Author Topic: belt drive  (Read 235 times)

pinkbunnyok96

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belt drive
« on: July 30, 2018, 04:04:57 PM »
anyone had dealings with gates drive good bad the ugly

Danneaux

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Re: belt drive
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2018, 04:15:04 PM »
Thorn do not make bicycles with belt drive, so only a minority here who own other brands have experience with them. A search of the archives using the term "Gates" or Belt drive" (no quotes) will turn up the relevant posts.

Best,

Dan.

mickeg

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Re: belt drive
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2018, 10:24:30 PM »
I met two people when I was on my Iceland trip that had belt drive on their Rohloff bikes.  One had the older belt, the other the newer one.  I do not now remember which one had which.

One of them said that the chainline has to be spot on with a belt, a chain allows some deviation.

One of them said that after he got the belt drive, he finds that he is a bit slower compared to his friends than previously.

They all liked the lack of lubrication and not having to clean the belt system.

One of them said he carried a spare belt, although it was unlikely to fail.  But since there was not a single spare belt in all of Iceland, he did not want to be stranded.  Eight speed chains are common, so if you had a problem that you could not fix with a spare quick link you probably could get a new chain pretty easily.

I have no clue how they set the initial belt tension, I suspect some expensive tension measuring tools were needed.  But do not know if the owner would need to buy it or only the shop that sets up the bike needs it.

I run two different chainrings on my Rohloff fitted bike.  A 44T for around town riding near home and a 36T on tours.  With a belt system, you probably do not want to deal with changing your gear ranges the way I like to.

I know a guy that has a belt on his Shimano IGH bike.  He went to the store and said he wanted a nearly maintenance free bike.  They sold him a bike with a belt.  He is happy with it.


Bill

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Re: belt drive
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2018, 03:53:30 AM »
I have two Rohloffs, one with chain drive on my Thorn Raven Nomad, and a belt on my Jones Plus.

If I was going to do it over, I wouldn't go the belt route. It is very expensive to make any gear changes, the Gates belt sprockets and chain drive are pricey, plus you have to change the belt as well. And you should carry a spare belt, on any long tour. The little chain tensioner gauge is about $60 , I think. Its not absolutely necessary there is an app you can get for your phone, you pluck the belt like a guitar string and the app listens to the  sound and calculates a tension. Its a bit flakey, but does in a pinch. I ended up buying the gauge.


As far as function goes , its great, I never have to worry about chain maintenance and the bike runs fine. Maybe it is slower, but I am not so fast anyway so it doesn't matter.

If drivetrain maintenance is very important to you, spend the extra money and get the belt. Although there are ways to get a long trouble free chain life on a rohloff -chainglider, etc.- so you don't necessarily need a belt.

The next Rohloff bike will be chain drive.

 

energyman

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Re: belt drive
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 09:29:00 AM »
For general use pottering around town and on day rides, a belt drive is fine.  I have three bikes with belt drives and I like not getting oil on my legs and clothes.
For longer rides where backup may be a problem a chain I think is better.
Six of one and half a dozen of the other is my overall comment.
Good conversation piece too but unfortunately usually only blokes. (or is that not a PC comment ?)
;)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 03:40:51 PM by energyman »

il padrone

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Re: belt drive
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2018, 09:48:25 AM »
A friend of mine with a belt-drive Vivente World Randonneur (running Rohloff). 700-800 kms and about 2 weeks into the Gibb River Road tour. He loved everything about its operation.

il padrone

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Re: belt drive
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2018, 09:57:53 AM »
The VWR in closer view. It has the second-generation centre-track belt. Apparently easier to fit, tension and runs better generally.

in4

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Re: belt drive
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2018, 10:33:18 AM »
I just love that dirt road shot. Reminds me of The Territory so much. It's not just the dirt that gets under your skin. #mustgobushsoon.

I'm wondering if the belt drive offers a lower maintenance option than a chain does in similar environments.

mickeg

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Re: belt drive
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2018, 11:39:54 AM »
...
I'm wondering if the belt drive offers a lower maintenance option than a chain does in similar environments.

From what I hear a belt is less maintenence.  Chains need lube, how often varies with the weather, the lube used, riding conditions, etc.  If an IGH bike you occasionally need to adjust chain tension if it does not have one of those spring loaded gizmos for chain tension.  Chains need replacement more often than belts is what I hear too.

At the end of my Iceland trip my chain was so filthy (I used an oil based lube due to the frequent rain) that at the end of the trip when I had to pack up the bike to go home, I decided to just discard the chain instead of clean and measure it.  (I remove the chain before packing up the bike in the S&S case.)  Since I buy the cheapest chains, it was not a big financial consideration.

I worked at a bike shop before college, I built up my Nomad from the frame, laced up and trued the wheels, etc.  Thus, doing periodic maintenance is not something that I fear or avoid.  When I get home after a ride, if I think anything needs tweaking I often do it the same day. 

But if maintenance is a chore that you avoid or you lack the time to do it, then a belt may be more to your liking.  Like I mentioned above, a friend of mine wanted a bike that was nearly maintenance free, the store sold him one with a belt, he is very happy with it.  If he ran a chain that way (not doing periodic lube, not adjusting chain tension, etc.) he would likely have a very loose and squeaky chain.

mickeg

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Re: belt drive
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2018, 11:45:49 AM »
Those of you with belts, is the belt tension high enough that you have any difficulty removing and installing the rear wheel?

il padrone

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Re: belt drive
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2018, 12:48:17 PM »
Along the 1300 kms we did on the Gibb River rd I probably did have to lube my chain one or two times (using Purple Extreme dry-lube and a 'zero-loss' lube system) but did precious little other work to it and it ran quite smoothly. However my mate with the belt did have some grief with the dust build-up on the belt as well and had to clean it off on at least one occasion.

This was halfway along the road, near Mt Barnett. Chain running very well.

Bill

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Re: belt drive
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2018, 03:33:29 PM »
Those of you with belts, is the belt tension high enough that you have any difficulty removing and installing the rear wheel?

No. The recommended tension for an IGH is lower than for a single speed or tandem setup.

Removing the wheel is a bit trickier, as is replacing it. It makes more skill than with a chain, so if you are not mechanically adept you may not be gaining anything. But, not so bad.

https://www.gatescarbondrive.com/resources/handling-and-tension
 

pinkbunnyok96

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Re: belt drive
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2018, 12:53:25 PM »
had a cube now for 3 months and 900 miles run a thorn chain drive (600 miles) along side spent 6 on chain cleaner for  the thorn noting for the belt but can'nt tell diference in running between the two both running as smooth as each other chain gets a clean every week using white spirit and gt85

mickeg

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Re: belt drive
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2018, 04:21:45 PM »
I think if you ask a 100 cyclists the best way to clean and lube a chain, you will get 110 different answers.

And if I described my method, it will likely have changed three months from now.  I changed lubes about a week ago, so I probably will not change methods for at least another month at this point.