The one major constraint to using a belt drive on a bicycle is that the frame needs a break somewhere on the driveside rear triangle to allow the belt to insert. Now, Veer Cycle has found a way to let you put a belt drive transmission on any bike, by cutting the belt.

They use the proven Gates Industrial Belts, so same brand as what you’ll find directly from Gates Belt Drive bicycle systems, but a different model that allows them to slice and reassemble it.

Veer belt drive bicycle chain works on any bike frame using a Gates Belt Drive

Veer cuts a long “V” into the belt…

Veer belt drive bicycle chain works on any bike frame using a Gates Belt Drive

…then uses stainless steel rivets to reattach them. Besides being able to set it up on any frame, this also lets them cut it to custom lengths to fit any bike. They have an online guide to finding the right length to order.

Veer belt drive bicycle chain works on any bike frame using a Gates Belt Drive

Shown here is the Single Speed version that works on standard freehub bodies for, you guessed it, single speed bikes. It’s a 66-tooth big ring (44-tooth chainring equivalent) paired with a 24-tooth sprocket (15-tooth cog equivalent) for a 2.45:1 ratio. They’re machined from 7075 alloy with titanium hardware and work with a standard 5-bolt 130BCD crankset.

Veer belt drive bicycle chain works on any bike frame using a Gates Belt Drive

The kit retails for $349 and includes the sprocket, gear (comes in blue or black) and tensioner. They’re working on a Pro version that’ll have more gear ratio options, lighter weight, and possibly be able to work with internally geared hubs. Look for that to run about $400.

VeerCycle.com

27 COMMENTS

    • Agreed. It’s a “why didn’t I think of that?!” kind of innovation. So elegant and simple.

      The new horizons the new belt “closure system” opens for variable lengths are great too. From what I know of Gates Carbon Drive of yore, you were usually restricted to a few fixed length options.

  1. $30 Surly sprocket, $7 PC-1 chain, $35 Surly steel chainring….. 6-pack…. well under $100. Never quite got the belt idea……

  2. The problem with the first generation Gates drive was the lack of the center channel. It required way too much tension on the belt. Wore out freehub bodies, bottom brackets and broke belts if the tension was off. This looks like it will suffer from the same problem.

    • I wonder if that tensioner, and the oddball tooth design on the main sprocket, have some design feature to prevent that from happening?

      • Tension is there to apply tension to the belt because your frame design likely has no means of applying tension such as a sliding dropout or eccentric BB.

    • My opinion: The first gen did not had a Problem. The rear sprockets have a flange on the left side and the front sprockets have the flange on the right side. The belt is nicely guided. The tension in the system is necessary because of the flex in the frame and the therefore jumping of the belt over the sprocket-teeth. This happens mainly with small rear sprockets. Solution therefore is tension and/or the snubber. Both belt-types need a proper chainline alignment, via spacers at the BB oder between crank-spider and sprocket.

      My opionion is backed by my own riding experiences with a first gen Gates belt drive. I am running this on a Multipurpose Commuting-Travel-Bike with a Rohloff in the rear. Around 11.000km with an EBB (Bushnell) and now around 2000km on a new frame with an adjustable dropout. The rain on my commutes and 2 or 3 longer bike.cleaning-sessions a year is all what i do, to keep the bike running. Compared to my roadbike, i would consider this as virtually maintenace free.

      • I disagree – I think the first gen did have a problem. I’ve ridden 2 seasons of cx and over 3 years of commuting on belt drive.
        The ring and cog had to be set up misaligned to push the belt into the flanges because the frame is always going to flex and allow the belt to walk. Mud or snow would also push the belt off.

        I was happy to use the 1st gen for city riding in dry or rain (but not snow) after getting the front and rear cogs positioned, but I think that centertrack still makes gen 1 obsolete.

        Center track tolerates misalignment and clears debris better.
        I don’t think I ever got centertrack to skip – probably because there is no way to not have full tooth engagement.
        For that reason you can use a less stiff/harsh riding frame with a belt.

        Washing off the belt is still maintenance, but it is easy maintenance.

        In my opinion, the high tension of the belt system is what made it feel good – the high tension is where the instant engagement came from.

        The static tension of the belt is less than what a belt (or chain) experience under pedaling load. The freewheel could wear faster freewheeling under tension, but the BB should be fine.

      • I’m using center track as well. But I remember reading a dutch article mentioning that the original gates design is better for commuter bikes as there was measurably less resistance. I could not understand the whole article as I had to google translate it, but that was the tl:dr of it.

  3. I think belts are kinda neat, but I ultimately have to compare them to a SS or internal gear hub chain driven arrangement. In that light, nobody can convince me that the benefits of a belt are worth the cost. Chains in these applications are strong, quiet, easy to clean and cheap. The only benefits to the belt is no lubrication (easy to do, especially on a SS) and clean (and I question how “clean” a belt will be up against dress pants anyway).

    I may be missing something so feel free to let me know

  4. JBikes: I commuted to work today on a belt-drive bike (Alfine 11) and I’ve got a belt-drive fixed gear bike as well. I don’t hesitate to wear light-colored gray slacks to work when I ride either bike. The belt isn’t just cleanER…it’s clean. It’s as clean as my frame.

    I also love how quiet my belt-drive bikes are. They’re definitely quieter than SS chain-driven bikes, though those are fairly quiet as well.

    I’m not sure how much sense this particular kit makes, though. You’re paying a lot of money to avoid buying a belt-drive-compatible frame. My belt-drive fixed-gear frame was $500 including a fork.

    Even if you have a treasured frame that you’re dying to run a belt on, you can pay a framebuilder to split the seatstay for not too much money.

    • JasonK – thanks for the input.
      My thoughts on belt cleanliness are rooted in the dirtiness of belts I see in industrial applications…they seem to attract dust and my gloves always get dirty if I handle them.

      • JBikes-

        Love my belt drive single speed MTB.

        No grime at all with a belt. Silent and virtually no maintenance.

        Can’t tell you how nice it is to park this bike after a ride and not touch it until the next ride. That 10 to 20min or so of not messin with your drivetrain before you ride on a day with a tight schedule is priceless. Especially for me as it’s a 30min drive to my preferred trails. Days were you are racing to get a ride in before sunset. Days were the previous ride was wet & muddy- You can just go. Wet & muddy rides were your drivetrain remains silent throughout the ride. Lots of pluses in my opinion.

        MTB’ing can have lots of details that you need to have lined up so one less thing to do really helps sometimes.

        A few times I have gotten something suck in the belt, usually a small stick that requires me to stop and use a 2mm allen key as a pick to get the crushed stick out.

        The one huge draw back to me is chainring strikes. Logs & rocks can due some serious damage. So I have to be mindful of that at times out on the trail with the belt.

  5. Quite a lot of confident opinions here from people who sound as though they’ve never even tried riding a belt bike. The funniest are the opinions that the only reason people would buy it is because it’s different. Oh, so none of us have ever made a bike or component choice for those reasons? It’s a fashion and function industry and both are valid simply depending on where you place your values.

  6. I think one major constraint in using belt drives is not the break in the rear triangle, but the proper (e.g. creak free or brake alignment or axle alignment) and light (EBBs put between 150 and 200g additional weight on your bike, rocker dropouts or similiar are also between 50 and 150g heavier) ability to adjust the effective lenght of the chainstay.
    Another major contraint is that for a belt drive bike you either need to go single speed or use an internal gear hub or BB pinion gears. This usually adds more weight, more cost and some people also dont like the weight-distribution that comes with a Rohloff or Alfine Hub in the back.

    The Veer Sprockets look overengineered and the v-cut looks like it will be the starting point of a spreaded belt. The price-tag feels quite ok for a new product. A gates belt drive set isn’t that much cheaper if you have to buy it from a online-retailer.

  7. One of the benefits of belt systems is that they should last longer than chains, as they are more resistant to ‘stretch’ – in part because they do not have the chain’s pivots which wear and therefore cause the chain’s pitch to effectively lengthen.
    This system introduces pivots (the rivets) at all the joins, but only on part of its length. Would this not lead to uneven wear, and therefore potential skipping under load – especially as the system tension is much less than conventional belts?

  8. Living in the Netherlands, I have two belt drive bikes, one with a Gates Belt drive and a Pinion 12sp GB. Also, a fairly cheap Cortina with a continental, belt drive system. I love these bikes they require almost no maintance, other than a rinse which I get when I am rained on hardcore by crappy Dutch weather. But seriously, I clean them once a year and that is it. My commute which is about 22K to and from work, would have worn out a chain and a sprocket at least every year, and the chain would have gotten gummed up and very dirty and loud. I will never go back to a chain on my commuter bike, too much hassle. On my roadbike/mtb this is a different story obviously, as there are other cosiderations. But the old saying goes here as well. To each his own, there is no good or bad, just preferences.

  9. How is a 66:24 gearing equivalent to 44:15? Shouldn’t that be 44:16? Read the same mistake on other sites as well, press release to blame I guess..

  10. Maybe an obvious question : is the veer belt compatible with gates belt sprocket & chainring?
    I read in the comment section that the centerline (2nd gen) gates belt has brought major benefits. Is the centerline design technically/by design doable on a split belt? commercially feasible/due to patent constraints ?

What do you think?

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