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Old 07-30-14, 04:23 PM   #101
acidfast7
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So will it assemble over a Belt , Kid?
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Old 07-30-14, 04:29 PM   #102
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An acquaintance of mine owns a Harley with a belt drive. He says it works fine, but the manual cautions against riding on loose gravel, as gravel stuck between the belt and the cog (pulley?) will damage the belt. I would imagine you'd have the same problem with a belt on a bike.
I got a rock in my Harley's belt once. It left a 'dent' in one of the belt teeth. After a couple hundred miles,the dent went away. That was over 10k miles ago,and I'm still running the stock belt(with a seriously kitted big bore motor) with zero problems and tons of mileage left. Lots of stories about belts breaking or stones chewing them up,but I've never actually met anyone who's seen it happen.
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Old 07-30-14, 09:42 PM   #103
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I got a rock in my Harley's belt once. It left a 'dent' in one of the belt teeth. After a couple hundred miles,the dent went away. That was over 10k miles ago,and I'm still running the stock belt(with a seriously kitted big bore motor) with zero problems and tons of mileage left. Lots of stories about belts breaking or stones chewing them up,but I've never actually met anyone who's seen it happen.
I'm a huge fan of fully enclosed drive systems for this reason, be it 2 wheels, 4 wheels, motor or not. I am planning on getting an older uptown polycarbonate chain case for this reason.


I would advocate same for belt driver users.


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Old 07-30-14, 10:08 PM   #104
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I'm a huge fan of fully enclosed drive systems for this reason, be it 2 wheels, 4 wheels, motor or not. I am planning on getting an older uptown polycarbonate chain case for this reason.


I would advocate same for belt driver users.
I expect you'll find that it essentially eliminates the motivation for a belt drive. The oily chain can no longer mess up anyone's clothing or other items since it can't touch them, the maintenance interval for oiling will be greatly extended, and a single-speed chain running in a clean environment will last longer than the belt manufacturer is currently claiming for their product.

Doesn't help with the lighter weight argument for a belt, but that doesn't look like it's much of a weight-weenie bike.
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Old 07-30-14, 11:09 PM   #105
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I expect you'll find that it essentially eliminates the motivation for a belt drive. The oily chain can no longer mess up anyone's clothing or other items since it can't touch them, the maintenance interval for oiling will be greatly extended, and a single-speed chain running in a clean environment will last longer than the belt manufacturer is currently claiming for their product.

Doesn't help with the lighter weight argument for a belt, but that doesn't look like it's much of a weight-weenie bike.
Yea, that is a breezer uptown low step. A belt drive on an uptown would effectively make it maintenance free aside from friction items like tires and brake pads (and rims to a much lesser extent) which all most any bike has regardless of drive system.

I am not worried about dirt or grease, i'm worried about the chain stretching vs belt. An enclosed belt would keep it from getting damaged long term, be it from FOD or a careless person locking up on the bike rack.

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Old 07-30-14, 11:56 PM   #106
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I am not worried about dirt or grease, i'm worried about the chain stretching vs belt.
How long do you expect the belt to run? The single-speed chain we use for the timing side on our tandem has run fine for 40,000 miles and over 30 years - and that's without any enclosure to keep rain and grit off of it. Sure can't say the same for the drive-side chain - but then that's a narrower derailleur-compatible chain.

Of course with a belt drive you may need to have it last for the life of the bike. Unlike chains, I wouldn't want to place a bet on compatible belts of the right design still being made 30 years later.

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Old 07-31-14, 04:53 PM   #107
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I'm a huge fan of fully enclosed drive systems for this reason, be it 2 wheels, 4 wheels, motor or not.
Then you want a shaft driven bike. No good reason to enclose a belt. As I said,my belt was fine. You do know there are belt driven MTB's?
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Old 07-31-14, 11:15 PM   #108
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How long do you expect the belt to run? The single-speed chain we use for the timing side on our tandem has run fine for 40,000 miles and over 30 years - and that's without any enclosure to keep rain and grit off of it. Sure can't say the same for the drive-side chain - but then that's a narrower derailleur-compatible chain.

Of course with a belt drive you may need to have it last for the life of the bike. Unlike chains, I wouldn't want to place a bet on compatible belts of the right design still being made 30 years later.
Realistically most people do not keep bikes that long. I know some people do, but in my opinion, belt drives are not going away, and may see significant standardization to keep production costs down as well as cost of ownership. The gates centertrack or whatever it's called is a really great foundation for that i think. A case to enclose it would simply be one more thing you dont have to worry about.

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Then you want a shaft driven bike. No good reason to enclose a belt. As I said,my belt was fine. You do know there are belt driven MTB's?
Yes, but belts for high (relative) horsepower & torque are engineered to specs not appropriate for bicycles. Yes, i am aware, having ridden one. But for commuting, especially in winter, i vote enclosed. Yes, it may be a tad extra weight & complexity but as has been said before, these are not designs concerned with saving every gram. If the world wants open, then go for it, i'm just stating my own preferences based on my own experiences & observations.

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Old 08-01-14, 12:53 AM   #109
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Realistically most people do not keep bikes that long. I know some people do, but in my opinion, belt drives are not going away, and may see significant standardization to keep production costs down as well as cost of ownership.
So if you're not even planning on keeping a bike as long as a cheap, standard, single-speed chain has lasted on my bike, then why do you want to go with a more expensive, less available, and far less proven belt design? Based on the bike and your own statements it's not for the weight saving. Now you indicate you're not really interested in long life. And you want to enclose it so you'd be nullifying the cleanliness advantage. What benefit is left that you think you'd be getting from using a belt?
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Old 08-01-14, 01:33 AM   #110
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So if you're not even planning on keeping a bike as long as a cheap, standard, single-speed chain has lasted on my bike, then why do you want to go with a more expensive, less available, and far less proven belt design? Based on the bike and your own statements it's not for the weight saving. Now you indicate you're not really interested in long life. And you want to enclose it so you'd be nullifying the cleanliness advantage. What benefit is left that you think you'd be getting from using a belt?
I was pointing out a simple fact of the cycling world that bikes are not frequently kept for decades by a single owner. By the time a standardized belt drive system is agreed upon, including easy frame notching hardware & technique to switch non belt bikes over, the bikes of today will likely have been melted down and made into something else. Therefore there is no obsolete issue to deal with, and the few people that hang on to the now older bikes will either start their own business supplying vintage parts, or simply buy new or not use one at all.

I've had a bear of a time dealing with chains here where salty slush is a reality in winter, so i'm going to get the chaincase asap. I just wish i could also have a belt drive, so if i want to switch to an open guard, the non-rusting qualities of belts will be of benefit.

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Old 08-01-14, 12:51 PM   #111
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I've had a bear of a time dealing with chains here where salty slush is a reality in winter, so i'm going to get the chaincase asap. I just wish i could also have a belt drive, so if i want to switch to an open guard, the non-rusting qualities of belts will be of benefit
Have you tried KMC or other stainless steel chains? They worked fine for me in Michigan winters where the standard method of snow removal seemed to be to just keep dumping salt on top. I did have to add lubricant frequently as it kept getting washed off, but if you use a full chainguard that should be less of an issue.
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Old 08-01-14, 02:09 PM   #112
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Have you tried KMC or other stainless steel chains? They worked fine for me in Michigan winters where the standard method of snow removal seemed to be to just keep dumping salt on top. I did have to add lubricant frequently as it kept getting washed off, but if you use a full chainguard that should be less of an issue.
Stainless steel still rusts, just not as readily. There's some rust on the arms of my Avid rotors. I've considered using a stainless steel chain and still might but the problem is not only salt but sand which the salt is often mixed with. The chain might get through the winter looking better but the sand is still wearing it out quickly. I don't expect much more than a single winter out of a chain and having to replace it with a new stainless steel one each time would just add to the cost.

As you mentioned, chain lubricants require frequent re-application in the winter. Cleaning and lubing a chain isn't really a big deal in warmer months but it's less fun when it's cold. One can always drag their bike in the house but that just adds to the hassle. It would be nice not to have to deal with it at all.

What I think makes things worse in my case is that my bike is kept indoors while at work. That allows everything to warm up which speeds corrosion. If I left the bike outside in the cold, it might be better.

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Old 08-01-14, 02:50 PM   #113
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Stainless steel still rusts, just not as readily. There's some rust on the arms of my Avid rotors. I've considered using a stainless steel chain and still might but the problem is not only salt but sand which the salt is often mixed with. The chain might get through the winter looking better but the sand is still wearing it out quickly. I don't expect much more than a single winter out of a chain and having to replace it with a new stainless steel one each time would just add to the cost.
Seems to me you're describing issues that arise when using expensive derailleur chains without a chainguard. These are dramatically reduced when using a single-speed chain (cheaper and more durable) in combination with a full chainguard. Since a belt is only single-speed/IGH suitable and TransitBiker will use a full chainguard with either, that's the proper comparison. And I qualified my comment about frequent lubrication to indicate that it only applied without a chainguard. Back when I used a chainguard I didn't find a need to relubricate the chain all winter. [That was in an environment where they used sand on the roads, but very little salt since ND winters were usually too cold for the salt to work well. OTOH, in Mich. I saw little use of sand and lots of salt.]
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Old 08-01-14, 04:24 PM   #114
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Seems to me you're describing issues that arise when using expensive derailleur chains without a chainguard. These are dramatically reduced when using a single-speed chain (cheaper and more durable) in combination with a full chainguard. Since a belt is only single-speed/IGH suitable and TransitBiker will use a full chainguard with either, that's the proper comparison. And I qualified my comment about frequent lubrication to indicate that it only applied without a chainguard. Back when I used a chainguard I didn't find a need to relubricate the chain all winter. [That was in an environment where they used sand on the roads, but very little salt since ND winters were usually too cold for the salt to work well. OTOH, in Mich. I saw little use of sand and lots of salt.]
I have an IGH with a single speed chain. They actually aren't any more durable and often less so. They just aren't under the same stresses. I've live in Minneapolis. Both sand and salt are used.

Honestly I don't think a chainguard would help much and since my winter bike is also my offroad bike, would probably be more of a pain than anything else.
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Old 08-01-14, 04:56 PM   #115
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I have an IGH with a single speed chain. They actually aren't any more durable and often less so. They just aren't under the same stresses. I've live in Minneapolis. Both sand and salt are used.

Honestly I don't think a chainguard would help much and since my winter bike is also my offroad bike, would probably be more of a pain than anything else.
If you don't think a full-cover chainguard would greatly reduce the need for relubrication in wet, winter conditions, then honestly, I don't think you've ever tried it. Chainguards do have their own set of issues, but since TransitBiker seems determined to use one with either a belt or chain that seems beside the point.

As for durability, I'm going by the comparison of my 30 year-old, 40 kmile single-speed chain which is still going strong whereas I've never come close to that kind of life with a derailleur-compatible chain. My old 3-speed bikes also never needed chain replacements but I wasn't keeping track of mileage on those.
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Old 08-01-14, 10:35 PM   #116
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If you don't think a full-cover chainguard would greatly reduce the need for relubrication in wet, winter conditions, then honestly, I don't think you've ever tried it. Chainguards do have their own set of issues, but since TransitBiker seems determined to use one with either a belt or chain that seems beside the point.

As for durability, I'm going by the comparison of my 30 year-old, 40 kmile single-speed chain which is still going strong whereas I've never come close to that kind of life with a derailleur-compatible chain. My old 3-speed bikes also never needed chain replacements but I wasn't keeping track of mileage on those.
Ya, i've never heard of a single speed chain snapping, and i had a 7 speed chain on my old road bike snap 6 months into owning it brand new. The original single speed on my old cruiser lasted 11 years, and eventually it got too stretched & kept popping off in front and in back. I am a big guy, and for some of those years i was a bit overweight, so i'm not surprised. Now that i'm at a better weight, i'm expecting the chain on my uptown to last at least a few years if not longer.

The one unknown to me, is how long belts typically last. I don't have a huge budget to just eat the cost of many chains and rims and the like. I have to save up. If something breaks, i can't make money and thus cannot purchase part to fix the issue. A enclosed drive system would reduce environmental exposure to the point of making it a non-issue. One less thing to worry about. Hope this clarifies my logic.

If i could afford it, i'd change my uptown over to belt drive & have the frame notched or whatever needed doing. What will probably happen long term is i'll get a belt drive bike & alternate it with the uptown.

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