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  1. #1
    Steel is real, baby! frpax's Avatar
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    What about belt drive?

    Belt drive bikes intrigue me.

    Would it be a viable choice for a tourer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by frpax View Post
    Belt drive bikes intrigue me.

    Would it be a viable choice for a tourer?
    Co-Motion has one for you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteydink View Post
    Co-Motion has one for you.
    Looks like it's geared appropriately, but $5200!
    “If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out”

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    Senior Member ehilge's Avatar
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    That's an interesting thought. My main concern would be if the belt fails, given I have no idea how reliable a belt is compared to a chain. Bike shops don't stock belts so if you needed a replacement in route I have no idea where to get one. Also, if you manage to break a chain you can always take out the offending link and carry on, not so with a belt.

    I'd be interested to know if in general, the mechanical efficiency of a belt is greater than or less than that of a chain,

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehilge View Post
    My main concern would be if the belt fails, given I have no idea how reliable a belt is compared to a chain.
    The motorcycle crowd (Harley BMW etc) has been using them for a few years now. So I would think they would have those issues covered. But Rohloff has some comments on that as well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
    Looks like it's geared appropriately, but $5200!
    check their pricelist. the frameset alone is $2K. and i don't believe the
    belt drive is included in that price! (specs have 44T FSA V-drive)

    the gates belt drive (50T ring/20T cog) is an upgrade.
    added cost is only $300.

    http://www.carbondrivesystems.com/support.php?lang=us

    I would like to retrofit a belt drive on my current frame. Is this possible, and what are the problems with doing so?

    Gates Carbon Drive does not recommend retrofitting a belt drive to a frame that was not designed for a belt. There are several things that may cause you problems. 1) modification of the frame is most likely necessary; you can’t break the belt to get it into the rear triangle, so you need the frame to have a ‘break’ in it to get the belt inside.
    Last edited by saddlesores; 02-08-12 at 10:33 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    A Rohloff is my dream! I just wish I could afford one. The vast majority of hardcore around-the-world tourists I've met here in Mexico, that's the only thing they trust when it comes to any form of gearing mechanism.

    If you are interested in a Rohloff, you owe it to yourself to check out the guys at Rodriguez Bicycles. Having the right frame for this application is crucial. Believe it or not, this small outfit is the #1 seller of Rohloff-equipped bikes in North America. One of their master builders got his training in Germany directly from Rohloff, so they know exactly what's needed for a frame/IGH to work together seamlessly. I've learned that there is quite a bit that goes into the equation for everything to work right. After several weeks of research, I will be getting a 26" custom touring frame from them that will be compliant with both a belt/chain Rohloff and a normal derailleur (I can use either or.) Even though I cannot afford a Rohloff at this time, I wanted to invest in a frame that would be ready to go for this kind of upgrade. They have sold so many Rohloff bikes over the years that they've also designed the Bushnell Eccentric Bottom Bracket for IGH systems. It is manufactured in-house. It is possibly the best EBB you can get anywhere. They've patented it and it is now sold worldwide. My frame will come with one of these installed and a belt splitter on the right seat-stay.
    Last edited by Chris Pringle; 02-08-12 at 10:54 PM.
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  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Belts don't have any opening, so your frame must open for the belt to pass through..

    I own a Koga WTR, [world tour Rohloff] great bike. they ship a complete rig,
    racks mudguards lights. etc.
    and recently a Bike friday Pocket Llama . taken over the daily ride on that.
    both hubs have a 16t cog , 26" wheel 38t chainring, 20" wheel 53t chainring.

    tout terrain is another 26" touring bike , Silk road has a rack , stainless welded on the seat stays.
    EBB for chain tension, fatter left forkblade. for the Disc Brake torque.
    They have another version for belt, its right dropout is like a sandwich.
    one half fixed to the seat stay, the other to the chainstay, to get the belt thru.

    EBB is usually on the front of Every Tandem, to tension the Timing chain
    between the cranks, IGH builders adapted existing parts.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-08-12 at 11:58 PM.

  9. #9
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    i just have to ask...

    about how many around the world bicycle tourists do you estimate live in
    mazatlan? ballpark...
    Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 02-09-12 at 12:27 AM.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    might be better to count visiting ones, northerners,
    that come down for the warmer climate, short term..

    Oregon coast has hundreds of bikes passing thru, here, in the Summer.

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    Two of the recent Round the World speed records have been set by belt-drive bicycles.
    You should carry a spare belt in case of damage and have a third at home to be posted as your next spare on longer tours. They don't weight very much and can live at the bottom of your pannier. You dont have to carry a chain tool or chain lube.
    I believe that people are abandoning aluminium rear sprockets in favour of steel because the mounting tabs are too small to work in al. Make sure you use a steel rear sprocket.
    You can retrofit steel touring frames with a splitting device. The best retrofit is probably a mid-seatstay such as Paragon. For a new bike, I would go for a split at adjustable, sliding dropouts.
    The high cost of new tourers using splitters is simply because they are made by premium handbuilders , not because it is inherently expensive to split a rear triangle. I would love to see Gates Drive on cheaper bikes such as 3 speed utility and folding models.

  12. #12
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
    i just have to ask...

    about how many around the world bicycle tourists do you estimate live in
    mazatlan? ballpark...
    I assume he's talking about bicycle tourists passing through.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frpax View Post
    Belt drive bikes intrigue me.

    Would it be a viable choice for a tourer?
    Belt drive+IHG. Now if you've got the money, later when the prices come down. The future of cycling.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
    I assume he's talking about bicycle tourists passing through.
    i didn't... but i think you're right!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
    i just have to ask...

    about how many around the world bicycle tourists do you estimate live in
    mazatlan? ballpark...
    Your question sounds a little naïve if you believe someone has to live at a specific place to be doing a bicycle world tour. It's more a question about the geographical location of Mazatlan if you're doing a world tour. For that you can read any of the blogs out there. Almost all of them head south (some do go north) to Ushuaia from Alaska riding near the Pacific coast then go through Baja. From there you have to take the ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan to come to the mainland. They could ride from/to Arizona but the majority seem less inclined to do so, but you still have to go through Mazatlan pretty much de rigueur. I happen to have hosted many of them at my house offering them a meal or place to sleep (for free, btw!) or simply to give them local and regional info. I think this may answer your question if what you meant to ask is "how do you meet so many around-the world-tourists in Mazatlan?"
    Last edited by Chris Pringle; 02-09-12 at 09:36 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    The future of cycling.
    Maybe, but personally I doubt it. I tend to think of it as a solution looking for a problem to solve. Just my opinion though.

  17. #17
    Steel is real, baby! frpax's Avatar
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    Let's stay on topic, please.

    I'm curious as to whether a belt driven drivetrain with internal gearing is as sturdy as a chain driven drivetrain with the typical external gears. I'm not overly concerned about the durability of the actual belt itself. As mentioned, the motorcycle crowd have been using them for years. If I ever did become concerned, though, I'd just pack along a spare belt (I suppose)

    Also, I havve given the Rolhoff system a cursory look and everyone seems to rave about them, but am turned off by the twist shifter (never have liked that sort of shifting interface since the old Twist Grip). So, are there any other ways to shift the Rolhoff hub (or any other internally geared hub, for that matter)?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frpax View Post

    Also, I havve given the Rolhoff system a cursory look and everyone seems to rave about them, but am turned off by the twist shifter (never have liked that sort of shifting interface since the old Twist Grip). So, are there any other ways to shift the Rolhoff hub (or any other internally geared hub, for that matter)?
    Twist shifters are the only way and only two companies in the world seem to make them specifically for Rohloff: Rohloff themselves and Gilles Berthoud out of France. I'm not crazy about twist shifters either but no one seems to complain about mulfunction. I guess it's a matter of getting used to it. Here are images for each shifter:

    Rohloff Shifter


    Gilles Berthoud Shifter:


    The Rohloff original shifter looks like a regular Sram shifter. Kinda dull, IMHO. On the other hand, there is something classy about the Gilles Berthoud shifter... silver color, nice font. That's the one I'd like to have on a Rohloff bike.
    Last edited by Chris Pringle; 02-09-12 at 04:23 PM.

  19. #19
    ah.... sure. kayakdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteydink View Post
    Co-Motion has one for you.
    friend of mine has this bike... with the belt and hoff. while i'm not a big fan of that IG or any IG hub I sure do like the belt idea. He's happy though and that is all that really matters.
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  20. #20
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    IGH means symmetrical wheel. Dishing is a weak point - the shorter drive side spokes on a dished wheel are more prone to snapping.*

    Belt drive I don't know about. They don't like swallowing stones into the rear sprocket - this snaps belts. If you look at a belt drive Harley motorbike you'll see that the rear sprocket is shrouded for this reason.

    *Ironically - Mark Beaumont, on a recent successful around the world record ride, had problems with a Rohloff carrying wheel. The wheel was built completely with spokes shortened by the mechanic (as opposed to using manufacturers spokes of the correct length). Shortening spokes is a good trick for mechs like me who carry spoke stock of one length - and use shortened ones as a replacement for one or two spokes on a wheel - not the whole lot.

    Anyhow, belt drive - simple - but, as with car motor cam belts - replace them regularly.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by frpax View Post
    ...So, are there any other ways to shift the Rolhoff hub (or any other internally geared hub, for that matter)?
    a shimano nexus 7 that i owned (which worked flawlessly and remained very very heavy for as long as i had it) employed a trigger shifter. yeah, it looked lke it came off a Big Wheel, but worked fine.

    i wouldn't be surprised if an enterprising person came up with something similar...

    edit: and three speed IGH's have been using trigger shifters for at least 60 years i expect.

    a cable from an 11 speed STI shifter with "interrupter" lever (to accomodate the assumed "pull length" mismatch) mounted somewhere on the frame before the hub should get you 11/14's of the way there. anybody got any ideas for the other 3/14ths?

    the "interruper" lever may even be on the market. i wouldn't be surprised if one of the brake "multipliers" weren't similar.

    i'm not going to research it now... time for my ride!
    Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 02-09-12 at 10:41 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    Belt drive+IHG. Now if you've got the money, later when the prices come down. The future of cycling.
    We hope.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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    Harleys have been running belts for 30 years or so. Modern motorcycle belt drives typically outlast chains by 3 or 4 times. There are many reports of folks getting over 100,000 miles out of a motorcycle belt and a top-of-the-line chain and sprockets last 30,000 miles or so if carefully maintained.
    Last edited by Thulsadoom; 02-09-12 at 03:07 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I was just at a LBS and he has a 2011 raleigh alley way that comes with a belt drive, dyne hub and disc brakes, not really a tourer but it has eyelets for rear rack and front low riders. price was $1200.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  25. #25
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    ... The motorcycle crowd (Harley BMW etc) ...
    Harley belts are a whole Lot Wider,
    BMW were never belt drive, still not, they use a drive shaft. [owned one]

    FWIW,
    Rohloff is a 2 cable Pull-Pull grip shift, all the gear sequencing is in the hub
    if a cable breaks an 8mm wrench will shift the gears , back on the hub

    another German company Mittelmeyer makes a different shifter for the speed hub
    bigger ID so as to slip around drop bar curves, and a eccentrically machined piece
    to clamp around, it has a gap for the brake cable to pass inside the grip shifter.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-10-12 at 01:01 AM.

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