Transmission options.

simongt

Über Member
Location
Norwich
Here's a subject which is bound to get some folk's backs up - ! As most of us know, a roller chain linked to a clean, properly lubed derailleur is the most efficient way ( 96% ? ) of transmitting leg power to drive power and hub gears are not too far behind.
However we also have shaft and belt drive available. Many like Mike Burrows, scoff and deride ( sorry, har har - ! ) such transmissions as they are of course rather less efficient. But for the more genteel folk among us who simply want a clean, relatively trouble free cycle that doesn't risk putting dirty lube all over your trouser leg / skirt and doesn't need oiling every week, then why not shaft or belt drive - ? If you are simply a potter down to the shops cyclist who isn't concerned about efficiency, then one or the other should be just the thing for you.
Discuss - !
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
How's that beat a hub gear with semi fluid grease in it, full chain case, relube at servicing? Maybe more frequent servicing than if you lubed them yourself but the difference in price from carbon belt drive would buy a few services.
 
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S

simongt

Über Member
Location
Norwich
True, but you still have that mucky chain. Even experienced cyclists still managed to get chain gunge on their trousers / skirts / leggings - !:eek:
 

Saluki

I've run away with my friends to..
Location
...New Tealandia
We see a shaft drive bike outside the local tesco extra fairly regularly. It belongs to one of the UEA students. We asked her about it and she said it was steady but heavy. Used to be her brothers but he gave it to her when she got accepted to the UEA. Something about it being flat around here, unlike N Wales, where she comes from.
Not my cup of tea but she likes it as she says that she doesn't have to mess with it.
 
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mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I do not get chain gunge on my clothes, why should you.
Hanging the washing out to dry on the bike chain, perhaps?

I don't either, actually. Hooray for chaincases.
 

FrankCrank

Professional layabout
...my home town in UK is Reading, and on my last visit recently, noticed they have a bike rental system in the town. All the bikes are shaft drive, drum brakes, internal gears and dynamo - guess low maintenance was the aim. Not ridden one, but seem like a good idea to me - I hate doing bike maintenance as much as anyone.

I run a 3-speed Sturmey Archer hub with coaster brake on my homebuilt trike, and does the job admirably, but where I live is a totally flat area, nearest hills are at least an hour away by car. I have the chain about 90% enclosed, as a lot of my rides are on dusty tracks - chain would be gunged up in no time. Would love to go to belt drive, but unfortunately they don't do them long enough for recumbents, but maybe one day eh :smile:

From what I've read about belt drives on regular DF bikes, they do a great job with no real issues, but the frames are factory built to accommodate installing and removal of the belt - won't work as post purchase conversion, at least not for the average DIY'er. Hope they become more popular - seem like a great solution for commuters and lazy folk like me...........
 

screenman

Legendary Member
Chain drive is the most efficient, so that will do me for my type of cycling. I can understand you guys that use a bike for something different than my might want something else.
 
When I was a gentleman rider on my Pashley Roadster Sovereign, I found the fully enclosed chain cover and rear wheel coat guard entirely prevented contact with anything oily or dirty. Drive was five speed Sturmey-Archer which constrained my hill climbing ability. On occasions I was obliged to loosen my tie a little to avoid unseemly perspiration.
 
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