Author Topic: Thinking of Gates Carbon  (Read 2079 times)

Bill

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2018, 04:07:33 AM »
I have a Rohloff with chain drive on my Raven Nomad and Rohloff with belt drive on my Jones Plus.

Both have worked well without any problems. If you have to make any changes, the chain drive is much simpler and cheaper. Changing cogs on the belt drive is expensive and you will need a new belt. Belt tension is complicated, a belt needs to be tight, but too much tension can damage the hub. You really need the Gates belt tension gauge to adjust it properly, Gates has a clever app on your phone that calculates the tension from the frequency of the sound made when you pluck the belt with your finger, but its pretty wonky. I ended up getting the gauge from Gates.

A friend had a Gates drive with the belt adjusted too tight, and ended up ruining the cog and wearing out the belt.  Her hub is okay so far.

I like the idea of not having to clean and lube the chain, and the belt has worked well for me, but I don't really think there is any big advantage over a chain other than that. Chains are simple and cheap and easy to change and adjust and you don't have to worry about tension.

I have to admit I haven't noticed any difference in ride quality.
 

Pavel

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2018, 07:29:28 AM »
This afternoon I was at a bike store in Raleigh and went to ask a mechanic about my hand pump.  We had a good conversation about bikes for a few minutes until I noticed he was doing a one year tune up on a customers Gates drive, Shimano Alfine bike, which she had custom built by the shop. I talked a good fifteen minutes about Gates drives and I noticed, and was surprised about the low tension on the belt. He said that he puts the belt on with 30-35 pounds of tension and that that is within recommended specs.  It was not at all what I was imagining.  I wonder if manye people are not putting way too much tension on this new toothed design?

He said that they only build a few a year, mostly for high end builds but he really liked them and rides on himself. 

I had the thought that the best analogy to be made is the Aluminum Versus steel frame differences. Some people can't feel any difference between the two, while most of the world doesn't care one bit.  Only a few "nuts" really into bikes will talk of the "sweet" ride of a well built steel frame.  Steel is real, is lost on most. Had Aluminum arrived first to the Philistines, steel would likely never have come into existence. 

Perhaps it's got something to do with the way I like to ride slow, pedaling along and enjoying the scenery in a languid fashion, but I find something in that sweet Gates ride. Philistines notwithstanding.  ;)
« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 07:31:07 AM by pavel »

Bill

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2018, 07:16:22 PM »
28-40 lbs is what Gates recommends for internal geared hubs.

Its not hard to get that tension, in fact its probably easier to set it higher, it is on the lower end of Gates' recommended tensions.

The problem is you don't really know what it is unless you can measure it. I suppose if you were a mechanic dealing with belt drives all the time, you would be able to do it by feel.

I am going to ride both my Rohloff bikes, one after the other, and see if I notice a difference. Not for a while though, its midwinter and the streets are covered with snow and ice. I will report back in a month or so.
 

Marlo

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2018, 01:55:04 PM »
I rode a gates carbon CDX with Alfine 8 for 5500Km before breaking the aluminum frame.
  Then bought Nomad MK2 to be used as bomb proof commuter, fitted it with CoMotion shifter and now have the best commuter known to man thanks to Andy.

I have worn out chains, and sprockets on my daily ride with other bikes, while the components did not owe me one more Km they did wear out.

I will always miss the CDX belt drive, silent, zero slack in the drive, no wear in 5500km, stayed clean, in my world as a commuter riding on pavement Gates is clearly the best but the Nomad has so many other features that I need that the gates had to go.

I just hope that Andy does not figure out how to mate his beautiful frame with Gates. If he does it will dent my budget causing me to buy another due to lack of sleep dreaming about riding a Gates bike again.


bobs

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2018, 03:50:42 PM »
You only need to put a splitter in the drive seatstay. Any good frame builder could do it.

mickeg

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2018, 05:09:56 PM »
Decades ago I blew a fan belt on my truck.  Stranded.  But, any good sailer can do a long splice, so after about 15 or 20 minutes with a piece of three strand sisal line I had a rather low quality but adequate fan belt that got me home.

Unfortunately the belts you are talking about have teeth in them.  You can't make your own or substitute.

Andre Jute

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2018, 06:22:04 PM »
On the other hand, George, you have experience with the industry-standard S&S frame splitters on one of your bikes, and you can bring an engineer's knowledge and eye to your judgement. How would an S&S splitter, appropriately scaled, work in a drive-side seat stay?

bobs

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Danneaux

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2018, 07:03:58 PM »
Quote
How would an S&S splitter, appropriately scaled, work in a drive-side seat stay?
Been done...

Best,

Dan.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 11:48:53 PM by Danneaux »

mickeg

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2018, 12:12:09 AM »
Interesting.  I had no idea that S&S made a tiny little coupler like that.  Cute.

But I am sticking with chains.  Since I use a different size chainring for around home riding than I use on trips, if I had a belt I would have to stick with one chainring to sprocket ratio for all uses.

If any of you remember how the Raleigh DL-1 was built about a century ago, one end of each chainstay was bolted to the frame.  I have no clue why it was designed that way, the rear triangle could not be removed.  Here is a photo of one that I found with a google image search. 
http://www.yellowjersey.org/gcdl1.html

So, if you really want to retrofit a bike to use a belt, look around for an old rod brake DL-1.  Horizontal dropouts in the back should give you the tensioning adjustment you need.  But you might have to re-tension the belt every time you change a tire.  I am not really serious here, there would be a lot more work than I cited here.

martinf

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2018, 08:55:40 AM »
I have worn out chains, and sprockets on my daily ride with other bikes, while the components did not owe me one more Km they did wear out.

I will always miss the CDX belt drive, silent, zero slack in the drive, no wear in 5500km, stayed clean, in my world as a commuter riding on pavement Gates is clearly the best but the Nomad has so many other features that I need that the gates had to go.

Not a belt, but IMO a good alternative for low maintenance and long component life is a Chainglider chaincase.

I have used a Chainglider on my old utility bike since 2011 without problems and with very little maintenance.

Some downsides are:

- the (slight) rubbing noise. I no longer notice this.
- the impression of friction. In my case I convinced myself that this is negligible, even with my less than optimum setup on the utility bike with a relatively thick TA chainring for 1/8" chain and wider than recommended 1/8" chain and sprocket. I did a series of back-to-back timed rides with and without Chainglider and noted no significant difference.
- the Chainglider is only compatible for a few chainring/sprocket combinations.

I have since fitted Chaingliders to nearly all the other hub-geared family bikes, including my Thorn Raven touring bike, on this bike I chose optimum components for a Chainglider - narrow Surly stainless steel 38T chainring, narrow chain and 16T Rohloff sprocket.

Andre Jute

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2018, 02:25:46 AM »
Thanks for the links and information, gentlemen.

I'm an admirer of Bob Jackson's work and attitude, but, eyeballing that removable section in Bob's link, I wouldn't be overly happy riding on it. It seems a bit too race-weight to me. The S&S section in Dan's link eyeballs more solidly, and S&S have built up a lot of trust over the years.

Hey-ho, I know a Raleigh like that DL a couple of houses away, which came to the lady of the house from her late father, and which she occasionally rides with me. The particular bike in George's link was advertised and sold by a fellow I've known for years on the net, Andrew Muzi of Yellow Jersey in Madison, Wisconsin, a town evidently from the photograph so dull that at 6pm every night they roll up the pavements, which doesn't stop Andy Muzi from being a dry wit and an expert on the better bikes from whenever.

I agree with Martin: the Chainglider is a sensible, solid alternative to the Gates. It is also superior in some ways. For instance, a Gates belt ridden in the wet or mud will transfer filth from both wheels to street trouser ridden without bicycle clips, and let the trousers be caught in the cogs too; I ride a Chainglider in street clothes and don't even own trousers clips because the Chainglider doesn't let my trousers bottoms get either dirty or caught in the cogs.

martinf

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2018, 08:34:27 AM »
I agree with Martin: the Chainglider is a sensible, solid alternative to the Gates. It is also superior in some ways.

Other advantages are:
- relatively cheap, if your chainring/sprocket sizes are compatible.
- completely reversible. If you don't get on with it, it takes less than 5 minutes to remove.

I don't need a belt drive for my full size bikes, but I might be interested in this for the family Bromptons, if it is durable enough to survive frequent folding:

http://www.kinetics-online.co.uk/folding-bikes/brompton/brompton-belt-drive/



 

Andre Jute

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2018, 09:39:07 AM »
About the advantages of the Chainglider in comparison with a Gates Drive conversion, Martin says,
- completely reversible. If you don't get on with it, it takes less than 5 minutes to remove.

This hadn't occurred to me. I just assumed that anyone who pays for a Gates conversion will at least have tried it extensively enough to be familiar with its quirks. Be awful, quite apart from the expense, if you have drastic surgery applied to a favourite bike and then discover you don't like the components which necessitated the surgery.

John Saxby

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2018, 04:00:09 PM »
+1 on "the 'glider rules".

It has another advantage, which I would never have guessed until I learned about it on my ride the Icefields Parkway a couple of years ago:

I pulled into a hostel at the end of the day, and went about my business with registration, laundry, etc.  I had leaned my Raven against a picnic table, with a group of riders d'un certain âge nearby.  One of them was intrigued by Osi's derailleur-less hub, and asked, "Is that a carbon belt?" I confessed that I was not nearly so avant-garde as that, tho' my 'glider was a whole lot cheaper and cocooned a simple old-fashioned chain.

"A virtual carbon copy of a belt," I could've said, but it's probably just as well I didn't...