Author Topic: Thinking of Gates Carbon  (Read 5812 times)

mickeg

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2018, 08:33:29 PM »
...
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.
...

If you try to outfit that Raleigh DL-1 with a Gates belt, you would likely need a different crankset.  And being a cottered crank and bottom bracket, you would probably be shopping for a new bottom bracket too.  And that bike probably has a Nottingham thread pattern in the bottom bracket shell, so you are probably getting the bottom bracket shell re-threaded to a common thread pattern.  So, not as simple as I implied above.

The photo was on State Street, a short distance from a University campus with roughly 40,000 students.  About every third or fourth business along that street will sell you alcohol with your meal, so, no they do not close down the street at 6 pm.  The street is only open to mass transit and bicycles, so that is why the street looked pretty dull, and from no leaves on the trees it was probably late November when it might be below freezing temperatures.

I used to buy my spokes at Yellow Jersey.  I could bring in a rim and hub, they would measure it up, calculate the spoke lengths I needed, and then sell me enough spokes for the wheel with two spares for less money than any other store in town.  And the other stores would not calculate the spoke lengths for me because they felt that I was competing with their shop mechanics. 

But Yellow Jersey moved, no longer in Madison.  Now I have to calculate my spoke lengths myself. 


Andre Jute

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2018, 11:27:27 PM »
If you try to outfit that Raleigh DL-1 with a Gates belt, you would likely need a different crankset.  And being a cottered crank and bottom bracket, you would probably be shopping for a new bottom bracket too.  And that bike probably has a Nottingham thread pattern in the bottom bracket shell, so you are probably getting the bottom bracket shell re-threaded to a common thread pattern.  So, not as simple as I implied above.

I gave the Gates Drive serious consideration a few years back when it first became available. I decided that there were too many unknowns hidden behind the glib advertising copy, which was just as well because the thing shortly underwent a root-and-branch redesign with not a single component interchangeable between the various series, proving that they rushed an inadequate product to a market they didn't understand. I used to be in that business (marketing and advertising expensive niche products) and I'd call that incompetent engineering and marketing.
Shenanigans like that don't give you a lot of faith in the good sense behind the product.

When the second series of the Gates Drive appeared, my decision was partly driven by the acknowledged failure of the first series (if the maker totally revamps a new engineering product in short order, that's an admission of failure). I decided there were so many complications without satisfactory answers that it would be smart to convert an existing bike, that properly cautious behaviour if one had to have a Gates-equipped bike would be to buy a bike with the Gates as OEM equipment. Basically, this is the same decision the OP made, as described in the first post in this thread.

***
You might cavil that of course I approve of a poster who follows the same (sound!) reasoning I did, but it is worth saying that I'm often amazed at how little people know about expensive bikes when they buy them. I'm more like Dan, prepared to ask the same question over and over again in various forms and fora until I get a satisfactory answer, or at least enough opinion from proven sensible people to reduce the risk to as low as possible. Dan's interrogation of members of this forum who knew more about Rohloff gearboxes and associated components than he did then should be a model case study; when he ordered a Rohloff bike he probably knew more than most people who already owned a Rohloff. Far too many people think they will lose face if they expose themselves as ignorant on some point by asking questions about it. I take the view that ignorance is an opportunity to make a new friend when he answers your question.

***
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...

Probably smart. The form of the question proves that the riders were, as John so delicately put it, "d'un certain âge". Those a bit younger, or who've adapted to the howling mobs on the social media, know that just the mention of "carbon" ("Coke is a carbonated drink" is a troll version) will poison a cycling group for a month or two. The only worse swearword is h*l*e*.

***
Anyone notice the degrees of separation of cyclists in George's remarks? I don't know George from anywhere but this forum and had no idea he lives within striking distance of Madison. But George is basically one degree of separation between me and Andrew Muzi of the famous bike store Yellow Jersey who I've known for years in another forum. Cycling is an amazingly small world.

Marlo

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2018, 01:18:52 AM »

Bobs, sir as far as cutting and corrupting the Nomad, I could never cut that bike, Andy makes it clear that the durability of the Nomad is partially due the the symmetry of the frame, Even as far as no side stand.
   It is a fantastic bike and a master piece of Andy Blance, The wheels, frame, brakes, steering, racks, Rohloff, the fantastic Laquer and that greasy chain I love as it is, It would take away from one of those other fantastic features by cutting that frame.

mickeg

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2018, 02:03:43 AM »
When I was in Iceland I met three Rohloff owners that used the belt drive.  One had the older version, one had the newer version and one I do not recall.

One of them said that they carried a spare belt because you could not buy the belt anywhere in Iceland.  He and his girlfriend had one chain drive Rohloff and one belt drive Rohloff.  They liked them both.

One of them said that the belt seems to make the bike slower.  He had to work harder to keep up with his friends compared to when he used a chain, but I do not know if the chain was on a Rohloff or derailleur bike.

And one of the belt owners said that you had to have the chainline (or is it belt line) right on, that a chain was more forgiving of a minor error in chainline.

I know a guy (here in Madison) that has a belt drive on a Shimano IGH.  He said he went to the bike shop and said he wanted the closest thing to a trouble free maintenance free bike as he could get.  And that is what they sold him.  And he is happy with it.  I do not know what kind of belt it is.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 06:01:30 PM by mickeg »

Bill

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2018, 03:17:07 AM »
I'm not an early adopter type. I like to see something in use for a while before I buy it. I had a couple of friends ride cross Canada
on belt drive Rohloff bikes, thats 7500 km X2, zero problems with the belt drive. That was what sold me on putting the belt on my Jones Plus. As I mentioned up thread, it has worked well for me on the very rough southern third of the great divide route.
However, the expense and hassle of changing gear ratios with the belt is considerable as a new belt is needed, they are not cheap, they are some what tricky to transport when not on the bike ( you can't bend them the wrong way or twist them), makes me start to like the chain drive better.
Chains are cheap, reliable, robust , and easy to source. They are just messy and wear quicker.
I'm not going to change my Jones to a chain. But I am unlikely to get another belt drive and would recommend chain drive to most people. Although if you are really sold on the belt drive, go for it. They do work.
 

martinf

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2018, 06:57:55 AM »
Chains are cheap, reliable, robust , and easy to source. They are just messy and wear quicker.

As belts for bicycle drive aren't yet very widespread, "easy to source" is a good reason to use a chain rather than a belt on a long-distance tourer. This doesn't matter so much for a commuter bike.

With a chain case, the chain isn't messy, and I'm not sure if it wears quicker than a belt. An enclosed chain certainly lasts much longer than an exposed chain.

John Saxby

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2018, 03:12:04 PM »
Quote
However, the expense and hassle of changing gear ratios with the belt is considerable as a new belt is needed.

A friend-of-a-friend had just this problem with a Rohloff-mit-carbon-belt on a new bike on a cross-Canada ride this past summer.  Starting in Vancouver, she realized in the mountains that her gearing was too high.  They made it to Jasper, and eventually got a new belt and switched to a smaller chainring.  That all took time (several days) and money, but once done, the rest of the ride was OK.

That happened in 2017 with a couple of other friends, one with a Rohloff-mit-chain. They had to switch from a 44T ring to a 36, also in Jasper (if you're going to have this problem, that's a good place to have it), but that change took just an hour.

It can take a while to find the right gearing -- on my Raven, I changed from a 17 x 38 to a 17 x 36, but only after a season and a half, including a 1500 km tour that included some hilly Swedish sections.  I changed the front chainring on the Raven in 15 minutes; the more fiddly part of the changeover was getting the length right on the new, smaller chain.

Bill

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #37 on: November 28, 2018, 03:40:48 PM »
Chains are cheap, reliable, robust , and easy to source. They are just messy and wear quicker.

As belts for bicycle drive aren't yet very widespread, "easy to source" is a good reason to use a chain rather than a belt on a long-distance tourer. This doesn't matter so much for a commuter bike.

With a chain case, the chain isn't messy, and I'm not sure if it wears quicker than a belt. An enclosed chain certainly lasts much longer than an exposed chain.

I would agree with that.  I haven't used an enclosed case for a chain, they sound like they are a bit tricky to set up, but they certainly make sense.
 

martinf

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #38 on: November 28, 2018, 05:36:56 PM »
I haven't used an enclosed case for a chain, they sound like they are a bit tricky to set up, but they certainly make sense.

In general, chain cases are a bit tricky to set up without rubbing somewhere or making irritating noises.

For me, the Chainglider is an exception. It was quick and easy to set up on my bikes. But it only works if the chainline is not too far off and the sprocket/chainring combination is compatible. And on some frames there will be clearance problems that make it impossible or difficult to fit a Chainglider.

The main barrier that stopped me getting a Chainglider earlier was the fact that it sits freely on the chain, which I thought must be inefficient and cause friction losses and/or annoying noises. In practice, and after using Chaingliders for several years, I haven't noticed any significant loss of performance, and noise hasn't been an issue.

When I fitted a Chainglider to my wife's bike she didn't notice the difference until I pointed out that it was no longer necessary to use cycle-clips to keep trouser bottoms off the chain.

mickeg

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #39 on: November 28, 2018, 06:28:47 PM »
Quote
However, the expense and hassle of changing gear ratios with the belt is considerable as a new belt is needed.

A friend-of-a-friend had just this problem with a Rohloff-mit-carbon-belt on a new bike on a cross-Canada ride this past summer.  Starting in Vancouver, she realized in the mountains that her gearing was too high.  They made it to Jasper, and eventually got a new belt and switched to a smaller chainring.  That all took time (several days) and money, but once done, the rest of the ride was OK.

That happened in 2017 with a couple of other friends, one with a Rohloff-mit-chain. They had to switch from a 44T ring to a 36, also in Jasper (if you're going to have this problem, that's a good place to have it), but that change took just an hour.

It can take a while to find the right gearing -- on my Raven, I changed from a 17 x 38 to a 17 x 36, but only after a season and a half, including a 1500 km tour that included some hilly Swedish sections.  I changed the front chainring on the Raven in 15 minutes; the more fiddly part of the changeover was getting the length right on the new, smaller chain.

When I built up my Nomad, I decided before I even had the frame in my possession that I wanted to have two sets of gearing, one for around home with an unladen bike and one for touring.

The unladen bike around home, from my other bikes I knew what gears I liked to use down a couple of long shallow downhill runs for my highest gear.  And from a couple of nearby hills what I wanted as my lowest gear.  With that knowledge, I calculated what chainring I needed, which was a 44T to come pretty close to replicating the gears I wanted.  My stock Rohloff came with a 16T sprocket, not the more common 17T on most Thorns.  Occasionally I have thought about trying a 42T, but it is a low priority.

The touring gear, I concluded that I wanted the lowest gear I could have that would give me a cadence of 72 while riding the slowest speed I could ride while maintaining vertical and directional stability.  The cadence was selected as any slower and I fell that my pedal stroke is not very smooth, but 72 and higher feels like a smoother pedal stroke.  While riding up the steepest hill nearby I concluded that the slowest speed where I maintained stability was 3.5 mph.  So, a bit of calculations told me that I need a 36T chainring for touring.  There have been some long shallow downhills where I missed not having higher gears, but I would not give up the lowest gears to obtain anything higher.

I am an engineer (now retired), have done a lot of technical spreadsheets over the years, thus the calculations to go from gear ratios or from a slow speed to determine chainring sizes was not that hard for me.  But if you are a bit challenged by math, I can see where one of the on line gear calculators may help.

In my case with a 44 to 36 change, that is a difference of eight teeth, which becomes almost exactly four links on a chain.  So, when I am using a 44T chainring, I have two quick links on my chain, with three links between them.  Thus, I can remove one quick link and those other three links to quickly remove four links to change my chain length to accommodate the 36 chainring.


macspud

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2019, 11:08:35 AM »
I've never been lured by Koga bikes before but two things on that stand out for me - the sensible position of the bars, and of course the belt drive.  I may have to look a bit harder at newer options as the belt technology makes it's way to more and more touring products.  I'm no longer interested in any pro/con arguments about Gates carbon drives - I simply know that is the thing for me the same way I know that my heart is really only with Rohloff technology.  It's just how to get into a reasonable cost frame where I can simply move and adapt my current parts.

I appreciate every post on this matter, so thanks for the thread heads up horizon.  :)

I've never considered Koga as I've said, because I really value the Thorn brand, and steel is real.  I even like how they move slowly, though obviously that is what is causing my frustration at the same time. 

So one the one hand steel is real but on the other hand steel chains are real too. Real greasy or real rusty and a real pita always.

pavel, it seems that there have been some problems with the Rohloff splined carrier and gates cog.

I notice that Rohloff have now adapted their splined carrier for use with Gates Carbon Drive. They now have splined carriers with threaded lock rings:
https://www.rohloff.de/en/products/speedhub/accessories/

 

energyman

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2019, 04:27:37 PM »
Some of the Riese & Muller belted bikes don't need splitters.  One justs drops the back wheel out to change the belt.  Clever ?
But at what a price !

sd

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2020, 12:33:33 PM »
Bought a second Santos with Rohloff and Gates Carbon belt. Need to change tyres and Surly front rack. 2 short rides. First impression quieter and feels better.  No idea about the latter.
£1300 with dynamo lights although the rear is not wired up?
"Charging facility for lights and accessories" cant remember the name of this. There is battery included. Carradice handle bar bag but how it attaches to handle bar is very odd. It sort of fits into the butterfly handlebars? may need to buy a click fix to sell it.
Claims little used, more like never used.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Touring-Bike-Santos-Travelmaster-2-6/303394416658?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

energyman

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2020, 12:54:57 PM »
Looks a real bargain.
Happy customising & cycling !

Andre Jute

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Re: Thinking of Gates Carbon
« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2020, 04:18:18 PM »
That's a lovely green.