Team Gates Carbon Drive Competes in Colorado
Building on the success of its singlespeed cyclocross team, Gates Carbon Drive has created a singlespeed belt-drive mountain bike team. Team Gates Carbon Drive MTB will compete primarily in Colorado, with plans to attack the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series, the Winter Park Race series, the Breckenridge 100 and the USAC Mountain Bike 24-Hour National Championships, among others.
The goal of the new team is to increase awareness in the singlespeed race community about the advantages of Carbon Drive, which is lighter than a chain drive, requires no greasy lube and sheds dirt and mud like a bad habit. The team will race on the Rocker (pictured above), a race-proven belt drive singlespeed from Spot Brand equipped with the CenterTrack system from Gates.
Components include the Crank Brothers Cobalt 3 bars, stems and posts, and the Iodine 3 saddle. The stem and post have gorilla-like clamping force and the saddle has replaceable rails if you are ripping too hard. It is a light but durable parts mix perfect for a no-fuss singlespeeding.
TRP: Dash Carbon brakes. Tool-free reach and power adjustment knobs turn easily when your hands are tired, have great power modulation, and an ergonomically comfortable blade.
The team roster features Jesse Swift, Brian Hutchison, Taylor Nye, Mitch Westall, Garrett Davis and Tim Lucking–all members of the Gates CX team. Other members of the Gates CX team are also racing on belt drive mountain bikes for other teams. Cristina Begy is riding for REEB on their new belted 29er. Derek Strong is on a belted Rocker for the Golden Bike Shop team.
The MTB season is young but the team is already off to a fast start with two victories. The first win came in the 18 Hours of Fruita, where Jesse Swift was part of the winning four-person squad. Swift and Derek Strong raced their SS Spots on a team with two geared riders. Here is the race report from Swift:
“By morning we had moved into second place. Throughout the early morning we hustled as a team and continued to ride two laps at a time, eventually moving into first. The team that was chasing us ended up having some bad luck with a drive train and blew up a derailleur. In the end out team ended up winning by one lap. The bike was awesome. I raced a 46×24 and the gearing was optimal. The Carbon Drive worked flawlessly and my fastest lap was 29:46 compared to the fastest geared guy at 28:57. Summer is going to be fun!”
Mitch Westall won his first race in the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series, competing in the half marathon SS class of the Ridgeline Rampage in Castle Rock, Colo.
“From the gun it was spin time,” says Westall. “Into the single track I was third, 15 minutes later second, then first. I kept up a high pace and did my best to keep the rubber side down, hard to do given that the course was really fast, winding and hard packed. One section featured a super-steep climb with about 300 vertical gain. I could barely get the wheels to turn, I thought about getting off and walking, but riding it versus walking gave me a gap. The bike worked great, the belt drive was flawless. Spot with Carbon Drive is a smooth, sweet ride.”