So… Gazelle Ultimate S8, ~4000 miles, an update.
Gates ‘Belt Drive’.
Gates say “Free yourself from oily, rusty chains… Clean. Smooth. Strong. … last longer than chains, never need grease and are nearly maintenance-free … goodbye to high-maintenance bike chains. Say hello to simplicity and fun”.
Shimano ‘Hub Gears‘.
The Shimano Alfine 8 speed. Shimano say “a stylish and sophisticated way to enjoy the ultimate urban riding experience”. Reviews are good: “…does an impressive work … you don’t have a problem with its weight … rapid and silent functioning … unpretentious maintenance”.
One of the reasons for the upgrade was gear, chain & chain-set wear & maintenance.
Over 6 years, I have discovered that bike commuting ~16 miles a day takes a large toll on the mechanics of a bike. The condition of our roads and bike paths throws dust, debris and all manner of crud into the mechanisms of a bike. Without regular cleaning and maintenance parts wear. Even with cleaning and maintenance parts wear! The novelty (and cost) of this is ok for some, but I am not naturally a dirty-hands bloke. I have to put a thankful word in, to the lads at City Cycles in Thurmaston – great service always!
But I digress, in 2017, my ‘Gazelle Ultimate S8‘ was supplied by the great folks at Leicester’s Future Cycles. If you have any questions or are up for investing in something that might change your life, speak to the guys at Future Cycles. There’s more to a good bike than the loud-brands will tell you!
But as I say – an update…
As mentioned before, one of the reasons for the choice was that on an urban commute, a chain/gear mechanism picks up so much muck and dirt that a regular adjustment, clean, degrease, lube etc is essential! Of course with a quality hub and belt, the bike still has to traverse the same paths, but the theory is there’s not so much mech to maintain. But, there still is mech to be wary of!
Other the planned service, my bike has had little attention, but after about 4000 miles (15 months) the rear sprocket needed attention as you can see below.
After consulting Future Cycles and the helpful folk at Velorution, I discovered that my S8 came with a ‘durable composite’ rear sprocket. This is the basic choice, and in retrospect knowing that I do ~80 miles weekly, I should have opted for a more durable one.
You can see below the state of the old one against the new one.