Belt drives and winter

One of those frequently asked questions about Gates carbon belt drives for bicycles is “How do they hold up in winter snow and ice?”

Most belt drives attached to bicycles these days are manufactured by Gates Corporation in Denver, Colorado. Gates provides automotive accessory belts, motorcycle drive belts, and industrial power transmission belts. What they’re known for are snowmobile drive belts.

If a Gates drive belt can transfer 280 horsepower to push a 900 lb snowmobile to 60 MPH, it can probably handle your 1/4 horsepower and 250 lbs at 15 MPH.

The main problem with Gates Carbon belt drive has been with alignment and jamming. The existing belt drives are finicky with alignment, and slush and gunk has a tendency to muck up the works. Gates’ just introduced CenterTrack system is a huge improvement and seems to fix those issues.

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