Interbike 2010: Gates Carbon Belt Drive Shows Some Hot Bikes with New Centertrack Tech

What better way to show off their new Centertrack belt drive bicycle transmission system than to slap it on some seriously sexy bikes?

Gates Carbon Belt drive had a broad range of demo bikes, some with the new set up and some with the old, providing a great way to see the differences first hand. While I didn’t have time to actually ride one of the bikes (we’re working on getting something in here for review later this year), we did take a lot of photos. Check out some killer bikes and close up tech pics after the break including a full suspension mountain bike…there’s more to the Centertrack than just lighter weight…

Gates’ Centertrack is stronger because the belt is a bit wider, which makes it even better for hardcore ‘cross and single speed racers, as well as clydesdales.


Overall, Centertrack has a narrower profile, which makes it a bit lighter, too. But what could really push this into the mainstream is that it’s easier to retrofit because the frame doesnt have to be as severely notched to accommodate the front pulley. Above, you can see the deep notch required by the original system on some frames. Below, the frame on a bike using the new Centertrack didn’t need any notch:

Oh yeah, they’re calling it a pulley rather than a gear or chainring since, well, technically it’s neither.

Pricing will be announced at Bike Week in early December. Regardless of what it costs, here’s why you’re gonna want it: the entire system weighs just 190g. That’s for the front and rear pulley and the belt, which is about 50g lighter than their prior top o’ the line system and getting within spittin’ distance of half of what chain weighs.

THE BIKES:

This Rafael fixed gear is just one of several totally sick bikes we’ve featured before.

We’ve featured this Schindlehauer before, too, with video and pics, and it’s every freakin’ bit as awesome in person.  The integrated frame break is pure genius.

A wood one from Renovo.

A surprise finding was this full suspension Kona Cowan with the belt drive.  Thanks to the main pivot being concentric with the bottom bracket, there’s no chain growth during compression, so you can get away with it.

Spot Brand’s commuter bike had some nice frame features to build the belt drive into an internally geared rear hub set up.

The adjustable dropouts are super trick looking and do away with such imprecise tactics as sliding dropouts.

The one small downside to using the belt drive system is that you need to break the frame somewhere. Of course, this also gives designers something else to get creative with, and the bikes shown here all have good examples of ingenuity.

Comments

Carlito - 10/14/10 - 10:31am

Belt drive looks like an awesome idea, but seriously “The one small downside to using the belt drive system is that you need to break the frame somewhere.”???? That’s not a “small downside” folks. That’s a pain in the ass.

Bart - 10/15/10 - 12:30pm

Interesting concept, cool to see them experiment with those kind of things

Scottie - 10/24/10 - 10:03pm

What kind of tire is the green one on the Rafael? The rim looks to be velocity.

Scottie - 10/24/10 - 10:13pm

Also where can i get bars like that?!

[...] doesn’t unify the rear triangle in some way so as to prevent any “chain” growth (like the Kona we saw at Interbike last [...]

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