Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gates Carbon Drive Center Track Ready To Go

Okay, after some waiting, I have finally procured the belt that will work with the length of the chain stay, the cog, and the front ring that are on the Sawyer. The Center Track system is alive!

Carbon Drive Center Track on the Sawyer
As I posted before, The Belt has issues when it comes to combinations that will fit existing bikes. Had I wanted to go with the shortest chain stay setting on the Sawyer, I would have needed to "massage" the drop outs with a Dremmel tool a bit to get the shorter belt to work. To avoid that, I went with the next longer belt, which slammed me back almost as far as the wheel will go. So much for short chain stays! Not that I am worried too much about these sorts of things, but it does point out that Gates has a long way to go before they can cover the combinations possible with The Chain. They claim at some point that they will. (It would be good to start with some more Center Track compatible cogs, for instance)

My issues with getting a belt to fit also pointed out some other irregularities that may plague some designs out there. The sliders on the Sawyer, which have a ton of "throw", arc throughout their travel. Okay, now stop and think about that for a minute: Those sliders have to travel in the exact same arc on either side, or you will notice "oddities" with regard to your rear wheel placement within the frame.

This manifested itself to me when I tried fitting the first, too short, belt. The sliders were off enough from side to side in terms of the arc they traveled in that the wheel was almost slammed over to the non-drive side in the front, near the bottom bracket. At the seat stays, it was barely noticeable. As the sliders traveled backward, the arcs traveled by the sliders matched more closely, then at the end of the throw, were only slightly off to where the adjuster for the non-driveside is out more than the driveside  adjuster, which is nearly buried into the drop out.

Notice the adjusters? One is out further.

I'm okay with it. I got the wheel centered, but with sliders, I've noticed these sorts of issues before. They don't have to have arced slots  to be off either. I've seen out of plane sliders on several bikes. Custom ones even.

But I digress.....

This is about Center Track. I think t's going to be good, or at least better than the older design, in terms of tension on the system. My contact at Gates said that Center Track isn't so much about "less tension" than it is about not having to use "excessive tension" to make it work. He recommended that I use the iPhone app that is made for tensioning the Center Track belt, which should resonate at between 70-80Hz. Okay......what if you do not own an iPhone?  Not a problem......if you are a musician!

Looks like I'll be busting out the chromatic tuner and going for approximately a D#. We'll see how that goes, and then test it out on the trails with a report to come later.


Jim Brown said...

That gives whole new meaning to the term "tuning" your drivetrain!

MG said...

Looking forward to hearing how it plays out for you... heh heh.

Efrain Aguiluz said...

I'm pretty sure there's an android app you could use.