well, it'll probably be awhile before we see lower priced belt-driven cruisers at X-Mart, but Gizmodo reports that Trek is offering two belt-driven bicycles, which they claim have advantages over chains.
The Gates belts have been used on bikes for a few years now. A few of the issues are the design of the frame to allow getting that continuous belt in there and limiting the ability for multiple gears to internal hubs. The small custom shops started the trend and now Trek and the other bike corps gets to come along and get the press and the sales as usual. I don't see any advantage in it for myself but I know how to maintain a chain properly and can recognize when it is time to replace one.
That almost looks like a GEBE belt.
I have to wonder though.
When a belt is motorized there's some stress but it's when starting off then you have pedal assist to help it along so overall it works.
But when you transfer that to your pedals there's certain variables especially if that's a single speed where your belt would get rather stressed out like hill climbing. Then with pedaling it's not nearly as smooth a delivery as an engine.
It does look intriguing though.
So far, it seems as though only internal hubs have the belts. Also it looks like the frame stay or drop out is made in two pieces so you can load the belt since the belt is one piece. This is not the best for frame stiffness but is fine for casual riding. I think the belt is fine for this type of riding. For off road, a belt exposed is not going to work since pebbles and dirt will get into the cogs and ruin the belt in a hurry. Belts have their place for sure and are better in some applications. But not all. And..I am not sure about this one.. Again. I think that Casual parking lot or path riding is ok. These belts have been around for decades now. If belts were the best, then..... Why don't the racers use it? I rest my case... Enjoy the ride...
As I've mentioned on the board before I'd like to create a replica of an old board racer or old motorcycle of the 1904 thru 10 era. To me having a belt sheave with belt drive on the rear wheel would be in keeping with the look of those times. I know by the teens they started using chains (obviously they were getting smarter back then), but If I could convert a Boygofast or whatever to a belt drive for that purpose without it costing another $100 dollars for a part that cost about $5 dollars to produce I'd like to do it.
I have two bikes in mind that I'd like to build right now. One like Oscar posted
here from Cycle World in the articles thread:
I keep threatening that I will build one of these "World Bike" frames. The bike I just did was going to be one but I got in a hurry. Now I am building a back up bike and think I will take the time to add length to the rear end have a heavy hauler. This is too cool.