October 2011 Archive

Justin Ferris of Elmira, NY, recently sent us a note about the joy of commuting on his Focus Urban 8.  Justin bought the Focus after looking at a range of options, but he was sold on the bike because of its Gates Carbon Drive, eight-speed Alfine hub, disc brakes and beautiful powdercoat paint job. “The Gates/Alfine hub combo dominates any 27 speed gears and chain in my opinion,” he writes. Justin went on to say:

I ride my Focus about 20 miles a day (actually mostly at night) for exercise/enjoyment, and commute to work with it a couple times a week. Warm weather, cold weather, and even rainy days , mostly well maintained roads, and some decent sized hills. Its amazing how SILENT the belt drive rides. I can literally here crickets and owls when I ride at night. It also pedals so much smoother then ANY chain I’ve ever ridden. I was skeptical about a belt drive before I tried one, now I can’t ever picture myself buying a new bike that didn’t have a Gates system.

Thanks for the note, Justin. We hope the Gates hat and shirt come in handy on your long commutes.

20 miles a day keeps the doctor away!

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Carlos and Chad Mellis in the sand

Carlos Casali and Chad Melis powering through the sand

Carlos Casali, the big Brazilian powerhouse of Team Gates Carbon Drive, proudly wore the leader’s jersey in Boulder Cyclocross Series racing this weekend while teammate Chad Melis showed that he can dominate a race after jumping off the couch.

Race number three of the Boulder series took place on the challenging and twisty grass course at Interlocken, where riders battled sidewalks, a huge sandpit and off-camber turns. Melis, a beer lover whose day job is at Oskar Blues Brewery, finally got the chance to show off his strong legs. After Casali drilled the first two laps, forcing a separation of the leaders, Melis made his move–taking Trek rider Joe Saperstein with him. Those two worked together and were able to stay away to the finish.  Saperstein took the win, but Melis showed amazing form considering it was his first cyclocross race of the season. It must be the beer!

Carlos took a monster pull from the start, finishing 3rd

Casali held on for third place, while Gates teammates Derek Strong moved up to fifth place, and Taylor Jung grabbed an impressive sixth. In another competition that was tough to battle geared bikes on, Cristina Begy represented Team Gates Carbon Drive with a solid 16th place in the Women’s Open race. No doubt, she was preparing and looking forward to a strong performance this upcoming weekend as Boulder hosts two UCI races at the Boulder Cup.  See you next weekend!

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Are you a fan of handmade bikes? If so, you will want to attend the 2012 North American Handmade Bike Show in Sacramento next March 2-4. Gates Corporation, maker of the Gates Carbon Drive, has signed a three-year deal to sponsor the 2012 through 2014 editions of NAHBS. Gates will have a large booth at the show for people who want to learn more about Carbon Drive and see some sexy handmade belt drive bikes.

The sponsorship includes a new design contest at 2012 NAHBS. The Innovative Belt Drive Bike Design Contest will award $8,750 in cash and prizes to qualified independent frame builders who create the most innovative bicycles with Gates Carbon Drive for display at the Sacramento show. Click here for contest rules and entry information.
Read the press release about the sponsorship agreement here.

“Since the Gates Carbon Drive technology made its debut at NAHBS in 2008, this exciting new technology has been creating more and more buzz, and we are delighted to welcome Gates to the NAHBS family with this significant partnership,” says Don Walker, president of NAHBS.

Never been to NAHBS? It’s the largest annual showcase of custom bikes in the world. Check out some of the beautiful award-winning belt drive bikes that appeared at NAHBS 2011 in Austin, Texas.  Photos of bikes from the 2010 show can be seen here. See you in Sacramento next March.

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Team Gates Carbon Drive dominated another weekend of racing in Colorado, taking wins on Saturday and Sunday and putting all its riders in the top-nine in the singlespeed categories at both the Blue Sky Velo Cup in Longmont and the Excel Sports Monarch High Cross in Louisville.

Mitch Westall and Taylor Nye in the Barriers

With another visit to the popular Xilinx course, Mitch Westall, Carlos Casalli, Taylor Nye, Derek Strong and Taylor Jung lined up for battle on Saturday. Conditions were dry and dusty, opposite from the muddy course the previous weekend in Fort Collins. But our riders had nothing to worry about. The Gates Carbon Drive systems on our Raleigh bikes easily adapt to whatever Mother Nature cooks up.

Mitch and Carlos worked together from the start to build a gap and push one another faster through the technical course. When Carlos went down halfway through the race in a tight hairpin, Mitch charged on alone and held off the chasers, taking the solo win. Carlos recovered to take 3rd, with Taylor Nye and Derek Strong close behind in 6th and 7th. Taylor Jung rounded out a strong showing in 9th. Earlier in the day, Christina Begy flew through the Women’s Open race, showing great form against the ladies with gears and riding in the top six most of the race. Unfortunately, she took a spill with half a lap to go but recovered to take 9th.

Team Gates Carbon Drive in control of the race from early on.

Sunday traded dusty conditions for a twisty, grassy course in Louisville, where the Colorado State Championships were held last year. Begy was back to make amends for her crash the day before. Despite conditions that favored gears, she fought for a well-deserved 15th in the Women’s Open race. Lots of guys are going to be surprised by Christina when she jumps into a singlespeed race with us this season!

Later in the day, eight guys from Team Gates Carbon Drive lined up for the singlespeed race. Right from the gun, Gates forced the pace at the front. The first lap through the hairpin sections saw some carnage as Taylor Nye, Mitch Westall, Taylor Jung and myself all got tangled in various forms of carnage.

Jesse Swift and Carlos Casali making a run for the line.

With multiple riders out front, Gates forced the entire field to chase. Westall crashed but fought his way back to the lead group. With a few minutes to go, Jesse Swift and Carlos got a small gap on Garrett Davis and Taylor Nye. With the course alternating between tight, technical turns and flat-out straightaways, the technical riders were able to make up some time by accelerating out of the turns while the power riders laid down some hurt on the straights. Jesse, his beard flapping in the wind, powered to the line just one wheel length in front of Carlos.

Jesse Swift, Carlos Casali and Garrett Davis sweep the podium for Team Gates Carbon Drive!
Garrett Davis took 3rd, Taylor Nye took 4th, Mitch Westall came in 5th, I got 6th and Taylor Jung placed a strong 8th. Next week will bring another grassy course, and hopefully another win, as everyone heads to Interlocken in Broomfield.
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Team Gates Carbon Drive was out in force last weekend as the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross came to their home turf on a twisty hill-side course in Fort Collins, Colorado. Racing against the nation’s most elite singlespeeders, the team didn’t get the win but did place three riders in the top five on Saturday, and three in the top six on Sunday.

Taylor Nye on the fly-over. Photo: Stephen Fitzgerald, www.monovich.com/perpetualthree/

In uncharacteristic Colorado fall weather, the skies opened up Saturday morning, drenching the course with rain and creating ideal cyclocross conditions just in time for the Single Speed race. The twisty track quickly became muddy and wet with puddles, but that only gave an advantage to the belt drive riders. Much like Cross Vegas, it was quickly a battle between Team Gates Carbon Drive’s Jesse Swift and Craig Etheridge from Seattle. The team also had Taylor Nye and Carlos Casali right there, pushing the pace hard. In the end Jesse took second with a small gap to first place, officially starting a friendly rivalry between these two awesome riders! Taylor and Carlos didn’t let up for even a moment, and finished just seconds behind in 4th and 5th, giving the team 3 out of the top 5. Additionally, Craig Etheridge was riding his Raleigh with Gates Carbon Drive, meaning 4 out of the top 5 positions at this muddy race were on belted Raleigh Hodalas–the new race favorite for singlespeed cyclocross.

Our favorite female racer Cristina Begy was giddy all day at the thought of facing off against some of the top women in the world on a rainy and muddy course in the Women’s Elite race. And while Cristina was flying through the technical slippery conditions, she unfortunately suffered from a bit too large of a gear, which slowed her on the hilly sections of the course.

Brian Hutchison working hard. Photo: Stephen Fitzgerald

On Sunday, day two of the USGP, the rain stopped and the air warmed slightly, but the course had evolved into a greasy singletrack, forcing the riders to balance their outright power and speed with their ability to keep their bikes upright. Carlos and Taylor were flying right from the gun, fighting to get cleanly into the twisty course. I was just a few bikes back, and behind me Mitch Westall was stuck behind some traffic but marking Saturdays winner Craig Etheridge. After three hard crashes in as many weeks, I hadn’t picked the best course to build my confidence back, and I was struggling to commit in the slippery conditions. Carlos and Taylor were working well together, but it wasn’t long before Craig came flying past me, followed not long after by Mitch, both on a real tear towards the front of the pack.

Mitch Westall chasing hard. Photo by Stephen Fitzgerald

In the slugfest at the front, Taylor made a slight mistake, sliding in the mud and tangling with the course tape, but fighting back for third place. Mitch fought traffic for most of the race, and with late-race lap times significantly faster than those around him, he won a tight sprint for fourth place. After two days of pulling hard for the team, Carlos held strong for 6th, and I finished up mid-pack but feeling better for the coming races!

Taylor Nye forcing the pace! Photo: Stephen Fitzgerald

Cristina was anxious to make amends for Saturday’s race, and did just that, fighting some of the top women in the sport who were racing on geared bikes while she competed on her belt drive singlespeed. Even though she was sad the conditions were not as muddy, she had a much better race and continues to build for the biggest races yet to come.

Raleighs and Gates Carbon Drives were by far the most popular bikes of the weekend!

A bunch of our “brothers” from Seattle were out for the weekend, and I am sure I’ve never been in a race with so many sweet Raleigh cross bikes or as many Gates Carbon Drive bikes. The guys that are serious about single speed cyclocross know that there is only one drive train for the ultimate bike.

Team Gates Carbon Drive hanging with Raleigh and Belt Drive brothers from Seattle.

Next week will bring two local races in Boulder and Louisville, which both offer points for the Colorado Best Cyclocross Rider and Team competition. Come check out the team bikes, and cheer the guys on both days! Thanks to photographer Stephen Fitzgerald for the great photos.

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