Gates Carbon Drive: New belt drive models for various bikes and ebikes


The belt drive as an alternative to the bicycle chain is becoming more and more popular and its advantages are obvious, especially in urban use: No oil or grease is needed for lubrication, which ensures a clean drive and equally clean trouser legs. In addition, a belt drive runs much more quietly than a chain and is also largely maintenance-free.

With the “Carbon Drive”, Gates has become the market leader in this field. Although there have been several attempts by competitors in recent years to establish an alternative to this — but so far all have failed (for example Continental with its own belt or the Startup Cowboy, which has now switched from a no-name product to Gates with the new urban bike Cowboy 3).

Coboc One Brooklyn Fat Urban Singlespeed E Bike 3

Up to now, Gates has offered two series of belt drives: the so-called Gates CDN (Carbon Drive Network) as an inexpensive model for leisure and occasional drivers and the CDX (Carbon Drive Xtreme) as a more expensive model for ambitious drivers, which can withstand higher loads. Three new models are now being added for the coming season.

Three new belt drives for 2021:

  • Sidetrack (ST): for seasonal, recreational cyclists looking for their first belt-driven bike (new)
  • Carbon Drive Network (CDN): for seasonal, recreational cyclists who commute occasionally
  • Carbon Drive Commute (CDC): for cyclists who bike or ebike for many kinds of urban trips (new)
  • Carbon Drive Xtreme (CDX): for cyclists who ride pavement or dirt year-round
  • Carbon Drive Expedition (CDX:EXP): for cyclists up for toughest, grittiest pavement or dirt adventures (new)

The SideTrack (ST) system is a new cost-optimized solution designed specifically for manufacturers of entry-level performance and leisure bikes and features a novel sprocket design and value-oriented belt construction.

The Carbon Drive Commute (CDC) line, with next-generation CenterTrack™ design, features patent-pending technologies that optimize value and durability. Designed for leisure and light commuter-style mid-motor ebikes, the new CDC line will enable more consumers to experience the advantages of the Gates Carbon Drive system.

Finally, the Carbon Drive Expedition (CDX:EXP) line is expanding to include three new sprockets made of high-hardness, high-strength steel or aluminum and features the patented CenterTrack belt design. The CDX:EXP system enables even bigger all-weather adventuring over the toughest trails and harshest environments where a durable, reliable, low-maintenance belt-driven system excels over the traditional chain assembly.  

In particular, the new Sidetrack (DSD) series should boost the market for cheaper bikes with belt drives. CDC and CDX:EXP are then more likely to be aimed at high-class, higher-priced models, and recently there has also been an increasing number of new gearhub types that match the belt drive — for example from Pinion or Enviolo. So it remains exciting to see which urban bike releases will rely on these new models from Gates in the near future.



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