Progress »made in Höxter«

Tear-resistant Optibelt timing belt drive for bicycles is intended to conquer the world market

A novelty from Höxter is to conquer the world market: The company Arntz Optibelt is currently developing a belt drive for bicycles as a replacement for the conventional chain drive. "We can never stop as a company - that's why we invest time and again in the development of new products and in the development of new markets," emphasizes Andreas Klaffner, Manager Business Development and Application Technology.

"In addition to Optibelt, there are only two other companies that have the technical capabilities to develop the necessary package of two discs and a special belt and to establish them in the market - one from Germany and one from the USA," explains Klaffner: »Every timing belt manufacturer wants to enter the bicycle market, but without the very tear-resistant and moisture-resistant belt with carbon cord, a chain can not be replaced. And we at Optibelt can do that, "he says confidently. A timing belt on a bicycle is a very demanding product, "because a lot of power is transmitted via the belt," says Klaffner, "so there will be several versions."

The belt drive with carbon cord has immense advantages over the chain on a bicycle: it is lighter, more robust, more durable and requires no care. Since the belt running fat free, the driver could not make dirty. But the belt drive has its pitfalls: While a chain can be easily adjusted in length, a belt is a closed system. To hang it, the frame must be designed accordingly. Optibel's partner "Bernds Bikes" has developed a rear suspension that is open on the drive side, just like motorcycles.

Its bicycles, which are equipped with a toothed belt drive, are already running with "Optibelt Delta Chain Carbon" belts. "We experimented with belts and drives from different suppliers and discovered that they are making the same mistakes today as we did 20 years ago. In Optibelt we finally found a partner who optimally meets our needs and develops individual solutions for our product together with us. Maybe it's because Optibelt - like us - is a family business. You can say we're on the same belt length, "says Thomas Bernds.

Optibelt is currently developing a prototype of the »Optibelt Delta Chain Carbon« for Bernds to drive a folding tandem, which must be very narrow and long, and must have the optimum 8-tooth pitch for bicycles. And in fact, the two traditional companies are bringing a lot of new things together on the road: "At the Eurobike 2018, we will jointly present a product innovation that will revolutionize the belt drive for bicycles," promises Bernds - more is not yet to be revealed.

The "Optibelt Delta Chain Carbon" is a new high-performance timing belt that is set to set the standard in the market. Up to 100 percent higher power transmission compared to high performance timing belts made of rubber are possible - the width of the drive could thus be significantly reduced. »Particularly in the foreground are drives with very high torques. The> Optibelt Delta Chain Carbon <was designed for high torques and delivers the best performance even under extreme loads and high loads. Thanks to its carbon cord, it is the ideal alternative to drives with roller chains, "emphasizes Andreas Klaffner.

The innovative material combination of an extremely resistant polyurethane mixture, an abrasion-resistant and specially treated polyamide fabric as well as the Carbonzugstrang to make the product from Optibelt very high load and at the same time resistant to a variety of chemicals, oils and liquids.

Until the belt can establish itself on the bicycle market, however, there are still some tests. A team of employees should look after this area exclusively this year. And then once again a product from Höxter could make a successful journey around the world. "We keep up with the times. That must always be our claim, "says Klaffner.

(Source: Westfalen-Blatt, author: Dennis Pape, 9.02.2018)