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  1. #1
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    Official Belt Drive Q&A Thread

    I have found it difficult to consolidate information regarding Belt Drives. A Sgt. Joe Friday 'Just the facts' thread.

    I have found it quite difficult finding anyone in a shop who wants to discuss anything in true detail that is not on the shop floor let anyone who has first hand knowledge with Mechanic ride experience. I have met no one here in SoCal who rides a belt. Even at the best shops in OC etc...

    So I am going to throw out a number of questions that come to mind in hope of an objective discussion.

    Besides Spot Brand and the new Norco Judan, are there other MFGs who make a Belt specific Frame? http://www.norco.com/bikes/mountain/29er/judan-belt/ http://www.spotbikes.com/

    Is the "split" between the stays on these frames problematic? (loosening; stiffness)

    Is belt tension different than traditional chain drives? Is there one tension(ing) system better than the other or are they all the same?

    Are the belts suitable for Clyde's like me who ride a big frame and push hard and create big load climbing? Does frame flex push the belt off drive?

    Is Gates the only carbon Belt MFG? http://www.carbondrivesystems.com/ And do they OEM all the Production bikes

    What is the longevity?

    I think I have figured out that the sprockets are designed to fit hubs and crank arms alike...and that the belt itself requires bigger rings front and rear in general.


    Thanks up front here for the input.

    Regards

    IT
    Why are there so many threads about cheap ass bikes?

  2. #2
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    I will try to answer some of you questions, we work on a customers Spot Longboard at our shop and I just built up my custom belt drive and a few rides on it myself

    Besides Spot Brand and the new Norco Judan, are there other MFGs who make a Belt specific Frame? not too many off road bikes, Raleigh and Specialized make belt drive commuters, Ventanna's new El Toro is belt compatible but if I remember correctly there are only a few different ratios available. Also there are a few custom builders making belt capable frames

    Is the "split" between the stays on these frames problematic? The first generation Spot dropout is crap, it worked for what they were trying to do but they have since redesigned a much better dropout system, The Ventana system is stout.

    Is belt tension different than traditional chain drives? the belt uses in my opion less tension than my chain drive SS, but I have seen many people ride with droopy chain drives , as far as tension

    Is there one tension(ing) system better than the other or are they all the same? I prefer a sliding/swinging type dropout, the first Spot split dropout required you to re-tension the chain if you need to remove your wheel (fix a flat) which could cause problems on the trail (belt line is very critical and too soft of tension it will pop/skip under load) With my Swinging drop-out I can pop my QR and drop out my wheel, than put the wheel back in the drop-out with the belt on both cogs and then it is set up at proper tension and aligned properly

    Are the belts suitable for Clyde's like me who ride a big frame and push hard and create big load climbing? Does frame flex push the belt off drive? I would say that frame flex would be your biggest concern, I'm 210 and push 2:1 evey where I ride I have very stiff cranks (FifteenG) and my builder used the biggest tandem chainstays he could find to help eliminate flex. The alloy Ventanna should be a very stiff frame

    Is Gates the only carbon Belt MFG? And do they OEM all the Production bikes Yes, they developed the system and are the only MFG of compatible parts, and supply OEM parts

    What is the longevity? Mine is still too early to tell but the Belts claimed life span is about 8-10,000 miles with NO maintenance, not sure on rings and cogs
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  3. #3
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    What is the longevity of the Belts?

    I have read that the belts last as long as Scooter quoted, 8-10,000miles and the rings and cogs last half as long. So a 2:1 ratio as a guide.

    I found another Manufacturer of a Carbon Belt system on youtube, cant remember the name of the company but its featured on an Interbike vid.

    Check Gates Carbon website for more info regarding frame builders that support this system. There are roughly 6-8 to memory including Seven Cycles.

    I will soon be fitting a Belt to a Blacksheep Ti frame using the HACS horizontal adjustable chain stays to tension the belt. It will be one of only two that James has set up and I will hopefully have it operating in the next 2 weeks.
    "Be the Gear..."

  4. #4
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    Shouldn't a thread like this become a sticky for the belt drive guys.

    Scooter, never did see a pic of the new frame build up.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazy8
    Shouldn't a thread like this become a sticky for the belt drive guys.

    Scooter, never did see a pic of the new frame build up.
    Patrick Cycles 69er belt drive
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  6. #6
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    It would be good if there was a sticky or a special forum for belt drive.

    I have done a few belt drive conversions so I can answer some of these questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ike Turner
    ...Is the "split" between the stays on these frames problematic? (loosening; stiffness)
    Bikes have been made with a split since the beginning, and most utility bikes in Asia and Africa are still like this. Their seatstay is bolted at the rear dropout. Also if you look closely at many bikes using carbon seatstays you'll notice that they are disguising the joint. Many of the fancy joints you are seeing on the new crop of belt drive bikes are too fancy in my opinion, excessively technical when all that is needed is a simple pin joint which would be cheaper to produce and use less material.

    The simpler the joint the less trouble is likely to happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ike Turner
    ...Is belt tension different than traditional chain drives? Is there one tension(ing) system better than the other or are they all the same...
    I set my belt tension using hand pressure and it doesn't feel much different from my chain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ike Turner
    ...Does frame flex push the belt off drive?...
    Frame flex is the biggest enemy of belt drive. If you think of the belt a series of parallel lines, then when the frame flexs, then these arrive at the rear cog at an angle to it. This means they do not slot into the grooves and try to ride up on the cog.

    One of the bikes I built had a lot of flex. I rode it in the SSUK and the flex was so bad that I had to walk a lot of stuff I could otherwise have ridden. Since then I have experimented with various systems to get round this. The best so far has been a preventer pulley which does not engage with the belt until it starts to rise. The position of this pulley is critical, but it enables the belt drive to work on a frame which is otherwise too flexible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ike Turner
    ...Is Gates the only carbon Belt MFG? http://www.carbondrivesystems.com/ And do they OEM all the Production bikes...
    I think they are the only one that has done a specific bike application.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ike Turner
    ...What is the longevity?
    Haven't broken, worn one out yet, but that's a very small sample.

    Here's a previous post I did some time ago
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  7. #7
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    [QUOTE]Frame flex is the biggest enemy of belt drive. If you think of the belt a series of parallel lines, then when the frame flexs, then these arrive at the rear cog at an angle to it. This means they do not slot into the grooves and try to ride up on the cog.

    One of the bikes I built had a lot of flex. I rode it in the SSUK and the flex was so bad that I had to walk a lot of stuff I could otherwise have ridden. Since then I have experimented with various systems to get round this. The best so far has been a preventer pulley which does not engage with the belt until it starts to rise. The position of this pulley is critical, but it enables the belt drive to work on a frame which is otherwise too flexible.[QUOTE]


    Velobike,

    I had some fears that my Ti frame may be too flexible for the Belt Drive, however it was pointed out to me that the frame would need to remain flexed in one position for a duration longer than normal in order to derail the belt. Hence the frame would be constantly flexing for and aft this would apparently rid any such derailment issues.

    It appears with your extended knowledge that this isnt exactly true.....now Im worried again. Doh!

    When you said you walked sections at the UKSS that you would have otherwise ridden, were you suggesting that the belt was derailling or slipping?
    "Be the Gear..."

  8. #8
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    Here is the link to the other system available from Delta C at Interbike.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9jbmxI6jE8
    "Be the Gear..."

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=-Muz R-]
    ...When you said you walked sections at the UKSS that you would have otherwise ridden, were you suggesting that the belt was derailling or slipping?
    It was trying to.

    What was happening was that the belt would start to ride up and then would slip in to place with a loud KLAAAK! I did not want to damage the belt so I walked every time I heard this process start. I did get much better at smooth pedalling which helped slightly

    I think lateral flex is the enemy rather than vertical. One superior quality of chains is that they can tolerate so much flex.

    As belts get used more we'll see frames designed properly for them rather than adapted to their use, with laterally stiff chainstays but allowing vertical flex for feel, and also designed for belt fitment without having to split the frame.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  10. #10
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    Velobike,

    My frame was originally built to use a chain and then we realized that the telecopic chainstays could be seperated to except a Belt. All my concerns were passed on to the frame builder and the conclusion was that it would be all ok. Here's to hoping.

    My initial concern was that Ti is flexier than steel and aluminium, having read comments about light Ti frames derailling chains etc As it turns out Im swapping my Garmin Edge 305 for the Gates Belt, ring and cog so if it fails I havent lost too much other than dissapointment and some weight off my bike. I dont use the Garmin too much so its no biggy.

    Scooter commented that his frame has heavier guage stays to counter act flex, I wonder what extremes Spot Brand and others have gone through to counteract lateral flex.
    "Be the Gear..."

  11. #11
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    Will these new flanges help with the belt "walking" off during heavy loads?



    http://www.spotbikes.com/news?74c6d0...5833a98e3bd0fa

  12. #12
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    I have never had a belt come off, but then I have not accumulated the miles of testing that the likes of Spot have done.

    Flanges are a bodge - a poor substitute for proper belt alignment and frame stiffness. They are probably necessary when there is a chance of user error, eg with track ends it is necessary to be very precise to guarantee perfect alignment (to the standards needed for a belt) after replacing the wheel.

    In my opinion it is bad design to use a tensioning system that requires the user to align the belt. I predict a move to EBBs if belt drive catches on, or maybe the move will be necessary before it does, because otherwise there may be a litany of woe and recrimination from users with broken or jumping belts. This will be the result of belts not properly lined up by their users.

    It's early days yet though, so manufacturers are going to prefer to build their frames with a bias towards chains.

    The simplest solution will be to build frames to the "magic ratio" and no adjustment. The bike I converted for the SSUK was done like this - it was a derailleur frame and I had to remove a tiny amount of metal from the front of the dropout to get the tension correct.
    Last edited by Velobike; 11-02-2009 at 07:11 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    In my opinion it is bad design to use a tensioning system that requires the user to align the belt. I predict a move to EBBs if belt drive catches on...
    I suppose it is possible to have a bike frame so perfectly aligned that this would work. But very unlikely. Currently (as I see it) there is a NEED for some fore-aft wiggle room in the axle so ensure that the belt is not trying to run off. Flanges or no flanges.

    An EBB would allow a belt to be tensioned, yes. But how to make up for variations in frame-to-frame (presumably) vertical drop-outs? Or an accumulation of errors in BB/crank/axle/cogs? I suspect that belts will always need some degree of adjustment for run-on/run-off. I'm guessing that making frames and parts accurately enough to guarantee alignment would be prohibitively expensive and rather limiting.

    For most of us, I suspect that adjusting axle tension with some kind of tensioner will remain more effective and expedient than removing "...a tiny amount of metal from the front of the dropout to get the tension correct." (Though I respect that.)

    On the contrary (and I mean contrary... Winkety wink.) I think it is a bad design to use a drive system that requires the user to lube a chain. Or that puts drive tension on a 1.5mm thick tooth instead of spreading the load over 10mm. Or a drive system that has to be taken apart and put back together with a special and complex tool instead of slipped on a frame opened with simple allen bolts. Or endangers a user with a drive wheel of pointy spikes!

    I point this out for readers and skeptics of the belt drive.I think that we are used to the limitations of chains to the point of not even thinking of them. I don't know if a belt drive is "better" (I love mine!) but I don't like to confuse "bad" with "different".

    Belt drive is simple in a different way than chain drive is simple.

    That being said, I would welcome a change from the track forks on my bike. Looks like Spot is making that change -- new sliders -- and other manufacturers are as well.

    --Greg
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeabout
    ...But how to make up for variations in frame-to-frame (presumably) vertical drop-outs? ... I'm guessing that making frames and parts accurately enough to guarantee alignment would be prohibitively expensive and rather limiting.

    For most of us, I suspect that adjusting axle tension with some kind of tensioner will remain more effective and expedient than removing "...a tiny amount of metal from the front of the dropout to get the tension correct." (Though I respect that)...
    That's true. It was one of the benefits of removing a little bit of metal

    I took more off the right side than the left to get the rear axle exactly parallel.

    Then a couple of well placed smacks with a big ballpeen hammer on the flat surface* of the dropouts to bulge the leading edge forward to allow for the metal removed, plus a bit of light dressing to ensure the axle was a perfect fit.

    Sorted

    In other words EBBs plus a bit of massaging at the dropout will fix any problem with alignment.

    *with a vice for an anvil underneath
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by baycat
    Will these new flanges help with the belt "walking" off during heavy loads?



    http://www.spotbikes.com/news?74c6d0...5833a98e3bd0fa
    I have a 2009 Spot like the one in this picture. I think this design is crap for a belt drive. Those Spot Rocket tensioners are like little toys so I switched them out for some Surly Tugnutts, which work ten times better.
    I think belt tension is key. But this Spot design relies too much on how tight you can get your quick release. If the belt is too loose it will slide to the outside under heavy cranking, this will put more of a side load on the belt, and it will break. It happened to me. If the belt has proper tension and alignment, it is virtually impossible to break and it will never slip.
    I agree with another post in this thread that Ventana has a great design for the belt drive. They are going to be making the El Comandante for a belt drive. I might have to get me one of those suckers next season.
    Long live the BELT!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    That's true. It was one of the benefits of removing a little bit of metal

    I took more off the right side than the left to get the rear axle exactly parallel.

    Then a couple of well placed smacks with a big ballpeen hammer on the flat surface* of the dropouts to bulge the leading edge forward to allow for the metal removed, plus a bit of light dressing to ensure the axle was a perfect fit.

    Sorted

    In other words EBBs plus a bit of massaging at the dropout will fix any problem with alignment.

    *with a vice for an anvil underneath
    For a device to function correctly for all users there is always going to be the need for adjustments. Not everyone is going to want to dick around dremmeling their frames to accomodate a belt.

    What your suggesting is like selling a Belt Sander with no tracking adjustment and asking the customer to modify his tool to stop the belt flying off? Cant imagine it taking off too well. The likeliness of all frames being straight enough for true alignment would be slim IMO.

    I think the Flange that Spot and Gates have developed is a more versitile when used with sliding or Horizontal dropouts as it would work with all scenarios, flexy or not.
    "Be the Gear..."

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Muz R-
    For a device to function correctly for all users there is always going to be the need for adjustments. Not everyone is going to want to dick around dremmeling their frames to accomodate a belt.

    What your suggesting is like selling a Belt Sander with no tracking adjustment and asking the customer to modify his tool to stop the belt flying off? Cant imagine it taking off too well. The likeliness of all frames being straight enough for true alignment would be slim IMO.

    I think the Flange that Spot and Gates have developed is a more versitile when used with sliding or Horizontal dropouts as it would work with all scenarios, flexy or not.
    I think you have missed the point. I modified a non-belt drive vertical dropout frame with no adjustment possible. I was explaining how I got the alignment and tension spot on. This is not something that would be necessary on a production bike - at least I hope it wouldn't be!

    My point is that unless the manufacturers have a high standard of accuracy in the original manufacture AND have a simple adjustment method that maintains the parallel location of the axle and BB, there will be problems.

    A flange is a bandaid solution, not a cure.

    I also have a belt drive bike with trackends, and it is necessary to be much more particular when replacing the wheel than it is with the belt. I suspect some Spot customers have been having trouble maintaining the necessary accuracy, hence the introduction of the flange.

    If belt drive is to succeed, then very accurate frame making is going to be an essential.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    I think you have missed the point. I modified a non-belt drive vertical dropout frame with no adjustment possible. I was explaining how I got the alignment and tension spot on. This is not something that would be necessary on a production bike - at least I hope it wouldn't be!

    My point is that unless the manufacturers have a high standard of accuracy in the original manufacture AND have a simple adjustment method that maintains the parallel location of the axle and BB, there will be problems.

    A flange is a bandaid solution, not a cure.

    I also have a belt drive bike with trackends, and it is necessary to be much more particular when replacing the wheel than it is with the belt. I suspect some Spot customers have been having trouble maintaining the necessary accuracy, hence the introduction of the flange.

    If belt drive is to succeed, then very accurate frame making is going to be an essential.

    I hear you entirely, I just didnt agree that frames should be made specifcally with EBB and fixed rear dropouts when accomodating Belts. I just cant imagine the reliability of frames being made with such small tolerances and no ability to make fine adjustments.

    There have been far to many comments regarding crucial fine tuning for me to consider a frame with no adjustability.


    As for the Flange, it is indeed a quick fix but maybe a neccessary one for more flexible frames. The reason I favour its intended use is that it may well be the only way I can experience the Poly Belt as my new frame was initially built around a light weight tube set, not neccessarily in conjuction with Gates Belts. Out of curiousity, could this Flange have helped your own previous issues with derailment?

    I agree that the future of the system hovers around more belt orientated frames with greater lateral rigidity but this Flange will allow it to accomodate a wider variety of Frames including my own.
    "Be the Gear..."

  19. #19
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    Paketa Magnesium Belt Drive SS 29er

    There's a company out of Boulder called Paketa which does custom Magnesium frames, and they use Gates belt drive. They sent MTBR a bike to test and review. I rode it for 3 weeks and the belt drive was flawless. Put it through the ultimate torque test - Slickrock Trail. Check out the review I just posted on the Paketa Magnesium belt driven singlespeed 29er.




    http://reviews.mtbr.com/blog/paketa-magnesium-belt-drive-singlespeed-29er-review/
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Muz R-
    ...There have been far to many comments regarding crucial fine tuning for me to consider a frame with no adjustability...
    That would be done by the manufacturer, not the user. End of problem. The result would be an ability to replace the rear wheel in a simple manner without any worry about alignment.

    The flange on a frame that is flexing or has the rear wheel misaligned is better than nothing, but it should not be necessary at all in a properly designed frame. It would be interesting to hear from a Spot owner as to whether they have been having problems, or whether the flange is simply a precaution by Spot against sloppy wheel replacement by owners.

    I did consider modifying my rear cog to take a flange or a belt guide but there is still the possibility of the belt riding up, which is why I use a preventer pulley - also a bandaid solution.
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    Prices of belt drive components

    Here's the current European price list for Gates belt drive bits
    Attached Files Attached Files
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  22. #22
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    Velobike. Can you post pictures of some of your conversions?

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    Is anybody planning on building a freewheel compatable with belt drive? I would surely hate to have to get rid of 3 sets of Pauls (3 bikes worth of wheels) hubs to do this.

    Tim

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by baycat
    Velobike. Can you post pictures of some of your conversions?
    This link will show you an earlier one

    It's better than my other photos which don't show the process, just the finished article. I'm usually too impatient to photograph every part of it.

    I'm looking around for another frame to modify so I can build up a bike with my S-A S3X.

    I wonder if a 3 speed fixed wheel belt drive bike would be niche enough?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike

    I wonder if a 3 speed fixed wheel belt drive bike would be niche enough?

    http://thebikeshow.net/fixie-killer-sturmey-archer-s2c/

    There you go.

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimT
    Been there, done that already

    I've got a couple of Duomatics and tried one with the belt which is why I'm planning to try the S3X now.

    For what it's worth the Duomatic has too much slop for my liking - be ok on a commuter I suppose. The S2C may be different, Sturmey are pulling out all the stops to revive the hub gear market and I'm experimenting with a few of their other products too (eg drum brakes).
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    Velobike
    You think the slop is because of the kick back shifting? Is there a way to tighten it up?
    I want SA to come out with a 32 hole dirt worthy disc compatable 8 speed. Even a 5 speed would be nice

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimT
    ...You think the slop is because of the kick back shifting? Is there a way to tighten it up?
    I want SA to come out with a 32 hole dirt worthy disc compatable 8 speed. Even a 5 speed would be nice...
    I didn't investigate the slop, it seemed on a par with other coaster hubs. I don't think it can be adjusted because it's probably to do with the clearances on the engagement dogs.

    I reckon once you past 3 speeds hub gears get too heavy. If you want 8 speed go for an Alfine, not S-A.
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  29. #29
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    This is interesting.

    My first reaction to all these Belt Frames as I said is this: How can the 3 piece bolt together Dropout/seatstay/chainstay be durable and stiff at all?

    Is a big Clyde rider over tough terrain a mechanical waiting to happen??

    Can we say that Belt Drives on Mtn Bikes are for gentle rolling terrain?

    Not a dig just a though
    Why are there so many threads about cheap ass bikes?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike Turner
    ...My first reaction to all these Belt Frames as I said is this: How can the 3 piece bolt together Dropout/seatstay/chainstay be durable and stiff at all?...
    That's my thoughts too. One bolt is all that's needed if it's in the right place. Then it's like a pin joint and is perfectly strong, and that's how I prefer to do it.

    There's no question about the strength of the belt.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter916

    Ventanna's new El Toro is belt compatible but if I remember correctly there are only a few different ratios available. A[/COLOR]
    You should be able to get any hardtail Ventana with their new swinging dropout to allow for a range of ratios.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    You should be able to get any hardtail Ventana with their new swinging dropout to allow for a range of ratios.

    A mate of mine is the Australian Importer for Ventana and will have one of the new Ventana SS Belt frames on Monday next week or soon after. According to Sherwood of Ventana the frame was made specifically for 46-28 and due to the CS length doesnt offer many ratios close to this. He wanted a 39-24 or 39-25 and it isnt possible until a specific length belt becomes available early next year. To memory its a 115T belt that will solve the problem.
    "Be the Gear..."

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Muz R-
    ...He wanted a 39-24 or 39-25 and it isnt possible until a specific length belt becomes available early next year...
    Belt length availability is the biggest hassle with belt drive just now.

    Most SS frames are designed around old chain technology and have about 1" of usable adjustment which is perfect when you can remove links. Unfortunately you are stuck with the length of the belt, and the next size can be 3-5 teeth difference when all you want is 1 tooth difference to fit within the chainstay length.

    Nicolai belt drive ready frames show the advantages of clean sheet design
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike Turner
    My first reaction to all these Belt Frames as I said is this: How can the 3 piece bolt together Dropout/seatstay/chainstay be durable and stiff at all?

    Is a big Clyde rider over tough terrain a mechanical waiting to happen??

    Can we say that Belt Drives on Mtn Bikes are for gentle rolling terrain?

    Not a dig just a though
    Ventana's Design is VERY stout, I'm a 230# clyde and I cannot tell the difference between the split slider dropout and my one piece rear tri on my SS. Currently in 3x9 configuration, but purposely had Sherwood design it to fit the Belt drive system If I wanted to later on.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/attachment.ph...1&d=1255459095
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    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

  35. #35
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    Calling anyone running a belt drive set up......

    Having big problems getting alignment right on my bike and would welcome any help as it's the first time I've use a belt set up. Before I go on, here is the info I assume you need:

    Frame: Ventana El Comandante
    Rear Hub: Hope Pro 2 freewheel, 135mm
    Cranks: Middleburn RS7
    Belt Drive: Gates Carbon Drive
    BB Shell: 68mm
    BB: SKF BXC 600 - 113mm axle

    So, no matter what I do I cannot get the belt to stay centered, apart from once but then it developed an odd creaking sound on rotation at certain regular points. I have the belt tensioner so I know it's not that. I've followed the instructions but just can't get it to work. Seems fine when I tension the belt, but as soon as center the rear wheel it drifts left or right.

    I've also tried a Truvativ crank with external BB but the same happens. Took it to a store today and we tried moving the BB spacer over from the drive to non drive side to bring the crank closer. This got it to about 5mm from the frame, but still the belt wandered. I've flipped the rear

    The only time I got it silent the rear cog was on the last couple of mm of the freewheel cassette and I wasn't comfortable it will hold up under torque.

    Does anyone have any secret hints and tips I can't find elsewhere. Does the belt have a direction?

    I'm off to bed now as it's 11pm here in Australia, but with any luck I'll have a flurry of solutions when I wake in the morning

    Have attached a few images to help explain too. First is the rear hub engagement the only time I had it running silent. Second is the chainline. Third is distance from crank to frame, fourth is the rear wheel installed showing gap between cog and slider dropout and lastly the tension gauge.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Official Belt Drive Q&A Thread-img_0243.jpg  

    Official Belt Drive Q&A Thread-img_0251.jpg  

    Official Belt Drive Q&A Thread-img_0264.jpg  

    Official Belt Drive Q&A Thread-img_0254.jpg  

    Official Belt Drive Q&A Thread-img_0257.jpg  


  36. #36
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    I've found on mine that the main reason for the belt to wonder is it's too loose. I've also noticed no matter how perfect I think I have the belt set up while the bike is in the stand it always takes a few more tweeks out on the trail before it's running perfect. Once I have it set there, it's good to go until the next time I have to change a flat or something. The creaking noise will go away after a few miles. The reason for it is nothing is perfectly round. So you will have the tension set just right at one point in the rotation and then it will be tighter at another point. I would error on the side of too tight and put a few miles on it to see if the creaking will go away. Mine did.
    You have a great set up there with the Ventana. You shouldn't have any problems with that sucker. You might try to get the new outer flange for the rear cog that they are making now.
    Hang in there. Once you get the belt dialed in, there is nothing like it.

  37. #37
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    Check that your rear axle alignment is parallel to the BB.

    Is the front ring on the inside or outside of the crank spider?
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike
    Check that your rear axle alignment is parallel to the BB.

    Is the front ring on the inside or outside of the crank spider?
    Alignment is accurate
    with BB. Did think about moving the crank on the inside of the spider rather than the outside.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeezaGeeza
    Having big problems getting alignment right on my bike and would welcome any help as it's the first time I've use a belt set up. Before I go on, here is the info I assume you need:

    Frame: Ventana El Comandante
    Rear Hub: Hope Pro 2 freewheel, 135mm
    Cranks: Middleburn RS7
    Belt Drive: Gates Carbon Drive
    BB Shell: 68mm
    BB: SKF BXC 600 - 113mm axle

    So, no matter what I do I cannot get the belt to stay centered, apart from once but then it developed an odd creaking sound on rotation at certain regular points. I have the belt tensioner so I know it's not that. I've followed the instructions but just can't get it to work. Seems fine when I tension the belt, but as soon as center the rear wheel it drifts left or right.

    I've also tried a Truvativ crank with external BB but the same happens. Took it to a store today and we tried moving the BB spacer over from the drive to non drive side to bring the crank closer. This got it to about 5mm from the frame, but still the belt wandered. I've flipped the rear

    The only time I got it silent the rear cog was on the last couple of mm of the freewheel cassette and I wasn't comfortable it will hold up under torque.

    Does anyone have any secret hints and tips I can't find elsewhere. Does the belt have a direction?

    I'm off to bed now as it's 11pm here in Australia, but with any luck I'll have a flurry of solutions when I wake in the morning

    Have attached a few images to help explain too. First is the rear hub engagement the only time I had it running silent. Second is the chainline. Third is distance from crank to frame, fourth is the rear wheel installed showing gap between cog and slider dropout and lastly the tension gauge.

    Ok my fellow Australian

    This is gonna hurt, but........when I got my system I feared the worst regarding alignment as I have no means of fine adjustment but in the end getting the alignment right seemed the easiest part.

    Looking at your pics I would suggest getting the front ring closer to the frame to allow your rear cog better placement on the freehub body. I cant tell from the pics but my mate has this same bike and can only use a 46T ring on the crank. ( the frame is designed for this ring only at this stage ) .

    Heres the two ways I insured correct alignment, one of which is quick and easy so try it first. Get a straight edge like a builders square and place it firmly on the front ring so that it follows the belt to the rear cog. If it is alinged correctly the front ring will be with in 1mm or so of the rear cog. The more complicated method that I used before setup was to take some measurements of your frame. Start off by getting your front ring positioned between 1-2mm from your frame. Then measure the diameter of your seat tube and divide it by 2, then measure between your seat tube and inner face of your front ring. Add these together. Next divide your rear hub spacing ( approx 135mm ) in half, should be 67.5mm and subtract your first measurement from this. The answer you get will be roughly 17-27mm. This measurement will be the distance between your rear dropout and the inner face of your rear cog.

    In summary, if this is a little confusing, your mearly finding the centre of your frame with crank and front ring installed as close as possible to the centre and then transfering its position to the rear for correct cog placement.

    In my case these were my findings :

    Seat tube diameter = 32mm, divided by 2 = 16mm

    Distance between ST and inner front ring = 29mm

    Total = 45mm

    Rear Hub spacing of 135 divided by 2 = 67.5mm minus 45mm = 22.5mm

    You can now simplify by measuring the width of the rear cog and subtracting it from my 22.5 calculation and that would be the gap between the outer rear cog face and the dropout on the drive side.

    After taking these measurements and then fitting it all together, my rear cog sits on the outer edge of the freehub body but I still have a 5mm spacer between the cassette lock nut and cog which is plenty secure enough for big cranking. I checked with a builders square or straight edge before riding and it was within 1mm of accuracy meaning it was ready to ride.

    Of course all frames are going to be slightly out of alignment so its a good idea to only use the measurement method as a guide and then follow by using the straight edge before riding. I have found that with varying belt tension that my belt never wanders as long as its aligned correctly.

    Did you buy the frame from Pete Winfield? if so he would be more that glad to help out as he has the same bike. He did have some derailment issues to begin with but the alignment was out by 3mm or so to memory. Its all good now and it survived the Aust SS Champs in November without a glitch.

    Hope this helps.
    "Be the Gear..."

  40. #40
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    Thanks for the tips. I did pick it up off Pete and he helped spec the parts, plus I know he has one also so I'm confident I will get it working.

    Pete is on holiday at the moment, so I didn't want to bother him but of course I'm keen to ride the belt drive, so thanks for the info. If I can't get it sorted I'm sure Pete will help out when he's back online.

    In the meantime I'll follow your advice and see if I can get it running. The SKF bottom bracket limits the movement of the cranks but I think I can swap the spacer to the non drive side to get 5mm, or move the cranks to the inside of the spider for the same effect.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeezaGeeza
    Thanks for the tips. I did pick it up off Pete and he helped spec the parts, plus I know he has one also so I'm confident I will get it working.

    Pete is on holiday at the moment, so I didn't want to bother him but of course I'm keen to ride the belt drive, so thanks for the info. If I can't get it sorted I'm sure Pete will help out when he's back online.

    In the meantime I'll follow your advice and see if I can get it running. The SKF bottom bracket limits the movement of the cranks but I think I can swap the spacer to the non drive side to get 5mm, or move the cranks to the inside of the spider for the same effect.
    Yeah, Pete is at Mt Beauty at the moment.

    Try a couple of things out, Im sure you will get it working. Pete has his rear cog on backwards and it still works, I also got the Spot flange with my kit and after I was confident with it I took it off. Its never moved since.

    Make sure you have a strong secure skewer to keep your wheel placed perfectly in the same place all the time, you dont want it moving under load. I can remove my wheel out on the trail and put it back in without any alignment issues what so ever.

    My other tip is to get an Automotive Oil Filter Remover from Supercheap Auto or similar for removing the rear cog. It works way better than Gates supplied tool and it wont break like the Gates tool either. Although they only cost $10 to replace I broke Petes genuine tool twice at the Nationals just before race start!

    Good luck
    "Be the Gear..."

  42. #42
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    my cog sits at about the same spot on my I9 freehub, I have a flange disc on order form Gates so I can flip the cog 180. no issues so far but flipping it around will allow better engagement of the splines on the freehub. I do gets some weird squeaking when it is dusty and I just rub my gloves on the sides of the belt and it quiets down, I'm running slightly off-line now but it hasn't caused many problems, I will be getting the flange soon so perfect alignment will be possible. I have about 2mm of chainring clearance so I only have the option to adjust the rear cog.
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter916
    my cog sits at about the same spot on my I9 freehub, I have a flange disc on order form Gates so I can flip the cog 180. no issues so far but flipping it around will allow better engagement of the splines on the freehub. I do gets some weird squeaking when it is dusty and I just rub my gloves on the sides of the belt and it quiets down, I'm running slightly off-line now but it hasn't caused many problems, I will be getting the flange soon so perfect alignment will be possible. I have about 2mm of chainring clearance so I only have the option to adjust the rear cog.
    Hey Scooter,

    I like the idea of flipping the rear cog to get better placement on the freehub, I have the flange with my kit so I might play around with that at a later date.

    Im loving the belt so far!

    Have you booked in for the SS Worlds? 400 spots have been taken already, make sure you dont miss out.

    Muz
    "Be the Gear..."

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Muz R-
    Hey Scooter,

    I like the idea of flipping the rear cog to get better placement on the freehub, I have the flange with my kit so I might play around with that at a later date.

    Im loving the belt so far!

    Have you booked in for the SS Worlds? 400 spots have been taken already, make sure you dont miss out.

    Muz

    I signed up for Leadville again this year, if I get in there is no way I can possibly afford both races, I don't find out until the first week of Feb.

    I may be missing worlds this year

    If I find out that I don't make it in to Leadville I may email the guys at SSWCNZ and see if I can get a late entry.

    are you going?
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter916
    I signed up for Leadville again this year, if I get in there is no way I can possibly afford both races, I don't find out until the first week of Feb.

    I may be missing worlds this year

    If I find out that I don't make it in to Leadville I may email the guys at SSWCNZ and see if I can get a late entry.

    are you going?
    Leadville SS? Big call

    Yeah Ive just entered 10 minutes ago and the entries are up to 476 already. Should be fun, they are offering free T-shirt and Socks with entry fee of $115NZ.

    They have some of the best trails in the Southern Hemisphere, it would be a shame to miss out...
    "Be the Gear..."

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Muz R-
    Leadville SS? Big call

    Yeah Ive just entered 10 minutes ago and the entries are up to 476 already. Should be fun, they are offering free T-shirt and Socks with entry fee of $115NZ.

    They have some of the best trails in the Southern Hemisphere, it would be a shame to miss out...
    actually Leadville is the only race I do with gears. I went back and raced it in 06 and 08 and both years missed the cutoff, 06 missed the 74 mile cutoff by 10min, and 08 my body shut down on the way up Columbine and I turned back.

    So its $115 NZ any idea what it is in USD??

    If I don't race at Worlds I will just make a vacation with the GF and spend a week or two.
    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl
    aluminium has a tendency to fail when you need it most. i.e. you end up with a bad day.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter916
    actually Leadville is the only race I do with gears. I went back and raced it in 06 and 08 and both years missed the cutoff, 06 missed the 74 mile cutoff by 10min, and 08 my body shut down on the way up Columbine and I turned back.

    So its $115 NZ any idea what it is in USD??

    If I don't race at Worlds I will just make a vacation with the GF and spend a week or two.
    Scooter,

    Im glad you use gears for that one, 160km's is a long way with only one.

    $115NZ is $84.30US.

    Definately head over for a vacation, best time to go is March 1st as its the first day of off peak and will save you heaps in accomodation and car hire etc. Its also the driest month of the year and still warm so perfect for riding. Temps are around 23 deg C with little humidity. Check out Taupo, about 50 miles from Rotorua and there are quality trails south at Wellington. Either way you cant go wrong, the bike shops are always willing to help out a tourist. Queenstown in the South Island has been described as a mini Wistler and there are butt loads of other great rides with full description in the Kennett Brothers book titled " Classic New Zealand Mtb Rides ". Get a copy of this Mtb Bible prior to heading over, it will out line everything that NZ has to offer regarding Mtbing.
    "Be the Gear..."

  48. #48
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    is this how all the ventana SS are shipping now and does any one know the prices in US$? The site does doesn't seem to be updated.

    Side shot of the dropout would be cool! thanks

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shrederland
    is this how all the ventana SS are shipping now and does any one know the prices in US$? The site does doesn't seem to be updated.

    Side shot of the dropout would be cool! thanks
    I think you have
    the option of sliders or EBB. The slider is great as you have far more flexibility without the potential issues of EBB.

    I have a derailleur hanger on the slider too, so the one frame allows me to run SS chain, belt drive, 1 x 9 or full 27 speed.

  50. #50
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    Update on Belt Drive installation

    After following the tips from a few people here and some advice from Sherwood at Ventana (who responded within hours - great CS), I think I have the alignment sorted. The Set Square method from crank to rear cog worked well and I now have about 5mm from the edge of the freewheel hub to the cog.

    The ONLY thing still persisting is a load creaking noise from the bike as I rotate the cranks. It happens most under light pedaling. The more pressure I put on the cranks the less noise there is.

    The belt drifts in about 1 - 1.5mm under heavy load as well, but still seems to be flush with the inner edge of the sprocket so I'm not too concerned.

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/wW_O57R69jE&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/wW_O57R69jE&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

    Anyone have any ideas about the creaking - will it disappear?

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