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View Poll Results: Would you buy/use a bike that used a belt rather than a chain?

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  • Yes, I already do

    1 2.17%
  • Yes, I haven't got one yet, but i plan to.

    3 6.52%
  • No, I would need to try one first

    32 69.57%
  • No, Never

    10 21.74%
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Thread: Belt drives

  1. #1
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    Belt drives

    I'm trying to guage the opinion of the more serious bikers on belt driver v tradtion chains.

    There's a lot of development right now in trying to create a commercially successful bike belt and pulley system.

    Any comments would be greaty appriecated.

    Here's a couple of links incase you don't know much about it...

    http://www.bikebiz.co.uk/news/28798/...e-transmission

    http://www.bikebiz.co.uk/news/28981/...ith-belt-drive

  2. #2
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    nope.

    belts rob energy vs a steel chain on metal cogs.

    nuff said.

    belts are quiet and strong,
    but 1% or 2% energy loss is still energy loss

  3. #3
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edzo View Post
    belts rob energy vs a steel chain on metal cogs.
    read the links

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCool View Post
    read the links
    I did read the links and it is just 'Claims' that the belt is as efficient as a chain,
    but no data no proof and the belt is not even in production


    so I stand by what I said.

    chains are better
    ---
    and I don't care if they have a belt that is 99% efficient...whatever transmission
    it will have to connect to will rob far more energy than a chain and cogs

    only a singlespeed belt would be any good IMHO

    so...go ahead dream of a belt drive. if it is multi-geared or have ratios,
    it will never, ever be as efficient as a chain and cogs

  5. #5
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    If the technology works it could be versy useful for muddy off roading and mucky winter commuting with a hub gear. Could also be good for cleaner folding bikes. I doubt it will make a dent in the racing or performance market but there are other types of riding.

  6. #6
    Senior Member colombo357's Avatar
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    What happens when the timing pulleys get clogged with dirt?

  7. #7
    Svr
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    The belt drive idea has potential, but it will have to endure real world testing by being on the market for 5-8 years before I'd consider buying into it.

  8. #8
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    The proof is in the pudding. People would use barbed wire for a chain if they could go 0.1 mph faster. Assuming you don't have significant drawbacks such as breakage, slippage, clogging, etc.

    One problem is that chains are already fairly efficient, so it's hard to improve on them. Having something "as efficient" means it's not any better, so you've got to have some other selling point to move it. Coming up with something more effiicient is hard because there's not that much room left before you hit 100%.

  9. #9
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edzo View Post
    only a singlespeed belt would be any good IMHO
    Naturally. Or internally geared.

    I'm not exactly signing up to preorder, but there's nothing in those articles that makes me dismiss this out of hand. I don't see how the rest of the powertrain would necessarily be worse than the rest of a chain-driven system.

    Looks like http://www.gatesprograms.com/carbon/ has a white paper if you register.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Shill!!!
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  11. #11
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    Shill!!!
    Yeah, I wish.

  12. #12
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    I would be interested. They have been using belt drives on motorcycles forever, so why not a bicycle?
    -

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce_B View Post
    They have been using belt drives on motorcycles forever, so why not a bicycle?
    The belt doesn't have to move on a motorbike does it (sideways). So its effectively a singlespeed.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ornery's Avatar
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    Belts make a LOT of sense on bikes I'd ride, which would exclude any archaic derailleur system. Belt material has advanced as much as tires, and they don't suffer from stretching or wear the sprockets. They're used in extreme conditions in machines and auto engines, and are priced competitively when in high production. It's conceivable they could weigh less than a chain system, so I imagine weight weenies would be all over it!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trengot View Post
    The belt doesn't have to move on a motorbike does it (sideways). So its effectively a singlespeed.
    http://sheldonbrown.com/internal-gears.html
    -

  16. #16
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    I'd have to try it first, but wouldn't just write it off out of hand. I don't race, so the energy loss would most likely be immaterial for commuting and utility purposes, over ease of maintenance.

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    I'm not particularly opposed, but this seems like one of those answers to questions nobody has asked, like electric shifting. Drivelines are already quiet, efficient and easy to maintain; there just doesn't seem to be any NEED for a belt drive. I'd certainly try one if they were available, but it would have to be spectacularly good to convince me, and I don't know that there's much room for improvement.

  18. #18
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce_B View Post
    I would be interested. They have been using belt drives on motorcycles forever, so why not a bicycle?
    Because inefficiencies in a motorcycle drivetrain can be compensated for by a few extra pennies at the pump while the cost of inefficiencies on a bicycle can only be compensated by increased output, reduced performance, or greater fatigue over the same distance.

    Somebody, quick, start an airless tires thread!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
    Because inefficiencies in a motorcycle drivetrain can be compensated for by a few extra pennies at the pump while the cost of inefficiencies on a bicycle can only be compensated by increased output, reduced performance, or greater fatigue over the same distance.

    Somebody, quick, start an airless tires thread!
    According to the article, their belt can match or exceed the efficiency of a chain. Not that it would necessarily replace chain drives, but we can have more than one option can't we. A belt drive could offer some advantages that might make it worthwhile for some.
    -

  20. #20
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    I'm not particularly opposed, but this seems like one of those answers to questions nobody has asked, like electric shifting. Drivelines are already quiet, efficient and easy to maintain; there just doesn't seem to be any NEED for a belt drive. I'd certainly try one if they were available, but it would have to be spectacularly good to convince me, and I don't know that there's much room for improvement.
    Nope, don't need belt drive. Don't need pneumatic tires either. Just think of the efficiency loss having to overcome all the deflection in the carcass as the wheel turns!

    I see an upside to belt drive. No clean & lube, longer service interval on both the belt and the drive/driven units. The possibility of an infinite ratio CV transmission.

    Remember... "No one will ever need more than 256k of RAM."

  21. #21
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Belt drive bike:
    http://www.deltacycle.com/product.php?g=69

    I'd get one if it was more than a 3sp.

    I've used belts for years on my Harleys. Much nicer than chains. No lubing/mess,less noise,fewer adjustments,longer life. They make alot of sense for IG hub applications.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes/Novato,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  22. #22
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    I'd get one if it was more than a 3sp.
    How about a belt drive CVT (continuously variable transmission)? Wouldn't that be the next step?

  23. #23
    Black La Lane GeoLes's Avatar
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    It seems to have great potential. I know they have been used on motorcycles for years. I don't know much about motor bikes, but it seems that there is little "lateral" movement on the part of a motorcycle belt. The bike chain is part of the transmission system on a bike and the chain has to move side to side in order to change gears. I wonder how reliable the belt will do in shifting. I can imagine shift failure due to lateral belt flex, which you don't find with a metal chain.

    It would work well if the deraileur system is replaced by some sort of internal transmission system system. Unfortunately, internal systems tend to be heavier and bulkier, hence not suitable for performance bikes. But, we never know what the bike industry will be able to produce.

  24. #24
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    Belt drive is not mature yet.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Thor29's Avatar
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    I ride a single speed mountain bike. For that application it would be awesome - long life and no chain-lube. However, there are some serious limitations - 1. Can't retrofit it to my bike (the belt is a continuous loop so you need a way to get it inside the rear triangle. 2. There would need to be quite a few stock sizes of belt and cog sizes. This would be a hassle for dealers who stock the system, and a pain in the neck if you wanted to change your gear ratio. (This is one reason they aren't more common on motorcycles - if you wanted to change your final drive ratio by changing sprocket sizes it's no big deal, but I seriously doubt that any of the belt driven motorcycles even have that option).

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