Gates will take to Eurobike to launch a suite of new products, including a direct-mount crankset and e-Bike components for recently released Bosch and Shimano mid-drive motors.
Discussing a recent period of expansion and one during which it surpassed 1.5 million belts sold in the bike market, Gates has also created several new positions within its bicycle division to meet growing customer demand in two of Carbon Drive’s most important market segments: electric mobility and share/fleet bikes.
“While the bicycle industry as a whole is experiencing soft growth, we continue to grow our product line to meet the needs of consumers and manufacturers in all of our main bicycle market segments: electric bikes, share bikes, pedal bikes and stationary fitness bikes,” says Todd Sellden, Global Director of Gates Carbon Drive. “In light of this fact, we have strategically realigned our business development strategy to more effectively target and serve each of these industry segments.”
Sellden last year told CI.N that the firm has now surpassed 500 OEM partners and that he feels the belt drive movement is fast building traction.
For the e-Bike market, Gates has hired industry veteran Zach Krapfl to fill the new position of Global eMobility Market Development Manager. Krapfl will oversee initiatives to collaborate with all the leading and emerging electric drive systems, working with product managers to implement best practices for e-Bike design, as well offering complete bike prototyping and technical design guidance.
Krapfl’s bike industry resume includes stints with Schwinn, GT and Cannondale, where he helped initiate Cannondale’s electric vehicle initiative. In recent years he has worked as a consultant for Bosch, Felt and other brands. At Eurobike 2018, Gates and Krapfl will show new products for current and future Bosch and Shimano drive systems, including sprockets, spider assemblies and belt guards.
“Adding Zach to the Carbon Drive team helps us move into a leadership position in the eMobility category,” Sellden says. “He is well known and well respected and has been involved in electric motor and battery integration in the bike industry for more than a decade.”
Krapfl adds: “We are working feverishly to keep up with the latest propulsion advances from Bosch, Shimano, Yamaha, Panasonic, Brose and other promising electric drive systems coming to market. We work hand-in-hand with e-Bike manufacturers from start to finish, from engineering and design to factory assembly, to ensure that Gates remains the premium drive solution for electric mobility.”
Further to Krapfl, Gates has hired veteran engineer Cathy Wilson as a Market Development Manager to oversee share bike development, best practices and sales. Wilson is a veteran engineer who previously worked in the Gates belt plant in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and she was instrumental in developing the Gates Carbon Drive 11-millimeter pitch bicycle belts.
“Creating this new position for Cathy Wilson will enable us to achieve even greater market penetration in the share bike space,” Sellden says.
Gates Carbon Drive belts are currently used on share bikes deployed in Asia, North America and Europe. At Eurobike, Gates will show a new investment cast sprocket created for the bike share/fleet bike market that delivers high strength at a modest price point.
New Products set for Eurobike (Booth a2-201)
• Integrated crank assemblies for both the CDX premium and CDN urban lines in silver or black with a matching aluminum guard included.
• S550 direct-mount cranks with modular beltline adjustability. The S550 adds a more modern, clean aesthetic and will come as a pre-assembled crankset for easy factory installation.
• New rear sprockets for Shimano internally geared hubs that create a standard “unified beltline” to simplify belt integration. The sprockets will mate with Shimano’s Nexus 8, Alfine 8 and 11, and Di2 electronic shifting hubs, plus the company’s Inter 5E hubs.
• A complete line of aluminum rear sprockets in seven sizes in Carbon Drive’s CDX:SL group for Pinion gearboxes.
For mechanics, new tooling will also debut:
• The Carbon Drive Professional Belt Tension Gauge.
• The Carbon Drive Professional Frame Alignment Tool, which is designed for assembly factories. This tool measures the relative alignment between the axis of the bottom bracket shell and the axis of the rear axles in both the vertical and horizontal planes, helping manufactures achieve the best alignment for maximum efficiency.