Gates unveils its next-gen carbon belt drives for bicycles and electric bikes


Gates, a leading belt transmission manufacturer that creates chain-replacing belt drives for bicycles, motorcycles and other power transmission needs, has just unveiled the newest update to its Carbon Drive portfolio of belt drive products. The updates include new as well as upgraded components across its four key product lines (ST TM, CDN TM, CDC TM, CDX TM).

Belt drives are prized for their many advantages of chain drives, including reduced maintenance, longer life spans, lower noise, and lack of oil that can muck up your ankle or pants’ leg.

They’ve proven incredibly popular on mid-to-high-end electric bicycles as consumers have flocked to their quiet and maintenance-free operation, and Gates’s belt drives have even begun working their way onto more affordable electric bikes.

Gates has thus become a household name in belt-drives for bicycles and can be found on countless e-bikes across the industry.

Gates’s CDX line is the company’s premium power transmission line for bike products and is designed for bikes operating over long distances in extreme riding scenarios. It offers 3x the life span of a traditional chain drive.

Gates has added to this product line by unveiling a new CDX:BLACK sprocket line for high torque applications, which is especially useful for mid-drive e-bikes and bikes with mid-gear boxes. The sprocket line will feature a wide range of rear & front sprockets to accommodate a variety of interfaces, including Shimano Inter-5e, Enviolo, Kindernay, and Bafang hubs, as well as the Valeo geared mid-motor, Pinion gearbox, and more.

Gates’s CDC line is introducing a brand-new belt designed specifically for mid-drive e-bikes, and is said to excel in the field of cargo e-bike applications. Gates says the design will be cleaner, quieter and more convenient for riders.

On the more affordable end of the spectrum, Gates’s CDN line is designed for mid-range applications and seasonal bikes or occasional commuters. The design is more appropriate for hub motor e-bikes that don’t see as high levels of torque applied to the belt drivetrain.

Balanced between performance and value for urban/city bikes and hub-drive e-bikes, the CDN
system is tailored to mid-range applications for seasonal on-road riding and occasional
commuting. The newly updated CDN belt includes carbon fiber tensile cords, a new ethylene elastomer (EE) compound, and Gates’s signature debris-shedding CenterTrack TM design for improved durability and wider operating temperature range vs. the first-generation CDN belt.

Gates has also unveiled a new tensioner that is compatible with the CDX & CDC product lines. The tensioner is designed to make it even easier for manufacturers to convert their bikes from chain drives to belts by using the simple system that requires little to no maintenance.

All of the updates are intended to further ease the transition from chains to belts as Gates seeks to scoop up even more market share across the bicycle and e-bike industry.

As chief marketing officer Tom Pitstick explained:

For many years we have been focused on converting chains to belt drives across a wide variety of applications, based on the many advantages that belt drives offer. Nowhere is this happening as quickly as in our mobility end-markets, given strong market drivers for alternative commuting and recreation options.

Bicycle – especially e-bike – demand is rising rapidly across the globe, and our latest innovations extend our coverage to an even wider range of applications. By adding all-new and significantly upgraded products to our Carbon Drive product lines, we’re enabling manufacturers to continue advancing the state-of-the-art and empower cyclists of all kinds with clean, quiet, long-lasting belt drives.

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