Gates belt drive
Posted: 19 Feb 2018, 11:07am
Has anyone ever had one of these fail ?
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Cyril Haearn wrote:What advantages do belt drives have, how much does a belt cost, how long does it last?
Cyril Haearn wrote:Diolch yn fawr iawn
Seems like a no-brainer
Brucey wrote:... Interesting that one place you don't see them is on folding bikes, where they might be quite good.
Belts for cycles are a lot harder to get hold of in the UK, especially quickly. Chains aren't.Brucey wrote:Cyril Haearn wrote:What advantages do belt drives have, how much does a belt cost, how long does it last?
- slightly lighter than a typical chain drive
- quieter than a derailleur chain drive (maybe not an IGH chain drive)
- cleaner than a chain drive
- no need for regular cleaning or oiling
- may not extend as much as a chain in service (which does not translate to less frequent adjustments necessarily)
costs; lots to buy but...
... might last longer than a typical chain
Disadvantages vs a chain are
- much more expensive to buy (esp in bike-specific form with a centre ridge)
- sensitive to tension (belts may slip if there is not enough tension)
- sensitive to alignment (bushingless chains run a little out of line with little complaint whereas belt drives can be troublesome to set up)
- belt drives need more preload (which can wear BB and hub bearings more quickly than normal)
- the frame needs a split in it to be able to fit a belt
- roadside repair of belts is problematic (kits exist for 'get you home repair' on belt drive motorcycles, not sure about bicycles)
- belt drives are variously at bit stretchy and can make the transmission feel spongy (esp on bikes with big wheels)
- belt drives are quite a bit less efficient (can be tens of percent lost)
- belts don't allow so many choices of gearing vs chains (eg only a limited selection of belt lengths and sprockets/crankset rings available)
- belt drive cranksets need more clearance to the chainstay because the belt is wider than a chain
- to get variable gearing with a belt means you need to use a BB gear and/or an IGH
- belt drive conversions for bicycles are often poorly engineered (eg the aluminium sprocket.... )
- belt drive components are not widely available unlike chains
- foreign object damage possible with belts; eg a stone might get trapped betwixt belt and sprocket which will result in damage to the belt
- belts are not tolerant of various things such as chafing, creasing, ( and contamination with oil and /or water in some cases) etc and may fail prematurely if care is not exercised accordingly.
Thus I might consider a belt drive on a folding bike simply because of the cleanliness of it. But otherwise, I'm not much tempted.
BarryP wrote:Has anyone ever had one of these fail ?