With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to get belted. Know a bicyclist in need of a new clean, quiet, light, strong and low-maintenance drive train for 2012? Gates’ new CenterTrack system, aka CDX-CT, is available and ready to ship. Multiple belt and sprocket sizes are available. Check out the options on Gates’ product page. If you need help, contact Gates at email@example.com for ordering information or technical questions. If you’re trying to figure out what size system to run, download the Gates iPhone app, which has a sonic tension meter and gear ratio converter. Chains are so 2011.
The rear sprocket makes a pretty sweet Christmas tree ornament as well!
Good news for bicyclists who want to “get belted” this summer: Spot Brand commuter and mountain bikes with the new CenterTrack system from Gates Carbon Drive are arriving in bike shops nationwide this month, and the next-generation bicycle belt drive will be available for after-market purchase in July. Cyclists who want to sample the chain-free, greaseless, low-maintenance system can check Spot’s dealer locator to find a shop near them. Other bike brands will roll out CenterTrack-equipped bike models later in 2011.
CDX-CT rear pulley
Spot is the first brand to come to market with CenterTrack bikes, and the Golden, Colo., company has five models with the new drivetrain:
- The Acme 11-speed, Ajax Belt 8-speed and Coyote Belt singlespeed are fast commuter/city bikes. Wired.com recently praised the Ajax’s “nimble geometry” and called it the quietest bike they had ever ridden.
- The Rocker SS and Rocker Ti SS are singlespeed 29er mountain bikes ideal for marathon hammer-fests. Outside Magazine recently named the Rocker its singlespeed mountain bike of the year.
Outside Buyer's Guide praises the Rocker
Consisting of alloy front and stainless steel rear pulleys, and a belt embedded with carbon fiber cords, CenterTrack features an innovative design that offers all the advantages of existing Carbon Drives but with a whopping 20 percent more tensile strength, a slimmer profile and the most advanced dirt- and debris-shedding ever.
CenterTrack, officially called CDX-CT, reinforces Carbon Drive as the lightest, cleanest, quietest and most robust drive train available. Weight is a key advantage. CDX-CT weighs approximately 40 percent less than comparable chain drives. Chains alone can weigh 250 to 300 grams, and an entire chain drive can weigh 400 to 500 grams. The stealthy Carbon Drive, by comparison, weighs roughly 240 grams (precise weight varies depending on pulley size and belt length).
Cleanliness is another advantage. If the belt gets muddy, just hose it off—no greasy lube required. For singlespeed racers, that means less time in the pits and more on the course. For city riders, it means no greasy clothing. Paired with an internally geared hub, Carbon Drive represents the future of high-performance, low-maintenance commuter bikes. CenterTrack was conceived by Wayne Lumpkin, one of the most innovative thinkers in the bike industry and the creative spark and founder of Avid brakes.
With the launch of CenterTrack, Gates, the global leader in belt-drive applications in the bicycling, motorcycling and automotive industries, now offers three product lines at distinct price points: CDX-CT, CDX and CDC. Introduced in 2008 on four bike models, the popularity of Carbon Drive has grown exponentially. In 2011, 43 brands are selling 90-plus models of belt drive bikes. For 2012, that number is expected to leapfrog again to 130 models as the popularity of commuter cycling booms and bike brands design new models around Carbon Drive.
Cyclists with existing Carbon Drives on their bikes who want to upgrade to CDX-CT can order the system through local bike shops beginning in July. The initial product launch is focused on the most popular sizes and will be expanded through the second half of 2011.
Proper belt tension is key to the optimal performance of your Gates Carbon Drive. Thanks to a new iPhone app developed by Gates, fine-tuning your belt tension is easier than ever. Simply hold your iPhone beside the belt and pluck the belt like a guitar string. The program measures the frequency of the “note” emitted by the belt and determines whether you need to tighten up or loosen your tensioners.
Developed for consumers who own belt drive bikes and bike shop employees who service bicycles with Carbon Drive, the iPhone app is an integral part of Gates’ push to make its clean, quiet, light and strong belt drive systems as easy and familiar to use as chains. The iPhone app also includes a pulley, or sprocket, Size Calculator that allows cyclists to determine their ideal pulley and belt setup. Click here to download the app from iTunes. For all you wrenches out there, it’s like sweet music for your ears.
E-Bike prototype featuring Gates Carbon Drive and NuVinci hub
With gas prices soaring, electric bicycles are gaining attention as an efficient and affordable means of transportation. The technology of e-bikes is rapidly advancing. Witness this new prototype introduced at the Taipei Cycle trade show in Taiwan. The bike integrates the new Gates CenterTrack belt drive, NuVinci’s N360 infinitely variable planetary hub and Bosch electronics.
NuVinci N360 infinitely variable planetary hub mated with Gates Carbon Drive
The prototype was created by Gates to give bike manufacturers ideas for the e-bike of the future. The Gates Carbon Drive provides a chain-free, clean, quiet, light and strong drive train that requires no lubrication and has a long lifespan. The NuVinci hub offers seamless shifting and an infinite gearing range between the high and low ends, allowing riders to feather their pedaling cadence regardless of terrain. Bosch’s battery is mounted on the downtube to allow builders to design step-over models with women’s specific geometry. The handlebar mounted electronic console allows riders to choose the level of power: eco, tour, sport or speed.
The command console
Read the story on page five of the Bicycle Retailer and Industry News report from Taipei. Click here for more photos and a story from ElectricBikeReport.com, and here for coverage from BikeWorldNews.com.
Bicycling Magazine has been testing the new CenterTrack belt drive from Gates on a Spot Rocker singlespeed mountain bike and is elated about its performance. Writer Matt Phillips is no stranger to Carbon Drive:
“I’ve been riding an original Carbon Drive equipped bike for about three years,” he writes. “I love it because not only is it maintenance free—no lube required, and the belt lasts longer than a chain—but it takes the purity of the single-speed experience and amplifies it. Properly set up, a belt is much smoother and quieter than a chain. It’s difficult to convey how much more exactly, but trust me: If you ride a belt, you’ll immediately notice the difference.”
Spot Rocker Ti with Gates Carbon Drive
Gates recently sent Phillips the new CenterTrack design, which is the lightest, strongest and highest performance belt drive system ever. The new CenterTrack belt is two millimeters wider at 12 mm, which adds strength while also requiring less tension. The new system received a bonanza of media attention when introduced at Interbike 2010.
Phillips notes that, while the original Carbon Drive system was “already quite good in mud and snow,” the CenterTrack design is even “more impervious because the pulleys don’t have ‘sides’ and debris can just fall away.” For more info on Centertrack click here.
CenterTrack pulleys and belt
Click here to read Phillips’ story on Bicycling.com.