Zoltán Bakó is one hard Hungarian. This summer the fixie fanatic and founder of Fixed X Hungary will do two rides worthy of the record books: a time trial across Hungary, attempting to beat his old record; and an Ironman triathlon that will require him to run 21 km, swim 1.9 km and cycle 90 km. This would be tough on a geared bike. On a one-speed fixie? Insane. But like we said, Zoltán is a hard dude. “I’m an amateur athlete but this year I am training with a professional coach who is helping me get fit for the Ironman. My schedule is quite hard: six days of training per week. All bike sessions are on my belted fixie.”
Last year, Zoltán rode 443 km (275 miles) for 22 hours and 37 minutes on his fixed gear bike to set a new Guinness record across Hungary. This year he wants to beat that record, and he has set a tentative date of late June or early July for the ride. A month-and-a-half later on August 22 he will compete in the Ironman 70.3 Budapest. His bike was created by his company, BBS Cycle, a belt drive specialist. Zoltán enjoys the Gates belt drive (“szíj hajtás” in Hungarian) due to its light weight and low maintenance.
60-tooth front sprocket, 21-tooth rear with a 108-tooth belt
Follow Zoltán at www.facebook.com/fixedxhungary and on his website www.fixedxhungary.hu
Residents of Hungary who would like to learn more about Gates Carbon Drive can contact our official Hungarian distributor, Massive Bikes.
The BoneStealer stalks the lush fern forests of Oregon. This stealthy titanium predator is the official race bike of the PDX Ti team. It’s another masterpiece from the magicians at Portland’s Ti Cycles. The BoneStealer’s curvaceous frame features Ti Cycles’ signature pierced top tube and monostay design. Fully customizable, it has a 120 mm fork (with 100 mm and 140 mm options), belt-drive dropouts, and multiple wheel size options: 29, 26 or 27.5 inch, plus 69er (26 rear, 29 front) or 675 (26 rear, 27.5 front).
Ti Cycles is renowned for its innovative bikes across all styles. Its SOLID city bike was a runner-up in the prestigious Oregon Manifest competition and was featured in Wired Magazine and many other media outlets. Founder Dave Levy is passionate about transportation bikes and has recently created two new electric bikes that will appear at upcoming bike trade shows.
The FIX-E is a fast and fun electric bike powered by the intriguing Zehus hub motor. The Zehus has no external wires, recharges its internal battery with regenerative braking and is operated from a handlebar mounted smartphone app with wireless Bluetooth connectivity. The FIX-E’s titanium frame, bar and stem have internal cable routing for a sleek aesthetic. Look for the FIX-E at the Bespoked UK Handmade Bicycle Show (April 17-19 in Bristol, England).
Now meet your STEPS Child. This pedelec showcases the new Shimano STEPS eBike drive system, and it will be displayed in the Shimano booth at the Sea Otter Classic bike show (April 16-19 in Monterey, California). With its STEPS mid-drive motor, Di2 electronic shifting, randonneur geometry, Gates belt drive, plus custom racks with integrated battery, fender and lock mounts, this performance eBike is made for roaming forested and fern-dappled lonely roads. ticycles.com
Gates Corporation and Schindelhauer Bikes have partnered to launch the world’s first belt-drive fixed gear racing team, Schindelhauer-Gates. The seven-person team will race in the international Red Hook Criterium series, Germany’s Rad Race events and select fixed gear races in Great Britain, Germany, the United States, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. In May, the team will compete in the first Fixed Gear World Championships in Berlin.
“The Schindelhauer-Gates team is an opportunity to showcase the high performance of our belt drives in an exciting, spectator-friendly sport with a growing global audience,” says Todd Sellden, director of Gates Carbon Drive Systems. “Schindelhauer was an early adopter of the Gates Carbon Drive system and we are proud to be an integral part of their brand and lifestyle.”
“Schindelhauer’s aesthetic and brand identity are deeply rooted in Berlin’s street scene, so it is natural for us to be part of this growing international fixed gear criterium culture,” says Jörg Schindelhauer, co-founder of Schindelhauer Bikes. “At the same time, Schindelhauer is attuned to the technologies that make bicycling simpler and more fun, which is why we use Gates Carbon Drive on all our bikes.”
The team consists of five men and two women from Germany and Switzerland: Mianzi Rei (pictured above and below), Martin Morgenstern, Claudia Weiss, Adrien Merkt, Dylan Longridge, Roland Trauzold and Yvan Morf. Rei is a well-known competitor in the fixie scene and the subject of the movie, “My Legs My Gears.”
Schindelhauer-Gates recently competed in its first race, at the Berliner Fahrradschau’s “Last Man Standing” and “Last Woman Standing” Rad Races. Rei finished second in the women’s competition, delivering the fastest lap, while Weiss finished seventh in the women’s race. Morf made it into the men’s finals and finished fourth, while Longridge finished seventh.
- Mianzi Rei, 34, Berlin
- Claudia Weiss, 34, Zurich
- Dylan Longridge, 25, Zurich
- Adrien Merkt, 21, Zurich
- Roland Trauzold, 33, Zurich
- Martin Morgenstern, 29, Hannover, Germany
- Yvan Morf, 20, Zurich
- Schindelhauer “Hektor” frameset
- AL6061-T6 triple butted aero tubing
- Horizontal dropouts with Crocodile belt-tensioning system
- Schindelhauer SBP belt port
- Integrated seat post clamp
- Straight carbon fork
- Gates Carbon Drive CDX belt and sprockets
Bicycles have always played an important role in the life of Patrik Widmer, owner of Switzerland’s 47 Degrees North (47 Grad Nord). He bicycle toured with his parents, raced mountain bikes as a teenager and later became a bike messenger. As an adult he worked for an international environmental organization and then as an electrical engineer, but bicycles remained his passion. When his bike was stolen, he worked with a frame builder to build a new one and learn the craft.
In 2008, Widmer opened his own frame building studio in the Swiss city of Biel/Bienne, at the southern end of the Jura Mountains. Biel/Bienne is a bilingual city where French and German are spoken, and it is known for its watchmakers including companies including Rolex and Omega, as well as DT Swiss. The region also offers many great rides. Widmer commutes to work daily on his belt drive gearbox bike and frequently pedals around Lake Biel in the early morning. Once a year he hits the road for several weeks on his bike loaded with camping gear. He has toured Norway and the North Sea coast of England.
Pictured here is Widmer’s Frigg touring bike with a low-step frame for easy mounting and a Pinion gearbox and Gates Carbon Drive system for low maintenance. “It gives me great pleasure to work with customers to envision their dream bike, and then to work closely with them to implement this dream. A 47° Nord bike is a reliable companion, smart and built to last.” 47grad-nord.ch
Gates is launching a “value oriented” bicycle belt drive called CDN that is designed for lower-mileage pavement and city bikes. The CDN system has the same carbon fiber tensile cord technology and CenterTrack sprocket design as Gates’ premium CDX system, but at about half the cost. “CDN is our value-oriented belt drive for people who want a clean and stylish city bike for getting into town or around the neighborhood,” says Todd Sellden, director of Gates Carbon Drive. “It’s for bicyclists who ride in jeans or skirts and casual shoes, not spandex and race gear.”
The CDN belt has nine carbon cords embedded within an engineered polymer belt optimized for lower tension. The front sprocket is made from reinforced composite embedded with glass fibers. The rear sprocket is wear-resistant steel. Five years in development, the CDN belts are manufactured at the Gates plant in Dumfries, Scotland, a leading producer of automotive belts and the center for Gates’ belt development group in Europe. Gates is attending the Taipei Cycle Show this week, where it will show the CDN system. Interest is high from bike brands. What does this mean for bicyclists? More lower-priced city bikes with Gates Carbon Drive belts instead of chains will be available in coming years.