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


Go Back   > >

Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-21-09, 05:49 PM   #1
owenfinn
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Yokohama, Japan
Bikes: Marin Muirwoods 29er, Pacific Carryme, Yuba Mundo, Dahon Boardwalk D7
Posts: 479
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Minivelo with 3 spd Belt Drive - potential issues?

I'm thinking of getting this Bridgestone Mariposa Mini for my wife. She will use it mostly for family utility purposes - shopping, dropping off my son at pre-school, etc.

http://bicitermini.com/b/2008/07/16/220/

http://www.relaxybike.jp/mariposa/mini.html



Anyone have experience with belt drive systems? To me the big advantages are it will be clean, maintenance free(?) - anything else, and what are the disadvantages and potential problems?

Thanks in advance.
owenfinn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-09, 06:55 PM   #2
brakemeister 
New usename ThorUSA
 
brakemeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Southern Illinois USA
Bikes:
Posts: 2,469
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
very few people know about the longevity as they are around since a couple of years and not sold in big numbers. Gates first rideable bikes were intoduced at the Show in vegas last year, everybody had praises how it worked in the dirty dusty offroad enviroment during test days. But when they got wet they made awful noises ... I think I have read that that problem has been addressed due to a different plastic belt drive material ( sprocket in lieu of other words )
can you get spare parts for it ..( I dont believe I just said that ...lol..... insider joke) are there more than one dealer who knows about those ? Or are you solely relying on the bike manufacturer ?

Bridgestone has a very loyal consumer base, so I dont see any problems getting help though...

thor
__________________
www.thorusa.com
Dahon : Freedom Unfolds
Tern : all about the ride
brakemeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-09, 07:04 PM   #3
BruceMetras
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Rafael, California
Bikes:
Posts: 1,910
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by owenfinn View Post
I'm thinking of getting this Bridgestone Mariposa Mini for my wife. She will use it mostly for family utility purposes - shopping, dropping off my son at pre-school, etc.

http://bicitermini.com/b/2008/07/16/220/

http://www.relaxybike.jp/mariposa/mini.html



Anyone have experience with belt drive systems? To me the big advantages are it will be clean, maintenance free(?) - anything else, and what are the disadvantages and potential problems?

Thanks in advance.
It looks nice, price seems reasonable.. just the belt drive components alone, using Gates Carbon Drive MSRP as an example, is as much as that whole Bridgestone Mini Velo ... which probably means that the belt and sprockets are quality wise, something along the lines of the Strida .. assuming that, due to the proprietary nature, you would want to make sure that you could get spare belts and sprockets in case of failure, which could be caused by getting a rock or other hard object stuck between the belt and sprockets and either breaking the belt or damaging the plastic tooth profiles ... if it does have a similar belt tooth profile as the Strida drivetrain, then you may have belt slippage when you really pedal hard unless the belt tension is kept very tight, which will increase drag over a conventional chain setup... that all said, if you or your wife don't find any belt slippage problems (without resorting to high tensions) in normal use, belt drives are really nice .. I have been riding a Strida drivetrain bike almost nightly for many months and find the smoothness and lack of any drivetrain noise to be very pleasant when I'm out riding a local, quiet, shoreline shared use path .. the cleanliness factor is a big plus as it is in an out of the passenger compartment of my car or truck all the time... let us know how it goes if you get it..
BruceMetras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-09, 07:38 PM   #4
SesameCrunch
Eschew Obfuscation
 
SesameCrunch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes: 2005 Fuji Professional, 2002 Lemond Zurich, Folders - Strida, Merc, Dahon, Downtube, Recumbent folder
Posts: 3,850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a Strida, and I'm also currently test-riding an Abio bike, which has a 4 speed internal gear belt drive also. I think Bruce has summed things up quite well (as usual).

I love the quiet and cleanliness of the belt drive. I used to have problems with slippage, but after proper adjustment, it hasn't been much of an issue. Earlier this week, I got caught in the rain on the Abio and was glad/surprised that there was no slippage on the belt, even when I had to go up about 100 ft worth of 7% grade.

Can't comment much about the other aspects of the bike since the website is in Japanese, but the bike certainly looks nice. Perfect for a woman.
__________________
SesameCrunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-09, 08:20 PM   #5
fwd-bwd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 218
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just wanted to point out that Mariposa Mini is not a folding bike. It is equipped with a 8 speed gear hub, not 3 speed. I'm not sure if I read the Japanese description correctly, but it seems to say that the "chain" ring is oval-shaped (a la the famed Shimano Biopace and Rotor Q-Rings). Since this is a commuter bike, I'd guess the ring's ovalization is rather minimal.

As for the belt drive, most Strida owners can vouch for its efficiency and durability. In addition, the belt drive has been used on Japanese commuter bikes for years and I believe they probably have perfected it for city cycling by now. For instance, there seems to be two belt tensioners on Mariposa Mini, while Strida has only one.
fwd-bwd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-09, 11:05 AM   #6
BruceMetras
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Rafael, California
Bikes:
Posts: 1,910
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
I have a Strida, and I'm also currently test-riding an Abio bike, which has a 4 speed internal gear belt drive also.
Photo essay ... Photo essay!! ... and don't forget the M6L B ...
BruceMetras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-09, 11:50 AM   #7
owenfinn
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Yokohama, Japan
Bikes: Marin Muirwoods 29er, Pacific Carryme, Yuba Mundo, Dahon Boardwalk D7
Posts: 479
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Thanks for the advice and info!

I think I'm going to go ahead and get it. I'm not worried about service or finding spare parts for the belt drive, as there are Bridgestone Bike shops on just about every other block around here.

Should be able to get the 3 speed hub for 40,000 yen($400). I could get an 8 speed hub for 57,000 yen. Hmmm.

Anyway, for those who have doubts about belt drive systems - this might make you a believer:

http://www.bikeradar.com/news/articl...elmaster-23585
owenfinn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-09, 02:17 PM   #8
SesameCrunch
Eschew Obfuscation
 
SesameCrunch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes: 2005 Fuji Professional, 2002 Lemond Zurich, Folders - Strida, Merc, Dahon, Downtube, Recumbent folder
Posts: 3,850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Holy Moly! What a testimonial for belt drive! What a ride!

Thanks for the link...
__________________
SesameCrunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-09, 05:10 AM   #9
owenfinn
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Yokohama, Japan
Bikes: Marin Muirwoods 29er, Pacific Carryme, Yuba Mundo, Dahon Boardwalk D7
Posts: 479
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Well, I looked all over Tokyo and Yokohama for a Bridgestone Mariposa Mini in white(the only color my wife likes) and no luck. Ended up buying a Louis Garneau MV1 minivelo for $400 USD. I really thought the belt system on the Bridgestone would have been nice for her, but this'll do. Now, just have to find a nice basket and a Hamax child seat.



specs:

http://www.cso.co.jp/bikeshop/louisgarneau09/mv1.html

Last edited by owenfinn; 10-27-09 at 05:15 AM.
owenfinn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-09, 06:28 PM   #10
ddez
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Alberta,Canada.
Bikes:
Posts: 800
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Harley has been using them for a number of years now.I know some guys running a fair amount of horse power through them(100 h.p.)no problems.
ddez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-09, 07:23 PM   #11
chainstrainer
lube addict
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Central coast California
Bikes: Specialized FSR-XC, Optima Baron, Bianchi Pista, Strida 5.0
Posts: 515
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Kawasaki motorcycles use them, too. They even sell retrofit kits, I'm guessing due to the popularity. Of course not all belts are the same, but if toothed belts can reliably drive motorcycles why wouldn't they work reliably on bicycles?
chainstrainer 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 12:16 AM.