Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-01-13, 04:15 PM   #1
jyl
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
jyl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland OR
Bikes: 61 Bianchi Specialissima 71 Peugeot G50 7? P'geot PX10 74 Raleigh GranSport 75 P'geot UO8 78? Raleigh Team Pro 82 P'geot PSV 86 P'geot PX 91 Bridgestone MB0 92 B'stone XO1 97 Rans VRex 92 Cannondale R1000 94 B'stone MB5 97 Vitus 997
Posts: 6,922
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Belt drive versus fully enclosed chain - pros and cons?

I was mulling over a future city commute bike project.

In Portland, during the winter my commute is in rain or at least wet roads practically 100% of the time. Drivetrains get gunky and require pretty frequent maintenance.

So I was thinking about either a fully enclosed chain, or a belt drive.

What do you consider the pros and cons of these options?

These would go with an IGH, drop bars, disc brakes, wide tires (maybe 650b), the fullest-coverage fenders with long flaps, generator hub and lots of lighting, and possibly a small "bikini" type fairing.
jyl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-13, 04:22 PM   #2
pierce
S'Cruzer
 
pierce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: 122W 37N
Bikes: too many
Posts: 2,294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
belt is perfect for this, but it requires a frame with a rear triangle that can be 'opened' so you can install/replace the belt. trek has one where the rear 'dropout' can be seperated, specialized has a joint up by the brake bridge on the seat stay. this pretty much limits you to a factory bike.
pierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-13, 05:18 PM   #3
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta
Posts: 4,496
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Even a fully-enclosed chain drive system is still going to get water and crud splashed into it and the chain will still need lube so will not be totally maintenance free. It will also be an extra hassle when fixing a flat.

The belt drive is nice but the frame concerns noted above do exist. Also if you decide to change the chain wheel or cog to change the IGH range you will need a belt-specific one as well as a new, correct-length belt, you cannot add or subtract links like with a chain.
dsbrantjr is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-13, 05:26 PM   #4
GamblerGORD53
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Elevation 666m Edmonton Canada
Bikes: 2013 Custom SA5w / Rohloff Tourster
Posts: 811
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Never used them, but I would forget the rubber belt. They have poor cog selection and torque. I doubt they like muddy cogs either. What LBS would ever stock that stuff anyway ?
I used Sturmey Archer 90mm drum brake hubs this year, dyno and oil filled RD5w. Flawless performance with zero fiddling with the non-adjustment brakes, not so with discs. For best results use long cranks and yes to a full chaincase.
GamblerGORD53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-13, 05:27 PM   #5
Andrew R Stewart 
Andrew R Stewart
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder
Posts: 6,612
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
For either set up (chain or belt) consider flat proofing the rear tire best possible. I've worked on enough full chain guarded bikes (usually an internal geared hub) and a few belts drives. All I can say is they both would be a pain out on the road, in the cold and rain, if you got a flat. Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-13, 05:42 PM   #6
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Bikes:
Posts: 7,912
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jyl View Post
These would go with an IGH, drop bars, disc brakes, wide tires (maybe 650b), the fullest-coverage fenders with long flaps, generator hub and lots of lighting, and possibly a small "bikini" type fairing.
I was out riding today. Beautiful day , but lots of icy spots to avoid. Made it back unscathed.

I think you're describing something like Rob English's Winter bike: http://www.englishcycles.com/customb...-bike-project/ . It's made it through 3 Oregon winters and 7000 miles of use with essentially zero maintenance.
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-13, 05:43 PM   #7
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Posts: 29,418
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 90 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
For either set up (chain or belt) consider flat proofing the rear tire best possible. I've worked on enough full chain guarded bikes (usually an internal geared hub) and a few belts drives. All I can say is they both would be a pain out on the road, in the cold and rain, if you got a flat. Andy.
A belt drive with Open forward horizontal (traditional road type) or vertical dropouts with a chain tensioner system, like an eccentric BB, or moveable dropouts are easy to work with on belt drive because there's no need to remove the belt.

If you plan this with rear opening (track) dropouts make sure there's room between the rear sprocket and dropout for the belt. You also need enough forward room in the slot to move the wheel up and slacken the belt enough to come off the sprocket.

An enclosed chain, at least up to the rear wheel, if not fully, will stay fairly clean and lubed in rough weather so that's a viable choice. I've not enough experience to comment on how grit and dirt affects belt wear, but don't assume belts are magically shielded from dirty, gritty road spray.

Years ago all weather riders with single speeds or IGH used split plastic tubing of the kind used to keep wires in place wound fully around the chain. This worked amazingly well, though it would eventually get worn at the slot. I'm a bit surprised that I don't see this stuff anymore.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-13, 05:57 PM   #8
Jeff Wills
Insane Bicycle Mechanic
 
Jeff Wills's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: other Vancouver
Bikes:
Posts: 7,912
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Half of a solution:
http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=3920



There's also the Hebie Chainglider:
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego...inglider-33772



but I don't know who has these in the U.S.
__________________
Jeff Wills

Comcast nuked my web page. It will return soon..
Jeff Wills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-13, 06:27 PM   #9
jyl
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
jyl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland OR
Bikes: 61 Bianchi Specialissima 71 Peugeot G50 7? P'geot PX10 74 Raleigh GranSport 75 P'geot UO8 78? Raleigh Team Pro 82 P'geot PSV 86 P'geot PX 91 Bridgestone MB0 92 B'stone XO1 97 Rans VRex 92 Cannondale R1000 94 B'stone MB5 97 Vitus 997
Posts: 6,922
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
I was out riding today. Beautiful day , but lots of icy spots to avoid. Made it back unscathed.

I think you're describing something like Rob English's Winter bike: http://www.englishcycles.com/customb...-bike-project/ . It's made it through 3 Oregon winters and 7000 miles of use with essentially zero maintenance.
Good for you! I was in bed with a hangover until 11 AM.

It is getting cold enough that I'm having to remember that, hey, ice is possible now. The other day I was hustling from west bound NE Couch onto the Burnside Bridge. You know the "S curve" there. I was diving into the first S when I realized, uh-oh, the road surface looks different this morning. Too late to slow down but I took the curve as wide as I could. Wasn't icy as it turns out, but at 5 AM it could easily have been.
jyl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-13, 09:32 PM   #10
FastJake
Constant tinkerer
 
FastJake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Bikes:
Posts: 7,574
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When you say fully enclosed chain, do you mean one of the chain cases with the oil bath? That would be cool.

The bike you described sounds perfect. I would probably forget the chain case and just run the cheapest 1/8" chain I could find, and run it until it skipped. Which would probably be a while on an IGH. That would mean replacing the cog and possibly the chainring too, but it might be cheaper/easier than dealing with proper maintenance, a chain case or belt drive.
FastJake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-13, 10:04 PM   #11
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
Posts: 11,104
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
I was out riding today. Beautiful day , but lots of icy spots to avoid. Made it back unscathed.

I think you're describing something like Rob English's Winter bike: http://www.englishcycles.com/customb...-bike-project/ . It's made it through 3 Oregon winters and 7000 miles of use with essentially zero maintenance.
I went through a Gates belt in 1300 miles on our tandem. Actually, not the belt - the rings, being aluminum, simply wore away from grit. Didn't help the belt any, either. I washed the bike regularly, too. I went back to chain. I do think a Center Track belt would last longer, but not any 7000 miles. English obviously doesn't count swapping out not just the belt, but also the rings, as maintenance. He can't have changed belts without changing rings, and his rings are more expensive than ordinary chainrings. Tires? I never wear out a tire, no, but they get cut badly enough to be unrideable in between 50 and 1000 miles in the winter around here. Tubes? He never flats? I call BS on this. Not to say that what he suggests is a bad idea. But saying that there's not going to be maintenance on a bike that's ridden constantly in a PNW winter is simply not correct.
Carbonfiberboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-13, 11:00 PM   #12
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 18,839
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 222 Post(s)
Quote:
... but I don't know who has these in the U.S.
Aaron's in Seattle is retailing Hebie chaingliders..


I thought belt drives would be good , fully enclosed.. the grit wearing the cogwheels
is one reason..

Having it anonimous is annother [belt outside is a show off, since recent and pricy]

Enclosed chains unless in an Oil bath, tend to be ignored too much..

Now,a Chain kept clean AND running in a oil bath , like the timing chain
running Overhead cam engines.. last a very long time ..100k + miles

but on a bike you have rear punctures.. to remove the wheel is
requiring the chain case to be opened, and oil to likely spill..

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-26-13 at 01:12 AM.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-13, 09:24 AM   #13
dsbrantjr
Senior Member
 
dsbrantjr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Roswell, GA
Bikes: '93 Trek 750, '92 Schwinn Crisscross, '93 Mongoose Alta
Posts: 4,496
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
How about a shaft drive system? Totally enclosed and the gears are in a lubricant bath. Here is an example which has many of the features you have specified; http://shop.dynamicbicycles.com/Tempo-8-Tempo-8.htm
Drop bars and a dyno hub/lights could be easily added. http://www.ecovelo.info/2008/11/12/a...ith-drop-bars/
A local park has a similar model for rent and the concessionaire has vouched for their reliability. Here's the drive manufacturer's page: http://www.sussex.com.tw/index.html
dsbrantjr is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-13, 11:10 AM   #14
HillRider 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
Posts: 28,776
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
How about a shaft drive system? Totally enclosed and the gears are in a lubricant bath. Here is an example which has many of the features you have specified; http://shop.dynamicbicycles.com/Tempo-8-Tempo-8.htm
I had a chance to ride one of those last summer. Even on a level park road, the drag was obvious and it felt like riding on badly underinflated tires. With their obvious strength and low maintainence, shaft drives would have taken over the bicycle world if their efficiency wasn't so dreadfully low.
HillRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-13, 11:23 AM   #15
prathmann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Bikes:
Posts: 6,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
I'd go with the enclosed chain system at the moment. Belt drives require too many components that are manufacturer-specific so I'd wait until it's clear there's a uniform design that'll be around for a long time and have multiple sources.

I'm also a little skeptical about the reluctance of Gates to release detailed efficiency test results.
prathmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-13, 02:21 PM   #16
MadProphet
Drink my Koolaid
 
MadProphet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: 95969
Bikes: 2013 Trek DS 8.3 (sold) '13 Trek Domane 2.0
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Spot bikes makes several Gates equipped models. Acme (Alfine11) and Ajax (Alfine8). Good specs and good reviews.
MadProphet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-13, 03:14 PM   #17
Looigi
Senior Member
 
Looigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 8,942
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Recent article (02 Jan '13) measuring chain vs belt efficiency: http://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/a...-faster-36074/
Looigi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-13, 04:01 PM   #18
jyl
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
jyl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland OR
Bikes: 61 Bianchi Specialissima 71 Peugeot G50 7? P'geot PX10 74 Raleigh GranSport 75 P'geot UO8 78? Raleigh Team Pro 82 P'geot PSV 86 P'geot PX 91 Bridgestone MB0 92 B'stone XO1 97 Rans VRex 92 Cannondale R1000 94 B'stone MB5 97 Vitus 997
Posts: 6,922
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Super interesting link, thank you.

If preloading was not a factor of either drive system, when the performance of the belt is compared to the performance of the chain, with all test parameters being equal, the CDS belt actually becomes more efficient than the chain at given span tensions above 21.90 lbs/span (43.80 lbs total span tension).

BUT

the increasing preload needed with increasing rider output will always cause a CDS to perform less efficiently than a chain drive system at similar rider output wattage.

SO

In theory, if a belt drive system was able to operate in a similar tension manner to a chain drive system, i.e., with low or no preloading requirements, the belt drive system would theoretically be more efficient than a chain drive at all rider outputs greater than 208 watts.

I guess we can watch and see how belt technology develops.

While they are at it, I wonder if the cog can be moved to the outside of the dropout, so that the belt can be replaced without requiring an opening gate in the stays.
jyl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-13, 06:07 PM   #19
jyl
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
jyl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland OR
Bikes: 61 Bianchi Specialissima 71 Peugeot G50 7? P'geot PX10 74 Raleigh GranSport 75 P'geot UO8 78? Raleigh Team Pro 82 P'geot PSV 86 P'geot PX 91 Bridgestone MB0 92 B'stone XO1 97 Rans VRex 92 Cannondale R1000 94 B'stone MB5 97 Vitus 997
Posts: 6,922
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Let's suppose I was going to look for a used bike to convert into this dream wet weather commuter. I would want disc brakes, clearance and mounting points for fenders and wide tires. The ability to use an internal gear hub - I'm thinking horizontal drops since a chain tensioner won't work with a full chaincase. Road bike or old (pre-suspension) mountain geometry with a fairly low head tube so I can get down in the drops. I'd add the drivetrain, keep the disc brakes, use Versa brifters, build new wheels.

Any suggestions for newer bikes that would fit this bill and that I might find used or frameset-only for not too much? You know, the mythical free Surly Disc Trucker or something.

Or am I better off finding a old steel MTB frameset for $50 and having disc brake mounts welded on? I think an old MTB rigid fork would be strong enough to mount a disc?

Hmm but neither has horizontal drops.
jyl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-13, 06:31 PM   #20
pierce
S'Cruzer
 
pierce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: 122W 37N
Bikes: too many
Posts: 2,294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
re the old steel MTB frame, actually, you'd *braze* those brake mounts onto the stays/forks, not weld.

a /really/ old mountain bike WILL have horizontal drops, I know my 1983 Stumpjumper does.

pierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-13, 06:51 PM   #21
jyl
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
jyl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland OR
Bikes: 61 Bianchi Specialissima 71 Peugeot G50 7? P'geot PX10 74 Raleigh GranSport 75 P'geot UO8 78? Raleigh Team Pro 82 P'geot PSV 86 P'geot PX 91 Bridgestone MB0 92 B'stone XO1 97 Rans VRex 92 Cannondale R1000 94 B'stone MB5 97 Vitus 997
Posts: 6,922
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Yeah but I wouldn't mangle up an '83 Stumpjumper.
jyl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-13, 07:00 PM   #22
pierce
S'Cruzer
 
pierce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: 122W 37N
Bikes: too many
Posts: 2,294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
anyways, its a total tank of a bike. weighs a ton. I once tried 26x1.5 slicks on it, and it was way twitchy handling, did better with heavier tires like 26x1.75's (never mind the phatt mudslingers it has on it in that pic)
pierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-13, 08:39 PM   #23
jim hughes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 461
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ride in Minnesota winters and I wouldn't expect good things from a chain case. The reason is, it's not going to keep out 100% of the slush, but on the the other hand, what gets in will tend to stay in. I'd expect it to accelerate the rusting of the chain, not prevent it.

It's a moot question for me, because a chain case won't work with a derailleur.
jim hughes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-13, 04:41 AM   #24
MichaelW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Bikes:
Posts: 12,920
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would like to try belt drives. They have been used for a couple of round the world records.
The cogs are mostly aluminium but the 3 mounting tabs really need to made of steel for strength.

You probably need to keep a small stock of belts and cogs.

The best tensioning system is probably a split triangle at the dropout with sliding vertical dropouts.
You can get widgets to split the frame mid seatstay and you can use an EBB but that all ads weight.

On my own Alfine system I have changed to 1/8 chain. I use 1/8 Sturmey Archer rear sprockets but they are a bit thick so I need to sand them down for about 2 hrs to get the tabs to the correct thickness for the snap ring to work.
MichaelW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-13, 04:51 AM   #25
Airburst
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: England, currently dividing my time between university in Guildford and home just outside Reading
Bikes: Too many to list here!
Posts: 1,921
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jyl View Post
While they are at it, I wonder if the cog can be moved to the outside of the dropout, so that the belt can be replaced without requiring an opening gate in the stays.
English built a bike like that: http://www.englishcycles.com/custombikes/project-right/
Airburst is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:46 AM.