Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)
  • Belt drive commuter?
  • woodlikesbikes
    Full Member

    I’m thinking of getting a belt drive bike for commuting to work. I’m not sure if I want single speed or something like an 8speed Alfine hub. But I want flat bars not drops. And it must have discs.
    Can anyone recommend something?

    woodlikesbikes
    Full Member

    Or alternatively, how much work is it to convert a frame to take the belt drive?

    cb200
    Free Member

    https://www.shandcycles.com/shop/shand-leveret/

    The Shand Leveret could be a good shout. Choice of flat bars, comes with alfine gears, disc brakes, even mudguards.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Or alternatively, how much work is it to convert a frame to take the belt drive?

    A lot. Ypu need a split in the seatstay to fit belts

    qwerty
    Free Member

    Be aware that if it’s getting hammered through winter grime you may want the Gates CDX over their CDN kit, especially the rear sprocket as CDX is stainless and CDN is plastic.

    Frames specifically built for a belt drive system should usually have some additional stiffness built into the rear end as the Gates system isn’t keen on any flex, consider this if you modify a frame (belt drive will need a break in the frame at the seat or chainstay or an elevated chainstay design).

    Make sure you get your gearing ratio correct first time around, it’s expensive kit to play around with gearing ratios.

    qwerty
    Free Member

    Take a look at the Cube Editor.

    I’ve just sold mine. For me the gearing was HUGE, like 52/11 in the biggest gear and not low enough for pannier winches. I swapped to chain and sprockets to reduce the gearing ratio to suit.

    The belt system was a real pleasure, just needs an occasional brush to remove any road grime and maybe a little silicone spray.

    I wouldn’t go for Alfine again, to much weight in one spot, a bit of a delay in power to the drive, always one gear a little out of sync on mine.

    tthew
    Full Member

    I’ve got a Trek District 4. Expensive, but I bloody love it. Comes fully loaded for commuting though with mudguards, rack, stand, dynamo lights and one of those brilliant frame mounted wheel locks.

    You can have a go on it if you live in mid-Cheshire.

    woodlikesbikes
    Full Member

    Good to know about the gear ratios and the frame flex. Hasn’t thought of either of those. Keep it coming!

    leffeboy
    Full Member

    I use a belt drive shand bahookie for just that (and for off road as well of course).  It works brilliantly and always just works.  It uses paragon drops outs so I can switch it back to geared if I ever need to but in all the years I’ve had it now I’ve never wanted to.  Uses an eccentric bottom bracket to take up the tension in the belt and that works well

    Kahurangi
    Full Member

    My Mrs has exactly what you describe, it’s called a Scott Sub-Speed 10. See if they can still be found.

    P20
    Full Member

    Canyon?

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    Pinnacle did one I think

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Mrs brain has the boardman urb and its brilliant for what it’s intended for. Really pleased with it at the price.

    especially the rear sprocket as CDX is stainless and CDN is plastic.

    Not saying you’re wrong but why would stainless necessarily be any better than plastic in winter? (or any other season to be honest?)

    ta11pau1
    Full Member

    Not saying you’re wrong but why would stainless necessarily be any better than plastic in winter? (or any other season to be honest?)

    Wear and tear, surely? Mile on miles of gritty mud is going to wear out a plastic sprocket pretty quickly.

    As above, the belts and sprockets aren’t cheap nor easy to get hold of, so make sure you’ve got the correct belt length etc before you order.

    I’m on less than 500km on my set up but so far it’s been faultless, just a bit squeaky in the Scottish dust which a quick squirt of water solved.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Wear and tear, surely? Mile on miles of gritty mud is going to wear out a plastic sprocket pretty quickly.

    That’s surely dependent on it being ridden in mud? That Boardman does not look like the bike for that but does look like a bloody good bike if your commute is 32mm friendly ie. the surface isn’t an utter disaster like round here. If you need a bit more volume in your tyre you could look at a Pipedream ALICE.

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Wear and tear, surely? Mile on miles of gritty mud is going to wear out a plastic sprocket pretty quickly.

    Not necessarily. Plastic can be an awful lot of things

    qwerty
    Free Member

    Re the CDN rear, see this guys write up:

    https://willem.com/blog/2019-02-27_one-year-on-the-ultimate-commuter-bike/#continue

    ta11pau1
    Full Member

    Yep pretty much as I thought, if it’s going to be ridden through winter grime/mud/salt get cdx. Unless you’re going to be washing it every few rides, and well, that sort of defeats the purpose of getting a belt drive commuter doesn’t it 😀

    b33k34
    Full Member

    Ex Canyon Commuter owner here. Alfine 8 plus belt is a really good commuting set up. The slight disadvantage of a little loss of efficiency is more than made up for by easy cleaning and lack of maintenance. The 11 we had just lost all it’s oil. 8 had enough range and was reliable ime – no issues with gears being out.

    I hated commuting on singlespeed – last thing you want if you’re tired at the end of the day.

    Canyon Commuter geometry was shit – too low and narrow at the front, and didn’t take a proper pannier rack (I had a bodged Surly front rack on it – the one mounted on the mudguards it was supplied with simply wasn’t fit for purpose). The one with proper bars is probably a lot better, but loses the integrated front light (which was one less thing to get knocked about.

    The Boardman looks good but you’ve got to add rack, guards, dyno hub and lights. Same issues with the Cube – why do their page images show bikes with lights but the actual models sold are missing them?

    ross980
    Free Member

    Gazelle C8 belt drive here (not the eBike version). Hate it with a passion. Heavy, draggy, slow. I like the Alfine on l my chain driven Pinnacle Arkose. Hate it on the Gazelle. Similar tyre size. But the belt drive is waaaay more draggy. I wouldn’t get another

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    I hated commuting on singlespeed – last thing you want if you’re tired at the end of the day.

    Can’t say I agree, single speed commuting was no worse than single speed on road ever is, which is to say its always rubbish regardless of the time of day (personally I found/find mornings much worse, but that’s probably equal parts me and equal parts big hill)

    why do their page images show bikes with lights but the actual models sold are missing them?

    A lot of people wouldn’t want dyno lights (me for one) decent battery lights are available at good prices and with long run times these days and can be switched between bikes as required so dynamo ones don’t really fill a need for many now. (a good dynamo hub and light + build cost I increase would also probably double the price of that boardman)

    Racks possibly the same – I’m quite happy with a rucksack and know plenty of others who are. A good set of panniers is £££ and not a one size fits all and adding a rack that people may not use is just an additional cost.

    Mrs would prefer panniers but adding a rack without bags is sort of pointless. Every one already has a rucksack, they don’t already have panniers.

    Mudguards though the only reason I can think of is they restrict tyre size and that’s the emperor’s current choice of attire.

    mick_r
    Full Member

    I’ve found dynamo hub/ lights a game changer for year round commuting. Always there. Always working. I’ve had a few spring / autumn moments where an unplanned work issue meant leaving an hour later than planned – no bother as dynamo means I ALWAYS have lights. Daytime running lights also seem very effective – I doubt I’d bother with those if I had to faff recharging.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Dynamo is down to preference, I see the advantages but they come at a high cost in terms of weight and expenditure that, when you compare the likes of a Bikehut 1600 just doesn’t add up for me. YMMV

    The take home I got from that CDX review is that the sprocket is gash but the chainring and belt are fine. Depending on the up front cost (if buying complete) I’d consider just going CDN and budget for a CDX sprocket later.

    Guards are a no brainer, SKS Longboards are fantastic for the wet.

    b33k34
    Full Member

    I’ve found dynamo hub/ lights a game changer for year round commuting.

    Same here. We’ve got them on the Bromptons and for the use they get it’s so much less faff than finding lights, checking they’re working, taking them off if you lock it up even for a few minutes. Dyno are really worth the investment for city/commute use.

    gordimhor
    Full Member

    Shand Daunder here, faultless in all weathers so far.

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