Mid drive, Gates belt and hub gears.

RussellD

New Member
Isn't this the way of the future?
Enough already with derailleurs, exposed cogs and chains. Many riders don't know how to use them well, anyway, and they're succeptible to dirt, sand, maladjustment and rust.

What are the downsides to this that I'm missing, apart from the miniscule drop in efficiency which doesn't matter that much with a motor helping?

Hello all, by the way, from Victoria BC.
 

keithd

Active Member
I have the same question why is it not embraced by more mfgs. and riders ? Belts work great on H.D. and Zero motorcycles. You would think on a bicycle they would last an extremely long time with basically no maintenance. Internal gear hubs have been around forever and yet most are not strong enough to handle electric power from what I have read, except for Rohloff and NuVinchi which cost more than a low end electric bike.
 

keithd

Active Member
I would love a belt driven internal hub bike with a Bafang bbshd / Bosch / ? mid drive commuter/comfort bike that could handle the White Mountains of NH under $2500
 

Scooteretti

Active Member
The belts are a great low maintenance feature found on several bikes. Riese & Muller is probably the largest ebike manufacturer to offer these on many of their models.

Bulls also have the 2017 Lacuba E8 that uses the Shimano Nexus / Belt set up which is great. https://shop.scooteretti.com/products/bulls-lacuba-evo-e8

Once people know and hear about the benefits of going with a belt we should hopefully see more and more manufacturers producing models for the NA market. The issue, for now, is basically the price as many NA's are still very price sensitive vs many EU regions when it comes to how much they want to pay for their bikes.

But the long-term benefits of these products should actually cost the owner less to operate and certainly require less maintenance which can be very convenient for a lot of people.


regards,


Will
 

keithd

Active Member
Thanks Will,

I looked at that very bike the Lacuba but with an SUV, a pickup and 3 motorcycles I just cannot bring my self to spend that much on an E-Bike. Maybe some day. The other thing on that bike is the Nexus hub which I heard to not be up to handling electric power, I worry about how long the hub will last. Maybe you would have more input on the use of Shimano IGH with E-bike power.

Thanks

Keith
 

Scooteretti

Active Member
Keith,

On bikes like these for urban/recreational use, I really don't see any or have heard of any issues based on our experience on a Nexus / Gates setup. It has so far been a non-issue for us. I have heard rumors but have not seen anything anywhere where this set up has caused issues (just words but no pics or facts).

We heard the same concerns when Cube introduced the SUV with the Nuvinci HSync electric shift / gates belt set up in 2016. From a stress / mechanical standpoint there were never any issues (however a few HSync modules had issues which Nuvinci corrected quickly).

regards,



Will
 

keithd

Active Member
Thanks for the info Will

It is true you could replace several Nexus hubs for the price of a Rohloff.
 

Scooteretti

Active Member
@keithd indeed the Rohloff systems are significantly more expensive, however they are a premium quality product that certainly have their place in the market.

May not be for everyone but they are a nice system but certainly not a necessity for the vast majority of cyclists.
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
Isn't this the way of the future?
Enough already with derailleurs, exposed cogs and chains. Many riders don't know how to use them well, anyway, and they're succeptible to dirt, sand, maladjustment and rust.

What are the downsides to this that I'm missing
The downside? Cost.
 
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Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
@keithd The OP asked why there aren't more belt-driven bikes with mid-drive and IG. The problem with its adoption is the cost of the components. Until a major manufacturer steps up with what most people consider an affordable bike, it won't be the future. Heck, just plain-ol' derailleur mid-drive bikes are expensive. The Average Joe is willing to pay $500 for a bicycle, not $5000.
 

keithd

Active Member
@keithd The OP asked why there aren't more belt-driven bikes with mid-drive and IG. The problem with its adoption is the cost of the components. Until a major manufacturer steps up with what most people consider an affordable bike, it won't be the future. Heck, just plain-ol' derailleur mid-drive bikes are expensive. The Average Joe is willing to pay $500 for a bicycle, not $5000.
When last i looked I did not see your comment below the quote sorry
 

slomoshun

Active Member
.....What are the downsides .....
Although they are efficient and work very well, I get it that derailleurs are mystical to some people, and their maintenance is messy. In that regard, the IGH and toothed-belt drive systems do make a lot of sense.

Unlike chain, a belt needs to run at a high tension between the pulleys which increases bearing loads. The teeth of a belt have a sliding engagement which creates more drag than roller chain. When a chain picks up debris or a pebble, it usually clears itself. A pebble in a belt system can stop rotation. Not so much a problem on bicycles which can use narrower, weaker, and more flexible belts, but belts have bend restrictions which limit small-pulley diameters.

Most internally geared hubs are heavier than derailleur-and-cluster transmissions. Their internal complexity makes a derailleur look like a child's toy. Fortunately, a good IGH can run for years without dealer service. The typical disappointment with the IGH has been their limited ratio range which has not been favorable for riding hills.

As I see it, all the downsides of a belt-and-hub system can be engineered out if the market can tolerate the price.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Yes, it is technically correct that some derailleur systems have a much higher range than an IGH.

In practice, most electric bikes on the market use a 7 or 11 speed rear derailleur, which gives gear ratio ranges of around 300 percent or 410 percent, respectively. This compares poorly with a Rohloff hub at which has typically a 526 percent range. A Rohloff hub also has slightly less distance between the gears and the gears are more evenly distributed, which should help your pedaling efficiency (and since you are using a mid drive with that Rohloff, you get an even bigger efficiency boost).

Now a 3-chainring by ten speed derailleur setup might have a range of 650 to almost 700 percent, but only have fifteen usable gears. Some cycle tourers I know are using custom made or modified cranksets that can give them a range of almost 900 percent (or so they claim), with the substantial caveat that you have to be damned careful in your shifting or you will have the chain come off the chainring.
 

Rich Fein

New Member
IGHs certainly have low maintenance and are more convenient if you forget to downshift when stopping on a hill. But other than perhaps a Rohloff (we have no bikes with those), our customers have found that the wider gear ratio found on derailleur systems provide for easier, high-torque hill climbing. Additionally some IGHs can temporarily lock-up on mid-drive bikes when climbing especially steep hills.
 

WilliamT

Active Member
Isn't this the way of the future?
Enough already with derailleurs, exposed cogs and chains. Many riders don't know how to use them well, anyway, and they're succeptible to dirt, sand, maladjustment and rust.

What are the downsides to this that I'm missing, apart from the miniscule drop in efficiency which doesn't matter that much with a motor helping?

Hello all, by the way, from Victoria BC.
I remember in the past they had bikes that auto up shifted when climbing and downshifted when descending. I guess it just never caught on with the biking community. Now with more folks purchasing ebikes, I could see this coming back. Personally I prefer to shift manually just like I prefer to drive a 6-speed manual over an automatic.

As for belts vs chains, both have their benefits and drawbacks. That's why the car industry still flips back and forth between timing belts and chains, with the current trend being chains.
 

Solom01

Well-Known Member
When it comes to cars the number of manuals sold in the US is miniscule and most models no longer offer manual at all, so that fight is pretty much over. As for timing belts and chains the use of belts is just about over. They can be a bit more efficient but the catastrophic consequences if they break and the on-going expense of having to pay to replace them every 60k miles or so has made them so unpopular that even hold-outs like Honda have totally changed to timing chains. Not saying it will go the same way with eBikes but in the long term the marketplace tends to end up with the easiest and less costly to maintain solution.
 

tompat

Active Member
At a bike show last weekend I tried a couple of e-bikes with the Nuvinci rear hub.
After those bikes I tried two bikes with derailleur gears.

Honestly it felt like going back to medieval times. Gears crunching, waiting times for the chain to go from one end to the other of the rear cassette. Stopping with the wrong gear made starting hard.
I know the derailleur system is by far the most popular but I will never ever get another bike with it. IGH is the way to go. Nuvinci, Alfine, Rohloff. Anything but derailleur.
 

WilliamT

Active Member
At a bike show last weekend I tried a couple of e-bikes with the Nuvinci rear hub.
After those bikes I tried two bikes with derailleur gears.

Honestly it felt like going back to medieval times. Gears crunching, waiting times for the chain to go from one end to the other of the rear cassette. Stopping with the wrong gear made starting hard.
I know the derailleur system is by far the most popular but I will never ever get another bike with it. IGH is the way to go. Nuvinci, Alfine, Rohloff. Anything but derailleur.

I don't see the Nuvinci rear hub gaining popularity in the future. I see us eventually moving to something like the Shimano Di2 shifters where there are no longer cables but with blue tooth technology. Just touch the levers and the shifts occur immediately.