A niche commuting choice: single speed and belt driven?

prox
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A niche commuting choice: single speed and belt driven?

Postby prox » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:02 pm

Hi all,

I've been researching and test riding bikes for commuting purposes for the last 3-4 weeks. It's been a long and kinda frustrating process, but oh well... I'm now quite sure I've narrowed down the feature set I want, but now I can't seem to find something that fits my admittedly niche goals!

Of all the strange things to want to ride, I'd like a belt-drive single speed with hydraulic disc brakes. Unsurprisingly, I'm not sure if anyone even sells such a thing (irrespective of frame material), unless anyone on here can point me to such a thing?

If anyone here IS aware of such a thing, please let me know :) I'd really prefer my first serious foray into commuting bikes to not involve trying to custom build something...

Cheers

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Howzat
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Re: A niche commuting choice: single speed and belt driven?

Postby Howzat » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:11 pm

The nice thing about single speeds is that they are simple proven old-school technology. The nice thing about hydraulic discs is that they are new technology. The nice thing about belt-drives is that they are niche technology.

You may need to make a choice here.


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AUbicycles
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Re: A niche commuting choice: single speed and belt driven?

Postby AUbicycles » Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:34 am

The Gates Carbon belt drive is the one you need and it will give you a wonderfully pleasant ride. To date they have struggled to gain broader market acceptance but currently are on the verge of becoming accepted and that means stocked. Australia is always behind so they are still harder to find.

I suggest considering an internally geared rear hub - this still gives you the clean look and worry free advantage like a single speed but with more range.

Generally the smaller trend brands will be more likely to have belt drives. The frames need to be able to be broken but I would actually look overseas at the European brands. This type of bike will cost more than a bike with regular chain and rim brakes but you will also ser a fairly broad price range.

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find_bruce
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Re: A niche commuting choice: single speed and belt driven?

Postby find_bruce » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:19 am

If you can't find exactly what you want, the frame essentials for you are belt drive & disc brakes - internal 3 speed can be easily swapped for a singlespeed, cable discs replaced with hydraulic.

3 speed with belt drive & disc brakes is easy enough to find - are you after flat bar or drops ?

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Mububban
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Re: A niche commuting choice: single speed and belt driven?

Postby Mububban » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:24 pm

baabaa wrote:https://spotbrand.com/collections/bikes/products/rallye-ss?variant=30536138956
Image


$2000?!?!?
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

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baabaa
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Re: A niche commuting choice: single speed and belt driven?

Postby baabaa » Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:22 pm

Hmm, I get you here but any belt single speed would make it pricey. I think the old Redline Monobelt was about the same price back in 2012 ( but could have been '13 or 14'??)

And as the frame needs to split this boosts the $$ as rare so a Soma Wolverine ( a Spot ) or one of the newer Salsa Fargo frames, say 1000AUD landed here? You also need a good ebb or a fancy adjustable rear end for belt tension unless you go a phil eeb Philcentric adaptation (and big $$ here).
If drop bar, the brakes would be a far price say hydraulic single speed like
https://www.trpcycling.com/product/hylex-rs-post-mount/

So, then to build just the wheels...
Pick your fav (but make 'em strong as ss) rim size as you wish 650B /700C or 29er say 200 to build each wheel with spokes.
BUT.... as the ss hub needed to take a gates cog?? Could be wrong but that really means a screw on freewheel and not cheap as I only know of is the phil KISS hubs ( which I have a set and would recommend if you want to a bike that lasts 200 odd years)
see http://www.philwood.com/products/hubspg ... tbhubs.php
A gates freewheel cog and again make it strong go with the white industries that would match the phil for a good long life https://www.universalcycles.com/shoppin ... p?id=74263
I just gave up, as the $$ just for wheel parts is huge. Also the pitch of a gates drive is special in set-up in terms of hubs and dish so this makes for a special wheel builder who knows what they are doing. I guess a real ebb helps a bit here as you have a bit of in the bb shell movement to get the belt-line pure.
If I was the op I would just go a ss with a chain and cable discs and swap these out to hydro. My choice would be one of the all city cx disc single speeds.
Last edited by baabaa on Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Biffidus
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Re: A niche commuting choice: single speed and belt driven?

Postby Biffidus » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:13 pm

I've got a belt-drive. while I'm a huge fan - I haven't had to oil a chain since 2012 - it's definitely a luxury item. Belt drive, hub gear and hydraulic discs make for a maintenance free, all-weather ride but it's expensive. Coaster brakes and a single speed chain will get you 90% of the benefit at a fraction of the cost.

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Re: A niche commuting choice: single speed and belt driven?

Postby robbo mcs » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:10 pm

Focus make some nice belt drive commuters. Such as this one

https://www.bikeexchange.com.au/a/urban-bikes/focus/vic/prahran/2017-focus-planet-belt-plus/102887328

It is a hub gear, not single speed, but gates belt drive, hydro discs, integrated mudguards and lights with dynamo.

prox
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Re: A niche commuting choice: single speed and belt driven?

Postby prox » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:16 pm

All these replies! Thanks heaps for the feedback - especially for a new forum account post

baabaa wrote:https://spotbrand.com/collections/bikes/products/rallye-ss?variant=30536138956
Image


They look amazing, but the price to import was crazy high. Indeed the cost of materials adds up (as you explained in a later post), however, with an AU distributor and decent market presence, the cost could likely come down a bit :)

AUbicycles wrote:The Gates Carbon belt drive is the one you need and it will give you a wonderfully pleasant ride. To date they have struggled to gain broader market acceptance but currently are on the verge of becoming accepted and that means stocked. Australia is always behind so they are still harder to find.

I suggest considering an internally geared rear hub - this still gives you the clean look and worry free advantage like a single speed but with more range.

Generally the smaller trend brands will be more likely to have belt drives. The frames need to be able to be broken but I would actually look overseas at the European brands. This type of bike will cost more than a bike with regular chain and rim brakes but you will also ser a fairly broad price range.


See below, but I did indeed end up going to IGH route after all. I really doubt I need it, but hey, options can be nice..

find_bruce wrote:If you can't find exactly what you want, the frame essentials for you are belt drive & disc brakes - internal 3 speed can be easily swapped for a singlespeed, cable discs replaced with hydraulic.

3 speed with belt drive & disc brakes is easy enough to find - are you after flat bar or drops ?


True true... Flat bar is my preference given it's gonna be a very urban commute :)

robbo mcs wrote:Focus make some nice belt drive commuters. Such as this one

https://www.bikeexchange.com.au/a/urban-bikes/focus/vic/prahran/2017-focus-planet-belt-plus/102887328

It is a hub gear, not single speed, but gates belt drive, hydro discs, integrated mudguards and lights with dynamo.


I did see the Plant Belt Plus, but ended up sacrificing on dynamo lighting for a much easier-to-digest price. Went with a 2018 Avanti Inc 3, as there's some solid deals going on at the moment (as you all would be capable of finding - I don't want to risk linking deals on a new account). Reason for going this route is that it'll give me the flexibility to add and remove features as needed, and Avanti are one of the few who offer a lifetime warranty on their aluminium frames

Thanks heaps for all the feedback and advice! Truly appreciate the contributions

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Re: A niche commuting choice: single speed and belt driven?

Postby eeksll » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:27 pm

prox wrote:... however, with an AU distributor and decent market presence, the cost could likely come down a bit :)


bwhahahahaha :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I would love a IGH belt drive as well.

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