Rob English of English Cycles was among the custom bicycle builders who gathered in Sacramento, California, for the North American Handmade Bike Show in late February. English presented two of the show’s most intriguing belt drive bikes, including this winter commuter for a customer in New Zealand. It features an integrated rack, custom fenders, electronic shifting, a pump mount and a stunning blue finish.
This post includes a selection of some of the show’s most intriguing belt drive bikes, as shot by Gates engineer and photographer Tim Lucking. In addition to the blue bike, English presented the Right 29 singlespeed mountain bike, created for a customer in Seattle. With its single belt stay and single right fork the bike’s appearance beguiles the eyes as the wheels appear to float freely from the frame. This bike is based on the Right Bike that English presented at a previous NAHBS. To keep the frame stiff, he mounted the Gates Carbon Drive on the outside of the stay–eliminating the need for a split in the rear triangle. Rob’s wife, Misha, showed the bike with some rocking socks.
REEB Cycles presented multiple Gates belted bikes including the Dikyelous Boost with 27.5-plus wheels. Read their press release and see more pics here. We convinced fabricator Chris “Soultrain” Sulfrian to ham for the camera and test the bike’s wall-riding capabilities.
Gates shared a booth with both REEB and Cycle Monkey, the U.S. distributor for Rohloff hubs. Cycle Monkey showed multiple bikes pairing Gates belts with Rohloff hubs, including the titanium Black Sheep below. The red anodized hubs and sprocket really pop. Check out Black Sheep’s red belted rig from last year.
Craig Calfee of Calfee Design is best known for his carbon frames but he also pioneered some of the first bamboo bikes. Calfee showed this bamboo fixie at NAHBS, and in June he will travel to Africa as part of an effort to develop locally built transport bikes in the Congo. Calfee plans to test Gates Carbon Drive belts on the Congo bikes due to their longevity and strength versus chains. Learn more about the Africa project on the Congo Transport to Market Bicycle Project Facebook page. And check out the crazy wood shop eBike he created for a previous NAHBS.
Co-Motion, a leading touring bike brand that uses Carbon Drive on many of its models, presented this off-road touring rig featuring the Pinion gearbox. Pinion is a German company whose low-maintenance gearboxes are highly popular in Europe, and which may soon be more widely available in North America.
Fans of endurance racing may remember Ventana from the record-smashing victory that a Kiwi rider had on one of their bikes in the Tour Divide. Like Co-Motion and REEB, Ventana presented a Pinion bike at NAHBS–the Wolfram with 27.5-plus sized tires. The Pinion system, mounted at the bottom bracket, pairs well with the Gates Carbon Drive system to create a low-maintenance adventure rig.
Chris Connor of Connor Wood Bicycles is a Denver-area builder and former guitar maker who specializes in wooden frames made of ash and walnut. You may remember him from the Louisville Slugger baseball bat bike he created last year for NAHBS in Louisville, Kentucky. One of his wooden bikes was even raced in the Leadville 100.
Ti Cycles of Portland showed several Gates belted rigs including this titanium electric bike with a Zehus hub, a sleek technology developed in Italy that packs the batteries, brains and drive motor into a hub controlled by a smartphone app. This is one of the lightest eBikes we have ever seen. Ti Cycles is the US contact for Zehus.
Ti Cycles also showed another new invention at the show, the RockerBone, which can be installed on the Rocker Drops from Paragon Machine Works to easily lock in belt tension. It’s an elegant solution and we will share more info on social media in the coming weeks.
TRed is an Italian brand making its first appearance at NAHBS. They presented several Gates rigs including this steel Camobeast.
Santana specializes in high-end tandems. The brand uses Gates Carbon Drive timing belts to shave weight and provide a low-maintenance and high-mileage solution. Santana also offers tandem bike tours in the United States and Europe.
Journey Cycles exhibited in the New Builder aisle and showed this custom carbon rig with aero rims. Founder Matt Conrad did carbon frame repairs for many years before recently launching his own bike line. We dig the elevated stays on this bike.
Want to see more photos from NAHBS 2016? Check out our Flickr gallery, as well as our photo galleries from previous NAHBS. Thanks to Tim Lucking for his artistic photography. Come see us next year when NAHBS moves to Salt Lake City, where Gates plans to belt Utah and cook up something even bigger and better. And now we’ll let Soultrain ride us outta here.
Chris Sulfrian of REEB Cycles was bunny hopping happy at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. As we all were. NAHBS is the premier showcase for custom bicycles from across America and the world. Gates photographer Tim Lucking was in Louisville, Kentucky, to capture the iconic images that make NAHBS such a treat for bike nerds.
First up is this beach bike from Groovy Cycles. The rear rack includes a mount for carrying a surfboard and the frame is hand painted with an ocean theme. The wooden rims and fenders are handmade, and the saddle was hand-engraved with a photo of the bike’s owner catching a wave.
Groovy Cycles owner Rody Walters produced this custom singlespeed mountain bike for his daughter, Emily, who will race it this season in her high school league. Looks like she can’t wait to get this Funk Machine dirty.
Vibe Cycles created this belted fat bike, “The Knarr,” for snow riding in Idaho. Sweet detailing with the snowflake rear light and curvaceous top tube.
From Japan comes the Samurai Bike, inspired by the armor and swords of the ancient warriors. How much does it cost? If you have to ask you can’t afford it.
REEB, the bike brand of Oskar Blues Brewery, presented multiple belted bikes including this fat bike with the Pinion gearbox and Carbon Drive Red.
This cyclocross bike from REEB is red hot and ready for some beer handups.
REEB’s rugged Sam’s Pants commuter with a Rohloff internally geared hub and belt is perfect for Colorado cruising.
The REEB crew does snow rides every Tuesday night in Colorado all winter. We would too if we had one of these Donkadonk fat bikes with a dropper seatpost.
REEB’s Dikyelous SS mountain bike is a singletrack slayer. Love that headbadge!
Rohloff USA distributor Cycle Monkey partnered with Gates and REEB to show multiple Rohloff/Carbon Drive rigs, including this full suspension titanium beast with internal cable routing from Black Sheep.
This lovely Black Sheep 29-plus with red anodized rims and Rohloff hub shows the ability to color match with the new Carbon Drive Red belts.
Bamboo specialists Boo Cycles got freaky with its color scheme on this singlespeed mountain bike.
Calfee’s carbon tandem is a fast machine built for two. The Gates timing belt saves considerable weight over a chain, and Calfee’s joinery is impeccable.
Master builder Kent Eriksen is a titanium specialist who created this tandem traveler that comes apart with couplers.
This wooden beauty from Connor Wood Cycles was commissioned by the Louisville Slugger baseball bat company, and it is now in the Slugger museum in Louisville.
Dean Cycles makes us dream of cyclocross season with this stealthy black rig.
The Siskiyou from Co-Motion features 650b/27.5 wheels for rugged touring and is named for the mountain range near the company’s headquarters in Oregon.
This post features just a small sample of the photos Tim Lucking grabbed in Louisville. To see more, click here. Thanks to all the builders who created such fine bikes featuring Gates Carbon Drive. We will see you all next year in Sacramento, California.
Custom bike builder Erik Noren of Peacock Groove Bicycles looks like a tough guy posing with his bedazzled eBike at the North American Handmade Bike Show. Truthfully, he’s really a kitten. Noren’s retro-themed electric bike is an homage to turn-of-the-century motos, but with a modern twist: a Shimano STEPS electric drive with the Gates Carbon Drive belt system.
Yeah, like we said, he’s a kitten.
Fifield Electric Bikes also displayed an eBike with Shimano STEPS and Gates belt. This Chatham frame equipped with Alfine Di2 electronic shifting was created by builder Ted Wojcik. Check out the Gates Flickr photostream for more pictures.
Ted Wojcik posing with STEPS eBike. He also displayed this Caladesi eBike with the Bofeili electric drive below:
Thanks to Gates Carbon Drive’s Tim Lucking for the photography. Stay tuned for more of his pictures from NAHBS.
Gates Carbon Drive is visiting the North American Handmade Bicycle Show next week in Louisville, Kentucky. Famous for its bourbon, we love Kentucky because it is home to the Gates plant where Carbon Drive belts are made (in Elizabethtown, KY). To make this NAHBS special, Gates has partnered with REEB Cycles and Rohloff USA distributor Cycle Monkey to display a spectrum of hand-built bikes featuring Carbon Drive Red belts combined with Rohloff internally geared hubs. Check out this titanium REEB Donkadonk. It’s made for plundering Colorado powder–or Kentucky mud bogs. SKI Magazine called it “a fascinating piece of gear.”
Another bike sure to be a homerun at NAHBS is the Slugger, commissioned by the Louisville Slugger baseball bat company. Chris Connor of Connor Wood Bicycles made it from the same white ash used to create Louisville Slugger baseball bats. Connor reports that it may appear at some Major League Baseball games next season. Batter up! Connor is now talking with Kentucky bourbon companies about commissioning a wooden bike from barrel oak. Smooth.
photo: Devon Balet/devonbaletmedia.com
Pardon me, mind if I squeeze by? This is my floor. Coming out.
In this final installment of our photo sessions from the North American Handmade Bicycle Show we present custom belt drive bikes from several talented newcomers, as well as a mini-velo, a flashy folding bike, a wooden commuter, a beer-themed titanium singlespeed mountain bike and a red-hot city bike. Welcome to the elevator session. Next stop: ground floor of the convention center, Charlotte, North Carolina.
First up is Bike Friday, which displayed this red-rimmed folding bike.
This beauty folds up to fit in the trunk of your car or in a suitcase for overseas trips. The grease-free belt drive means you won’t get dirty squeezing it into an elevator.
Ti Cycles presented this 16-pound mini velo for city riding and easy portability on subways and public transportation. We rode it and can attest that it’s fast, light, silent and fun.
REEB Cycles, the bike brand of Oskar Blues Brewery, featured multiple blingy bikes but this titanium singlespeed was total eye candy with red-white-and-blue highlights to match the can colors of its best-known brew, Dale’s Pale Ale.
Legendary bike builder Mike Flanagan of ANT Bikes wowed us with his retro electric bike, but he really showed off his red-hot style with this city bike.
Some of the loveliest belt drive builds came from new exhibitors who showed us with their work that they have a bright future in the bike industry. Meet Syndrome Cycles from Maryland.
Fe Cycles from Saint Louis is another new builder who showed true belt driven style with this commuter bike. Check out the internal cable routing and racks.
Renaissance swung some big lumber with this wooden build. Grab the lemon fresh Pledge because this bike deserves to shine.
Thanks again to Gates racer and marketing specialist Tim Lucking for his artistry behind the lens. You can see more of his photos and all of our coverage from NAHBS here.
Now if you can please hold the door, we’re outta here.