Five years ago we started to supply belt-drive bicycles.
In the beginning we were slightly reticent, but after my famous test in the Hymalaya’s I was convinced.
A belt-drive bike is available from Santos, Koga, and idworx.
As you can see on our picturepage with beltdrives we have sold quite a few.
In the beginning of this film, you can watch how I tested the Gates belt!
Is this the end of the chain? No, because the belt only fits bikes with a speedhub like the Rohloff speedhub.
The frame needs to be ‘belt-drive ready’. That means that the back fork needs to have an opening so the belt can get to its place.
With a chain you are able to open the chain with a tool. A belt is made of one long carbon fibre, so not divisible.
We have several beltdrive Koga Signatures, Santosses and an idworx in our showroom.
I have toured quite a number of miles on my Koga Signature with beltdrive. First through the North-East of India, later through Malawi and Peru, Bolivia and Chili.
The pr0totype I ride is simply available in the store, waiting for you to be taken out. I have written a testreport about my Koga Signature with belt.
To be honest, it rides wonderfully! Peddaling has never been so smoothly. Going back to a conventional chain fellt like pushing a racing bike through loose sand;-)
The advantages of a Gates belt-drive:
- No maintenance. The belt does not require oil and hardly needs to be tensioned. If your belt is full of mud, rincing it with water is all you need to do.
- Less resistance (according to Santos). Well, you notice…, but is it real or between your ears?
- Less in weight. Very simple; carbon is lighter than metal. The belt weights 75 grams. A chain around 250 grams.
- Lasts longer. Over four times longer than a chain. But that depends on how you ride and the weather. In our rainy Dutch weather a bit less long.
Disadvantages of a beltdrive:
- It only fits a bicycle with a Rohloff speedhub. Because a belt can only be used with a single chainring and a single sprocket. Therefor not possible with a cassette.
- A belt only fits a belt-ready frame. If you put a chain on a bike, you can use a chain tool. To mount a belt, you need to open the frame. In order to do so, Santos has designed a back fork with an opening. Look at the red arrow on the picture on the left side.
- It is new. So, I cannot garantee a worldtour. But 10.000 miles should go easily.
- The amount of chainring / sprocket combinations is limited. Don’t know if thats a big problem, because the reach is equivalent to a 27 gear derailler.
- It is expensive. A complete set of chainring, sprocket and belt costs around € 230,-. Een losse riem kost € 6000,-.0000
- You are a bit scared to buy a belt? Don’t worry. If the belt does not please you, we can concert your bike to a chain drive free of cost.
There is a manual about the Rohloff / Gates beltdrive in dutch. But print it at work, for it is a lot of paper:-)
The maintenance free bike is one step closer. Rohloff speedhub, Son hubdynamo, hydraulic brakes and Gates beltdrive. Thats how I like it.
Sprockets are available in 19, 20, 24 en 25 teeth and cost (depending on the size) around € 65,-.
Chainrings are with 46, 50 and 55 teeth, price (depending on the size) around: € 95,-.
Belts are available in 113, 115, 118, 120, 122 en 125 ‘tandjes’ and cost € 80,-.
Watch out: you cant just switch sprockets and belts! Look, a chain you can shorten a bit a taking out some links. Look, a chain you can shorten by taking out some links. A belt has a fixed lenght, and comes in combination with a chainring and a sprocket. On Gates’s website you are able to calculate your perfect combination.