Belt drive SS mountain bike ?'s-
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: hygieneboy's Avatar
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    May 2009

    Belt drive SS mountain bike ?'s

    Does anybody who has a single speed belt drive mountain bike have any unbiased feedback? I was liking the idea of it but have heard both good and bad. How does it feel with mud/dirt/sand ect in the drivetrain. I bought a Trek District SS belt drive flat bar road bike. It didn't feel as smooth a drivetrain as a chain to me. I felt like I was peddling with significantly more resistance than with a chain driven SS road bike. It is supposed to be a maintenence free whisper quiet trouble free drivetrain. I thought the tension was too tight so I took it back to the Trek store and they adjusted the tension several times. It always felt like there was resistance no matter the tension ....slack or taught. I returned the bike after nothing but lots of creaking and noise and aggrevation.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Velobike's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    I've been playing around with belt drive for years, but it's only since the Gates Carbon belts came out that I think it has a chance. These belts work. All that is holding them back is pricing and a need for suitable frame design.

    I suspect your problem with belt has more to do with the design of the Trek and the specification of the components (cogs).

    The resistance was almost certainly due to excess tension. My bikes (conversions) run freely with just hand tension in the belt.

    When I looked at the Trek I wondered how they managed to do it at the price. One of the differences I noted was that the finish on the cogs was more like a powder coating than the parts supplied by Nicolai. I wondered whether this was a cosmetic or a price cutting thing, and I wondered about the frictional qualities of the coating.

    The creaking does not surprise me. I think the Trek dropout is a poor design. There's no way I would build a frame where the dropout was effectively split and held by only 2 bolts. It is effectively a quadrilateral with one open side, and is almost guaranteed to be subject to movement. An open track end needs a fair amount of metal at the U bend to be stable, and this one is split right there.

    It's a shame you had those problems because it is otherwise a well thought out bike, and I have been tempted to get one to try it out. Maybe it will be ok in the hands of people who are not overmuscled single speeders
    Last edited by Velobike; 11-24-2009 at 12:44 PM.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  3. #3
    SS or Die
    Reputation: -Muz R-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by hygieneboy
    How does it feel with mud/dirt/sand ect in the drivetrain. and
    I did alot of reading before giving it a go and from what I found the Belt performs better in mud, slow, rain and sand better than a chain drive. Try and find an article on 18 hours of Fruita, It covers one guys story in the extremes. Theres another article on a guy that raced the 24 hours of Adrenalin on a belt and where chains died in the arse, his belt pushed on through 3 storms without a hitch.

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

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