A Belt-Driven What???
If you have been around the bike industry or if you subscribe to a bicycle magazine I’m sure you’ve heard the term “belt drive”. If not I’ll let you in on a little secret that’s buzzing around.
According to Wikipedia –
“A belt-driven bicycle is a chainless bicycle that uses a toothed synchronous belt to transmit power from the pedals to the wheel. The belts are typically made by the same manufacturing companies that produce timing belts for automobiles, machinery, and other synchronous belt drive applications.
The application of belt drives to bicycles is growing, especially in the commuter bicycle market, due to the low maintenance and lubrication-free benefits. Belt drives are also available for stationary and fitness bicycles”
So basically, the belt-driven bicycle is very low maintenance similar to the STRIDER. There are no chain links to grease, no dirty chain-rings to get your pants dirty and maybe the most important, your kids won’t grab the chain and then give you a bear hug with greasy hands.
There are ways to convert your current bicycle to a belt drive if you’re tired of the maintenance of the chain. The most important thing you’ll need to do is convert your rear wheel to use an internally geared hub. Since belt drives do not use a derailleur (I’ll get into this at another time), the hub will have to have all the gears inside. The next thing you’ll have to do is change out the front chainrings with a belt compatible sprocket. You’ll probably want to contact your favorite local bike shop to help you with all the details. There are conversion kits out there you can find.
I have never experienced the joy of riding a bike with a belt drive so I can’t give you first-hand knowledge if it really is the cat’s pajamas. What I can do is tell you to live in the now, be brave, be strong and go ride that bike whether you have the new belt drive or some rusty old chain. Your kids won’t care because they’ll be beating you on their STRIDER.
If you still have a chain, lube it and maintain other parts. A maintained bike is a happy bike. If you have a belt drive, let me know how you like it.
See Tip #2
What is your favorite thing on your bicycle? A bell, a seat, the color… it can be anything. Please post your answer in the comments.