The Netherlands is pre-eminently a country of bicycles and almost everyone rides a bicycle every day. What is special about bicycles is that the principle of rear-wheel drive with gears and a chain has actually been the same since 1885. But this has changed with the belt drive bicycle. And that while the chain does have some disadvantages, who has never had a chain fall off?
What is a belt drive?
Belt drive is a form of drive that uses a belt instead of the traditional chain and gears. This belt is made of plastic or carbon. The belt can be compared to a distributor belt in a car.
In this blog we will tell you about the biggest advantages and disadvantages of the belt drive bike.
Gates: The largest supplier of belt drives
Gates is the leading supplier of belt drives for bicycles with two types. The Gates CDN belt drive is especially designed for recreational cyclists or people who use their bike for commuting. Then there is the stronger Gates CDX belt drive, which is especially designed for sporty city bikes and e-bikes.
The advantages of the belt drive
Lighter and more efficient
The belt is made of plastic in combination with carbon, which is much lighter than the metal of a traditional chain. In addition, the gears of a belt drive bicycle are always integrated into the hub. This makes for a more efficient and lighter ride.
A traditional chain is made of metal and has to be lubricated with oil. This makes it dirty and it also rusts. The cogs also wear out. The belt drive does not have this. The system is therefore very maintenance friendly.
Quiet with the belt drive bicycle
The metal of a bicycle chain makes noise, especially over time. The belt drive is very quiet, you won’t even hear the shifting of gears.
The belt drive does not wear down as much and does not rust, therefore it lasts on average up to four times longer than a traditional chain.
No dirty hands/clothes
As we mentioned, you don’t need to lubricate the belt drive with oil. Dirt is therefore less likely to stick to the chain. If you touch the belt with your trousers while cycling, it will not get dirty immediately. Moreover, if your bike does get dirty, you only need to hose it clean.
No chain guard
The chain guard is a thing of the past with the belt drive bike. Do you need to reach the belt for maintenance? Then you can easily access it.
The disadvantages of a belt drive bicycle
Belt drive bicycles are slightly more expensive than bicycles with a traditional chain. This is, of course, also due to the fact that they are currently scarce. As these bicycles become more commonplace, this disadvantage will disappear. You also save a lot of money because they require virtually no maintenance, which compensates for the more expensive purchase.
A belt drive cannot be used in combination with a derailleur. This is because the belt cannot change gears. The gears are in the hub, so you are stuck with a limited number of gears. The belt drive is therefore not yet available on racing bikes. However, this development is not standing still either. The Pinion gearbox, for example, now has up to 18 gears.
Special frame needed
Thinking of installing a belt drive on my current bike? Think again. Unfortunately, the belt drive cannot be fitted to every frame; a special type of frame is required to mount and dismount the belt.