Carbon Belt Drive vs Chain Drive

With more and more customers now choosing to go down the route of belt driven bikes, we have decided to break down just what makes the Gates Carbon belt drive so desirable.

Gates Carbon Drive Systems

Chain & Belt Stretch

Belts are one continuous loop – an inner carbon fiber tensile cord layered with polyurethane teeth and a nylon outer coating.

The way chains stretch is when the pins, pin holes and rollers wear over time. This causes the inner and outer links to wear unevenly and the chain lengthen. Over time, the chain will no longer sit flush in the sprocket teeth, causing excess wear.

On the other hand, a belt wears slowly and evenly. We see customers riding belt drives for on average 3 – 4 times longer than a conventional bike chain.

Maintenance

Belts will not rust. This means that you do not need to worry about riding in the rain, or leaving your bike outside. Unlike chains, there is no need for lubrication.  This means there is no more greasy mess that chains are known for, putting an end to grease marks on your trousers.

Gates Carbon Drive Belt Anatomy

Punctures

Belt drives can only be used in conjunction with single speed & hub gears. Typically, due to the horizontal drop-outs repairing a puncture at the side of the road can be troublesome. Getting the chain tension correct, whilst keeping the rear wheel in line can be tricky. With the vertical drop-outs, the wheel goes back into the exactly same position that it came from.

Other

The belt weighs in at about half the weight of a conventional chain. Due to no metal on metal contact, the belt makes much less noise. Many of our customers report that a belt driven bike is nippier ‘off the line’ due to the increased tension.

Bikes with Belts

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Kalkhoff Intergrale S11
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Kalkhoff Endeavour S11
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Kalkhoff Intergrale 8
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Kalkhoff Include 8
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Kalkhoff Agattu 11
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Kalkhoff Agattu 8

While belts and chains have their advantages, the choice is all down to the rider. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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