Gates expands production for European bike market

Fifteen years after introducing its bicycle belts in Europe, Gates is preparing for the next 15 years of growth by increasing belt production in Europe and opening a new factory in Turkey to support the European market. Hands-on engineering support, new technical resources, and sustainability are the focus of the company, explains Joe Menzel, Vice President and General Manager, Gates Global Mobility.
Gates Carbon Drive on Eurobike 2022.

From its first introduction at Eurobike in 2007, Gates Carbon Drive’s chain-replacing belt technology has grown from one brand to more than 1,000 brands worldwide over the past 15 years. “During that time, the company has become the most popular advanced drivetrain system for premium bicycles, e-bikes, electric two-wheelers, stationary bikes, and micro-mobility devices in Europe—and worldwide,” says Joe Menzel.

Made and designed in the US and Europe

Initially manufactured entirely in the US, Gates has expanded production of its carbon fiber reinforced bicycle belts to Europe to better serve this key market. Product design, research, and testing for the European and global bicycle marketplace takes place at Gates global headquarters in Denver, Colorado; as well as in Dumfries, Scotland, and Mühlhausen, Germany (through EU distributor Universal Transmissions).

Gates production plant in Elizabethtown Kentucky, USA was the first to manufacture Carbon Drive belts.

Today, Gates manufactures its Carbon Drive belts in the US in Elizabethtown, Kentucky; and Siloam Springs, Arkansas; as well as in Europe in Dumfries, Scotland; and Legnica, Poland. Next up is a new production facility in Turkey for Gates Carbon Drive metal sprockets.

“Gates is localising sprocket manufacturing closer to the EU with a new facility in Turkey that will go on-line in late 2022,” confirms Joe Menzel. “Europe was instrumental in the success of Gates Carbon Drive, and we are investing to help support continued growth here.”

Hands-on engineering and design support

“More than a component supplier, the Gates Carbon Drive team and its European distribution and R&D partner Universal Transmission provide a full cycle of support to assist European brand managers,” adds Menzel. This support comes in the form of hands-on design and engineering assistance, as well as prototyping, testing and a growing library of technical manuals and resources.

Gates has published a full suite (MY23 Binder) of Technical Resources that are available in English, Dutch, German, Spanish, and simplified Chinese. “We also offer assistance with manufacturing and assembly best practices, in addition to partnering on dealer training programs aimed at boosting sales and winning customer satisfaction.”

We are a start-to-finish partner with brands and product managers who want to specify our products

“Gates is far more than a belt drive manufacturer,” says Menzel. “We are a start-to-finish partner with brands and product managers who want to specify our products.”

Sustainability is our commitment

Gates, which recently released its updated Sustainability Report covering progress through 2021, is also working to create business practices that have a positive impact on the global climate crisis.

“The company is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2025 and is on track to meet or exceed this target. The bicycle industry will play a key role in advancing a lower-carbon transportation future, and Gates wants to help brands roll-out the new bikes and micromobility devices that push progress.”

“Europe is the epicenter of the micromobility revolution that is transforming transportation for a cleaner and greener future,” says Menzel. “Gates wants to be a hands-on partner with European brands to help them design, create, and sell the bikes, e-bikes and mobility devices that enable more people to get from A to B with a smaller environmental footprint over the next 15 years and beyond.”

Durable, long lasting, and grease free – Gates belt drive system with Pinion gearbox on the Zerode Katipo model. Photo by Sven Martin courtesy Zerode.

If you didn’t get a chance to visit the Gates booth at Eurobike, you can read about and see photos of the 15 wildest belt drive bikes and e-bikes at the Frankfurt show. Visit Gates at our next European show: EICMA, in Milan November 10-13.

This article is sponsored by Gates Carbon Drive.