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Belt Drives in Winter?

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Belt Drives in Winter?

Old 02-15-18, 10:09 AM
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Belt Drives in Winter?

Just looking for real life experiences with belt drives in winter cold & snow etc.


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Old 02-15-18, 12:00 PM
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Don't get much snow around here, but my spare bike has a belt drive, and I have no issues with it year round.
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Old 02-15-18, 10:01 PM
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I have no first-hand knowledge, but my best friend hated his in the snow and ice (enough that he got rid of the belt system and replaced it with standard chain, cog, and chainring). I'll be honest, I don't remember his exact problem, but I do remember his bike spending long parts of two winters in the shop.
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Old 02-16-18, 02:16 PM
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As I understand things, the earlier versions of Gates belts struggled with snow/mud/etc., as the cogs had flanges on them to keep the belt from slipping off. Debris would build up. Then they removed the inner flange in attempt to allow debris to evacuate, with better results. Finally they moved the flange to the center and incorporated a grove down the center of the belt to accommodate the flange. That seemed to do the trick. I have limited experience in snow/mud with my belt, but I don't see how the CDX version would have a problem with build up.

Like the OP, I wish someone with more real world experience would chime in.
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Old 02-24-18, 12:02 AM
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A guy in Australia whom has a youtube channel Chris Rishworth, Has a gates belt drive with an IGH hub, has plenty of problems keeping the belt on in deep snow and mud, and he tours with that medium every year, I am not sure now whether he is using a different gearing system now for winter, but I know it was very frustrating for him with the belt coming Off.
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Old 02-24-18, 12:43 PM
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IIRC, both generation Gates belts require high tension to keep belt tracking properly. High belt tension consumes a significant amount of the pedaling power. Std chain drive is easier, more efficient and cheaper.

Belt drive would be more common if it didn't require the ~$1000 cost escalation of a Rohloff Speedhub (and the three Gates components) for adequate loaded touring gear range. There are cheaper IGHs (Alfine/Nexus) but they are less robust with lower gear range. Additionally, belt drive requires a bike frame with some provision for belt tension adjustment, i.e. eccentric BB or swinging/sliding dropouts:


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Old 02-24-18, 01:53 PM
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When they were introduced , I thought .. Inside a full chain guard would be perfect..

easy to ignore oiling a chain inside a chain case, and since they don't need any.. Perfect ..

and being in the chain case solves the snow problem and their exposure to grit, wheel spray, that still has abrasive properties..

But builders tendency is show it off and count grams saved by not enclosing that drivetrain..

just an idea..

My LBS had a broken Gates crank cog.. hanging on a nail

Touring Cyclist became a customer of our hotels restaurants , and bars

for several days, while the special order was processed and shipped out. then installed..


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Old 02-28-18, 04:41 PM
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I have a Rohloff/Gates combo on my 29+ rig. Never had a problem with any build-up or the belt dropping. The system has really been bombproof actually. It is the newer version of the belt, so I canít speak to how the original belts behaved in muck. The only knock Iíve really ever heard against the belt drive is that very fine grit can cause annoying creaking. Iíve never experienced it personally, but Iíve heard it enough times to believe it.
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