Mountain Bikes Category Archive

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!


  • Share

Soma Buena Vista_on beach

“Rides like a dream.” That’s how Daniel Levin describes his new eleven-speed, electronic shifting belt-drive Buena Vista. Bilenky Cycle Works added a split on the Soma Fabrications frame to allow the Gates Carbon Drive to be installed. “They put the frame splitter on the lowest tube in an artful manner that blends in seamlessly,” Levin says. The battery pack for the Alfine Di2 electronic shifter was placed on the down tube in a manner that preserves the water bottle cage mounts. An Acorn saddlebag, Brooks Swallow saddle and Tubus titanium rack complete the build. “The only noise when riding is the slight hum of the Gatorskin tires on the pavement. And of course there is never any grease to worry about,” says Levin, who complimented Bilenky’s skillful work.

SomaBuena Vista Full Bike-Belt Side_on beach

Soma Buena Vista Belt Detail

For Soma Fabrications fans who want an easier solution without having to install a frame splitter, the San Francisco area brand recently announced that it now offers three Gates Carbon Drive compatible frames: The B-Side, Juice and Wolverine. You can also find other bikes and frames with the Gates Carbon Drive system on the Gates bike finder page. All three Soma frames are available with a split Tange Sliding Dropout. The Wolverine was initially designed to be a “monster cross” bike, but its stable geometry makes it ideal for off-road touring. Australian Mountain Bike Magazine recently reviewed the Wolverine, calling it “an absolute winner.” The Juice is a 29er hardtail, the B-Side (pictured below) a 27.5 hardtail.

  • Share

Ti Cycles STEPS Child_sea otter

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 Carmel

Tempo will also show its Santa Barbara step-through model, below.



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.



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.

Co-Motion Siskiyou

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.”

2015 Marin_Muir Woods_iphoninge on bridge-crop

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 and Bike Magazine and Dirt Rag.


 See you in Monterey!





  • Share

Ti Cycles Bonestealer_profile in ferns

The BoneStealer stalks the lush fern forests of Oregon. This stealthy titanium predator is the official race bike of the PDX Ti team. It’s another masterpiece from the magicians at Portland’s Ti Cycles. The BoneStealer’s curvaceous frame features Ti Cycles’ signature pierced top tube and monostay design. Fully customizable, it has a 120 mm fork (with 100 mm and 140 mm options), belt-drive dropouts, and multiple wheel size options: 29, 26 or 27.5 inch, plus 69er (26 rear, 29 front) or 675 (26 rear, 27.5 front).

Ti Cycles Bonestealer_top tube

Ti Cycles Bonestealer_sliding dropout

Ti Cycles is renowned for its innovative bikes across all styles. Its SOLID city bike was a runner-up in the prestigious Oregon Manifest competition and was featured in Wired Magazine and many other media outlets. Founder Dave Levy is passionate about transportation bikes and has recently created two new electric bikes that will appear at upcoming bike trade shows.

The FIX-E is a fast and fun electric bike powered by the intriguing Zehus hub motor. The Zehus has no external wires, recharges its internal battery with regenerative braking and is operated from a handlebar mounted smartphone app with wireless Bluetooth connectivity. The FIX-E’s titanium frame, bar and stem have internal cable routing for a sleek aesthetic. Look for the FIX-E at the Bespoked UK Handmade Bicycle Show (April 17-19 in Bristol, England).

Ti Cycles Fix-E profile

Ti Cycles Fix-E zehus

Ti Cycles Fix-E bars and headtube

Now meet your STEPS Child. This pedelec showcases the new Shimano STEPS eBike drive system, and it will be displayed in the Shimano booth at the Sea Otter Classic bike show (April 16-19 in Monterey, California). With its STEPS mid-drive motor, Di2 electronic shifting, randonneur geometry, Gates belt drive, plus custom racks with integrated battery, fender and lock mounts, this performance eBike is made for roaming forested and fern-dappled lonely roads.

Ti Cycles STEPS Child_profile

Ti Cycles STEPS Child_motor

Ti Cycles STEPS Child_cockpit

Ti Cycles STEPS Child_light

  • Share

©Earl Harper

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.

©Earl Harper
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.

©Earl Harper

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.

©Earl Harper

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.

©Earl Harper

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.

©Earl Harper

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?

©Earl Harper

  • Share