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Thread: New Belt Drive

  1. #1
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    New Belt Drive

    This may solve a few problems with belt drive

    It looks like it will get round the need for ultrastiff chainstays for one thing.

    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  2. #2
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    Umm...I don't know. Looks to me like the belt needs to be even more perfectly aligned between the pulleys, meaning even a little bit of flex and the ridge wont fit into that groove.

  3. #3
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    I don't understand how dirt, grime and mud will simplly just "fall away." Seems like it will just be packed in and compacted over and over until the belt finally falls off or the crank stops moving.

  4. #4
    meatier showers
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    I don't understand how dirt, grime and mud will simplly just "fall away." Seems like it will just be packed in and compacted over and over until the belt finally falls off or the crank stops moving.
    Really? I'm not exactly the world's biggest cheerleader for the current / old Gates belt drive but this looks like an improvement to me. Looks like mud will be pushed out below the belt... onto the beltring where it will fall harmlessly away.

    This is not to imply that mud is / was the biggest problem with the current Gates belt / beltring design.

    I guess time will tell. In any case I'm personally glad to see Gates working toward improvment of the belt system.

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  5. #5
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    i'm looking forward to trying this at the dirt demo next week.

  6. #6
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    Boy, it's really tough to beat a chain.

    Mojo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Really? I'm not exactly the world's biggest cheerleader for the current / old Gates belt drive but this looks like an improvement to me. Looks like mud will be pushed out below the belt... onto the beltring where it will fall harmlessly away.

    This is not to imply that mud is / was the biggest problem with the current Gates belt / beltring design.

    I guess time will tell. In any case I'm personally glad to see Gates working toward improvment of the belt system.

    --sParty
    Yeah, definitely and improvement, but I was looking at that center spline down the belt/ring, which could fill up with mud/debris, especially if it cakes on and dries. Maybe its not an issue and I'm being overly pessimistic.

  8. #8
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    I can see the reason for thinking that, but it would be no worse than a chain in the same circumstances IMO.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    I can see the reason for thinking that, but it would be no worse than a chain in the same circumstances IMO.
    except for the fact that a chain has a place for the mud to go completely through, whereas the belt does not.

  10. #10
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    I used to ride my belt driven motorbike through deep mud in Oz. The mud just got squooshed out. The only problem was when I let it dry overnight and that would have been an equal problem with a chain.

    It will be interesting to see how this belt copes.

    Schlumpf have a different approach to this.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  11. #11
    L09erdr
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    Nice.. if only that option was more affordable...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by L09erdr
    Nice.. if only that option was more affordable...
    There's nothing wrong with the price, it's just that the economy has to adjust itself around it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo Man
    Boy, it's really tough to beat a chain.

    Mojo
    Hahahaha. The chain is surely beat, the system on the other hand... eh, not so much.

    Looking forward to the advancement though.

    Bryan d
    Just keep pedaling, don't stop pedaling.

  14. #14
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    Well, somebody in the Pac NW needs to test this thing out thoroughly and report back.

  15. #15
    L09erdr
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    Listen!

    Let me guess $100 + for the belt alone? I mean you can buy a replacement ATV, Motorcycle, snowmobile etc.. belt for cheaper? lol... But hey coming from Gates what do you expect. I mean compare that to a $15 chain. Then you have the front belt drive sprocket coming in at $130+ just for a sprocket. Chain drive sprocket maybe $40 at most? Deff a price concern and possibly a lesson to be learned here. Cool product some may be gullible enough to bite but weigh your options people!
    Last edited by L09erdr; 09-18-2010 at 05:16 AM.

  16. #16
    Harmonius Wrench
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    Solves the belt wander problem, perhaps. I see more contact area with the belt, meaning more friction, (especially when dirty), and this can not be great in terms of efficiency.

    That said, if it keeps the belt on, it's better and for belt drive fans, now all you have to worry about is ratcheting.

    And cog size availability

    and if it the bigger chain wheel fits your frame

    and if you can afford it.....

    Chains. Still simple. Still cheap. Still working around the world on millions of bicycles.


    I'm still not convinced folks.

  17. #17
    meatier showers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    ...
    I'm still not convinced folks.
    I'm not either, Ted, but the cool thing is we get to stand on the sidelines while the players spend their dough & get beat up as forward motion progresses.

    Once (if?) all the bugs get worked out, and the price is right, I'm there.

    Until then, I see the belt as a solution looking for a problem.

    --sParty

    P.S. I rode my {chain driven} Vulture SS 57 miles today in a race. It was totally quiet. I paid special attention to how much noise it didn't make because I've heard several belt users say one of the aspects they like about the belt is it's silent. Well, the chain on my SS is silent, too. Just sayin'.

    P.P.S. The King hub... THAT'S noisy. But the same hub on my buddy's belt bike is just as noisy as mine.
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  18. #18
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    Sparty: the chain on my bike was "silent" too but when I put on a belt drive I realised the chain was not silent.

    G_T: a good quality chain is not cheap, but it is much cheaper than a belt. However you don't have to oil a belt, and the cost of good quality chain lube is not cheap over a year or 2.

    Chains are superior in efficiency if we run them in ideal conditions, ie clean and lubricated. These exist for the first few seconds of any ride I do.

    I would prefer a chain if I could get a properly designed oil bath chaincase for my bike, but anything out there at the moment is clunky and heavy, and there is no availability of mtb cranks and rear hubs etc that are designed to run with a chaincase.

    Of course you're both right. This is early days for belt drive. I'm just doing it because I like to experiment, and I'm a proponent of "as little bike as possible".

    The most important reason not to embrace belt drive at the moment is one I haven't heard on any forum. Proprietary parts.

    Gates has a monopoly on a belt drive system that works right now. For example, innovative people like ISAR can't just knock up sprockets without permission. More different cog sizes and offsets would mean more chances of fitting to different bikes.

    This means it is highly likely to become an evolutionary dead end like almost every other closed source product in cycling before it. Gates would benefit from open-sourcing the cog design and making their money out of selling the belts.

    I'm interested that Schlumpf have gone for the 14mm belt - is that a non proprietary size?
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  19. #19
    Single Speed Junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo Man
    Boy, it's really tough to beat a chain.

    Mojo
    2nd.

    A friend of mine paid top dollar for converting his old Yeti over to the belt drive and it worked for a short period of time. After a few rides it started squeaking and making tons of noise. He has called Gates/Spot frequently searching for a solution. They keep telling him that the spacing is off, just put another spacer in it and it will be fine.

    Well last night he finally got sick of it so he brought it over for some trouble shooting. After a few hours going thru the bike the weak link are the pulleys and belt. The teeth of the pulleys are quite pitted from little rocks that got more pushed into the drive train than out. The belt is showing equal signs of what I'd call advanced aging. Might also be that the parts ha has were original samples. It was pretty clear that he received sample parts by the writing on the top of the belt.

    The bike still squeaks. Honestly my chain has proven significantly more reliable that the belt. As an added bonus when I want to change gearing it does not cost me an arm and a leg. Think the belt drive has a long way to go both in terms of technology and customer service for it to gain wide spread appeal.

  20. #20
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    The limited pulley selection make the belt system a 'no-go' for me.
    Even for a city commuter, for which a belt is ideal, I cannot calibrate the gear inch ratio to 70 +-.
    Last edited by Climber999; 09-19-2010 at 10:53 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    Sparty: the chain on my bike was "silent" too but when I put on a belt drive I realised the chain was not silent.

    G_T: a good quality chain is not cheap, but it is much cheaper than a belt. However you don't have to oil a belt, and the cost of good quality chain lube is not cheap over a year or 2.

    Chains are superior in efficiency if we run them in ideal conditions, ie clean and lubricated. These exist for the first few seconds of any ride I do.

    I would prefer a chain if I could get a properly designed oil bath chaincase for my bike, but anything out there at the moment is clunky and heavy, and there is no availability of mtb cranks and rear hubs etc that are designed to run with a chaincase.

    Of course you're both right. This is early days for belt drive. I'm just doing it because I like to experiment, and I'm a proponent of "as little bike as possible".

    The most important reason not to embrace belt drive at the moment is one I haven't heard on any forum. Proprietary parts.

    Gates has a monopoly on a belt drive system that works right now. For example, innovative people like ISAR can't just knock up sprockets without permission. More different cog sizes and offsets would mean more chances of fitting to different bikes.

    This means it is highly likely to become an evolutionary dead end like almost every other closed source product in cycling before it. Gates would benefit from open-sourcing the cog design and making their money out of selling the belts.

    I'm interested that Schlumpf have gone for the 14mm belt - is that a non proprietary size?
    "silent" is good enough for me. I dont need the stress that comes with a belt drive system just to get rid of a noise that i never hear.

    i dont know what you're doing to your chains, but i just run a cheapo $25-30 chain and i use rock n road gold lube. I might go through 2 bottles a year, if i'm wasteful.

    Also, if belt drive is so much better, how come sportbikes dont use them over chains? There are plenty of motorcycles that do use belts, but all the high performance ones still use chains. If there was some advantage to a belt drive, i think the AMA or MOTOGP guys would have adopted it by now. Same with motorcross.

  22. #22
    meatier showers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    ...
    Chains are superior in efficiency if we run them in ideal conditions, ie clean and lubricated. These exist for the first few seconds of any ride I do. ...
    I could be wrong, but I believe that chains retain their superior efficiency far longer than a few seconds.

    --sParty
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  23. #23
    Teen Wolf
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    not convinced, never will be.

    chains are tried and true AND CHEAP, oh and they work great.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr45h
    not convinced, never will be.

    chains are tried and true AND CHEAP, oh and they work great.
    I'm not trying to sell you a belt and don't care if you stay with chains. They work pretty well after all.

    All I want is a simple transmission that doesn't smear grease and oil on you if you touch it, and if it's lighter, that's a bonus. So far belt is the only workable option, although I'm also experimenting with direct drive.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    I'm not trying to sell you a belt and don't care if you stay with chains. They work pretty well after all.

    All I want is a simple transmission that doesn't smear grease and oil on you if you touch it, and if it's lighter, that's a bonus. So far belt is the only workable option, although I'm also experimenting with direct drive.
    Greasless and dry is the only thing going for a belt drive. In terms of weight, the difference is about 60g. Not overwhelmingly significant in my book. See of a weight related discussion here: http://waltworks.blogspot.com/2008/0...-thoughts.html

    IMO, the limited selection of gear ratios, tendency to skip under high torque,creaking and squeezing when mucked and high cost should keep mountain biker away from it.

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