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


Go Back   > >

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-27-07, 03:07 PM   #1
gbrandt
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
direct drive?

Anyone here ever actually ride one of those chainless direct drive bikes? Lots of us here are fans of internal hubs (no muss, no fuss) and totally enclosed chains (no dirty pants). Direct drive seems like a logical extension of that philosophy. Anyone had any recent practical experience with such an animal?

thx

-gb

p.s. still waiting for my 07 breezer
gbrandt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-07, 03:09 PM   #2
Phantoj
Certifiable Bike "Expert"
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 5,641
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I think belt drive is a better solution.

But, no, haven't ridden either.
Phantoj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-07, 03:12 PM   #3
Travelin' Jack
Cigar Smokin' Cyclist
 
Travelin' Jack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Springfield, MO
Bikes: Trek 1400, Specialized Stumpjumper, Trek 4300
Posts: 52
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrandt
Anyone here ever actually ride one of those chainless direct drive bikes?
Yes.

__________________
Momentum is my only friend.
Travelin' Jack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-07, 03:22 PM   #4
kill.cactus
500 Watts
 
kill.cactus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes: Trek 7200 FX ('05), Trek 6000 ('07)
Posts: 833
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have. What many criticize them for is that they usually add a ton of weight and also it is mechanically less efficient.

I think Sheldon Brown said the mechanically less efficient thing, so it is probably something to consider.
kill.cactus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-07, 04:14 PM   #5
Sheldon Brown
Gone, but not forgotten
 
Sheldon Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Newtonville, Massachusetts
Bikes: See: http://sheldonbrown.org/bicycles
Posts: 2,301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrandt
Anyone here ever actually ride one of those chainless direct drive bikes? Lots of us here are fans of internal hubs (no muss, no fuss) and totally enclosed chains (no dirty pants). Direct drive seems like a logical extension of that philosophy. Anyone had any recent practical experience with such an animal?
Direct drive has been obsolete since the 1890s when the chain drive came in. With direct drive, you need a huge front wheel to get any sort of reasonable "gearing." These bikes were very dangerous mainly because the rider sat so high off the ground.

Sheldon "Chain Drive Is Best" Brown
Sheldon Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-07, 04:14 PM   #6
gbrandt
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kill.cactus
I have. What many criticize them for is that they usually add a ton of weight and also it is mechanically less efficient.

I think Sheldon Brown said the mechanically less efficient thing, so it is probably something to consider.

What's been your experience with it vs. a chain drive bike?

Weight is relative. My commuter has fenders, rack, kickstand etc. I'm not trying to win a stage or a century, just get around town without hassles, having to change shoes & dirty pants...

-g
gbrandt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-07, 05:35 PM   #7
CdCf
Videre non videri
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Bikes: 1 road bike (simple, light), 1 TT bike (could be more aero, could be lighter), 1 all-weather commuter and winter bike, 1 Monark 828E ergometer indoor bike
Posts: 3,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Until you crash, a prone position with direct drive on the rear wheel could be fun, and fast! Like a 'bent only the other way...
CdCf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-07, 08:56 PM   #8
meteparozzi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Bikes: Custom True North
Posts: 82
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not to throw off the OP but I was wondering if you may have meant the shaft drives, rather than direct drive?

Something like the ones manufactured by

Sussex

and marketed in the states by someone like

Dynamic


From my understanding, you lose quite a it of energy because you are translating the force from turning the cranks twice. Once perpendicularly to the shaft and a second time perpendicularly to the cassette. Works just like the drive shaft on a car, but a car can afford to waste the energy because it's not running on granola bars, if you get my drift.

Probably a good idea for simplicity, if you really need that over efficiency, but it can only be added to a bike custom built for it.

Here's a couple of links on Wikipedia. I remember they did a short piece on the shaft-driven bicycle on the Today show about a year back, but I can't find a copy anywhere. It was the typical fluff / marketing piece, so I doubt it would do much good for actual hands-on feel.

Shaft-driven bicycle
Belt-driven bicycle
meteparozzi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-07, 08:57 PM   #9
gbrandt
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
Direct drive has been obsolete since the 1890s when the chain drive came in. With direct drive, you need a huge front wheel to get any sort of reasonable "gearing." These bikes were very dangerous mainly because the rider sat so high off the ground.

Sheldon "Chain Drive Is Best" Brown
Maybe we're not talking about the same thing? Here's an example: http://www.dynamicbicycles.com/. Not sure what you mean by "too high off the ground". Or maybe I was too vague - "shaft drive" is also another way I've heard these bikes being described.

Sorry if I caused any confusion.

-gb
gbrandt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-07, 09:06 PM   #10
CaptainCool
``````````````
 
CaptainCool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: san jose
Bikes:
Posts: 763
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A few words in General recently: http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=191150
CaptainCool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-07, 10:02 PM   #11
Sheldon Brown
Gone, but not forgotten
 
Sheldon Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Newtonville, Massachusetts
Bikes: See: http://sheldonbrown.org/bicycles
Posts: 2,301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbrandt
Maybe we're not talking about the same thing? Here's an example: http://www.dynamicbicycles.com/. Not sure what you mean by "too high off the ground". Or maybe I was too vague - "shaft drive" is also another way I've heard these bikes being described.
That is NOT direct drive any more than a chain drive is. Shaft drive has only been obsolete since about 1900.

See: http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_sa-o.html#shaft

Don't get suckered in by this snake oil.

Sheldon "Chains" Brown
Sheldon Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-07, 10:46 PM   #12
mastershake916
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nor~Cal
Bikes:
Posts: 1,691
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What about belt-driven?
That seems pretty cool, if not totally required.
mastershake916 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-07, 10:51 PM   #13
Sci-Fi
Senior Member
 
Sci-Fi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 1,271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've only seen shaft drives on display. One would think just adding a chain case or a simple chain guard would address most concerns over getting pants dirty or snagged.

Don't know how easy it is to change a flat either on a shaft drive system.

Personally I would rather stay with the traditional chain system. It's cheap and easy to maintain, plus you can change the gearing (cassette or freewheel) or sprocket (internal hub) or chainwheel/chainring to better fit your terrain/requirements.
Sci-Fi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-07, 09:55 AM   #14
Phantoj
Certifiable Bike "Expert"
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 5,641
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I heard that belt drive and shafties are popular among the stereotypically fastidious Japanese.
Phantoj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-07, 10:19 AM   #15
2manybikes
Dog is my co-pilot
 
2manybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes: 2 many
Posts: 15,640
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown

Don't get suckered in by this snake oil.

Sheldon "Chains" Brown

2manybikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-07, 10:26 AM   #16
max-a-mill
aspiring dirtbag commuter
 
max-a-mill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: philly
Bikes:
Posts: 2,121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
the thing with all this nonsense is none of it comes close to being as efficient as a good old well oiled chain. if it did companies would jump all over it...

you think they ain't riding the tour de france on the best most efficient equipment currently made?

as for maintenance, if you go singlespeed all your worries go out the window. air up the tires oil the chain once a month and your good... don't see how you can make it much simpler than that.
max-a-mill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-07, 11:35 AM   #17
biketony
Utility Cyclist
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker, KHS Urban-X ; Dahon D7; Specialized Streetstomper (awaiting rebirth)
Posts: 79
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OK ok...how about a shaft-drive bicycle with airless tires? How totally retro-in an 1895 sort of way...

Tony
biketony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-07, 01:08 PM   #18
Sheldon Brown
Gone, but not forgotten
 
Sheldon Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Newtonville, Massachusetts
Bikes: See: http://sheldonbrown.org/bicycles
Posts: 2,301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastershake916
What about belt-driven?
That seems pretty cool, if not totally required.
A couple of problems with that:

Won't work with a conventional frame, because the belt can't be opened and closed to fit it through the rear triangle.

You can't customize the gearing by installing a different size sprocket.

Seems to me like a "solution in search of a problem."

Sheldon "Chains" Brown
Code:
+-------------------------------------------------------+
|     It is better to be victimized occasionally,       |
|    than to go through life filled with suspicion.     |
|                                --Elbert Hubbard       |
+-------------------------------------------------------+
Sheldon Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-07, 01:31 PM   #19
dynaryder
PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes
 
dynaryder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: BicycleSPACE warehouse in SW Washington DC
Bikes:
Posts: 6,983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I think belt drive would work pretty good for SS and internal hubs. As for opening/closing the belt,I'm sure they could make some kind of tape/glue solution for this. There are emergency repair kits for Harley Davidson belt drives. If they can make something to handle the stresses of a high-torque motorcycle engine,handling the stress of a human-powered drivetrain shouldn't be a problem. Another solution might be to build a bike frame with a removable(bolt-off) chainstay section,or even a frame without a righthand chainstay or rerouted chainstay. Ducati has fielded motorcycles with single-sided swingarms for years,a comparable bicycle frame shouldn't be that hard to create.
__________________

C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L/S2E-X
dynaryder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-07, 02:21 PM   #20
CliftonGK1
Senior Member
 
CliftonGK1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Columbus, OH
Bikes: '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2015 Trek Domane 6.2 disc
Posts: 11,380
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynaryder
I think belt drive would work pretty good for SS and internal hubs. As for opening/closing the belt,I'm sure they could make some kind of tape/glue solution for this. There are emergency repair kits for Harley Davidson belt drives. If they can make something to handle the stresses of a high-torque motorcycle engine,handling the stress of a human-powered drivetrain shouldn't be a problem. Another solution might be to build a bike frame with a removable(bolt-off) chainstay section,or even a frame without a righthand chainstay or rerouted chainstay. Ducati has fielded motorcycles with single-sided swingarms for years,a comparable bicycle frame shouldn't be that hard to create.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Unless it's engineering for engineering's sake, then why bother messing with an already great design?
__________________
"I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
- Mandi M.
CliftonGK1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-07, 02:29 PM   #21
Jalopy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
Bikes:
Posts: 146
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainCool
A few words in General recently: http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=191150
I certainly don't want to be the one to disagree with Sheldon but, from some of the responses in the thread referred to above, the Dynamic bikes don't seem to be getting many bad reviews.

Going back to the point of the OP, people seem willing to accept a slightly heavier, slightly less efficient internally geared hub for the sake of simplicity and easy maintainance. Why then, would they not consider a slightly heavier, slightly less efficient shaft-driven bicycle for the same reasons?

Having never ridden one, it seems like it would be great for low-maintainance commuting.

Jalopy
Jalopy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-07, 02:34 PM   #22
LandLuger
bicyclist
 
LandLuger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 383
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I picked up a Dekra D-Drive recently to check it out for myself--under the pretense of getting it for my wife. Didn't want to invest as much as a Dynamic and the Dekra came in at about half the price. The quality was better than I expected, but it seems these days the "department store quality" bikes continue to get better. The bike employs a helical geared shaft drive coupled to a Shimano nexus 3spd internal hub; after reviewing the instructions it appears that removing the wheel for truing and patching will be far easier than I had expected. No involved procedure just remove the shifter and unbolt the wheel; the wheel and "pinion" gear slides free of the chainstay/driveshaft housing combination. Dekra's drivetrain warranty is lifetime as I read on the website--I quess they assume most of the bikes will see a majority of their days hanging in the garage. Their loss; my gain. Performance isn't terrrible, and is comparible to my 16" Dahon folder with a 3spd hub despite the fact that shaft-drive bike is heavier with terrible low pressure mtn tires and power-robbing, bouncy front suspension fork. Overall, it was a worthy addition to the collection. In the near future I intend to install an electric assist, basket, and panniers to turn it into a work bike for around town.
LandLuger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-07, 03:25 PM   #23
Sheldon Brown
Gone, but not forgotten
 
Sheldon Brown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Newtonville, Massachusetts
Bikes: See: http://sheldonbrown.org/bicycles
Posts: 2,301
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalopy
I certainly don't want to be the one to disagree with Sheldon but, from some of the responses in the thread referred to above, the Dynamic bikes don't seem to be getting many bad reviews.

Going back to the point of the OP, people seem willing to accept a slightly heavier, slightly less efficient internally geared hub for the sake of simplicity and easy maintainance. Why then, would they not consider a slightly heavier, slightly less efficient shaft-driven bicycle for the same reasons?

Having never ridden one, it seems like it would be great for low-maintainance commuting.
As I wrote on my Website, the internal gear hub issue is a red herring.

As to shaft drive vs totally enclosed chain drive, there is zero advantage to the shaft system, and it makes maintenance harder due to the difficulty of removing the rear wheel. That's why this system was abandoned over 100 years ago.

You're adding weight and decreasing efficiency for no benefit whatsoever.

Sheldon "Don't Get Shafted" Brown
Code:
+-------------------------------------------------------+
|  ...what is hailed as a new style or a new school     |
|  in literature often consists of doing as a novelty   |
|  what a Victorian did long ago as a joke.             |
|                                  -- G.K. Chesterton   |
+-------------------------------------------------------+

Last edited by Sheldon Brown; 02-28-07 at 03:30 PM.
Sheldon Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-07, 03:36 PM   #24
Phantoj
Certifiable Bike "Expert"
 
Join Date: May 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 5,641
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
A couple of problems with that:

Won't work with a conventional frame, because the belt can't be opened and closed to fit it through the rear triangle.

You can't customize the gearing by installing a different size sprocket.

Seems to me like a "solution in search of a problem."

Sheldon "Chains" Brown
Code:
+-------------------------------------------------------+
|     It is better to be victimized occasionally,       |
|    than to go through life filled with suspicion.     |
|                                --Elbert Hubbard       |
+-------------------------------------------------------+
If you get the chainstay up so that it doesn't go through the belt, you're OK. Ixibike folding belt drive:

http://www.ixibike.com/

"Lose the greasy chain"

or a more "normal" option:

http://www.deltacycle.com/product.php?g=69

I like it, but I'm also happy with The Greasy Chain...
Phantoj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-07, 04:06 PM   #25
2manybikes
Dog is my co-pilot
 
2manybikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes: 2 many
Posts: 15,640
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
A couple of problems with that:

Won't work with a conventional frame, because the belt can't be opened and closed to fit it through the rear triangle.

You can't customize the gearing by installing a different size sprocket.

Seems to me like a "solution in search of a problem."

Sheldon "Chains" Brown
Code:
+-------------------------------------------------------+
|     It is better to be victimized occasionally,       |
|    than to go through life filled with suspicion.     |
|                                --Elbert Hubbard       |
+-------------------------------------------------------+
Let me just add.

You need a special tool to join a detached belt. Big and Heavy compared to a chain breaker. Or any bike tools.
Bending all that rubber around a corner all the time takes a lot of power.

It's tough to get the tension you need to keep the belt working by just pulling on a wheel on the bike.
2manybikes 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 11:23 AM.