Gates Belt Broke

Afren

Active Member
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Afren

Active Member
I was hoping it wouldn’t break before 20k miles but managed to snap it in half climbing a steep hill having only done 18k. When it snapped, I was very fortunate not to come off the bike. However, it's so, so much better than the chains that I used to have on my other e-bikes. They normally needed replacing after every couple of thousand miles. There's also a spray they recommend (I bought one from Germany) which is supposed to make the belt to function better and apparently, make it last longer. We'll see.
 
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retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
They may last longer but....
- when they break, you're stuck. If I carry a spare link and chain tool, I can usually repair my chain on the road.
- when they break, they're much harder to replace and re-tension. Can you even do it in the field if you have a spare?
- a belt drive locks you into one set of gear ratios etc. unless you go through the expense of changing out the IGH. (ignoring single speeds...)

I don't ride in conditions that are hard on a chain, so I'm not ready to switch yet. :)
 

Marcela

Well-Known Member
Interesting. I've had accessory drive belts for alternators, water pumps, and oil pumps that had wire woven length wise into the fabric, kind of like what you see here but looks like carbon fibers. These were so strong they can damage the part if too tight. Wonder which is stronger.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
It is recommended by the manufacturer that you replace the belts approximately every 30_000 kilometers. That's for acoustic bikes. So I would think you'd want to replace them quite a bit more frequently on an e-bike.

FWIW most people I've spoken to recommend replacing belts much more frequently, but still a lot less frequently than you'd replace a chain.
 

JVBulman

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I was hoping it wouldn’t break before 20k miles but managed to snap it in half climbing a steep hill having only done 18k. When it snapped, I was very fortunate not to come off the bike. However, it's so, so much better than the chains that I used to have on my other e-bikes. They normally needed replacing after every couple of thousand miles. There's also a spray they recommend (I bought one from Germany) which is supposed to make the belt to function better and apparently, make it last longer. We'll see.
18,000mi is about twice what these usually last in my experience. While a failure while riding objectively sucks, I'd say you got your money's worth out of that one.
 

sammcneill

Active Member
Region
New Zealand
They may last longer but....
- when they break, you're stuck. If I carry a spare link and chain tool, I can usually repair my chain on the road.
- when they break, they're much harder to replace and re-tension. Can you even do it in the field if you have a spare?
- a belt drive locks you into one set of gear ratios etc. unless you go through the expense of changing out the IGH. (ignoring single speeds...)

I don't ride in conditions that are hard on a chain, so I'm not ready to switch yet. :)
You can change your gear ratios by replacing the Chain ring and rear cog. I’ve just built a non electric bike with Rohloff & Gates belt and spent quite a bit of time thinking through the right gearing ratio for bikepacking and adjusted the chainring and cog accordingly.

But I take your point, it’s not like swapping out a cassette on a bike with a more traditional drive train.
 

Lumos

Member
OK, That has motivated me to buy a spare belt, do any of you know the length for a 2021 Superdelite?

Thanks
 

Cowlitz

Well-Known Member
I take it that pantyhose is not an option?

My mom carried nylons in her car and finally had a chance to try them out when the fanbelt broke. Yes, they got her to civilization where a real fanbelt could be found.

She had been a airplane mechanic and Marine during WW2.