Having had a good look at a Scott Sub 10 1012 model today I'm very very VERY keen to convert my On-One Pompetamine Versa 8 to belt-drive. It has a Shimano Alfin 8 hub.

So... what advice can you give me? So far I know/think that:

  • I need to get the read-triangle on the drive side cut and have a gate brazed in (I'll do this myself probably).
  • I'll need to get hold of an Alfin fit sprocket.
  • I don't have an eccentric BB mount/shell so will have to tension with track-ends and tugs (or will I??)
  • That it's blinking expensive :)


  • Does anyone else have thoughts on other types of chainstay breaks/gates - besides the one lantius mentions? (this is sort of a 'bump' but I'm relatively new to stackexchange and don't know if bumps are acceptable :) – Mere Development Feb 3 '12 at 11:41
  • I think bumps in forms of comments are good. – jv42 Feb 3 '12 at 13:41

Look out for the chain line / belt line. With a chain, you don't have to care about this much as a chain will run at quite an angle without problems (derailleurs rely on this, obviously.)

The belt will be much less tolerant of a chain line that is not straight. With the pre-centertrack belts the alignment between front and rear sprockets needs to be within +/- 1/8" otherwise the belt is just going to run off of the sprockets. Centertrack prevents the belt running off, but I doubt it will run great if the sprockets are misaligned.

Worth googling for this - you'll find many conversion projects that went off the rails because of this. One challenge you may well run into is that even if you are able to get a combo of BB and crank that will allow the belt to line up, the chainstay will be in the way. I have a Civia Bryant and the drive-side chainstay is shaped so that the front sprocket will clear it - i.e it has a "dent" in the chainstay. This suggests that it's hard to have a non-dented chainstay design that will work, and, well... most chainstays don't have dents.

On balance, I think you'd have to be really attached to that frame.

One other thing to verify is the range of spacing you will have available between the front and rear sprockets, and whether this will be compatible with the combinations of belt length and sprocket sizes available. You need enough range to both be able to get the belt on, and to tension it properly. The information about the ranges needed for various belt/sprocket combinations is available on Gates website.


The biggest hurdle is definitely engineering the split dropout or the separable chainstay. S and S Machine doesn't sell their S&S couplers to amateurs, so the most elegant method of splitting the chainstay proper isn't really available to you. Other methods - using flat stock or other threadings - are likely to provide endless headaches there. Gates publishes a spreadsheet containing engineering documents for a few different dropout designs, you could possibly make them or get them manufactured to your specification by a local machinist and braze them ion, but once again you're looking at some significant expense and complexity. There are a few other dropout designs as well, but they appear to be proprietary.

Ultimately you're looking at a sub-$300 frameset; you might be best off finding a Gates-compatible mass-produced frameset and moving all your parts over to that.

  • Ok thanks, I see that there is an S&S user/frame builder about 15 miles from me so I'll see what they will charge to retrofit one. I'm quite attached to the frame, but yes I realise it's a cheapy. – Mere Development Feb 3 '12 at 0:10
  • Wow... just got process back from frame-builder. hundreds! I think I might do this on a better frame as you suggest :) – Mere Development Feb 6 '12 at 10:23

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