Spinning has been around for almost 30 years now, and it is as popular today as it was back in the 90s. Trendy workouts have come and gone but cycling indoors never lost its appeal among gym goers. But while routines have stayed the same, technologies have changed and progressed. The newest addition is the belt drive spin bike.
When you’re looking to invest in this type of equipment for your own benefit, it is best to do some research on the pros and cons of the two types of spin bikes: the (classic) chain drive spin bike and the belt drive spin bike.
There are no notable differences between the two stationary bikes when it comes to functionality. But depending on your workout preferences, an additional resource on belt drive spin bike could help you make a better-informed decision as a clear distinction between chain-driven spin bikes and belt-driven spin bikes can help you make an informed decision that suits your personal needs.
For now, here’s a quick review of belt-driven spin bikes and their main advantages.
Belt-Driven Spin Bikes
If you’re familiar with classic chain-driven bicycles for both outdoors and indoors, then you might know how the mechanism works. To create an adequate power transfer and set the wheels in motion while you are pedaling, a roller chain that passes over a sprocket makes the flywheel turn. It’s a simple concept, really.
Belt drive bikes’ mechanism is very similar, with the only difference that the roller chain is replaced by a thick and durable rubber belt. This mechanism always stays tense to prevent slipping and other workout mishaps. It is a newer device inspired by the belt drives in industrial machinery, and it has some advantages for riders.
Belt drives were first used in outdoor bicycles more than a decade ago, and they have conquered the industry ever since. Nowadays, everything from the most basic commuter bike to extreme sports fans’ mountain bikes has this technology incorporated. And it didn’t take long for their indoor sibling to follow suit.
Both gym goers and homebodies have started gravitating towards belt-driven spin bikes over the course of the last few years. But what lies behind the appeal of this innovative, yet simple system? There are many technical aspects to consider from this point of view. Here’s a few of them.
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Technical Aspects to Consider
The key advantage of belt-driven spin bikes over chain-powered ones that always comes to mind is their quietness. Because there is no chunky chain grinding over other metal parts, the entire experience is a lot more peaceful. If this is something that is important to you, then you should keep it in mind.
Since belt drives are less noisy, they are perfect for at-home spinners, as no background noise will drown out the grating and crunching produced by a chain. With a smooth and sturdy rubber belt, the noise is no longer a problem. You will be able to enjoy a silent and rewarding exercise session with great ease.
Another important plus of belt drives spin bikes is the very little maintenance they need over time. While chain drives must be oiled regularly to keep them lubricated and rust-free, rubber belts have no such necessities. What is more, the former loosens faster than the latter, a detail that can prolong the bike’s life span by a few years on average.
Nevertheless, there is a downside to belt drives as far as upkeep is concerned. Once the component wears off, it cannot be tightened as a chain drive could. You will have to replace it and pay extra for it. Still, this usually happens after a couple of years, which means that it is an investment well worth it.
As far as performance is concerned, belt drives seem to be superior once again. According to a study conducted on Gates Carbon Drive’s toothed belt, this type of mechanism reduces frictional losses, which allows riders to exert more power and achieve more. Even though the experiment was carried out outdoors, the finding applies to stationary bicycles too.
Therefore, if you are interested in expanding your home gym and purchasing a high-quality spinner, belt drive is the way to go. Even though this type of mechanism is mostly found in premium products, there are plenty of budget-friendly alternatives on the market. Or, if you want to splurge on a bike that will make you feel like you’re in a fancy California studio, you can do that as well.
The Bottom Line
Belt drive spin bikes are not the newest invention in the world of fitness, but they are certainly gaining traction right now. And why shouldn’t they? They are superior to chain drive spin bikes many aspects. In addition, a suitable belt-driven machine for home use can be found for any budget. So, if you enjoy cycling indoors, it is an option worth considering.