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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I've been looking for a mtb with Gates Carbon Drive for a while was almost ready to settle for a SS when i found this little gem from Pipedream with 11 speed Alfine hub on the rear wheel.

I have the 8 speed version on my Scott Sub 10 and it has worked really good so far. I don't like the maintenance or noice that comes with a chain.

Link:
Gates Carbon Drive Alfine | Reynolds 853 29er

This is how it looks:
Skookum_GBA.jpg

This are the specifications:
FRAMESkookum R853 29er
FORKX-Fusion Slide 29er 80 – 120mm Travel 15mm Bolt Thru Axle
CRANKSGusset TAF-24 Single Speed Crank 175mm
BELTGates Carbon Drive Center Track 115T
FRONT SPROCKETGates Carbon Drive Center Track 39T / 42T
REAR SPROCKETGates Carbon Drive Center Track 22T / 24T
REAR WHEELShimano Alfine 11 IGH / Sun Ringle SR25 Pinned 29er rim
FRONT WHEELWTB Speed TCS / Sun Ringle SR25 Pinned 29er rim
BRAKESTektro Orion 160mm Black Hydraulic Disc
WHEELSSun Ringle SR25 Pinned 29er rims
TYRESWTB Bronson 2.2
SADDLEWTB Volt Sport
SEATPOSTBBB Skyscraper 30.9mm
STEMFSA OS 190, 31.8, 90mm
BARSFSA V-Drive 685mm Low Rise
GRIPSWTB Weir Wolf
HEADSETGusset Tapered
SEATCLAMPDKG QR 33.0mm

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It comes at a price of GBP 1800, about USD 3000, so it is quite pricey.

What are your thoughts about it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Why don't you just single speed?


But, then again, I'm biased...
I have considered that but i've never tried one and i'm not sure that i would like it.

Would you say that the feeling of a SS is equivalent to keeping a geared bike at a mid gear or are there more to it?
 

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It looks like a nice bike, but seems expensive, is it a carbon frame or does the "carbon" refer to the belt drive?

This is just me, but I am not persuaded by the benefits to go with a belt drive. I have a bristle brush that wraps around my chain and that I run through a few times--clean. Several drops of oil on links and cranks backwards 70-100 times to work in, takes 5 minutes. Since I started using a clutch deraileur the noise from the chain is reduced significantly.
 

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It looks like a nice bike, but seems expensive, is it a carbon frame or does the "carbon" refer to the belt drive?
Skookum R853 29er stands for Reynolds 853, so not a carbon frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It looks like a nice bike, but seems expensive, is it a carbon frame or does the "carbon" refer to the belt drive?

This is just me, but I am not persuaded by the benefits to go with a belt drive. I have a bristle brush that wraps around my chain and that I run through a few times--clean. Several drops of oil on links and cranks backwards 70-100 times to work in, takes 5 minutes. Since I started using a clutch deraileur the noise from the chain is reduced significantly.
It is a steel frame so rather expensive it is.

Interesting about the silent clutch deraileur but i have the belt drive on my commuter bike and it has worked really well so far. No noise, no maintenance, longer durability, a reasonable amount of gears, you can change gear at zero speed etc.

When i bought it i also tried a chained bike. It is hard to explain but the belt drive had a better directness to the pedaling than the chain and i really liked that. So even though it is more expensive and may have other downsides i am sold on it and will go for it on my next bike.
 

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If you really want a Gates Belt Drive setup, you'd be better off, from a cost standpoint, to build it yourself. All you need is a belt drive compatible frame and a rear wheel built with the Shimano Alfine 11-spd hub. I would estimate a low cost build would be less than $2k, all said and done. Now if it's worth it to you to just buy the complete bike (50% higher cost) then just order the PipeDream that's already built for you and go out and ride.

I like the possible benefits of a belt drive, lower maintenance, cleaner, etc. However, I would be concerned about durability of the Alfine hub and belt drive in an off road setting. I'd like to know how a belt drive holds up in dirt, water, and muddy conditions. Also, how does the the internal geared hub hold up when pedaling over lots of roots and rocks.

Not to mention, the spread of gear ratios for the Alfine 11 may not be the range you would want for off-road riding.

Another reason the Alfine 11-spd internal hub probably has not gained popularity, at least in the XC mountain biking world is that the internal geared hub weighs almost 2 lbs more than an equivalent XX1 setup. To me, that's a significant amount of weight to add to the rear end of my mountain bike.

If Shimano would come out with an 11-spd internal geared hub that designed for trail use, is light weight, compatible with a Gates Carbon Drive, and is a reasonable price, I might be a fan.

After doing a little more research, I might consider purchasing a Redline Monobelt SS and upgrading the rear hub to the Alfine 11-spd if you want to add the internal gearing. You should end up spending less and I think the Redline offering has better components than the Pipedream.
 

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Yes, there is more to it.

SPP
What he said...

Personally, Im not sold on the belt drive concept. Chains are proven, they dont slip/jump (on a SS (usually)) if you have a reasonably good set up. Belts seem finicky, people can dump $$$ into them and they still have problems all the time. also, you still need to maintain a belt drive
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you really want a Gates Belt Drive setup, you'd be better off, from a cost standpoint, to build it yourself. All you need is a belt drive compatible frame and a rear wheel built with the Shimano Alfine 11-spd hub. I would estimate a low cost build would be less than $2k, all said and done. Now if it's worth it to you to just buy the complete bike (50% higher cost) then just order the PipeDream that's already built for you and go out and ride.

I like the possible benefits of a belt drive, lower maintenance, cleaner, etc. However, I would be concerned about durability of the Alfine hub and belt drive in an off road setting. I'd like to know how a belt drive holds up in dirt, water, and muddy conditions. Also, how does the the internal geared hub hold up when pedaling over lots of roots and rocks.

Not to mention, the spread of gear ratios for the Alfine 11 may not be the range you would want for off-road riding.

Another reason the Alfine 11-spd internal hub probably has not gained popularity, at least in the XC mountain biking world is that the internal geared hub weighs almost 2 lbs more than an equivalent XX1 setup. To me, that's a significant amount of weight to add to the rear end of my mountain bike.

If Shimano would come out with an 11-spd internal geared hub that designed for trail use, is light weight, compatible with a Gates Carbon Drive, and is a reasonable price, I might be a fan.

After doing a little more research, I might consider purchasing a Redline Monobelt SS and upgrading the rear hub to the Alfine 11-spd if you want to add the internal gearing. You should end up spending less and I think the Redline offering has better components than the Pipedream.
Well i do really want the belt drive given my good experiences with it. I also think i would like to avoid building my bike completely from scratch since i lack the appropriate knowledge about which components to use.

It's funny that you mention the Redline Monobelt, i've had that one on my radar for a while but have had a hard time deciding between SS and geared. Your suggestion to start with that and maybe later add a Alfine wheel is however absolutely genius, i had not considered that as an option at all. With such a setup i could also quite easily switch between SS and gears which could come in handy depending on the type of ride. Or i may just enjoy SS so much that i don't want gears at all.

The only downside with the Redline is that they don't seem to be sold in Europe but with the lower price i can probably fund a nice trip to the states and still spend less than on the Pipedream. :)

Thank you for great input!
 

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Pipedream is a great company and they design great bikes. Personally, I would buy the bike you are looking at, but I already have 3 bikes so my wife would kill me.

These guys know bikes. Just because it isn't popular in the states, does not mean it isn't a well thought out, properly engineered bike.

The Pipedream guys don't just build stuff that isn't tested thoroughly. If they did, they would not be in business.

I say go with the bike. If you dislike it, maybe I'll buy it from you (at a reduced cost of course).

My Sirius is a great bike with excellent quality. I would not expect anything less from the belt drive Skookum.
 
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