Gates Carbon Drive

Belted Blog

Cycle Truck

  December 3, 2018

"Bicycles make people smile," says master bike builder Joseph Ahearne. That's certainly true of his Cycle Truck, a low-maintenance hauling machine that both looks fun and gets work done.

Ahearne Cycles-Pinion Cycle Truck-Pinion Gates

The Cycle Truck has a 20-inch front wheel for keeping loads low and stable, a 26-inch rear wheel for easy mounting, plus an integrated rear rack and an upright seating position for comfort and stability. The steel frame has a double top tube for strength and rigidity (Ahearne has carried up to 200 pounds on the front cargo platform) and the Pinion gearbox and Gates belt drive provide durability for delivering loads. “The Cycle Truck is so rad,” says Ahearne, whose Cycle Trucks can be seen around his hometown of Portland, Oregon. “They are great for commuting or medium-duty cargo carrying.”

Ahearne Cycles-Pinion Cycle Truck-platform

Based in Portland, Ahearne Cycles specializes in touring, commuting and functional bikes that are solid and stylish, and in recent years Ahearne has developed a reputation for his beautiful belt-drive gearbox rigs. Ahearne began building bikes in 2002 after spending his early years traveling and working in bike shops. He took a framebuilding class, bought some equipment from a retiring builder and went to work welding frames for friends. In addition to his alternative drivetrains and Cycle Trucks, Ahearne is known for his intricate custom racks that blend artistry and functionality.

Ahearne Cycles-Amys Pinion step-thru

Ahearne Cycles-Amys Pinion step-through
This gearbox commuter features a swooping step-through top tube plus intricate custom racks and was created for a Portland teacher who pedals everywhere and needed lots of carrying capacity.
Ahearne Cycles-Gretchens Mixte Pinion commuter
This mixte Pinion rig shows off Ahearne’s beautiful and functional custom racks–plus a gloss black finish for classic style.

Ahearne Cycles-Gretchens Mixte Pinion

Ahearne Cycles-Ray R Pinion Touring Commuter
A red hot touring bike with intricate rack designs for fully loaded touring.

Ahearne Cycles-Ray R Pinion Touring Commuter-rack and pinion

Ahearne has become a firm believer in the Pinion-Gates drivetrain since building his first gearbox bike in 2016, and his next four orders will feature this low-maintenance combination. Ahearne built himself a Pinion-Gates touring bike which he uses for weekend expeditions and week-long tours, and it is his favorite winter commuting rig. “It rains for half the year in Portland and your chain gets so gnarly if you’re riding everyday. It’s nice not having to think about my drivetrain. I get home from a long off-road tour and I just keep riding.”

Ahearne is also a co-founder along with Christopher Iglehart of Page Street Cycles. They share a workshop, and combining forces allows them to concentrate on their strengths and complete bikes faster with more attention to detail. Page Street has made a name for itself in the rugged off-road touring segment, as evidenced by the blue beauty below.

Ahearne Cycles-Gustav Outback

Ahearne Cycles-Gustavs Outback Tourer-Pinion 18

This “Outback” tourer uses 27.5 x 3.25 Schwalbe tires, a belt drive and gearbox, couplers for packing the bike in a case for travel, a generator hub for powering the head and tail lights and a USB charger. The color-matched pump mounted to the seat tube is a nice touch. Customers often order this bike with two wheelsets: a fat off-road setup as shown above, and also a thinner 700c x 2.0 setup for road touring.

“Bicycles, to me, represent all that is good and fun and creative in humans,” Ahearne says. “Bikes are healthy and meditative and useful, and they bring out the best of people’s personalities. They help build community and promote environmental awareness, and they can help people explore the world around them in a way that is interactive and participatory. Bicycles make people smile.”

Ahearne welding