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I was at the Trek dealer today and he let me ride their belt drive around the parking lot. It was incredibly smooth! It has a cogged belt like a motorcycle. It's a fixed speed, but the dealer said Trek was talking about installing Shimano's new 7 speed hub on that model. He'd said the hub was a marvel and had a wide range of speeds.
The one little ride made me a believer for belt drive. If that new hub is any way near that good I think they may really have something.

What's your opinion of the belt drives? The wave of the future? They've already taken over the motorcycle industry. If they can hold up to that kind of torque they must be realy durable.
 

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The folks at Gates had a sweet display at Interbike:



The limitation of course is the frame design. Belts have no master link, but the workaround seems to be a bolt-on dropout. They're also limited to single speed and geared hubs, although daVinci 's CVT hub seems like a match made in bike heaven.

Co-Motion uses them on the timing side of tandems:



If anyone cares about the rest of last year's photos, they're here.

September 22nd, I'll be posting photos here.
 

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I have a friend who has one of the new Trek Soho belt drive, 7 speed bikes. It is pretty cool as the belt is essentially maintenance free, as is the internally geared hub and the drum brakes used on this model. I'll be surprised if it becomes real popular anytime in the near future... but it is a pretty cool set up and very very quiet!
 

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Why would it matter if it's quiet are they for ninja missions? I want to ride one somtime. Something about the look says soft to me.
 
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