Winter is dark and cold in the Finnish Lapland, the northernmost region of Finland above the Arctic Circle. This region is home to vast herds of reindeer and to the indigenous Sámi people, as well as the aurora borealis that casts a colorful glow across the night sky. Sunlight is fleeting. Days seem like perpetual dusk due to the low angle of the sun. It is not someplace where one thinks of going for a bike ride.
In this harsh and beautiful setting, Swedish bicyclist Oskar Juhlin will compete in the 150-kilometer Rovaniemi Arctic Fat Bike Race from Feb. 20-22. Wearing a headlamp and lights he will ride through the night, resting briefly to eat, sleep and drink water, surviving the frigid nights in a polar sleeping bag. Juhlin is an endurance athlete and industrial designer in Stockholm. “I love biking and I love snow,” he says. Juhlin will ride a custom Mi:Tech fat tire bike with a Pinion P1.18 gearbox and Gates Carbon Drive belt system. He chose these components to avoid mechanical problems with a chain and derailleur in the snow. “I’m impressed how well the combo of Pinion and Gates works in the snow and ice. It seems like the belt cleans itself from the snow and slush.” Juhlin took these photos while training. Good luck Oskar, and stay warm. More information at pinion.eu
Gates will attend the London Bike Show (Feb. 12-15) to show a range of belted urban bicycles including the new Viktor “Red Race” singlespeed road bike (pictured above) from Schindelhauer Bikes. This will be the first public display of the Red Race, which goes on sale in March. Gates will also display its new Carbon Drive Red belts, which will be available for sale in Europe and the UK on April 1. Gates techs will also provide product information for UK consumers, shop mechanics and journalists interested in learning about the clean and simple Carbon Drive system.
Gates will be located in the booth of our UK distributor, Velorution, which sells London’s largest selection of Gates belt drive bikes. Come check out bikes from Schindelhauer, Van Nicholas, Biomega, Roux and more. Below is Schindelhauer’s award-winning Thin Bike. Biomega is giving away an NYC (below) at the show. To win, post a social media picture of your city from your bike and tag it: #biomegaLondon2015 #Biomega #thelondonbikeshow. Winner will be chosen on Feb. 15.
With its burgeoning bike culture and government policies to promote cycling, London is at the heart of the UK’s belt drive revolution. “The Gates belt drive is perfect for city cyclists who want a clean and simple solution for urban riding,” says Velorution co-founder Gretta Cole. Other brands selling bikes equipped with Gates Carbon Drive within the UK include Cube, Marin, Woodrup, Shand, Milk and more. Find your belted bike on the Gates bike finder page.
Carbon Drive Red
Velorution storefront on Great Portland Street
San Francisco is one of America’s most beautiful cities, but its hills are a challenge for bicyclists. Enter the Faraday eBike, which provides an electric boost to get you home or to work, no sweat. Want to test one? If you live in San Francisco or plan to visit the Bay Area, Faraday has a demo program that allows you to test a Porteur eBike for up to a week. Free. If you are too busy to visit the Faraday office, they will deliver an eBike to your home or office for a small charge. “For most people this is their first time experiencing an electric bike and Gates belt drive,” says Faraday founder Adam Vollmer. “The demo program is a fun way to see how our bike fits into your life, test your commute and also feel the smooth and clean advantages of a Gates Carbon Drive versus a chain.” It also means you can pedal this most beautiful city, enjoying its sights and culture, with ease and style. faradaybikes.com
Budnitz Bicycles is giving away this bike—a red hot No. 1 with the limited edition Carbon Drive Red belt. The winner will be chosen at random on January 31. Anybody anywhere in the world–from Antarctica to Zimbabwe–is eligible to win. Enter to win here. The bike features a lightweight titanium frame and Budnitz’s signature twin top tube tube cantilever design. The Gates Carbon Drive Red belt is paired with slick Kojak tires, Avid disc brakes with Paul levers and titanium Budnitz saddle, riser bar and badges.
Based in Burlington, Vermont, Budnitz is a premium boutique bicycle brand that uses Gates belts on all of its models and is known for its impeccable style. budnitzbicycles.com
The new Glow Bike from English Cycles looks incredible during the day but it absolutely pops at night. Built for a Seattle customer, the commuter bike features a “Glowbee” clear top coat that glows in the dark. Disc brakes, 11-speed internal gear hub, Gates Carbon Drive system, tubeless tires, full fenders, an Ergon seat post and Niner eccentric bottom bracket complete the build. Total weight with pedals is just over 23 pounds.
On a personal note, we are elated to see Rob English back in the shop following a horrid crash in a bike race last summer that left him hospitalized and out of work for several months. Still healing, Rob is working with one arm in a sling due to a badly damaged bicep muscle. That’s true grit. See more images of his Glow Bike below, and check out some of his previous belt drive bikes here.