Best new Gates Carbon Drive rides: 15 wild belt drive bikes ebikes at Eurobike
Gates quietly made a number of subtle upgrades to their signature Carbon Drive belt drive offerings this year. And to celebrate their 15th anniversary of replacing bicycle chains with longer-lasting, cleaner, easier-to-maintain carbon-reinforced belts…. Gates put together a showing of 15 wild bike and ebikes showing just how far they can go from electrified cargo commuters to Megavalanche freeride mountain bikes!
Gates Carbon: What’s new from CDX-ST?
The actual functional Gates upgrades this year are more iterative than revolutionary. The top tier CDX gets new CDX:Black front rings rear cogs anodized black to handle higher torque e-bike loads with a next-gen centertrack tooth design that better sheds mud and debris.
The mid-level commuter CDC line gets a new belt that combines carbon fiber cord an extra stiff ethylene elastomer inside of a smooth-topped, centertrack tooth belt and adds a new optional ISCG bolt-on tensioner that makes for simpler conversions from chain to belt setups.
The other mid-line CDN also gets the same carbon cord ethylene elastomer construction update, adding new centertrack sprockets made from longer-lasting hardened chromoly steel.
Lastly, on the real entry-level, the ST belt gets the same carbon ethylene upgrade.
Gates belt drive bikes… from e-cargo to Megavalanche
For their 15th bike anniversary, Gates was celebrating at Eurobike with 15 unique belt-drive bikes… across the full spectrum of what you can imagine.
After last fall’s last Eurobike in Friedrichshafen, we felt like this new Frankfurt Eurobike was going to be all e-cargo e-bikes. There were certainly plenty of them, in one of two halls. (I’ll round a ton up later this week.) But it wasn’t overpowering and there are still plenty of normal recreational bikes around.
Gates kicks of the ‘we supply 1000 bike brands’ with this Schoof Jensen custom cargo ebike powered by a Bosch motor and an internally geared rear hub. It’s fully custom so build out the foldable gear platforms however you wish!
At the other end of electrified bikes is this Sun-Ron e-motorcycle. It’s not even remotely a bike… just a dirtbike. But a further example that Gates Carbon Drive belts are available to handle any level of powertrain load possible.
in the vein of practical e-mobility are ebikes like this Dutch-made Mokumono.
Built with a relatively unique sandwich frame construction in Europe, the result is much more futuristic than most ebikes on the market.
In fact, if you want to go the opposite direction, Ateliers Heritage Bikes in France can build you a belt-drive commuter with more retro styling.
The Heritage Origin is unabashedly inspired by cafe racer motorcycles, but it is actually a pretty conventional ebike under that gas tank cowl on the toptube.
With an upside-down dual crown fork and proper 26 x 4.0″ fat bike tires, this one should actually be able to handle some fun off-roading too. Sure, those chopped fenders aren’t going to stop much of the rain or snow, but this would make a crazy fun mixed-surface commuter bike.
With slightly bigger 20″ wheels, Vello does lightweight and folding too. This steel folder keeps it simple with a belt drive to the Alfine rear hub. But there are also ebike versions with an energy-recuperating rear hub motor, a super light titanium model, and an off-road-ready gravel version too.
This Storck Name:2 stays small, but takes the mini urban e-bike up a bit more with a move to 24″ wheels. Various options are possible with conventional drivetrains, but this belt drive e-bike is a unique 2-speed build. It swaps in a Classified Powershift internally geared rear hub paired to the light Fazua Ride 50 Trail motor battery inside the downtube.
On the city ebike front, commuters also go a bit wilder too with high-speed S-Pedelecs. You need a license plate and lights for things like this Stromer ST3 Pinion, but you still get a simple Gates belt-drive… plus ABS brakes, full rack fenders, integrated lighting, an upside-down suspension fork, and the ability to cruise at 45km/hr.
This everyday carbon fiber ebike designed by Greg LeMond delivers relaxed racing geometry for easy handling and maneuverability.
Greg’s experience and expertise in carbon fiber and ergonomics inform all aspects of the bike design. The minimalized contours and precision components of Prolog converge, rendering an unprecedented ebike.
“The Prolog comes closer to being perfect than any ebike I’ve tried before.
“The LeMond’s ride is sublime with a power delivery that is so natural that you sometimes wonder if it’s turned on.
LeMond is reshaping the future of ebikes by expanding accessibility to all riders
Reshaping the ebike market can only be accomplished by ensuring the entire build is lightweight.
Every ounce of this bike was dutifully deliberated and considered. Literally. You can’t design and build one of the world’s strongest and lightest electric bikes without exceptional know-how and dedication.
Carbon fiber is extensively used to optimize every LeMond made component. These include the frame and fork, a monocoque handlebar-stem, custom carbon fiber fenders, and a carbon seat post. In addition, an optional carbon braided wheelset with Tune hubs is available as an adding weight saving upgrade. Make an exceptionally lightweight bike even lighter.
Standard is an 11-speed Shimano GRX drivetrain. This combined with the lightweight build allows the Prolog to ride well over and up any terrain. Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting is available as an upgrade.
Ryuger Monocoque Girder 29 Cane Creek DB Coil 190/50
Front and Rear Pirelli C ycl-e granturismo tyre 29×2.0
Shimano BT-E8035 504Wh Intergraded
Prologo T Gale TT CPC Rail Nack Carbon with U Cage
Ryuger Carbon Drop Aero bars
Front Tektro Twin system Rear Shimano XT
Shimano Rotor 203mm x 2 Front 1 x 203mm Rear
Acid Avocado or Muscle Orange
Ryuger has again developed in-house a complete bespoke aerodynamic system around a proven drivetrain. Featuring the new Ryuger drop carbon handlebars for better ride aerodynamics, carbon rear swing arm with increased rigidity, unique blade carbon forks for improved aerodynamics, adjustable carbon seat post and proven lightweight Ryuger 756 carbon aero wheels.
Ryuger E-bikes also features real-world flexibility, allowing fitment of Ryuger crafted 29 carbon rims for daily road commuting or Ryuger 26 630 fat rims for snow or sand. The powerful Shimano drivetrain also includes 3 stage pedal power assist, allowing for a range of riding styles, from daily commuting to the experienced cyclist looking for a new experience. To complete the package, each Ryuger E-Bike includes a personalized 3-step adjustable stand for maintenance or simply to look and admire.
FULL CARBON MONOCOQUE E-BIKE
The 2021 Ryuger Eidolon BR-RTS Full Carbon Monocoque E-Bike is taking e-biking to the next level. The sleek aerodynamic lines, powerful twin front braking system, aggressive girder carbon forks, and water-tight tank compartment puts the Ryuger Eidolon in a class of its own.
The passionate team at Ryuger have tirelessly developed the Eidolon E-Bike to offer the best of both worlds. The flexibility required for daily commuting while challenging passionate and elite cyclists to push their limits to a new level.
WIRELESS CYCLE COMPUTER
The SHIMANO STEPS E6100 Wireless Cycle Computer features a large, easy to see display and wireless communication with 3rd party applications.
Expanded communication by wireless connectivity. Large, easily viewable display Wireless communication to 3rd party displays and smartphone applications
Displays on screen. Clock / Assist mode display / Battery charge level / Current Speed / Gear Position Display / Start mode / Automatic shift mode / Maximum speed / Average speed (AVG) / Trip distance / Trip time / Odometer / Estimated range / Range overview Assist power indicator.
What Is Kevlar?
If you have ever heard of bulletproof vests, then you’ve heard of Kevlar. This heat-resistant synthetic fiber is a type of aramid fiber that is created by extruding the fibers through spinnerets.
Known for its high resistance, stiffness, strength, and lightweight composition, Kevlar is often seen in applications across industries such as defense, energy, aerospace, electronics, automotive, medical, and more. Because of its buoyancy, it is also widely used in marine applications by the United States Navy.
Its tensile strength is comparable to carbon fiber, which is why it can be used to reinforce carbon fiber components such as the ones on the Eeyo 1 and Eeyo 1S ebikes.
Kevlar is resistant to heat, impact, fatigue, and stress. It can also retain its strength under extremely cold temperatures. No degradation or embrittlement occurs at temperatures as low as.320°F.
Even though Kevlar is also resistant to electron radiation, it is sensitive to ultraviolet radiation. This is another reason why the engineers at Gogoro combined it with carbon fiber.
How Is Kevlar Made?
Manufacturing Kevlar is a two-step process. First, the production of the plastic that makes Kevlar gets underway. This chemical process results in Kevlar plastic being pulled into long, string fibers.
Next, the condensation process begins. Molecular chains become parallel to each other, and they are then cross-linked with hydrogen bonds. This process is what gives Kevlar such a high tensile strength.
What Is Carbon Fiber?
Composed of carbon atoms arranged in a crystalline structure, carbon fiber is one of the most popular Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composites on the market today.
Due to its high tensile strength and stiffness, it is most commonly seen in applications across the automotive and aerospace industries. In fact, carbon fiber has the highest strength-to-weight ratios in the world.
Resistant to heat, corrosion, moisture, impact, and the elements, this FRP composite is perfect for building a lightweight ebike. The only way to make it even more efficient and ultralight would be to infuse the material with Kevlar.
Some Things About Bikes Should Be Boring
One of the most notable things about my brother’s testing and use for getting around one of the biggest campuses in the United States is what he didn’t say. He didn’t call to tell me it was broken. He didn’t tell me that it needed repair after a week. He didn’t have questions about how to use the bike, or anything.
This may be boring to write about, but it’s important that a bike you buy with serious transport in mind is relatively boring and trouble free when it comes to dependability. That’s exactly what he ended up getting: a bike that does the job with no fuss.
Plus, with an e-bike, you can show up to class without being sweaty or out of breath, which is helpful.
But, That Doesn’t Mean Riding Itself Is Boring
While the bike doesn’t make things too interesting as far as keeping it running, it’s still a blast to ride.
There are some wide open spaces in and near campus where my brother had an opportunity to open it up. With a max speed of 20 MPH, it might not sound like a thrill, but apparently it gets up to that speed pretty quickly with its light weight. Plus, you can pedal a bit after the assist cuts out to get some higher top speeds.
All in all, my brother describes the bike as “scary fast,” so it’s got more than enough juice not only for utilitarian transportation use, but also for some fun along the way.
Some Minor Nitpicks
While my brother thoroughly enjoys the bike, he did have a few small things he thinks could use improvement.
The first one was the headlight. It’s a nice light, but for a bike that can go 20 MPH, it’s easy to outrun the lights at night. So, if you want to go fast at night in places without bright street lighting, it’s probably a good idea to invest in some high beams.
Another small thing was that the clamp for the seat post can be a little confusing. He thought he had it tight enough, but it would still slip a little. There wasn’t a torque spec provided, so he had to figure out how tight to go by trial and error until the seat stopped moving. But, that’s what everyone who doesn’t have a torque wrench sitting around has to do.
He also thinks the app, while functional, could use some improvements. But, that’s something Urtopia can do after the sale, so we’ll have to see how that goes.
All images provided by Jennifer Sensiba.
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