Belt Drives - NON ELECTRIC

by NIrish   January 13, 2014  

Just wanting to know if anyone has any experience of belt drives as I'm thinking of a commuting option single speeder that is fitted with one.

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Yep - I bought an Edinburgh Cycles Revolution Belter '13 last June. I commute 20 miles on it (both ways every day) and love it. It's a single speed, but you can get hub geared ones.

The advantages include it being quiet, clean, maintenance free, no problems with pants getting dirty or caught in a chain. The chain lasts for 20000kms (allegedly) and I have not yet needed to adjust mine - it's still taught.

The issues include trying to buy one. The local agents for the European brands have lousy stock and servicing, and are a rip off (a eur1275 bike sells here for £1295, for example). They are not prepared to negotiate and were, I found, pretty arrogant. So I went to Edinburgh, who gave me a decent price and good service.

Spares are also an issue. Most shops here (if they can get them), charge upwards of £75 for a 115T Centerdrive replacement belt. So I ordered two from the States for around $150 for the pair. Carry a spare with you, since if it breaks, you can't fix it like a chain. Nor will you be able to pop into the LBS to get a spare. Having said that, my current (original) belt looks brand new after 8 months of daily use. New sprockets are also probably best sourced in the US (not that I've needed to do so yet). The sprockets do not seem wear, so spares are more for gearing (on a SS) or crash damage - maybe.

Tyre changing is not an issue. Because the belt drive requires quite a tight fit on the rear axle, it does not use a QR, just a 15mm bolt. So I just make sure I have a decent 15mm ring spanner in my bag. Changing a flat (I have had two so far on the rear) takes no more appreciable time than for a chain bike. Your hands, gloves and clothing also stay cleaner - no mix of chain lube and road crud to mess things up.

Maintenance is a simple wash. No lubrication, no mess. Since there's no oil, you don't need special degreasers. I just use washing up liquid (diluted) to remove the road crud.

So after 8 months, I can happily say I love my belt drive. I reckon it's the best decision I could have made for a commuter.

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

jmaccelari's picture

posted by jmaccelari [173 posts]
13th January 2014 - 10:46

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That was the bike I had seen, had a SS a few years ago and stupidly sold it. Commuting on a hardtail MTB its like sacrilege for a roadie.

One question for you on how the belt connects, I assume it has to pass thru the stays on the drive side.

posted by NIrish [23 posts]
13th January 2014 - 11:13

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NIrish wrote:
That was the bike I had seen, had a SS a few years ago and stupidly sold it. Commuting on a hardtail MTB its like sacrilege for a roadie.

One question for you on how the belt connects, I assume it has to pass thru the stays on the drive side.


Yeah. I was initially not keen on a hybrid, but I have to admit, it is the best format for town (I have MTB, road and CX).

There is a pass through on the drive side rear chainstays. Quite neatly inserted. So you pop the insert out, slip the belt on and then pop the insert back in again. I haven't done it yet, but if I remember correctly there's a pair of 4mm hex bolts holding the insert in.

Also, I see the price on the Belter '13 has currently been dropped by £150 to £449 - an absolute bargain!

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

jmaccelari's picture

posted by jmaccelari [173 posts]
13th January 2014 - 11:38

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Sorry - repeated below...

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

jmaccelari's picture

posted by jmaccelari [173 posts]
13th January 2014 - 12:07

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