The belt drive is a fairly modern technology in electric bicycles, where the spread of electric bicycles with a belt drive began in the last 10 years.
But this technology has been around for a long time in cars and motorcycles, and this gives you evidence of the reliability of these systems.
With electric bikes, there are advantages and disadvantages to both belt drive and chain.
In this post, we will identify a set of factors that we will use to compare the belt drive and the chain.
Is Belt Drive Goode For ebikes?
As a general rule, a belt drive system is good for electric bikes because it is durable, works efficiently, has low maintenance, and also has a very long lifespan.
Pros & Cons of Belt Drive
|Low Maintenance cost or efforts||Unavailability of Parts|
|Long lifespan||High Price|
|High Efficiency||High Price for designs with internal gears|
Belt Drive Pros.
One of the most important points of interest to anyone who is going to buy an electric bike and is thinking of acquiring a belt drive design is the amount of the durability of this design and whether is it considered sturdy enough to withstand various uses and heavy loads.
In fact, as we mentioned in the introduction to this post, the belt drive is mainly used in cars and motorcycles, and this is because its design is very durable and can withstand different conditions of use.
As another sign of the durability of this design, it is widely used in electric cargo bikes, which are primarily intended for transporting and loading things.
Since I am basically an engineer, I have an inner belief that any part of any machine should be maintained.
But for the belt drive, the matter here is different, as the maintenance required for this type of design is a cleaning of the belt drive, whether this cleaning is using a brush or any other cleaner.
The idea of the lack of maintenance required for this type is that there is no metal-on-metal contact, so you will not need to lubricate or change parts, as we do in designs that have a chain.
Read Also, How Often Should I Lube My Electric Bike Chain? (Solved)
The design of the belt drive, which consists of several layers of nylon and carbon fiber, gives the belt drive a very long life span, which ranges from 10,000 miles to 20,000 miles, which is considered a very high number of miles for an electric bike,
so long lifespan is one of the advantages of this design.
One strength of the belt drive design is the efficiency that appears strongly in use, as the belt drive continues to work efficiently all the time, so you will not feel the difference between the first day of its use and the last day.
The reason for this efficiency is the way the belt drive is designed, which is tight all the time and there are few factors such as dirt or mud affecting it because it is designed to get rid of dust and mud.
That is why you will always feel the highest level of efficiency while using it
This is in contrast to the chain, which can be stretched and needs to change some parts in order to feel a difference in efficiency.
Electric bikes make little noise, but if you want to hear almost no sound while riding the bike, the belt drive will provide you with this feature with high efficiency
The reason for this is that there are no metals that cause a friction sound, which is an added advantage for people who want to get a low while riding an electric bike.
The last feature, which may not affect us as electric bike owners, is that the belt drive is light compared to the chain, but it is an added advantage, especially if you like to keep a spare belt drive with you.
Belt Drive Pros.
One of the drawbacks of this design is that it is not popular enough (although the prevalence increases with time) insufficient spread is the first link that draws many flaws behind it, which in my personal opinion will disappear automatically if there is the sufficient spread of this design
This design is fairly common in electric cargo bikes and some other high-priced models.
Despite the very long life of the belt drive, the lack of spare parts is considered a defect for this design, and the reason for this is, as we mentioned in the first point, that it is not widespread enough, unlike the chain that you can buy from almost anywhere and available all the time It is always preferable to have an extra belt drive when purchasing an electric bike so that you can use it in case of emergency.
The prices of electric bikes with a belt drive are relatively higher than the electric bikes with a chain and the reason for this is due to the design, which requires a lot of research and development
Electric bike companies spend a lot of money on this type of design in order to reach a bike frame that is strong enough to withstand the force of pressure because in this design there must be a hole inside the frame to pass the belt drive as it cannot be cut and then reconnected again like a chain.
Note: There are some types of belt drives that can be separated and installed without the need for a hole in the frame, but this type is not widespread and its durability is also unknown.
Most electric bikes that come with a belt drive are single-speed, that is, without gears, but this does not mean that there are no models with gears. The gears are internal to the motor.
While preparing for this post, I thought a lot about this point, as it is not considered one of the defects or advantages, but I settled, in the end, to put it in the defects, and the reason is that the models with gears are often very expensive.
Now that we have mentioned the advantages and disadvantages of the belt drive in the next parts of this post, we will answer the most frequently asked questions on this topic.
Can I add a Belt Drive to a non-belt Ebike?
This question is considered one of the most frequently asked questions due to the many features that exist in the belt drive, but in order to make this modification, you will need two things
First, get a complete belt drive kit, which may be expensive, as its price reaches about $ 300 or more
Second: Modify the frame of the electric bike (if possible) so that there is a hole through which the belt drive can pass, but here it must be noted that the possibility of the bicycle frame weakening and breaking is very high.
To summarize: In general, it is not recommended to modify the frame of an electric bicycle to put a belt drive, due to the high cost and the possibility of breaking the frame of the electric bicycle
Note: There are some frames that are designed to work with the belt drive and chain, and the idea of this design is that the installation of the drive belt is from the bottom of the frame and not through it.
How belt drive can handle different terrain?
One of the most common questions is also what is the ability of the belt drive to withstand different riding conditions and off-roadAs a general rule, there is no difference between the chain and the belt drive at this point, as the belt drive is very powerfully capable of withstanding different riding conditions, whether in the rain, snow, or trails
In concluesion there are multiple advatages and disadvantages of belt drive electric bikes. You can keep in mind of these pros and cons of the electric bike belt drive system that we have discussed in this article so you can make an informed decision about which is right for you.