When mankind invented the wheel, it changed everything. Suddenly, men were able to get things done much faster (arguably)… then men discovered a set of wheels made things even better!... I present to you one of the greatest inventions, the bicycle. The two wheeler has come a long way and it is currently one of the most explosive sports enjoyed by all ages and skill levels.
Although the idea of a “fixie” may appeal to most youngsters out there, it doesn't really do it for some mature groomed gents. [referring to one of our “old” bloggers.] We like something with a little more variety when it comes to pedal pumping and especially when it comes to stopping; the shoe to the rear tire break approach is caveman stopping technology and some of us would like to go home safely to our bachelor pads. A few companies saw this niche growth potential in the fixie fad / trend and decided to capitalize on it. This is exactly what an award winning Focus Bicycles did (www.focus-bikes.com). These bikes are hand built in Germany and known as the BMW of bikes among the enthusiasts. Focus has been competitively building road and mountain bikes and now urban commuters, referred to as the “hybrids”, which is a mix between a mountain and a road bike (a “fixie 2.0” as we like to call them). These hybrids sport mountain bike frame geometry, paired with road bike tires and disk brakes.
After some relentless cycle searching, which included the aid of Focus, we were extremely lucky to locate one of these hybrids - a Focus Urban 2.0. So what makes this bike so cool? For starters, it comes in matte black. It has Continental high performance street tires, built in lights in the handlebars, hydraulic disk brakes, a Shimano Alfine 8 speed, and perhaps the coolest feature of all, it has a belt drive. That’s right guys, there is no chain, only a belt. This bike sports the ever so clever Gates Carbon Belt Drive system, which literally makes every day cycling better, easier and more accessible without the downsides of the traditional bike chain. [Have you ever wondered why those hipsters roll up their right plant leg? Or perhaps the chain grease on your pant leg is the reason why these hipsters started wearing skinny jeans… you get the idea.] For urban (street) riding, it’s much quieter and requires virtually no maintenance. It’s grease-free, oil-free and hassle-free. Of course, a bike like this is not cheap by any means and could set one back as much as $1,700.
If this is the first time you have heard of Focus Bicycles or more importantly the “hybrids” – congratulations, you’re now that much closer to being a hipster. And if you’re interested in learning more about these types of bikes, Google is a good place to start. We recommend searching for “belt drive bicycles” and challenge you to expand your mind. So, if you are looking to pull the trigger on a new bike and are willing to pony up between $1,000 to $1,700, check out some of these belt drive bikes, more specifically the Focus Urban lines. Pretty soon, you too will be sporting that curled mustached, a pair of retro glass frames, and those skinny jeans! Yeah baby!
Photos by CC from Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious