Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Belt Drive Fixed Gear?

What the ...? 

Fixie Pixie got the pics here, apparently it really is some kind of a fixed belt drive system, like in motorcycles or something. 

Interesting. But you know what? I used to deejay and back then, before the days of Serato and all that, every one knew this: all belt drive turntables were shit. Simple as that. It had to direct drive, like Technics SL1200s. And my 1200s are still spinning strong, despite years and years of hard use and being generally almost FUBAR. 

And in this case I would equate the traditional bicycle chain and cogs with the direct drive, ie. better. As in No Competition.  


Oh yes, as TYA pointed this out elsewhere; how do you put that thing on your bike, do you need to saw the frame open at the rear triangle and then weld it back together to get the belt in? 

I would also predict some serious issues with the chainline by looking at the pictures. I hate to be against progress of any kind but this thing seriously puzzles my mind. 


SeveM said...

They actually used a BTC ( to fit the belt in.

Anonymous said...

A belt-drive is the exact same thing as a chain-driven system. A direct-drive is completely different. You dumbass.

For someone so pretentious about bicycles you sure don't know much. Neither do I but, at least I don't pretend. Oh, and you were a DJ too? Now you ride "fixies" and judge other people for being trendy? HA!

Anonymous said...

To clarify, this would be a direct-drive bicycle..

Jussi said...

All right Mr. Wise Ass,
First, thank you very much for your comments.

Then, just go ahead and ride with a rubber band in your bike instead of a good old fashioned steel chain if you so prefer. Of course you're right about my direct drive/belt drive being pretty lame, sorry about that.

And yes, I used to play records in a couple of dirty old dive bars w/ my friend some years ago. It was fun, yes, so are jealous or what?

Oh, and thanks for Sevem for setting the thing straight about the BTC. I didn't know about/realize that.

Brob said...

you ask any serious hi-fi buff (not a DJ) and they will tell you that Belt Drive is far superior.

Also you can see the BTC link in the first picture.

wav3ydave said...

There's a video of the boys from Fixie Inc talking about the bike here:

Anonymous said...

actually a belt drive makes far mor sense. figure it like this: cars use belt drives, and their torque is way more than what your legs could ever produce. (not saying i like cars). how often do you replace that belt for that car? i've heard of them squeaking, but that was about all, though i'm sure they finish at some point. also cars do an insane amount of rpms, where the average cyclist does between 90-110rpms. now i slack out a chain every two months, and damn right if i get a custom frame, it's going to have a belt drive on it.

Anonymous said...

old thread but...

if you've ever ridden a motorcycle, you know that direct-drive bikes while more reliable, weigh more, suck power, and create a sort of rotational torque.

Rubber belts are light and whisper quiet. It's worth noting that there is little info out there on belt wear compared to chain wear. However, evidence suggests that they are reliable and might actually function well for winter riders.

I truly think this is an issue of tradition/distrust of the new.

Anonymous said...

There's actually a company making fixed gear belt drive bicycles now - f8 cycles. It's the first I've seen.

Anonymous said...

Chain drives on cars were discontinued one million years ago for a reason. I can't wait until belt drives on bikes become normal. I rode this hilarious Strida bike ( at a store and it was belt-driven. It was eerily quiet (and awesome).

Anonymous said...

1 - My 2003 Toyota Corolla has a chain, not a belt. It does not need to be replaced at 90,000k, unlike the timing belt on my Honda Civic did.

2 - The person who wrote this article did not bother to do any research, rather made a painfully poor analogy to a completely different technology.

3 - I wonder if the thing flexes if you skid stop, and if it is more likely to break. Anyone who actually knows what they are talking about want to weigh in here?

Usic said...

This thread died a while ago... but just in case you want to know...

1)the belt is carbon re-enforced, much stronger than the belts that are your on your typical car.

2)the belt is cogged. Older cars that used v-belts to run the accessories..(alternators, powersteering pumps etc...those belts squeal when the rubber gets old and hard) Newer cars use "multi-ribbed" belts, kinda like having multiple v-belts side by side in their own grooves.
If you look at what spins the superchargers on top of TOP FUEL dragsters you'll notice they use cogged belts...normally these things spin 2 to 4 times as fast as the when they rip 10k rpm down the strip the blowers are going at least 20k...and these engines make about 500hp PER CYLINDER X 8 in total... so I'm sure your legs aren't going to break the belt...unless your riding beside a forest fire or over lava I think you'll be safe.

3)The only reason rubber timing belts don't last as long as chains when used to match the crankshaft and camshaft sprockets together it is because your chain uses engine oil as a lubricant. If your bicycle chain is submerged in engine oil it will last forever. If your rubber belt was submerged in engine oil it will slip and wreck your engine..sometimes your camshaft seals will leak and then the engine grenades because the timing of the valves and pistons go "off" and all of a sudden the piston will pound the crap out of all the valves, your engine will break.

4)Dj's who scratch prefer direct drive. The equivalent would be a free wheel bike.

5) I don't understand why no one made the connection between TORQUE monster harley's, and custom hardtails and their cog belt drives....??? are your legs stronger then a v-twin?

I restore cars, and build engines. I also build fixies and roadies (with my bro). I want a belt drive on my fixie...bad!

akaru said...

Actually belts are a great way to do a fixed gear--since the belt is so tight, there is no play in the drivetrain when for instance doing a track stand.

(BTW the link above for F8 Cycles was broken.)