Even at cost, converting to a belt drive is not cheap. It's a major investment that one "should" be able to rely on. Now, in all fairness, the system is phenomenal 99.8% of the time. It's light, quite, requires almost no maintenance and provides instantaneous power to the rear wheel. Several reviews mention this perceived power to the wheel and I was skeptical. I found myself going back to a chain drive recently and noticed a lack of responsiveness when the chain was installed. I ran the chain for a local 12 hour race and went back to the belt drive a few days later. There is a noticeable difference between the two drives when it comes to crisp transfer of power. The belt drive puts power to the wheel instantly and effectively. Combined this with the reduced weight, lack of required maintenance and long life span and this should be the perfect system. Should be.
I've aligned, re-aligned and re-re-aligned the belt ad nauseam. I've added tension to the point I heard the BB bearings cry "uncle". Then, I'd re-align the cog once more. Out on the trail things appear to be great until that first big, steep pitch that requires an all out effort, then "SNAP!". That sound that sends chills up my spine. WTF! This is getting old. Well, I'm pretty heavily invested in this drive, and really want to give it a fair shake, exhaust all avenues if you will, so, I drop another $40 bucks on the little "belt tension indicator" Gates sells (along with a smaller cog (for more money than I'm comfortable discussing right now)). I re-install the belt and align, re-align and re-re-re align the cog a few thousand more times and then throw the tension gauge on there to see how far off I was with my own guesstimate gauge. Well, I had a little too much tension in the belt (according to the Gates do-hicky) and back it off a smidge. Considering the belt has already made the snapping sound at a higher tension, I'm not overly optimistic things will improve with reduced tension. Still, I follow the directions and figure these big brained people know what they are doing.
Edit: Gates Carbon Drive System is sending me a new belt as a warranty replacement. Initial setup/tension may have been incorrect (my fault) and the good folks at Gates are not holding it against me. They stand behind their product and were very helpful when I called....which they suggested I do after reading my review. This level of customer service is impressive!