Timing Belt, Update #2

Well, we’ve done a few more rides on the belt and it continues to deliver problem-free, whisper quiet performance.  Although, I will note when it’s hot and humid you can detect a little belt squeak from the sprocket flanges while jostling the cranks around in the parking lot.  Once you get underway and load up the drive train with pedal pressure it goes away.  Moreover, it doesn’t make a peep when it’s not humid.  My friend and the belt system’s developer Bob notes that down in sunny and sometimes steamy middle-Florida the same thing happens, but he’s found that applying a little bit of Gunk spray-on, or Loctite’s gel-based silicone to the belt eliminates any squeaks.

Of course, as you’d expect, its unusual appearance continues to draw attention and questions.  Our friends in the news business noted that the very slow-moving belt with the Gates branding in white on the black belt reminds them of a news ticker streaming by on the lower part of news network broadcast screens.

The problematic front eccentric / bottom brackets on our Calfee: Yes, tight tolerances.

Now, the change-over has not come without some squawks related to the non-belt parts.  As is often the case when bottom brackets are removed and re-installed, I do have a little bit of a creek coming from the front bottom bracket, most likely because I neglected to put any Loctite 242 (blue) on the adjusting cups in anticipation of fitting some new bottom brackets spec’d for the belt.  However, I still haven’t asked Alex to order the BB’s so I guess I’d better put some Loctite on those suckers, as the creaking will certainly push me over the brink.


About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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3 Responses to Timing Belt, Update #2

  1. Henry says:

    I find that dragging a dry bar of ivory soap down the edge of the belt also helps eliminate any squeaking coming from the keeper edge of the timing rings – and seems like is mild enough to not be of consequence to the belt over time.

  2. Scott says:

    I am similar to you, having a custom carbon tandem with a longer than normal stoker compartment (in our case an Arizona). In fact, ours is a little longer then yours. I have been looking for a way to add a timing belt to our tandem, and was very interested in your success. Can you help me get in contact with your source for these parts to see if I could share in your success?

    • TG says:

      I’ve emailed you Bob’s contact info.

      Again, bear in mind that I’ve just started to experiment with this belt. It will be at least several months before we’ll really have an appreciation for how well it will work or hold-up.

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