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Trek Brings Back the Belt Drive

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Trek Brings Back the Belt Drive

Old 09-18-15, 01:05 PM
  #26  
hig4s
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
You completely missed the point of what I was trying to say. Obviously they make internal hubs. I already mentioned that. Belts do not shift in a traditional sense, and certainly don't shift better than chains. Chains are more versatile. I've ridden one of those CV belt bikes. They're fun, but the tension in the shifter makes it so that you generally only stop on a few different points anyway. It's very hard to make very tiny adjustments.

Oh and "small" and "light" are relative. That thing probably weighs a ton, as most internal hubs do.

I got your point, doesn't seem you got mine. The technology is already here, it is just a matter of refinement. Back 70 the world insisted the precise Swiss movement watch would never be replaced. While they have not disappeared, they virtually have.

A small light centrifugal CVT system analogous to what is used on snowmobiles, where the infinitely variable shifting is at the belt, not internal to the hub, is quite possible. And the chain may never go totally away, the technology to replace it with a belt is there. It depends more on whether some big company decides to pursue it or not.
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Old 09-18-15, 01:28 PM
  #27  
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I saw these on the Trek dealer website but no add'l info on the TAB belt drive system. Never heard of them before. Anyone?

NDS cranks are lined up with the chainstays (beltstays?) and seat tube respectively, on the Trek and BMC. If they didn't do that, people would be criticizing them for not lining the cranks up in promo photos...
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Old 09-18-15, 02:03 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by mconlon

NDS cranks are lined up with the chainstays (beltstays?) and seat tube respectively, on the Trek and BMC.
I bet they're not really there - the DS crank is lined up so it LOOKS like the NDS crank is hidden by the seat tube or chainstay - tricky guys these ad photographers.
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Old 09-18-15, 03:11 PM
  #29  
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What is so wrong with a conventional chain on a single speed? As long as the chain line is good, they last forever. And if you don't like the mess of lubing, you can wax.
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Old 09-18-15, 03:17 PM
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Is it just me or does anyone else see those fenders and question how dry your feet will not be when it is wet? Seriously the mudflap doesn't even reach the pedals at the 3/9'o'clock positions. They also don't look adequately braced for stiffness either...unless they're something other than cheap plastic.
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Old 09-18-15, 04:00 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by hig4s View Post
I got your point, doesn't seem you got mine. The technology is already here, it is just a matter of refinement. Back 70 the world insisted the precise Swiss movement watch would never be replaced. While they have not disappeared, they virtually have.

A small light centrifugal CVT system analogous to what is used on snowmobiles, where the infinitely variable shifting is at the belt, not internal to the hub, is quite possible. And the chain may never go totally away, the technology to replace it with a belt is there. It depends more on whether some big company decides to pursue it or not.
You obviously are not a watch guy.

High-end watches are more popular than ever, and numerous celebrities (Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Charlie Sheen, etc.) are some of the more visible examples of people who not only wear them but collect them as well...
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Old 09-18-15, 04:51 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by scroca View Post
What is so wrong with a conventional chain on a single speed? As long as the chain line is good, they last forever. And if you don't like the mess of lubing, you can wax.
Chains wear out by "stretching" which is a misnomer for a gradual lengthening due to internal wear. One is supposed to check a chain for stretch periodically, and replace when needed.

A disadvantage of the chain is simply that it gets covered with black gunk. I'd be happy to live without that. I haven't tried wax, but I don't see how it would eliminate the black gunk issue.

With that said, I haven't felt compelled to switch from a chain. Maybe when I know that there's a standard that will still be around in 30+ years, which is not how the bike industry works these days.
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Old 09-18-15, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
... I haven't tried wax, but I don't see how it would eliminate the black gunk issue...
Because oil attracts dirt, but wax doesn't.
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Old 09-18-15, 07:06 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
You obviously are not a watch guy.

High-end watches are more popular than ever, and numerous celebrities (Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Charlie Sheen, etc.) are some of the more visible examples of people who not only wear them but collect them as well...
As art, not as timepieces. Anyone who cares about knowing what time it is has a quartz watch or network synced clock.
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Old 09-19-15, 07:31 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by scroca View Post
Because oil attracts dirt, but wax doesn't.
As I understand it, what makes chains turn black is finely divided metal from internal wear of the chain components.

But it's certainly an interesting empirical question: Do waxed chains stay clean?
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Old 09-19-15, 07:41 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Chains wear out by "stretching" which is a misnomer for a gradual lengthening due to internal wear. One is supposed to check a chain for stretch periodically, and replace when needed.

A disadvantage of the chain is simply that it gets covered with black gunk. I'd be happy to live without that. I haven't tried wax, but I don't see how it would eliminate the black gunk issue.

With that said, I haven't felt compelled to switch from a chain. Maybe when I know that there's a standard that will still be around in 30+ years, which is not how the bike industry works these days.
OTOH, belts probably need replaced every year being either rubber or polyurethane they'll dry-rot or harden.

Sure Gates claims "LOL it is polyurethane and sunlight will never damage it!"...but reality check- I coated in the Spring with 4 coats of good quality UV rated boat-poly, and it needs sanded and coated again because the summer sun killed it in only 4 months.
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Old 09-19-15, 08:55 AM
  #37  
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How did a belt drive bike photo start off a chain lube thread?
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Old 09-19-15, 09:20 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
What are the disadvantages of a belt drive?
Absolutely zero advantages, it's just a marketing gimmick....Many disadvantages, including the cost, very limited selection of gear ratios and I've never yet seen any LBS stock parts or components for belt drivetrain.
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Old 09-19-15, 09:25 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Absolutely zero advantages, it's just a marketing gimmick....Many disadvantages, including the cost, very limited selection of gear ratios and I've never yet seen any LBS stock parts or components for belt drivetrain.
Not sure if you're being serious. Of course there are advantages to the belt drive. It's long lasting, doesn't need lubed or cleaned, doesn't wear on the sprockets like a badly "stretched" chain will, is more efficient at high wattages, and is quiet!

However, your other comments are sound.
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Old 09-19-15, 10:02 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
How did a belt drive bike photo start off a chain lube thread?
I see what I've done. It's like the gravitational force. My apologies.
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Old 09-19-15, 10:06 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
, very limited selection of gear ratios.

- Gates Carbon Drive Belt System
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Old 09-19-15, 02:11 PM
  #42  
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but thats not coming on the Trek bike , at the cost its selling for.. I expect TAB sells to the factory that built them, for a Lot Less.
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Old 09-19-15, 03:54 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Trek and BMC both also erase the valve stems from their photos.
What I find most disturbing is they made sure to line the label on the tire up with the valve stem, and then photoshopped it out.
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Old 09-19-15, 08:03 PM
  #44  
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All Harley-Davidson motorcycles are fitted with Gates final drive belts, reinforced with either Kevlar or carbon fiber strands. They last a minimum of 100,000 miles unless damaged. H-D has been either experimenting with or producing belt drive motorcycles since 1975. The lighter Sportster model requires 10 Horsepower go 60 mph on a level road, the Bigger touring models require 12.8. These numbers point out just how weak we humans are. --- Even the rather small belts Gates fits to bicycles are, well -- overkill.

I would love to have a belt-drive bicycle. I'm really very good at chain maintenance but I'd rather not have to do it. I have a bike with an eight speed (Shimano Nexus) IGH. I've fitted the Peterson two-speed drive and, thus, have sixteen speeds. I'd add the Shimano eleven speed, if I could afford it.


Disc brakes, electric shifting, full suspension, IGH hubs, belt drives, etc. are current or even old technology. Get used to them; they are here to stay.

Joe
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Old 09-19-15, 09:13 PM
  #45  
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How about KTM's 18 speed gear box bike with a belt drive Eurobike 2014: Will The Pinion P1.18 Be Rohloff's First Serious Competitor?
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Old 09-19-15, 09:31 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
Of course there are advantages to the belt drive. It's long lasting, doesn't need lubed or cleaned, doesn't wear on the sprockets like a badly "stretched" chain will, is more efficient at high wattages, and is quiet!
Are you comparing this to a chain used with a derailleur system or a single-speed (or IGH) setup? The only single-speed chain that I have is about 30 years old with 35000 miles on it, has never been cleaned, gets lubed once or twice a year, and doesn't wear the sprockets since it's never shown significant "stretch." As for the efficiency, even your source shows that chains are more efficient than the current belts that require a preload and that the hypothetical belt without a preload is still less efficient until you get over 208W. I expect that most of my cycling time will be spent well under that 208 W cross-over mark.

The minute spent adding oil every year seems like a small price to pay for the advantages of a chain - ability to use with essentially any frame, easy to change ring/cog sizes by adding/removing a few links, ready availability of replacements, etc.

Seems like many of the comparisons that appear to favor belts do so by comparing them to the low-life and higher maintenance requirements of chains used with derailleur systems. That's not a fair comparison since the belt can't be used in those cases. Chains for single speed (or IGH) systems last much longer with less maintenance required and that should be the standard for comparison.

Last edited by prathmann; 09-19-15 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 09-20-15, 06:56 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Joe Minton View Post
All Harley-Davidson motorcycles are fitted with Gates final drive belts, reinforced with either Kevlar or carbon fiber strands. They last a minimum of 100,000 miles unless damaged. H-D has been either experimenting with or producing belt drive motorcycles since 1975. The lighter Sportster model requires 10 Horsepower go 60 mph on a level road, the Bigger touring models require 12.8. These numbers point out just how weak we humans are. --- Even the rather small belts Gates fits to bicycles are, well -- overkill.

I would love to have a belt-drive bicycle. I'm really very good at chain maintenance but I'd rather not have to do it. I have a bike with an eight speed (Shimano Nexus) IGH. I've fitted the Peterson two-speed drive and, thus, have sixteen speeds. I'd add the Shimano eleven speed, if I could afford it.


Disc brakes, electric shifting, full suspension, IGH hubs, belt drives, etc. are current or even old technology. Get used to them; they are here to stay.

Joe
Call me a skeptic but comparing Harley Davidson drivetrain belts to bicycle ones seems to me like comparing the tires on the SR-71 to the tires on a bicycle....yes, they both serve the same purpose, yes both are round, but that is about it. Shoot a Harley belt is a $200 part, and a Gates bike belt is a $60 part that they themselves only rate to last "up to double the life of a chain", and whenever someone says "up to" it usually means "lasts a hell of a lot less as we came up with that number in a HEP-filtered cleanroom test facility under ideal conditions".
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Old 09-20-15, 08:46 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Are you comparing this to a chain used with a derailleur system or a single-speed (or IGH) setup? The only single-speed chain that I have is about 30 years old with 35000 miles on it, has never been cleaned, gets lubed once or twice a year, and doesn't wear the sprockets since it's never shown significant "stretch." As for the efficiency, even your source shows that chains are more efficient than the current belts that require a preload and that the hypothetical belt without a preload is still less efficient until you get over 208W. I expect that most of my cycling time will be spent well under that 208 W cross-over mark.

The minute spent adding oil every year seems like a small price to pay for the advantages of a chain - ability to use with essentially any frame, easy to change ring/cog sizes by adding/removing a few links, ready availability of replacements, etc.

Seems like many of the comparisons that appear to favor belts do so by comparing them to the low-life and higher maintenance requirements of chains used with derailleur systems. That's not a fair comparison since the belt can't be used in those cases. Chains for single speed (or IGH) systems last much longer with less maintenance required and that should be the standard for comparison.
All depends on the conditions you're riding under. I agree that a single speed or an IGH is much less hard on a chain than a derailleur. However, what interests me about a belt is not how it wears compared to a chain in fair weather conditions, it's how it holds up under winter riding conditions with salted roads, etc.

I can tell you from experience that chains do not do very well.
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Old 09-20-15, 08:47 AM
  #49  
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... or the Blower belt on a nitro-methane/top fuel dragster..
width is just 1 difference, of many..
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Old 09-20-15, 09:17 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
However, what interests me about a belt is not how it wears compared to a chain in fair weather conditions, it's how it holds up under winter riding conditions with salted roads, etc.
I predict that a belt drivetrain wouldn't hold up very well during daily winter riding on heavily salted roads. Another problem I see is ice/snow build up on the belt and the front/rear sprockets which would make the belt slip and all off.

Originally Posted by tjspiel18179231
I can tell you from experience that chains do not do very well.
Yes I agree with you on that one, my experience has been the same as yours...but singlespeed chains are also very cheap and I don't mind replacing them after each winter.
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