Continental Tires is entering the belt drive market for 2013 with an aramid fiber reinforced belt with deeper teeth than the competitor’s version which allows it to be run with significantly less tension, providing both longer and more efficient bearing performance in the hub and bottom bracket. The deeper tooth profile however does preclude the use of small cogs, as the smallest diameter rear cog is a rather large 24 teeth forcing larger front rings as well for the given desired gear ratio. The belt and cog profile is an open standard that is already in use in other applications, meaning that other manufacturers are welcome to use it to create compatible belts and drive rings.
The C193 pedal has an outer cage that folds out as a kickstand. Not as foolproof as a traditional design, it does provide a sleek, functional kickstand that has next to no weight penalty. www.wellgo.com.tw
Schwinn 4 One One 1
This $780 Schwinn has a 5-speed internal hub, disc brakes, large volume 40c tires and an integrated high-rise bar and front basket—all the makings of a serious city bike, just add fenders. www.schwinnbikes.com
This $32,000 carbon fiber bicycle is designed and crafted by UBC in the same quarters as Formula 1 cars. Appropriately enough the 17 lb bike uses a Gates Carbon Drive belt system, and has custom parts all around to keep the unique look. I wouldn’t expect to see this design in mainstream production next year, ultra-expensive bikes can shed a light on what will be more common in years to come. www.ubc-coren.com
Microshift has been quietly making thumbshifters that resemble the heralded Suntour XC Pro shifters of the early 1990’s for a few years now, with 8-, 9- and new 10-speed Shimano compatible versions now available for about $120 per pair. The 22.2mm clamp fits mountain bars, and the shifters are switchable from indexed to friction. www.microshift.com.tw