Gates Carbon Drive Tag Archive

Kamran on bike

Kamran Ali fell in love with bicycling as a child in Pakistan, where he pedaled to nearby towns with friends–and practiced his wheelies. As a young man he rode 400 kilometers from Multan to Lahore. Then higher education and work caused him to set aside bicycling. He moved to Germany to obtain a PhD in computer science and began a career in software development. But the lure of the open road was strong. In 2011, he set out for Pakistan from his new home in Germany by bike. Kamran reached the halfway point in Turkey when he received sad news: his mother had suffered a heart attack. He abandoned the trip and flew home to Pakistan, spending two months with his mother before she died.

kamran_on_bike wheelie

In 2015, Kamran decided to complete his journey to Pakistan. He started in Turkey where his previous trip had been interrupted and he completed the final 7,000 kilometers through Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Krgyzstan and China. It was a mission of hope meant to inspire Pakistanis to embark on their own adventures–and shine a positive light on Pakistan, which he believed was in the news for the wrong reasons. Having ridden through 28 countries in Europe and Asia, Kamran decided this year to embark on the most ambitious ride of his life: 25,000 kilometers from South America to Alaska, a journey that should take a year and a half.

We connected with Kamran via email in Chile after being introduced by Carsten Schabacher of Stevens Bikes, which is sponsoring him with a STEVENS P18 Lite touring bike with Gates Carbon Drive and a Pinion gearbox. Kamran, who is a skilled photographer, had been on the road for more than six weeks and was in high spirits.

Kamran on bike with mountainscapeKamran on lonely roadKamran route

“My favorite sights and experiences so far have been hiking in the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and Los Glaciares Park in Argentina. The sunrise at Mount Fitz Roy as well as seeing Perito Moreno Glacier from very close was an unforgettable experience,” he wrote us. “In Tierra del Fuego and Southern Patagonia, I battled against the strong headwind every day. Patagonian Steppe is a treeless region. 
They call Patagonia “Escoba de Dios,” God’s Broom, due to its persistent wind which sweeps everything.
 People in Argentina and Chile are very friendly and hospitable. There are no facilities for long stretches of road, so whenever I saw a little house or estancia and asked for a shelter to cook or sleep the locals were ready to help.”

Kamran with windblown treeKamran on bluff

Kamran first learned about Gates Carbon Drive during his previous ride through Tajikistan. “The owner of the bike was German. He gave me positive feedback about the Gates belt. When I started looking for a new bicycle I really wanted to have a Gates belt and a gear hub. I saw the Stevens P18 and knew it was the one. I love the aesthetic and the frame design and the fact that it is lightweight. The 18-gear Pinion gives me plenty of gear ratio to climb steep hills fully loaded, and to cruise fast on long downhills. I carry about 30 kilograms of weight in five panniers. In windy places, I start riding before dawn. The dymano hub and SuperNova light allow me to safely ride in the dark. When I see other cyclists cleaning their chains after a rainy day, or changing their chains, I have a huge smile. The fellow cyclists are envious!” So are we, Kamran. So are we.

Thanks to Kamran Ali for the photographs and for inspiring us all to chase adventure. See more pictures on the Kamran On Bike Facebook page, and check his progress on his website’s route tracker. See more Stevens Bikes with Gates Carbon Drive, and learn about this Hamburg, Germany, brand here.

Kamran with ice

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Brava Bikes Lascar

Santiago, Chile, is one of South America’s most vibrant cities. Inhabitants enjoy food, arts, architecture and culture to rival the great urban centers of the world. Now this metropolis of more than five million people is undergoing a bicycling Renaissance. “Santiago is fairly flat and has a sunny climate that makes it perfect for urban cycling,” says Ricardo Salas, a founder of Brava Bikes. “Over the last decade there have been various public policies aimed at reducing traffic and improving the health of the population, which have resulted in an explosion in the use of bicycles in Chile. At this point we lead Latin America in daily bike use.”

Brava is a new bike brand based in Santiago that specs the Gates Carbon Drive system on all of its models. Pictured atop this post is the Láscar, a fixie with bullhorn bars. Below is the Cay singlespeed, followed by the Ralún eight-speed.

Brava Bikes Cay

Brava Bikes Ralun

Brava’s founders decided to launch an urban bike brand after careers in architecture and design, and they spent two years designing the bikes and creating the brand identity. Details include leather grips and Brava-branded leather saddles. The aesthetic is both classic and modern. Below is the Macá singlespeed followed by the Lanín eight-speed.

Brava Bikes Maca

Brava Bikes Lanin

The Tacora fixed gear:

Brava Bikes Tacora

Brava sells online and plans to open a brick and mortar shop soon. “Everyone at Brava loves classic bikes for their style, simplicity, and functionality. We think that the bike is a magnificent machine, and even a work of art,” says Salas, who commutes on a Cay.

One of his favorite rides is the trail up to San Cristobal Hill, a park overlooking the central city. “Another interesting urban route runs through Parque Forestal, which takes you almost the length of the city and passes through a sculpture garden and past the Contemporary and Fine Arts museums.” Another is Parque Bicentennario, located in the Vitacura area of Santiago. “This 30-hectare park is one of the city’s most important green areas. It is a popular place to spend time outdoors due to the trails and other activities,” Salas says.

Bravo, Santiago.

Brava Santiago street

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Tern Verge s8i with female rider

Leading folding bike brand Tern has launched its first model with Gates Carbon Drive, the Verge S8i. Tern calls it “the world’s most versatile ultra-low-maintenance folding bike…a practically silent super-commuter with no greasy parts or protruding derailleurs.”

New for 2016, the Verge S8i features a range of high-quality components: a Shimano Alfine eight-speed hub, Schwalbe Big Apple tires with puncture protection, a wide-beam Valo 2 headlight powered by a BioLogic electricity-generating hub, hydraulic disc brakes, fenders, a heavy duty cargo rack, and more.

Tern verge s8i-3-4 profile

Another cool feature is Tern’s patented Andros adjustable stem technology that allows users to adjust the handlebar height and riding position without tools–allowing multiple family members of different sizes to use the bike.

Tern Verge s8i andros

For rushed commuters, the Verge S8i folds in under 10 seconds and can be easily rolled onto subways and into buildings. Unfolded, it has a long wheel base for stability at speed. “It will get you there quickly, cleanly, and most importantly in style,” Tern says. We couldn’t agree more.

Tern Verge s8i-folded and walking

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grace_easy_female rider

Germany is at the epicenter of an electric bike boom that is transforming the European bicycle market–and shaping pedelec trends from North America to Asia. In this post we shine a spotlight on two German brands–Grace and Steppenwolf–at the forefront of the eBike movement. Both have launched new 2016 models with Gates Carbon Drive.

Pictured above is the Grace Easy, a sporty urban pedelec kitted out with fenders, rack and lights, a suspension fork and BionX hub motor for fast city riding. Grace is an award-winning electric bike brand that was among the first to integrate batteries into its frames for a seamless style. That intelligent design is shown below on the Urbanic. With its smartly styled step-through frame the Urbanic includes a fast-accelerating GoSwiss Drive rear hub motor and nine-speed Pinion gearbox.

Grace URBANIC_Schwarz-2016

The blue bomber below is the Grace MX II Urban, a supercharged city eBike with a Brose mid-motor drive integrated into the bottom bracket and a NuVinci continuously variable planetary hub for seamless shifting. Gates’ laboratory testing shows that Carbon Drive belts are especially advantageous on mid-drive motor eBikes, which rapidly wear out chains.

Grace MX II_Street_Blau 2016

Steppenwolf, whose motto is, “The wolf hunts best in town,” is a sister brand of Grace and is owned by the same parent company, Mifa-Bike, headquartered in Sangerhausen, Germany. While Grace makes only eBikes, Steppenwolf is a respected 20-year-old brand that makes both electric and classic pedal-powered bikes with Gates belts. The step-through Talis E 20th Wave below is powered by a Brose mid-drive motor connected to a NuVinci hub via a Gates belt.


Steppenwolf Talis eBike

The Talis E 20th Men above has a classic eBike aesthetic and is powered by a Brose mid-drive motor with a NuVinci planetary hub shifting system. Steppenwolf also makes multiple non-electric models with Gates Carbon Drive including the 2016 Talis Street 8.5. This practical ride has a Shimano Alfine eight-speed internally geared hub and a full urban kit including fenders and dynamo hub lights for fast and low-maintenance commuting.


Thanks to Steppenwolf, Grace and Mifa-Bike for helping to advance the belt drive revolution by making it easier for people to get out of their cars and into the saddle. Graceful and wolflike: These are the words that describe the clean, quiet, fast and stylish future of advanced pedelecs and commuter bikes.

grace_urbanic_with woman

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PriorityEight_Angle sm (2)

Priority Bicycles is a new commuter-focused brand that has found rapid success by rethinking how bikes are conceived, designed and brought to market. “Our success has been driven by a combination of technology, design, and understanding essential customer needs to deliver hassle free, high quality bicycles at a fraction of traditional prices,” says Dave Weiner, founder and CEO of Priority, based in New York City. Its bikes use no chains or derailleurs and are optimized for simple, low-maintenance urban riding. Priority launched in 2014 on Kickstarter with a goal of raising $30,000 and instead raised more than half-a-million dollars.

Priority has just launched a new premium model, the Eight, featuring Gates Carbon Drive. Impressively, the Eight is selling for a special launch price of $799, making it the most affordable commuter bike with Gates Carbon Drive in the United States. Consumers can sign up for Priority’s pre-sale price here.

The Eight has an alloy frame and a component package that includes an eight-speed Shimano Nexus internally geared hub, hydraulic disc brakes, fenders and Gates Carbon Drive’s CDN belt system. CDN, which is designed for urban riding, features Gates’ patented CenterTrack design and an engineered polymer belt embedded with carbon fiber cords. The front sprocket is made from reinforced composite embedded with glass fibers, and it comes integrated with a Gates branded crank for industry leading concentricity and easy installation. The rear sprocket is wear-resistant steel.

Priority EIGHT_Rear_Black sm (2)

Weiner says customers were clamoring for a model with Gates Carbon Drive, the global leader in bicycle belt drives. “The endless requests that we received for this bike had been overwhelming. We couldn’t ignore the call,” he says. “Riders wanted what we stand for – hassle free, great quality, unmatched value – in a package that could support performance, more mileage, and increased agility.”

“Gates is very pleased to be working with Priority and to have Carbon Drive featured on the Eight,” says Todd Sellden, global director of Gates Carbon Drive. “Priority is a smart and ambitious young company that has found a way to offer affordable and fun city bikes that simplify bicycling and allow people to enjoy the ride and spend less time maintaining their bikes.”

Priority Eight feature_detail

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