There’s no doubt that Gates Carbon Belt Drive is an excellent drivetrain solution for long-distance touring bikes. I’ve got a belt drive touring bike AND a belt drive tandem sitting in my garage which both have 30,000km+ on their original belts. To put that into perspective, a standard derailleur drivetrain will rarely shift well after 10,000km. In addition, belt drive touring bikes are silent and require almost no maintenance other than odd clean with a toothbrush.
There are two clinchers with a belt drive touring bike, however:
– You need to use a belt-specific frame
– Your drivetrain must use either an internally geared hub or gearbox (adding significant cost)
As I get lots of requests from people about the bike and frame options available for Gates Carbon Drive, I’ve pieced together a resource with the manufacturers you need to know about. You’ll find the vast majority of brands (87%) here are European, but many of those will ship internationally or have local dealers. If you know of any other brands that do a belt touring bike or frameset, please drop a comment below.
Belt Drive Touring Bike Manufacturer List