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Gates belt drive weight savings, where do they get 10 ounces

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Gates belt drive weight savings, where do they get 10 ounces

Old 02-03-17, 08:10 PM
  #26  
reburns
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Originally Posted by vrooom3440 View Post
Generally consistent with what I found when I converted: the "sprockets" are heavier for the Gates system but the belt is *much* lighter giving a lower overall number. Don't care to argue about the magnitude of how much lighter personally. I find a number of other benefits to the belt system in addition to the lower weight.

Yes the bike will ride the same either way. Like most bike bling you will very likely not be able to tell the difference in how the bike rides. But it WILL look cool and make you feel way better riding the bike. And, not speaking for all tandem teams here, but if I cannot look good riding the bike at least I want my bike to look good with me riding it
I'm too old, mean and ugly to care about how I look on the bike, or anywhere else for that matter. But the benefits of the Gates belt are worth considering. It's always nice to shave a half pound or so off your bike, regardless of how overrated that really is. The bikes I converted already had rings and chain adjusted perfectly and in first rate condition, so I didn't notice the improvement in "immediacy" that others have noted. But I was somewhat surprised to notice a reduction in higher frequency vibrations, or "buzz", that I may be somewhat more sensitive to than others. And it really is nice to have the entire left side of the bike clean when moving and handling it.
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Old 02-04-17, 01:14 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Pic View Post
So that's 6,200 miles.
We have 10,800 miles on our belt drive and starting our fifth year with it.
Not one problem, issue, squeak, jumping track, or any maintenance!
And we don't carry a spare.
.
Our experience, exactly.
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Old 02-04-17, 02:32 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by mtseymour View Post
Most timing chains would weight 340-360g, which is around 240g heavier than the CDX belt. This means that the whole Gates system is more than 200g than the conventional timing chain.

The X11Sl retails for $90, but is often on sale for $70. Since you need to buy a pair, the KMC timing chain will cost $140. I suppose that you can keep the extra links for a 2nd set, but it seems like a hassle for no particular benefit.
For my own edification, I just weighed a factory Co-Motion timing chain and FSA Gossamer rings at 562g.
The Gates CDX system came in at 277g, or 290g lighter equating to a .639 pound savings, nearly 2/3 of a pound.
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Old 02-04-17, 03:22 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by tandemdr View Post
For my own edification, I just weighed a factory Co-Motion timing chain and FSA Gossamer rings at 562g.
The Gates CDX system came in at 277g, or 290g lighter equating to a .639 pound savings, nearly 2/3 of a pound.
Of course, remember the weight savings matters for the whole system. So you're saving (almost) a pound, compared to easily 200 lbs for everything (two riders + bike).
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Old 02-05-17, 06:41 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
Of course, remember the weight savings matters for the whole system. So you're saving (almost) a pound, compared to easily 200 lbs for everything (two riders + bike).
Not sure I understand your meaning. Are you saying that 200-250g weight reduction is not important to 200-300 lb tandem team?

Bicycle design has been marked marked by a series of incremental improvements (STI shifters, 10 to 22 gears, cassette with ramps, threadless headsets, splined BB, kevlar tire bead, clipless pedals, aluminum frames, carbon frames, etc) that add up to a lot of improvement. I can't think of another component upgrade that will match the Gates for weigh reduction, cost, lower maintenance, and longer useful life.

Let's flip the question. How many tandem teams would take on 200-250g of unnecessary weight during a fast century ride or an epic climb?
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Old 02-06-17, 09:46 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by mtseymour View Post

Let's flip the question. How many tandem teams would take on 200-250g of unnecessary weight during a fast century ride or an epic climb?
Define "unnecessary".

We ride a steel CoMotion Speedster. Probably several, if not more, pounds heavier than a lot of the new tandems and we have a rack and bag on the back full time. Why? Makes it more convenient. Is it "necessary"? Probably not. Weighs a bit more than 1 pound.

I just bought a new set of timing rings for our tandem after considering the Gates drive system. CoMotion sells the 2 FSA rings, bolts and a chain for $60. Heck of a deal. We've done plenty of centuries over the 12 years we've been riding and many epic climbs. The original timing rings worked just fine and so did the rack and bag.
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Old 02-07-17, 04:45 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by joe@vwvortex View Post
Define "unnecessary".
By unnecessary, I mean a significant weight penalty just to save a modest amount of money. For teams who care about light weight, the Gates will save 200-250g for about $100 (in addition to other benefits). This is a far better deal than buying lighter wheels, frame, handlebars, pedals, etc.

There are other teams who are not concerned about weight and think that $100 is too much. You're happy with your ride and that's the only thing that matters.
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Old 02-07-17, 07:17 PM
  #33  
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Wow this thread is still going. I replied over 5years ago. We are still using the original belt and sprockets that we used back then and still going strong. This is many many thousands of miles ago and the bike has been taken apart at least 25 times since then and zero issues. We run it at much lower tension then the specs and no adverse BB issues. One trip in Turkey we had a coupler come debonded and the belt probably held the bike together for 5 days of riding. I would never go back to a chain again. The prices have come down and the clean factor alone is worth it.
Just do it!!
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Old 02-07-17, 11:13 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I never take a spare belt when touring. It'd be easy to buy a pair of rings and a couple chains at a bike shop in the extremely unlikely event that the belt failed. And a tandem can always get to a bike shop!
No! Stop! Think about it a bit more....

"Sorry honey, I didn't bring a spare belt. I'll steer up here, you take care of the stoking until we get the thing fixed!"

What a golden opportunity wasted by unnecessary ingenuity. Enjoy the ride!
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Old 02-08-17, 01:55 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post
No! Stop! Think about it a bit more....

"Sorry honey, I didn't bring a spare belt. I'll steer up here, you take care of the stoking until we get the thing fixed!"

What a golden opportunity wasted by unnecessary ingenuity. Enjoy the ride!
Are you speculating or know about actual belt failures?

Belts are widely used in cars and motorcycles because of their light weight, durability, and quiet operation. I'm not aware of Harley owners being advised to carry a spare drive belt on long trips. The belts with carbon fibers are so reliable that they only needed to be checked once or twice per year (or just before a long tour).
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Old 02-08-17, 03:33 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by mtseymour View Post
Are you speculating or know about actual belt failures?

No recollection of any Gates failures (certainly none I know of with the newer CenterTrak design).


I've personally observed at least one failure of conventional timing chain, so there must be more.


I wonder if LV2TNDM carries a chain tool and spare links?
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Old 02-08-17, 04:16 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post
No! Stop! Think about it a bit more....

"Sorry honey, I didn't bring a spare belt. I'll steer up here, you take care of the stoking until we get the thing fixed!"

What a golden opportunity wasted by unnecessary ingenuity. Enjoy the ride!
Exactly how to you THINK a belt will fail spontaneously (without prior mishandling, ie: bending)? Next, ask yourself... "self, is there any indication of this belt having a history of failure?". Then, it is a golden opportunity to slap yourself upside the head and wonder why?
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Old 02-08-17, 06:36 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post
No! Stop! Think about it a bit more....

"Sorry honey, I didn't bring a spare belt. I'll steer up here, you take care of the stoking until we get the thing fixed!"

What a golden opportunity wasted by unnecessary ingenuity. Enjoy the ride!
The only time my stoker had to pedal like that was when we had already given our quick link to another team whose timing chain broke and a few miles later ours broke. Go figure I'll take my belt.
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Old 02-09-17, 09:09 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by mtseymour View Post
By unnecessary, I mean a significant weight penalty just to save a modest amount of money. For teams who care about light weight, the Gates will save 200-250g for about $100 (in addition to other benefits). This is a far better deal than buying lighter wheels, frame, handlebars, pedals, etc.

There are other teams who are not concerned about weight and think that $100 is too much. You're happy with your ride and that's the only thing that matters.
Gates kit is $260 or so plus shipping. My new chainring set was $60 plus shipping - so more like $200 for the weight savings. If it were more like $100 - I'd have been more inclined to have given it a try.
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Old 02-09-17, 10:33 AM
  #40  
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For teams concerned about weight the biggest impact for the lowest cost is to lose body weight.
I know - easier said than done.
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Old 02-09-17, 05:40 PM
  #41  
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Canning wax/Paraffin

Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
No greasy/oily stuff on our tandem chains.
We've used the hot wax (canning wax/paraffin) method for the past 35+ years.
Have ridden a tandem porototype with the belt years back; was not overly impre$$ed.
Just our input/experience.
Want to save weight? Carry one less waterbottle!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
Nothing to do with belt drives but intrigued by the choice of chain lubricant.
What exactly is the lubricant you use (can you buy it on Amazon?).
35 years of usage pricked my interest = probably very good.
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Old 02-09-17, 05:56 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by mtseymour View Post
Not sure I understand your meaning. Are you saying that 200-250g weight reduction is not important to 200-300 lb tandem team?

Bicycle design has been marked marked by a series of incremental improvements (STI shifters, 10 to 22 gears, cassette with ramps, threadless headsets, splined BB, kevlar tire bead, clipless pedals, aluminum frames, carbon frames, etc) that add up to a lot of improvement. I can't think of another component upgrade that will match the Gates for weigh reduction, cost, lower maintenance, and longer useful life.

Let's flip the question. How many tandem teams would take on 200-250g of unnecessary weight during a fast century ride or an epic climb?
250g is going to likely be a smaller effect than efficiency differences of the drive train (I'm not sure which one is more efficient).

250gm is 1/2 lb so that's 1/400 or 0.25%. Professional racer? (and no other effects?) Sure. Otherwise, it's a tiny effect. (Remember that aerodynamic drag is still a large effect, so 0.25% weight savings is not a 0.25% power gain).
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Old 02-09-17, 07:19 PM
  #43  
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The thing that spurred me to try a belt was not weight reduction, but rather the fact that I was starting to transport our bike inside our old "land bruiser" SUV. After removing a rear seat in the SUV I can now roll the bike inside on its rear wheel, clamp the front fork to a fork mount and close the rear hatch. It's nice to have the bike inside the car by only removing the front wheel for certain trips, but the maneuvering and packing of other vehicle contents risks having the timing chain leave a mark on something. The belt eliminates that concern, and happily we have noticed absolutely no reduction in efficiency, and some improvement in smoothness.

I tension our CDX systems a bit less than the recommendation, about 30-40 Hz when plucked. The cranks spin as freely with the drive chain disconnected as they did with a timing chain. The conversion cost ~$250 per bike, but hey, it's only money. And money spent on bikes comes from a different place.
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Old 02-10-17, 12:41 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by barkersoldbean View Post
Nothing to do with belt drives but intrigued by the choice of chain lubricant.
What exactly is the lubricant you use (can you buy it on Amazon?).
35 years of usage pricked my interest = probably very good.
Good old fashioned paraffin wax. Gulfwax from the canning section of the local market. I like to add beeswax to help increase the tackiness of the mixture - straight paraffin tends to flake off quicker. 1:4 bee-to-paraffin.

Last edited by tkramer; 02-10-17 at 12:42 PM. Reason: the text got emoji-bombed
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Old 02-10-17, 08:19 PM
  #45  
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I like the ease of adjustment and no backlash. Combine that with no grease or oil and I'm all in on the Gates belt.

Btw, over the last 35 years, I've broken two timing chains. Luckily, my wife and I are close enough in size that we switched places and made it home.
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Old 02-11-17, 06:46 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by reburns View Post
The thing that spurred me to try a belt was not weight reduction, but rather the fact that I was starting to transport our bike inside our old "land bruiser" SUV. After removing a rear seat in the SUV I can now roll the bike inside on its rear wheel, clamp the front fork to a fork mount and close the rear hatch. It's nice to have the bike inside the car by only removing the front wheel for certain trips, but the maneuvering and packing of other vehicle contents risks having the timing chain leave a mark on something. The belt eliminates that concern, and happily we have noticed absolutely no reduction in efficiency, and some improvement in smoothness.

I tension our CDX systems a bit less than the recommendation, about 30-40 Hz when plucked. The cranks spin as freely with the drive chain disconnected as they did with a timing chain. The conversion cost ~$250 per bike, but hey, it's only money. And money spent on bikes comes from a different place.
This is a bigger point than I had originally considered when we got our belt setup. Not having a messy timing chain is a huge benefit. We are traveling in our motorhome this winter and when we hit the road I slide our tandem (without timing-side pedals or capt. saddle/stokerbars) in the storage bays, timing-side down. The belt rests on the bay floor and no mess. Just having the drive chain and RD to deal with for messy stuff is enough of a pain.

Also while at locations, we have been renting a smallish mini-van (Nissan Quest). The tandem fits inside ok, with the rear wheel slipping down between the 2nd row seats and the front of the tandem resting on the front gates ring/belt. It stays upright in the Quest with the help of a couple cargo straps holding the capt. seatpost from each side of the van. So again, the belt setup is super clean and makes for easy and painless transport.

Obviously I am not babying the gates belt or rings and still no problems.

Last edited by twocicle; 02-11-17 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 05-20-17, 04:30 AM
  #47  
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I've just done the conversion to a Gates Carbon Drive on right hand drive side. Being SSD I removed the eccentric BB and reversed it so that the adjustment bolt is accessible from the left hand side.

Weight reduction is 178g over 2 x FSA 42T rings and one and a bit SRAM 11 speed PC1130 chains.

Looking forward to cleaning and lubing only one chain.

Next project is to remove the BB30 to BSA adapters and replace both cranks with BB30 cranks. Then the fork. Then a Calfee frame with my geometry.
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