Nua means nude or bare in Catalan, the official language of Andorra and parts of Northeast Spain. It is also the name of a new Barcelona bike brand that specializes in clean, hand-polished titanium frames equipped with Gates belt drives and offering a simple aesthetic. “I love riding bicycles because of the sensation of freedom they give me, but I’m also attracted to them as objects,” says Nua founder Roberto Aznar, a former professional industrial designer with degrees in mechanical and materials engineering. “Two years ago I decided to stop designing industrial machines and start making bicycles.”
Aznar is a do-it-yourself guy who learned how to do plumbing, electrical wiring, welding, bricklaying and carpentry while building his home. He makes furniture and musical instruments and built his own recording studio. He applies that creativity and discipline to his bikes. Aznar calls titanium “the eternal material” because it doesn’t corrode–and he offers a lifetime guarantee on his frames. “Our bikes are meant for a discerning client who appreciates well-made things. The world is already full of things that break down, which never work right and frustrate the user.”
The SC-01 pictured here is an agile singlespeed with features including a seat post clamp integrated into the frame, internal cable routing and eyelets for fenders and racks. Other touches include a Brooks saddle and matching leather grips, titanium handlebars and Mavic rims. Aznar is now preparing to launch a second model–this one with an internally geared hub combined with the Gates Carbon Drive system. “The Gates belt drive is simply the best option for a single speed or internal gear hub city bike.”
No matter what language you speak, that’ s the bare naked truth. nuabikes.com
When Gates decided to launch its new red belt, Australia’s Flying Machine Bicycles was an obvious choice to partner with for a custom bike to showcase Carbon Drive Red. Flying Machine makes bikes that are works of art and science. It is also an early adopter in the bike industry of 3D printing. The F-One titanium city bike created by Flying Machine features 3D printed titanium lugs that join the bike’s titanium tubing. The bike features many other top-level components: Alfine 11 hub, White Industries front hub and bottom bracket, H Plus Son ‘Archetype’ rims, Schwalbe ‘Durano’ tires. The artistry and style of this bike perfectly represent the objectives of Carbon Drive Red: to create a high-performance drivetrain that performs as elegantly as it looks.
This bike was made for an intellectual property lawyer in the United States. “His legal specialty is IP issues to do with 3D printing,” says Matthew Andrews, who founded Flying Machine in 2009. The paintwork was done by hand in Flying Machine’s studio in Perth, located in far Western Australia on the Indian Ocean. “We sell probably forty percent of our bikes to international customers, mostly in the U.S. but also Europe and the UK and a few in Asia.”
Despite its remote location across the entire continent from Sydney and the big population centers of Australia, Perth is a modern, cosmopolitan city with a rich cycling scene. “The cycling infrastructure in the city is very good so it’s easy to get around by bike,” Andrews says. “There is a big commuter and urban bicycling contingent and also a strong road bike culture and a mountain bike scene in the hills behind the city. The weather and lifestyle here are great. Summer days are quite hot but winter is very mild with not much rain. Autumn and Spring are pretty much perfect.” Not that Andrews has much time to relax. “Too many bikes to build.”
See more Flying Machine bikes with Gates Carbon Drive here
With more than a century of cycling heritage, Raleigh is one of the most respected bicycle brands in the world. The company is also a leading innovator and supporter of the Gates belt drive revolution. For 2015, Raleigh USA has expanded its lineup of Gates Carbon Drive equipped bikes to six models. Pictured above is the colorful XXIX singlespeed 29er mountain bike–a flashy yet low-maintenance machine for SS racers–or a dream quiver bike for geared riders who want to simplify. It features a Fox Float 100mm fork and hydraulic discs on a nimble Chromoly frame.
Not a mountain biker? Raleigh offers a broad spectrum of belted bikes, from cyclocross and urban commuting to fitness and comfort models.
Above is the brightly colored Alysa i8 women’s fitness bike. The Shimano Nexus 8 internal gear hub paired with a Gates belt and women’s specific frame geometry make the Alysa i8 a speedy and functional machine for riding city bike paths. Mount fenders and a rack and this bike doubles as a grease-free daily commuter.
The Cadent i8 is a fitness bike with a Shimano Alfine eight-speed hub. Hydraulic disc brakes, a lightweight carbon fork and commuter-friendly geometry make the Cadent ideal for riding to the gym or work.
The Mesika 4.0 i8 above is in Raleigh’s urban utility line. Raleigh USA calls it “the perfect, hassle-free commuter.” It comes with a Gates belt drive attached to a Shimano Nexus seven-speed internal hub, a comfy Selle Royal saddle, Kenda tires with puncture protection and “set it and forget it” Shimano roller brakes.
The RXS is a performance singlespeed cyclocross race bike with a lightweight alloy frame, carbon fork, Clement tires and TRP hydraulic brakes for added control while cornering or charging downhill on muddy cross courses. The Gates Carbon Drive CenterTrack belt system is a proven winner and eliminates the hassle of cleaning and lubing a chain after a race. Just hose it off, put it away wet and go grab a beer. After you get off the podium, of course.
The Misceo 4.0 is a do-it-all fitness and country road ripper with hydraulic disc brakes, puncture resistant tires and an eight-speed internal hub mated to a Gates belt. The styling is sleek and understated, perfect for no-nonsense bicyclists who want a clean and fast tool to get the job done. With a Gates-equipped bike for everyone, Raleigh has joined the Carbon Drive revolution that is simplifying cycling. How about you?
Guapa Cycles is a new British brand that is combining natural materials to create elegant city bikes. Founded by brothers Tom and Harry Williams, the company’s first bike is the Urban One, which features a frame constructed of bamboo and flax fiber. The flax fiber adds strength and dampens vibrations, and Guapa says its bike frames are as strong as an equivalent steel or aluminum frame.
Flax might sound like a curious choice, but this is not the flax seed you’d find in your breakfast granola. After being harvested in France, the fiber is woven into an incredibly tough fabric in Italy and then impregnated with a resin. “Flax has been chosen over the use of carbon or glass fibre due to its complimentary mechanical properties to wood,” the company says on its website. “This has enabled us to create a wooden bicycle that is lightweight and stiff yet with minimal vibration.” Learn more about the process and watch a video about flax fiber fabric here.
Guapa completes the Urban One with a Gates Carbon Drive belt system and a NuVinci N360 continuously variable planetary hub for clean, smooth and simple pedaling and shifting. Read the Bike Radar story about Guapa. This is bike innovation at its finest. Call it natural selection.
The Commuter from German bike brand Canyon takes urban style and functionality to a new level. The bike’s front light is embedded in the cockpit and powered by dynamos in the dropouts. Cables are routed internally to preserve the Commuter’s smooth and clean aesthetic. Other fine touches include a Shimano Alfine internally geared hub paired with a Gates Carbon Drive belt system, hydraulic disc brakes and a rear fender with an integrated pannier carrier. The Commuter is European city bike design at its finest. The judges at Eurobike agree, awarding the Commuter one of just 10 gold medals in the Eurobike design competition last week. Here’s what they said:
“In terms of appearance we’ve rarely seen an urban bike that reinterprets this theme as radically as the Commuter from Canyon. The bike’s understated design is very elegant. There was virtually no other competition entry where we so quickly agreed that it deserved a design award.”
Congratulations to Canyon and urban bike brand manager Sebastian Wegerle for winning this prestigious prize and for designing such an intelligent bike that so artfully blends form with function. Find out where to buy your Commuter at the Canyon website. Two more bikes featuring the Gates Carbon Drive system won Eurobike awards, and we will feature those bikes from KTM and Cannondale in an upcoming post.