CNN has today picked up on what the bike trade has known for some time: carbon polychains are here to stay.
The news channel reports that Trek is introducing two carbon beltdrive models.
"While some smaller custom bike makers have used them before, Trek is the first to use the technology for mass-produced bicycles," said CNN.
Earlier adoptors of the latest polychains from Gates, the US auto transmission specialist, were Orange, Spot and Karl Nicolai. Before that companies like Delta used a pre-carbon beltdrive for its iXi bike; Mark Sanders used a standard belt for his Strida; and Raleigh dabbled in the field in the 1980s.
Eric Bjorling, Trek’s lifestyle brand manager, told CNN:
"People are really finding bicycles to be a very simple solution to some very complex problems that they face every day. Anything we can do in our design to really help them and help them live that lifestyle is probably better for both the consumers and us.
"Bike purists are going to take a look at it and say ‘oh, you know it’s another option to a chain’. Are we going to see a ton of people switching from a chain to a belt drive? I think in some urban environments yes, but it’s definitely not the coffin that’s gonna bury the chain."
David Oakley, a manager at IBD Agee’s Bicycles of Richmond told CNN:
"From a maintenance standpoint, it’s huge. If this really, completely takes off, the lubricant industry is probably not going to be excited."
Watch these YouTube videos on polychain technology:
Orange/Spot and the Gates factory in Scotland.