massivebikes.com
Spot Brand has launched several new city bikes and updated its singlespeed cyclocross bike with bold colors and red belts. The Five Points Open and the Five Points (below) are two new value-oriented city bikes that feature round alloy tubes, fat 40c tires, three-speed SRAM shifters and Gates Carbon Drive. They are named for a revitalized Denver neighborhood–a nod to Spot’s home just outside of the Mile High City.
The Champa, named for a prominent Denver Street, features a streamlined steel frame with a graphite finish. Pictured below, it features Gates Carbon Drive’s CDX system and an Alfine 8-speed hub. Spot compares the Champa to a classic gray suit–stylish, reliable, never flashy and good for any occasion. The Wazee (pictured below the Champa) features a Carbon Drive Red belt paired with an Alfine 11. It’s a city bike “for cyclists who desire the classic road-feel and confident handling of a refined steel frame, combined with the ultimate urban drivetrain.” The Wazee’s gloss black frame features a color splash inspired by the legendary Martini Race Team of 1970s Grand Prix Porsches.
Spot calls the Rallye SS cyclocross bike its two-wheeled answer to the rally car, a rugged speed machine that excels in all conditions: mud, grass, gravel, pavement. Curved seat stays and a Time Trial cutout provide vertical compliance and a confident ride feel. And those colors epitomize the phrase “eye candy.” spotbrand.com
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.
Carlos “the Vegan Singlespeeder” Vulgamott
Tim Lucking, looking belt drive tough!
Zoltán Bakó is one hard Hungarian. This summer the fixie fanatic and founder of Fixed X Hungary will do two rides worthy of the record books: a time trial across Hungary, attempting to beat his old record; and an Ironman triathlon that will require him to run 21 km, swim 1.9 km and cycle 90 km. This would be tough on a geared bike. On a one-speed fixie? Insane. But like we said, Zoltán is a hard dude. “I’m an amateur athlete but this year I am training with a professional coach who is helping me get fit for the Ironman. My schedule is quite hard: six days of training per week. All bike sessions are on my belted fixie.”
Last year, Zoltán rode 443 km (275 miles) for 22 hours and 37 minutes on his fixed gear bike to set a new Guinness record across Hungary. This year he wants to beat that record, and he has set a tentative date of late June or early July for the ride. A month-and-a-half later on August 22 he will compete in the Ironman 70.3 Budapest. His bike was created by his company, BBS Cycle, a belt drive specialist. Zoltán enjoys the Gates belt drive (“szíj hajtás” in Hungarian) due to its light weight and low maintenance.
60-tooth front sprocket, 21-tooth rear with a 108-tooth belt
Follow Zoltán at www.facebook.com/fixedxhungary and on his website www.fixedxhungary.hu
Residents of Hungary who would like to learn more about Gates Carbon Drive can contact our official Hungarian distributor, Massive Bikes.
The Sea Otter Classic bike show this week (April 16-19 in Monterey, California) will offer bike lovers the chance to see a range of new bicycles featuring the Gates Carbon Drive system including the STEPS Child from Ti Cycles, above. This high-concept pedal-assist eBike features the Shimano STEPS mid-drive for fast touring and commuting.
California-based eBike brand Tempo Bikes is launching its new Carmel hybrid electric bike at Sea Otter.
Tempo will also show its Santa Barbara step-through model, below. tempobicycles.com
Breezer will show the Beltway Elite, a fully equipped and award-winning commuter bike. Read Bicycling Magazine’s review, in which the editor wishes her commute to work was actually longer. breezerbikes.com
Touring cyclists and readers of Adventure Cyclist magazine will want to check out the Siskiyou Rohloff, the new 27.5 wheel trekking bike from Co-Motion.
Marin will have its Fairfax SC6 DLX at the Otter. Read Outside Magazine’s review, in which writer Aaron Gulley says: “Out of the box, this is one of the cleanest, best functioning, and seductive utility bikes I’ve come across.”
Legendary mountain bike brand Ibis will display it Tranny Unchained, a full-carbon race rig for singlespeeders who want fast and light performance. Read the reviews about the bike and belt on MTBR.com and Bike Magazine and Dirt Rag.
See you in Monterey!