Posts Tagged ‘belt drive bike’

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Double WAC in action

March 26, 2012

I got a chance to ride the new Double WAC the other day, and had a great time. I haven’t done a lot of single-speed riding, and this bike got me excited to do more. I always found that I liked the simplicity training aspect of single-speeding, but I didn’t like the fact that the gear was never quite right. Or almost never. I like to be able to pedal a little bit going downhill sometimes, and every single speed setup I’ve tried was geared too low for downhills of even low grades. They were all geared okay for decent climbing. Or the gearing may be good on the trail, but not good for the road from house to trail. The Double WAC helps to make single-speeding a little more practical for the types of trails in this area. We often have long climbs followed by long downhills.The Double WAC setup is basically a double/double belt drive. There are two sprockets on the front and back with different sizes. The sprocket sizes have to, of course, be chosen carefully since the belt cannot change lengths. This makes it possible to have two different gear ratios with the same length belt, which means an uphill gear and a down hill gear. You just have to pop the wheel out of the dropouts, switch the belt onto the other sprocket on the front and rear, and re-clamp the wheel into place. It’s obviously not something you would plan on doing a lot, but if you have a long downhill, or a long flat road ride to get to the trail, it’s definitely worth switching it into the higher gear.

double WAC - double double belt drive

Apart from the gearing, the WAC Corporal 29er was great to ride. I know I’m biased,  but the shock absorbing qualities of the frame always surprise me when I get on a Paketa magnesium bike. It always feels smoother than I expect. This bike is also really stiff and responsive, and the geometry is great. I feel right at home on this bike, which is a size large. Paketa has great stock geometries, and JP can do each frame custom to the rider.

Installing the belt is super easy, and the connection that JP makes to break the rear triangle apart for belt installation is simple, clean, and functional. The frame separates at the dropout where bolts would already exist for the standard sliding dropout installation. It’s super strong, and it adds absolutely no weight or potential failure points to the frame. The video explains a little more on the belt installation.

Paketa is also now offering a straight 44 mm head tube on all bikes. This mountain bike uses a 1.5″ tapered steerer fork for better fork stiffness. The bigger headtube adds stiffness and durability to the frame as well, and it makes the bike track and steer very precisely. The upper headset cup is inset into the headtube, and the lower bearing is external. If you use an 1 1/8″ steer tube, you can use a fully inset headset. Click here to check out more information on the WAC Corporal custom mountain bike.

paketa 44mm headtube

Gearing information for the bike in these photos: (all Gates CenterTrack):
Low gear: 39T front/30T rear; 1.3:1 ratio (37.7 gear inches)
High gear: 46T front/22T rear; 2.3:1 ratio (66.7 gear inches)

 

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