Home > Bike Types > Commuter

Gates Belt Drives get more affordable w/ SideTrack, durable w/ CDC & expanded CDX:EXP line

Support us! Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

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.

Gates Belt Drive Sidetrack ST Gates Belt Drive ST belt

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.

Gates Belt Drive CDC chainring Gates Belt Drive CDC chainring teeth

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.

Gates Belt Drive rear cog cdx:exp

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.

Gates Belt Drive CDX EXP

After market pricing will be released soon, with availability outlined in the chart below.



Notify of

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

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

Even as a largely satisfied Gates CDX user I have to say this looks unnecessary marketing driven complication. First they introduce a “next-generation Centertrack tooth profile which is better at shedding debris”, then they give it smaller debris ports “so they won’t be as good at debris shedding, but it’s still a big improvement over rings without any debris ports” – WTF? What about *one* model with the new profile *and* the old port size? Don’t tell me it makes a significant difference in manufacturing cost.
And, protip for Gates: if you absolutely have to create your promotional pixel graphics by screenshotting the DTP program, at least turn off the spellchecker before 😉

Curious cat
Curious cat
3 years ago

Curious if the stainless or hardened cog will be more durable for an e-bike application, finish wear is not really a worry so much as getting ultra durable, reliable and smooth.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.