Here’s an interesting design from SyCip Bikes, a belt-driven single speed. A few bike makers have been experimenting with a belt-driven drivetrain instead of a typical bicycle chain, but this presents a unique problem for the frame designer. A belt is non-breakable like a chain, so therefore, the frame must have a way of coming apart to allow for the installation of a new belt, if the belt is to go around the chainstay.
This Sycip bike has elevated chainstays which removes the need for the belt to go around them. I’m not certain how this would affect the frame’s stiffness, but it is certainly interesting. SyCip’s website doesn’t have this bike listed as a current model, so I’m not sure if it’s a prototype or an all-new future model.
A belt drive seems like a good way to make a simple bike even simpler, since a belt doesn’t have to be serviced like a chain. And since there is no lube required, less dirt should stick to the drivetrain. I still wonder though, how this type of system would work in the mud. Would the mud get jammed between the belt and the cogs? Has anyone ridden a belt driven-bicycle before? What has been your experience?