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
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.
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.
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!
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.”
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!
Matthew Small is a 15-year Marine Corps veteran serving in Afghanistan as a member of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, a high-risk job that involves removing bombs and IEDs (improvised explosive devices) that have claimed many lives in the war-torn country. On Sept. 21 and 22 Small and three other Marines will embark on a charity ride like no other: They will pedal 160 miles through a combat zone to raise money for wounded and fallen ordnance disposal technicians.
The ride will raise money for the EOD Warrior Foundation (www.eodwarriorfoundation.com), a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to the families of injured and fallen Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians and family members. The EODRIDE (www.eodride.org) was created to honor EOD Technicians, promote healthy healing and camaraderie among supporters. EOD Rides are held annually in locations across the United States and overseas. The Afghanistan EOD Ride will be a first.
Last year, Small led eight fellow technicians on a course through the hills of Okinawa, Japan. “Upon hearing of my deployment to Afghanistan I began planning for another memorable ride; the Afghan EODRIDE,” Small says. “My sincerest hope is that my efforts and time inspire others to give a little more, push a little farther and never give up when presented with a challenge.” Learn more about the Afghan EOD Ride at www.facebook.com/afghaneodride. So far Small and his buddies have raised more than $3,000 for the foundation.
Small will ride a custom Trek District with Gates Carbon Drive. He worked with Gates engineers to upgrade his bike with a CenterTrack belt drive system. “With over a thousand miles of training rides on the bike to date, I am pleased with the feel, performance and reliability of the CenterTrack system,” Small writes us.
Stay tuned for an update from Small after the ride. Meantime, consider making a donation at the links above, and share the Afghan EODRide Facebook link with your friends.
Attending the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, Calif., later this week? Look for these belt drive bikes in the expo area and take one for a demo ride.
Breezer Bicycles, the brand founded by pioneering mountain biker Joe Breeze, introduced the Beltway this year. The Beltway, offered in three models with different spec, is a fully equipped commuter bike whose geometry is based on Breezer’s acclaimed Finesse range bike. It’s made for speedy trips to work or across town. Breezer will be showing the Beltway Infinity, which features Carbon Drive and the Nuvinci N360 continuously variable planetary hub for smooth and silent shifting.
Redline will have the Monobelt 29er (below), a belt drive version of their legendary Monocog, available for demo rides.
Saturday is cyclocross day at Sea Otter, with a host of races in the afternoon. Watch for the speedy singlespeeders from Ritte Racing in the 5pm SS race. Ritte has some of the sexiest belt drive cross bikes on the planet (click here more pics).
Photo credit John Watson
Boo Bicycles, the bamboo specialists, are launching their new brand–Aluboo–at Sea Otter. These bikes will be a bamboo- aluminum hybrid and they offer consumers the choice of a Carbon Drive instead of a chain. Visit em in BOOth 220.
Boo will also have their new fashion bike brand Glissando, which elegantly mixes bamboo and titanium, on hand.
Visit Raleigh’s booth to see the XXIX…
And the Misceo iTrail 11:
BMC, maker of the BMC urbanchallenge (the official lifestyle bike of BMC Racing Team) will also be at the Otter:
Attending the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (Feb. 22-24 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver)? Come drink some Oskar Blues beer, hear music from Chain Station (we’d prefer if they were called Belt Station but so be it), and participate in some bike-related hoopla at our after-party. The party will be at Blake Street Tavern on Friday Feb. 22 starting at 7pm. We will have drawings for bike swag, with all proceeds benefiting Trips for Kids and Bike Denver. There will even be some sweet custom belt drive bikes to ogle.
If you are attending the show at the convention center, make sure to visit the Gates Carbon Drive booth. We will have some beautiful custom belt drive bikes on display, and there will be lots of belt drive bikes in booths around the show.
The Mezzaluna Mixte from Muse Cycles