Re: Mechanical efficiency of chain drive vs roller drive
Under those conditions the performance of the bike will ultimately depend on gear ratio, rider weight, tire size etc. If we're going to compare there are many variables to consider. Typically most friction drive bikes utilize a 4 stroke engine as opposed to the more popular 2 stroke for in-frame, chain drive set ups. The 4 stroke engines are gaining in popularity and for good reason. One of our sponsors, thatsdax.com, is a staunch supporter of the 4 stroke, rack mount friction drive and I can vouch for the smooth responsivness of that configuration as compared to my three 2 stroke chain drive bikes.
Tire wear is a consideration with the friction drive but in tests we have done it is not an unmanagable issue. Naturally you'll be replacing tires at a higher rate than you would with a chain drive but those who use friction drive feel it is a small price to pay for the simplicity of the drive system. Shalom.
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