NAHBS Category Archive


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.

Slugger Bike

photo: Devon Balet/

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Renaissance swung some big lumber with this wooden build. Grab the lemon fresh Pledge because this bike deserves to shine.

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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.

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NAHBS 14_Festka_complete with reflection

The North American Handmade Bicycle Show is where the best custom bike builders display their artistry and innovation. This photo gallery shows some of our favorite Gates Carbon Drive bikes displayed in Charlotte at NAHBS 2014. Pictured above and below is a hand painted gem from Festka, a Czech brand based in Prague. The detailing was done by the same design firm that worked on the new Wes Anderson film “Grand Budapest Hotel.”

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REEB Cycles, the bike brand of Oskar Blues Brewery in Colorado, wheelied into Charlotte with a 29-plus mountain bike featuring the Pinion gearbox, and with a neon green 650b dirt jumper that will no doubt see some action in the Oskar Blues pump track.

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NAHBS 14_REEB_DJ complete

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NAHBS 14_REEB_DJ front

NAHBS 14_REEB_DJ complete front

Located in the high peaks of the “mountains of Indiana,” as their slogan goes, Shamrock Cycles showed their Irish pride with this lucky charm of a cyclocross racer bedazzled with green-green clovers.

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NAHBS 14_Shamrock_cx complete

Independent Fabrications owner Gary Smith, who moonlights as CEO of the textile company Polartec, built this singlespeed road bike to bring on the road during his frequent business travels. The couplers on the top tube and down tube allow him to disassemble the bike and put it in a suitcase. The Gates belt keeps it clean and low maintenance.

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Thanks to Tim Lucking for the creative imagery. Stay tuned for more photos of beautiful belt drive bikes from NAHBS 2014.

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NAHBS 14_Indy Fab di2_complete geometrix

NAHBS 14_Shamrock_complete

The integration of Shimano’s Alfine Di2 electronic shifting system with Gates Carbon Drive is among the great product innovations shown at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Gates and Shimano worked with multiple custom bike builders to show off the clean, quiet and slick compatibility of these two leading technologies. Gates team photographer Tim Lucking shows the technical skill and artistry of the bike builders with his creative imagery.

Pictured above are the Independent Fabrications Di2 build (red) and the electronic shifting beauty from Shamrock Cycles (blue). Shamrock’s Tim O’Donnell turned heads at NAHBS several years ago with a lovely green city bike, and the builder hailing from “the mountains of Indiana” once again delivered a bike that drew stares and media attention. Look at that stylish belt guard.

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Colorado beer and bikes fanatics REEB Cycles, the bike brand of Oskar Blues Brewery, displayed a steel Sam’s Pants commuter built by Chris “Soultrain” Sulfrian, below.

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New Hampshire’s Independent Fabrications is one of the country’s premier custom bike builders. Owner Gary Smith has a custom belt drive city bike that he brings on business trips, and several years back his crew built a gorgeous pink-belted fixie. His Di2 flat bar commuter made us smile, and it even elicited a grin from Gary.

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Hometown Mfg is a sister brand of Six-Eleven Bicycle Company in Roanoke, Virginia. Hometown Mfg is leading the drive for locally made bike frames in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but their Di2 bike would be home on the streets of any city in America.

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Curtis Inglis of Inglis/Retrotec made a retro-styled commuter with a porteur rack that blends classic bicycle styling with modern technology. Enjoy the pictures and stay tuned for more posts about other gorgeous Gates Carbon Drive bikes from the NAHBS 2014 show floor.

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NAHBS 14_Retrotec_rack and light

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NAHBS 14_BionX_ANT_complete

Gates Carbon Drive’s Custom eBike Showcase at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show was a great success, drawing crowds and media attention. Today we feature three belt drive electric bikes with BionX motors–the same brand used on the popular smart ebikes.

Pictured above and below is a retro cruiser from ANT Bikes in Walpole, Massachusetts. ANT specializes in steel transportation bikes that often use Gates Carbon Drive. “The bike was designed to have the look and feel of a 1930s-era motorbike,” says ANT owner Mike Flanagan. It features a sprung fork and stick shift mounted to the seat stay, along with a twin tube frame. Other nice touches include red rims paired with Fat Frank cream tires, a Brooks saddle, and moto-style brake levers. Cables are routed internally for a clean look. “We were very pleased with the outcome and received lots of reviews at NAHBS,” Mike says. “Thank you to everyone at Gates for inviting us to participate.”

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Below is a double-belted electric tandem from Santana Cycles that is worth not one but two smiles. Santana builder Bill McCready says that “couples who adopt a healthy tandeming lifestyle when younger will continue to ride enthusiastically for decades. They won’t willingly ‘hang it up’ until they lack the strength to make it to the top of a once-easy climb.” That’s where the pedal assist BionX comes in. Couples who no longer have the legs for big climbs can benefit from the rear hub motor’s “inconspicuous boost to help them reach the high points.” And thanks to the two Gates Carbon Drives instead of chains, this bike is clean, quiet and low-maintenance.

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NAHBS 14_BionX_Santana_front with smiles

Next is the electric belt drive Green Arrow mountain bike from Ti Cycles in Portland. They won an award for best cargo bike at NAHBS last year.

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The Green Arrow features a 26-inch rear wheel and a 27.5/650b on the front. The larger front wheel increases the angle of attack on bumps and obstacles, making it easier to roll over rocks, while the smaller rear provides a shorter wheel base and faster acceleration. “This frameset is built from our custom 3/2.5 blend lightweight titanium oversize tubeset and gives the commuter-oriented BionX system a chance to go out and play in the dirt,” says founder Dave Levy. “One of the frame’s most striking features is our distinctive pierced top tube, which runs as one continuous piece from headset to rear tire, pierced by the seat tube.” Belt tension is provided by an eccentric bottom bracket to keep the rear dropouts elegant and simple.

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Thanks for following our coverage of the Gates Custom eBike Showcase. In coming posts we will feature belt drive bikes featuring Shimano’s Alfine Di2 electronic shifting system, and other innovative and artistic belt drive bikes from the NAHBS show floor. Thanks to Tim Lucking for the photographs.

GATES eBike Showcase logo

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