Amsterdam has more bicycles than inhabitants and The Netherlands is one of the most bike-friendly nations in the world. Yet virtually no bicycles are made here due to high labor costs. Now, some Dutch entrepreneurs want to bring bicycle manufacturing back to The Netherlands by using automotive industry techniques. “We had to re-think the way bicycle frames are produced,” says Bob Schiller, founder of Mokumono Cycles.
Instead of welding tubes together, a process that is highly labor intensive, Mokumono uses robotics and an automated production process. Two sheets of shaped aluminum are pressed together and then laser welded. Schiller explains the Mokumono concept in the company’s Kickstarter video below.
Mokumono will sell two versions of their bike, a singlespeed and an eight-speed, both with the Gates Carbon Drive system. Pre-order prices are $1,150 for the singlespeed and $1,400 for the geared version. “The name Mokumono is a composition of two words that express where we are from and what we make,” says Schiller, who is launching Mokumono with his brother. Mokum is an old nickname for Amsterdam. Mono refers to monocoque, “a construction technique whereby loads are supported through an object’s external skin without internal strengthening.” While the target market is The Netherlands, Mokumono will ship its bikes worldwide. In a country where even the Prime Minister rides to work on a bicycle, Mokumono seems poised to bring Dutch bike heritage into the modern era. mokumonocycles.com
For freeriders, there is nothing more stylish than a perfectly executed tail whip. French downhiller Benoit Coulanges of team ROC-VTT shows his whipping good style in this video shot near his home in Lyon. Benoit is an up-and-coming young rider who placed 15th at last year’s Fort William World Cup event. He rides a Nicolai Ion 20 Effigear with Gates Carbon Drive and an Effigear gearbox. Read more about his bike on Vital MTB. You may never do a tail whip, but imagine how well your Gates belt will perform on your city bike if it can survive Benoit’s abuse.
Marco Hösel is a famous German trials rider and member of the Nicolai Factory Team whose exploits frequently appear on the Belted Blog. Remember when he rode and leaped through a sawmill? This time Marco rides through the stadium of German premier league team Borussia Dortmund in his new video, “Cracked,” sponsored by the lock maker Burg-Wachter. Watch the video at the bottom of this post. Marco rides a Nicolai trials bike with Gates Carbon Drive. He likes the light weight of the belt because it allows him to jump higher, while the high-strength carbon tensile cords inside the Gates belt provide him with the confidence to fully commit to tricky–and dangerous–maneuvers. Thanks to Constantin Fiene for the creative photography, Hoshi Yoshida for the slick video edit, and of course a big high-five to Marco.
Elisabeth owns a restaurant in the German village of Miesbach that has a pink color scheme. Last winter, she teamed up with videographer Colin Stewart and Maxx Bikes to create a custom pink and belted fat bike. The video below shows the making of the bike, which uses a Jagamoasta frame from Maxx, along with a Rohloff hub and belt drive. We enjoyed the peak inside the Maxx operation as it powdercoats the frame, builds the wheels and hands off the bike to Elisabeth, who seems pretty stoked about the whole process.
Want to see the bike in action? Read Stewart’s story, see more pictures and watch the followup video in which Elisabeth goes ice fishing and then rides up a ski slope to grill her catch. On, of course, Pinkbike.com.
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