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  1. #1
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    lets talk BELT DRIVE any good?

    who has one?
    who makes them?
    are they quiet and smooth?


    when i upgrade my SS i am thinking belt drive. I like the thought of silence!

  2. #2
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    I have a center track gates belt. I don't hate it but I would not buy it again. It is not bad per say, the only wow factor is for people that see it. I suppose I could slay the parking lot. It is not quiet, not even a little bit. I aligned it on my frame table to +-.2mm. I had to make custom shims on my lathe but I as chasing noise. I have learned to ignore it, I suppose it scares off the snakes.
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    If I told you I saw a unicorn ****ing a leprechaun trail side, you'd probably be suspicious.

  3. #3
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Belt drives sounds like the mother****ing retard's knees. It is not, of course. I mean, **** ass expensive, can't get fixed trailside, difficult to to switch ratios or purposes and you have to make sure you have the tension dialed.

    If you really like the sound of silence, one should not start threads.

  4. #4
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    I want to add some other flaws:
    The CS is relatively long (17.6"), and you can't shorten them with half link...
    The pressure it puts on the hubs and crank are detrimental to the bearings and introduces drag

    The only advantage are a permanently clean drive train and no grease to deal with.
    Last edited by Climber999; 10-09-2012 at 06:59 AM.

  5. #5
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    As I've mentioned before, I think it's a solution in search of a problem. If you're not stupid then chains work absolutely great.

  6. #6
    blet drive
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    Quote Originally Posted by winginit View Post
    who has one?
    who makes them?
    are they quiet and smooth?


    when i upgrade my SS i am thinking belt drive. I like the thought of silence!
    they are silent and there are a lot of good companies that are using the belt. take the time to set it up properly and it will be sweet. As others have stated changing gears is not so easy but remember it is a ss.. and i Ride the raleigh xxix 2012 version.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JUNGLEKID5 View Post
    they are silent and there are a lot of good companies that are using the belt. take the time to set it up properly and it will be sweet. As others have stated changing gears is not so easy but remember it is a ss.. and i Ride the raleigh xxix 2012 version.
    Thanks for your input, but you don't come up with any convincing arguments.
    "they are silent" - some argue they aren't, and even if they are, a well lubricated chain is not offensively loud.
    "lot of good companies that are using the belt" - it means nothing. A lot of companies do many thing to improve their sales. Wasn't 69er a big deal once, and now all but defunct?
    "As others have stated changing gears is not so easy but remember it is a ss" - Wouldn't one like to change gears when one gets stronger or moves to ride in a different terrain?
    "i Ride the raleigh xxix 2012 version" - happy trails!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climber999 View Post
    "they are silent" - some argue they aren't, and even if they are, a well lubricated chain is not offensively loud.
    Not the mention the loudest part of most drivetrains is the freewheel/freehub, and that doesn't go away with belt drive.

  9. #9
    blet drive
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climber999 View Post
    Thanks for your input, but you don't come up with any convincing arguments.
    "they are silent" - some argue they aren't, and even if they are, a well lubricated chain is not offensively loud.
    "lot of good companies that are using the belt" - it means nothing. A lot of companies do many thing to improve their sales. Wasn't 69er a big deal once, and now all but defunct?
    "As others have stated changing gears is not so easy but remember it is a ss" - Wouldn't one like to change gears when one gets stronger or moves to ride in a different terrain?
    "i Ride the raleigh xxix 2012 version" - happy trails!
    One might like to change the gear according to were they ride, I don't. As for getting stronger that is a good point but iv just learned how to spin better. You are correct a good lubed chain runs really quiet as well. I do agree that they didn't solve any problems. It is just something different. The op did ask who has one,so I said what i have. All my bikes have belts no chains for me :}
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  10. #10
    Schipperkes are cool.
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    I have been riding a Spot with Gates since spring of 2009 and have not had any problems. Key is to make sure the rear pulley is aligned correctly. I also have a '10 Specy Globe Live 3 with the Gates belt and internal rear hub and no problems with the belt system.
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  11. #11
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    Belt drives are popular with road going motorcycles but do any off-road motorcycles exist that use belt drives?

  12. #12
    Teen Wolf
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    sounds like you are trying to downgrade your bike

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by febikes View Post
    Belt drives are popular with road going motorcycles but do any off-road motorcycles exist that use belt drives?
    They're popular with Harleys, and that's about it. Virtually everything else uses a chain.

    No off-road motorcycle uses belt drive.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    They're popular with Harleys, and that's about it. Virtually everything else uses a chain.

    No off-road motorcycle uses belt drive.
    What do you know, you are a bad mechanic.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4nbstd View Post
    What do you know, you are a bad mechanic.
    Yeah. That's original.

  16. #16
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    Don't forget the LS-650 Savage. Never saw one of those break a belt.

  17. #17
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    People say the extra tension on the bearings from a properly tensioned belt will wear out your bearings.

    I could be wrong but, I cant see that being an issue... You would think the drive stress from accelerating would be loads more than belt tension.

    Thoughts? Ideas?
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    People say the extra tension on the bearings from a properly tensioned belt will wear out your bearings.

    I could be wrong but, I cant see that being an issue... You would think the drive stress from accelerating would be loads more than belt tension.

    Thoughts? Ideas?
    An over tight chain or belt places significantly more wear on your bearings for two reasons:
    - It is ALWAYS putting putting stress on the bearings, not just when you're pedaling.
    - A tight chain/belt can create an enormous amount of force.

  19. #19
    blet drive
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    thanks bad mechanic
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  20. #20
    Keep on Rockin...
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    People take for granted what a remarkable piece of engineering a chain is.

    The belt drive, in this particular application, is an expensive, faulty attempt at a solution for a problem that does not exist.

    If you don't want a greasy chain, use Finish Line Teflon dry lube. Been using the stuff for many years in the sloppy NE. I've found the less lube I use the longer my chains last. I primarily lube them to keep them from rusting. A greasy chain collects grit and I've found that will wear your chain faster than running it very dry.

    The belt drive will go the way of the do-do bird.

  21. #21
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    The Rokon 340 motocross bike had a belt drive. It also had a pull start for the engine, and this was meant to be a "real" motocross bike. It went over like a fart in church.

    Belt drive bicycles that were designed for it seem to do okay. I would imagine great care is taken when they are designed/built to have a very strong and unflexible chain and seat stays to keep the belt aligned through the pedal stroke. Belts do not have as much lateral deflection over the same length as a well built chain and when they are mis-aligned, either due to installation errors, frame flex or play in crank, hub, freewheel bearings, they will put excess loads on those parts causing them to wear out quickly. A very popular Japanese cruiser actually had a recall issued and service bulletins to address a belt alignment issue and flexing rear pulley that caused noise and acccelerated wear of the output shaft bearings on the transmission.

    That said, if I were to go belt drive, I would buy a tried and true combo rather than a retrofit. If I was set on a retrofit, I would ensure I had a stiff frame, new and heavy duty bearings/pulleys/cranks etc. before I did.
    Last edited by cstem; 10-13-2012 at 06:37 AM. Reason: Not awake yet errors. More coffee!
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  22. #22
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    I bought what I think is a 2010 Spot custom 26" XC bike. Has the older (not center track) system. 100 + miles and I'm thinking this is an excellent drivetrain. It's quieter, cleaner and seems maintenance free so far. Also appears to have a weight advantage over chains. One problem- a couple times while climbing very steep, slow ascents at max power I've slipped a tooth. Not sure if front or rear sprocket but very unsettling and prob harmful. Could be worn out as it seems to have been used for racing before I got it (all XTR, tubeless, remote lockout Sid Race, carbon bar).

  23. #23
    blet drive
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideabike06 View Post
    I bought what I think is a 2010 Spot custom 26" XC bike. Has the older (not center track) system. 100 + miles and I'm thinking this is an excellent drivetrain. It's quieter, cleaner and seems maintenance free so far. Also appears to have a weight advantage over chains. One problem- a couple times while climbing very steep, slow ascents at max power I've slipped a tooth. Not sure if front or rear sprocket but very unsettling and prob harmful. Could be worn out as it seems to have been used for racing before I got it (all XTR, tubeless, remote lockout Sid Race, carbon bar).

    check the belt tension
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  24. #24
    Custom Wheelbuilder
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    I think that Belt Drive have come along way. When I first started, it was a bit narrower, and they slipped a bit. The new Centerlock belt is much more practical.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails lets talk BELT DRIVE  any good?-andyf1.jpeg  

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  25. #25
    blet drive
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    were did you get the red rings
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JUNGLEKID5 View Post
    were did you get the red rings
    I had them custom made by Phil Wood, along with the hubs, which are a perfect match. The rings/hubs sure aren't light, but god they are durable.
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  27. #27
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    Thanks, do they recommend a specific torque or is it a slack measurement? I heard there's an iphone app that measures the "twang" when you strum the belt, crazy.

  28. #28
    blet drive
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    dang looks good
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  29. #29
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    I've been on a belt drive Misfit for a year now. and just did back to back weeks with huge mileage at Brown County, The Centertrack does not have to be tensioned very much and is about the same tension as a chain or even less so wearing out bearings is BS. Mine runs quiet and after re-tensioning it after the first ride I have not touched it since. With my I-9 hubs and engagement is just as solid as a chain. It is a great conversation starter and gets allot of attention. I was just at the Brown County Breakdown and both days there people kept coming up to me to talk to me about my belt drive.

    Overall I love it. Yes its more expensive that a chain but it does work very well. I have abused the hell out of it for one year and plan on keeping up that abuse until I break my belt and from the way things are going that will be years from now.

    PS The belt drive on my Harley works well too!


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  30. #30
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    I've never run a belt, so I can't comment based on personal experience. I feel certain I'll likely never try the system on a personal bike, b/c the drawbacks (which most have already mentioned) will keep me away, as will the price. I'm all about wa$ting money on bicycles, but I think I could better waste it on other components, right? The gates stuff is really pricey!

    A drawback that hasn't been mentioned is that the belts themselves are easily damaged; given what most trail-riders put their bikes thru, damage seems likely.

    Let's look at chains again, honestly. If everything is properly set-up/maintained, chains will last a very long time, and aren't really noisy. Easily fixed trailside. Easily replaced, for as little as $5/chain if you like cheap KMC chains. (I do. $10 if you're a SRAM pc-1 guy) The only real drawback to the chain is the dirtiness; when you're riding trails, filth is a given, is it not?

    I just typed a whole lot, but in reality, I'm echoing the person above who said "A solution in search of a problem".

  31. #31
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    @surreal- The new centerlock belts from Gates seem to be much more durable than the older ones. They shed debris and dust quite well, they are super low maintenance, and they are absolutely stealth quiet.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen Cyclery View Post
    @surreal- The new centerlock belts from Gates seem to be much more durable than the older ones. They shed debris and dust quite well, they are super low maintenance, and they are absolutely stealth quiet.
    What he said!
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  33. #33
    meh... whatever
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    i've ridden a great deal on a belt drive bike and liked it. with the new centertrack high tension is no longer an issue or concern making retrofit a viable option to virtually any frame one can find a way to get the belt on as well as eliminating the possibility of premature hub/crank bearing wear.

    the main draws are that it's something different, totally silent compared to the very minimal noise a chain makes (but still doesn't do away with the freewheel noise), zero maintenance, and of course totally clean. the last two may really appeal to a lot of people more so than the others, especially those who frequently commute or ride in inclement weather.

    another draw to the gates system is its ability to shed mud and crud better than a traditional chain system, so it may also be very appealing to those who ride in extreme conditions mud/snow/ice frequently.







    continental is entering the belt drive market with an aramid (as opposed to carbon) belt which also is a low tension design. being able to run this much slack on the system would suggest a larger margin of gearing change:



    so is a belt better than a chain? only you can decide that for yourself. each has their own pros and cons and neither is going to eliminate the other from the market.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  34. #34
    blet drive
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideabike06 View Post
    Thanks, do they recommend a specific torque or is it a slack measurement? I heard there's an iphone app that measures the "twang" when you strum the belt, crazy.
    yes use the app
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