All photos: Christian Habel
Located in Chile’s arid Atacama Desert, the Ojos del Salado is the second tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere at 6,893 meters (22,615 feet). It’s a cold, barren and unforgiving landscape. Earlier this year, German adventurer Guido Kunze came here on a quest to set a new world record for the highest altitude bike ride. His successful quest is featured in the German documentary, “Die Chile Challenge.”
A national hero in Germany, Guido set the record at 6:02 p.m. on October 16, 2014, when his Garmin Edge showed him topping out at 6,233 meters (20,449 feet). Guido had ridden for 37 hours, 11 minutes and 12 seconds, pedaling 342 kilometers (212 miles) from the warm Pacific coast to the thin air of Ojos del Salado. High winds, soft sand and a lack of oxygen pressed Guido to the limit, requiring him to push his bike the final meters, but fitness and fortitude allowed him to beat the previous record of 6,085 meters (19,964 feet).
The Ojos del Salado is the latest crazy athletic feat for Guido, an ultra runner and ultra cyclist whose adventure resume includes riding the Tour de France course in nine and a half days, crossing Australia by bike in seven days, mountain biking the Great Wall of China, completing the Race Across America, and more.
Guido completed the adventure on a Ghost fat bike with a Gates Carbon Drive belt system and a Pinion gearbox. The bike and components were chosen to give Guido superior traction on the steep sand, and to provide low gearing, surefire shifting, and no chain maintenance during the ride. Read more about the adventure and bike at Ghost Bikes. Thanks to photographer Christian Habel for all the images in this post.
Guido with support crew after breaking the record.
Winter is dark and cold in the Finnish Lapland, the northernmost region of Finland above the Arctic Circle. This region is home to vast herds of reindeer and to the indigenous Sámi people, as well as the aurora borealis that casts a colorful glow across the night sky. Sunlight is fleeting. Days seem like perpetual dusk due to the low angle of the sun. It is not someplace where one thinks of going for a bike ride.
In this harsh and beautiful setting, Swedish bicyclist Oskar Juhlin will compete in the 150-kilometer Rovaniemi Arctic Fat Bike Race from Feb. 20-22. Wearing a headlamp and lights he will ride through the night, resting briefly to eat, sleep and drink water, surviving the frigid nights in a polar sleeping bag. Juhlin is an endurance athlete and industrial designer in Stockholm. “I love biking and I love snow,” he says. Juhlin will ride a custom Mi:Tech fat tire bike with a Pinion P1.18 gearbox and Gates Carbon Drive belt system. He chose these components to avoid mechanical problems with a chain and derailleur in the snow. “I’m impressed how well the combo of Pinion and Gates works in the snow and ice. It seems like the belt cleans itself from the snow and slush.” Juhlin took these photos while training. Good luck Oskar, and stay warm. More information at pinion.eu
Gates-Nicolai Mountain Bike Team member–and Swiss BMX champion–David Graf ditches his BMX bike for a Nicolai Argon FAT in the new video “Pig Rodeo.” Watch G-Raf fly the tabletops and air out his balloon tires like a supersonic swine on the trails of Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Frank Schneider of the Gates-Nicolai mountain bike team shatters the stereotype that fat bikes are for old guys with beards who want to go for slow rides in the snowy woods. “Schneidi” met up recently with photographer Hoshi Yoshida for a shoot in a gravel pit near the Nicolai headquarters in Germany. The Argon Fat that he is riding is one of the most innovative fat bikes on the market. Thanks to the Pinion gearbox and Gates belt it provides twice the fun with none of the grease. The Argon Fat will be displayed at Eurobike next week and Interbike in early September. If you are attending, come check it out. You may not be able to ride this pig like Schneidi, but imagine how fun it will be in the snowy woods.
Gates will showcase a wide range of innovative bicycles and electric bikes at the Eurobike trade show in late August, including a beautiful Gulf Racing themed fixie from Overlap Bikes, whose colorful frame and drive are shown above. Read the full news release about Gates at Eurobike 2014 here. Gates will display bikes with Carbon Drive from Canyon, Stevens, Grace, Biomega, Ibis, Idworx, Flitzbike, Nicolai, Schindelhauer, Overlap, Dvoika, Faraday and Electrolyte. In addition, many other brands will display new models equipped with Gates Carbon Drive belts in their own booths: Ghost, Cube, Marin, Tout Terrain, Kettler, Mika Amaro, Patria, Riesse & Muller, Pilot, Derby, BMC, and more. New eBike brand Klaxon will launch multiple new models with Gates Carbon Drive in its booth and Demo tent. Below we offer a sneak peak at some of the bikes that Gates will show in its booth (A2-203) and at Demo Day, as well as some top picks that will be displayed elsewhere on the show floor.
Flitzbike is headquartered in the Upper Swabia region of southern Germany. For 2015 Flitzbike is introducing the CR18 Electric, a high-performance e-mountain bike that looks super-fun to ride.
The motto of Danish brand Biomega is Furniture for Locomotion. Their NYC, to be displayed in the Gates booth, comes in an eight-speed electronic shifting version, or with a two-speed auto shift, and features a mud guard on the downtube. Biomega will also launch a new cargo bike with Gates Carbon Drive at Eurobike in their own booth (A6-303B).
Bergamont is a favorite German brand with several models equipped with Gates Carbon Drive. Below is the E-Line C MGN.
Marin is an iconic brand that helped introduce the world to mountain bikes 30 years ago. In recent years it has pushed into the pavement category. New for 2015 is the Fairfax SC6 DLX, Marin’s top commuter bike. Marin will display the bike in its Eurobike booth (B4-100).
is a stylish new eBike brand that will display its Porteur (below) in the Gates booth. Faraday plans to launch in Europe in 2015, and its Porteur has been a big hit in the USA.
Overlap’s Gulf Racing themed fixie is a must-see for street riders and track aficionados.
The Grace MXII, below, is widely considered to be one of the most stylish and high performance eBikes on the market.
For mountain bikers, Gates will display the new Ibis Tranny “Unchained” belt drive singlespeed—among the most coveted singlespeed race bikes available. Read our previous post about the Tranny, Ibis Unchained: Unleashing a Singlespeed Legend.
Nicolai will likewise show its new Ion 16 enduro bike with Gates belt and Effigear gearbox. This innovative MTB pushes the boundaries of what is possible for a rugged and low-maintenance enduro bike. Nicolai will also show it’s Argon Fat, below, which can be seen shredding and flying like no fat bike ever has in this video. It’s fääzzt and fett!
Gates Carbon Drive’s motto for Eurobike is “Belting the world’s best bikes and eBikes. We will post more photos of Gates equipped bikes in the coming weeks leading up to Eurobike, so stay tuned. Meantime, read more about the new bikes, products and innovations that Gates will unveil at Eurobike.