Gates looking at “more economical” belt drives as new German R&D centre opens

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Gates is currently looking at more “economical uses” for its belt drives, with plans to bring lower priced lines to market for OEMs in future.

With the use of belt drives growing, particularly with high-torque electric bike and cargo applications, Gates Paul Tolme said the firm aims to be seen on bikes far south of the $1,000 mark.

To manage the brand’s developments a new R&D facility has opened in Germany, which will also serve as the distribution centre for Europe.

Appearing recently, Gates has seen strong early success in the BMX race category with elite racers winning national titles in Belgium.

“In BMX race it’s all about the start and the instantaneous engagement, as well as lowered risk of a chain break, has been well received by racers. The same goes for electric applications, mid-drives can wear chains very quickly, so belt drives are helping brands boost longevity,” says Tolme.