Wheel build:belt drive+IGH- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Wheel build:belt drive+IGH

    I'm looking for an inexpensive and effective way to build up a set of 700c wheels that include a belt drive and internal gear hub. The rim width can be fairly wide for a gravel type commuting tire. Who sells belt drive components online who can fit the bill? This can be a set of parts or a complete wheel. Can the belt drive front ring be compatible with say a typical low end Shimano crankset? Or is the patterns different, necessating a separate purchase of a crankset?
    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
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    Inexpensive belt drive kits don't exist. Budget at least $300 for that. Add that to whatever a wheel will cost. Depends on what you want

  3. #3
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    Retail for the newest CenterTrack system will be around $220. This includes the front and rear sprocket as well as the belt. You will need to go with one of the Shimano IGH's to be compatible with the sprockets available. The parts can be purchased from your local bike shop. They can get the parts from one of their parts distributors.

  4. #4
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeltRider View Post
    Retail for the newest CenterTrack system will be around $220. This includes the front and rear sprocket as well as the belt. You will need to go with one of the Shimano IGH's to be compatible with the sprockets available. The parts can be purchased from your local bike shop. They can get the parts from one of their parts distributors.
    That seems a bit less than I saw for the earlier versions selling for. That's an improvement...one of the reasons I did not go that direction was because of cost. And yeah, LBS seems the easiest way. I saw ONE online dealer selling belt parts last time I looked, and they did not have all the options available.

  5. #5
    Frt Range, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chalkpaw View Post
    ...Who sells belt drive components online who can fit the bill? ...
    Universal has everything for sale, IMHO, belt drive sucks but it's your money.

    Universal Cycles -- Belt Drive Systems

  6. #6
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    They do not carry the latest CenterTrack version. The generation is a big improvement over the CDX model that Universal carries. What problems have you personally had with the belt?

  7. #7
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    I know this might not make sense depending on your location, but you may want to get in touch with Dave at Redstone Cycles in Lyons, CO. He and his crew have a ton of experience with the Gates systems, and have started up a bike company (Reeb Cycles) in collaboration with some dudes from Oskar Blues Brewing Co. ('Beer' backwards) which solely makes belt driven single speeds. I rode with them for years and they know their stuff. They work closely with the Gates people, and Dave builds awesome wheels and loves weird projects. He frequently posts on the Colorado front rage board, and his screen name is 'ignazjr' I believe.

  8. #8
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    I rode a 1st gen (non center-track) belt + Alfine 8 speed for about a year, and really liked it. It really came into its own on snowy/rainy commutes. I literally did not touch my drivetrain all winter. It was super smooth, dead quiet and required 0 maintenance compared to a chain drive.
    The primary downside/concern I found was the amount of tension required to prevent belt slippage in the wet. This added a noticeable amount of driveline drag and raised some concern about the additional load on the IGH. Never the less, I really did enjoy riding the belt, and can see its viability for use on a bicycle.

    I live in the rocky mountian west, which is a high desert climate, and have opted to go back to chain drive + IGH because in my climate the chain format requires only a slight amount of maintenance (derailleur systems require far more attention), while requiring less tension than the belt.

    If I was in New England, Portland, the Northern Plains, etc (particularly wet/snowy) then I'd have stuck with the belt drive. It really shines for these climates.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the good word, XJ.

    I've been on the Centertrack for about 6 months for hard SS riding. I really, really like it. Definitely improved over the original belt drive. It's less sensitive to chainline and can be run at significantly less tension. The belt drive front rings are standard 104 but need to be run in the position of the big ring - even then, some frames may not offer clearance enough on the chainstay, as the belt drive front ring is pretty wide relative to a standard chainring.

    Chalkpaw, what bike are you putting this on? Keep in mind you have to be able to take apart the rear tri of the bike to get the belt on. I'm happy to help out if you can't find a good local wheelbuilder to help you, too.
    Redstone Cyclery
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  10. #10
    M8 M12 M15 deez nuts
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr View Post
    Thanks for the good word, XJ.

    I've been on the Centertrack for about 6 months for hard SS riding. I really, really like it. Definitely improved over the original belt drive. It's less sensitive to chainline and can be run at significantly less tension. The belt drive front rings are standard 104 but need to be run in the position of the big ring - even then, some frames may not offer clearance enough on the chainstay, as the belt drive front ring is pretty wide relative to a standard chainring.

    Chalkpaw, what bike are you putting this on? Keep in mind you have to be able to take apart the rear tri of the bike to get the belt on. I'm happy to help out if you can't find a good local wheelbuilder to help you, too.
    I would love to see some pictures of your setup—have you any to post?
    Don’t frail and blow if you’re going to Braille and Flow.

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