Gates is introducing a new series of high-mileage sprockets for expedition cyclists called CDX:EXP™ that offers extended range and durability in abrasive off-road conditions. CDX:EXP sprockets are for use with Rohloff geared hubs. Rohloff is a close partner of Gates, and its hubs combined with Gates belt drives are an increasingly popular application for trekking cyclists who seek a low-maintenance, strong and clean alternative to chains and derailleurs when riding way off the map.
The extra durability derives from the 25 percent increase in surface area compared to regular CDX™ sprockets. Despite their extra strength, the CDX:EXP sprockets weigh only a few grams more than current CDX sprockets due to a redesign of the sprocket interface. The CDX:EXP sprockets are currently available in three front sizes (pictured above) and four rear sizes for cyclists who want to upgrade their existing CDX drives. The 39-tooth front sprocket is also designed for use with Pinion gearboxes.
Gates will unveil CDX:EXP at the Eurobike trade show in late August. Europe is the global epicenter of bike trekking. “The CDX:EXP sprockets are an example of how we continue to expand the Carbon Drive product line to meet the needs of the widest range of bicyclists,” says Todd Sellden, global director of Gates Carbon Drive. Read the full Eurobike news release.
Other new products shown at Eurobike include the S300 silver crank arm for use with CDX five bolt sprockets, and the new XSE series rear sprockets for use with the CDN belt drive system.
As spin classes become more popular for winter training and urban fitness, leading manufacturers of stationary bikes are using Gates Carbon Drive belts for smooth, strong and low-maintenance performance. Stages Indoor Cycling says its new SC2 and SC3 models provide “one of the smoothest, most realistic rides available indoors.” The bikes’ CarbonGlyde drive system uses a special Carbon Drive belt to power the flywheel. Stages says the Gates belt provides “unparalleled reliability and lack of maintenance.” stagesindoorcycling.com
Tour de France fans may have seen advertisements for the official Le Tour de France indoor cycle from FreeMotion Fitness, below. This spin bike delivers a quiet, smooth, powerful and efficient training ride thanks to its Gates Carbon Drive system. You can’t race in Le Tour, but you can spin on the official Tour stationary bike while watching TV coverage this summer–and dreaming of the French countryside. freemotionfitness.com
Schwinn Fitness now offers two indoor bikes with Gates belts: the A.C. Performance Plus and the A.C. Sport. Schwinn Fitness calls its drive system Carbon Blue. Watch the video below to learn about what makes Carbon Blue so special. Now spin faster! schwinncarbonblue.com
You can’t play a solo on your Gates Carbon Drive belt, but you can measure the belt’s tension like a guitar hero with a new Android app. The Carbon Drive Android app is available for free download in Google’s online store and is a followup to Gates’ popular iPhone app, also available for free in the Apple iTunes store. The Android and iPhone apps allow users to measure belt tension and determine the correct belt and sprocket combinations to achieve a desired gear ratio. A third screen on the apps provides a catalog of the Carbon Drive product range.
The sonic frequency meter on both apps operates similar to a guitar tuner. It uses the microphone on the smartphones to measure the frequency of the belt. Simply pluck the belt like a guitar string, check the frequency and adjust the tension on your bike. Rock and Roll!
The X1 from Schiller Sports blurs the line between boats and bikes. The frame is made of rust-free anodized aluminum, with stainless steel components and inflatable pontoons. The propulsion system features a Gates Carbon Drive belt and sprockets because a chain would corrode. The X1 may be the most advanced water bike ever created, a vehicle that allows bicyclists to “experience the thrill and freedom of biking across a spectacular blue planet,” says company founder and CEO Judah Schiller.
Riders steer the X1 via two oscillating props connected to the handlebars. It weighs about 45 pounds, can be disassembled to fit into the trunk of a car or home closet and can hit speeds of 8 knots (10 miles per hour) depending on rider ability. Schiller worked with engineer Marcus Hays, founder of Gates belt drive eBike brand Pi Cycle, on the design. “If you can ride a bike, you can ride the Schiller X1 anywhere there’s water,” Schiller told USA Today in an article about the invention. “I had the X1 out at the beach locally, about a mile offshore, and ended up biking with dolphins.”
The X1 costs $6,495, with a special Founder’s Edition for $8,775. The company is based in the Bay Area and all X1s are manufactured in Northern California. Learn more at www.schillerbikes.com. Just watch out for sharks.
Judah Schiller chilling on the X1 off the coast of Northern California, above, and pedaling near the Golden Gate Bridge.
Electronic shifting is a relatively new technology with big potential. By eliminating stretchy shifter cables, electronic systems such as Shimano’s Alfine Di2 have the potential to make bicycling easier and more intuitive by allowing faster, sure-fire shifts and less maintenance. Gates Carbon Drive has partnered with Shimano to integrate with its Alfine Di2 system. Pictured below is a Carbon Drive sprocket integrated with an Alfine Di2 hub.
BMC is specing the Carbon Drive/Alfine Di2 setup on its new AC01 Alfine Di2, which Road Bike Review wrote about at Eurobike 2013. Look for more bike models featuring this clean, low-maintenance setup next year. The future has arrived, and it’s belted and electronic.