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.
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.
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. ternbicycles.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.” prioritybicycles.com
Steve Reinhart is a big ringing Ohio club rider who likes to sprint for town signs and chug uphill out of the saddle. When he saw the Gates Carbon Drive 70-tooth front sprocket, he had to have it. We met Steve last winter at the North American Handmade Bike Show, where he began cooking up his plans for this custom Ristretto road bike from Co-Motion. Despite the big sprocket, Steve says the wide range of the Rohloff Speedhub provides plenty of low gearing for Ohio’s punchy climbs.
The bike has a Phil Woods square taper bottom bracket, Sugino cranks, an Enve carbon fork and weighs just under 20 pounds on a 58 cm frame. Steve worked with Cycle Monkey on the Rohloff wheel build. “The bike is a beautiful and fun machine to ride,” he says. “I just crossed the 1,000-mile mark with the Ristretto and am amazed at the smoothness of the Gates belt and the added power transfer when the RPMs increase during long flat runs or sprints for town signs.” One more thing: “If you ever get lost in Columbus, Ohio, let us know and we can take you on an Urban Gorilla Ride, which may involve a brewery.” We may take you up on that, Steve.
Photo Credits: Raymond Lavoie
It’s no joke to say that the guys at Velopresso, makers of the pedal-powered coffee trike, are creating a lot of buzz. They won the Constructor’s Challenge at the Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Show in April. Their MK2 was recently featured on BBC TV, and it has received loads of media attention. Musician David Byrne of the Talking Heads hopped on during his Meltdown festival last summer in London. Former pro rider (and new coffee shop owner) Andy Schleck pedaled the Velopresso at an event in Luxembourg, and Velopresso appeared at the Tour de France for the second straight year when Dutch company Brandmeester’s served coffee at the “grand depart” stage on their MK2.
When the Belted Blog last checked in with Velopresso, founders Amos Field Reid and Lasse Oiva were just beginning production after several years of R&D and prototyping. Now, the UK company’s MK2 coffee trikes are rolling off the production line from their East London factory. Velopresso has sold trikes in Australia, Holland, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Puerto Rico and across the UK, including one on the Isle of Wight. Below is the trike sent to the Bean Peddler in Adelaide, Australia.
The Velopresso is so appealing because it combines the healthy and fun aspects of bicycling with our love of coffee. The MK2 allows mobile coffee shops to set up on any street corner, with a low carbon footprint. We like it because the MK2 uses two Gates Carbon Drive belts—one to propel the trike and another to power the grinder. You don’t want a dirty chain near your beans.
Here’s a look under the hood:
If you want to see how to make a cup of espresso on the MK2, check out the video on the Velopresso site. Time for a hot cuppa. velopresso.cc