Gates Carbon Drive new CDN sprocket
Gates Carbon Drive has just announced their new CDN belt drive system as part of a value-oriented product line designed for urban bikes. The CDN uses the same carbon fiber tensile cord technology and Centertrack sprocket design as Gates’ CDX system, but it will sell for about half the price of the company’s higher end CDC/CDX models. CDN is essentially a lighter-duty iteration designed for low mileage city bikes in easy riding applications.

“CDN is our value-oriented belt drive for people who want a clean and stylish city bike for getting into town or around the neighborhood,” says Todd Sellden, director of Gates Carbon Drive. “It’s for bicyclists who ride in jeans or skirts and casual shoes, not spandex and race gear.”

Click past the jump for more photos and details…

Gates Carbon Drive 2015 CDN sprocket

Gates’ 12mm wide Centertrack belt features nine carbon fiber cords embedded inside a high-tech polyurethane belt that is engineered to be flexible, durable and resistant to UV rays. The CDN crank and front sprocket are both glass-reinforced composite units, and the rear sprocket is made of steel. The belts will be manufactured alongside Gates’ automotive belts in the company’s Scotland facility.

The CDN is a price-point system intended for city bikes that see light duty use like grocery/beer runs and relaxed urban riding. For those riding off road, racing cyclocross or bicycle touring, the CDX’s alloy debris shedding sprockets are your best bet in variable weather conditions. Gates’ CDC belts and sprockets are designed for performance commuter/pavement bikes and tandems.

Gates carbon Drive CDN crank, sprocket and belt

A properly set up belt drive system offers a clean, low maintenance drivetrain that runs quiet, requires no grease, uses a belt that won’t stretch or rust, and according to Gates weighs less than a chain drive setup. The design’s simplicity makes sense for a low-maintenance single speed or internally geared townie bike, and by making it a more affordable option Gates hopes to see the masses go unchained.

Gates will be launching the CDN system at this year’s Taipei Bike Show, March 18-21st 2015.


  1. Gunnstein on

    Good news! I want this on my next commuter, but haven’t yet found a split stay frame that has what I want: Fits 60-622 (2.35×29) tires with fenders, has mounts for rack and fenders, has sliding dropouts or eccentric crank, aluminium rather than steel, not suspension corrected.

    Compromise is no fun 🙁

  2. fourthandvine on

    @Gunnstein – oof yeah, that’s a hard list. Out of curiosity, why the huge tires? You’d likely have lots of options if that one requirement were relaxed…

  3. Bruce12 on

    Whoa! Belt drives are still a thing? Just what everyone needs, something that is more complicated, more expensive, infinitely less compatible, and unable to be fixed when broken. I forgot, what’s wrong with the chain?

  4. Sevo on

    Not sure why the hate for belg drives Bruce. In my experience these things you mention do not exist and quite the opposite.

  5. David on

    @Gunnstein: The diSSent is a good frame, and dirt cheap. I had 2.3 WTB Stout mounted to a P35 on the back of mine and had room to spare, although I didn’t try to run full fenders. I just measured my wife’s diSSent frame [winter commuter], and there’s ~70mm space at the chainstays. Not sure if that helps or makes it worse…

  6. fourthandvine on

    @Gunnstein – ahhh cool, yeah I don’t need to deal with snow here. 🙂

    @Bruce12 – I’m not running one on my commuter at the moment (waiting on a chainring to fit a new crank) but I did for a year and it was great. Was my SSCX rig in the fall too. Silent, smooth, no black puddles when I’d bring it inside from riding in the rain. As far as cogs/rings/chains are concerned sure it’s more than a single speed chain setup (depending on the bits – if you get nicer stuff it can easily be the same or more), but for me the riding qualities and lack of maintenance were totally worth it.

    To me the only downside was the tension of the belt. Properly-tensioned mine never skipped but that constant, higher tension than a chain I think places demands on some bits (thinking freewheel, bottom bracket, and whatever tensioning mechanism you’re using be it sliders, rockers, eccentric BB, whatever) that may not have necessarily been taken into account when the bits were designed. For me, it meant bottom brackets were an issue and I need to make sure whatever I went with sealed, fit and was installed well or I had squeaks (especially in the conditions I was riding in).

  7. Gunnstein on

    Wait… “The CDN crank and front sprocket are both glass-reinforced composite units”
    A fibre glass crankset? That’s new to me. And this is supposed to be the cheap option. Am curious about durability, weight and cost now.

  8. dug on

    @Bruce12 More expensive? Hardly. In the extreme conditions I’ve been running my Gates Carbon Drive CenterTrack It’s saved me money. Six months of sand, salt and extreme cold meant chain replacements twice a year and cassette/chainrings once a year. The Gates BD has gone three winters (so far) without having to replace anything. And I never have to clean it. Feels less complicated. I’ve never broken a belt on either of my belt drive bikes I’ve owned.

  9. anonymous on

    And what would replacements be like if you used a chain drive non-derailer system, given that you mentioned cassette replacement.

  10. nathan on

    The idea of them going to a less durable version is terrifying.

    I ended up with two bruised legs from my belt slipping on a mountain bike during a steep climb and my legs smashing into the bars. And yes, it was tensioned with the official tension guage. The second time was with a brand new warranty replacement drivetrain. Granted this was pre-centertrack but terrible enough to make me never try them again.

  11. Quiet Ride on

    The last time I rode a belt drive bike it squeaked so much I wanted to throw the bike in front of a school bus. Have they figured out how to limit the noise? I can’t see these being any less maintenance than a chain driven single speed…I’ve ridden SS 8speed chains through some crappy climates and terrain for years without so much as taking a rag to the chain. Never mind the need for tools to change a flat. But hey it’s different and options are good, right?!


COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.