Gates Corporation, maker of the Gates Carbon Drive belt-drive system for bicycles, has partnered with the Swiss bicycle brand BMC to become the official “lifestyle bike” sponsor of the BMC Racing Team. Cadel Evans and select teammates and staff will receive belt-drive commuter bikes from BMC’s lifestyle line as part of the sponsorship, which is believed to be unique among professional race teams.
BMC Racing Team trucks in Europe and the United States will carry BMC brand “urbanchallenge,” or UC01, bicycles for use by team members and staff at race venues. In addition to the 11-speed UC01 models, Gates will give select team riders including Evans and George Hincapie “masschallenge” MC01 single speeds for commuting and personal use at home. Both bike models are equipped with Gates Carbon Drive, a chain-replacing technology that needs no greasy lubrication and will not stretch like a chain.
The UC01 and MC01 are the showpieces of BMC’s Lifestyle line and were launched in 2012 with the goal of producing the most advanced and appealing transportation bikes. “We are honored to have Tour de France winner Cadel Evans and members of the BMC Racing Team commuting and running errands on belt-drive bikes,” says Greg Vigil, vice president of marketing for Gates. “Just like everyday bicycle commuters, pro racers also want a transportation bike that is clean and low-maintenance.”
"The BMC Racing Team rides the most high-performance race bikes, and now we also have the most high-performance commuter and lifestyle bikes," says BMC Racing Team owner Jim Ochowicz, who will receive a UC01 for pedaling and commuting around his hometown. "Gates Carbon Drive is an innovative technology that perfectly fits our team image of Swiss precision, speed and compelling aesthetics, and we are pleased to have Gates as an official sponsor."
The UC01 comes in 11-speed, eight-speed and three-speed versions, along with a single speed/fixie option. It is designed for commuting, fitness or leisure rides. The MC01 single speed is a high-concept bike that was conceived with the idea of getting Evans onto the lightest and most innovative city bike. Attractive, fast and light, the UC01 and MC01 are built on a lightweight iSC alloy frame and feature carbon forks, disc brakes and Gates' new CenterTrack drivetrain, which has won accolades from publications including Bicycling, Wired and Outside, and European media including Germany's Aktiv Radfahren and France's Velovert.
"Gates sees this relationship with BMC Racing as a great way to build awareness of Carbon Drive's clean, quiet, light and strong advantages among European consumers and followers of elite road racing worldwide, the types of bicyclists who want nothing but the best commuter bike," says Todd Sellden, director of Gates Carbon Drive Systems.