Interbike 2011: Boo Bicycles and Co-Motion Show Off Gates Carbon Drive Options

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TRP brake levers, with no shifting duties required, help keep things light. ©Cyclocross Magazine

TRP brake levers, with no shifting duties required, help keep things light. ©Cyclocross Magazine

Boo Bicycles and Co-Motion may not be mentioned in the same breath very often, but both companies had sweet single-cog bike options on display at Interbike this year. Gates Carbon Drive belt systems are gaining in popularity, and new versions will soon grace more utilitarian-oriented steeds as well. But Boo and Co-Motion both made good use of the company’s top-of-the-line model with the new Center Track groove, which keeps the belt locked securely in place.

Bamboo and carbon add up to a sub-16 pound cyclocross bike. ©Cyclocross Magazine

Bamboo and carbon add up to a sub-16 pound cyclocross bike. ©Cyclocross Magazine

Bamboo Belt-Driven Singlespeed
Boo is famous for its Bamboo rigs, and Cyclocross Magazine was lucky enough to test and review pro racer Tyler Wren’s race steed for Issue 11. That bike’s smooth ride led to a very positive review, and we caught up with Troy Evans of Boo to see what the company had at this year’s show.

The singlespeed Boo with a carbon belt drive was not only light weight – weighing about 16 pounds even with modest wheels – but as Evans reported, it plows through inclement conditions. “At a recent muddy Bay Area race, there was no slowing down the drive system. I got a stick jammed in there, and [the belt drive] just snapped it in half.”

“I love my bike – a lot,” says Evans, “but I have to say the belt drive system is the coolest thing on here.”

Upgrades coming down the pike for Boo include a new all-carbon head tube and an all-carbon bottom bracket shell, which Evans estimates will save between 1/4 and 1/2 pound. A tapered head tube should be coming soon, and as Evans says, “We’re only making two bikes per week, by hand. So it’s pretty easy to customize builds for our customers.”

Belt plus gears, courtesy of a Rohloff hub on this Co-Motion Americano. ©Cyclocross Magazine

Belt plus gears, courtesy of a Rohloff hub on this Co-Motion Americano. ©Cyclocross Magazine

Co-Motion: Belt Drive With Gears!
Eugene, Oregon, based Co-Motion’s primary business is building tandems, but the company makes plenty of single bikes as well. particularly eye-catching in this year’s line-up was a steel Americano frame with a Gates Carbon belt drive wrapped around a Rohloff hub.

The Rohloff is a high-performance internally geared hub that offers 14 evenly-spaced gears – that means no cross-chaining, and a tremendous range of 526% from easiest to hardest gear. Although the hub is a bit heavy for most ’crossers (it weighs about 1500g, but also gets rid of the need for two chainrings, a cassette and double shift levers), it’s awesome for a monstercross rig, touring, or for weatherproof, clean gear shifts with little maintenance required.

Add the Gates Carbon Belt Drive, and there’s even less required upkeep – no chain lube necessary, and tremendous durability in the house. While we don’t anticipate a slew to show up at the local races, it’s a cool concept, and an interesting approach to adding gears to the belt drive system. More photos below!

As an aside, look for cheaper versions of the Gates Carbon Drive to start showing mated with less expensive internally geared hubs on city bikes and commuters soon. There’s an application where a virtually maintenance-free setup is well worth a little extra heft.

Frame: Super-tough, large diameter Reynolds 725 tubes.
Fork: Co-Motion taper-gauge Cro-Moly with CNC steerer
Headset: Chris King InSet 44mm Internal
Brakes: Avid BB7, 160mm Rotors
Crankset: FSA V-Drive (44t)
Drivetrain: Rohloff Speedhub
Shifters: Rohloff Twist Shifter
Cog: Gates 16t Cog
Bars: FSA Omega
Stem: FSA OS 150
Seatpost: Kalloy Uno Seraph 29.8 x 350mm
Saddle: Selle Italia Nekkar FlowWheels: DT540 / Rohloff Hubs; Velocity Dyad Rims
Tires: Vittoria Randonneur Pro 700 x 35
Country of Origin: USA

Want to see more of Interbike’s cyclocross offerings? We have a full list of some of the best new products we saw at Interbike, with more being added every day.

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Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 22, Print and digital subscriptionsHave you subscribed yet? You're missing out if not. Get all-original content and your cyclocross fix throughout the year with a subscription and Issue 23 back copy, with features on Lars van der Haar, Jonathan Page, Elle Anderson and more!
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