The commuter specialists Milk Bikes unveiled a show special last night at Bespoked Bristol running a transmission based on a drive belt and sprockets made by the German company Continental, otherwise famous for their tyres.
Named 'ArtDA' because of its mural paintjob by the Bristol artist Will Barras on Milk Bikes' standard 'RDA' frameset the show special was also fitted with the new Continental Syncrochain drive belt featuring a deeper tooth profile than the Gates CenterTrack belts fitted to the base model.
According to Milk Bikes' Mark Meadows, the new design launched at Bespoked for the first time anywhere in the world, "may mean we can run the belt at a lower tension but we have a lot of testing to do." The implication being that the belt will be easier for users to deal with at the roadside in the event of a flat tyre repair.
The machined aluminium chainring with the matching tooth profile has a 130mm Bolt Circle Diametre (BCD) as fitted to the Milk Bike but Meadows confirmed that there will also be a 104mm version for mountain bike cranks.
According to Milk Bikes' Mark Meadows, "Continental is one of the leading suppliers of drive and timing belts belts for the engineering and automotive industries so we're not anticipating too many problems with durability if the Gates belts we've been using for our first two years are anything to go by."
Bespoked Bristol continues today Saturday opening at 9.30am and tomorrow Sunday 25th March 2012.
Your basic RDA: well, tricked out here with Supernova E3 lights, hub dynamo and 11-speed Alfine you're looking at £1,850 but more like £1,450 in ready-to-commute form.
We wouldn't want to push this big one; needless to say there will be popular sizes of chainrings and sprockets for the new Continental Syncrochain drive belt when it comes to market.