Electric bike expertise

Belt Drive VS Chain Drive

Among the various parts of the bicycle system, the transmission system is responsible for the mechanical power transportation of the vehicle, converting the pedaling force of the rider into the driving force of the vehicle. Among them, the chain, as the connecting body of the transmission system, has a direct impact on the transmission efficiency and riding experience. The rider will have a keen perception of the quality of the transmission system while riding. In the past, mechanical bicycles were equipped with metal chain transmission, which is still the most widely used until now, but the belt transmission that appears on the market is also loved by many consumers, so what is the difference between the two? What are the pros and cons of chain or belt drive bikes? This article will analyze this issue in detail.

Chain transmission is a transmission method that transmits the motion and power of the driving sprocket with special tooth shape to the driven sprocket with special tooth shape through the chain. It was applied to bicycles in the 19th century. Since then, chain transmission has become One of the Peugeot features of the bicycle, and it continues to be used to this day.


  1. Low cost and easy maintenance

The chain structure is simple and light, with high reliability and low price. Because it takes a long time to popularize, it is also more convenient to repair. When it needs to be replaced, almost every repair shop can replace it. Unlike the belt drive, which has a low popularity rate, the frame needs to be removed for replacement.

  1. Wide applicability

Chain drives are suitable for almost all models and all working environments, and can work in adverse environments such as low speed, heavy load, high temperature and open air.

  1. Accurate transmission ratio and large transmission force

Accurate transmission ratio can be guaranteed, the required tension is small, the pressure acting on the shaft is small, and the transmission efficiency is high, which can generally reach more than 95%. The transmission power is large, the overload capacity is strong, and the transmission size is small under the same working conditions.


  1. Strong sense of vibration

Due to the material of the chain and the many parts involved, the chain makes more noise than the belt, and the feeling of driving frustration is also greater.

  1. Easy to wear

Chains require more maintenance. They must be cleaned frequently and lubricated with wet or dry to ensure they keep running smoothly, they must also be inspected for rust and to ensure the chain is not worn.

Belt transmission, this new material transmission device is usually considered an upgrade of the chain. It is made of synthetic materials and reinforced with carbon fiber. It has the same operation mode as the chain transmission and can be widely used in various models. In recent years, it has become more and more More and more vehicles choose to use pulleys instead of chains, and belt drives have gradually become a major trend.


  1. Beautiful and maintenance-free

Due to the material properties of the belt, it will not be easily worn and broken like a chain, and it does not need to be lubricated and maintained like a chain at ordinary times. When riding through muddy or dusty environments, it is only necessary to wipe off the mud and sand with a damp cloth.

  1. Mute

on the elastic of the belt. Shock and vibration can be moderated during work, the movement is smooth and the noise is very small. If the overload belt slips on the pulley, it will not cause damage to important parts such as motors or equipment, which plays a role in safety protection and equipment protection to a certain extent.

  1. Service life

Belts wear out much slower than chains and generally last 3 to 5 times longer than chains, belt drives outlast chain drives.


  1. High cost

Belt drives are more expensive than chain drives, and are more troublesome to repair. If the belt breaks or wears out, it can be difficult to replace, requires dismantling the frame to replace it, and cannot be retrofitted on a chain-drive bike.

  1. High requirements for accessories

For chain drive systems, there is a huge selection of chains, sprockets, cassettes, chainrings, derailleurs and more. But since there are fewer belt drive manufacturers and most systems are proprietary, there are more restrictions on custom modifications or upgrades. Including the frame, flywheel, crankset, transmission, etc., all need to be matched with the type suitable for belt installation. When installing the belt, the frame requires an opening at the position of the seat stay or the tail hook of the rear triangle. If a single cantilever frame is used, it will be easier to install, but the cost of the frame will also be higher. Flywheels and chainrings also require special components to be used with belt drives, and the price is high and there are few choices. The belt cannot be installed with an external derailleur, so if you do not choose a single speed, you can only install an internal gear hub or a mid-range gearbox, which is also expensive.

  1. Transmission ratio difference

The outer diameter is large and the efficiency is low. The transmission efficiency is actually not as high as that of the chain drive, and the transmission is not accurate. The traditional chain drive consumes an average of 2.92 watts of energy, while the belt drive consumes 3.93 watts.

Belt drive will make you more worry-free when using it, and the vehicle will also be more beautiful. If it is daily commuting or leisure riding, then its shortcomings can be ignored to a certain extent, but if you pursue a sense of speed, the ultimate riding Experience, mechanical chain bicycles may better meet your needs.


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