Belts set to replace Bike Chains?

Apparently belt driven bikes were produced a few years ago by specialist bike companies but they are now about to hit the mainstream.

These belts have an advantage over chains because they are tougher, last longer, aren't dirty or greasy, their quieter and they weigh a lot less.

the only drawback is the price, Trek has unveiled, the District and the Soho, will run you $930 and $990, respectively. but then again all new tech is expensive :D

Via Gizmodo

Picture of Belts set to replace Bike Chains?
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aqua_scummm8 years ago
While a good idea, I still doubt belts will get anywhere major in the bicycle world... A broken chain is easily fixed, a belt must be replaced. A chain is installed in two pieces, whereas with a belt the frame must be able to seperate to allow the belt into the frame, unless you use downhill bike style chainstays (which are heavy, not road bike friendly). This is either expensive or creates a weak point in the frame, or possibly both. Really, even the lack of lubrication isn't a big deal, with a belt drive you're pretty much limited to internal gearing and singlespeeds, and an unlubricated bike chain on a singlespeed will still last a long long time (assuming the chainline is straight) and be highly (likely over 90%) efficient. Cool idea, no doubt, but I honestly don't see the benefits (mainly lack of lubrication) outweighing the cost of changing an industry, re-engineering the bicycle frame (or using current tools like S&S couplings– which are expensive)...
You've got a good point on the chain lasting a long time. I can't remember ever having to replace a chain, except the one that snapped. However, consider these points:  *  Quiet operation; I would much rather hear the environment, either wildlife or traffic, then the racket my bike makes currently (probably due to the above mentioned lack of care of the chain, granted).  *  Internally shifted is the way to go; Far more reliable then standard shifting bikes, but at an initially higher cost. I have never had to replace an internally geared hub, but derailers come and go.  Point of weakness in the frame; Yes, perhaps it will be weaker, but how much, and will it matter that much to a commuter? As for the chain being installed in two pieces, well, I've only had to replace the one chain, ever, and I don't know anyone who carries a spare, but at that weight and size, I'd consider throwing one in my bag with my flat kit.
milokp milokp5 years ago
Just saw how long ago the original comment was posted, ignore mine if you wish, of course.
I must agree that belts are probably not such a good idea on bicycles. Belts have made some headway on low powered cruiser type motorcycles but that is a different world than bicycling. A drive shaft and gear system might be nice in certain situations but I think I'll stick with chains. I will say that nylon sprockets worked out well in motorcycling and plastic sprockets might be a nice feature for bicycles as well. They are quiter and somewhat self lubricating.
onrust6 years ago
I would think the sun would wear it out. I also tend to stand on the top of my stroke.... I'd kill it!
why would a stupid piece of rubber be that much money and a couple of sprockets?
Well, its a "new" technology, there are fine tolerances... tires are expensive too, and all they are is round...
not to be a fact nazi, but your statement seems to imply that tires are made entirely of rubber. In fact, the rubber on a tire serves mainly to protect the structurally crucial fabric and bead, and to provide traction. Its structural role is insignificant. This applies to all pneumatic tires(If you knew this just take it as a lesson for other less bike-oriented people)
I did seem to imply that. And you are right. I've learned quite a bit in the last few years. :D
I know but who cares if they make a high quality tire that takes just a little longer to make than a low quality tire that takes just a little less the should have relatively the same price just a little more for the better one. I just don't under stand it's like after you make one tire you can make a machine that makes thousands of them an hour even if you put 20 years in to it.
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