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I am considering purchasing a Novara Gotham with the Gates carbon drive (2016 model), and before I purchase I am trying to determine how the frame split works on it. The pictures in REI's online store indicate that it may be a welded gap in the seat stay, which I find somewhat difficult to believe - that would require rewelding the frame to replace the belt.

enter image description here

How does the Gotham's frame split work? Where is it located, and how does it come apart/together?

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    Look at the right (drive side) seatstay. – Batman Jul 1 '16 at 14:08
  • It looks to me as though one removes the chain guard, er I mean the belt guard, and then drops the wheel. – rclocher3 Jul 1 '16 at 16:02
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    Seat stay comes apart like Batman mentioned. However, these belts are suppose to be good for 10,000 miles (according to LBS). It is unlikely you will need to ever change it in the life of the bike. But if you do, you can. – user26705 Jul 1 '16 at 17:30
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    @BTeam If the bike is only expected to last 10,000 miles I'd buy something else, because that's only 3-5 years for many commuters (presumably the target market for the bike) - it's only 5 miles each way, 5 days a week for 200 weeks (about 4 years). – Móż Jul 8 '16 at 2:00
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    @BTeam my current commuter is about 10 years old and I see no need to replace it in the near future. I've changed the bearings in the front hub once (after 50,000km), the oil in the rear hub every year (Rohloff), the headset is still original, the chain, BB etc have been swapped regularly, but I would be really, really annoyed with a lifetime as short as your bikes get. I was sad when my GT Karakoram became unservicable after only 100,000km back in the day. We have very, very different expectations. – Móż Jul 8 '16 at 23:35
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I edited a photo of the relevant part of the bike into the question, but then decided to answer it. I can't find a photo showing any more detail than that, sorry.

The two weld bumps on the right hand seatstay will be where the the frame joiner has been put in, and resumably there's a bolt or two in there, but I can't find out, sorry. OTOH, it will almost certainly be easier to open that up than to find a replacement belt, so I wouldn't worry about it. It will definitely not require welding to do that, though.

This search for "belt drive frame joiner" produces a lot of hits, including an image that looks as though it could be the device used in that bike.

enter image description here

Image from road bike forums where there is a thread discussing how that device was installed in a frame. If it was turned so the bolt heads were on the inside of the frame, it could look like the Novara Gotham. Or they could have an equivalent design.

I'm looking at the gap between the welds above and I think there's a faint stripe in a slightly different colour, suggesting a centimetre wide chunk gets unbolted from the seat tube. But it's very, very faint.

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  • That would be it. I wouldn't worry about changing it anytime soon. These are the same type of belts that motorcycles use for their drive systems. They will not wear out under remotely normal use. – user26705 Jul 8 '16 at 15:55
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    I've bought the Gotham, and can confirm that this is indeed how it works. Thank you! – Michael Ekstrand Oct 12 '16 at 12:30
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No welding is necessary. The right chain stay has a welded fitment that is held in place with two bolts. They are on the inside of the chain stay and are not visible in the photos you looked at.

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    Welcome to Bicycles . We recommend that new members take the tour to get to know how to make best use of the site. This answer is very short and does not add anything to the existing, accepted answer. I suggest reading the How to Answer page. – Móż Oct 11 '16 at 23:23
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    Welcome to Bicycles @Phil. This answer was flagged as low-quality because of its length and content, and so I'm reviewing it. The thing I'd like to see you add to this answer is how you know what you state. For example do you or a friend have one, have you worked on one, do you work for one of the companies in the supply chain, etc. As Móż says, please do take the tour and check out How to Answer so that you can make best use of the site. I'm saying this answer Looks OK instead of Recommend Deletion, to give you the chance to fix it. Kind regards – andy256 Oct 12 '16 at 0:01

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