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Thoughts on belt-drive and/or IGH?

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Thoughts on belt-drive and/or IGH?

Old 04-08-21, 07:27 PM
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walterbyrd
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Thoughts on belt-drive and/or IGH?

I have been looking at Brilliant/Priority bikes lately. Lots of people love them.

But I have been reading some negatives. In particular:
  • difficult to change back tire
  • frictional loses from belt & IGH
Any thoughts appreciated.
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Old 04-08-21, 07:44 PM
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Just make sure that the IHG is rated for the tension that a belt drive needs to have. Belts place a lot of force on the BB and hub/freehub body, driver. Andy
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Old 04-09-21, 07:00 AM
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I have 2 bikes with belt drives, both from Japan. One is a Miyata and one is a Bridgestone. The Miyata has this weird crankset to keep tension on the belt. The Bridgestone has a Bio-pace type with a weird set of rollers to keep tension on the belt.




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Old 04-09-21, 08:49 AM
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Is it difficult to change the tire? Does the bike roll as easily as a chain drive? Do you think the belt drive is worth it? Would you recommend a belt drive?
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Old 04-09-21, 10:27 AM
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What are you looking for in a bike? What are your plans?

A bike with a Rohloff or Pinion drive and a belt is an excellent combination for touring and commuting but if I am looking to do some faster road rides, it is probably not what I want. If my option is get a cheap 3 speed and a belt on some low end frame I am out give me a geared bike with quality parts (10 speed and up if new) and save the money on the belt.
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Old 04-09-21, 11:57 AM
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We have a couple of customers with belt drives and IGHs and they agree with the flat/wheel removal issues. They both run flat protection tires and one, IIRC, also slimes the tubes. Andy
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Old 04-09-21, 12:09 PM
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A co worker and I were just talking about drivetrain efficiency a few days ago. He mentioned a chain drive system has mid 90s% efficiency, this jives with what I've learned (likely from Bicycle Science, Bicycling Science, Third Edition | The MIT Press ). He said that driveshaft systems are around 80/85%, gear design dependent. But it was his belt drive suggestion of 70% that made me think. My experience with servicing and then test riding various bikes with belts had me thinking that belts were less efficient then chains but the amount less surprised me.

We agreed on the added loads the hub/driver and BB bearings see. Andy
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Old 04-09-21, 12:15 PM
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the bikes the OP could range from the @$700 to $800 range with gate belt and shimano 7 speed IGH. to $2300 with 12 speed pinion.

look like these have track style rear drop outs, that may make flat changes on the rear a little easier, but would still have to deal with getting belt back to correct tension...it does look like there is a fixie sort of tensioning screw also

I have not hands on experience, but for a just get on and ride bike with low maintenance for errands and commuting they could work well. I would do a practice flat fix in the comfortable confines of home first, rather than try to do one one on the road the first time.
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Old 04-09-21, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
A co worker and I were just talking about drivetrain efficiency a few days ago. He mentioned a chain drive system has mid 90s% efficiency, this jives with what I've learned (likely from Bicycle Science, Bicycling Science, Third Edition | The MIT Press ). He said that driveshaft systems are around 80/85%, gear design dependent. But it was his belt drive suggestion of 70% that made me think. My experience with servicing and then test riding various bikes with belts had me thinking that belts were less efficient then chains but the amount less surprised me.

We agreed on the added loads the hub/driver and BB bearings see. Andy
There's a guy on YouTube called CYCLINGABOUT who goes on long tours in places like Patagonia. Really nice channel and beautiful scenery. Anyway he loves belt drives (and they do work really well for what he's doing) and he says if you have stiff chainstays, as he does on his Al Koga Miyata, you can run with a lot less tension which greatly improves the efficiency.
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Old 04-09-21, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by guy153 View Post
There's a guy on YouTube called CYCLINGABOUT who goes on long tours in places like Patagonia. Really nice channel and beautiful scenery. Anyway he loves belt drives (and they do work really well for what he's doing) and he says if you have stiff chainstays, as he does on his Al Koga Miyata, you can run with a lot less tension which greatly improves the efficiency.
One of my riding buddies (and generally great friend) runs a belt on his co motion (with Pinion transmission). He loves his bely drive but wore out the Al rear pulley before the belt was used up. He recently switched to a SS rear pulley (and new belt) after quite a number of thousands of miles. The front pulley was SS and shows only polishing. Andy
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Old 04-09-21, 07:37 PM
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I am looking to ride around, maybe pickup a few groceries, some dirt trails - not mountain biking. I can usually do simple maintenance, like change a flat. I am not looking to do anything competitive.
BTW: also a vegan, for seven years now.
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Old 04-09-21, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by walterbyrd View Post
I am looking to ride around, maybe pickup a few groceries, some dirt trails - not mountain biking. I can usually do simple maintenance, like change a flat. I am not looking to do anything competitive.
BTW: also a vegan, for seven years now.
If not competitive you can look at belt drives but you might enjoy having some gears so Alfine 11 or Rohloff or Pinion would probably be handy for carting around groceries if you have hills having some easier gears can be handy when loaded down. Co-Motion makes some excellent bikes in general but are well known and respected for their belt drive stuff and all of it right in Eugene, Oregon. Nua Bikes makes some neat stuff in Spain out of titanium (which is super nice riding and lasts forever) with I think all belts or mostly belts. If you are looking to save some coin the Marin Presido 4-DLX seems like a decent bike and it has a dynamo system which makes sense for most bikes but especially commuter and town bikes.

Good to have other vegans.
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Old 04-09-21, 08:30 PM
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I have a 2013 Co-Motion Pangia Rohloff. Co-Motion designed the rear dropouts so every time you remove the wheel and re insert it the belt tension is the same. If you purchase a bicycle with a belt the bike is designed for that setup. So the frame stiffness is correct for the use of a belt. I believe you would need to get used to the difference in how you remove and re insert the wheel. If you are interested in info of drivetrain efficiency look at articles in Cyclingabout. Once your chain picks up a little dirt or sand it is no longer more efficient. I will never go back to chains on a bicycle and this is why.

01: Not having to straighten or adjust a derailleur
02: Not having to clean a chain
03: Not having the chain come off
04: Not having grease marks on your leg
05: Not needing to carry chain lube, and cleaning equipment on a long trip
I COULD GO ON !
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Old 04-09-21, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
I have a 2013 Co-Motion Pangia Rohloff. Co-Motion designed the rear dropouts so every time you remove the wheel and re insert it the belt tension is the same. If you purchase a bicycle with a belt the bike is designed for that setup. So the frame stiffness is correct for the use of a belt. I believe you would need to get used to the difference in how you remove and re insert the wheel. If you are interested in info of drivetrain efficiency look at articles in Cyclingabout. Once your chain picks up a little dirt or sand it is no longer more efficient. I will never go back to chains on a bicycle and this is why.

01: Not having to straighten or adjust a derailleur
02: Not having to clean a chain
03: Not having the chain come off
04: Not having grease marks on your leg
05: Not needing to carry chain lube, and cleaning equipment on a long trip
I COULD GO ON !
Bolded depends on how gritty you let your chain get and whether you like running excessive cross chaining. From what I've read and been told a 5-10% drop (from mid 90s%) of efficiency is typical of dirty chains. A far cry from the loss that I read of belts.

I don't argue with the desire to avoid the issues with metal chains. Just with the somewhat trendy and pie in the sky thinking of belts that many seem to believe in. At 4 posts in this thread I have exceeded my usual quota. Andy
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Old 04-09-21, 09:30 PM
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Chains loose efficiency quite quickly. A tight belt causes efficiency problems. When I ride my Tandem it is necessary to clean the chain at least twice a week. Because I have a very stiff frame on my Co-Motion I keep my belt tension some what slack. I hose the dust off the belt and bicycle at the same time.

(trendy and pie in the sky thinking of belts that many seem to believe) Do you have a personal problem with belts
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Old 04-09-21, 09:34 PM
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Changing a flat tire is not a problem with a belt. Here it is the other stuff in the way

To change the flat you have to remove the axle nuts, the fender stays, the rack stays, release the tension keepers, taken out the coaster brake arm retainer.
sometimes you have to remove the belt case to remove the belt.


This is that funky belt tensioner system for the biopace like belt ring on the crank.

When it is a 3 speed there is even more to come off.
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