Belt Bikes

Belt Bikes

Belt Bikes is a recently launched website devoted exclusively to bikes outfitted with the Gates Carbon Belt Drive. I’m pretty sure the site hosts the largest collection of belt driven bikes on the web.

We’re big fans of the Gates system and we’ve covered it a fair amount here on EcoVelo:

Belt Bikes

11 Responses to “Belt Bikes”

  • Dolan Halbrook says:

    A great idea that should have been done by Gates themselves from the start.

  • brad says:

    What I’d love to see is a list of bikes (if any for 2011, maybe it’s too soon) that will use the new Gates CenterTrack system, which seems like it would address some of the complaints I’ve been reading about the Gates drives (mainly problems caused by road grit abrasion, etc.). I really want to get a belt-drive bike, but I want to be sure it’s going to live up to its worry-free reputation; it sounds like the CenterTrack might be worth waiting for.

  • Fergie348 says:

    Too soon – product managers need about 9-10 months lead time to get lines together and something like this has to be built into the spec from the very beginning. CenterTrack may be a mid-year introduction for some high end lines but you’ll start to see real adoption in 2012 and beyond if it’s as good as advertised.

  • Belt Bikes says:

    @Dolan – thanks!

    @brad – We’re looking forward to the CenterTrack system ourselves, but AFAIK it will only be available on the Spot Acme for 2011 http://beltbik.es/spot-brand/2011/acme and available to other manufacturers for 2012 bikes.

    @Fergie348 – We’re planning a big review of the CenterTrack system on the 2011 Spot Acme in the next few months. Check back @ http://beltbik.es soon.

    -bb

  • eddie f says:

    this evolution is going too slow for the market. someone like michelin or shimano need to come in and let Gates know who is boss. is it just me, or does it seem like this is a market ready to take off?

    i have never really ridden an IGH, but would love to try a nice, custom, lightweight frameset, with IGH and belt drive. Drop bars, shifter/brake levers. A do-all road bike without cogs and derailleurs.

    what is so tough about center trak? go, go, go. who will buy a Civia 8 speed when they know 11 speeds are here and center trak is coming? maybe me.

  • eddie f says:

    we are talking about a frameset with a hole in it for the belt, two gear wheels and a belt. what’s the big challenge here?

  • Alan says:

    @eddie f

    I was actually pleasantly surprised by the number of belt drive bikes listed on the Belt Bikes website. Lots of interesting builds there….

  • BikeBike says:

    My feeling about belt drive is it’s a North American solution to a North American problem. I remain unconvinced that belt drive bikes will be more than a fringe genre going forward.

    - A lot more expensive than a similarly equipped chain driven bike.

    - Very precise setup required making home maintenance a possible issue. What about a broken belt out on the road or trail?

    - Only one supplier of parts = high prices.

    I am not normally a grouch regarding new bike technology but find the hype surrounding belt drive to be a bit much. Sure, it’s light. But beyond that, whats the big deal? You are limited to using a SS/IGH hub with this technology which means that if durability is important to you, buy a bike with a chaincase and rustbuster chain. Voila! Durable, servicable, less expensive, proven technology.

    I ask you this – do women cyclists even know what belt drive is? Do they care? Or is belt drive just more “shiny things” that male bike geeks can drool over and chat about (as we are here)?

    Belt drive is simply about bike geeks developing light/expensive/complicated stuff for other bike geeks – thats it.

    I’d better get some coffee in me before I get even more grumpy this morning :)

  • David says:

    Dolan,
    If the site had been put together by Gates themselves it would’ve been nothing but breathless hype, judging from their Facebook page. I’m intrigued by their system, but the circumstantial evidence seems to point to teething problems that (to their credit) they’re working out in a timely fashion. They’ve addressed the initially very limited range of sprockets and belt lengths while the new centertrack (assuming they stick with the metal sprockets) seems to address the wear and belt strength issues.

    I was previously planning on getting a belt drive bike in 2011 but will probably either wait for 2012 or, if the old girl gives out this year, I’ll get a nice IGH-equipped bike with a breakable frame and cranks to support a belt retrofit down the road.

  • Dolan Halbrook says:

    @David

    Sad that their marketing department isn’t more in tune with their potential consumers, then. I was quite interested when it first came out but information was very scarce. Too bad they didn’t see the value of doing it themselves, but where there’s a need…

  • randomray says:

    I tend to agree with BikeBike , it really sounds like a bike geek thing . The idea of a clean belt is fine , but to completely redesign a tested bike design around a single componet seems silly . I really don’t see that big of a advantage to it , just a bigger cost . This will be fine for some one who is interested in getting a new piece of equipment . If I want a cleaner drive system I’ll just wax my chain like Alan does .

 
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