The RDA from Milk Bikes is a green machine
The UK’s Milk Bikes gets its name from the founder’s childhood on a dairy farm. Mark Meadows’ goal for Milk, founded in 2010, is to produce low-maintenance, high-performance bikes. The company’s first bike is called the RDA, as in recommended daily allowance, and it features a Gates Carbon Drive instead of a chain.
Meadows is a lifelong cyclist and frequent bike commuter who started Milk after growing tired of spending his spare time cleaning and lubing his chained bikes. “With the technology available today we shouldn’t have to spend Sunday afternoons with a can of degreaser and a bucket of water,” Meadows told the UK bike blog road.cc.
The perfect wintery ride
Customers can begin pre-ordering the RDA in April from the Milk Bikes website. Meadows is now working on a handful of other bike models, all of which will feature the Gates Carbon Drive. Some of those models will be displayed this June at the UK Handmade Bike Show in Bristol, England. Thanks to the company’s sweet design aesthetic, we think one of his future belt drive bike models should be called, wait for it, Milk and Cookies.
E-Bike prototype featuring Gates Carbon Drive and NuVinci hub
With gas prices soaring, electric bicycles are gaining attention as an efficient and affordable means of transportation. The technology of e-bikes is rapidly advancing. Witness this new prototype introduced at the Taipei Cycle trade show in Taiwan. The bike integrates the new Gates CenterTrack belt drive, NuVinci’s N360 infinitely variable planetary hub and Bosch electronics.
NuVinci N360 infinitely variable planetary hub mated with Gates Carbon Drive
The prototype was created by Gates to give bike manufacturers ideas for the e-bike of the future. The Gates Carbon Drive provides a chain-free, clean, quiet, light and strong drive train that requires no lubrication and has a long lifespan. The NuVinci hub offers seamless shifting and an infinite gearing range between the high and low ends, allowing riders to feather their pedaling cadence regardless of terrain. Bosch’s battery is mounted on the downtube to allow builders to design step-over models with women’s specific geometry. The handlebar mounted electronic console allows riders to choose the level of power: eco, tour, sport or speed.
The command console
Read the story on page five of the Bicycle Retailer and Industry News report from Taipei. Click here for more photos and a story from ElectricBikeReport.com, and here for coverage from BikeWorldNews.com.
Our friends at Australia’s Flying Machine Bicycle Design Studio are launching a new line of belt-drive bikes called BASE Urban, made for the rigors of urban living. Check out the Bike Rumor post about Base Urban, which called their RD2.0 a “commuting jugernaut.”
Base Urban’s four models are all made of chromoly aircraft tubing, all have Gates Carbon Drive, two are geared and have disc brakes, and two are fixed gear. Based in the western Australian city of Perth, these guys know a thing or two about fashion and function. Here is an excerpt from their news release describing Base Urban’s desire to provide city dwellers with bikes “perfectly suited to the rigors of urban life:”
“Low maintenance, ease of operation, consistent performance, durability and longevity are all terms synonymous with high quality urban bikes. These were the primary focus during the development of BASE Urban , along with a unique look and feel to help owners conquer the urban landscape in style. At the centre of achieving the desired characteristics for urban cycling is the Gates Carbon Drive belt drive system. Receiving wide acclaim for super low maintenance, quiet operation, ultra long life and clean grease free operation the belt system really needs to be ridden to be understood. With perfect engagement between rider and machine the belt enables the two to become closer than ever before.”
The fixie FX1.0
Available April 2011. Check back in the coming weeks for dealer locations at www.baseurban.com.
The New Black Fixie. Photo credit: Lisa Lardy Photography
Chris Cleveland, the founder of Speedhound Design Bureau, has been racing and tinkering with bikes since childhood. At age 12 he assembled his new Huffy out of the box. He rode his first century at 16. During college, he wrenched at bike shops to make spare cash, and in the 1970s he worked as a frame brazer for Trek.
We met Cleveland at the North American Handmade Bike Show, where he displayed Speedhound’s New Black Fixie. Speedhound Design Bureau is based in Minneapolis and specializes in the Only One frame. Made of True Temper butted cro-mo steel, the Only One features an ingenious dropout that allows the bike to be set up with a belt drive. The patent-pending dropout system and Only One design allow for the bike to be built up for touring, commuting, cyclocross, singlespeeding and fixie riding.
Chris sent us these photos of the New Black Fixie. It features a 55×20 Carbon Drive and a 118-tooth 12 mm belt. Here is what Cleveland has to say about this bike and his concept for the Only One frame:
“My goal was to create an incredibly versatile frameset, a platform that would let a rider build a bike to suit his or her unique sense of function and style. Speedhound’s design values include practicality, versatility, durability, utility and understated elegance. We also care deeply about making our bikes in the U.S., with as much domestic content as possible.”
Thanks to Lisa Lardy Photography for use of the photos.
Launched in 2010, the company’s bikes can be purchased at these Minneapolis bike shops. Make sure to order yours with Gates Carbon Drive.
Violet Crown "Randonneur" touring bike. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
The handmade bike industry is undergoing a Renaissance in the United States thanks to the popularity of cycling as both a sustainable and healthful form of transportation and also as a lifestyle. Bikes, in a word, have never been more fashionable. Witness the North American Handmade Bike Show, which just wrapped up in Austin. The annual show is a gathering of custom bike builders from across North America and the world, a place where artisans and welders show off their fashionable–and functional–beauties. NAHBS is where trends are born and prodigies identified.
Black Sheep won for best off-road bike. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
One trend from the 2011 show is the growing number of belt-drive bikes. At least 20 bikes with Carbon Drive were exhibited, a big jump from previous years, and two belt-drive models won top honors. Black Sheep Bikes, based in Fort Collins, won for best off-road bike. This summer, Gates rider Jake Kirkpatrick plans to race the Tour of the Divide on this bike, carrying his gear, which is why it has integrated racks.
Rosene won rookie of the year honors. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
Rosene, based in Tuscon, won rookie of the year honors for a gorgeous stainless steel mountain bike with creme-colored highlights built for the founder’s brother. Please don’t scratch that bike out on the trail, Justin!
Rosene dropout and drivetrain. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
Other builders showing lovely Carbon Drive bikes include: Violet Crown Cycles, Krencker and Cyfac (both from France), Minneapolis-based SpeedHound (featuring a clever belt-compatible dropout system), Mosaic and Dean (both from Boulder), Six Eleven, Caletti in Santa Cruz, Ti Cycles in Portland, Vertigo (Portland), tandem experts Calfee and Co-Motion, Alchemy, Sotherland in Wisconsin, Boo (the bamboo bike experts). Cycle Monkey bike shop in the Bay Area also had two bikes in its booth: a belt drive touring rig with Carbon Drive and an Eriksen 29er. Independent Fabrications showed a speedy belt-drive cross bike.
Six Eleven Cycles. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
Six Eleven's belt drive. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
A red ripper from Caletti. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
Caletti's sexy rear end
From France's Krencker. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
Ti Cycles' Dave Levy brought this gorgeous ti 69er to Austin. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
Ti Cycles drive. Photo: Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times
Click here to see all the award winners, including more photos of the Black Sheep and Rosene. Thanks to Dirtragmag.com for the gorgeous photos via Flickr.
Black Sheep on the podium. Look for this bike in the Tour Divide this summer as Jake Kirkpatrick races from Canada to Mexico!
Rosene on the podium