Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Back On The Chain Gang aka. Gates Follow-Up #3

The second belt the good People from Gates sent me worked great for one race and a couple rides. Then, at some point, I compromise the carbon in that one as well. Maybe it was that stick that got sucked into the drive-train (not very badly I'll add) or maybe it was the large logs I like to hop or the rocks I ride over. Who knows. All I know is it's a mountain bike and things like sticks, logs and rocks will be encountered during the course of a ride. At least I would hope these things will be encountered, otherwise, I might as well just stick with skinny tires and asphalt.

I knew the system was failing on a ride at Raystown Lake PA.  RAYSTOWN LAKE of all places!  These are some of the smoothest, buffest trails on the East Coast.  They don't get much smoother. If a Carbon Belt can't handle the demands of this trail system, I can't think of any situation it can. I'll also add that a few people who know me all commented that if I couldn't get the system to work properly, no one can.  Not trying to boast, just stating comments made by  people who know me.

Road bike, Commuters, sure. I can see it working in these situations. Larger cogs means more contact area and you can probably run a little less tension than the high torque demands of a mountain bike.  The Carbon Drive System "should" be perfect for a single speed commuter. Internally gear hubs?  I don't know. I think the tension this system requires would toast an Alfine hub in short order.

So, I'm back on the chain gang.  I re-installed a roller pin drive train that had seen countless miles and numerous races. One that has had sticks jammed inside, rolled over logs and the seen the occasional rock strike. This old, "inferior" drive-train never complained as I grunted my way up rock strewn climbs before and it's not complaining now.  It hasn't popped or slipped once since going back on the bike.  It's nice to be able to focus on the trail again....and not my belt.

Photo by DKEG.


YUEQ said...

Welcome back, Todd.

Rob said...

Now if only your handlebars didn't fall apart.

Todd said...

The broken bar sucks, but, at least I didn't get hurt. Considering some of the stuff we did earlier, I'm very lucky.

Now, I need to find me some new Mary's.

Rob said...

No carbon fiber bars hu??? Yah it was lucky for you it wasn't a more epic fail and you didn't end up looking like DKEG's infamous photo.

Just saw the MORE thread, tons of neat bars out there. I'm wondering how well some of these work on geared bikes.

pabiker said...

Good to see someone who isn't afraid to call it like he sees it. Rather than hopping on the technology is always good band wagon.

You gave it a good try and I agree if you can't make it happen then it's for beach cruisers.