Boo Bicycles Bends the Rules in Pursuit of Perfect Design
Nothing worthwhile comes easily. When you’re designing and building a bicycle made from bamboo, this truism has heightened significance.
“Building a frame, especially one made of bamboo and carbon fiber, around the Gates system is incredibly difficult. We have built many prototypes in order to perfect our design, and the Gates system necessitates the steam-bending of our bamboo chainstays to fit between the belt ring and tire,” says Nick Frey, owner of Ft. Collins, CO-based Boo Bicycles.
On 29ers and cyclocross Boo frames, this is even more tedious due to wider tires and increased mud clearance. Boo have designed their own splittable rear drive-side dropouts and make use of an eccentric bottom bracket (inside of a Press Fit 30 BB shell) or a Spot Brand tensioner.
Frey considers the hassle well worth it. “One of our most popular Gates applications is a CenterTrack system on a 29er with a Chris King rear hub. The advantage of this setup is instant engagement – the belt tension combined with the King RingDrive results in a direct connection between a rider’s foot on the pedal and the bike’s tire on the ground. When climbing steep, technical terrain, this setup proves invaluable.”
“And it’s absolutely worth it for singlespeed MTB and cyclocross applications where the conditions are extreme and there is a need for instant engagement and precise control,” says Frey.
Boo offers the option to run a Gates system on every single frame they build. “Because each Boo begins with a blank sheet of paper, we are able to integrate all components into a whole that follows a philosophy based on the customer’s planned use of the bike. We’ve spec’d the Gates system on bikes for road, touring, cyclocross, mountain, fixie, track, and everything in-between,” says Frey.
“Our customers are looking for something unique that also performs flawlessly, and the Gates belt drive fits that description.”