Thanks to the ongoing bike-boom, global demand for bicycles is at all time highs. That’s partly why Gates Carbon Drive is launching an updated line of belt drive components that cover everything from entry level city bikes, to high end bikes destined for off-road use.
While you won’t be able to buy the new Carbon Drive ST system on its own, you will be seeing bicycle brands include the system on their new entry level bikes. Looking to offer the quiet, maintenance-free performance of a belt drive at a lower price point, the SideTrack system is Gates’ answer. One of the biggest design challenges for a belt drive system is keeping the belt centered on the cogs and chainrings. Without perfect alignment, any frame flex can cause the belt to shift or derail completely. The ST system addresses the issue with side mounted plates on the cogs and chainrings that act as a track to keep the belt in place. As mentioned, this system will be OEM only, and will include options for 46, 50, and 60t front aluminum chainrings and 20 & 22t rear hardened, zinc coated, chromoly steel cogs for manufacturers.
Using the existing Centertrack CDX belt, the new CDC (Carbon Drive Commute) line is intended for cyclists on regular or e-bikes who regularly commute in an urban setting (meaning not on dirt). However, to make the system more robust and durable, the front chainrings use their next-generation Centertrack tooth profile which is better at shedding debris.
Instead of a continuous “track” between each tooth, the new CDC chainrings have two small fins – one on either side of the tooth. These fins function the same as the track would, keeping the belt centered on the ring, but the large gap between the teeth allows dirt and debris to be pushed down away from the teeth. These debris ports aren’t quite as large as those on the CDX chainrings, so they won’t be as good at debris shedding, but it’s still a big improvement over rings without any debris ports.
Essentially you end up with close to CDX level performance, but at a more affordable price.
Moving on to CDX:EXP (Carbon Drive Extreme: Expedition), the line has been expanded to include three new rear sprockets. Made from hardened and coated or stainless steel, the new sprockets include a Rohloff Spine and Shimano 9-Spline option.
After market pricing will be released soon, with availability outlined in the chart below.