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Belt drives and chains of electric bicycles

For electric bicycles, there are mainly two drive systems: belt drive and chain drive. Which is better, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Which one is more suitable for you?

 

The chain is cheaper, easier to replace, and more efficient at low power output. However, they also require more maintenance and wear out faster. On the other hand, belt drives are more expensive and harder to replace. However, they are quieter and require no maintenance.


What is the most common drive system for electric bicycles?

The most common drive system uses chains to drive power to the wheels. This type of drive system has been used for at least a century. Most bicycles, electric bicycles, and motorcycles use chains, and it may be the only drive system you have personally seen. However, other types of drive systems exist, and belt drives are one of the most well-known alternatives to chain drives.

 

Although belt drives are probably the most common after chain drives, there are some other types of drive systems. These include shaft drives, string drives, pedal drives, and direct drives, although these are not common (except for direct drives, which are used for unicycles).

 

Other drive systems include belt drives, which use belts instead of chains. The belt drive uses a belt made of a single part instead of a chain made up of many parts. There are small grooves in the belt to fit two pulleys-one on the gearbox and one on the wheels.


Advantages and disadvantages of electric bicycle chain drive


Advantage

1. They are cheaper: chain drives are generally cheaper than the less common belt drives.

2. They are common and easy to find: if you need to change your chain, you can find a new electric bike chain online or at your local bike store. If you need to replace the belt drive, it will be difficult to find.

3. Compatible with most bicycles: The chain is compatible with most bicycles, regardless of their motor or frame type, but some electric bicycles require special, stronger chains. On the other hand, belts are not compatible with some bicycles. For example, the belt is not compatible with the derailleur gear.

4. You can take them apart: Since the chain consists of many parts, it is easy to take them apart. On the other hand, the belt drive is impossible to disassemble, so you must disassemble the frame instead of removing or replacing it.

5. You can repair a broken chain: if the chain breaks, you can repair it at any time. The belt drive is a one-piece type, so if the belt gets stuck, it will be permanently damaged.


Shortcoming

1. They will rust: belt drives will not rust like chains, which makes riding a bicycle in the rain or parking a bicycle outside even more problematic.

2. They wear out faster: chains are not as durable as belts at all.

3. They can be loud: because of the material of the chain and the many parts involved, the chain makes more noise than the belt. They will squeak and make other annoying sounds.

4. They need more maintenance: the chain needs more maintenance. You must clean them frequently and apply wet or dry lubricating oil to ensure that they keep running smoothly. You must also check for rust and make sure that the chain is not worn.


Advantages and disadvantages of electric bicycle belt drive


Advantage

1. Need less maintenance: The belt drive requires less maintenance. You don't have to oil and lubricate the belt like you would with a chain. In most cases, you can leave the belt as it is and it will continue to work normally.

2. They have a longer service life: belts wear out much slower than chains. The service life of the belt is 5 to 10 times that of the chain. This means that although belts are more expensive at first, in the long run, you may end up spending less because you don't have to change the belt often (and you don't have to buy lubricating oil).

3. They are quiet: because the belts are made of rubber instead of metal, they don't make much noise. If you are enjoying a quiet and peaceful morning ride while enjoying nature and birds singing, you may need to choose a belt drive.

4. They stay on the bike: If you ride a bike often, you may experience the chain falling off the bike. This doesn't happen to the belt; you don't have to stop by the side of the road to refasten the chain.

5. They are lighter: chains are heavier than belts. Compared with chains, belts have a much smaller impact on your electric bike. In addition, you don't have to carry lubricating oil with you on long trips, just in case your chain needs lubrication.


Shortcoming

1. They are more expensive: As mentioned earlier, belt drives are more expensive than chain drives. This is not only because the actual drives are more expensive to produce, but also because they require certain gearboxes. If your belt does break or wear out, it will be more expensive to replace it.

2. They are more difficult to replace: it is more difficult to find a replacement for the belt, especially when you are on the road and head to the nearest store. It is also more difficult to replace the belt, because as mentioned above, you cannot simply take it apart. You will have to take apart the frame. If you are in a more remote rural area, it may be more difficult to find alternatives.

3. They may be less efficient: each is different. At high power output and uphill, belt drive is more efficient than chain drive. However, under standard or low power output (if you are likely to use this output when riding in the city), the efficiency of a belt drive is lower than that of a chain drive.


Which one is more suitable for you?

It is difficult to say which drive system is better, because both have their advantages and disadvantages. If your budget is limited, consider sticking to standard chain drives. You may need to replace them more frequently, and you may need to spend more on maintenance, but the cost of maintaining and replacing the chain is not very high. On the other hand, if you get a belt and it does break, you will have to spend more money to replace it.

 

On the other hand, if you want to try new things, have a larger budget, and are tired of constantly cleaning dirty chains and lubricating yourself and the garage floor, consider using a belt drive. This also applies if you are tired of constantly reinstalling the chain when it falls off or replacing the chain when it is worn or broken.


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