Although the belt drive is very durable, it is still one of the expendable parts of an eBike. Regular care can increase the service life of the belt. Water is sufficient for cleaning. Caution: Do not lubricate the belt with oil or grease. If necessary (e.g. in case of squeaking), treat it with silicone spray.
Belt drive maintenance
Many of the electric bikes sold at Propel use a Gates brand carbon fiber belt drive. While this product is still relatively new to the bike industry compared to a traditional chain drive, Gates has been making belt drives for automotive and industrial applications for more than a century.
Belts, compared to chains, require far less maintenance. For example, there are no moving components in the belt that require lubrication. At worst, cleaning the belt will be the most frequent task you experience.
Checking belt drives tension: Periodically, belt drives must be checked for tension and alignment. There are specialized tools, as well as a free smartphone app that can measure the belt tension by using a mechanism similar to a guitar tuner. The frequency emitted by the vibrations of the belt is translated to a reading on the scale of loose, to normal, to tight.
Here’s the app for measuring belt tension: https://www.gatescarbondrive.com/products/tools.
The tension of the belt on your eBike will vary slightly depending on your riding style, as well as the weight of the bike, the cargo you’re carrying, and the terrain you ride on most often. Once the belt is set up properly, it shouldn’t need to be re-tensioned for another six to 12 months–or maybe never, depending on various factors (this is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on the rider).
Belt drive alignment: Alignment of the belt and the belt sprockets can become an issue if the bike experiences a collision or if a component is shaken loose, becomes damaged, or out of alignment. If you think this might be the case, you may need to bring your eBike in for service. At the very least give us a call, we’re always happy to help.
When to replace your belt drive: It’s tough to give an average mileage on when your belt may need to be replaced due to the variations in application, but based on the rough guidelines put forth from the manufacturer and our applied experience, about 5,000 to 6,000 miles per belt is a good rule of thumb. It all just depends on your riding style.
Gates carbon belt drive user’s manual: https://www.gatescarbondrive.com/~/media/files/gcd/owners-manuals/english-owners-manual-gates-carbon-drive.pdf?la=en
Gates carbon belt drive tech manual (including troubleshooting guides):https://www.gatescarbondrive.com/~/media/files/gcd/gates-tech-manual-en.pdf?la=en