As we approach Interbike, the first Press Release that grabbed my attention was one by Gates Carbon Drive:
PRESS RELEASE: Gates Carbon Drive Systems, the global leader in bicycle belt-drive technologies, will introduce a new drive train technology at Interbike called CenterTrack, which promises to provide the lightest, strongest, cleanest and highest-performing belt-drive system ever created.
CenterTrack features an innovative new design that offers all the advantages of existing Carbon Drives but with a whopping 20 percent more tensile strength, a slimmer profile and the most advanced dirt- and debris-shedding ever. Gates will show the new drive train for the first time at Interbike’s Outdoor Demo, Sept. 20-21. The inventor and engineers from Carbon Drive Systems will be on-hand to answer questions and demonstrate CenterTrack’s attributes.
“CenterTrack is a quantum leap forward for belt-drive technologies. It offers all the clean, quiet and strong advantages of our existing drive trains but with an even higher level of performance,” says Todd Sellden, Director of Gates Carbon Drive Systems. “We believe it will become one of the bike industry’s must-have killer apps.”
CenterTrack features an ingenious advancement of the increasingly popular belt and pulley system that debuted at Interbike in 2007. Instead of a raised flange on the side, the front and rear pulleys of CenterTrack feature a narrow track that runs around the center of their circumference. The CenterTrack belt has a channel on its underside that fits snuggly onto the track for perfect alignment every time.
From a tandem perspective, it will be interesting to see if CenterTrack will replace the CarbonDrive GT belt used for the 2000mm tandem sync belt & 69t pulleys as it appears as though it would eliminate some potential alignment issues, preclude inadvertent belt removal while lifting the tandem, and yield even further weight savings. Then again, I’m not sure if the 1st generation of the Gates CarbonDrive belts for tandems has been a business success story or just a break-even venture that would leave early adopters ‘holding’ if they migrated the tandem belts & pulley’s to the new design. More to follow, I’m sure.