Carbon drive belt seen on big brands

Belt drive bikes aren’t a new concept, but they seem to be getting some mainstream attention, with releases planned for Interbike. Gates, a company known well for it’s automotive and industrial belts, has been developing a bicycle-specific Carbon Drive System. Besides being cleaner and quieter, this looks really cool for commuter and cruiser bikes. Trek has shown this sweet “District” singlespeed at the Trek World 2008 show using the Gates belt drive system and according to Cyclelicio.us, it will be available later this year for about $900.

Trek District single speed belt drive bicycle

The product’s website, though, is really touting it for MTB applications, too, citing the lightweight (70g versus 300g for a chain) and lack of stretch.  Think it won’t last?  This same belt technology is used on 6,000 hp dragsters. More pics and info when you “read more”…

There aren’t a lot of pics out there yet, but here are a couple of Spot Brand 29er belt drive bikes photographed (by mtnbikeriders.com) at Sea Otter this year:

So, the benefits seem impressive: Lighter, more durable, quieter, instant engagement and no need for lube.  What are the drawbacks?  Well, you’re limited to single speed or an internally geared hub.  In theory, you could use an internally geared BB like the new Truvativ Hammerschmidt, but they’re not making any that we know of for this system.  You’ve also got limited variety in aftermarket parts…Crank Brothers is the only aftermarket crankset we’ve seen on any pics for this system.  If you want to try it out, there’s a list of remaining 2008 demo dates for MTB and ‘Cross, click here.  Rest assured, we’ll give it a spin when we’re at Interbike and report back.

More Commuter Uses

Here’s the Trek Soho, a geared commuter bike (although rumor has it there’s a SS version too) using the belt drive system:

Trek Soho belt drive bicycle commuter

Below is a singlespeed application from Fixie, Inc. (pic from hubstripping.com):

Fixie single speed belt drive bicycle

 

 

Comments

Yokota Fritz - 08/26/08 - 6:06pm

I have a few photosof the Spot Brand belt drive bike also — it’s a wonderful SS 29er. Here’s my review of that bike.

Thanks for the link to Cyclelicious!

Travis - 08/27/08 - 12:37pm

I’m excited to see these in person. I think it’s a great concept. I also think it appeals to both ends of the spectrum – first time buyers who don’t want the hassle, and long time commuters who really appreciate the design.

[...] new 09 whips at Eurobike, and we’ve got some pics from them to show you.  We posted about belt-drive bikes recently, and Fixie’s using them all over the range.  Their new ‘09 stuff [...]

[...] Spot and a few others have used the Gates Belt Drive system on bikes, Trek will be the first major manufacturer to mass produce a belt-driven [...]

mabman - 01/26/09 - 8:50am

Schlumpf makes a 2 spd bb drive that predates the Hammershmidt by many years that is belt drive compatible.

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